Messed up views on sex. They can come from just about anywhere, but a few common sources usually rise to the top.
Maybe you had family members who doled out messages about sex like they were gospel, with a heavy emphasis on how sinful, gross and wrong sex is. “Like the worse sin ever,” your young mind heard.
It’s no wonder countless newly-married couples are at a loss as to how to build healthy sexual intimacy.
The forbidden fruit narrative of sex translates pretty quickly into a tragic tale of sexual discouragement and frustration in the marriage bed — the exact place where sex should be savored, celebrated and engaged in as often as possible.
Possibly your friends led you to believe certain half-truths or outright wrong things about sex, and those ideas warped into quite a messed up perspective. Or you conjured up ideas all on your own, building your sexual views from what you saw as you glanced across society’s landscape or pieced together from your own sexual encounters.
However you arrived here isn’t as important as recognizing that your messed up views on sex are not helping your marriage.
You don’t have a grasp on healthy sexual intimacy. There’s no shame in that, you know? You can’t change how you got the views, but you CAN change your outlook and actions going forward.
You can embrace a healthy perspective on sex.
So how do you ditch your messed up views on sex? Here are three suggestions:
1. Go to THE source
God and His Word are quite the treasure trove of material in building a healthy perspective on sex, but too often this holy stockpile has been picked through haphazardly, like a bargain bin at the dollar store.
If you heard a purity message (either eloquently or harshly), did it leave you with the overarching belief that “Sex is bad. And if you do it, you’re ruined!”? If so, that purity message missed the mark. Big. Time.
Sadly, in the hands of us fallible humans, we haven’t always done a great job of conveying a godly purity message. God doesn’t want us thinking sex is bad or gross. What He wants us to understand is that sin separates us from Him, and His love and sacrifice reconcile us to Him.
Timing sometimes makes a behavior sin, but the behavior in the right context is awesome. We’ve muddied the waters a bit on this when it comes to sex. Instead of hearing God say, “I want you to wait till marriage to have sex because it is so powerfully wonderful,” too many people interpret the message as, “Sex is bad and wrong.” And they carry that message with them right into marriage.
As much as we think the Bible is all about telling people to not have sex, it’s actually quite the opposite.
God in His wisdom spends a ton of time expressing the power and spiritual significance of marital sexual intimacy. He’s all about orgasm and pleasure and oneness. He’s not shy in His holy erotica. Within the exclusivity of a married couple’s union, He doesn’t want them to be shy about it either.
If you had sex before you were married, grew up believing sex is bad or traipsed into adulthood with a slew of skewed sexual messages, you are not ruined. His Word is clear that when we repent of sin, He does indeed forgive us. And when we recognize some of our thinking may actually be wrong, we can replace it with right thinking. We can be well on our way to seeing God’s heart about sex.
And God’s heart about sex is that He meant it for good. Let’s rest in that as truth and refuse to be sidelined by the chatter of skewed messages. Enough already with the skewed messages. Go to the Source instead and get the right messages.
2. Get some support
Still stumbling over roadblocks of a messed up sexual perspective? Then consider having a professional counselor help you unpack that mess, heal and grow. If you can find a Christian counselor, that’s great, but honestly, regardless of whether a counselor is Christian, you still need to make sure they are a good fit for you and their advice aligns with your faith.
There are many capable counselors who have the professional training and practical experience to help you heal and overcome sexual issues. Maybe those issues are because of abuse inflicted upon you or maybe they are because of ideas you have accepted as truth that are anything but true.
You don’t have to stay stuck if you don’t want to stay stuck, and if someone can equip you to make room in your head and heart to have a healthy outlook on intimacy, don’t you want to enlist that help?
If you can’t afford a counselor, consider this post that I wrote awhile back. It explores three ideas if you can’t afford professional marriage counseling, but the same tips would apply if you are looking for individual counseling. You can find it at this link.
And don’t forget that a few of us Christians are singing from the rooftops about healthy sexual intimacy. There are many books, websites and blogs, all aimed at helping couples build healthy sexual intimacy in their marriage. So there’s that. Lean into to that. Fix your mind on healthy sources.
3. Do something differently
I love that saying (based on Newton’s physics law) that something in motion stays in motion. Sure, it’s often used as general commentary on motivation, but since we are talking about sex, it seems wildly appropriate as well.
If your messed up views on sex are sabotaging sex in your marriage, decide today to do something differently, even if it is a small thing. Start the motion toward something healthier and it will be easier to repeat those healthy decisions (and add more healthy decisions) going forward.
If you never initiate, why not give initiating a try?
If you have a hard time relaxing before sex, why not ask your spouse if the two of you can spend more time on foreplay… more time caressing and kissing and spending time together?
If you usually have sex in one position, why not try a different position?
If you know a hot bath before you head to bed would help you unwind and put you in a better frame of mind for sex, then why not give it a try?
Sometimes the simple act of doing something differently will help you build a better sexual connection. You can replace your messed up views on sex with a repertoire of healthy sexual experiences.
So are you ready? Are you ready to ditch your messed up views about sex? Only you can decide.
Copyright 2019, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.