Some of you look at a headline like that and feel annoyed thinking how much you have already sacrificed. You have sacrificed big time because your spouse rarely or never wants to have sex with you—and you cannot morally go experience sex with someone else.
And some of you look at the same headline and feel you too have sacrificed, but in a different, yet also devastating, way. Your spouse’s sexual needs take precedent—to the point that he or she rarely or never respects your sexual desires, pleasure and preferences. What makes their sexual experience amazing is always priority, with no regard for your feelings or thoughts.
Both of the above scenarios are heartbreaking, but sadly not unheard of in some marriages. There’s just no sexual compromise and awareness, and it shows.
What does it truly mean to be a sacrificial lover in marriage? In the above two extremes there is sacrifice going on for sure, but certainly not the kind of sacrificial lovemaking I am longing to champion.
I do need to offer one caveat before I dig into what it truly means to be a sacrificial lover in marriage. If your marriage is teetering on the edge of implosion because one or both of you has consistently made choices that have been monumentally damaging to the marriage, then it’s no surprise that sex has also been a struggle.
If that describes your marriage, my 1,000-word post about being a sacrificial lover probably isn’t going to get at the heart of what you need right now. Instead, you need to do major damage control and rebuild trust before you have a shot at some healthy intimacy. If you are dealing with big issues, including (but not limited to) addiction, financial carelessness, out-of-control anger, and/or infidelity, I urge you to start to work on those issues.
If, though, your marriage isn’t in crisis, but you know you and/or your spouse haven’t been too sacrificial in your lovemaking, this post may be your wake up call.
Here are 3 tips on becoming a sacrificial lover:
1. Let love be your motivation
This sounds so sing-songish that I almost hesitate saying it. But when we get right down to it, being a sacrificial lover starts with love as your motivation. And I’m not talking love only as a feeling. I’m talking about love as a decision, which is what you made when you exchanged vows.
You love this person you married, right? By its very nature, covenant love is sacrificial. At its core it means we do not take our spouse’s needs and wants lightly, including sexual needs and wants.
On the other hand, selfishness demands its own way. It can show up in the spouse who regularly denies sex or participates half-heartedly. AND it can show up in the spouse who insists on sex when they want it, with no regard for potential negative consequences to their spouse.
So if you want to be a sacrificial lover, you have to check your motive. If you both have love as a motive, then you are banking the odds in your favor to have genuine intimate connection—in bed and out of bed. Sacrificial lovers keep love at the top of their motive list.
2. Enjoy bringing your spouse sexual pleasure
Being a sacrificial lover means you are as intentional about your spouse’s pleasure as you are about your own. Does it bring you great joy to sexually arouse your spouse and make them climax? Along these same lines, do you understand that it brings your spouse joy to arouse you? Do you share a mutual appreciation for arousal all the way around?
When both of you are enthusiastic about your spouse’s sexual pleasure and your own, the transformation in your marriage can be profound. Now I know that if you have fallen into some fairly predictable patterns with initiation, positions and sexual technique, it may feel awkward to embrace new ways of turning each other on. But don’t let the awkwardness stop you!
Find enjoyment and passion in bringing your spouse sexual pleasure and in allowing them to bring you pleasure.
3. Stop waiting for “someday” to make positive changes
If you know there are struggles in your sexual intimacy, waiting for some epiphany or magical train stop moment to start working on those struggles is a recipe for more of the same struggles. I guarantee it.
We tend to drift into unhealthy habits that then become our normal. This is as true with sex as it is with anything in our life. But we never drift into healthy habits. We just don’t. We have to be intentional about fixing what is broken and tending to its care to keep it working well.
So if the two of you want to be sacrificial lovers, get about the business of making positive changes. They can be as simple as being more affectionate with your clothes on, saying “I love you” and “thank you” more in your daily life, protecting time for sexual connection, and opening up more about your sexual desires.
How can you grow in being tender and compassionate? In what new ways can you express that you desire your spouse sexually? And when your spouse expresses sexual desire for you, how can you respond positively?
Becoming a sacrificial lover in marriage isn’t an overnight process. It’s an ongoing process. And if you know you have room to grow, there’s no better time than now to start growing.
Here’s to being sacrificial lovers. You’ve got this.
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.