Our Bodies Are No Longer Ours Alone
Everything is sexualized
We live in a society where everything is sexualized. Movies, pop-stars, magazines, songs, TV shows, books, and the list could go on and on. We see and hear about sex everywhere we look, Christian or not. We don't even have to go looking for it. It is there staring us in the face whether we want it to be or not. So why then is it so hard to talk about within our marriages, friend groups or our churches? Sex within in marriages isn't something that should be shuffled under the rug. God created sex within marriage to be an act of uniting with one another. A special bond that is to be celebrated. Let’s talk about it!
More Often Than Not, It Is The Lower Drive Spouse
As a woman who has been married for 20 years, I am fully aware that there are ups and downs in this area of marriages. Today I really want to address the down times and how we (the lower drive spouse) are called to deal with them or eliminate them. For the wives, a lot of times we are tired, we didn't feel loved today, we are stressed, we are too busy, it's too late, we have a headache, we brought work home, the kids are too loud or always interrupting and whatever other reason we have to skip sex for what probably isn't the first time this week. For husbands, it can be the stress of work, the negativity at home, high stress levels, feeling unseen, unheard and unwanted. No matter which spouse you are, there are always reasons. It is so easy once we fall into a routine of reasons to just stay sitting in that space. The problem with this scenario is that God calls us to be sexually attentive to our spouses. He reminds us that our bodies after marriage are no longer ours alone.
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 1 Corinthians 7:4 NIV
Paul even goes on to give us guidance in withholding sex from one another. If it is agreed upon it should be for a short time of fasting and prayer and then we should reunite.
It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them. 1 Corinthians 7:5 MSG
Encouragement to Keep Going
I want to encourage you all, newly married or not to explore a sexual relationship with your spouse that is healthy for you both. Sometimes that means setting our tiredness, headaches, stress, and lack of wanting, kid interruptions, work and other outside things aside. God designed your spouse to look at you and to find joy and beauty in your body. We read poems of love and intimacy within His word and if you read those words in biblical context you will see the need for sexual intimacy among spouses. It is the glue, the bonding agent that holds couples together in the busiest of times. So often, the sexual intimacy in a marriage dictates the rest of the marriage. Male and female were created as sexual beings, to have wants, desires, needs, hormones and etc. God created our bodies and created sexual intimacy for our bodies. Enjoy one another!
Not Always In The Mood
Ladies and gentlemen, sex isn't solely meant for procreation, or for fulfilling our spouses desires. As I stated before, sex is to be a celebration between the two of you. It should at times be all of the above; fun, invigorating, satisfying, necessary, romantic, adventurous, loving, soul connecting, and do we dare even to venture to use the word? Sexy! Find delight in your spouse even when you don't feel like it and you won't ALWAYS feel like it.
For women especially, it is known from research that our bodies take time to warm up. We need a little extra canoodling, or help with the dishes, whispers in the ear, maybe help putting the kids to bed. You know your wife, speak her language to help her feel like she “CAN” be in the mood.
For husbands, in it known that they desire to feel wanted, attractive, needed and desired. So often this is overlooked because they are typically the high-drive and so we don’t see what they needs to be a better more dedicated lover. When husbands feel that their wife wants to have that intimate time with them, and they feel wanted and needed, they will take the time to slow down.
It takes both spouses to love the other well, so that sex can be all that it was created to be!
Protect Your Marriage
Quite honestly, you don't have to always feel like it. The best thing you can do in these moments is to be honest with your spouse. Be willing to be in the moment, be available and be honest. Sometimes sexual intimacy is all the things mentioned above and sometimes it just simply is what our spouses need and so we give. Satan is the great tempter and I don't know about you but I don't ever want my spouse to be tempted to wander because I am making myself unavailable (A cheating spouse needs to be responsible for their own actions). 1 Corinthians 7:5 warns married couples to come together in body after a short time so that they are not tempted because of their lack of self control.
Love unselfishly and you will see the joy that either begins or continues in your bedroom.
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Psalm 5:15-19
Here is a challenge for you: For one week greet your spouses asking or advancing with a yes and see what the change does to your relationship. Don't meet it grumbling but meet it with joy and excitement! Sex is not something that we should be ashamed of or afraid to talk about. It should be something that we are enjoying and celebrating. God designed marriage with sexual intimacy as big part of us connecting with our spouses. Don't lose the connection that bonds you together in a way that no man shall separate!
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If challenge number 1 is already something that you do in your marriage then my challenge to you is this: Ask for or talk about something that you have been holding back sexually. Maybe it’s a new position, a new activity, a new outfit. Maybe it’s simply expressing what you like and asking for it. Your spouse should be your safe space. Show them that they are.