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Sexual PDA: Better to Give AND Receive!

By Julie Sibert | General , Sex & Family Planning

public display of affectionIt’s that time of year when you’re making the rounds of parties for Christmas and the New Year.

Maybe you’re even hosting a few of these shindigs. (If that’s the case, then you’ll definitely need a way to relieve some stress!)

I want to lay down a challenge for you and your spouse.  Be super intentional about communicating your sexual desire for each other at these gatherings — without being obvious about it.

There’s something beyond sexy about public display of affection (PDA).

I think this is particularly arousing if PDA isn’t really your thing.  After courageously venturing into this arena, you may discover it is your thing!

Let those crowded chaotic boisterous parties be your opportunity to give AND receive PDA. It will make sexual connection even hotter when you crawl beneath the sheets after the party lights go down.

You may even be inspired to leave the party early!

Want some ideas? (Of course you do!)

Here are 5 public displays of affection worthy of your heart and time:

Use Those Fingernails

Gals, you more than likely have an advantage in this department.  There’s just something about fingernails and light caresses.  Some great areas to run your fingernails?  Back of the neck, just under the shirt cuff, along the arm, along the hand and fingers.

Get creative and make the most of those tingling touches with your fingernails.  Your lover will totally get what you’re saying.  And you won’t have to say a word.

Find the Small of the Back

What is it about that waistline area right in the center of the back?  Husbands and wives can both make the most of affectionate touch in this area.

To make it especially sensuous, move your finger tips in a subtle, yet firm, circular motion, drifting along the waistline toward either hip or up the spine.

Get Sneaky

Okay, this might not count as true public display of affection, because it’s all about sneaking out of sight.  Obviously, you have to be wise about this, especially if you are in someone else’s house.

But if you discern it’s appropriate and easy to sneak into the pantry, den or a hallway out of sight, then take the chance to have a passionate kiss or some less-than-subtle caressing.

Whisper Your Intentions

Sure, you don’t want to announce in the presence of partygoers what you’re going to do later when you get naked.

But there’s no reason why you can’t whisper those things quietly to your lover.  You know, while you’re going through the buffet line or making your way to the kitchen for a refill on your refreshment or cuddled up on the couch in the family room.

BONUS TIP

You don’t have to wait for a party to put your PDA plan into action.  All of the above work well in other atmospheres as well — shopping at the mall, traveling in the car, waiting at the airport, going out to dinner,  seeing a movie, running errands and so forth.

Make the most of your public display of affection!  It will pay big dividends later! (And by later, I mean a few hours later.  Literally. Just. A. Few. Hours. Later.)

Why Now Might Just Be the Perfect Time for Crazy Hot Sex

By Julie Sibert | General , Sex & Family Planning

 

crazy-hot-sexNot long ago, I was reading a blog post in which the author meanders through what she wants her daughter to know about sex.

I was struck by how spot on the post was.

I mean seriously.

The post was chock full of beautiful transparency — and hard core truth — about what really makes for great sex. (Even if you don’t have a daughter, read the post).

The gist of that post and many other ones like it is that profound sexual intimacy happens against a backdrop of a husband and wife who know — really know — the messiness and emotional investment of doing life together.

That post does a beautiful job of reminding us that genuine lovemaking is not about mere instant gratification.

How heartbreaking that single teens and young adults give themselves away sexually, long before they are even equipped to recognize what authentic sexual intimacy is.  And yet, our society portrays such scenarios as dripping with passion and sexual ecstasy.

And sadly, many married couples that have indeed grown up enough in their lives and in their marriage to have what truly is hot passionate sex — well, they aren’t.  It’s within their reach, and yet they have shimmied right past it.

What do we do with that irony?

Certainly I get why we are diligent in educating youngsters on the value of waiting until marriage to have sex.  I regularly talk to my teen son about this (and his girlfriend, by the way). And I used to speak in the public schools about abstinence as a realistic choice.  To say I’m not shy about it is an understatement.

BUT I think if we really want to prevent single people from having sex, those of us who are married should do all we can to nurture hot sexual intimacy in our own marriages.  Easy enough, right?

Well, as Christians, we have a long history of  lauding the sin and consequences of sex outside of marriage.  Lamenting about sin on a grand scale is much easier than practicing godliness (1 Corinthians 7) on a small (individual) scale.

What if we gave equal (if not, more) airtime to singing the praises of sex in marriage? And not just sex, but hot passionate “I can’t get enough of you” lovemaking between a husband and a wife?

Extraordinary sex lives in the ordinary. I kid you not. That is where it lives.

Now might just be the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage.

If that is not your reality, what can you do to move in that direction?

For some of you, not only is hot passionate sex not your rule in your marriage; it’s not even your exception.  So to flip a switch and make it a reality at all is not so easy, right?  But what if you could at least begin to uncover what it will take to move in that direction?

Marriage is not meant to be stagnant.  We are always either growing closer or growing apart.

Now might just be the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage.

When I think back on that post I mentioned earlier, I think what I liked so much about it is that it speaks positively of passionate sex that finds its roots in authentic love and marital commitment. It recognizes that marriage is a long haul of give and take, trenches and mountaintops, tiredness and rediscovered sexual enthusiasm.

As much as I want my kids to know the consequences of sex outside of marriage, more than that I want them to know the consequences of sex INSIDE of marriage — the positive, soul enriching, oneness that out-competes against the counterfeit version the media sells.

Is now the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage?

How Alcohol Dependency Affects Your Relationship

By Dustin | General

How Alcohol Dependency Affects Your RelationshipTo keep a relationship stable is challenging; whether it involves two people sharing their lives, communicating with friends and family, or just getting along with teammates at work.

Add to the picture a silent partner like alcohol, and the challenge increases substantially.

Not everyone who consumes alcohol develops dependency. In fact, studies show that a moderate amount of alcohol intake has some health benefits. However, some women may be more in danger of developing dependency.

Women who are considered dependent have the following experiences:

Withdrawal: This means a person experiences unpleasant side effects upon leaving alcohol. This is why some women adopt a ‘hair of the dog’ routine near morning, or keep alcohol near them. Mild symptoms of withdrawal include shakiness, nervousness, and an abnormally fast heartbeat.

Tolerance: This is when the individual needs to consume larger amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect they used to feel with less consumption. For example, a woman used to relax with two glasses of beer, and now it takes the double to feel the same state of relaxation.

Loss of control: This can include consumption for longer periods than intended, or more frequently than intended. Loss of control is when the functioning of the brain is disturbed to an extent than the individual can’t remember what they are doing. The person then gets told by others about their activities.

If you are concerned with alcohol dependence, either your own, or an individual you care about, perhaps this post can give you some useful insight.

What are the costs of dependency?

A relationship in which a partner is dependent on alcohol can become problematic; such couples are often unhappy, and dependence may lead to call for counseling. As addiction gets worse, it takes more time away from the relationship, and creates an emotional distance between partners that becomes challenging to overcome with time.

When substance abuse creates a situation where couples fight often, things can become violent. And when the abuse becomes the main reason for arguing or fighting, a vicious cycle can develop, in which alcohol dependence causes conflicts, and leads to more abuse as a way to reduce stress.

It can be difficult to know what to do if you are dependent on alcohol and in a relationship because it between the ‘good’ times, life can become disturbing. The alcoholic may try to change the patterns that are causing the trouble.

But just when you feel you are starting to do well, problems crop up and you are back to where you begin; anger, sadness, and fear of being stressed out because of leaving alcohol. These are the reasons why alcohol problems shouldn’t be left untreated.

Overcoming alcohol dependence

The route to recovery begins with regaining control and redefining your life.

A womens recovery center can provide options for customized programs that help you get rid of shame, guilt and stress of your relationship with alcohol and back to managing your life again.

Has your marriage been impacted by alcohol dependence? Please share in the comments below.

A Gift You’ll BOTH Enjoy All Year

By Debi Walter | General , Romance

fire

Christmas is unbelievably busy, especially if you have children at home. Yet all of us hope this year will be different. That we’ll have moments to stop and reflect on the blessing it is to know Christ, to remember that He is the real gift at Christmas. We all would love to have extended time to snuggle up with our spouse in front of a blazing fire, sipping on hot  cocoa with nothing on our minds except how to bless them this year.

Well, I have an idea. 

What if this year you gave your spouse the gift of one date night a month for an entire year? What if you planned out each date ahead of time, wrote about it in a letter and sealed it to be opened on the first of each month. You could take all twelve envelopes and place them in a pretty box with a lid. Wrap it and give it to them either Christmas morning or on New Year’s Day. Either way would be an unexpected surprise.

Now to decide what to do each month. There are several options: (The links take you to posts with specific details.)

  • For The Foodie – Celebrate a different country each month by either cooking, if you enjoy it, or going to restaurant that cooks food from that country e.g. Italy, Japan, Germany, Africa, Canada, Mexico, etc. You could make them a passport to stamp each month along with a photo of the night you enjoyed together. You could even take a cooking class.
  • Sports Enthusiast – Visit a different sports bar to watch a game. Or you could plan to go to a game or two throughout the year. You could watch a movie about that sport, or make a list of sports you want to try to play yourself – golf, kickball, tennis, soccer, frisbee golf, putt-putt, bowling, surfing, darts, billiards, whatever your spouse would enjoy.
  • Tourist in Your Own Backyard – what if you were to pretend you were a tourist and visit some places you may not have tried in your own town – museums, art galleries, theme parks, special restaurants, etc.
  • At Home Game Night – Pick twelve different games to try playing at home. We have several classic board games that we’ve come up with a romantic twist you might want to try. Scrabble, Clue are a couple that have become quite popular.
  • For the Music Lover – Plan to watch a live concert DVD or if possible to go to a couple of concerts in your area. You could go to a karaoke bar and have fun laughing together as you listen to the music.
  • Or you could pick a couple from each category to fill twelve memorable dates.

These are a few ideas to get your mind thinking. What other dates/themes can you come up with? Wouldn’t it be fun to have twelve great dates to look forward to in 2014? How would this help your marriage become more intentional in the romance department?

A Gift You’ll BOTH Enjoy All Year.001

The Sex Tragedy the Church Could Fix

By Julie Sibert | General , Sex & Family Planning

sex-tragedyA friend emailed me the other day, asking if I would be willing to meet with her friend who is engaged.

This young lady has kept herself pure as she prepares for marriage and she wants to talk to a Christian wife about sex.

Believe it or not, I pray for opportunities like this.  Who better than Christian women to encourage other women in healthy sexual intimacy in their marriages?

Sadly, I don’t know too many Christian wives who would agree with me.

If anything, I hear from more wives who loathe sex rather than love it.

They don’t want to look closely at their own intimacy, let alone encourage other Christians in embracing a healthy attitude about it.

And I hear from spouses who are sexually refused, treading through marriage under crushing pain and discouragement that often grows into resentment. They wonder if sex is indeed marriage’s biggest lie.

The sex tragedy the church could fix?

We could turn the tide on the negative perception of marital sex.

We could take back ground Satan has camped upon in countless marriages where sex is tolerated at best and outright avoided at worse — usually by one spouse, which further fuels division in the marriage covenant. (Insert Satan’s happy dance here. Division is his wheelhouse. His sweet spot. His forte).

By the “church” I do not mean only the priests and pastors and lay leaders (although they certainly carry responsibility in sharing God’s truth about sex).

More so what I mean by “church” is the body of Christ… the people. You and me.

We could better equip engaged and newly-married couples to see that sex in marriage is sacred, holy and fun — but that it won’t take care of itself.

It has to be nurtured. Pursued. Drenched in open and vulnerable communication.

We could better help those who have been married awhile to not let their intimacy fade.

And we could speak hope into marriages where sex has been a place of discouragement, distance, betrayal, indifference and confusion.

How do we do this?

Here are 4 ideas:

1. Speak positively about sex.

As a married person, if you value and enjoy sex, don’t be afraid to appropriately speak about sex.  No, I’m not saying divulge specific details about your own intimacy.  Just have a heart tuned to the opportunities to paint sex in a positive light.

Don’t be the gal who goes along with the sarcastic commentary at girls’ night about husbands being “animals for wanting it so much.”

Don’t be the guy who turns a blind eye to the crude and explicit sexual jokes made by your buddies or in your workplace.

Let’s do our part to move the conversation in a healthier direction.  Baby steps count.

2. Face your own intimacy struggles.

There are so many Christian resources on this topic of sex.  Whether a marriage has felt the brutal aftershocks of porn addiction, past sexual abuse and infidelity — or has suffered from lack of pleasure and poor communication — there are resources available.  Christian resources.

We are without excuse if we individually haven’t done our part to heal sexual apathy and division in our marriage.

3. Carve out time for more sex.

I know how crazy life gets.  I live it too.

The grocery shopping, work demands, homework projects, church meetings. There are lawns to mow, bills to pay, social gatherings to attend, family commitments to keep.

It. Never. Ends.

I get it.

But if you want to be a Christian who loves sex, you need to find a way to have more sex — not just quantity sex, but quality sex.  Because quality sex does wonders to put the chaos of life into perspective.

4. Ask your church to talk about sex in marriage.

Suggest to your church leadership that they authentically and thoroughly address the importance of nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage.

We as the church have spent way too much time emphasizing the sin of sex outside of marriage — and not near enough time singing the praises of sex inside of marriage.

Where is the balance?

Where is the equal air time?

Yes, we need to tell teenagers and single adults to not have sex.  But we also need to tell them God’s beautiful and passionate design for sex in marriage.

We’ve failed young people in this regard.  It’s no wonder so many marriages start out on the wrong foot sexually — and get perpetually stuck there.

We’ve done brides (and by default, their husbands) a disservice by speaking of sex in hushed tones of being nothing more than mere “wifely duty.”

Get courageous and ask your church leaders to start speaking about the importance of sex in marriage from the pulpit — not in a superficial way, but with some genuine effort into exploring what God actually says about sex.

It is the Lord, after all, who wants a man to delight in his wife’s breasts. It is the Lord who wants a husband and wife to love and honor each other and to not withhold their bodies from each other.

It is the Lord who designed orgasm — for both a husband and a wife.  How generous of Him.  Kudos to you on that one, God.

I know that some of you may be thinking, “Well Julie, it’s easy for you! You blog about sex. You speak about it.  You just co-authored a book about sex. Not all of us are you.”

You’re right. But when all is said and done, I’m just one wife trying to do my part.  And there are others out there like me (bloggers, authors, speakers), but we still can’t reach everyone.

We can’t fix the tragedy on our own, because we don’t know your neighbors, your friends, and your family members. We likely will never get the opportunity to share personally with them a positive message about sex in marriage.

But you can.

Will you?  Will you be a part of fixing this sex tragedy?  I’m in if you’re in.

(Well, I’m in regardless of what you do, but I would just assume you be there too).

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