A 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.
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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).
What an excellent article. I do wish that I and my wife would have heard equal air time as to the proper place and purpose of sex in marriage and not just a blurb among the hours of sex is wrong sermons and teachings.
I know it is never too late to change things, but, it appears that we have heard the negative so long, that believing the positive comes across as almost being unbiblical. This is a sad commentary on married Christians. It is time we start following all that God said, and not just picking and choosing.
This is so important. Thank you for addressing this issue. To counter all the negative consequences of sex outside the marriage covenant, and all the confusing messages our young people are bombarded with, the Church (that is you and me and the rest of the laity in addition to pastors) needs to speak positively about sexual love within marriage.
This shame and feeling that sex within marriage is not good, or is somehow unclean is not Christian at all. Sadly, this negativity entered into Christianity from ancient pagan schools of thought. This negativity has done its damage over the centuries, and now needs to be rejected.
Excellent article. !!!
A moral theologian – Germain Grisez – in the March 1996 issue of “The Catholic World Report,” provided by EWTN, says :
“….The wife’s complete sexual satisfaction (orgasm)
is NOT necessary for sexual intercourse insofar as it
is a reproductive function,………….”
In other words, the man uses the woman body to obtain his own orgasm, while the woman is left in pain…..
Does the church endorse this theologian?
@Jenny… I am not familiar with Germain Grisez’s teachings and not sure if the Catholic church endorses him.
If that’s his teaching, though, I know I don’t endorse him.