Last March after learning about Awaken Love classes from my website, Melanie Lloyd from Texas Skyped into a class for 6 weeks. She was already on a journey of discovering God’s best for her marriage and immediately felt called to share with the women at her church. This month she is teaching her first Awaken Love class and weekly has been amazed at the work God is doing. After teaching the first night, she emailed me and said, “This is not just TEACHING, this is MINISTRY.” I am so excited for her and what God is going to do through her.
Melanie has been instrumental in reformatting the Awaken Love curriculum from a rough outline to a complete study guide. She has experienced true transformation and healing in her life and constantly looks towards God’s word for truth. Her smile lights up a room, her energy is contagious and God is going to use her in powerful ways.
Today’s post is an article Melanie wrote to encourage women in class to use all 5 of their senses. I look forward to sharing future articles from Melanie as she experiences what it means to minister to women through an Awaken Love class.
When my husband and I were newly married, every month we attended a mission for a Byzantine Catholic Church; the type of church that he grew up in. The church and the liturgy are designed to engage all the senses.
The church building itself is divided into three sections to create a journey from the everyday world into the mystery of God, the Body of Christ and finally Heaven. As soon as we walked through the doors, the smell of incense turned my thoughts to prayer. The icons that covered the interior were theology in color bombarding my eyes with thoughtful symbolism.
Throughout the service, my body was incorporated into the worship as I knelt, made the sign of the cross, was anointed with oil and received the Body and Blood of Christ. The emotionally charged Good Friday liturgy was my favorite. Crying and wailing filled my ears, as we made processions around the church, placed flowers on Christ’s grave and internalized how our own sin required His sacrifice.
As he did growing up, my husband cantered in the choir during the liturgy. Singing is one of the things he does that has melted my heart since our dating days, but hearing him praise our God with his voice makes my knees buckle.
The monthly liturgy service at the mission was such a departure from the Protestant Bible church that we attended weekly. I loved the tie back to my husband’s family’s heritage and delighted in adoring my Father in a new way. It was rich, beautiful and simply different. I experienced a new closeness and understanding of God because all of my senses were awakened during the service.
It got me thinking. Can I engage my senses in my marriage bed to experience more of my husband as well? Just as my inhalation in the incensed church prepared my heart for worship, could the scent of my freshly showered husband beckon me to embrace him, take in a nose full and wish his towel would fall off? I know it can!
God designed marital intimacy to be a lifelong journey, so there must be countless ways to know our spouse and be known by them. We can turbo charge our learning by using all five senses. Here are some specific ways that we can savor and intensify our oneness with our spouse:
- Take mental snapshots of your spouse to recall later – whether in the heat of the moment or the chaos of the day.
- Wear flattering clothing that reveals, or comes temptingly close to revealing, your spouse’s favorite parts of your body.
- Notice the changes in your spouse’s body as they move from aroused to high arousal to orgasm.
- Talk in and out of the bedroom. Even short words and phrases like “Hey!”, “Can you feel me?” and “Don’t leave me.” can connect you with your spouse.
- Pray and read Scripture or books on marital intimacy out loud together.
- Serenade your spouse.
- Listen to your spouse’s breathing to determine where they are at during sex or as you pray for them while they are sleeping.
- Smell your spouse during departing embraces to build anticipation for when you are reunited. Walk into their closet if you need a reminder sniff while apart.
- Use perfumes (on your body or sheets), lotions, body wash, hair products or massage oils that are scented to your and your spouse’s liking. Take note when they mention a preference.
- Candles, incense, flowers or air fresheners can add interest to a room.
- Play around on different surfaces. The kitchen counter feels different than the car seat which feels different than the running dryer, just saying.
- Hold hands or move with your spouse – dancing, snuggling or even playful wrestling can be fun.
- Your mouth and tongue can provide many sensations – kiss, lick, suck, blow and gently nibble.
- Blind fold your spouse and experiment touching your spouse with varied pressure, speed and texture – light touch, firm touch, fast, slow, feathers, satin, long strokes, swirling, etc.
- Try flavored lubricants, oils and lip balms.
- Find a creative way to serve your and your spouse’s favorite snacks in the bedroom.
- Savor your spouse’s uniquely flavored natural lubrication. (According to a survey on The Marriage Bed 80% of men enjoy how their wife’s genitals taste and smell.)
Intimacy with our spouse is our oasis and every oasis has amazing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. When we slow down to focus on our senses, we can more fully experience the rich blessings of our spouse and the amazing capabilities of our bodies. Our senses can help us get lost on purpose and create new triggers to later recall pleasant memories of our spouse. Sometimes we may focus on one sense, while other times we may wish to be overwhelmed by all five!
When we are physically, emotionally and spiritually enveloped with our spouse, we are able to know them in new ways, which is a God honoring pursuit. Our senses help provide a foretaste of heaven – be it in a church or in our marriage bed – which gives us the strength to continue our daily journey. Use your senses to experience something rich, beautiful and simply different with your spouse.