Well, it takes time and intentionality. Intentionally choosing to pursue God’s perspective about sex and even His perspective about our spouse.
It may take putting sex dates on the calendar (to look forward to!) or going to bed an hour early, laying skin to skin and just seeing what happens. Because I’ll be really honest with you, pursuing intimacy occasionally is not enough to help you learn what makes you or your spouse purr.
It takes being fully present with our spouse – emotionally, spiritually and physically. What a gift it is for us to give our spouse 100% of our attention – not worrying about the kids knocking on the door, the dishes in the sink, what we left undone at the office, what we look like or anything else.
It may even take praying about our sex life – asking God to bless it, asking the Holy Spirit to help us discern what is right for our marriage bed and asking God to help us get in the mood if we need to. It takes talking and praying with our spouse about what sex means to us and what we want intimacy in our marriage to look like.
However, our spouse can only know as much about us as we are willing to share. I think the biggest hurdle to experiencing the freedom and knowing of God’s design for sex within marriage is whatever we are unwilling to talk about. Whatever we fight to keep hidden.
Secrets hold power over us. They divide us. They are the antithesis of knowing. And the enemy loves them! The Bible says everything will come into the light eventually, so it really irks me that we get blinded to the truth that keeping secrets only gives the enemy temporary ammunition to use against us.
What are we hiding?
It is our baggage? Do we have sexual sin that we want to hide or wounds from the past that limit our enjoyment in our marriage bed? Do recollections of past conversations, thoughts or emotional ties silence us?
Are lies about sex that we learned from the world or even from well-intended influencers like our family or our church holding us back? Don’t do it, good girls don’t enjoy it too much, just put up with sex because your husband needs it, a husband knows exactly what to do to please his wife, nothing dings his drive…
Is it resentment toward our spouse – maybe he or she didn’t wait for you, maybe you felt pressured to have sex before marriage, maybe he or she hasn’t kept their eyes pure?
Is it the fear of embarrassment, judgement or being labeled a victim or broken that stops us from sharing our hurts with someone?
The truth is whether its big or small, we all have hidden baggage. We are also all God’s beloved. Let’s not lose sight of that. He wants us to bring our secrets, lies, guilt and shame to the foot of the Cross so that He can free us, restore us and redeem our past for His glory. It is the only way to stop bringing our baggage into our marriage bed and to be fully known. When we bravely bring our secrets into the light, they lose power and God’s healing takes place.
To clarify, I’m not suggesting it is healthy to go home and recount every past sexual experience to our spouse. That can cause more harm than good. But to go home and say I have been unwilling to connect or share – then fill in whatever specific thing it is – because of – fill in the blank again – can be liberating for our spouse. The worrying can stop and we can draw closer together. It will be a marked step forward toward experiencing the fullness of knowing that God intends for our marriage.
To give you an example, one woman in the Awaken-Love class shared that because of pre-marital activities with previous boyfriends, she limited what she would do with her husband. When she realized this, she wrote her husband a letter and explained that because of her baggage, she had placed a limit where God had not and she repented. Her husband was relieved to know that he wasn’t doing something wrong and they could walk toward freedom together.
Getting rid of secrets, baggage and lies is so much more important than the nuts and bolts of sex. It’s becoming who God made you to be so that you can offer your whole self to your marriage, so that you can be known and grow in intimacy with God and your spouse. But by golly, it’s scary. That’s why God calls us to be brave. Everything in the world will work to pull our marriage apart, but marital intimacy according to God’s design – a marriage of Three, even in the bedroom – where we are continually learning more about one another is so worth it!
God is calling us to bravely choose each day to pursue knowing and being known by both Him and our spouse. Revealing ourselves whether we have rainbow sparkles or muddy muck to share.
God is calling us to bravely pursue a life-long love affair with our spouse that is alive, dynamic, fresh and growing deeper in understanding of who one another is and who one another was made to be.
God is calling us to bravely run after Him – in all areas of our life, including our marriage bed – because we realize that ultimately, it is our love for, and relationship with, God that makes us better spouses and better lovers.
God is calling us is to bravely echo the Garden of Eden in our marriages where we can bare all, be unashamed and be fully known.
How will you answer His call? What impact do you hope it will have on your marriage?