I will never forget the woman, tears streaming down her cheeks, her gentle husband just a step behind. She came to talk during intermission at one of my couples seminars on sex. “I am sorry”, she said. “I have to leave. This is just too painful. You see I was abused as a child… I want to do this for my husband… I really do, I just can’t right now.”
As I listened to her story, I was struck by the common thread that holds so many Christian wives – “Do it for your husband.” It is a thread that weaves throughout our sexuality impacting us so profoundly and yet many of us may not even know it exists. This message of “Do it for your husband” sounds so Christian, putting someone ahead of yourself, and yet in many ways it slowly strangles our sexuality until it all just feels like a chore. This subtle thread insinuates that sex is not important to wives. It implies that God did not create sex as a gift for women and that, IS A LIE.
This woman that was abused, was she really supposed to work towards healing for her husband?
Doesn’t God want her to be whole simply because He loves her? Doesn’t God want her to heal because he wants her to experience freedom, to live in wide open spaces where there is no fear, or shame or condemnation? God came to save us and to make us whole even in our sexuality. And when we are whole in our sexuality we understand how important sex is to us.
Not all of us have been abused, but many of us are still not whole in our sexuality. We have been impacted by cultural messages of sex and the roles of men and women. We bought into the lie that sex is all men want. We bought into the lie that Christian women don’t enjoy sex that much. We bought into the lie that our sexuality is a commodity to manipulate our husband to love us like we want. And as Christian wives we bought into the biggest lie of all – “Do it for your husband.”
Ladies, you will never experience true growth in your sexuality until you do it for YOU. God created you as a sexual woman. You are creative and sensual with a body that is capable of amazing things. God wants you to experience freedom that comes from knowing that you are His beloved and that expands as you build trust with your husband.
If you have healing that needs to happen in your sexuality – do it for you. If you need to figure out how to make things pleasurable – do it for you. If you need to learn how to express yourself in the bedroom – do it for you. If you need to let some other things go and make sex a priority – do it for you.
The other day I was listening to a Christian woman that has done so much great work in opening up the conversation of sex in the church. She talked honestly about her struggles with sex and how it impacted her marriage. She talked about how sex shows us more of who God is. She talked about how important sex is for her husband. But as I was sitting there listening, I just kept hoping she would say, “I have finally realized, sex is so important for me.” I wanted to hear that when she and her husband connect, it changes her too. That sex knits them into one, that it refreshes her…. I wanted to hear her say something that acknowledges sex is important to her.
It is almost as if women are afraid to say it. We are afraid to say that we love sex with our husband. What if everyone thinks I am a freak?
I am not implying that women are the same as men. We are very different. Most of us will never have a drive like a man, but if we believe sex is a lot more than physical, isn’t sex important? It will take work to create a satisfying sex life that is mutually enjoyable. Sex has been hard work for me, trying to navigate making it enjoyable, sharing vulnerable things, stretching in how I express myself, adapting to aging bodies. But I have experienced an intimacy so profound with my husband, that when I do not connect with him, I miss it.
Sex creates intimacy like no other thing. It is what makes marriage different than any other relationship, and I need it. God created sex for me.
Ladies, the first step to transforming your sex life is believing that God created sex for you. Do it for you.