5 Ideas for Couples Struggling to Connect After a New Baby

Recently I received an email from a woman that had taken an Awaken Love class. Though she has embraced God’s design for sex, the arrival of another baby has left her struggling to connect with her husband.

I just had a baby about two months ago. During pregnancy and now with an infant and toddler our intimate life has been a struggle. I’m really having a hard time getting in the mood. I have a baby nursing all day long and still have some residual healing that needs to take place post birth. My husband is getting sexually frustrated and I’m sort of at a loss. It feels like I serve the kids all day long and then don’t have it in me to serve him by being there sexually. I feel like my body is just a milk machine. Do you have any advice? Is it okay to be less intimate during this life phase? I just mentally struggle with feeling like I’m ‘faking it’ with him because I do not feel sexual or turned on, no matter how hard I try 🙁 Any advice would be wonderful!

Seasons of life filled with exhaustion present extra challenges. But I am so glad this young mom asked for advice. Instead of letting the lack of sex drive a wedge in her marriage, working together they can embrace the opportunity to redefine intimacy. No easy answers exist for the exhaustion that babies, nursing and raising kids create. So let me just offer a few ideas for couples to ponder and maybe try….

Remove the Pressure

Take the pressure off and try to just connect physically. Tell your husband how hard the thought of sex is, but you know that connecting physically is important. Ask him if once you get the kids down, to crank up the heat, and just get in bed with you with no expectations or pressure. Wives need to relax and warm up to their husband’s touch again. Their husband needs to be touched too, regardless of whether you have sex. I would suggest that you do this at least weekly or a couple of times a week.

Give Your Body Time to Heal

If intercourse is still painful and your body needs time to heal, then take the time and do not force things. The two of you can share manual or oral stimulation together until intercourse can be a positive experience for both of you.

Take Care of Yourself

You need to take care of yourself and your husband needs to help. Even if you are nursing, he can care for the baby and toddler at least for an hour or two. Get out of the house, or take a bath and just relax. The more that your husband cares for the kids by himself, the more he will understand why you are so tired. The more he takes care of you, the more capacity you have to engage with him.

Avoid Lust

Your husband must carefully guard his eyes from lust – especially when you are unavailable. Lust can happen with his eyes, his thoughts, or even through the lyrics of songs. Avoiding lust will help him see you as a person and not just as the sexy wife that he loves to have sex with.

Ways to Release Tension

You could have a conversation about him taking things into his own hands once in a while. Be careful and discerning about whether this is a good idea. But better to talk about it then to just ignore it.

When we had 4 little girls, my husband did not even want me to feel guilty about being unavailable. Once in a while in the shower, he would think about me, and release some tension, so that he could be a gentler, kinder husband. Other men will masturbate next to their wife so that she can share in the experience if she wants to.

Better to be open with your husband, then to ignore the situation. If you decide masturbation is a helpful option, he must think only about you. Ask him to share with you every time so that nothing is hidden. Pray together and ask for discernment on whether masturbation will create intimacy in your marriage or division.

Final Thoughts

Though raising a family can create challenges in marriage, I encourage you to embrace it as an opportunity to create intimacy. Open up your definition of sex and connection. Learn how to talk to each other about hard things. Create a new realization for each other’s strengths and challenges. And learn how to love each other in a new way.

Talking About Sex – Even in Kenya

On our mantle sits a hand painted African plate from a fundraiser for a girl’s school and orphanage in Kenya. From the time we met the founders, I always knew that one day Jim and I would make the long trek to visit the orphanage.

Maybe it is because I admired how one couple’s obedience to God’s calling could impact so many lives. From its’ humble beginnings in 2004, the orphanage now houses, feeds, clothes and educates over 120 girls. Or maybe the founder wore me down, after repeatedly telling me his girls needed to meet a woman that crossed boundaries into fields like Engineering and Woodworking. Or maybe… after putting it off for over 8 years because of our kid’s college tuition payments and ministry involvement with Awaken-Love, I just needed to trust God.

This month Jim and I went to the orphanage in Kenya and it was amazing!!

A hundred smiling faces greeted us with welcome songs and shaking each of our hands. These girls ages 4-18, are survivors and living testimonies to God’s goodness. The stories of their past include losing parents, having no food to eat, and surviving abuse. The girls are now filled with joy, love for each other and love for Jesus. They stretched me, provided opportunities to share my gifts and to enjoy theirs.

Sex Talk

After church on Sunday, I was given the opportunity to talk to the 7th, 8th and high schoolers about sex and relationships. Though the school wanted me to focus on waiting for sex until marriage, I wanted the girls to have at least a basic understanding of their bodies and sex. With 30 girls gathered around me and a piece of chalk, I began by drawing a picture of a woman’s body with her legs apart. As I explained about the 3 holes that we have and their function, I heard the sounds of wander coming from the girls. Drawing the clitoris, I shared that God gave us a part of our body created for no other reason besides pleasure. He wants wives to enjoy sex too.

Asking if they wanted me to draw a picture of the man, enthusiastic replies urged me on. “The front or the side I asked?”

“The front!”, they yelled. After drawing a sketch from the front with a non-erect penis, I continued by drawing the side view with a full erection. Silence filled the room as I talked about how a man’s penis goes into the vagina so his sperm can pass into the woman’s vagina in order to make a baby. I explained how God wants us to save not just sexual intercourse for marriage, but any intimate sharing or touching of each other’s bodies.

All of a sudden, the girl seated at my left, passed me a tiny folded up piece of paper.

Normally I might have just slid the paper into my pocket to prevent distraction, but today God was doing something. I paused from speaking and carefully unwrapped the paper and read out loud,

“People say when you have sex while standing you will not get pregnant”

Questions

It was the first of many small notes that would make their way across the room. Real questions, coming from real girls in Kenya. Some asked because of the lie’s boys use to manipulate girls to have sex. Others were raw questions from experiences they had seen or had done. Some questions, were simply things they didn’t understand.

I felt honored that these girls trusted me enough to ask. As my comfort level with the topic of sex set them at ease, an outsider provided the perfect opportunity to find out the answers.

Later in the session I shared about God’s design for sex within marriage. Rather than just telling them “Don’t do it”, I wanted to give them something to wait for. I talked about mutuality, oneness, knowing and that God intended sex as a way to comfort each other.

Waiting for Marriage

Afterwards I shared some tangible ways that will help them wait until marriage to have sex. In the culture of Kenya, these girls face an uphill battle to wait. Many girls get married or pregnant as teens. They will need to trust and depend on God as they make choices. If they want to wait, they will have to avoid situations where men might take advantage of them. Staying focused on education and their goals will have to take precedence over the flirtations of a boy. They must think carefully about what kind of man they want to marry and settle for nothing less. And they will need to help each other by getting into each other’s business, asking hard questions, and reminding each other about what is important.

Whether in Kenya, or the United States, we must provide safe places for girls to learn about sex, hear God’s truth and have their questions answered. Though I was only a part of these girls lives for a short time, I am praying that my talk acts as just another building block in helping these girls understand God’s truth. Who would have thought I would be talking to girls in Africa about sex.

5 Ideas to Add Variety to Oral Sex for Your Husband

Women tend to think about stimulation for their husband in terms of in and out movement. A hand or mouth that encompasses the shaft, sliding up and down from the base of the penis, across the ridge to the head, and then back again. It is the typical motion that most men use to create pleasure themselves. Though highly pleasurable and efficient, I want to share some ideas to mix things up a bit, extend pleasure, and add variety to oral sex for your husband.

First a couple of details.

If your husband does not groom himself by shaving or trimming his hair, you might find suggest he start. Gagging on a long hair caught on the back of your throat is not exactly sexy. A fresh shower and attention to detail can set you loose to enjoy him more.

Second, if your husband is used to going directly from point A to point B, you might need to prepare him. Let him know that you want to experiment and try some new things. His only job is to relax, give you feedback and enjoy the ride. Assure him that you will not leave him hanging and that he can trust you. Exude care, confidence and enthusiasm for your exploration. Now onto our moves…

Swirl

After you warm him up, while encompassing him with your mouth, take your tongue and swirl it around the ridge of his penis a few times without moving in and out. He will feel the variation of texture from rougher surface of the top of your tongue, to the silky-smooth underside. Then begin long slow strokes again with your mouth but just as you begin the turn to stroke back down his penis, pause just enough to swirl around the entire ridge. Don’t be in a hurry, just set up a nice easy rhythm. Down stroke. Up stroke. Swirl. Down stroke. Upstroke, Swirl. Down stroke… Once in a while add variety by changing things up for a while, but then come back to the swirl with a little more intensity. You can finish this way or move to something different to finish.

Skipping a beat

During typical oral sex, usually you establish a steady rhythm of stimulation, often tied to the in and out of movement. Once you have him well warmed up, and you get him to this place where you want him to just sit there for a while and let it come to him, trying switching things a bit. Keep exactly the same rhythm but  instead of in out in out in , try,  in out in pause pause, out in pause pause, out in pause pause. During the pause, he should encompass him with your mouth. Hold him firmly and see if you can feel him ache for you. You can finish him this way, or when you move back to every beat, he probably won’t last long.

Testicles and hand stroke

Testicles tend to be pretty finicky, kind of like our breasts. Your husband will need to be thoroughly warmed up, and even then, not all men may like to have their testicles played with. But if he does, try gently taking them into your mouth one at a time while just holding the base of his penis. If he gets really turned on, he make ask you to stroke his penis with your hand while gently caressing his testicles with your mouth.

Banging around

Some men like to have their penis gently banged around when they are highly aroused. While holding their shaft,  you could move it back and forth to gently whack your mouth or tongue. You could stick your tongue out and bang it against his head. It’s like adding some sparkles to a cake after the frosting has been smoothly massaged to cover the cake. It makes you enjoy the creamy frosting all that much more. A nice variety from the in and out, banging him around for a bit will entice him to enjoy your coreplay moves even more.

Ring hold combo

A mouth provides this lovely warm, smooth chamber of goodness for a man’s penis, but sometimes a man needs things stepped up a notch. A great finishing move is to uses the focused pressure of a ring hold surging up and down his shaft. Warm him up with your mouth, by establishing  a good rhythm with your mouth. Play around and have some fun. When you get close, hold the base of his penis with just your index finger and thumb making a ring around his penis. Don’t move your hand yet, create anticipation. At the right time, slowly follow your mouth with your hand pulling a wave of goodness up. Release pressure to take your hand back to the base and start another cycle. Hold your mouth around the head of his penis and ripple your ring hold up.

Final Thoughts

Enjoy these five ideas to spur on your imagination as you add variety to oral sex. Pausing to swirl, skipping a beat, suckling his testicles, banging him around a bit and creating a surge with a ring hold. Anyone else have ideas to share. Keep it respectful and don’t personalize it. For example…. “Some men like…”  or just talk about the movement without telling us about your husband.

Finding the Courage to Host Awaken Love

If you are afraid to host an Awaken Love sex class, trust me, I understand. When I had my first class, I felt terrified too. Who would I ask and how would I do it? Could I really talk about sex? What if something came up that I wasn’t equipped to handle? What if I said the wrong thing or didn’t have the answer? But as God continued to highlight the importance of figuring out sex to strengthen Christian marriages, I knew I had to do something. I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let Satan’s lies or fear keep me from making a difference. I was going to trust God.

Inviting

I will never forget the first time I decided to teach Awaken Love. I spent weeks thinking about who I should invite and how to broach the subject. Too scared to reach out to my friends in person I decided that email felt safest. I made a list of some of my most trusted, Godly friends and drafted a letter telling them a little bit of my story. God had woken me to the importance of sex and was calling me to share with others what I had learned. I remember hitting “send” and wondering, “what will they think of me now?”

I really wasn’t sure how my friends would react. But using email gave them a comfortable “out” and helped me avoid the face to face questions or personal rejection. Those not interested simply never responded. The ones open to the idea quickly replied. After all, how often do you hear about a Christian sex class?

After all these years, I still feel nervous inviting others to a class. My primary way to spread the word about classes is using email. But every once in a while, God calls me to press in and talk to someone in person. Usually it feels so clear that I almost feel like I am transmitting a message from God. “I think you are supposed to take my class”, I will gently pronounce. More often then not, they agree.

Some women have no problem inviting friends to a sex class, and some of us just need to use subtler way. Either way, trust God to bring the women ready to dive in. Don’t pressure friends that don’t feel ready. You never know what they are dealing with in their marriage.

Having the Answers

Those first classes I often worried, what if I don’t know the answer? The truth is that I will never have all the answers and neither will you. Sometimes there is no simple answer, or maybe no answer at all.

More important than providing the answers we must provide a sympathetic place for women to be heard, loved and pointed to the simple truths about God. He is good, He is faithful, He cares and He can provide healing and restoration. We won’t have to all the answers, we just need to keep pointing women back to God’s truth.

At times the fear that what I said might make matters worse felt terrorizing. Carrying the burden for someone else’s change or transformation felt suffocating, until I landed at the foot of the cross. God is in control, not me. If someone makes positive growth than the glory goes to God. If I say the wrong thing, then God can use even my weaknesses and work good from it. Teaching classes will require you to let go of what you cannot control and instead trust Him.

Handling Situations

Handling emotional situations has never been my strength. In fact, I remember purposely avoiding people because I did not feel comfortable hearing about their struggles. So you can imagine that when I started teaching, I worried about the situations I might need to handle in classes – a woman still raw from sexual abuse, a wife that just discovered her husband’s porn, feelings of regret over promiscuity. But God provided. Every time I felt lacking, another woman stepped up. And even though I now feel confident in handling most situations, I still look for women to step up. Because class is not about me. It is about women ministering to women. God will be faithful to provide what you  need during class.

If you have considered hosting an Awaken Love class and you’ve been talking yourself out of it, I would ask you these questions….

  1. Is God calling you to bring wholeness and health to women’s sexuality, or to start talking about sex in the church?
  2. Do you know God and His truths?
  3. Can you create a safe place for women to be honest?
  4. Do you trust God to provide – even for a sex class?

Well, what are you waiting for…

Talking with Other Women About Sex

A recent study about the impact of providing women with a safe place to talk about sex, confirmed the importance of community during Awaken-Love classes. Though I suspected the importance of sharing and processing with other women, until now, I didn’t have any real evidence.

The Study

In the study, small groups of women met once a week for four weeks. To encourage conversation the women agreed not to judge each other or give advice. Each week they answered a prompt like,“what kind of messages did you receive as a child around sexuality?” Or “how do you feel about your body or about masturbation.” These simple questions helped them process past experiences and become more self aware. After only four weeks,  women not only improved their feelings about themselves but they started making positive changes in their marriage.

Statistically, things like desire, arousal and orgasm all increased for the women. Overall, sexual function increased 20%, but just as important sexual distress, or worrying about sex, decreased 28%. The open conversations with other women helped to normalize their own experiences. They became more accepting of themselves and excited to explore what worked for them. Talking about sex in groups also equipped them to talk to their husbands in order to improve their sex life. Another common side benefit for many women, was talking to their kids about sex for the very first time. Talking about sex with other women helped them not only embrace their own sexuality, but inspired them to make a difference for the next generation.

Awaken-Love

In Awaken Love classes I have personally witnessed the power of women talking about sex with other women. We use mixer questions every week like, “How did you learn about sex?” or “When have you the felt the closest to your husband and why?” Weekly, opportunities are given to share what women are learning through the homework or reading.  On baggage week, we share about our sexual baggage. At first most women feel timid talking about sex, but as we establish trust, they open up.

In class, the most important thing a facilitator  does is to create a judgement free zone for conversation. If women are going to be honest, they must feel safe. We must not only guard our words, but the tone of our voice and facial expression as we share in group. Respectful conversation must be maintained – both in what we talk about and how we talk about it. We don’t need to arouse or tantalize others with graphic details.  We share in general, respectful ways. Talking about sex empowers us, equips us and encourage others.

When women gently share about their struggles, they don’t feel so alone. When regrets are met with compassion and grace, women receive healing. Steps of growth challenge and spur others on towards their own growth.  And just like in the study, women begin talking about sex both with their husband and their kids. Talking about sex can be a powerful way to help women embrace their sexuality and ultimately change the world.

It is important to learn to talk about sex in respectful, God honoring ways. When we do, we will not only improve our own sex lives, we will help others.

Don’t Let Sexuality Become Your God

I recently heard an interview on Sexy Marriage Radio about a woman whose story sounded similar to mine. A married engineer that spent years devaluing sex in marriage knew something needed change. While looking for answers, she discovered how much just talking to other women about sex encouraged her. This wife has since quit her job and devoted herself to helping women embrace their sexuality. Though on the surface our stories have an uncanny resemblance, our lives and mission differ drastically. God defines who I am, and what I do – not my sexuality.

Awaken

As I read her blog from the beginning, I related to many of her posts as her sexuality began to awaken. She wrote about learning to breathe until she felt it all the way “down there”. Rather than letting life pass by, she slowed down to savor small things like tasting the juiciness of a ripe strawberry. Communication opened up in her marriage, she realized lies about sex that impacted her, and she sought to understand her body. She even started a monthly meeting with 4 friends to help process how their past impacted their present and to spur each other on in growth. But what this woman did not have was God’s good boundaries to guide and protect her as she embraced her sexuality.

Sex is powerful. Tastes of freedom can feel like standing up in a convertible with our arms open wide, the wind in our hair and rejoicing at the top of our lungs. It feels so good, to finally be known, to not fear, that we go chasing after more.

In Song of Songs 5:1 God says, Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.

God doesn’t want us to hold back, but to freely enjoy our love together in marriage.

But what happen when we lose sight of God?

What happens when sexuality becomes our God?

On my journey to embrace my sexuality, I have had crossroads where I had to choose God, and trust His boundaries of one man and one woman. I have to constantly resist the urge to look where my eyes should not go, in the name of education. Rather than allow an open discussion on the blog that gradually grows more explicit and tantalizing, I have to heavily moderate comments.   When my body doesn’t cooperate like I hope it does or I feel bored, I have to resist the temptation to bend the rules to create a little more excitement. I constantly guard my sexual thoughts and if something lands outside of God’s boundaries, then I to chose to stop dwelling on it, and refocus my attention on my husband.  I must trust God, not my sexuality.

Don’t fall for chasing after the greatest orgasm by ignoring boundaries to get an adrenaline rush. Seek greater intimacy through vulnerability, honesty and spiritual connection with your spouse. Instead of proclaiming if “I feel it, then it must be okay”, seek to glorify God with your body, sexual intimacy in marriage, and everything that you do. God is God, and we are not.

The Fall

What started out as a beautiful story of this woman embracing her sexuality has resulted in her decision to have an open marriage and embrace bisexuality. It both makes me sad and it makes me pause. Because without God, that might have been me… Without God’s boundaries, she has chased after whatever feels good, fuels her mind with excitement, and provides the next adrenaline rush. She has opened herself up to anyone’s ideas about sex without a way to measure truth. God’s good gift of sex to create intimacy in marriage has been discarded and may lead to a never-ending path to pain and destruction.

Keep Guard

On your journey of sexual discovery and freedom, I urge you to constantly ask yourself, “

  • Do I trust God with my sexuality?
  • Am I bending God’s boundaries in the name of more sexual fulfillment?
  • Can I imagine God smiling over us as we connect sexually?

Filter advice or information about sex through God’s truth. Pray and involve Him in your daily decisions and choices about sex. Embrace the freedom that He wants for you. Guard His design of one man and one woman -with your eyes, what you read, your thoughts, and activities. Don’t talk about sex in a way that will tantalize others or allow them to picture your marriage bed. Value intimacy and connection more than the largest orgasm.

Worship God, not His creation of sex.

Anxiety – The Destroyer During Sexual Experiences

One of the biggest destroyers of having great sex is anxiety.  Worrying about sex prevents our body from naturally responding the way that God designed it to. Anxiety draws us into our head instead of letting ourselves enjoy what happens. Worry creates fear about performance that can  cause us to avoid sex. Even a small amount of anxiety can impact connection and enjoyment during sex. Anxiety can make you feel like you are drowning with nothing to grab hold of.

When my husband and I weren’t having sex often, my body often felt nervous each time we engaged. I remember telling my husband, “I don’t know if I remember how to do this.” It took me a long time to relax and to warm up. Each time I felt like I was starting over during sex because I didn’t know my body well enough and trust it to respond. I felt anxious and worried.

What it Does

Anxiety causes our body to release stress hormones epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. The stress hormones narrow blood vessels which decreases blood flow which negatively impacts sexual responses.

Worrying about getting an erection becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Wondering whether we will maintain an erection, leads to loosing an erection. Worrying about having an orgasm creates a barrier to finishing. But even beyond our body’s natural functions, worry creates disconnection during sex.

If you spend your time worrying about whether you can last long enough during intercourse, then do you actually enjoy what is going on? When your mind constantly wonders whether you will orgasm, then can you enjoy the moment? While worrying about  loosing your erection, can you even feel your wife?

Worry gets in the way of enjoying the moment. Striving prevents being.  Rather than looking forward to discovering new things our fear of failure keeps us trapped in a tiny box. Anxiety can even cause us to avoid sex because we dread messing up again. Ultimately, worry prevents us from creating intimacy during sex.

Causes of Anxiety

Expectations create anxiety during sex. Cultural messages can make a man feel like he needs to satisfy his wife with his penis, or that sex needs to look a certain way. Rather than a shared experience, sex becomes a burden of responsibility. Women worry that their body needs to look like the magazines, or that she needs to compete with porn. Men who have struggled with masturbation or pornography might worry that their body will not respond during intercourse with their wife. People that struggle to orgasm worry that their body will fail them one more time. Expectations create performance pressure, anxiety and prevent us from simply enjoying what happens.

Solutions

Secret struggles or worries carry much more power than they should. Recognizing expectations that cause anxiety and vulnerably sharing with our spouse can be the first step towards freedom.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Talk to your spouse about your expectations and worries. Rather than fear the unspoken,  speak it out loud and pray about it. Let your spouse be part of the solution.

Take off the pressure and redefine sex to focus on connection rather than the finish line. Expand your definition of great sex as getting to know each other and discovering new things. Remove the pressure on your penis by learning new ways to create pleasure for your wife. If your wife doesn’t finish during intercourse, then offer to help her finish other ways.

When you start to worry, bring your self back to being present by focusing on one of your five sense – touch, taste, smell, sound, or sight. As your mind starts to worry again, breathe deeply and gently refocus again on the point of connection.

Sometimes it is easier to get out of your head when you are serving your spouse. Get lost in what you can do to create pleasure for them. Allow your body to get excited and aroused as you serve them.

Practice thankfulness by noticing the small steps of connection and growth.

If you really struggle with performance pressure or anxiety, then get help. Find a counselor to help you learn to stay present and regulate your emotions. It will not only impact your sex life, it will allow you to experience more of life in general.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is the destroyer of sex. It will not only short circuit God’s design for our body to relax, respond and lean into pleasure, but it will create disconnection. Worry will keep you from experiencing intimacy and life to the fullest. Talk to your spouse about what creates anxiety for you and come up with ways to remove the pressure. Pray over your sex life, and ask for a new mindset of thankfulness and discovery.

Model of a Great Marriage

People in my life modeled what great marriages looked like. I don’t think any of them actually talked to me about marriage. They simply lived it. From the time I was a small child, my eyes and my heart noticed couples that still had that spark. Some were relatives, some friends and others just acquaintances that I watched from afar. Regardless of whether your family has long standing marriages, you were raised by single parents, or you grew up in really challenging situation, we all need models of great marriages to both inspire us and to educate us.

Homer and Millicent -Married 70 Years

My mom’s parents, Homer and Millicent met on a blind date in 1928 in Southern California. Millicent, raised in Costa Rica came to the states for nursing school. Homer, the oldest son of seven drove his family from Oklahoma in a 1920’s pickup turned into a wagon. Both must have been brave as they sought a new life in California.

Grandpa, the typical stoic Norwegian shrank from emotions but dearly loved and served his wife. Grandma was in charge of the cooking but Grandpa fixed the cocktails before dinner. Week nights were filled with square dancing or a game of scrabble. Small notebooks filled their scores with Grandma usually winning. They loved to garden and created a jungle of plants that became their own personal paradise. As a kid I remember the constant travel adventures they took that added another piece of colored yarn on their travel map. Though fiercely independent, they were equally devoted to each other even after 70 years of marriage.

Dee and Pearl – Married 64 Years

My dad’s parents, Dee and Pearl, moved to California to avoid shaming the family name when they were forced to get married. Though they had a rocky beginning, their marriage ended up rock steady. Dee always with a sparkle in his eye loved to flirt with his hard-working wife. In retirement they still held hands, fished together, canned peaches and sat cozied up together on the couch.

For years, Pearl covered for Dee’s Alzheimer’s as she took care of him. Even though simple things confused him, if he was near Pearl, he had a peace and a calmness that came from years of faithfulness and trust. When Pearl finally had to put Dee in a home, she spent many days sitting by his side, until he was gone.

Dick and Joan – Married 66 Years

My friends Dick and Joan had 66 amazing years of marriage. What I noticed most about their relationship was the way that their eyes would light up when they talked about each other. Even though life on the farm called them to different chores and interests, they were each other’s biggest fans. Joan would brag about Dick’s latest wood working project, while Dick quietly built Joan a beautiful sewing table. Joan would cook, Dick would bring in the firewood. They didn’t share tasks but they tirelessly served each other without becoming resentful or grumbling.

Dick and Joan also chose to avoid any and all screens – TV’s, computer, and smart phones. That might seem old fashioned but I think about how content they were to just talk or read next to each other.

After Joan died, Dick just never seemed to find something to live for. For the rest of his life, he slept in his barcelounger, rather than face Joan’s absence in their double bed. After 2 long years apart, he finally joined her in heaven. I can only imagine the reception he received.

The lessons I took from these marriages were –

  • Be each other’s biggest fans

  • Hold hands every chance you get

  • Turn off the screens

  • Don’t lose yourself, share yourself

  • Go to bed at the same time

  • Serve one another

  • Don’t lose the sparkle in your eye

Find marriages that you admire and study them. How do they care for their marriage? How do they care for each other?

What marriages inspired you and what made them different?

 

6 Ways for Women to Stay Simmering Sexually

Unlike men, most women must intentionally remind themselves that God created them as sexual beings. Besides those bi-monthly hormone spikes that might wake us up, everything else seems to crowd out sexual thoughts. Even the way that God created our bodies, carefully tucked away, fails to provide a gentle reminder that good things can happen when we connect with her husband sexually. To remember that we are sexual beings, we must intentionally learn to keep our bodies awake. Here are 6 practices that help me remember God created me a sexual being and help me stay simmering sexually.

Breathe all the way “down there”

Take a deep breath! Feel it course through your body. How far done do you feel it? In your chest? Down to your tummy? How about all the way “down there?. Learn to feel your vulva and enjoy the warm sensations every time you breathe deeply.

Think Sexual Thoughts

Just like Solomon’s bride, we must allow time and space to enjoy sexual thoughts about our husband. Turn off your phone and day dream about your husband’s body when you fold laundry. While you wash dishes picture what you would like to do to your husband tonight, or what you want him to do to you. Give your mind freedom to be creative within God’s boundaries.

Do Your Kegel Exercises

Though Kegel exercises keep our body healthy, they also wake our body up. Kegel exercises gets the blood pumping and increases circulation. Contractions can feel pleasurable and remind us of good things to come. Strong Kegel’s increase the odds of your body reacting the way you hope. Get serious and make them a part of every day to keep your body simmering sexually.

Wear Sexy Underwear

When you do things all day that don’t feel sexy, like cooking, cleaning, wiping noses or working on a computer, wearing sexy underwear can help keep us simmering sexually. Remind yourself who you are with underwear that no one would expect underneath. Satin, lace, matching bra and panties – even just black instead of plain white.  Feel it rub against your skin and give a peak to your husband when no one’s looking. Wear sexy underwear to remind you become with your husband.

Enjoy Non-sexual Touch

The most important way that I keep my body simmering sexually is through non-sexual touch with my husband. We hold hands when we walk, cozy up on the couch, and worship hand in hand. Rather than a quick peck of a kiss, we linger and relax into the physical connection. If you don’t touch because you worry your husband might expect sex, then have a conversation. Don’t miss out on this powerful way to stay simmering.

Learn to Savor

Life seems to speed along at light speed and we forget how to enjoy the simple pleasures like savoring a delicious meal. Tap into your senses and learn to savor. Notice the smell of your husband’s shirts as  you sort the laundry. Feel the smoothness of your skin as you shower. Savor your food instead of devouring it. Open your eyes to God’s amazing creation. Learn to savor.

Final Thoughts

God created wives as sexual beings but we must intentionally make choices to remind ourselves. Keep your body simmering sexually by breathing all the way “down there”, thinking sexual thoughts, daily exercising your Kegel’s, wearing some sexy underwear, enjoying non-sexual touch and learning to savor. Don’t let the rest of life crowd out who God created you to be.

Romantic Ideas for Valentines

To be honest with you, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is because I watched my mom try not to feel disappointed when the greatest gesture my dad could muster was buying a card at the drug store. I know it wasn’t a huge deal to my mom. She cared more that dad was a great husband – gentle, kind, loving, a good provider and absolutely steady. She understood that he grew up on a farm where a handmade shirt was an extravagant gift for Christmas. But still… I think she would have loved it if dad had splurged and gone a little crazy one day. If he had surprised her with a special date or gift that not only expressed his love and appreciation, but that made her sparkle.

Romance

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, just hearing the word romance can make husbands retreat. The word romance can feel intangible, unattainable and like a recipe for disaster. Valentine’s Day can seem commercialized and forced. Romantic gestures come from a place of expectation rather than a spontaneous expression from the heart. But Valentine’s Day can also act as an impetus to give romance another try. To go for it, and hope to surprise our spouse and communicate, “You are amazing and I’d go to the moon for you!”

So while the world spends millions of dollars on chocolates, cards, and flowers, what can you do to romance your spouse?

To help you understand what creates romance check out my post to help demystify what define what creates romance. And ladies, don’t think husbands need to always carry the responsibility for romance. Your husband wants to feel special too. So what can you do to tell your spouse, “I know what makes you smile, what makes you purr, what makes your heart beat?” I thought I’d share a few ideas from class and ask you to share your own to inspire each other.

Romantic Ideas from Class

A wife fulfilled her husband’s fantasy of having sex in the car by planning a private location, secretly packing the needed supplies, and courageously going for it.

A husband secretly brought his wedding album on an overnight getaway. He and his wife spent time looking at pictures and recalling fond memories from their wedding day.

A wife surprised her husband by taking the kids to a friend’s house overnight. When he arrived home, his wife treated him to a candlelight dinner on a warm blanket wearing his favorite outfit.

One husband laid out a beautiful dress for his wife on the bed with a note that read, “Can’t wait to spend the night dancing with you in my arms. Get changed and wait for me here.” 20 minutes later he showed up wearing a suit and tie and a mixed CD of their favorite songs. They danced in their room until the clothes started coming off.

Share Ideas

Start thinking about your own romantic ideas and share them to encourage others.  It might be something that you have done in the past or that you hope to do in the future. It can be something big, or something small. As an added incentive, anyone that shares an idea by Friday will have their name entered in a drawing for a free copy of my book Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage.

Don’t  forget the ebook version of Awaken Love is on sale  this week. Help spread the word and offer an amazing resource for couples to create the intimate sex life they want.