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. 

Stepping Into Freedom

Before my awakening, I had no idea how much freedom God wanted me to experience in our marriage bed. Though we explored more than missionary position, I felt uneasy expressing myself. At times I reined myself in out of fear of going too far or losing control. Where were the guardrails? Could we enjoy what the world enjoys? What was okay and what was not? How much pleasure was too much pleasure?

There does seem to be this connection between overindulgence and sin. You can drink one glass of wine, but ten? Well, that’s a different matter. So, we hold ourselves back and only allow ourselves to enjoy sex this much or to be that free. We safeguard ourselves by disassociating with anything that has a connection to what the world does.

Is it possible that we are holding ourselves back from exactly what we need in marriage? Maybe the freedom that goes on outside of marriage is what God wants us to enjoy within marriage.  God wants to give us a glimpse of His original intention of being naked and unashamed. Have we let the world’s corruption of sex keep us from receiving an amazing gift from Him? This gift is so powerful that it will literally transform our marriages.

Steps of Change

Change did not come overnight for me. As I recognized lies that I believed, I started trusting my husband. When I understood God’s design, I measured sex by whether we were getting to know each other. Dealing with my baggage released a newness in me. Stepping into freedom was both terrifying and exhilarating.

It was not about trying to compete with the world. I wanted to claim the freedom God intended for us. I cared far more about connecting with my husband than about creating a show.

When I wanted my husband to watch me during sex, it wasn’t an attempt to create a pornographic scene for him. I simply wanted to maintain connection through eye contact. I wanted him to know who I was rather than just enjoy stimulation. This was me opening myself up to him.

When I performed a strip tease for my husband, I was not trying to compete with strip clubs. I wanted to put a stake in the ground that said, “I want to be free”—to share my naked body, to entice, and to move sensually. This was me, no one else—gangly arms, big feet, droopy breasts, and a C-section scar. Though terrified, I wanted to give my husband permission to feast his eyes on me.

Most of us don’t immediately go from years of believing and behaving like sex is a duty to embracing all that God has to offer. You might even feel overwhelmed by the divide between who you are and who God wants you to be. It’s okay, sister. I am right there with you. Change happens one small step at a time. Stepping out into the water, grounded in truth, and steadied by our heavenly Father, we tiptoe in. As we get more and more comfortable, we wade in a little deeper.

But we have to take a step.

(Excerpt from Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage)


Maybe your first step is picking up a copy of Awaken Love

Discover the Freedom God Wants for You

Until Feb 14th buy the paperback for just $9.99 (normally $14.99)

Get the ebook  (normally $9.99) for

$0.99 on Feb 4-5 

$3.99 on Feb 6-7 

$6.99 on Feb 8-9 

Tell your friends and don’t wait.

Take a step towards discovering freedom!

Get in the Game – Play Offense Not Defense

Far too many of us spend our lives constantly playing defense. We react to problems as they arise, focusing our time and energy because we must. We do what we have to do to salvage a relationship, get along and just survive. We put out the fires when and where they ignite. And we assume that if an issue doesn’t surface than we’re good. But what would happen, if instead of always playing defense, we played offense in marriage.

Most of us are only one crisis away from real struggles in marriage. That’s why marriages that go through the loss of a job, or the birth of a special needs child have such high divorce rates. The challenge didn’t create the crack in the marriage, it just highlighted and widened it.

Even seemingly good sex lives can fall apart when we fail to continue growing. Without communication skills, an expanded repertoire and established trust, one bad night can create enough anxiety to cause our natural responses to short circuit.

Playing defense does not build a strong marriage nor a sex life resilient enough to handle challenges. Most of us take our marriage for granted and would rather ignore the cracks then fix them. What would happen if we repaired the cracks by working on ourselves and our marriage before we encountered challenges? Could we prepare for the inevitable curve balls that life throws us? What would it look like to play offense in marriage?

Work on Yourself

The longer I am married the more I realize that marriage is not about losing yourself, but about sharing yourself. The idea that we continually compromise and deny ourselves misses the point. How do we focus on becoming more Christlike regardless of what our spouse does? Can we love our spouse even when they don’t meet our needs? Can we help them become who God wants them to be instead of who we want them to be?

That doesn’t mean that we allow our spouse to trample over us. Just like Jesus, we must extend grace and speak truth in love. Sometimes the best thing we do for our spouse is to set boundaries and say, “This is not okay, and this is not who God created you to be.”

Don’t buy into the victim mentality of blaming your parents, your circumstance or your spouse. Play offense. What can you do regardless of anyone else?

Work on your relationship with God and stop expecting your husband or wife to make you happy. Meet with a group to gain freedom over addictions or bondage. Start seeing a Christian counselor even if your spouse won’t.  Get healthy, emotionally, physically and spiritually. If you have experience betrayal than go after healing. Nurture your soul through friendships, using your gifts or by serving others. Understand that if Christ is in you, then anything is possible.

Work on Your Marriage

Couples that have strong, healthy, resilient marriages, intentionally work on their marriage. They seek out resources like books to read, retreats or conferences to learn about each other and to encourage sharing. They schedule their priorities instead of letting the rest of life rule them. They take date night seriously, and spend time talking each day. Instead of ignoring issues, they embrace conflict as an opportunity to strengthen their marriage.

When something big happens that they can’t seem to navigate, they look for outside help from a friend, counselor or pastor. They live in community for encouragement, accountability and to pour into others. When challenges strike, they don’t hide or run for cover. They vulnerably share and seek wise counsel.

Work on Your Sex Life

My husband and I spent almost 25 years playing defense with our sex life. Besides the first few years, we didn’t read books or try to learn anything new. Communication rarely happened and honestly felt tortuous. Until we intentionally invested in our sex life things did not improve.

So many great sex resources are easily accessible today. To improve communication read a book together. Awaken Love will help you both understand the challenges that wives face, but  also help you create a sex life that will thrill both husband and wife. From Feb 1 – 14 the paperback is 30% off and reduced to just $9.99!!

Listen to a podcast like Sex Chat for Christian Wives or Sexy Marriage Radio and talk about it afterwards. Take an Awaken Love class to learn God’s Design and expand your repertoire. Subscribe to my blog, or to one of the other great blogs like Hot Holy Humorous or Uncovering Intimacy. Sign up for mentoring with Chris over at the Forgiven Wife. Don’t wait until your spouse is ready to give up before you invest in your sex life. Do it today.

Churches

Most churches play defense when it comes to marriage and sex. Pastor’s schedules fill up with counseling sessions for couples already struggling or in crisis. Yet few marriage ministries exist to educate or provide date opportunities for couples. Groups exist for those struggling with sexual sin but how many churches provide classes to help wives and husbands create an amazing sex life in their marriage.

Both personally and in church, we must stop playing defense and start playing offense in marriage.

How are you investing in your marriage?

How can you help your church invest in marriages?

Sexual Discipleship – Changing the World

Discipleship. A word not normally connected with sexuality and yet crucial to changing our world.  In her book Rethinking Sexuality, Juli Slattery challenges us that while the culture bombards us with distorted sexual messages, the church cannot and must not remain silent. She coins the term “sexual discipleship“, which on the surface feels awkward, forced and even foreign. How can sexuality and discipleship go together? What does sexual discipleship even mean and who the heck is going to do it?

Talking About Sex

The whole idea of talking about sex face to face with another Christian feels radical. While Sex in the City may have brought open conversations about sex into the secular world, it did nothing to help Christians understand how to have open, honest, helpful conversations about sex. Online Christian communities and blogs can act as a great starting point to discover the truth about sex, but they do little to help us start face to face discipleship. If you can’t talk to your husband about sex, then how will you talk to your kids, or even your friends. When was the last time you prayed with a friend about sex or intimacy in their marriage? How do you even bring up the topic of sex?

In my book Awaken Love, I conclude with a chapter titled Changing the World that begins…

“Does anyone else here feel angry!?” It wasn’t the first time I had heard it during class. When women realize how wrong they’ve been about sex, they get angry. Some feel betrayed or let down by the important people in their lives for not talking about sex. Others feel angry at the church for purity messages that set them up for failure or that always slanted sex towards the needs of men. Some realize how much baggage they’ve carried because sex outside of marriage was treated like the unpardonable sin. A few women wonder how they could have understood so little about their own bodies. Others hate how culture has shaped what they believed about their husband. Most of us have something to feel angry about involving our sexuality.

When righteous anger boils up, it moves us to action. I will never forget the fear of teaching my first classes. Regardless of how crazy or uncomfortable it felt, I knew I had to do something! Reading a book about sex may help you personally, but until you have the courage to engage in conversations face to face with others, our world does not change.

Righteous anger moves us to action to make a difference for others.  We move beyond what we’ve always known, or how our parents did things, and we do things different. We get uncomfortable and step out in obedience, trusting that God will show up. Uncomfortable growth becomes a better option than the status quo.

Sexual Discipleship in Action

I’ve seen sexual discipleship in action. Women that attend Awaken-Love tell friend after friend because they cannot keep it to themselves. They openly talk about the importance of sex in marriage with girl friends and how their mindset changed when they understood the truth. Some even have the courage to host an Awaken-Love video class.

Moms talk to their daughters about sex, determined to make things easier for them. Men that spent years silently struggling with porn, open up conversations with their young kids.  They know the importance of open conversations from a young age. Because these men and women understand the truth about sex, they fearlessly change their world. These changes ripple and will continue to impact generations to come.

This Year

My focus for 2019 is discipleship. On the blog we will spend time wrestling with what God says about discipleship and how it applies to sexuality. Guest posts will share stories about sexual discipleship in order to help you understand practical application and examples of even small things that can impact sexuality. I want to disciple others so that they can make disciples. Sexual discipleship in the church is possible and will make a profound impact that will ripple to impact generations.

It is not enough for me to help people so that they can silently enjoy a better sex life. God wants to change the trajectory of their friends, family and churches. Online communities are a great starting point, but until we can have face to face conversations about sex, our world will not change. I am asking God to radically change lives and marriages so that they can’t help but tell others the good news.

Don’t think for a second that you need to have everything figured out before God can use you to disciple other’s in the area of sexuality. In the Bible, God constantly used ordinary people. Sometimes people learn best from our testimonies and our mistakes . He has used me, and He can use you.

Awaken-Love classes are a great way to get comfortable talking about sex face to face. In this next year, I would like to equip more teachers or video facilitators for Awaken-Love. If you want to learn more about Awaken-Love classes and they are not offered in your area, I am going to offer a special online class experience using Zoom. Just email me at ruth.awakenlove@gmail.com. When we get at least 5 participants, we will find a time that works and set things up.

If you have righteous anger over the lack of good information about sex in the church, then are you ready to make a change? What are you going to do?

Learn to Speak Your Spouse’s Language

My greatest desire is to connect emotionally with my husband. Over the past few years as my relationship with God has strengthened, I have started opening up so much more with Jim. At night I lay on my husband’s chest and pour my soul out to him. I share my insecurities, struggles with God, my hopes and my dreams and it has been amazing. The problem is that I don’t want my husband just to listen to me. I want him to emotionally connect with me too. I want him to become an equal partner.

Our Greatest Struggle

Connecting emotionally has become our greatest marital struggle. It is the crazy cycle that we enter over and over. Usually it goes something like this…

First, I share and it feels so good connecting to let Jim know what is really going on with me. But then I start wondering about him. As I get naked emotionally, he stays safe. He’s like a spectator, like he’s going along for the ride without really participating, and I start to feel hurt.

So, I start asking him questions and soon he’s sharing surface details about his day.  Sometimes I am fine with our conversations, but other times I just crave something deeper. And as I start pushing, my husband begins to get that deer in the headlights look of, “I have no idea what you are talking about it.” When I ask how he feels about something, it is as if I am asking him to speak a foreign language. And I feel like I am banging my head against the wall over and over because he never really gets how to emotionally connect.

In my deepest darkest times of frustration over my husband’s lack of skill at connecting emotionally, I have thought, “this must be what it feels like to a man when his wife does not understand the importance of sex!”

Disclosure: What follows uses generalizations about men and women to illustrate a point. If you don’t fit these generalizations then please don’t take offense. Even though your marriage may not fit this scenario, figure out your spouse’s individual desire, take it seriously, and do what you can to grow so that you can meet it.

Different Languages

Men and women seem to speak different languages. When our spouse asks us to speak their language, it feels foreign, terrifying and at times absolutely impossible.

If you crave connection through sex, then take all your feelings of frustration over your wife ignoring your sexual desires, and realize that she probably feels exactly the same way – just over different issues.  And if you’re banging your head against the wall because your husband doesn’t know how to open up and talk from the heart, then understand how hurt he feels because you won’t take steps to embrace sexuality as a powerful way for the two of you to connect.

Learning a New Language

Use your frustration to create compassion towards your spouse and to motivate you to make changes. Just like learning a foreign language, learning something new will require intention. It will not just happen. You may need to take a class, see a counselor or read a book to get started. Learning a new language will take practice and time. If you only remember to apply yourself after a fight, you will make little progress. If you feel coerced or forced to learn something new,  your Spirit will rebel with a, “You can’t make me do it attitude.” Do it because you love your spouse, because you want a better marriage, and because God wants you to learn something new.

You might even feel like what your spouse desires is impossible and want to give up. Change is hard and you can’t do it on your own. But with friends to encourage you along the way, and by depending on Christ, all things are possible.

Our Journey

Some people might think that I am crazy for expecting my husband to learn to connect emotionally. After all, men just don’t operate that way. The same could be said for expecting women to learn to crave and enjoy sex. We just aren’t wired that way, but we can learn new things. When we don’t, we miss out on an amazing part of life.

Little by little, my husband and I will continue our journeys of learning to speak a foreign language. Though I might have embraced connecting through sex first, he has begun to understand my deep desire to connect emotionally. Recently he has made huge strides and I give him a lot of credit. Often those first steps are the scariest. I hope that some day he enjoys my native language, connecting emotionally, as much as I have learned to enjoy sex.

 

 

What’s New at Awaken Love for 2019

As we move into 2019, I cannot help but pause to thank God for what He has done at Awaken Love. Last year was a year of God’s provision and creating community.

2018

Last Spring God surprised me with funds to create more video classes. The Engaged Class launched to help couples understand God’s design for sex before marriage. Filled with practical tips, and discussion starters, opening up conversations about sex will help couples start off on the right foot

The Men’s Edition of Awaken Love was filmed in Dec and will launch in March.  Videos that parallel the women’s class, will help husbands understand their wives and move beyond just having sex to intimately connecting through sex.

My first book Awaken Love self published and already over 800 copies have sold. The book will act as a great entry point for those not ready to take a class, or as a follow up for those that want a refresher.

From the humble beginnings  with 8 close friends 7 years ago, over 1400 women and 200 men have participated in Awaken Love classes. Feedback continues to confirm the importance of community for growth and transformation.

2019

As I prayed about 2019, God gave me the word Disciple. I want to be a disciple of Christ, but I also want to be a disciple of Godly sexuality.  I don’t just want to help people discover God’s design for their sex life. I want to equip them to pass a healthy mindset about sex down to their kids or friends. As they enjoy an intimate sex life in their marriage, they can encourage others.

Along with focusing on Discipleship, I hope to…

  • Write a book about sex specifically to help men understand their wife.
  • Explore different models for Awaken Love classes – like large groups or online groups
  • Develop ways to equip and disciple women that want to teach or facilitate Awaken Love
  • Continue speaking to women, men, couples and even singles both locally and around the United States.

Final Thoughts

I love the community that is developing at Awaken Love. It is a place to come and learn. We encourage and support each other as we move towards God’s design for sex. Blogging will continue to help me process what happens in my personal life and in classes. This year I will update my Song of Songs posts, write about discipleship and sprinkle in respectful detailed posts about sex. I would also love to hear your ideas for topics.

But I also want to encourage you to go. To move beyond online discussions to minister to the people that you know face to face. Open up the topic of sex by hosting an Awaken Love video class. Invite me to come and speak at your moms group, or marriage ministry. Give a copy of my book to a friend or share about it on social media, or Amazon Reviews. Share with a friend about what you have learned or begin conversations with your kids. 

So this year, let’s move beyond ourselves. Let’s become disciples of Godly sexuality,  so that marriages all around us might be strengthened.

Sexy Ideas to Help You Survive Christmas

Grab Some Mistletoe

Or a piece of broccoli, romaine, or other greenery, and make out with your sweetheart.  Quietly sneak a moment  in the midst of the chaos and for a real kiss. To escape the family get together for a minute, slip into a bathroom, basement, bedroom,  or closet for a quick make out session.

Dress Up Your Bedroom

Turn your bedroom into your sex den. Get rid of the clutter. Remove any reminder of the kids or work. Buy a new cozy blanket, a few candles or a new mirror. Invest in a space heater or electric blanket to warm your room. Go vintage and get a lava lamp.

Twinkle Lights

Grab a few extra strands of Christmas lights and string them around your room for a different mood lighting and watch your spouse sparkle when you surprise them.

Wear Something Fun

Come to bed with a Santa Hat on and have some fun. Ask what’s on your sweethearts Christmas list with a mischievous smile. Share how they’ve been naughty or nice this year in explicit detail.

But Some Toys

Invest in some toys for your bedroom. Try the Ultimate Intimacy App or check out another game. Shop online at Covenant Spice or Married Dance and surprise your spouse or look through options together.

 

Take time during the season of Christmas to enjoy becoming One.

Have a Merry Christmas

Make time to have some fun as a couple and connect during the Holidays.