The Bad Plan of Duty

A woman shared that when she married her husband, she did not think she could EVER say no to sex.  For over 20 years, every single time he initiated, she went along with it. Her young husband had a strong drive and they often had sex once a day, or even twice a day. The first ten years of marriage, things were ok. They were young, had energy and were not too sleep deprived from raising kids. But as the pattern continued through the years, resentment began to build. Every single time her husband initiated, she obliged. No matter how exhausted she was, she did not turn him down. Ten years later sex had become a dirty word and a huge point of conflict as her resentment built to anxiety. She read any physical touch from her husband as a prelude to intercourse and began avoiding all touch for fear of leading him on. The couple eventually ended up in counseling and are in the process of rebuilding their marriage and their sex life.

I asked her, “why didn’t you feel like you could say no to your husband once in a while?”

Her only explanation was that she grew up in a conservative church where she was taught that fulfilling her husband’s needs was her duty. She had also been taught that fulfilling his needs would prevent him from looking at porn or other women. Saying yes to sex was part of submitting to her husband, and she took her faith seriously.

This might seem like an extreme case but actually I don’t think it is all that unusual. Countless Christian books by both men and women perpetuate the lie that sex is a duty – a need of men fulfilled by women. Many books also insinuate that if the wife will just take care of her husband’s needs, he will not struggle with purity. That is a lie. Men can struggle even when their wife is giving them all the sex they want.

Who is responsible if they look at porn? The person that looks at porn.

Who is responsible if they allow themselves to look at other people? The person looking at other people.

No matter what, we are always responsible for our own actions – even men or women with a high sex drive.

Trust me, I am pro sex. In fact, I am very pro sex. I think sex is super important to a marriage and I think we should have lots of it. I think having sex binds us together in ways that nothing else can and if we are not having sex, we are opening our marriage up to danger.

But I don’t think it works to tell women to do it for their husband, and honestly, I don’t think that is what a husband wants.

One book written by a respected Christian author says, “Maybe it’s not convenient, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not on your timetable – but you do it anyway for the sake of love, not passion.”

That’s crazy.

I read that passage to the men’s class and they were shocked. They all agree, that is NOT what they want. They want a wife that is engaged and enjoys sex.

Most men have no idea what a battle their wife faces, because they have received very different messages. Most men would agree that from the time they were boys, they somehow new and understood that,

“Sex was going to be the BEST thing ever.”

They knew it, the believed it, they expected it, and it was.

If you look at the overall messages Christian girls receive about sex, two things are understood…

“Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t Do it!!!” , before marriage.

And

“Do it for your husband.”

These messages are hammered into us from the time we are young girls.

We hear it, we believe it, we expect it, and it is.

So, while this wife was feeling force fed, her husband was thinking, “I don’t understand. This is the best thing ever. Why isn’t she enjoying it. Maybe if I just try a little harder.”

Telling a wife, she has to have sex is kind of like telling your kids they have to go to church. You can drive them there and make sure they sit through the service. But can you make them worship God, or take God’s word to heart? You could threaten them and coerce them, but can you make them love God? And the more you try, the more resentful they become, and the more they dig in their heels.

Wouldn’t we rather help our kids own their faith, by showing them who God is and sharing what He means to us. We need to speak God’s truth and share testimonies of His healing and grace.  We need to help our kids understand how much God loves them and we need to pray for our kids. But ultimately, we need to let go and release our kids to God.

Just like you cannot make kids fall in love with God, you cannot make your wife love sex – and ultimately isn’t that what you want. Women need to hear that God created sex for them as much as their husband. They need to hear how sex strengthens marriage and creates intimacy. They need to be encouraged to seek help in order to heal from past experiences. Their husband needs to tenderly communicate what sex means to them – emotionally and spiritually. Women must have the right to say no sometimes or ask for a rain check without carrying the responsibility of their husband’s purity. Clear answers must be available to help women figure out how to make sex as enjoyable for them as it is for their husband. But ultimately, a husband must love his wife like Christ loves the church – no matter what.

So what does a husband do if their wife is not interested in sex? I’ve written a few articles on the subject in the past and I would encourage you to read them with a sense of compassion.   Lies Your Wife Battles, IF – the Game Changer, Do’s and Don’ts for a husband.  Because most wives are not trying to hurt their husband, in fact deep down many are riddled with guilt and feel broken. So don’t give up hope. Your wife needs you to be her biggest cheer leader.

Ladies, there are women in your church that need help understanding how important sex is to them and to their marriage. Would you pray about hosting an Awaken-Love video class and share a different message about sex?

Why Share your Baggage

A profound change happens during week 3 of  Awaken-Love, as we take turns sharing baggage that has impacted our marriage. I ask the women to share whatever they like, large or small, but to focus on how the baggage has impacted them or their marriage bed.

We share our baggage for several reasons…

Sharing our stories helps us to realize we are not alone. Every woman in the room has something that has impacted her marriage bed. Stories of shame or pain are received with grace and love. Stories of bad messages are greeted with nods that know and understand.  Women recognize their own story in each other. Even though the details of our lives are different, we have much in common.

Healing comes from sharing hurts and sins with one another.

James 5:16  says, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Healing comes simply from speaking things out loud to others. I have heard women share stories of shame carried from their childhood that they have never shared with another soul. Given an opportunity, they wrestle thru tears and pull themselves out of their hiding spot. The question lurking in the back of their mind, “What if someone finds out?” no longer paralyzes them as they are received with acceptance and compassion. As shame loses power, women go home to share with their husband and continue healing.

Sharing our baggage forces us to dig deep and really examine what past experiences have impacted our marriage bed – even small things. It is funny what God brings to our mind…

  • the overreaction of a parent when we received a dirty phone call as a child
  • the constant message that we should not enjoy anything too much
  • feelings of violation caused by powerlessness at a doctor’s exam
  • the confusion of knowing their parents enjoyed sex together but ultimately divorced

We all have things that have impacted what we believe about sex, or about men, or about us. Something that might seem like nothing to someone else can have a huge impact on us. When God brings something to your mind, there is a reason.

Most important, we share our stories of sexual healing because they are a testimony of who God is. God heals our sexual baggage and hurts. He forgives our sexual sins and he can make us new again. We are not ruined or condemned to an awful sex life because we had sex outside of marriage. God can heal anything. He can heal us from the effects of abuse, promiscuity, shame, or wrong messages. He wants us to step into freedom in our marriage bed and He is reaching out His hands and saying, “here, take it. A free gift.”

Other women need to hear our stories, not just the women in class. Our testimony of sexual healing is powerful and we need to watch for opportunities to speak life into other woman. They need to hear our testimony of how God healed us and forgave us, and how we stepped into the freedom He has for us in our marriage bed.

I have to be honest, baggage night is really hard for me. I hear a lot of heart ache and pain, and all I want to do is take it away and make everything ok, but I can’t. I am completely powerless. God is the one who transforms us and makes us new. So we pray. We gather around women with huge hurts, and we ask God for big things. We ask God for very specific things that only He can do,  we challenge women to take a step of faith into freedom, and then we trust God.

Sometimes I think afterwards, “What if God doesn’t show up and do what we ask?”

But the truth is, “He already has shown up. He gave women the courage to brings things to the light”, and things are always better in the light.

Thirst

God created us to thirst. He gave us a drive that causes us to reach for something that will truly satisfy. When we reach for all kinds of other things that distract us, our thirst doesn’t go away. It continues to drive us toward what we really need, toward what God wants for us.

When we don’t drink enough water, our body becomes dehydrated, and we thirst. Sometimes we try to quench our thirst with other things like sweets or munchies. We grab a handful on the run but the more we eat, the more dissatisfied we feel. Sometimes we try to satisfy our thirst with counterfeits like soda pop, beer or coffee, and though they may wet our whistle for a time, we still end up thirsty. We keep trying to quench our thirst with the wrong thing, while we continue to get thirstier and thirstier. When we finally drink fresh water, it tastes so good. We chug it down and we feel satisfied. We no longer thirst.

God gave us a thirst for Him too.

In  John 4:13-15 ESV Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.”

God created in us a desire to be in relationship with Him and to know Him more. We search after money, power, or love to fill our thirst and make us happy, but no matter how much we have, it never satisfies. Sometimes we try to ignore our thirst or hide it with parties, drugs or sex, but it doesn’t go away. It is always there calling us to living water, to the only one that will ever satisfy us.

I remember times when I was not very close to God, and I ignored my thirst. I became self-sufficient, proud, and cynical. But when I encountered God in small ways, I became thirsty again. It was as if I was putting a glass of water to my lips, but didn’t quite know how to drink it – or was too afraid to drink it. It is so hard to stop looking around at other things to satisfy us, or stop trying to control our happiness. Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world is to just be and to drink fully of  living water.

In Proverbs 5:15-20, Solomon warns, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”

Our spouse is supposed to satisfy our thirst in marriage. Distractions like pornography or erotica will never satisfy us. They are a cheap imitation that entice us, wastes our time and leave us feeling more thirsty. Intimate connection with our beloved, enjoying sex like God wants us to, is what satisfies us. We are supposed to create a cistern, a reservoir of memories, so that when we are going thru a dry spell, we can draw on amazing times together to satisfy us and help find our way back. We are supposed to save ourselves for each other – our energy, our creativity, our thoughts – and freely share them we each other. God wants to bless our marriage and our sex life. He wants us to drink fully of each other and be full satisfied in each other.

I have no greater desire than for my husband to be fully satisfied in me. I want him to feast his eyes on me and be thrilled. When I need refreshment or comfort, I thirst for my husband’s embrace. Becoming One helps my husband and I face the day as God blesses us.  God has given me a thirst for intimacy with my husband and it is so very good.

Is Giving Oral Sex Arousing for You?

Men love oral sex but I think their enjoyment is amplified multiple times when we enjoy it too – and I don’t just mean because we like to give them oral sex. I mean we enjoy it – like it turns us on and it arouses us. When we can orgasm while giving them oral sex – well that might just be one of their ultimate enjoyments.  So how do we get to the place that we not only love giving oral sex, but that we find giving oral sex arousing?

If you want ideas on giving your husband oral sex, then please take a look at my articles How to Drive Your Man Crazy, How to Love Your Husband with Oral Sex and His Amazing Body.

This article is going to focus on how to get aroused while giving your husband oral sex.

Our Mind – It always begins in the mind, doesn’t it ladies. We have to believe that visually feasting on our husband close up, sensing the changes in his body through sensitive tongues or lips, and loving him with our entire body is so very good. We have to believe that our husband does not just want oral sex because he saw it somewhere, but that loving him through oral sex is an intimate connection that somehow makes him feel loved as we show our full acceptance and embodiment of him. We have to believe that God gives us the freedom to fully enjoy each other, however we want, and that he is pleased when we receive the gifts he gave us to intimately connect.

Connection – Sex is not just supposed to be two parallel people getting satisfied to the point of orgasm. Sex is supposed to be a window to see into each other’s souls in the most intimate way.  We have to intentionally maintain connection during sex rather than going into our own world. Keeping your eyes open, or speaking short phrases to draw each other back can help maintain the connection. Seeing my husband experience pleasure as he watches what I create for him ought to excite me. He is letting me into his inner places and sharing intimate parts of himself.  Are you maintaining connection during oral sex? Does it excite you when he shows you his excitement?

Training – One of the foundational things I believe about sex is that our bodies can learn new things. We can teach our bodies through positive reinforcement and connections with pleasure. We must  connect arousal and pleasure with giving our husband oral sex. While you are giving your husband oral sex, you might grab his hands and bring them to  your breasts. You could change your position and bring his fingers to your clitoris. Little by little begin to associate pleasure with giving oral sex.

Movement – One the things that I am becoming aware of is the power of movement to take us places. While you are giving your husband oral sex, let your body move like it wants to. Just the thrusting of your hips can create arousal. Or try straddling his leg and rubbing your body on him. Or take a break with your mouth and drag your breast on his penis to create enjoyment. Get into a rhythm that takes you somewhere through  movement and sync it to the movement that drives him crazy.

Aids – Using toys during oral sex can create the stimulation to take you over the top while you pleasure him with oral sex. You will realize how much your arousal excites your husband and that is exciting. When you are connected, his excitement will feed on your excitement which will in turn feed your excitement.

Giving our husband oral sex is supposed to be this amazing way that we connect, close up and personal. It ought to excite us as we see just how amazing our husbands body is and how excited he gets. Do we allow ourselves to really enjoy just how erotic giving oral sex can be? Do we allow our excitement to feed off of their excitement? Do we seek pleasure and enjoyment and go after it, even in the midst of loving our husband? Consider what a thrill it would be for your husband to see your thrill in the midst of loving him.

PORN – What’s a Parent to Do?

When I was in second grade, my best friend showed me her dad’s giant stash of Playboy magazines neatly stacked on the garage shelf. She gingerly pulled a couple of issues down to sneak into her bedroom for closer examination. We crawled onto her bed, giggling and laughing as we turned each page with Chuck Berry’s  My Ding-A-Ling playing in the background.

Forty years later, after discovering Christian sex blogs that opened my eyes, I went exploring for information about a specific response using my trusted friend GOOGLE. Several videos immediately popped up to answer my questions and offer multiple gateways into the world of porn. Each click enticed me to watch more, until I finally had to slam my laptop shut in a tangle of feelings.

The world has drastically changed in 40 years.

Actually, the world has drastically changed in 10 years.

Porn has changed from sleek posed photos,to live streaming video that changes at the click of a mouse, to a portable screen available every moment of the day. It is a common occurrence for kids to use their phone to view porn on their bus ride home, regardless of whether they attend secular or Christian schools.

Preventing our kids from viewing porn is no longer a realistic goal.

We must seek to minimize the damage resulting from porn exposure.

In order to minimize the damage – we need to do 3 things…

  • Prepare Ourselves
  • Equip Our Kids
  • Guard the Gateways

Prepare Ourselves – The best way to minimize the power of porn, is to bring the darkness to the light. We have to create a safe place for our kids to talk about ANYTHING – even what they have seen on the internet. We cannot shame them, or embarrass them. We must empathize with how hard it is to live in this world, provide answers and communicate the importance of steering clear.

Kids are taught to GOOGLE what they don’t know or understand. If sheltered Christian kids don’t feel safe coming to you for answers, then GOOGLE provides plenty of answers. If your 10-year-old asked, “What is a blow job?” Would they sense that you are uncomfortable or embarrassed? Could you answer the question without freaking out?

We have to get comfortable, I mean really comfortable, talking about sex. Most of us did not grow up this way. In fact, most of us had minimal messages about sex from our family, friends or church. We have to turn this around. We have to not just talk about how babies are made, but about what an amazing gift sex is to strengthen marriage. Our kids need to know that waiting for sex is totally worth it.  One of the great side benefits of taking an Awaken-Love class is getting comfortable talking about sex.

Most of us don’t talk about sex with our spouse, we just have sex. If you cannot talk to your spouse about sex, how are you going to talk to your kids? Can you talk to your spouse about masturbation? Do you know what the bible does and doesn’t say about masturbation? Can you talk to your spouse about Porn? Do you know what the bible says? Prepare yourself to talk to your kids by creating open communication with your spouse and embrace the opportunity to make your sex life even better.

Equip your kids – Talking to your kids needs to  be a constant conversation that is as normal as talking about eating healthy food. We need to start when they are curious preschoolers, gently walk with our  awkward junior highers, and build up our budding adults.   Our kids need to know and understand their own body and they need to value and respect it, instead of feeling embarrassed or dirty.

Every conversation should start with an affirmation – for their curiosity, their courage, or honesty. And every conversation must end with, “I am so glad you talked to me. You can come talk to me about anything. “

Embrace every opportunity to not only speak about the dangers of porn, but about what a gift sex is in marriage. Share what you have learned about the impact of baggage on a sex life, but also how God can heal us and redeem us from even sexual sin.

One of the best resources to help equip you and your kids is the website Protect Young Eyes. The site will help you stay current on the dangers of specific apps, chat rooms or social media sites. They also offer a free ebook called Parent Tech Talks. The book addresses different ages of life with prompts to practice handling difficult situations that might occur with technology.

The best way to protect older kids is to keep the communication lines open. That means you have to create a judgement free zone where there is no shame, no embarrassment and no limits to what they can ask. You can share what the bible says, what you have learned from life experiences and offer grace and compassion because this is a hard world to grow up in.

Guard the Gateways – There are many different gateways to encounter porn, including phones, gaming stations, roku, computers and ipads. You can install filters on your internet as well as on individual devices- Protect Young Eyes has a guide for different options. Filters will help but if a teen wants to get around them, I am guessing they will.

One of the most important things we can do to guard gateways is to model and incorporate some very practical ways to disconnect from technology.

  • We would never let our kids take alcohol or drugs into their bedroom. Why would we let them take their iphone? Some households keep phones in public places by not allowing them in a closed bedroom.
  • Not much good happens on phones after 10 pm, so some families enforce a 10 pm charging station plug in.
  • Another common gateway is the phone of your kids friends. Some families ask that when visitors come, both the guest and the host deposit their phones in a public basket. Not only does the practice protect kids from porn or sexting, but it encourages other healthy interactions.

These phone rules might seem crazy, especially if the rules apply to you too, but how serious are you about protecting your kids, and yourself. Setting up healthy boundaries and reducing opportunities at some strategic times could make a huge statement

Educating our kids about the dangers of porn is an opportunity to change how the church has handled sex for years. Let’s begin talking about sex in good and healthy ways to not only protect them, but to help them have a great sex life in marriage.

Prepare yourself, Equip your kids and Guard the Gateways.

Leading in the Marriage Bed

Romance movies feed on a woman’s God given desire for a husband to lead in the bedroom and leave us disillusioned when our sex life doesn’t live up to our expectations. Creating an awesome sex life is hard work and our husband has the hardest job in the world. Learning to confidently lead a complicated, finicky woman that has a body and needs so different than their own is like trying to solve a rubics cube while blind folded. Husband’s spend years guarding their eyes, trying to be gentle, and putting our needs ahead of theirs and then all of a sudden we expect them to be a passionate lover that feasts their eyes on us and takes us against the wall the moment we get home from  a hot date. YIKES!

Ladies, we had better step up and help with this one because we have been yanking our husband’s chain around for too long. If you want your husband to lead in the bedroom, you need to take ownership for all the ways you have discouraged him. You have to communicate your desire for him to lead and your resolve to do things different. You have to give him permission to go after what he wants rather than always putting you first. You have to own your finickiness  and let him off the hook. And you have to  affirm his God given qualities  and assure him that you absolutely trust him.

Communication – Great sex is built on communication, and not just what isn’t working. Spend time outside of the bedroom sharing fun scenarios and ideas. Share what turns you on and why. During sex say things like

  • I love it when you…
  • It makes me hot when…
  • You are so…

Not only do you need to communicate how your body works but you need to communicate what turns you on. What do you need to hear? What do you need to see? How do you need to be held?

Expand His Repertoire – Your husband needs a huge set of plays so that he can adjust to meet your needs in different situations. You have to show your husband different things that you might like. Manual sex can feel very different depending on whether you are  Wrapped Up, Woven Together or Up Close and Personal. Help him expand his repertoire by showing him different positions to hold you,  touch you, and  connect with you. If you need some ideas check out the Positions Category on our blog.

Connect Sex to Emotions – Sex is not just for pleasure but is supposed to represent who we are at that moment in time. Begin helping your husband understand how to hold you when  you feel insecure. Help him understand how sex plays out when you are confident. Show him how to love you when you are sad. Treat him to sex when  you are feeling playful. Share where you are that night, and help your husband learn how to play out emotions during sex.

Take your Turn – One of the best ways to show your husband what it means to lead is to take the lead yourself. Surprise him like you would want to be surprised. Tease him like you would want to be teased. Take charge, have a plan, assure him that you’ve got this and then do it like you mean it.Spend time afterward talking through why it was so hot for you, and what you would love.

Give Him Ideas and Permission – If you have specific ideas of a sex scenario that you would like to have play out, you may need to have a conversation with your husband in advance. In fact you might need to have several conversations in order to communicate what you want and that you really want it. A loving husband that has spent his life being kind, considerate and gentle may take a little convincing that you really want what you want. If it turns you on to have your husband Take You to the Wall, or  splay you out while holding your hands above your head, or ask you to watch, then you might have to communicate why. What does this represent to you? Why does it turn you on? Communicate your trust and your desire to be fully surrendered.

Let Him Off the Hook  – Our bodies are finicky depending on the time of month, how our day went, how many kids slobbered on us, or our insecurity for the day. Our husband can start to feel more and more unsure of themselves which makes us feel even worse. Reassure your husband that he is not doing anything wrong, you’re just having trouble. Ask him to help you get back on board by not giving up on you and instead try a different path.

Affirm your Husband – Affirm your husband when he discovers something new about you. Affirm him when he becomes bolder with his words. Affirm him when  he holds you with steady, firm hands. Affirm him when he notices something you don’t like and tries another path. Affirm him when he tries something new. Affirm him as he becomes more confident and resilient in adapting to the situation. Affirm him when he doesn’t give up on you.  Affirm him when you sense he is more present and connected to  you. The best thing that you can do to influence growth in your husband is to encourage him in every small step he takes in the right direction.

My husband and I have grown tremendously in our sex life. It is hard work but it is so worth it. Don’t settle. God wants you to have an amazing sex life.

Knowing – Our Deepest Desire

Do you think you can have sex without getting to know your spouse?

I think a couple could  figure out what works and then just stick with it. They could rely on mechanics and physical responsiveness for a while… But eventually, things aren’t so great, because they get bored – because they aren’t getting to know each other. And if they are like most couples, they don’t talk about sex, so they just adapt. The wife may begin to check out mentally and fantasize about whatever creates enough excitement for her body to work.  Or she may just decide she doesn’t like sex, so she puts it at the bottom a very long “to do” list.

Women are very intuitive about whether you are getting to know each other during sex.  Many women relate to the frustration of a husband going through his routine without any clue whether his wife is actually enjoying things. She is laying there thinking, “here we go again. Yep. Here we go again”. Because she knows every step that is next. And because the husband is more intent on getting her to the finish line, then discovering something new, he just keeps at it. He tries harder and harder, while she becomes more and more frustrated.  He is not paying attention to the signs of her body, and he is not getting to know her.

It is like when you meet with God and you have your own agenda. You have your own idea of what you are supposed to pray and do. You read your scripture for the day, pray through your requests and all the while God is yelling, “Hey, can you hear me? I’m here.  Stop. Listen to me. Just come and be with me and discover something new about who I am.  “

We are trying so hard, that we totally miss God.

God wants to know us and He wants us to know Him. We can’t just go about our routine. We have to stop ourselves and we have to be with him.

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV) –  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better

We have to listen and ask questions. We have to be open to experiencing new things. We have to ask Him to show us who He is so that we recognize His voice. We have to be awed by Him as we encounter His glory. We have to be interruptible and let go of our own agenda. We have to study Him and experience Him and there is always more to know.

Just like there is always more to know about God, there is always more to know about our spouse. God’s design is that we get to know each other through sex. But just like our relationship with God, we have to intentionally seek to know our spouse through sex. It doesn’t just happen.

We have to change our idea of sex from,”how do I make sure they have an orgasm”, to “what can I discover about my spouse”. We have to be present mind, body and soul and we have to use all 5 of our senses to see what we can discover. We can’t just rub them, we have to feel them. We have to put away our agenda and our expectations. I love it when my husband slyly share after sex, “I learned something new about you tonight,” with the sparkle in eyes of a kid with a new toy.

But this getting to know each other is a 2 way street. If you want your spouse to know you, then you have to let yourself be known. You have to allow yourself to be felt and you have to respond. You have to communicate your desires, your dreams and your hurts. You have to be vulnerable and share the most intimate corners of your soul, and that is not easy. That is why we have to be grounded in who we are in Christ. What we most desire is to know each other, but it is also risky.

God designed us for intimacy because we are made in His image. Like him, our deepest desire is to have deep meaningful relationships. He created us to know Him and he created us to know our spouse. But it doesn’t just magically happen, we have to intentionally seek God out. We have to begin a life long journey of getting to know each other through sex  – and that – is never boring.

What has made a difference in getting to know your spouse?