Does Sex Restore Your Soul

It has been a strange couple of weeks filled with highs, lows and acclimating to a new reality. The Coronavirus has changed the way we live and directly impacted thousands of lives. If you are going through really hard things, I pray that God will meet you in the midst and that you will experience a comfort that only comes from Him.  Though my life has not been directly impacted, life in general has felt like a bit of a roller coaster.

Highs

Just three short weeks ago I was coming off of an amazing weekend of sharing about Awaken Love. I had been invited to teach a break out session at a large women’s conference called Set Apart. The conference theme Rest for your Soul inspired the title of my session, “Does Sex Restore Your Soul”.

Women packed my sessions, from wise gray-haired grandmothers to young singles. They came looking for God’s truth and real conversations about sex. After sharing my story, we tackled 6 of the most common lies that make sex feel like a duty – rather than something that restores our soul.

Lies like…

  • Sex is for Men
  • It is all about the destination
  • Sex will magically fall into place
  • We need to protect ourselves from our husband
  • Sex is just physical
  • God may have created sex, but He doesn’t really bless it or want to be involved

These common lies seep into our thinking without us even noticing. They warp what we believe about sex and fool us into missing out on a powerful gift that can transform our marriage from surviving to thriving. When we recognize the lies and understand God’s truth then we can begin to step into a new way of living. You can listen to a recording of the talk below.

In between the session women stopped by my table to grab a copy of my book Awaken Love and to encourage me. Many thanked me for a much needed message in the church. If we are going to get marriage right, then we must start talking about sex.

A New World

Three short weeks later, the world has changed. The coronavirus has shut down all but the essential activities. Many are working from home without church, sports, or dinners out. Our worlds have become smaller as our home and our immediate family fill our nights and days.

We all handle life differently. When the quarantine kicked into gear, I immediately looked for some projects to pour my energy into. When I keep my hands busy, my mind rests easier. Already I am halfway through building a nightstand out of walnut. Next on the docket, building a bigger closet in my bedroom. A classic introvert, as long as my girls are good and my husband is by my side, I can handle anything.

Comfort

During this time, sex has been a comfort, an escape from hard realities and just good entertainment. We have no kids at home, a quiet house, and 24 hours a day together. Though your situation may be different, don’t discount the power of sex to restore your soul.

When you feel exhausted from home schooling, instead of vegging out in front of the tv, climb into bed with your husband and get naked.  After unbearably long days of care-taking, work, or reading the latest news, stop and find comfort in your husband’s arms. When you feel like you might go stir crazy, try something daring that will knock the socks off your spouse. Don’t put sex to the side, make it a priority and see how it can transform you.

As we reel from the sudden change of our reality, don’t miss the opportunity to restore your soul in the simple pleasure of sex with your spouse. God intended sex to be life giving refreshment that can restore your soul.

Zoom Class

If you have always wanted to take an Awaken Love class For Wives with me, I am offering a class using Zoom as a meeting platform. Participants will watch the videos in advance and we will spend our time sharing and discussing what we learned. We meet Monday nights from 7:30 – 9 pm central time starting April 6th. If you are interested, email ruth.awakenlove@gmail.com for more details.

Tell Others the Truth About Sex and Change Lives

Recently I sat in with a group of women taking the Awaken Love video class. Their church had offered Awaken Love as a small group community and 25 women quickly registered. With four classes complete, these women had already done the hard work of talking through lies and baggage, and embracing God’s design for sex. Hungry to learn more, they enthusiastically voiced agreement as I shared insight from my own journey. I loved our time together, but what impacted me most, was their commitment to tell others the truth about sex.

Opportunities to Tell Others

A couple of weeks ago, two of the women had met for ice cream and couldn’t stop talking about class. As they excitedly processed all they were learning, a woman nearby quietly listened. Finally, she interrupted to ask about their conversation. Only recently, she had discovered her husband’s porn struggle and she wasn’t sure if they could rebuild their marriage.

These two women quickly embraced the opportunity to minister to their new friend. They shared all they had learned about God’s design for sex and how it had impacted their own marriages. But they also shared how God provided healing and transformation for them personally. Before they parted ways, they gently asked if they could pray for their new friend. I can only imagine how powerfully they ministered to this hurting woman in that moment. Talking about sex opened up the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

The world is filled with hurting marriages and people are desperately looking for answers. When we embrace God’s design for sex, it not only provides a pathway to tell others the truth about sex, but about the love of Jesus. We cannot create an intimate marriage without God’s transformation in our lives. Conversations about sex should naturally flow into conversations about Jesus.

Crossing Generation

Another woman shared that the Holy Spirit was prompting her to lead a video class with her mom and her mom’s friends. Taking Awaken Love had provided the opportunity to open up conversations with her mother about what she was learning in class. Aware of the generational gap in open conversations and information about sex, this young woman wanted her mom’s generation to experience all the freedom that she had discovered.

Many of the women in class shared their concerns about talking to their kids about sex. Though they hadn’t grown up with parents comfortable talking about sex, they were determined to change things for their kids. Class had helped these women get comfortable with the topic and for the first time they felt empowered. They knew that having normal conversations about sex with their kids could become a reality. The women were filled with enthusiasm and hope for changing future generations.

Help Others by Sharing the Truth

When women start an Awaken Love class, I always explain the greater message, “This class is not just for you, it is for every person that you interact with.”

  • What good does it do to create an amazing sex life with your husband, if years later your kids struggle with the same issues?
  • How can you not want to share God’s truth about sex, when so many marriages around you are breaking apart?
  • Do you realize how many hurting women think that God cannot heal sexual baggage?

Real transformation in the church happens when we move beyond ourselves and tell others God’s truth about sex.

Final Thoughts

It was an amazing night connecting with the women in the Awaken Love class. The memory that continues to bring tears to my eyes was when the leader asked, “How many of you have had conversations about sex with other women, outside of class?” Every single hand in the room raised.

How are you changing the world as you learn God’s truth about sex?

Connection Starts With a Kiss

Solomon’s Song of Songs.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love is more delightful than wine.

Connection starts with a kiss… her passion for him started with a kiss. Not a peck on the cheek as you leave for work, or a harried kiss as you enter into the chaos of home.  A mind-numbing connection that makes you forget all the other junk that you are dealing with. A kiss that warms and relaxes you like a smooth glass of wine.

Great kisses don’t have to take a lot of time, but they require your undivided attention. You both must take a moment to disconnect from distractions. Forget work, ignore the screaming kids, stop worrying about the sink full of dishes, just be with each other. Feel each other breathe, hear your hearts beat, and allow yourself to receive. Linger long enough to feel two become one.

Once we get married, we don’t kiss enough. Your mission this week is to kiss your spouse like you mean it. Linger a little longer, tune into them and transport them to another place. It will make a world of difference. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Put It Into Action

  1. Have a make out session like you used to – that means clothes on, maybe in a car or on the couch. Just enjoy kissing for the sake of kissing.
  2. Make a commitment to greet each other with a 15 second kiss every day this week.
  3. Fall asleep lip to lip.

PRINTABLE DAY 1

Relaunch Your Sex Life – Awaken Love

The first night of Awaken Love I asked the wives, “Why are you here?” The women shared things like, “it just feels like things have gotten stale”, “my marriage feels more like we are roommates”, or “after the kids were born, our intimacy has just taken a back seat to everything else”. Most of the women didn’t have any major issues in their marriage. They just needed a relaunch. They wanted more intimacy and fun and they knew they needed to refocus attention on their sex life. Though relaunching your sex life can feel awkward, or even scary, Valentines Day provide the perfect excuse to make some changes.

The Challenges

Just about everything gets in the way of your sex life. Whether raising babies and feeling tired, or waiting for teens to go to bed – kids create challenges. Work and stress can create so much exhaustion that you would rather veg in front of a screen. Busyness of even good things like ministry can distract you and deplete your creativity. No matter what stage of life you are in or what’s keeping you busy, creating an amazing sex life will require you to intentionally make choices that say, “our sex life matters”.

It makes me think about Song of Songs 3:15 that says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” If we aren’t supposed to awaken love until marriage, then maybe after we get married, we must choose to constantly awaken love. After all, just like these ladies expressed, an exciting sex life seems to just slowly whither away if not attended.

But what do you do when it feels like your sex life is already dead? How do you bring it back to life?

Sex can be a sensitive topic. Sometimes when a wife tells a husband that she wants to take Awaken Love, his first response is, “I thought we were doing ok”. Discussions about sex can automatically make a spouse feel defensive.

But desired change does not mean we are doing something wrong. It just means we have more to learn. Without change we become stagnant and we miss out on the amazing gift that God gives us.

Instead of trying to change your spouse, try focusing on yourself. Don’t go searching for all the ways that your spouse needs to change, work on yourself. Have the courage to learn something new for yourself and to put it into action. Don’t just read about ideas, but choose to take the first step and change the status quo. You don’t have to wait for your spouse. You can relaunch your sex life, and Valentine’s is the perfect time to do it.

Awaken My Soul

Song of Solomon is packed with wisdom about God’s design for intimacy. Every day from Feb 1 – Feb 14 we will dive into a few verses that will give us truth and action for our marriage. You can even print out the verses to put in a frame, on your bathroom mirror or leave by your nightstand. We want to encourage you each day to take Song of Songs to heart and put it into practice. To view the series, follow us on Facebook, Instagram.  or subscribe to the blog. We can’t wait to get started.

Get ready for the best  G I V E A W A Y  ever. I am offering a 60-minute private zoom call to the lucky winner. You can take advantage of the session for private counseling, a session with your husband, or a fun ladies night where your friends ask Ruth questions.

Let’s make this Awaken My Soul series go VIRAL as we prepare for Valentines Day. 

Help spread the word about this amazing resource to create passion and intimacy in marriages.

Here’s how to enter: ( You have the chance to enter EVERY SINGLE DAY) for the  entire 14 days we are walking through the Song of Solomon. 

    1. Like the photo on one of our social media sites.
    2. Follow our Instagram page @awakenlovestudy or Facebook @4awakenlove
    3. Share this story to your stories + tag us

For extra entries tag your friends below. One tag per comment please. Winners will be announced on Feb 15th.  Must complete all items to be eligible.

Awaken Love book

One of the easiest ways to work on your sex life is to read a great book. During our Valentine sale, you can pick up a paperback of Awaken Love for just $9.99 (30% off) or read it on Kindle of $2.99(60% off) . This book will stretch your ideas about sex, help you gain freedom, and provide respectful details to take things up a notch. Read it on your own, with a group of friends, or with your husband. Each chapter even has discussion questions, and specific Action Items to encourage growth.

Awaken Love Class

You will find no better way to change the status quo in your sex life, then by taking an Awaken Love class. Over and over I have witnessed the break through and changes when we embrace God’s design for sex. Available to both wives and husbands, the class will give you common ground to begin really talking about sex. Discussion questions allow you the opportunity to discuss sensitive topics with your spouse that will lead to freedom. The application homework will provide you the perfect excuse to change things up and learn new ways to connect. You can sign up on your own, with a friend, or challenge your spouse to take the class at the same time.

Don’t put off what you can enjoy for a life time. Relaunch your sex life today.

Share this information with your friends or church community and watch marriages change. 

Moving Forward in the New Year

It always feels challenging to get back to writing after taking a break. Over the Holidays I enjoyed time with my family, lots of great sex with my husband, some amazing dates, and lots of good food. I also worked down in the wood shop building gifts and a built-in cabinet. Though it’s hard to start writing, I know that I need to start somewhere. So how about a simple update of my life?

Past Challenges

Last year did not end on a great note with the discovery that someone had been commenting on the blog as many different personas. Hopefully I’ve learned some things to ensure comments are from real people. But I also know that I need to better guard my time. As the ministry of Awaken-Love grows, I find myself spending enormous amounts of time on tasks that have little eternal impact.  2020 will need to be a year of prioritizing, but I also want to have some fun.

Awaken My Soul

To gear up for Valentines we are doing a series called Awaken My Soul based on the Song of Songs. Every day from Feb 1- Feb 14, we will have a beautiful different printable with specific tasks to Awaken Love in your marriage. To get access just  follow us on Facebook, Instagram or twitter.

Promoting Awaken Love video classes will continue to be the priority. I believe taking a class with other people is one of the most powerful ways to break the silence surrounding sex in the church. This year over 400 women and 40 men committed to the 6-week video classes. That’s more than double the previous year. Crazy!! With personal recommendation the number 1 reason that people sign up, I expect the growth to continue. Since the very beginning, Awaken Love has spread because people like you continue to share the powerful impact of Awaken Love.

When I read my blog, sometimes I long for the simple days of having so much to say that I can’t wait to sit down and write.  My own journey or experiences from class will continue to inspire my writing, but I also have a few important older series that I will update. If you have specific topics that you would like me to address, please email or comment below. I would love to hear your questions or ideas.

Moving On

Last night I just started another Awaken Love class with 15 amazing women. Watching the light bulbs go on still amazes me. Seeing the transformation leaves me speechless. When women come ready to do the work, God moves. Alongside my regular classes, I am praying for opportunities to help churches equip more teachers in new territories.

2020 is going to be a great year. I can’t wait to see what surprises God has for Awaken Love. Welcome back and let’s have some fun.

Comments on the Blog – What the Heck

Recently I got the wind knocked out of my sails. Life is not always as it seems – especially on the internet or on the blog. Ministry has been going well with speaking engagements, Awaken Love classes, opportunities at a large church and a few podcasts. But I felt really excited about the  traffic and comments on my blog. After years of writing, engagement finally increased as I tried to write posts geared towards questions and comments on the blog.

Engagement on the Blog

With lots of comments from wives asking questions about a wife giving oral sex, I did not shy away from the topic. After all, God did create oral sex, and it can act as a very intimate way to connect in marriage. Respectful information might empower women to make the best choices based on their situation.

But last week, comments on the blog really took off. Women started sharing how they had tried swallowing for the first time and it felt amazing. Soon others women piped in with congratulations, encouragement, or their own experience. By the end of the weekend, at least 4 women commented about their first time. It all felt a little surreal, and maybe a little off, but it wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before.

Just a few weeks ago, a woman from an Awaken Love class had emailed me. After years of thinking things were good, her husband had expressed a desire that challenged her ideas. Though the situation required hard conversations, and courage to move outside her norm, she had finally done it and felt excited. Class had provided the impetus to consider new possibilities. Women from class often thank me and the comments from the blog didn’t feel that different.

Everything changed when I received an email about the blog from a friend. He said, “have you noticed the similarity in writing styles from the women commenting recently. I have a feeling it is the same person writing under different names…”

Distorting the Blog

I suddenly felt sick. Was it possible that someone had been toying with me? Using the blog to manipulate women by sharing made up stories.

I’ve never paid much attention to who commented, because I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt. I usually focus on moderating content that feels negative or too graphic. Suddenly I knew I needed to investigate about who was commenting.

As I started scrolling through the comments, evidence quickly piled up. One particular IP number attached to comments from Audrey, Julie, Michelle, Stephanie, Thomas, Laurie, Kim, Brittany, Erica, Audrey, Janelle, Crystal….. 124 comments, all connected to one IP address. And this doesn’t touch on other IP addresses this person may have used. For months, someone had been pretending to be other people in order to manipulate, coerce and create the narrative they wanted.

It felt icky.

I felt angry, sad, violated.

I thought the blog provided a safe place for people to share. Instead someone had created the conversation they wanted to hear from women. They had taken my calling to help others find freedom in their marriage bed and distorted it for their own gratification.

Though the blog is not the main part of my ministry, this abuse shook me to the core.

I am sorry that comments on my blog were misrepresented.

I want my website to be a safe place. Moving forward I will require emails connected to comments. I will also keep better track of IP addresses and block questionable ones to try and avoid a similar situation. And to the best of my ability, the blog comments from the suspect IP address will be deleted. But the reality is, I have little control of truth telling with comments on the blog.

People that comment, can say whatever they want. Nobody really knows the dynamics of their marriage. People can comment and  ask questions to gather artillery to convince their spouse to do what they want. They can steer discussion by sharing what supposedly is their personal experience.

Should people be given the benefit of the doubt? Should you listen to their advice?  Someone might even pretend to be hundreds of different people. Though the anonymity of blogs might provide a first step in looking for the truth about sex, they also provide plenty of opportunities to distort the truth. For me, blogs cannot compare to the transformation and growth that happens when people talk face to face.

Face to Face

There is a reason that I love Awaken Love classes. Sitting in a room of women, I don’t just interpret words on a screen, I hear from their heart. They are real people, with real challenges and struggles, but with the integrity to be honest and know. They have the courage to show up face to face to talk about sex. Unraveling the lies they’ve believed and talking about their baggage provides healing. Recognizing the many ways that silence informed their ideas about sex stirs them to change the world for others.

Though I will continue to write on the blog, hopefully with a greater awareness, my main focus has, and always will be encouraging people to take Awaken Love classes. When we open up the conversation of sex in healthy ways, then we begin to change the culture of sex. If my writing has meant anything to you, will you take the next step and host and Awaken Love class with some friends. God does His best work in community.

Have a Merry Christmas.

I plan on enjoying some time away from my computer. See you in January.

Husbands – Do You Want a Better Sex Life?

Many husbands are under the perception that if their wife just fixed her issues with sex, their problems would disappear. But marriage is a two-way street. Both husbands and wives have things to learn in order to create intimacy. If you want a better sex life,  will you invest just $20 to take Awaken Love Men’s Edition and learn how to love your wife better? Discover just how intimate your marriage can be!!

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Why Do Women Host an Awaken Love Video Class

Rarely do women sign up to host an Awaken Love video class by finding my website. Without a personal recommendation from a trusted friend, they can’t imagine taking the chance.  Much safer to just stay with the status quo, or work on things quietly by reading blogs or listening to podcasts. But every once in a while, someone from the website has the courage to host a video class.

Recently I received this powerful testimony…

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Invite me to Speak about Sex – a New Perspective

Men and women hunger for a new perspective about sex. After years of silence from our families or the church, we know things need to change. Couples need to understand God’s intent for sex, have a safe place to seek help or healing and receive compassion for their struggle. This year I had the privilege to speak to over a dozen different groups about sex and it was an amazing experience. I love to watch the defenses fall away as men and women realize I do not offer the same old messages. Invite me to speak about sex and you will hear a new perspective.

For instance, you will never hear me say to wives, “Your husband needs sex”. I won’t even encourage husbands to,  “help your wife more around the house”. We’ve already heard those messages plenty of times. In a world that has completely distorted sex, we don’t just need a band aid. We need a new mindset. (more…)

Hear a new perspective about sex

Authentic Intimacy – A Great Resource and Podcast

I have always respected Juli Slattery’s ministry Authentic Intimacy. She is a trailblazer in all areas of Christian sexuality – from marriage, to singleness to navigating issues like LGBTQ. In the past I’ve written about her book Rethinking Sexuality, but she offers many valuable resources –  books, webinars, podcasts and conferences. This year I had the honor of sharing  about my story and Awaken Love on her Java with Juli podcast. 

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