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.

We are all sexually broken. Our attitudes about sex have been impacted by the world. Satan loves nothing more than to drive us into shame and hiding. Great sex does not happen naturally like the movies promise. When I speak on sex, I won’t pretend I have all the answers, but I will offer compassion. I have been where you are. I am a simple ordinary wife that understands the hurt, confusion and frustrations associated with God’s gift. But I also know the importance of great sex for marriages.

Compassion

Creating an amazing sex life in marriage that lasts a life time takes hard work. We all have sexual brokenness whether it is the baggage of seeing porn, promiscuity before marriage or purity messages that made us feel like sex is dirty. We all buy into lies like “men only want sex”, “a woman that likes sex is a slut”, or “intercourse will satisfy every woman”. Many of us don’t really understand how our bodies work, how our spouse works or how to intimately connect during sex. Sex takes work and we need God’s help.

Many of us divide God from sexuality. We might know He created it, but surely, He doesn’t want to know about my sexual struggles. We somehow think that sexual sin is the unforgivable sin. Even after we ask forgiveness from God, we continue to punish ourselves. God cares about your sexuality. He wants you to be whole, and to experience freedom. He wants us to learn to create an intimate connection during sex. It models the intimacy God wants to have with us.

Over and over when I speak about sex, I have watched the walls fall down and the light bulbs turn. The best thing we do for our sex life is to involve God and to see His will.  When we begin to believe that He cares and that He wants us to experience healing and freedom, people’s lives change. When we receive each other with love and grace then we act as the hands and feet of Jesus.

God’s Intent for Sex

The world has made sex into a God and twisted and distorted in until it is hardly recognizable. When you use God’s word as your guide you discover truth and freedom that will blow your mind. Song of Songs portrays sizzling connection brought to life by using all of the senses. At a time when women were anything but equals, Solomon’s bride expresses herself, asks for what she wants, day dreams about his body and plans an outdoor adventure for the two of them.

One of the most profound ways to discern God’s truth about sex comes from Eph 5:31-32. We learn oneness in marriage is a picture of intimacy with Christ. This concept will rock your world and dispel any lies you’ve believed about sex. Every assertion I hear about sex, I measure against intimacy with Christ.

One of the most shocking truths about sex comes from 2 Sam 12:24. After David and Bathsheba have lost their child, it says, “then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her.” Rather than wives feeling used through sex, God intended that we receive comfort from our husband.

God’s word even gives us insight into how we should have sex. Gen 4:1 Kjv says, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.”  God intended that we get to know each other through sex. This is the key to making sex exciting and meaningful for both husbands and wives. Sex is not just about getting to the finish line. God wants us to intimately connect during sex. That takes learning to be present, using our senses and focusing on the journey more than the destination. We have much to learn about God’s design for sex in marriage.

We must understand and embrace God’s radical truths  about sex.

Equip

When I speak about sex, I don’t want to just teach. I want to equip and empower.  Sexuality cannot be boiled down to a bunch of rules. We all come from our own backgrounds and baggage. We are constantly evolving and changing and so is our marriage. Together with God and our spouse we must learn to discern what is beneficial for us. I don’t have all the answers for you but God does.

Equipping means helping you move beyond just understanding sex with your mind, to putting things into practice. Much of sexuality feels hard to put into words. Song of Songs doesn’t instruct, it helps you visualize or feel. Rather than just communicate with words, I try to incorporate experiential exercises to bring concepts to life.

People can learn to enjoy the journey through mindfulness exercises that help them stay present. Rubbing versus feeling can help them understand how to get to know each other. Couples start to understand the dynamics of leading and following through hands on couples exercises. Group or couple mixer questions model how to open up the conversations that lead to great sex.

The most important long-term skill to create a great sex life is learning to talk about sex. Modeling open, healthy conversations about sex give us permission to talk not only to our spouse but to our kids, and even as a way to encourage friends. If we want change the culture of sex, then we must start have open conversations and equip others to do the same.

Final Thoughts

One of the reasons I love talking about sex is because it provides a wake-up call for change. When we feel stuck with no one to talk too, we give up and think, “this is just the way it is going to be.” God never intended for sex to be boring! It is supposed to get sweeter and sweeter with each year of marriage.

Things can change. They can be better. They can be amazing. But we need to believe it is possible and go after more. Quite often men or women that hear me speak follow up by taking an Awaken Love class. Over the course of 6 weeks, while supported by a community of people going after the same goal, real lasting transformation happens.

If you want to offer a new perspective on sex, invite me to come and speak to your group.

Open up the conversation of sex and see what God does.

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. 

Juli and I have amazingly similar stories. Both of us experienced a spiritual awakening that woke us up to the importance of sex in marriage.  We both started ministries addressing sexuality by creating studies to help wives embrace their sexuality. Neither one of us ever expected to teach on sex and definitely did not go looking for it. But God called us into it. Though we face challenges we know that God is doing a work.

I highly recommend you check out Authentic Intimacy and the resources they offer. While you are at it, take a listen to my podcast with Juli, When God ‘Wakes Up’ Your Love Life.”And if you find it helpful, share it with a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivating a Soil that Receives God’s Truth About Sex

When I read The Bible, I constantly filter everything through the ministry that I do with Awaken Love. Though I know the bible exists to help us know God, it also holds many truths for living out our faith and our calling. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer that scattered the seed. Jesus is helping the disciples learn that not everything is in their control when they tell others about Jesus. Some will receive Him, and some won’t, depending on the kind of soil.  I find the parable helpful as I follow my calling of helping others embrace God’s truth about sex. Some soil is hard, some is rocky, some is filled with thorns and some soil is fertile. All I am responsible for is speaking God’s truth.

Hard Soil

Some seed falls on hard soil, like a footpath walked on over and over. The beaten down surface cannot even absorb water without much back breaking labor. So, the seed never sprouts.

Wounded people covered with walls of protection cannot hear the truth about sex. They have shut themselves off, lest they face their past. Receiving the truth about sex will require them to chip away at hardened hearts to expose painful memories. They might have to turn their lives upside down and experience pain, grief, or regrets. Allowing themselves to feel will cause much pain, but will also create much joy and  real intimacy.

Shallow Soil

Some seed falls on shallow soil. Though the top is fertile, underneath is covered with rocks. The seed quickly sprouts, but without deep roots, a little dry weather causes the young sprouts to wither and die.

Many women quickly embrace God’s truth about sex. Initially filled with excitement, they can’t wait for things to change. But creating intimacy requires vulnerability, honesty, courage and persistence. Embracing God’s truth about sex will require that we remove the rocks – the lies that we believe, the baggage that impacts us, and the patterns that have formed. We must not only understand God’s truth but takes steps of action to change our reality. If we want to create intimacy then we must let our spouse know all of us, and have the courage to know them – even their brokenness. If  they don’t let their belief run deep, a little adversity will quickly cause them to just give up and stop trying.

Thorns

Some seed fell among the thorns and weeds. Though the seed quickly sprouted and grew, with time the weeds choked it out.

Some women not only embrace God’s truth about sex, but start putting things into action. Excited by the new growth they try new things, start communicating with their husband, and experience a new level of intimacy. But when the newness has worn off, life creeps back in – phones, computers, kids, ministry, work. Without the reminders of class, they stop planning new things or even finding the time to connect on a regular basis. Worries begin to seep in and they wonder if they really did receive healing from their past. Maybe they just weren’t made to enjoy sex. Maybe sex is not that big a deal.

Fertile

Some seeds fell on fertile soil and grew tall and strong.  They even produced new seeds – 30, 60 or even 100 times what was originally planted.

Some women embrace God’s truth about sex and grow deep roots. Even when they face challenges, they fight for their sex life and don’t give up. They keep learning about their spouse and exposing more of themselves. Working on their sex life improves other areas of their marriage too – communication, emotional intimacy, and feeling like a team even through the struggles. They don’t hide or keep secrets from each other.

Embracing God’s design for sex not only impacts them but it impacts others. They constantly talk to their kids about sex to help them navigate culture and look forward to marriage. Friends know who to go to when they have questions about sex. Even at church they constantly look for opportunities to share the truth about sex. Working on their sex life, not only impacts them but others.

Cultivating Your Soil

I love to garden but sometime the soil is not ideal. If the surface is hard, I use a pick ax or shovel to loosen it up to let water and nutrients in. Rocks must be removed to let the roots grow deep. Pulling weeds becomes a constant battle that gets easier with persistence. I add nutrients on a regular basis to encourage growth and keep the soil loose. With hard work, courage and persistence I create a beautiful garden.

We can change our soil too.  Regardless of your past experiences, you can experience healing, but it will take hard work. You will need to remove the coping mechanisms and protective walls to open your heart to the truth. Steps of actions and faith will let the truth sink in deep. You will need to guard your time together and intentionally plan dates, or even just going to be early. Make hard decisions to care for your marriage. Create fertile soil by surrounding yourself with others that value marriage and intimacy. Spend time connecting with God and get your strength from Him. God will not force us to embrace His truth but He will be with us every step of the way.

How do you tend your soil?

Understand God’s Intention About Sex

I have met all kinds women in Awaken-Love classes. Many have healthy marriages, but just as many have real struggles.  Some women hate sex or have a husband dealing with porn. Every once in a while, a woman in the midst of real crisis attends. An affair or porn has devastated her marriage, and she and her husband are trying to rebuild. Though the road is not easy, they inherently understand that embracing God’s gift of sex is part of the answer to create the intimate marriage they desire. Regardless of where women are, what they’ve been told, or what they’ve experienced – even if they are separated and their marriage might not survive – they need to understand God’s intention for sex.

Learning God’s Intention

Many women walk in on the first day of an Awaken Love class as strangers, secretly carrying wounds, disillusionment, and confusion. Stifled by the silence surrounding the topic of sex from their family and church, they courageously jump at the opportunity to find answers. Over the course of six weeks, as they learn what God wants for them, their views, mindsets, and attitudes on sex are turned upside down.  Women wrestle to cross the chasm separating them from where they are—feeling dirty, disappointed, duty-bound, drained, or disinterested—to the place where they can begin to believe that sex is an awesome gift from God to women, as well as men.

Armed with God’s truth about sex, women understand what direction to move or even what boundaries to set as they navigate brokenness. As I share about God’s intention for sex, sometime the tears stream down a woman’s face because she has never experienced anything remotely close to intimacy during sex. Sitting through class is hard, but she begins to see God’s vision for her, and it gives her hope. God is a good God. He intended for marriages to experience extravagant, intimate connection during sex.

Uncovering the Lies

During class, we talk about the reasons we feel the way we do about sex. We recognize that our negative ideas and attitude come from somewhere, and we go searching for those sources. We talk about the messages we received about sex from our families, churches, schools, friends and culture. Every lie, or wrong message the world has told us about sex gets dug up.

Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. We begin to see how we got to this lonely place. Women listen to each other’s stories of shame or regret and somehow, we find that we don’t feel so alone. We create a judgement-free zone to gently help each other move toward God’s design for our sex life. Through community, prayer, and God’s grace, women begin walking toward freedom. It is an amazing thing to watch.

I have grieved alongside wives as they shared their husband’s struggle with porn. I have felt the shame men and women carry from porn, erotica, or masturbation. People that grew up in the purity culture struggle to believe that God wants them to enjoy freedom and passion in their marriage bed.  Living in a broken world feels hard and complicated Yet uncovering the lies and dealing with our baggage is an opportunity for growth and for change. It invites us to understand the healing of our heavenly Father and see Him work miracles. As we bring God into our conversations about sex, we find freedom.

Final Thoughts

We need to understand the battle. The battle is not won by white-knuckling or denying our sexuality. The battle is won by creating what God wanted for us—intimacy – to be known. Rather than hanging onto isolation and shame, we must courageously share our story and create opportunities for others to share theirs. In Awaken Love classes, regardless of your past, or your present, you stories will be received with compassion and grace.  Just like Jesus did, we speak truth in love, extend grace, and offer hope and healing.

We all have had different experiences, and our own unique journeys.  Even if your marriage is a mess, God wants you to know what real intimacy looks like.  Regardless of the health of your marriage,  I pray that God has something for you as you learn about His intention for sex.

3 Ways to Embrace Godly Sexual Passion

Seven years ago when I had my awakening, one of the Christian Sex Bloggers that I stumbled upon was Julie Sibert from IntimacyinMarriage.com. She writes with wit and a don’t beat around the bush attitude. Julie has a ton of wisdom and experience helping others in their sex life and today I am honored to have Julie guest post. Enjoy!

I didn’t always have a good grasp on godly sexual passion. Fortunately, I learned! And along the way, I have encouraged others. Maybe that’s why you’ve landed at this blog post today. You want more godly sexual passion in your marriage and you’re curious what it will take to experience that.

Here are 3 ways to get there… 

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Fun Ideas to Make Your Summer Sizzle

I can’t wait for summer! Long days of lazy sun. Fishing off the dock. Hot steamy nights with my husband. And reading a great book on sex at the beach. If you haven’t read Awaken Love or have a friend that wants to learn about the best sex, it is ON SALE this week. Just $10.99 for the paperback or $2.99 for Kindle. Grab a copy and get ready for summer.

And enjoy the fun ideas to take advantage of summer and create some memories.

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Undone Redone Podcast of Awakening Your Sex Life

I had the privilege to sit down and talk with Melody and Tray from Undone Redone last week and share a little bit about Awaken Love. They know first hand the pain of sexual addiction and the freedom of recovery. Tray and Melody started an amazing ministry to help both husbands and their spouses experience healing. But God wants us to move beyond purity to embrace His gift of sex. On this episode we talk about embracing God’s design for sex – even after an addiction.

You can listen to the podcast or watch the video on the Undone Redone podcast.

If you struggle with sexual addiction or have a spouse that struggles, please check out their resources at Undone Redone. Don’t wait to get help. God wants you to be whole.

 

Opportunities to Reclaim Territory

I often wear my Awaken Love shirt when I travel. I always think, how awesome would it be to have someone recognize me at an airport across the country. To stop me and say, “Thanks for what you are doing”. Though the internet provides challenges in safe guarding our families, it also provides opportunities to reclaim territory. The internet gives us access to people from local towns to foreign countries.

Several years ago I was vacationing with my family in McGregor, Minnesota, a tiny town of 350 people, enjoying our church camp. Midweek my husband and I drove into town to hit up the local market for a few dinner items.  I was halfway thru my shopping when an older gentlemen caught me from the side. He quietly said, ” I like your shirt. Keep doing what you are doing.” and then shuffled off to rejoin his wife.

To be honest, I hardly heard what he said, except that he liked my shirt. I had to ask my husband and when he told me, I still kept puzzling. “Are you sure he said, “keep doing what you’re doing?'” “Yes, I’m sure”, my husband replied.

I felt shocked.  Does he actually know about Awaken-Love? Is it possible that out in the middle of nowhere an older gentleman is following Awaken-Love in hopes of making his sex life better?

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Celebrate 7 Years of Awaken Love Ministry

Seven years ago, I started teaching Awaken Love. 8 dear friends came to my back porch to let me share my story of awakening to the power and importance of sex in marriage. 800 women later, I am still amazed at the transformation that happens in class. Another 700 women have been able to attend classes using videos. I am so encouraged by the women hosting video classes and sharing about Awaken Love.

This Year was a Whirl Wind

  • Finished writing, editing, formatting and designing my first book Awaken Love
  • Filmed, edited and launched a video for Engaged Couples
  • Filmed edited and launched the 6-week Men’s Edition videos and curriculum for husbands
  • Revamped Website to accommodate videos For Wives, Engaged Couples and Men’s Edition
  • Set Up regular posting on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  • Launched and sold over 1300 copies of my book Awaken Love in 8 months
  • Talked to girls in Kenya about sex
  • Over 20 Engagements Speaking About Sex to women’s and couples groups
  • Spoke to high school teens about sex for the first time

I am humbled that God is using me, encouraged by all that He is doing, and impatient for Him to do more. Many men and women still need to experience healing and freedom in their sexuality. Churches must learn to open up conversations about sex and create a safe place to bring brokenness to the light. Parents, grandparents and mentors must learn how to talk to kids about sex to change things for the next generation. I feel urgency, and hope you feel it too. But to be honest, I am also tired.

Rest in Him

Matt 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let met teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Though God has burdened my heart for speaking His truth about sex, I must resist trying to do things on my own. If God wants doors to open, then I trust that He will open them. When I teach classes and hear stories of brokenness, I have to hand them over to God. They are not mine to try to fix or to carry. Rather than striving on my own, I must continually give Awaken Love back to God. The burden He gives me is light and I must rest in Him.

Praise God with me as we celebrate the anniversary of Awaken Love.

He is good and He is faithful.

Men’s Edition – A Great Resource to Improve Your Sex Life

Finally, a great place for husbands to get good information about sex.

Men’s Edition, an amazing resource to help Christian husbands create the intimate sex life they desire.

6 videos packed with insight that Ruth has gained from teaching hundreds of wives about sex. Ruth and her husband Jim will help you understand God’s design for sex, the challenges your wife faces in embracing freedom, the complexities of her body, and how to create more intimacy during sex. Though the videos can be viewed by yourself, we encourage you to find a group of guys to join you on this journey. One of the best ways to improve your sex life is to learn to talk about it.

Less than an hour long each, the videos provide discussion questions to help you process what you learn. If we want to take sex back from the world, then we must start talking about it. Taking the class with other husbands will also provide encouragement and accountability as you challenge each other to move beyond the status quo and try something new.

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