Talking About Sex in the Church – Walking the Tightrope

I have taught sex classes to Christian men and women for over 6 years. I have also written pretty detailed instruction articles on the blog for everything from oral sex, to frenulum orgasm, to how to enjoy intercourse. Along the way I have wrestled with what topics I should address and what felt like too much. At what point would I lose my audience because I wanted to educate and provide answers? Where is the line between respectful instruction and graphic detail? How do I vulnerably share the struggles and triumphs of working on my own sex life without letting people into my bedroom?

The lines for teaching about sex require careful discernment and humility. Though you may never  teach sex classes, I believe that only ways Christians can take sex back from the world, is by talking about sex. Like Juli Slattery says in Rethinking Sexuality, instead of letting the world disciple us about sex, the church, meaning us, need to disciple others about sex. We have to learn to talk about sex and walk the tight rope between helpful information, and going too far.

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Talking About Sex in the Church – RETHINKING SEXUALITY

After 6 years of teaching Awaken-Love to Christian wives and husbands, I am painfully aware of the need to talk about sex in the church. But we cannot limit ourselves to just talking about sex within marriage. God created us as sexual beings from the time we were born. We need to understand what the bible says about all areas of sexuality and even equip ourselves to minister to others.  Dr. Juli Slattery has written an amazing book and curriculum called Rethinking Sexuality that is both grounded in truth and steeped in grace.

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Understanding and Handling a “No” – Sexual Rejection

Those of us bold enough to initiate sex will eventually hear the dreaded word “no” from our spouse. How we react to that “no” will either move us toward disconnection or create greater intimacy in marriage. Though hearing a “no” is never easy and can literally throw us into a tail spin, we have the power to choose how we react. We can refuse to make the “no” personal and instead lean into connection regardless of whether we have sex.

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Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot – Encourage Your Husband

As much as we want our husbands to be more romantic, work on intimacy or better meet our needs, we have a hard time not shooting ourselves in the foot. Even when our husband tries, we complain, or negate their attempts until eventually they just give up. The best way to encourage growth in your husband is to get excited about the small steps he takes.

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Does Your Husband Initiate Sex?

I have this theory that in many marriages, wives train their husband not to initiate sex until we give the signal that we are open for business. We like to control our lives, including when and where we have sex. So, we develop subtle, or not so subtle signals. Maybe we linger as we kiss, or we touch more than usual, or we just tell him, “do you want to have sex tonight?” And our husband simply waits.

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Creating Community at Awaken-Love

When I first found Christian sex blogs, I quickly realized that I learned as much from reading the comments as from the articles. The information authentically shared by individuals gave me a window into the struggles and triumphs of men and women just like me and my husband. But this window didn’t just inform me, it spurred me on towards growth. As I heard the testimonies of others I began to believe that God could change me too. Community creates growth, whether in person during an Awaken-Love class or anonymously on the Awaken-Love blog.

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The Importance of Dreaming

This weekend I met a young mom at a craft fair selling beautiful pottery and we struck up a conversation. I shared that I also used to create things during naptime to help keep my sanity as a young mom. When I admitted that I don’t get down to the woodshop much anymore, she asked, “So what do you do now?”

Without missing a beat, my oldest daughter replied, “She’s writing a book.”

“What about?”, she asked.

In a split moment I had to discern, am I supposed to tell her what I really do?

“The book is going to be about sex. I actually teach sex classes to Christian Wives”, I quietly offered.

“That’s awesome!”, she said, “It is so needed! I would totally be interested in something like that. I’ve got to introduce you to my husband!”

As she enthusiastically shared with her husband what I do, I heard him quietly say, “I thought we were doing okay.”

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The Power of Righteous Anger

“Does anyone else here feel angry!”

It wasn’t the first time a woman had said this during an Awaken-Love class. A righteous anger boiled up as she realized how God’s gift of sex had been distorted. That same distortion had impacted not only others, but her own marriage bed. A righteous anger that I pray fuels the power for change – not just for herself but for others.

Messages About Sex

We had just finished sharing how we learned about sex as kids. Women were aghast as they realized how few good messages they received. People with the greatest influence in our lives, parents, pastors and extended family, shared few positive messages about sex. “No wonder we struggle so much with sex” we thought to ourselves.

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The Importance of Non-Sexual Touch

I often speak to young Moms about the importance of keeping sex alive even while raising kids.  It has been years since my 4 girls were babies, and much of it seems like a fog, but sex definitely was not at the top of my priority list. I have been thinking about what I wish I had done differently to navigate through baby land. One of my biggest mistakes was limiting non-sexual touch.

I remember spending long days at home chasing little kids, wiping noses, reading with a full lap of girls, and rocking babies to sleep. When my husband arrived home, the last thing I wanted was for him to touch me – especially if it might lead to sex.  And so I kept my distance from him. I didn’t linger with my kisses, I didn’t cuddle too long before I rolled away from him in bed, and I pushed him away.

Ultimately I wanted to protect my husband. I didn’t want to lead him on and later disappoint him. But limiting non-sexual touch, not only impacted my drive, but trained my husband to expect sex on the days that I allowed him to touch me. And his expectations for sex after non-sexual turned me off even more.  So the pattern began.

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Using our Words during Sex

Sometimes, more than touch, I need my husband to take me someplace using his words. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because it helps me get out of my own head. Words can be powerfully erotic and can immediately take me to another place. They can turn vanilla sex into steaming hot sex, even though we are in the same bed, wearing the same outfit and doing the same things. Words can transport me in a way that touch cannot. They communicate a presence and a connectedness beyond the physical to your mind and soul.

Words are powerful, just look at how women devour erotic novels. Wives would rather read about sex than actually enjoy it. Chat rooms are filled with people that would rather seduce each other anonymously than communicate to their spouse about what turns them on. We can easily fall into twisting the power of words to avoid the hard work of developing intimacy with our spouse.

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