Finding God in the Midst of Sex

While figuring out how to have a better sex life with my husband, I found God—or should I say He found me. I’ve been a Christian my entire life. Besides a short stint of rebellion during college, I have always been connected to a church body. Still, my relationship with God was more intellectual then relational. I knew God with my mind, but not so much with my heart.

Going after intimacy with my husband helped me discover a deep intimacy with God. In the midst of insecurities, I’ve crawled up into God’s lap. As tears rolled down my cheeks from frustrations of growth, I’ve felt the steadiness and comfort of a Father that knows and understands me better than I know myself.I have fallen head over heels in love with Jesus. He has captured my heart, and the more I understand sex, the more I know who God is.

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A Window into Intimacy

 Intimacy is always about our relationship with God – it is a mirror

When I started really wrestling with what God wants for me and my marriage bed, this verse rocked my world.

Ephesians 5:31-32 –For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Becoming One in marriage is a picture of intimacy with Christ.

Intimacy in Marriage

This verse gave me a frame work to start measuring what I believed about sex. I began comparing all of my ideas about sex, against my relationship with God, and it turned a lot of things up side down. I soon realized, just because something is our natural tendency, doesn’t mean that’s how God wants things to stay. He wants us to stretch and grow and that takes trusting him. I’ve written a bunch or articles based on this concept in the Mirror of Intimacy Category but a couple of ideas that immediately come to mind are…

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Tapping into the Senses for Better Sex

God created our bodies with amazing capabilities to taste, see, feel, hear and smell – and yet many of us miss out. Life is so busy, so garbled up, that instead of experiencing more, we experience less. Life is a blur and our senses become numb. We just move from place to place, keeping pace and yet missing out on so much.

Sometimes it takes intentional choices to create enough time and space to truly connect with God. I need to settle in, take a few deep breaths, release my thoughts and just be for a moment. If I want to encounter God, then I need to be still and listen for His voice. When I am out hiking, I ask God, “let me feel you”, or “let me see you”, and sometimes His answers blow me away. It takes time, it takes intentionality and it takes stretching your senses.

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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.

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To Know Our Spouse – 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.

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God Likes Marriage Steamy Hot

We are in a battle to save marriage

The way we save marriage is by making our marriage so good that our kids say,

“I want that! I want what mom and dad have!”

We save marriage by working on ourselves and learning to love each other like Christ loved the church – by putting our spouse’s needs before ours. We save marriage by committing to never consider divorce, even while working through gut wrenching pain. Rather than complaining about our spouse we take a hard look at ourselves and see what needs to change, and then pleading for God to make it so.  We save marriage by tapping into the gift of sex to make us into one, to find refreshment in each other, and to transform our marriage from lukewarm into steamy hot.

Revelation 3:16 says So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot or cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

God hates it when Christians act lukewarm. When Christians honor him with their mouth, but their heart is far from Him. To them, God is an obligation, a box on their checklist, and a duty. Rather than making real sacrifices, they serve just enough to feel good about themselves. They have no desire to know God or spend time with him and do not understand the depths of His love for them. They take care of themselves and rely on God for nothing. Worship is simply a ritual, void of awe or heart or freedom.

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Come to Me

God woos us. He calls us to come to Him. To lay down our burdens and our worries and to find Him with arms open wide. He doesn’t force us, he doesn’t manipulate us, he doesn’t barter with us. He just says “Come”.

  • Rev 3:20 – Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
  • Psalm 23:6 – Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
  • Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

God loves us, even in our sin.  He loves us even if we ignore Him, or reject Him. He loves us though we forget him or get distracted. He loves us no matter what.

Romans 5:8 says, But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

God gives us free will to choose. He could have forced us to love him. He could have forced us to serve him. He could have commanded us to bow down in worship. He could have made us into robots to do his will – but He doesn’t. He wants us to choose Him. He wants us to Come to Him.

So, if we are supposed to love our spouse like Christ loved the church then…

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It’s About the Heart

God has always been more concerned with our heart than with our actions.

  • Matthew 5:8 – God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
  • Proverbs 23:26 – Give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.
  • Joel 2:12-13 – …Give me your hearts…Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.
  • Matthew 15:8 – These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

God wants our heart. He wants us to fall head over heels in love with Him and when we do, our actions flow out of that.

I spent years trying to do the right things – going to church, studying the bible, serving – and it wasn’t until I stopped striving and just fell crazy in love with God that I really got it. God loves me so much, no matter what I do. Because He loves me, all I want to do is know Him more. I talk to Him, I go where He sends me, and I lay down what He asks me to lay down. When I am broken I run to Him. I worship Him because I must, and I cannot imagine my life without Him.

Based on Ephesians 5:31-32, if our sex life mirrors our relationship with God…

Then sex is not about going thru the motions, but it is about the heart!

I cannot tell you how many marriage books I’ve read that say, “you need to do it for your husband.” As if our husband wants us to just go through the motions – to show up and take care of his physical needs.

Honestly, I don’t think husbands are any different than God. I think they are much more interested in our heart, then in us going thru the motions. As Jim and I have taught Awaken-Love Men’s Edition, I have been struck by the singular message that men do not want their wife to just show up for sex. They want them to be engaged, to desire connection and to enjoy sex as much as they do. They want sex to flow out of their wife’s heart.We have to understand that sex is much more than a physical urge.

Sex is a way that we express what is in our heart.

Naked and Unashamed

Sex in marriage is supposed to be a little taste of what God intended in the Garden of Eden.  

To Be Naked and Unashamed.

God created us for intimacy – to be fully known – to Him and to our spouse. Because Jesus died for our sins and paid the price, we can have a face to face relationship with God. But being fully known takes courage.

I spent years trying to follow the rules, do the right thing, and take care of myself. I also spent years afraid to fail, say the wrong thing, or really show myself. When I finally understood just how broken I was, how incapable of doing anything on my own and how much I needed a savior, I was released from the burden of trying to be perfect. Jesus set me free – to fail, to let God work through me, to cry out to Him and to be myself. I let God fully know me and it has allowed me to be naked and unashamed with Him and with others.

But just like we are supposed to be Naked and Unashamed with God, we are supposed to be Naked and unashamed in marriage.

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Getting Away

Getting Away feeds our souls.

It was important to Jesus, it is important to us as individuals, and it is important to our marriage.

Jesus made it a habit to get away by himself and pray…

Luke 5:15-16 ….vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

In the midst of busyness, serving others and feeling overwhelmed Jesus escaped to find refreshment with his Father. He knew that in order to care for others, He had to care for himself by communing with God. Jesus withdrew to quiet places where no one could find him. Places without the distraction of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Places where no schedule existed and no phone rang. Jesus withdrew alone. He did not take his disciples – not even Peter, James or John. He knew that true communion happened when it was just Him and His father and sometimes He even spent all night praying.  I think these moments of solitude with God fed his soul so that He could pour himself out again.

Have you ever gotten away with God? Extended time, free from the noise of life, where just you and God exist. It might have been a solitude retreat, a day in bed, 15 minutes of quiet or a hike through the woods. God speaks so clearly when the noise is gone. Time with God leaves me refreshed to be a better mom, wife and friend,  and I could not do ministry without it.

If intimacy in marriage mirrors intimacy with Christ…

Then it is important for us to have times where we as a couple withdraw to a quiet place to commune.

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