Discover Real Intimacy – Awaken Love Book

Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage

Releases TODAY on Amazon!!

God has changed me in so many ways. Sometimes I worry that I will forget how far I’ve come – from a wife afraid to fail and content to fill her life with activities and busyness, to a confident, sensual, beautiful woman constantly seeking more intimacy with her husband and with God. I want to remember; to dig deep and stand in awe of what God has done in my life, and in the lives of the women in class. Today my new book Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage releases on Amazon. I pray that through it you will not only have a better understanding of God’s design for sex, but that you will encounter Jesus’s redeeming love.

It feels both exciting and terrifying as I release a part of myself into the world. In Awaken Love I share my story about discovering the importance of sex, but I also reveal the battles I have faced along the way. Intimate sex does not come easily or naturally. In a world filled with lies and brokenness I had to uncover God’s truth and healing to claim freedom. I had to open myself up to new experiences, learn about my body, and start talking about sex with my husband. Deep intimacy comes with vulnerability. I could not have done it without depending on Jesus.

What Awaken Love Is

I wrote Awaken Love to help wives discover the sex life God wants for them. Though God created men and women very different, God wants wives to enjoy and cherish sex as much as their husbands. In fact, wives have important things to bring to the table, or should I say the marriage bed. Wives will stretch their husband to move beyond the mechanics of sex toward intimate connection. Though Awaken Love is written to women, the book is packed with stories and information that will help a husband understand God’s design for sex, the battles his wife faces, and how her body works. Awaken Love offers an honest look into how to create real intimacy in marriage, so you can find freedom in the marriage bed.

Filled with relatable stories and practical examples, the book will challenge you to move beyond head knowledge to heart knowledge. Discussion questions throughout the chapters will encourage you to bring sex out of the silence and start talking with your husband, friends or even your kids. Action Items at the end of each chapter will help you take steps of growth. The book is not theoretical it is real life.

Awaken Love offers everything women need to create the sex life they want; from understanding God’s design for sex, to unraveling the lies, baggage and brokenness that impact their freedom. With practical examples the book will equip you to both communicate and create excitement using words. The book will educate women about their bodies, how to make intercourse connecting and even different delights that create fun and excitement. Along the way we dive into the importance of feeling wanted and desired. When we change ourselves, we can change the message of sex for the next generation.

Final Thoughts

I have witnessed God’s transformation countless times when I teach classes to women and watch them awaken to the truth about sex. As I share my story and the stories of women in class, I pray that you will understand the power of sex to create intimacy. But more than that, I pray that you will understand how much Jesus loves you.

 

 

Get your copy of Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage

p.s. If you live in the Twin Cities I would love to have you join me for my book release party on Friday Sept 21. Please RSVP on Eventbrite 

Practicalities of Talking About Sex in the Church

The world is screaming at us about sex. Non stop sexual advertising, pornography, TV shows and movies all constantly communicate the worlds standards and ideas. The church remains shockingly silent. Which in itself communicates something about sex, doesn’t it?The only way for the church to take sex back for the world is to start talking about sex. And not just in vague spiritual ways. People are looking for real answers!

You don’t wait for your pastor to lead the charge. They have their own brokenness they are dealing with. If you know and understand God’s truth about sex, then you need to start talking about sex. With your kids, your friends, and people  you mentor. We have to speak the truth about sex , but how?

I want to share some things I’ve learned from the past six years of teaching and writing about sex in the church, in hopes that it will give you the courage to start talking.

Depersonalize

Most conversations can be depersonalized. You don’t need to share specific details about you and your spouse Rather you can talk in terms of,” most men or women…. “  To communicate empathy, you could say something like, “a lot of us have trouble with….” Talk in terms of general categories like men,women or Christians.

Educate don’t Prescribe – we are all unique

Every single person and couple are unique. We come with different baggage, insecurities and even physical bodies. What works great for you may not for someone else. Our job is not to prescribe or convince but to educate and let individuals discern what is right for them. Don’t start giving people “you shoulds“.

Use personal stories  – only when it helps them understand.

Sharing your own personal stories of struggle can be a great way to encourage others and to help them understand what you have learned. Share in general ways and filter everything through God and what He has taught you.

Focus on yourself, not your spouse

Always focus on yourself and what you’ve learned, not on your spouse. Always shift the focus from their frustration with their spouse, to what they can do different. Don’t ever take sides because you have only heard one side of the story.

Avoid first person – they should not be able to visualize you and your husband

When talking about the physical aspects of sex, always avoid speaking in first person, as if you are telling a story. What you say should not cause someone to visualize what you and your husband do in your marriage bed. Don’t say things like, ” The other night I was ….

If you can’t say it in person, then don’t say it.

Years ago, I woke up in a panic when I realized I had taken readers into my marriage bed by describing a scene. After retracting the article, I wrestled with where the lines are when I write about sex. I decided that I should never write something that I was not willing to say face to face with someone else. If I can’t teach it in a class, then I shouldn’t write it. Though you may not write about sex, many of us communicate using text or social media. Be very careful and don’t say what you aren’t willing to say in person.

Final Thoughts

People are looking for answers in the area of sexuality and it is a huge opportunity to minister to others. Instead of waiting for your pastor to start talking about sex, become a resource to others. Though we need to be careful about what we say, our attitude, comfort and tone communicate as much as our words.  Help others learn that we can talk about sex in good and healthy ways. Maybe even consider leading an Awaken Love class!

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.

Providing the Whole Story

From the first class I taught, I always believed that women needed the whole story about sex. How could I just tell women how wonderful God intended sex to be in marriage without providing answers about how their body worked, or how to make sex fun and creative. As part of the class,women are emailed a short article about sex every day. Some of the articles get, shall we say, “pretty detailed”. I don’t send the articles to try to convince the women to participate in certain activities. Rather I send the articles to educate and empower them. I want them to decide with their husband what to enjoy in their marriage bed. I want to open their minds to consider the amazing freedom God gives us. We cannot provide answers to the spiritual aspects of sex without providing real answers on how to create a mutually enjoyable experience.

Respectful Details

Some of my favorite books about sex are secular books, Orgasms by Lou Paget and She Comes First by Ian Kerner. I like the books because they provide detailed suggestions for technique without becoming graphic. Using black and white sketches they make sense out of positions and acts in order to enjoy each other.  They depersonalize the information while still capturing the importance of relationship. When I teach or write, I try to provide important details that will help you to create the experience you want with your spouse. I don’t need to personalize instructional details.

Connecting with Stories

One of the most important principles we need to understand about sex is that it is a journey. I do not have everything figured out, and I never will. Through vulnerably sharing my own struggles, I hope that you will connect with my story of constant growth. Snowboarders say, if you don’t fall once in a while, than you aren’t learning anything new. The same is true in our sex life and in intimacy with God. If you don’t feel bruised once in a while, than you haven’t stretched yourself. If you don’t feel scared out of your wits once in a while, then you don’t really need God. I share my struggles because I want to spur you on to experience the highs and lows of going for it.

Final Thoughts

I consider how I speak and write about sex to be a reflection of Christ that is within me. If I am going to maintain credibility with church leadership or even other Christians, I have to understand that I must handle the topic of sex with the utmost care and humility.

But learning to communicate respectfully about sex is not just an issue for me or other Christian bloggers. If we are going to start talking about sex in the church, then we all need to figure out how to walk this tight rope. The best resource for a young bride in the church should be sitting down one on one with a married friend. Women struggling to enjoy sex, should find encouragement and guidance from married girl friends. Guys looking for answers should find Godly men willing to move beyond joking to have a serious conversation packed with answers. We all need to learn to talk about sex in respectful ways.

So next time I would like to share some of the practicalities that I have learned about talking about sex in the church.

 

 

Baggage Impacts Feeling Beautiful

Past sexual baggage impacts how we feel about ourselves. Whether your were rarely asked out on a date, or felt like all boys were interested in, was your body. Maybe we used our body to feel important and turn a boys eyes, or maybe we have experienced rejection and now hide to protect ourselves. Most of us have some kind of sexual baggage that has changed how we feel about our body. An important step in feeling beautiful is to recognize and heal from past sexual baggage.

My Story

At college I majored in Engineering. Classes filled with boys maybe had one other girl in class. Even with the odds highly in my favor, dates were practically nonexistent. Another sign of just how unattractive I was.  So I focused on my studies.

My senior year in college I met my husband at a bar with a mutual group of engineering students. From that point on, God started crossing our paths on campus. Months later, when Jim finally asked me out on a date, I fell head over heels in love and announced to my roommates, “I am going to marry him”.

When I met Jim, I was a virgin but I knew he had 2 serious past relationships. So I figured if he was going to fall in love with me, I needed to initiate sex. I was the one that brought up the conversation about sex, got on birth control and helped plan for the big night.

The Impact

After years of never feeling like my husband thought I was beautiful, the pieces began to fall in place, and I started to  understand the reason why. Since I fell in love first and since I initiated sex, I had 2 choices. I could believe that …

  1. Jim was trying to be a better man and do things different
  2. Jim was not really attracted to me. I just made a good practical choice for a wife.

Something that I’ve learned after teaching sex classes to over 600 women, is that it is a rare thing for women not to have baggage about our attractiveness that impacts our marriage. We may have been being whistled at – or not. Maybe men used  us – or we felt ignored. Our husband might have pushed boundaries or struggled to keep their eyes pure.  We may have used our body to get guys…

We are not going to go into sexual baggage, but I want you to understand that sexual baggage can profoundly affect what we believe about our bodies and our beauty. There are reasons we feel the way that we feel. When we face our past and unravel those reasons, then they don’t hold so much power.

Nobody is to blame for my past experiences, they just happened. They helped to create empathy and compassion in me. But they also caused me to believe lies about myself. Even when Jim told me he was crazy about me, I didn’t believe him.

Understanding my past baggage has helped me to believe the truth. My husband is crazy about me and thinks that I am absolutely beautiful. Vulnerably talking through our past has helped me to believe the truth.

Have you sorted through baggage that impact how you feel about your desirability or beauty?

Get Outside and Have Some Fun

I love the long days of summer to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. To get out from behind my computer, phone or the tv and just enjoy nature. To move beyond the sterile smells of my house to smell the lilies awakens my soul.

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What Wine Can Teach Us About Enjoying Sex

Women in class commonly share that wine helps them get in the mood for sex.  A little wine helps them to not only relax  and let go of the stress and worries, but it helps them feel less inhibited. These women know that the best sex happens when they let loose. But is it possible that we could learn to relax, feel sensuous, and express ourselves, even without a glass of wine to help? Maybe God wants to use sex to teach us about life.

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The Critical Moments before Her Orgasm

Most women understand how critical the moments are just before orgasm. In an instant we can go from being “right there”, to “dang it, what happened!”  When we have to, we can learn to roll with the punches and circle around to take another run at it. But when husbands understand the critical moments before orgasm, they can increase the odds their wife finishes the first round.

The easiest way for a husband to tune into the ways his wife’s body is during during manual or oral stimulation. So though the principles translate to intercourse, our discussion will be in terms of manual or oral stimulation.

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Four Practical Ideas to Demystify Romance

Romance. That dreaded word so many men hate. Gestures met with disregard from a wife feel like a huge letdown. Plans changed or tweaked communicate it’s never good enough. Unmet expectations that culminate in hurt feelings create paralyzing pressure. Trying to figure out romance feels like an opportunity for failure.  So why even try?

But the word romance simply means to pursue. To tell our spouse by our words or actions, “ I care about you” or “I want you.” To not take them for granted but to continue wooing them. As our relationship matures, we become more in tune to their desires and what gives them a thrill. Romance communicates how well we know our spouse.

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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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