Surrender to Pleasure

We’ve all talked about how we love variety, something just a little different than the same old, same old. Here’s something that you can do to create variety that is so simple and yet can create a very different vibe. On a night when my husband is taking the lead,  I love to lay back and stretch my arms up above my head, and gently clasp my hands together.

Sensitive Spots

Putting your arms up opens up all those delicious sensitive spots that don’t typically receive much touch. The curves where one body part meets another body part can be magical: insides of elbows, arms to torso, breast to chest. They are wonderful erogenous zones that deserve much more attention than they normally receive.

Tension

It also creates this wonderful tension through the stretching of our bodies. With our arms lifted up, our breath is felt in the gentle expansion of our rib cage as we breath in and out. You are suddenly aware of a whole new dimension of being alive.

Surrender

It is also a position of surrender. Surrender to our husbands touch, surrender to our bodies desires, surrender to whatever God would have us experience. It is putting into practice surrendering.

So this week,  Surrender to Pleasure. Put your arms up, and experience something new.

Originally Published as Put Your Arms Up on May 7, 2014

Sex Must Be Measured Against God’s Design

I’ve read a ton of books filled with different opinions about sex, but the only way I can tell what is good and right, is to measure everything against God’s design. God created sex to get to know each other, to comfort one another, to pleasure and refresh each other, and to make the two of you into one.

Getting to Know Each Other

Are you on a journey of getting to know each other – not just physically, but emotional and spiritually? Have you brought other things into your marriage bed, or is it just the two of you? Are you present during sex – mind, body and soul – or is your mind filled with worry, anxiety or pictures of others? Have you settled into a routine or are you still learning new things? Begin a journey of getting to know each other.

Comfort and Refreshment

Does sex comfort and refresh you or does it feel like one more thing to suck the life out of you? God never intended that sex become a duty. What lie have you believed about sex or about your spouse? Are you serving each other or is sex about what you can take for yourself. Sex is supposed to be this amazing gift that refreshes us and refreshes our spouse.

Pleasure

Is sex pleasurable for both or you? Women’s bodies are very different then men’s but they are capable of experiencing as much pleasure as a man. Educate yourself and discover what works for both of you. Become a lifelong learner that asks and wants to learn more. Communicate freely about your needs and allow yourself to enter into freedom.

God gave us sex to strengthen marriages but we need understand God’s design for sex and we need to live it.

Sex is a Powerful Gift from God – It is unexplainable

Sex is a powerful gift from God that connects us in ways that are unexplainable.

I don’t understand how it happens, but sex connects me to my husband in ways that are unexplainable.  When words don’t work and we can’t seem to get on the same page, sex softens us. When busyness takes over our life, sex reconnects us faster than anything else. After sex, I feel like I can hear my husband better and understand his heart. I can’t put words to what sex does, but it changes things.

When my husband and I had 4 young kids I would often shrug off his advances because I was so tired. Sometimes he would lovingly hold me as we drifted off to sleep. Other times, my husband would patiently bring me along by rubbing my back or gently tickling my skin. As I softened and my defenses weakened he would pleasure me and we would make love. I remember vividly thinking afterward, “I so needed that.”

Is it possible that when sex is totally off our radar, that is when we need sex the most? Is it possible when your husband reaches for you, he doesn’t just need a release, but he is tapping into God’s power to reconnect you through sex. Is it possible that that sex says things that words cannot.

God gave us the powerful gift of sex to connect us even when we don’t know how to reconnect on our own.

Learn to Trust

In order to experience the kind of freedom that leads to great sex, we must feel absolutely safe. Sex is this amazing journey of revealing the most intimate parts of our mind, body and soul. It can be terrifying and thrilling at the same time. We must trust ourselves enough to let our bodies lead us, and trust our spouse enough to let them see us.

Trusting Yourself

Trusting yourself has to lead back to your sense of self. It is dependent on our self-esteem and our sense of worth, and in a way, a reflection of who we believe God is. Do you believe that God created you exactly as you are? That He knows every hair on your head and He created your body to experience amazing pleasure? Do you believe that God thinks that you are absolutely beautiful? That he has a plan for you and that you can surrender to Him? If you do, then you can absolutely trust yourself and allow your body to follow the path that it takes you on.

Trusting Your Spouse

Trusting your spouse is something that hopefully grows with time. When our spouse shows us that they will treat us respectfully, gently and sensitively, trust is built. Part of the reason sex in marriage should be better than sex outside of marriage is because of the trust we have built together over the years.

If you don’t trust your spouse, you need to ask yourself why. Sometimes they may not even realize something they have done has hurt our feelings, or closed us up. We need to gently communicate how they can help us feel safe.

We also need to be careful to not be oversensitive. Sometimes I feel like a sea anemone: those funny sea creatures that live in the tide pools. They gradually open up to let their tentacles wave in the tide, but one little poke, and they instantly close up. I can be like that sometimes and it is not a pretty thing. Everything will be going along fine, and then I will misinterpret one little thing that will cause me to instantly close myself up, in protection mode. If experience has shown you that you can trust your spouse, then we need to stop being so sensitive.

Your mission this week is to build trust with your spouse. Have your spouse blind fold you and trust where he takes you.

Originally Published as Trust Yourself – Trust Your Spouse on March 28, 2014

Are You Listening to Your Body?

Do you listen to your body when you are making love? Do you hear it telling you, “oh my gosh, that feels so good”, “I want more of that”, or “touch my ______”.  Staying connected to what our body enjoys and following it where it takes us is one of the ways that sex remains fresh and new every time. But a lot of things can get in the way.

Beware of Automatic

Sometimes we just begin to do life on automatic. We fail to notice or enjoy the small pleasures that God gives us. Kissing our husbands when we greet becomes an automatic response and we aren’t even present. We are thinking about the day ahead of us and our “to do” list. But if we disengage from life, and actually feel him, and smell him and awaken our bodies to what we love, we can make a connection. It doesn’t really take any more time, it is just a different mindset.

We can also get into the rut of making love on automatic. We get our routine down to a science, and figure out what works. We miss wonderful detours that our body is taking us on. Don’t be afraid to let your husband know what your body is asking for or what it is enjoying.  It is part of revealing who you are.  Sex stays fresh because it is a constant window into our spouse and ourselves. It is God’s design that we “know” each other thru sex.It is in revealing what our bodies love that we “know” each other.

Also, beware of becoming a spectator. Our mind can get distracted if we worry about whether he’s touching us right, or whether we will have an orgasm, or whether he will last long enough, or if he’s getting tired. It is like being a photographer at a family reunion, focusing on getting the right shot, and the lighting and the background. And when it is over, we realize that we really didn’t connect at all, we totally missed the reunion. Stop watching and start feeling.

So your mission this week is to listen to what your body loves, enjoy it, follow it, share it with your husband, and see where it takes you.

Originally published as What DO You Love on March 19, 2014

God Can Transform You and Your Marriage

One of the first things I tell women taking Awaken-Love is, “What I say will not change you. The books your read will not change you. If you are looking for real transformation, you need to ask God, because He is the only one that can change you.”

God changes lives.

I know, because He has profoundly changed my life. I am nothing like the person that I used to be. He has given me the courage to feel and to intimately connect – with Him and with my husband.  I have emerged from the shadow of shame with the desire to be fully known. God has freed be from trying to create the illusion of perfection and instead trust that He can work through even my mistakes. I act different, I feel different and I look different and He just keeps changing me.

I constantly see God transform women in Awaken-Love classes.

They come carrying burdens, secrets, walls of protection and He begins slowly softening their heart. As trust builds they open up and bring hiddenness to the light. Women that are totally broken, surrender everything to God as we ask for breakthrough and return the next week to share stories of miracles. God can heal anything. He can reveal lies and bondage, He can break down walls, He can bind up the broken hearted, and He can speak his truth.  God shows up all the time.

If you want your marriage to change, then start by asking God to change you.

Helping Your Husband Battle Pornography

I am going to be perfectly frank with you, my husband has never struggled with pornography and I have never experienced the pain of betrayal. But because I teach Awaken-Love, I have walked beside a lot of women that have. It breaks my heart to see the pain that pornography causes for these women, but it also breaks my heart to see how pornography has impacted their husband.

God keeps calling me to speak into this arena, I don’t know why.  Maybe it is because I haven’t been personally impacted and so I have a different perspective.  Is it possible that what might be most helpful for a wife to do to help her husband battle pornography is the exact opposite of what every fiber in her body is telling her to do? Read more about How to Create a Safe Place for Your Husband to Share about Porn.

Maybe we need to take a huge step back and ask ourselves a few questions…

  • What is the goal in marriage? Is it connection? Being fully known and fully knowing our spouse? Or is it pretending and keeping a safe distance?
  • What do we value in our husband? Do we value a husband that is gaining the courage to be honest? Or do we value a husband that is pretending that everything is ok?
  • What do we want to encourage in our husband? Do we want to encourage our husband to be real or to be perfect?

If your husband struggles with pornography or lust, the only way he will stop, is if he wants to stop. You cannot shame him into it, you cannot force him, and you cannot police him enough to make him change. He has to be truly repentant, filled with Godly sorrow and willing to do anything to make things right. A husband that is truly repentant will do whatever it takes to rebuild trust with his wife by being an open book. A repentant husband will seek accountability partners, counselors, Celebrate Recovery or other resources to seek healing. He will not just give her lip service, but he will make changes to gain freedom and to rebuild trust in the marriage. He may have setbacks, but ground is taken back bit by bit through openness, vulnerability and honesty.

Though we cannot make our husband stop viewing pornography, there are things a wife can do to help a repentant husband gain freedom. We have the power to either inspire or deflate. Even when you feel hurt, betrayed or angry, he must know that you value his honesty and that you hate the sin, not the sinner. Communicate that you are on his side and your greatest desire is for him to experience freedom and true intimacy. So what are some practical ideas to help your husband battle lust or porn?

Take Care of Yourself

One of the most important parts of helping your husband battle porn is to take care of yourself. Do not go through this alone. Tell your husband you need a couple of safe, Godly girl friends to open up with, that will point you to God’s truth and that will pray for you. Read up on pornography, I recommend Shattered Vows by Debra Laaser, and seek out resources on healing. Meet with a counselor, support group or Celebrate Recovery Group. Forgive your husband because it is the best thing you can do for yourself, but also communicate your needs in order for him to rebuild trust. Work on yourself and your own insecurities. Why does his brokenness impact how you see yourself? Do you believe that God created you unique and beautiful? Can you be the women God wants you to be regardless of anyone else’s actions?  Seek out opportunities to connect with God and deepen your relationship because your worth must come from Him.

Understand the Battle

Getting clean from porn or lust can be harder than getting off of drugs. Your husband must hate his life of lust and porn more than the battle that he will wage for freedom. It might be 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but if he is truly repentant and moving towards healing, then Christ calls us to offer grace and forgiveness over and over. Battling pornography requires a multi-pronged approach – accountability, setting controls and going after the core issues. Habits that have taken years to form may take years to break. See his small steps of honesty, openness, connection or taking his mind captive and encourage him in order to spur him on.

Understand His Triggers

Most men have certain triggers when they reach for pornography. It might be when they are stressed from work, or feeling inadequate at home. It might be when life gets too busy and he doesn’t take time to connect with God, or you or friends. Feeling like a failure can drive a man to struggle. Your husband needs to know and understand when he struggles and you need to know too. As a wife, you can begin to recognize his triggers and during those times reach towards him in connection. Provide a safe place for him to open up and share about what is going on and how he is feeling. Take him for a walk and hold his hand. Encourage him to connect with a friend. Fill his needs with intimacy and grace rather than porn and shame.

Accountability

At some point in this battle if you are growing in intimacy with your husband, you may decide that you should be part of his accountability.  I have a friend that realized she could usually tell when  her husband struggled, whether he told her not. A husband might avoid connection, or eye contact, or I don’t know what… but you know the difference. Accountability with you may look different than with a friend. You do not need to know every detail of how he slipped, but you could help him wrestle with what triggered it, how he was feeling and how he could react differently next time.  For some couples, regular check ins make the process easier. Other couples just check in when necessary. In some ways, a wife makes the most sense for an accountability partner, because what greater incentive to stay clean then to be able to tell your wife it has been a good week.

Create the Sex Life that God wants for You

Part of battling pornography is creating a great sex life together. It is not about competing with what happens in pornography, it is about claiming God’s gift of sex to create intimacy. In fact create something drastically different than pornography. Bring God into your marriage and pray over your marriage asking that God bless your time together and help you encounter each other in a new way. Stay present during sex through eye to eye contact, using words to draw each other back and  really feeling each other. Generously serve each other and enjoy your spouses pleasure as much as your own. Praise God after your connection and thank Him for how He showed up. Embrace the freedom God wants for you and create a sex life based on intimacy and not performance.

Believe in What God Can Do

Your husband may be in for the battle of his life and honestly breaking free of pornography might take a miracle. Do you believe that God truly changes lives and that he can change your husband? Can you speak it to your husband? Do you believe that God can heal you enough that you can trust and cherish your husband? Do you believe that God can restore your sex life and make it brand new? Ask God for what you want, take small steps of faith, and watch God show up.

Conclusion

The hard work of helping your husband battle pornography is an opportunity for change and growth- for both of you. Pornography is fueled by hiddenness, deceptions and pretending – the opposite of intimacy. Battle pornography by creating what God originally desired, intimacy, to be fully known.  Strengthen your relationship with God and your dependence on him. Know who you are and who He created you to be – regardless of anyone else’s action. Make your goal in marriage connection. Create an environment of openness, trust and vulnerability that is founded on God’s grace, even when someone messes up.  Affirm your husband for the small steps that he takes and encourage him to step into the man that God created him to be.