Who’s in Your Story of Sexual Intimacy?

Open story bookWriting fiction, I’ve studied character archetypes with which we are all familiar — the hero, the love interest, the villain, etc. A successful book or movie incorporates all the necessary character types to tell the story.

But sometimes our own lives lack the supporting characters we need. When I hear of married couples struggling year after year in a sexless marriage or with pornography issues or physical challenges to intimacy or adulterous affairs, etc., too often they are struggling alone. It’s a me against the giant scenario.

While that’s an appealing story, David was not actually alone against Goliath. Neither should we face extreme marital problems alone, even those involving sex.

Who are the characters in your story of sexual intimacy?

Snow White

Snow White, the heroine

Heroine. Hello, wife. You are the heroine of your story. You’re the one with a goal — which is hopefully healthy, godly sexual intimacy with your husband. But you’re also likely to face challenges along the way, obstacles which must be overcome.

Why? Because Earth isn’t Heaven. We live in a broken world where problems occur and temptations abound. However, God can use these struggles to grow us into the people He desires us to be. Through our difficulties and victories — and even our failures and repentance — we can learn how to be stronger, love better, and glorify our Heavenly Father.

Flynn Ryder

Flynn Ryder, hero of Tangled

Hero. In romance novels, there’s the main-character heroine and her love interest, also known as the hero. You and your husband are involved in a romance, and I assume you both want a Happy Ever After. God wants you to have that Happy Ever After too. It was one of the reasons He made sex the way He did for His children.

Most romantic stories involve the hero and heroine finally recognizing that they love each other enough to conquer whatever ails them. So do you see your husband that way? Do you identify yourselves as being on the same team? Able to conquer your problems together?

Perhaps you need to take another good long look at the man you chose. If he isn’t acting the way you expected your hero to act, ask why. Do you understand where he’s coming from and why he feels the way he does? Do you acknowledge the difficulties he faces? Does he feel like you are on his team? If you need to work through some things to get on the same page, to have that together feeling, make one goal of your story aligning the hero and heroine so you can pursue your Happy Ever After.

Maleficent

Maleficent, villain of Sleeping Beauty

Villain. Yes, there’s a villain. Satan does not want you to have a good Christian marriage. If you’re healthy and happy in your sexual intimacy, how will he tempt you to sin? It’s far easier to divide you as a couple, wear down your trust in God and marriage, and tempt you to meet needs elsewhere when you’re unhappy or disengaged with your husband and your sexual intimacy.

Sometimes we don’t consciously identify Satan as the real villain. Maybe instead you dump everything on your husband, believing he’s the instigator of all your difficulties. Or maybe you blame your church or your parents or your past marriage or your ex-boyfriend or some past event.

I’m not saying there isn’t responsibility there. Some are to blame and deserve a heap of heavy guilt dumped upon their head. But many times, a Christian marriage is simply being attacked by the Prince of Lies, and we need to get that clear in our heads. We need to identify the real villain of our story.

Lumiere

Lumiere, herald of Beauty and the Beast

Herald. A herald challenges the existing order by announcing something important, something that will change things. In American history, a famous herald is Paul Revere shouting, “The Regulars are coming!” to colonists so they could prepare for the arrival of King George’s troops. In the Bible, Job has heralds in the form of servants who come to tell him of the deaths of his livestock and children.

Heralds aren’t necessarily popular, because they well may deliver tough news. But it’s news we need to hear.

Churches and marriage ministries should be filling this role. Christian communities need to speak loudly and unequivocally to protect, support, and encourage healthy God-honoring sexual intimacy in marriages. We have to be willing to speak against sexual activity outside of marriage, to speak clearly about what the Bible says about sex, and to spread the good news of how God can heal and nurture our intimate lives. Is your church doing this? Are you plugged into resources that herald the truth about sexual intimacy?

Ariel and Flounder

Flounder, Ariel’s ally in The Little Mermaid

Ally. What would Sherlock Holmes be without Dr. Watson? Batman without Robin? Captain James T. Kirk without Spock? (Had to throw that one in!) We all need allies — people who’ll support us and our mission.

I’ve talked again and again about the importance of having godly friends who support your marriage and your sexual intimacy. If you’re in a group of wives who constantly berate their husbands or mock their sex drives, you’re not getting the ally experience you need.

Instead, find wives who will talk honestly and positively about sexual intimacy in marriage. Be that kind of wife to others. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Make sure you have friends who’ll be your marriage’s ally.

Fairy godmother

Fairy Godmother, mentor in Cinderella

Mentor. We know mentors when we see them in film: Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Yoda in Star Wars, Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, and on and on. In the Bible, there are often mentors as well — people who have wisdom and faith they impart to others. Samuel had Eli, Paul had Ananias, Timothy had Paul.

When it comes to sexual intimacy in marriage, it can be hard to identify who should mentor you. Whom can you turn to for wise advice? Yes, you can come to blogs like mine, but it’s also helpful to have face-to-face interaction when you’re in the midst of a struggle. You may need a counselor or organization to speak directly into your situation and mentor you through difficulties. You may need to consult a physician or a pastor or a Bible class teacher. You may simply need a more experienced wife who can teach what is good, as described in Titus 2:3-5.

But let’s admit we don’t know it all, and sometimes we need a mentor who can speak the Word of God into our lives with a fresh perspective and loving kindness. We may need to seek out a mentor for our story.

Who’s in your story of sexual intimacy? Have you reached out to others when you’ve needed a better perspective and godly wisdom? Where do you think your story is lacking in the right characters?

8 thoughts on “Who’s in Your Story of Sexual Intimacy?

  1. Frank

    You forgot the “Quest” in your characters in this tale. I know this is totally from a guys perspective but there is usually an obstacle that needs to be overcome in any story.
    In an intimacy story it could be distance, a disability, body image, money, timing ,even age issues or how about the kids as an obstacle.
    In our early marriage not getting pregnant and being intimate was a quest. We were good Catholics and that quest didn’t last long.
    Guys need to kill the dragon, conquer the mountain and win the damsel. So that has to be a part of the story.
    So the quest could be overcoming the demons and bad guys in your head or attitude.

    1. J Post author

      The Hero’s Journey definitely involves a quest. Good point! Thanks so much for the hubby point of view!

  2. Lisa

    This is so great! I love the reminder that I am the heroine in my story.

    More than you can know, you have been a mentor to me through the writing here on your blog. I have soaked up your wisdom and enthusiasm for sex in marriage and our marriage is better because of it. So, thank you.

    1. J Post author

      Thank you so much, Lisa! I think I’ll just sit in my Obi-Wan robes today and ponder that. LOL.

      Many blessings!

  3. Bob

    J
    You have such a helpfull blog. It has helped me as a husband … but how do I get my wife to read this without her feelings being hurt or offending her. She was sexually abused by the one man that should had protected her when she grew up for over 10 years. I do not want her to feel she “HAS TO” I pray for the days when she will eagerly “WANT TO” be more active in intimacy.
    We talk about it at times – when she is willing. She ofet says she knows she does not meet my needs and often asks why I love her so much and why I stay with her. We have been married 37 years.
    I would die for her if I have to. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
    You blogs are so full of hope and encouragement. Thank you and GOD BLESS!

  4. ~bd~

    Men need sexual allies as well! I know how hard it is for my husband who has to work in an environment where all his co workers visit strip clubs for birthdays, going away parties, etc. Even the office humor is vulgar and disrespectful. It’s tough cause I know how easy it is to get caught up in it and right or wrong you often feel left out.

  5. SC

    Great post. Very helpful. Oh, but it’s JAMES T. Kirk. Sorry, couldn’t resist. He’s my favorite hero.

    1. J Post author

      Oh, thank you! I can’t believe I got that wrong. *facepalm* James Tiberius Kirk, of course. 🙂

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