Monthly Archives: September 2017

Praying for Perspective in Your Marriage Bed

Blog post title + redhead woman bowing and praying

This past week, Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife posted this question on our Sex Chat for Christian Wives Facebook page:

Image with "What advice would you give a new wife about having a good marriage?"

My answer? “Don’t assume thoughts, feelings, and motives; ask, and listen.”

My marriage experienced some truly terrible years, and one of the reasons we came out of that fog into the sunlight is because I changed my perspective. I realized I was making assumptions about my husband that weren’t true. Things like:

  • If I said/did that, it would mean X. But it didn’t mean that for my husband, because he’s a different person.
  • If he loved me, he would X. Except that his love language is not mine, so he didn’t always express love the way I expected him to.
  • If he does something I don’t like, it’s personal. Except that his irritating habits would exist no matter who he married, so it’s not personal.
  • If he says or does something hurtful, it shows he doesn’t care. Yet a lot of times, it was about the bad day he’d had, the stress he was experiencing, or not feeling physically good.
  • If he doesn’t do the things I long for when we make love, he’s selfish. But when that happened, it was about him not knowing what would feel good for me and what I needed.

When I dropped those assumptions — when I changed my perspective of my husband and our interactions — several problems went away and I knew better how to tackle the ones that remained.

However, the light bulb didn’t just go on one day and stay lit. Rather, I prayed quite a bit for God to alter my thinking. I needed His help to clearly see who my husband really was and how our relationship needed to change.

That’s why I think it’s important to pray for perspective regarding your marriage and your marriage bed.

Too often, readers ask questions or make comments about the sex in the marriage that shows they’re making assumptions about how their spouse thinks and feels. Maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong. Do you know for sure that your perspective is accurate?

I guarantee God knows what the truth is. You can ask Him.

And the reason I start with God, rather than your spouse, is because some of the issues just dissipated once I saw them more clearly. That is, things I thought were problems with my husband were really problems with how I saw him, and once my vision cleared, I didn’t need to address that issue with him because it was resolved.

But with the problems that remain, it’s still worth praying for perspective so that your conversations with your spouse will go well. Ask God to help you see your husband accurately and to respond with a longing to understand him better.

Let’s try this out with a common scenario: You believe that your husband (or wife) says no to sex because they don’t love you like you love them. But as you pray for God’s perspective, you realize that sex is the primary way you express love, but it isn’t the primary way they express love. So you now recognize the problem isn’t a matter of their love for you. Of course, the problem still remains that you’re getting rejected in the marriage bed. But now that you have a clearer diagnosis, you can tackle the underlying issue.

So then you pray for an accurate perspective as you go to your spouse to talk about your feelings on this topic. You find yourself more willing to ask questions and listen to the reasons why your beloved isn’t up for sex. Maybe they don’t even give you clear reasons, but you make a positive impression on the subject (a first step) by simply being there and listening. Instead of arguing to get your point across, you find yourself listening with a calm that could only be provided by God and a willingness to sort through the information to discover the real problem.

Does the epiphany come right then? Are the problems solved by next Tuesday?

Nope. Not in my experience. But do you know how you climb a mountain? You don’t stand at the bottom grousing about how steep the incline is. You take the first step, then the next, and the next.

But if your perspective is all wrong, your path will be off, and you’ll end up on another mountain, screaming over at your spouse standing on the one you should be on.

Pray for perspective. Start today. Take the first step. Let God work in your marriage.

“[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Q&A with J: Resources for Spicing Things Up in the Marriage Bed

Let’s get right to our reader question today. Here it is:

Happily married 30 years. Both came into the marriage as virgins. Desiring to spice things up, but the purity of our past doesn’t help my husband. There is concern if he researches, he will come across websites that we’ll regret. Any direction you can send us?

Why, yes! Yes, I do have a direction to send you. Have you heard of this book?

Hot, Holy, and Humorous book cover

I wrote that book specifically to answer your question! How do you make the sex in your marriage bed more exciting, intimate, and loving?

How do you make the sex in your marriage bed more exciting, intimate, and loving? Click To Tweet

It has chapters like Considering Sexual Positions, Oral Sex, The Hands-On Experience, and Using Your Body Parts. I give specific, practical tips for romance, arousal, and orgasm.

And you know what? I just saw my latest royalty statement, and I know a bunch of you haven’t bought my book yet! I don’t mean to be pushy, but seriously, y’all, WHY NOT?!

I’m really proud of this book and how it has helped couples spice things up in their marriage bed. It covers a lot of ground in a short time and can help you and your spouse start some important conversations about what sexual intimacy should look like in your marriage.

Mind you, that won’t look the same in various healthy, holy marriages. You have to figure out your own sexual repertoire. But my book can help you do that.

And it’s $10 for the ebook, less than $13 for the paperback. Jeez, y ‘all spent that the last time you drove through the hamburger joint and upsized your fries. C’mon, buy this book for your marriage!

Okay, I’m off my soapbox for a moment and will share a few other resources … since you asked.

Christian Friendly Sex Positions provides both tasteful illustrations and thorough descriptions for you to try new positions and angles. This information is also available in a recently release app, Ultimate Intimacy, which I’m still checking out and will review later.

The Marriage Bed has quite a few articles with ideas for adding spice to your bedroom. You might notice that the Byerlys and I disagree on a few sexual activities, but that’s okay. We’re foundationally in sync, and good Christians can disagree about particulars. Their overall advice is excellent. And I love this article on orgasmic massage from Paul Byerly’s other website, The Generous Husband.

Awaken Love also has articles on spicing things up, as well as an online video class for women. I’ve reviewed her curriculum and found it to be solid.

If you’re looking for spicy stuff, i.e., marital aids, you can check out Married Spice, for which my podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, is an affiliate. This company impressed me greatly when they responded directly to a concern I had about one of their products. It was clear that they desire to promote holy and healthy sex through their online store.

Other blogs I follow that give both general and specific advice for the marriage bed:

There are other blogs that cater more toward husbands, but my own blog feed is populated primarily with sites intended for wives.

Now I’m staring at my screen knowing I’ve forgotten some fabulous resource that I should have mentioned. If I remember more later, I’ll add them.

But in summary, BUY THIS BOOK, because I wrote it and it’s awesome, and then check out the sites above. Some of these sites will also link to other resources that could be worth checking out. That’s how I often find others as well — just the old-fashioned, can’t-beat-it word of mouth. Albeit that word is text on a trusted website.

And don’t discount one of the best ways to add spice to your marriage bed: talk and try. Discuss ideas you have, try them out, and see what you think. You might discover something truly awesome that way.

Are Stress & Fatigue Killing Your Sex Life?

I considered titling this post Sex? What sex? to describe what’s been happening in my world lately. Yes, we have had sex this month, but not like we usually do. It’s been a dry spell, so to speak.

And while I’d love to say that I’m eager and excited about getting some “rain,” I’ve really been a bit ho-hum about it lately. Not because I don’t enjoy sex with my husband — I certainly do! — but because this past month has been filled with stress and fatigue.

Here’s a short breakdown:

  • Hurricane Harvey brought 50 inches of rain and halted our usual routines
  • Spent days helping friends whose homes were damaged by the hurricane
  • House guests arrived days later
  • Week-long writers cruise (and hubby didn’t come this time)
  • Three more nights with house guests the following week
  • Weekend conference I chaired for my local writing chapter
  • Hubby’s job demanded quite a bit of overtime

That doesn’t include any parenting duties, household responsibilities, church duties, etc. But you can see that it’s been particularly hard for us to find time together to talk, much less have sex.

blog post title + couple crashed in bed

When we did get together, we were exhausted — both of us. We wanted to make love, but it felt like another mountain to climb. It was hard to take that first step, or leap, to get going.

All this to say, I get it.

If this is where you are in your marriage, I get it.

I’ve been there too.

Stress and fatigue can be libido killers. Sometimes people argue with that statement, likely because they don’t personally experience a lowering of their sex drive in those times, but I believe stress and fatigue are responsible for a lot of marriages going through dry spells.

Stress and fatigue are responsible for a lot of marriages going through dry spells. Click To Tweet

It’s not that we don’t love each other and want to make love; it’s just finding that oomph to take the first step is difficult when you feel drained by life itself.

The paradox, of course, is that sex gives you more energy, increases the quality of the sleep you get, and relieves stress. But if you can’t get your gumption in gear, how do you reap those benefits?

I’m struggling along this path with you right now. My husband and I had even planned a date on Sunday evening — thought our calendars were cleared and we could devote attention to quality time, flirtation and anticipation, and lovemaking. And then it was announced at church that we had an event that evening we couldn’t miss. I looked over at Spock and literally teared up. My blubbering later was like, “I know I’m just tired and stressed and probably hormonal, but I just really wanted to spend time with you tonight. Yet I know we need to go to that event.”

We postponed our date.

We attended the event.

We didn’t make love.

When we got home, again we were so exhausted, mentally and physically, that we fell asleep. In each other’s arms, thankfully, but still asleep.

You have your own stories. Times when you wanted to or should have been together, nurturing your romance, your connection, your sexual intimacy. But life interfered, tapped your energy, left you exhausted.

Those moments happen.

But ask yourself this question: Is this the exception or the norm in our marriage?

Spock and I are going through a dry spell, but it’s a spell. It will cease. Soon.

In contrast, I remember when my sex life sucked, and it wasn’t a short spell but rather a long drought with no end in sight. I was exhausted all the time, and we had no strategy for how to deal with it. All that stress and fatigue was killing our sex life.

If that’s where you are, you’ve got to change some things in your life so that you can prioritize what matters — your marriage and intimacy with your husband. Not just sex, but sex is one important factor connecting you and your mate. It has to be a priority.

I’m looking with great hope at October, a mostly free month, where we can get back into our groove. I’m also evaluating what I’m doing to see if there’s anything I can cross off my list or delegate to others. Hubs and I have cleared another date night in the very near future.

What’s your plan? What are you doing to get past the haze of stress and fatigue and invest in your marriage bed? What do you need to change?

Role Play, Movie Sex, and More Questions…Answered

It’s time for another Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast episode. This one is the first time my schedule allowed me to participate in answering listener questions. Here’s what we tackled this time around:

  • Does anyone really have sex like they do in the movies?
  • Is role play okay in a Christian marriage, even if it involves imagining something that would be wrong to do in real life?
  • How can an older couple maintain sexual intimacy?
  • Is it sexual when my husband says he enjoys looking at other women’s feet?

Interesting stuff, right?

This podcast has become one of my favorite activities, because (1) it gives me another avenue to reach out to wives, (2) I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects with three of my favorite bloggers, (3) I recognize the value of four Christian wives sharing foundational beliefs about sexual intimacy but coming at it from different histories and angles, and (4) we provide an example of how women can speak personally and authentically about sex in marriage with a biblical perspective. We pray that conversations like this become the norm in churches, where wives can find help, encouragement, and hope for their marriage bed.

Okay, all that mushy stuff aside, here’s the latest. Just click on the image, and it will take you to our website page where you can listen to the episode.

For Christian Wives - The podcast team answers listener questions

 

Learning to Pray for Sexual Intimacy

It’s another Saturday where we talk about your marriage bed and your prayer life, and what the two have to do with each other. (Hint: a lot.)

Last week, I shared an excellent post from Black and Married with Kids, and today I want to point y’all to another post that caught my eye. It’s from Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, who just happens to be one of my podcast partners with Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

Bonny speaks specifically to low-libido wives, but her message in this article is one we can all identify with. I particularly love this line: “The best sex starts on your knees in prayer.” Read on for a tease of her article and be sure to click below to read more.

I Love Learning to Pray for Sexual Intimacy

I would have rather slammed my pinky finger in the car door than to have talked about sex. The ‘talks’ my husband and I were having about sex, weren’t really ‘talks’ but anger fueled spats. We didn’t know how to have an actual conversation without it being tied to our anger at neither being understood.

Whenever the topic of sex came out of his mouth, it was like he became Vladimir Putin. All I heard was Russian manipulation. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying and I knew I wouldn’t like it even if I could understand.

I prayed to end the cold war, for his desire to diminish and mine to increase. God didn’t answer.

I was tired of fighting my natural inclination. The old battles weren’t being won with the old strategies. I needed a new strategy, a new understanding but had no idea what to pray.

READ MORE…