Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

Are We Afraid of #ChurchToo?

In case you just woke up from a two-year coma, there’s this thing going on called #MeToo, an international movement against sexual harassment and assault. It’s got its own Wikipedia page now, which explains how “Me Too” was first introduced in 2006 but popularized as a hashtag in 2017 following allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that he harassed and assaulted multiple women.

Since then, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of women have shared their #MeToo stories, and I’ve both written about it and discussed it with my fellow podcasters on Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

But lest we think the problem is with Hollywood or Washington, D.C. or just secular culture itself, consider how this movement has reached down into our churches and revealed heartbreaking stories of the mistreatment and abuse of women.

Hashtags like #ChurchToo and #SilenceIsNotSpiritual have allowed women to share their stories of being harassed or assaulted by men who were supposed to be acting as their brothers in Christ. Dozens of men, at the highest levels, have been accused, many with convincing evidence or testimony.

It’s been heartbreaking to see that not only have we failed in this area, but we’re late to the party, so to speak. Why isn’t the Church forefront on the issue of respectful treatment of women?

Why isn't the Church forefront on the issue of respectful treatment of women? #ChurchToo Click To Tweet

We have example after example in the Bible of women receiving privileges uncommon for the time they lived, and our Messiah, Jesus Christ, repeatedly modeled how much he valued women.

Now I can envision someone immediately sliding this discussion into one of gender roles in the Church. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. Indeed, I’m not “egalitarian” — rather, I believe God specially tasked men to lead in their churches and homes. But we don’t need to debate that issue for us all to agree that mistreatment, harassment, and abuse of His children is against God’s will.

Our Lord is a champion for the oppressed: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18).

But we have done a poor job of standing up for people who have experienced oppression by other Church members. What stops us from acting as God clearly wants us to act? What keeps up from holding harassers, assaulters, and abusers responsible for their actions? Are we afraid of the #ChurchToo movement?

I think some are. Fear is the only explanation I can think of the unconscionable silence and suppression we’ve seen in some church circles.

Fear of Weakening Our Witness

What if people find out that some who appeared to be upstanding Christians actually mistreated fellow sisters in Christ? Will they reject the message because its messengers are flawed?

Leaders who told victims to stay silent about their abuse or mistreatment often suggested that the good of the Church itself or the Gospel of Christ outweighed the damage done to an individual.

Look, I’ve seen firsthand that when a prominent minister is ruined, some congregants do indeed go out the door. But what we rarely acknowledge is the number of believers who quietly slip out year after year because their safety and wellbeing were not given the value they deserved. A number of people would still be in church but for our inaction in the face of their mistreatment.

Instead, let’s remember this:

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God. (Psalm 146:3-5)

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:4-7)

Let God take care of His Church, and let’s do all we can to take care of His people.

Let God take care of His Church, and let's do all we can to take care of His people. #ChurchToo Click To Tweet

Fear of Ruining Related Lives

Let’s say a minister sexually harassed women, abused someone, or encouraged suppression of truth, and that’s bad — but if he’s hit with a scandal, what happens to his wife and kids? Don’t we owe it to them to keep their lives from being ruined? I’ve heard this reasoning as well, and I get it. It can come from a place of compassion … but also fear.

And we’re fearful of something happening that’s already happened. This person already violated his marriage vows, let down his family and parishioners, and/or discarded Christian ethics. It’s a done deal — by the perpetrator. Whether we recognize it or not, it’s still there and impacting the people in his circle. Indeed, many times when bad news comes to light, those around finally have an explanation for something they sensed was wrong long before.

Now, of course we can handle the situation very poorly. (I’ve seen that too!) But in those cases, it’s not the truth itself that does damage, but rather us caring more for gossip or judgmentalism or some other non-Christian approach. We can aim for the right thing and go about it in the wrong way. But how we aim for the right thing, the right way? Seeking truth and justice, while showing Christ’s compassion to all those affected by the truth — that was going to come out someday, somehow. Wouldn’t it be better for the family to have a Christ-like community to fall back on?

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

Fear of Finding Out Who We Really Are

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Anyone who’s been in the Christian faith for long knows this verse and likely has it memorized. We share it one another to remind ourselves that we all need a savior, the Lord Jesus. And sure, we buy it — that we are sinners. Thus, we talk about sin and repentance, but what happens when we are really faced with the sins of someone in our congregation? We become very uncomfortable.

Admitting that someone we trusted was abusing power and hurting people means that we were fooled at best and complicit at worst. Moreover, what if we peel back the layers and find more terrible stuff underneath — by this person or others in our church? What if looking deeper shows us that we aren’t who we thought we were?

King David’s son Amnon raped his sister Tamar, David’s own daughter. 1 Samuel 13:21 says, “When King David heard all this, he was furious.” But you know what David did? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. David didn’t want to acknowledge the poison in his own family, the person his own son had become. And it cost both his family and his kingdom greatly, with ruined and lost lives.

If we don’t look deeper, we don’t have a chance to save victims and change oppressors. We don’t let God do His greatest work of redeeming people.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Why am I talking about all of this now? Likely because of recent events regarding upcoming he Southern Baptist Convention. I’m not Baptist, but I hardly believe that their denomination is alone in having issues with the treatment of women. The movement isn’t #BaptistToo, it’s #ChurchToo.

And even those who aren’t in leadership need to decide where we stand. When we hear or read credible accusations against a church leader, what’s our gut reaction? Do we recoil in fear, encourage silence, remain with the status quo? Or do we value all individuals involved, seek out the truth, and pursue righteousness and justice?

I for one am 100% ready to defend the Church on its core message, regardless of what the world thinks — including my ongoing commitment to sharing God’s perfect design for sex in marriage. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes!” (Romans 1:15). But I will not defend oppressors, no matter who they are. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

(Amos 5:24).

Godly Sources of Intimacy with Guest Daniel Purcell

I haven’t had many men write for my blog — not that I don’t think they have a lot to say on the subject of God’s design for sex in marriage, but my primary goal has always been reaching wives. But when I came into contact with the creator of a neat little marriage app called Ultimate Intimacy, he told me a bit of his story and I asked him to share his perspective with my readers.

Hope y’all enjoy this as much as I did and that you’ll check out the Ultimate Intimacy app! (More into at the bottom.)

I’ve been married to my sweetheart for 14 years. We’re both active in our faith and church. We avoid R-rated movies, and definitely anything pornographic or salacious.  We have an Internet filter to help protect us and our six kids. We’ve seen friends marriages disintegrate because of pornography and a view of sex that’s more like what you read in grocery store checkout-line magazines.

Although my wife and I had what we thought was a good intimate relationship, there were many things we didn’t know we didn’t know because we didn’t feel safe looking for answers. We were too afraid that reading or watching something wouldn’t be appropriate, so we avoided it altogether. It appeared that it was easier than to navigate what appeared to be a moral minefield.

A Friend Tells Me…

One day a friend told my wife and me that his marriage changed dramatically in the last few months after he and his wife got a few things working really well in the bedroom. He mentioned a community of Christian bloggers that discuss sex in positive and wholesome ways. Let’s just say it was an exciting conversation I don’t usually have on a regular basis!

I was intrigued, but skeptical. I didn’t want to compromise my values, and going online  searching for information about sex seemed scary. However, I was yearning for what my friend had in his marriage. He just seemed so sincere! My wife and I jumped in together and decided to see what my friend was so excited about. This is how we found the blog and book, Hot, Holy & Humorous.

…But Is It Okay?

Besides unanswered questions we’ve always had about sex, we were now introduced to new ideas we hadn’t considered (I guess you don’t know what you don’t know, right?). In addition, we weren’t sure if it was right to be reading tips from other couples of what they enjoy their lovemaking (in general terms). This became our moral dilemma — if reading material like this was right with God. I believe that we can receive answers to prayers and guidance from a loving Heavenly Father, but He expects us to do our homework too.

The answers didn’t come all at once, but little bits at a time. Here were some of our guiding principles that helped us along the way:

  • “Seek and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7). I believe that God is the source of all truth, including truths about sex. We could rely on him to teach us if we put in the effort.
God is the source of all truth, including truths about sex. We could rely on him to teach us if we put in the effort. ~ Daniel Purcell Click To Tweet
  • God is a giver of good gifts (Matthew 7:11). Although I knew God approved of sex (multiply and replenish the earth!), for the first time I came to realize deep in my heart that God actually loves sex. He invented it! He designed it not only for procreation but for husbands and wives to express love and strengthen marital bonds. As the creator of it, He made it amazing and wants His children to partake fully of this special gift He’s set apart for his children.
  • By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). To me, this meant I could experiment a little with what we read and observe the outcome. The fruits I was looking for were a strengthened connection with my wife and things that would encourage me to be a faithful and devoted husband. If the fruits are good, then the tree the fruits come from must also be good.

With the above in mind, my wife and I spent a lot of time over the next few weeks talking, reading, and … ahem … doing our “homework.”  

The Fruits of a Healthy & Happy Sex Life

All of the sudden our marriage started to change! The first “fruit” we noticed is we started communicating better about everything, including the sensitive and the sacred. Another “fruit” was those twitterpated feelings from early on came back. We felt like newlyweds all over again, but better! I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop thinking of my wife during the day, just like back in the earlier dating days.

As for our physical intimacy, our frequency doubled, quality quadrupled, and overall marital satisfaction increased by an order of a magnitude. A weekly date night became a real set-in-stone thing. We were sleeping better and our stress levels went down. As a result, there was more peace in the home; it seemed like the kids started getting along better too.

My desire to be the best person I could be for my precious wife increased dramatically too. This meant I had some personal changes to make. Changing one’s habits aren’t easy, and it took some sacrifice on my part but have been well worth it for my dear, sweet angel wife Emily. I could go on further about the blessings we’ve enjoyed, but I think you get the picture.

My Soapbox

Improving the sexual dimension was just a part of our renewed enthusiasm for each other in our marriage. It seems though that a healthy, happy sexual relationship brings out the best in us. It leads people to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and to do good. It gives us strength to endure all things and fills our days with hope and excitement for our future. It leads us to honor our vows and be fully committed to each other.

It seems though that a healthy, happy sexual relationship brings out the best in us. ~ Daniel Purcell #marriage Click To Tweet

In our situation, it was knowhow, techniques, and new things to explore to keep things fresh that made the initial difference. Then, like a virtuous cycle, other areas of our marriage improved. When other areas improved, our sexually intimate area improved too.

I learned how important it is to make lovemaking fun and mutually fulfilling. None of this would be possible without feeling safe to explore helpful resources that we could apply in the bedroom. We’re grateful for the brave souls out there that are willing to share what they’ve learned in a healthy, positive, and constructive way. They’re blessing many lives, probably more than they’d ever know.

If there are readers with a spouse who’s unsure about this blog, podcast, books, or Facebook group, I hope they’ll at least read about our experience and reconsider. I want to tell them to be brave and realize there’s a lot of good people out there sharing real experiences based on true principles. I hope they find that learning more about God’s design for intimacy is uplifting, wholesome, and encouraging. And can be really, really fun too!

J again: Be sure to check out Daniel’s app! Trust me—go ahead and pay for the premium. (It’s about the same cost as a Chick-fil-A meal, y’all.) You can thank me later.

Ultimate Intimacy App Banner

5 Ways to Unlock Your Libido with Bonny Burns

If you’ve listened to our (wonderful) podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, you’ve heard my friend Bonny Burns giving fabulous tips to wives, especially those who struggle with lower sexual interest. Her blog, OysterBed7, is dedicated to helping these wives.

The following post was on my blog in 2015, but since it’s been a while, I thought it would a fabulous resource to bring out for my Saturday High Five series. Bonny covers five great ways to unlock your libido, or sexual interest.

I may not always have a zing running through my veins when my husband and I start to engage, but I always have a zing in my heart for connecting with him in a way that has ended up being meaningful for both of us!

Consistent, satisfying sexual intimacy is possible in spite of struggling with low physical sex drive.

After my husband and I had worked on our marriage and improved the frequency of our sexual relationship, I realized that I still had one challenge to address: my low libido.

I scoured ideas to help ramp up my physical sensation. There was a bit of success in the physical realm.

My biggest ah-ha moment was when I discovered low-libido wives can be high drive when desiring to emotionally and spiritually connect with their husband’s through sexual intimacy.

Low libido is not a permanent condition. If you are a low drive wife, there is much hope.

Here are five thoughts to help unlock your libido:

1. Embrace God’s view of sexual intimacy.

Bible verses I’d read about sinful sexual immorality leaked into my thoughts about marital sexuality. Sex within marriage isn’t dirty or wrong. Although slippery and messy at times, it’s perfectly God approved!

Satan likes to create a false notion that sex is all about the physical climax. Yes, orgasm is really really nice, but it is not the whole of sexual intimacy.

In my ice princess days, I only saw my husband’s pursuit of me as one-dimensional. All he wanted was a place for physical relief. God showed me that sexual intimacy is my husband’s most intimate conversation. Sexual intimacy seals an emotional and spiritual bond that was created by God for marriage.

Sexual intimacy seals an emotional and spiritual bond that was created by God for marriage. ~ Bonny Burns Click To Tweet

2. Pray

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

God truly cares for all areas of your life, especially your marital sexuality. Thriving sexual intimacy keeps many forms of temptation at bay for both of you.

God designed sex and it’s okay to pray about your marriage bed!

God designed sex and it’s okay to pray about your marriage bed! ~ Bonny Burns Click To Tweet

3. Expect God to show you things. 

I’m not discounting God’s abilities to perform miracles. However, I found that my low libido was a place where he was nurturing maturity. I couldn’t just wish for a little more oomph in the sexual craving department. I had to actively seek through prayer and action. I had to follow God’s lead when he showed me resources and tools. Expect God to show you things!

4. You are perfectly normal.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you are low drive! Yes, you may want to have a full physical work-up to check hormone levels and general health, but you are not tainted in some way or being punished for having a low drive.

Every marriage is different. Every season in marriage is different. Who knows? You may have an upcoming season of life where you and your spouse desire equally or you may even be the higher-drive spouse. 

Don’t compare your experience with anything you read or see (TV or movies). How lovemaking unfolds between you and your husband is going to be unique and normal for the two of you. Great moments in lovemaking can be quiet, calm or klutzy. The klutzy spells usually become priceless inside jokes with your husband. 

Check out Sex Chat for Christian Wives, Episode 25: Sex Is Funny.

5. Give yourself permission to be a sensual woman.

Open your heart to see that sexual intimacy is an asset to your marriage and to you personally, not just your husband.

Give yourself permission to BELIEVE your husband when he says you’re beautiful, in form and face.

Give yourself permission to let go of worries and just be in the moment, concentrating on the physical sensations of your husband’s touch.

Open your heart to the possibility of seeing yourself warm with desire as the Shulamite wife in the Song of Solomon. “….It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (Song of Solomon 8:6). Okay, a blazing fire might seem optimistic, but just open yourself up to a firm maybe.

Give yourself permission to be a sensual woman. It’s okay to look inside yourself and contemplate your physical, emotional and spiritual sensations. It’s okay to want to fire up the old cravings of first romance. It’s okay to have sexual feelings!

This doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re installing a pole in your bedroom. This just means you are willing to have faith in God’s design. He designed marriage to include sexual intimacy. It’s how he made marriage different and more bonded than any other relationship on earth.

Final thoughts

You may think all problems in your marriage need to be fixed before you can even consider bolstering your sexual activities.

I used to think this way, too. However, that logic is wrong. You really can work on re-connecting through sexual intimacy as you work on other problems. I even think it helps the healing process. I’m here to attest that this is true.

Not all wives are the low-drive spouse. I think much of what is written here can be applied to the low-drive spouse, no matter which gender. Marriages I refer to here are generally good-willed. If there is any kind of abuse, please seek guidance through a Christian marriage counselor.

Would you like to read more ideas on how to Unlock Your Libido?

Although not a Bible study, Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation is an ebook based on scripture, a bit of science, and my own journey. It’s a simple method that may have profound results.

♥   ♥   ♥

Bonny Burns encourages the low-libido wife through a Christian lens at the oysterbed7.com blog. She writes gently and with a nurturing heart because sexual intimacy can be a raw topic for some. She knows all about this struggle from personal experience.

Bonny and her husband, Dave, raised three sons and have been married for more than three decades. When friends say they can’t imagine the two of them arguing, she snorts. Because, they’ve had some doozies and they were usually about sex. Her marriage story evolved and yours can too. Low libido and hard marriages do not have to be a permanent condition.

The Lamest Excuse for Your Sexual Problems

Blog post title + illustration of rubber stamp that says "NO EXCUSES"

I love the movie “Say Anything.” It came out when I was in college, and I remember being so struck by its story and characters. Looking back, I think what I liked most about this film was how the main character, Lloyd Dobbler, was what we often call an alpha guy — that is, he was 100% masculine — but he changed how he did things and upped his game in the sensitivity and caring department to woo and win the girl he loved.

But as he’s contemplating his own struggles to be the kind of guy who can get the girl he longs for, he has this a conversation with his angsty fabulous best friend, Corey Flood, and this exchange between Lloyd and his friend Corey has stuck with me for nearly 30 years:

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: ‘Cause I’m a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You’re not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

Corey Flood & friend talking to Lloyd Dobler

The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

I think of that every time I hear someone say, “That’s just the way I am.”

Especially since I believe it’s the lamest excuse for not improving your marriage and sexual intimacy. Although it’s one I hear all the time.

  • “I just don’t need sex, so I’m done having it.”
  • “I need sex almost every day. It’s how I’m made.”
  • “He wants me to talk during sex, but I’m just not like that.”
  • “I’m inherently visual, so if she doesn’t show me her body, I can’t help but look elsewhere.”
  • “I can’t do without sex. So if intercourse can’t happen for a season, my spouse still owes me sexual release.”
  • “I can’t just flip a switch, and if I’m not in the mood, it’s not happening.”

Maybe you see yourself in one of those, maybe you don’t. But I think a lot of spouses, even ones with minor issues in the marriage bed, fall back on the excuse of “That’s just the way I am.”

Well, Corey Flood and I have some advice for you. Yes, you may be that. But if it’s not working for your life, you can make a different choice. You can choose to be something better.

You don’t have to surrender to your natural tendency. Good gravy, the Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus. #marriage Click To Tweet

For Lloyd Dobbler, it was Don’t be a guy. Be a man. But for spouses with marriage bed struggles, it’s about not being the person who’s causing or contributing to your spouse feeling terrible about sex in your marriage or to your marriage itself becoming a place of conflict or despair.

Is it really so important to hold on to some aspect of yourself that you believe to be inborn if it costs you your marriage?

Honestly, all of my examples hit on real issues that would need to be dealt with if they are in your marriage. I’m not saying that you just sweep that problem under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is that it’s a lame excuse for keeping the status quo to say, “That’s just the way I am.”

What if you could be something else? What if you could view sex in its right perspective for your marriage? Neither the be-all-end-all, nor an optional experience in your relationship. What if sex in your marriage could be mutually pleasurable? Intimacy-building? Emotionally and spiritually satisfying?

Let’s figure out how to be that, starting simply with the first step toward growth.

5 Reasons to Love a Quickie

Quickie (n). a brief or spontaneous episode of sexual activity.

Quickies should not comprise the majority of your lovemaking. If they do, you’re not giving your sex life enough time and attention. Because the ultimate goal of sex in marriage is intimacy. And you can’t get super-intimate with your spouse in 5-10 minutes.

That said, when you’ve invested a lot of time with someone, those brief encounters can be great touch-base moments. I’ve seen this with texting my best friend in between seeing one another, quick greetings at church with people I later sit down and talk to at length, and quickies with my husband when we also have longer lovemaking times.

With all that in mind, let me tell you why you should embrace—even love—the quickie!

Stopwatch illustration + blog post title

1. You can take the edge off.

One of the primary reasons to have a quickie is because one or both of you is feeling edgy about not having had sex in a while. A while could be a few days or a week, but for higher interest spouses, the longer they go without, the more the desire translates to physical tension.

Some spouses report getting antsy or cranky without both the physical release and intimate connection sex in marriage provides. Having a quickie can sate that hunger until you have more time for a longer lovemaking encounter.

2. You can avoid little-people detection.

When you have young children in your home, it can be difficult to find time to eat a decent meal or take a shower, much less have extended nookie time. Sometimes, 5-10 minutes is all you have, so you make the best of what you’ve got.

Nearly all kids can be left alone for the time it takes to have a quickie. Yes, you might need to put the baby in the playpen, turn on a kids’ show, or drag out the craft supplies and hope glue doesn’t end up on your walls, but you can figure out how to safely make it happen. And then you can figure out how to make the quickie happen.

3. You can bless your spouse.

Quickies don’t necessarily mean sexual intercourse — any brief sexual activity counts. That means you can take a short period of time and use it to bless your spouse by taking care of their sexual/emotional needs or by just making this time all about them.

Specifically speaking, give him a blow job or a hand job. Give her cunnilingus (aka oral sex) or manually bring her to orgasm. You may need to bring out your best plays and a bit of lube to accomplish what you want, but you might well be able to get in a sweet blessing in only a few minutes.

4. You can have it in places other than the bed.

Quickies are great for the shower, the closet, the car… Wherever space is limited, quickies are wonderful option. You may need to get creative enough with positions to make your bodies come together, but check out Christian Friendly Sex Positions or the Ultimate Intimacy app for ideas. CFSP even has the best sex positions for in a car!

By the way, couples often ask how they can still have sex while on a family vacation, and this might be your best bet. You may not be able to get the hotel room all to yourselves, but even a small hotel bathroom could work for a quickie.

5. You can express true familiarity.

Yes, a long, lazy time of kissing, caressing, and lovemaking is an absolutely beautiful, and crucial, experience in marriage. But the quick, playful moments of a quickie also express how well you’ve come to know each other and your bodies. By cutting to the chase of what he/she really likes, you express the familiarity you’ve come to have.

You know just where to touch her. You know just how to stroke him. Even if it’s not that easy to get revved up yourself, you know how to bless your spouse. We’re better at quickies now than when we were younger, because we’re just better with each other.

What do you like about quickies? And what tips do you have to make quickies go well?

Ad for Hot Holy & Humorous - click to learn more / buy

Yes, quickies are covered more in the book!