Tag Archives: christian sex

How Should Christians Respond to Past Sexual Misconduct?

When I decided to talk more openly about my promiscuous premarital past, I did so with great trepidation. What if someone from my past emerged and told about their sexual experience with me? What if someone came forward with their story and it cast me in a bad light?

What if my past came back to haunt me?

That hasn’t happened yet. I suppose it still could, but I haven’t had to address any of that so far. Over time, that worry faded away.

However, some news stories recently made me revisit this question — how would I respond if someone come forward with information about a sexual encounter from my promiscuous days?

How Should Christians Respond to Past Sexual Misconduct? + illustration of large finger pointing at person

Now let me be incredibly clear: I have never — NEVER — assaulted anyone, nor have I ever engaged in any kind of sexual activity with a minor (except when I was also a minor). I also don’t believe that I’ve ever harassed anyone.

But could someone embarrass me with a memory from my past? Yeah, I suppose they could.

Yet it doesn’t really matter if someone airs the sins of my past. Why? Because:

1. I own my sins. Yeah, I was a selfish person, an emotional disaster, and a sinner. If someone said, “You did X” and it was true, I’d respond, “Yep, I sure did.” No denials, excuses, no defenses.

2. I’m forgiven. Not only am I forgiven by a loving God who responds to confession and repentance with unfailing mercy — He made me a new creation. I’m really and truly not that person anymore.

3. I’ve helped others. By being transparent about my past, I’ve set the stage for others to do the same and thus discover what healing and beauty lies on the other side of redemption. My story has enabled me to give hope to spouses who need and want to let go of their sexual baggage — assuring them it can be done and God longs for you to have amazing sexual intimacy, regardless of your past sins.

God longs for you to have amazing sexual intimacy regardless of your past sins. Click To Tweet

It’s coming from that place that I want to talk about the current climate of sexual accusations and how we should respond.Because I know full well that I’m not without sin and don’t need to be casting stones (see John 8:7).

So what is the Christian response to an accurate allegation of past sexual misbehavior?

1. Own your sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” Not you, not me. We’re all sinners. So why do people try to deny when they messed up royally, sinned against others, and left scars in their wake? You’re not fooling anybody!

You’re certainly not fooling God. As Jeremiah 16:17 says, “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.” I like how the NLT translates this verse: “I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.”

Take the apostle Paul as an example. There’s a guy who had every reason not to trumpet, “Hey, I was once in a club that killed you people!” And yet, he was open about his sinful past; for instance, telling the Galatians, “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it” (1:13). And in Acts 22, he addresses a large crowd (actually an angry mob) and recounts his conversation: “‘‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’” Yep, he owned it.

2. Apologize to those you hurt.

A long time ago, I wrote a post titled A Letter to a Former Lover. In it, I apologize for my part in a premarital sexual relationship that never should have happened. This sentence encapsulates how I felt: “I cheated myself and I cheated you out of what God desired for us sexually.”

If confronted by someone you hurt with your actions, the right response is to apologize. Too often we are concerned about protecting ourselves and our current lives. Some may even cite family as a reason not to admit your guilt and ask for forgiveness. I understand that, but are we sufficiently concerned about how our actions have affected their family? How it’s affected their marriage?

Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Do everything you can to make peace with those you’ve hurt or offended. Even if they messed up too, apologize for your part.

3. Tell your redemption story.

Is there anything more inspirational than someone who used to suck at something and now they’re really great at it? It could be the story of a girl who fell on her skates over and over when she was a child, but now she’s a figure skater competing in the Olympic Games. It could be the former drug user whose habit cost him his job and social life, but now runs a nonprofit organization that helps addicts stay clean. It could be the guy who used to preach against and persecute Christians, who became one of the most vocal proponents of Jesus Christ and The Way.

Paul didn’t stop with a recitation of his past sinfulness. He used that opportunity to explain how Jesus saved him. “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16). What a witness for Christ!

If someone brings your sin from last year or decades ago out in the open, your response should be that of the first stanza of “Amazing Grace”:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

4. Take care of any loose threads.

Is there some tangible thing you could offer to make up for your past sin? Do you need to work on areas of your marriage affected by specifics brought to light? Do you need to forgive yourself where God has already forgiven you? Do you need to deal with any lingering temptations?

Loose threads that need addressing are situation specific. Even forgiven sins have consequences. Some may not be able to be removed, but others could be at least minimized. Take care of what you can.

Why am I offering all of these thoughts? Because sexuality has been in the news, and I believe it’s important as Christians to understand how to evaluate the responses given by those credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

And because on a more personal level, one or both spouses may have past sexual sins that need addressing. If you’re not willing to address your own sins in these ways, it will be difficult to move forward in your marriage with trust and intimacy. Your spouse may not know exactly why they struggle to feel vulnerable with you, but unconfessed sin can be a barrier to sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Unconfessed sin can be a barrier to sexual intimacy in your marriage. Click To Tweet

But remember, there is joy and freedom in owning, confessing, apologizing, and embracing God’s redemption. Trust me — I’ve lived it.

Please don’t assume I’m talking about a specific news story. It’s really not about any one thing, but rather the culmination of various allegations and responses I’ve seen.

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5 Ways to Get Your Church to Address Sex

So your church doesn’t address sex. You’re not alone.

But if you’re like me, or you’ve read the Bible past Genesis 1 and know that God didn’t shy away from sex, you think your church should be able to have a grownup conversation about sexual intimacy in marriage. So how can you get people talking about this important topic in a respectful, helpful, godly ways?

Here are five actions you can take to move the needle.

Blog post title + basic illustration of a church building

1. Offer to teach or facilitate a class.

You know there’s a need, but many churches don’t know how to present material that encourages healthy and holy sex in marriage. Pastors are also in precarious positions, expected and even pressured to teach solely on certain theological issues.

Why not suggest an alternative within your current educational structure? Offer to lead a class or small group. I admit to being a bit nervous myself when I offered to teach a women’s class at my church, but my class was welcomed and well-attended. I came up with my own material, because…well…me. But if you’d rather facilitate, tap into some excellent resources where others will do the teaching portion for you.

Here are three I can recommend for wives:

Awaken Love Class. Led by Ruth Buezis. “The Awaken-Love class is available to women all over the world through our 6-week video series…Together you will watch the videos, read through Song of Songs and discuss the material. Opening up the taboo topic of sex with women you trust will help you uncover a new level of intimacy in your marriage as you learn to talk about sex.”

Passion Pursuit Study Led by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery. “For each of the ten weeks, you will watch a 30-45 minute video of Juli & Linda teaching and then have 5 days of homework to complete in your workbook. Each group will need one woman to step up as the facilitator, but Juli & Linda will do all the teaching through the DVD & workbook.”

Boost Your Libido (affiliate link). Led by Sheila Wray Gregoire. “We’re going to have FUN—as I show you how you can move your marriage from BLAH to Blazing, just by understanding how your brain, body, and relationship all work together to impact your libido! This 10-module video based course has lots of information and awesome exercises that will get YOU anticipating sex more!” Now perhaps 70-85% of wives are the lower-drive spouse, but even as the higher-drive spouse in my own marriage (currently), I appreciated this course for addressing distinct ways that sexual intimacy works for wives. While originally designed it for individuals online, it would be easy to facilitate this course in a small group setting.

2. Gift resources to church leaders.

The following three things are true for a majority of pastors:

  • They didn’t receive much ministry training on God’s design for sexual intimacy.
  • They don’t know exactly how to address the topic of sex with their congregations.
  • They don’t make a lot of money, so they’re limited in buying products to research or consider.

Thus, if you want your pastor to address this topic or be an advocate for sex-positive programs and classes, maybe you could gift resources to your pastor(s) that address sex with a godly perspective. Let them see that Christians are speaking out in holy and healthy ways, and your church can do it too.

For instance, my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed, shows how Scripture can be applied to a number of issues couples face in marriage about sex, and even includes prayers for sex. I also have a list of recommended reads here.

3. Host an event.

Sometimes what can kick-off the conversation is an event that gets church members thinking and talking. In this case, you just invite the speaker to come in, and he/she will do the rest. At least during the event. Afterwards, it’s up to the church to follow up and follow through.

Here are just three great speakers you could host, who all speak to women honestly and biblically about sex:

Juli Slattery, clinical psychologist, author, speaker, Authentic Intimacy Conference and Ladies Night Out

Sheila Wray Gregoire, speaker, blogger, an award-winning author, Girl Talk Event.

J. Parker (oh, that’s me!), speaker, author, silly-joke-teller. And I’ve waived my speaker fee for the remainder of the year!

4. Give your testimony.

For years, I was scared to give my personal testimony, because I figured it would go like this:

Me: So perhaps the biggest area in which God saved me in my sexuality. You see, I was quite the tool before I got married—sheesh, half of you would barely recognize that girl!—and then there’s all the C-R-A-P my marriage went through, some of which was due to serious sexual baggage. But woo-hoo! God rescued me.

Them:

If you’re frightened to speak up too, I get it. I really do. But those faces are not at all what has happened.

In fact, when we confess our struggles to one another, most of the time we discover that others are struggling too and people are glad someone spoke up. You could be the first one to break that unspoken rule of silence that isn’t helping any of us and instead introduce honesty and a willingness to support one another, even one another’s marriage beds.

Be careful how and when you spill your story, of course. But go ahead and talk about how God has worked in your sex life. I know my Heavenly Father has worked wonders in mine.

Be careful how and when you spill your story, of course. But go ahead and talk about how God has worked in your sex life. I know my Heavenly Father has worked wonders in mine. Click To Tweet

5. Be a positive voice for sexual intimacy.

Just be the voice among friends who speaks positively about sex. You wives know what I’m talking about: Sometimes the discussion among women turns to sex, and the comments are, sadly, negative. “Ugh, he wants it all the time!” “I’m too tired for sex.” “What’s the big deal anyway?”

Or they might in favor of sex in marriage, but still wrong: “You need to have more sex for your husband.” Um, how about more sex for your husband and you, since God made it a mutual thing we gals are also supposed to really enjoy!

You can slowly but surely start to turn the tide by being the positive voice in the room. Positive doesn’t mean pushy, but let others know that God is the author of pleasurable sex, that it’s an act intended to create and express intimacy, and that it’s worth pursuing a healthy and holy marriage bed.

Even if you only convince one woman, that’s one wife who now has incentive to seek God’s design for sex and has an advocate for her marriage—you. One by one, we make a difference.

What couples resources do you recommend for churches? What has your church done that has been helpful in promoting positive, godly sexuality?

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5 Techniques to Knock Hubby’s Bedroom Socks Off

We can overemphasize the physicality and techniques of sex. But once you’ve built that emotional and spiritual connection in your marriage bed, why not discover some good moves that can bring intense pleasure to your husband?

For many wives, knowing more of what they’re doing in the bedroom empowers them to embrace their own sexuality, feel confident about themselves, and get aroused by the effect they have on their man.

So let’s talk about five ways to knock your hubby’s bedroom socks off!

5 Techniques to Knock Hubby's Bedroom Socks Off + graphic of green socks

Quick warning: Some of the following is pretty specific, so if you visualize as you read, please make sure it’s an image of your spouse in your mind. If you struggle with that, step away.

1. Undress yourself slowly.

How do you eat a drive-through hamburger versus a gourmet chocolate dessert? I suspect your partake of the latter more slowly, savoring every bite. Not that I’m opposed to hamburger days, but why not tease out the experience of undressing yourself as if you’re the gourmet dessert. (You totally are, you sexy wife, you!)

A little background music and low lighting can set the mood. Let your husband know that you’ll do the undressing, and he just gets to watch. Then take your time slipping off each item of clothing and tossing it onto the floor or over to him. For added excitement, a wife can touch herself as she goes, stroking her leg sensually as she removes her skirt, running her hands over her breasts as she removes her shirt, even stroking a finger over her pubic mound or lower as she removes her panties.

2. Give him real access.

Many wives feel uncomfortable spreading their legs really wide. But there’s something really arousing to a husband about his wife confidently, unabashedly opening up that area fully so he can have access to see, touch, and pleasure her.

There are a few ways you can give him real access to your vulva. Sit up in a bed or on a chair, tilt your hips forward, and bend your knees out wide. Or lie down, tilt your hips forward, and make a butterfly pose with your legs. Or spread out full-eagle on the bed, one leg to the east, one to the west. For added oomph, specifically invite your husband into your garden with words, a come-hither gesture, or stroking your own vulva a few times to ready the area for his attention.

3. Make it a “yes” night.

Want to know what turns you both on? It’s actually good if you just tell each other, rather than expecting you both to be mind-readers. But for a twist on that, limit what you say during a sexual encounter to the just the word “yes.”

That is, he can only direct you with a yes and should say yes when something feels good. If he wants, you can do the same. But make sure to vary your yeses, showing your enthusiasm for certain sensations. A whispered “yes” and a shouted “yes” strike a different chord with your lover, so use volume, pitch, and tone to communicate your excitement and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

4. Stroke the underside.

I’ve written about this area before, but there’s a section between a man’s testicles and his anus that can be especially sensitive. It’s called the perineum, or colloquially you might hear the term “taint.” By stroking that underside, you are in contact with the base interior of your husband’s penis, as well as indirectly stimulating the prostate gland, which can be an erogenous zone for men.

Massage or press that perineum on its own or when giving him oral sex, or hook your arm around to stroke him while engaging in intercourse. Pressure against this area can feel really good and intensify his orgasm.

5. Take charge.

Most husbands love seeing their wives filled with enthusiasm for sex — they want their woman to really get into the experience. And nothing says, “I want this, I want you,” quite like taking charge of the movements of intercourse.

Straddle your husband, and then either squat to use your legs to pump up and down on him or sit and rock your hips back and forth. Add in a hip-circle now and then to mix things up and get a new sensation. You can also use a chair, asking him to sit first, then sit on top of him, straddle the chair, and go at your own rhythm until you, he, or both of you reach climax. (For more ideas on positions, Christian Friendly Sex Positions also has an entire section for Wife in Control.)

And for all kinds of ideas on amping up your pleasure and his, check out my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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Q&A with J: Doesn’t She Really Want a Bigger Penis?

One of my most popular post continues to be Penis Size: From the Wife’s Point of View. So I’m not surprised that this issue continues to be on husband’s minds. Here are two related emails from readers:

I read your article on Penis size. There seems to be a lot of truth in it from my experience but some claims do not tally with my experience….My wife tells me she can feel my presence deep within her and she enjoys that feeling.

I stumbled across your webpage by googling “Does size matter?” and found your blog. I am the husband asking this because I wonder if my wife really deep inside wishes I was bigger.

Q&A with J: Doesn't She Really Want a Bigger Penis? with ruler

I have talked to a lot of women about this and done quite a bit of research. Thus, let me break down more fully what I know.

Penises are big.

For almost every woman, the first time she sees a penis and thinks about it fitting inside her, she’s like whoathat huge thing? We even talked about this in a recent Sex Chat for Christian Wives episode on male anatomy.

With the exception of a medical condition called micropenis (which is 2.5 standard deviations below average, and only 1.5 in 10,000 men have that), the penis is big enough to make her stretch, to provide friction, and to feel good.

Bigger penises might reach deeper.

Studies now show that yes, women who engage with longer penises may report some additional pleasure because there could be the potential to reach deeper erogenous zones.

But it’s not a given, and those zones can be reached in other ways. A guy with an average-sized penis can use sexual positioning and angles to hit “just that right spot,” if she’s so inclined. Moreover, you have your fingers too, which can curve and reach in ways your penis cannot.

Your penis isn’t the best way for her to orgasm.

Most women don’t reach orgasm through vaginal penetration anyway. The vast majority of orgasms for a woman are from direct clitoral stimulation, rather than the indirect stimulation intercourse provides.

If you really want to get her going, check out my recent post on the “golden trio”: These 3 Actions Could Bring You to Orgasm.

Committed wives value their husband’s penis.

When I receive a complaint from a woman about her man’s penis size, it’s always from a woman who isn’t in a committed marriage. I was about to type “almost always,” but then I realized the only exception I could think of was a guy who actually had that micropenis medical condition.

Every other time, it’s been from a promiscuous woman whose enjoyment of sex is more linked to some physical high than the deeper, and truly better, emotional, physical, and even spiritual connection that can happen in the marriage bed. From everything I’ve heard, wives in good marriages like their husband’s penis just fine.

From everything I've heard, wives in good marriages like their husband's penis just fine. Click To Tweet

It’s not the size of the tool, but its effectiveness.

Finally, women are more impressed with what you can do with your body parts than whether Mr. Happy can stand up an extra half-inch. If you want your wife to think you’re absolutely awesome, don’t sweat penis size so much; think about how to give her more pleasure.

For instance, link your penis being inside her with a clitoral orgasm that has her eyes rolling back in her head. You can do this by stroking her clitoris with your hand (make sure the area’s lubricated) during intercourse, or encourage her to use her own hand. Then when her muscles spasm, the presence (and thus size) of your penis will feel especially good.

That’s about it. I suspect your wife is content with your penis. But you can always explore more ways to make lovemaking more meaningful and pleasurable for both of you.

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5 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Spouse

It’s Saturday, which is the day I give y’all a high-five — that is, a high-five list of practical tips or resources to nurture your marriage bed. And today, I want you to get lucky.

So let’s talk about five ways to initiate sex.

Blog post title + illustration of man and woman kissing and hearts above them

1. Plan a special date.

I don’t know what “special” means to your spouse, but you do (or should). If what turns your honey on is romance, line up the babysitter, plan a romantic dinner out, and return home to a bedroom you’ve set up with candles, rose petals, music, and anything else needed for a night of lovemaking.

If you want to go bigger, book a hotel room. If you have kids, also take care of who’ll be watching the children overnight, so your spouse can relax and know that’s handled. Ask your honey to “dress up” (again, whatever that means to you), and take them out for an evening of dinner, dancing, or a scenic walk. Order room service if you want, and spend the night enjoying one another.

And If you’re on the cheap, make a wonderful meal at home, put on something sexy or lay out something sexy for your spouse to wear, and then snuggle up together for a movie and make-out session. See where it leads.

Just be the one to set things up and show that you long to spend time, in and out of the bedroom, with your spouse.

2. Build anticipation with flirtation.

Send a sexy text telling your beloved what you’re looking forward to. Or share a photo of what you plan to wear that evening (like a string of pearls and a pair of lace undies). Leave a note in your sweetheart’s car or work bag telling them what you want to do later. Whisper in their ear what you’ve got on your mind.

Tease by running your finger along your spouse’s skin at the edge of the fabric they’re wearing or using feather-light touches over the fabric at their erogenous zones. Wives, wear a skirt, nix the underwear, and then tell him you’re going commando. 

Just flirt with your spouse in romantic, affectionate, and sexy ways. Express your longing not only to have sex but to give them sexual pleasure to their heart’s delight.

Whatever sexy flirtation you can come up could help you both anticipate lovemaking.

3. Get an inspiring resource.

Buy something for your marriage bed and then tell your spouse you want to try it out. That can anything from a flavored lube, to a bedroom game, to the Ultimate Intimacy app — which has both conversations and games to play. It can involve getting new lingerie to show off and take off.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous 3D CoverOr hey, I hear there’s this fabulous book with all kinds of ideas you can try: Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. Bookmark a page or chapter to read together and then experiment to your heart’s delight.

A new item for your marriage bed could be just the inspiration needed to get things revving.

4. Grab the goods.

I probably shouldn’t use the word “grab,” since I don’t want you to injure important jewels by being too rough. However, there’s really no doubting what you have in mind when you just reach over and cup his package. Likewise, some wives enjoy having sudden attention given to their erogenous zones, especially breasts.

Now this doesn’t work for all spouses, because some don’t enjoy being “grabbed” out of nowhere. This can especially be an issue for someone has experienced sexual harassment or assault or a young mom who has had kids hands on her body all day long.

But if you both enjoy it, then touching the goodies could give your spouse that clear signal — it’s go time.

5. Just ask.

This may seem like the least sexy option, but it could be the most effective. The straightforward approach might be just what you need, saying something like: “I love and desire you so much. Could we make love tonight?” It could even be as simple as a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, “Do you wanna?” And if you get turned down, ask when would be a better time and then follow through.

A tip for those with lower-drive spouses: Don’t ask, “Are you in the mood?” because the answer is probably no, even if they would enjoy a session of lovemaking. Instead, ask if they’re willing to have sex and how you can help them get in the mood.

“Just ask” may not sound romantic enough, but it worked for the poetic wife in Song of Songs : “Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages” (7:11). Spoiler alert: He said yes.

Pick your pleasure among these five tips or check out my other post on 40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband, and get things going in your marriage bed!