Tag Archives: marital intimacy

Sex Is for You Too

Scott Means profile picFrom time to time, I invite a husband onto my blog to give his take on Christian sex in marriage. I’m rather particular about who these men are, and today I’m super-excited it’s Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage.

Scott has been writing some stellar stuff about intimacy in marriage, and he also just released a book I want my readers to know about. Rather than take up any more space bragging about my fellow blogger and friend, I’ll just hand it over to Scott, who is talking to you wives today.

blog post title + two fingers with faces and arms drawn to resemble a couple hugging

God has hardwired us to desire intimacy, that deep feeling of closeness and connection.  I’ve often said that intimacy is the most important goal of marriage, and I’ve found that it is by far the number one longing of most couples.

Why then, do so many couples who desire deeper intimacy in their marriage find it so elusive?

In my new Kindle book, The Path of Intimacy, I explain how every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. There is no middle ground. You are either growing together or you are growing apart.

Every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. - Scott Means Click To Tweet

One reason couples grow apart is that they tend to have some misconceptions about intimacy. In my book I examine these misconceptions, exploring seven common lies that people believe about intimacy in marriage. Buying into these lies can keep couples stuck on the Path of Separation, feeling disconnected and disappointed, when what they desire most is to be together.

“Sex Is for Him”

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. It’s amazing to me how many women believe this lie, which ultimately steals the joy and beauty from God’s marvelous design of the sexual union between husband and wife. It robs her of the deep connection with her husband that she actually desires.

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. Click To Tweet

The majority of women don’t have the same testosterone-laden sex drive as their husbands (though around 20% of wives have a higher drive than their husband). Many of these lower-drive wives think it’s no big deal to go without sex and can just dole it out as a wifely duty.

But it actually is a big deal.

Sex is the only form of intimacy that God strictly reserved to be shared between husbands and wives, which makes sex not only unique but also sacred. Sex is an essential part of the oneness between husband and wife.

In a Sexual Satisfaction Survey that I ran on my blog a few years back, I found that one in five marriages are essentially sexless (defined as having sex less than once a month). My findings are confirmed by a range of scientific studies over the past decade.

These are sad and tragic statistics that point to the damage being done in way too many marriages.

Sex Is for BOTH of You

Believing that sex is primarily for your husband will rob you of the sexual enjoyment and fulfillment that God intends for you. Additionally, a husband whose wife gives him only “duty sex” because she knows “he needs it” will rarely be sexually satisfied. Your husband longs for you to be fully engaged in the bedroom and likely has a strong desire to see you sexually fulfilled as well.

Sexual intimacy is an essential component of marital intimacy, which I define as “being fully known and completely loved.”  Because sex brings about the ultimate vulnerability in marriage, doing it only for your husband will cause you to miss out on the deep connection found in a mutually fulfilling sex life.

Keep in mind that sex is not primarily a physical act. It is deeply spiritual and builds a wide pathway to a strong emotional connection as well. Having regular, deeply satisfying sex strengthens your marriage, gives you a sense of well-being, and it can help you actually desire sex more.

Here’s the corresponding truth that you can use to defeat the lie that sex is only for your husband:  Even though you may have less physical drive than your husband, don’t allow yourself to miss out on the joy, pleasure and oneness that is rightfully yours.

Explore the other six lies that inhibit intimacy in marriage (and much more) in my book, The Path of Intimacy.

Path of Intimacy Book Cover

In The Path of Intimacy, Scott Means gives you a road map for your journey into deeper intimacy and greater passion in your marriage. Along with insight into God’s heart for marriage, he offers both invaluable wisdom and practical steps you can take immediately to get off The Path of Separation and to stay on the Path of Intimacy.

Buy the book: Amazon

Visit Scott’s website: Heaven Made Marriage

 

And for specific tips on how to make sexual intimacy more exciting for you, be sure to also check out my ebooks, currently on sale through Valentine’s Day!

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Why Sex Should Be Hot, Holy, and Humorous

Today I’m having a bit of a celebration.

My new book Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design is now available! You can find it at Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and maybe somewhere else I haven’t seen.

For my release, I thought I’d revisit the question of why Hot, Holy, and Humorous.

Why Sex Should Be Hot, Holy, and Humorous

Hot. Maybe I should have started with holy, since that’s really what matters to me most. However, I had a feeling hot was a huge missing piece for many Christians. I was rightly raised to believe that sex in marriage was the way to go and that it was a special experience to make love with your covenant partner. But to me, it sounded like all those people preaching this path had no idea just how steamy and sexy and satisfying sex really was. Too many of them kept the conversations so highbrow or low-volume that we might as well be discussing doilies at a tea party.

Let’s understand this: Sex is supposed to feel really good. Look at the difference between how God created the sex act for most animals and then how He gifted us — the ones made in His image — to experience sex. For animals, it’s primarily an urge, a release, a reproductive necessity. I’m not saying they don’t enjoy the moment, but I’ve never seen a bull grazing on grass and suspected that he was thinking, “Getting lucky tonight…oh yeahhhh.”

Meanwhile, we have the beauty of anticipation, desire, affection, foreplay, lovemaking, afterglow. And we can make love on whatever schedule we want — no mating season required. Plus, we ladies have a clitoris, which has absolutely no reproductive purpose whatsoever. It’s simply there for our stimulation and satisfaction.

God intended sex between husband and wife to be hot. Rev-your-engines hot. Steam-rising hot. Hunka-hunka-burning-love hot. And it’s entirely Christian to experience that gift from God.

Holy. Sex can feel physically good in many different contexts, but the full blessings of sex don’t come outside of the context God designed. God created sex to happen between a covenant husband and wife with all of His commands about love infusing the experience.

Although physically satisfying, sex has a higher purpose. It bonds husband and wife together (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:6), and it represents the relationship between our Lord and His people (Ephesians 5:31-32, Isaiah 54:5). Within marriage, sex should be a holy act of love.

Within marriage, sex should be a holy act of love. Click To Tweet

The biggest change in my own perspective of sex happened when I stopped compartmentalizing sexual intimacy and allowed every Scriptural command and principle to shed light on my marriage bed. Thus, every Bible verse about how to be holy . . . applies to my marital intimacy. If it doesn’t honor God to lie outside the bedroom, it doesn’t honor Him to lie inside the bedroom. If it doesn’t honor God to neglect my husband outside the bedroom, it doesn’t honor Him to neglect my husband inside the bedroom. If it doesn’t honor God to be demanding outside the bedroom, it doesn’t honor Him to be demanding inside the bedroom.

But it’s not just about all the things we shouldn’t do. Rather, we have the promise of something far more beautiful and meaningful and satisfying when we take all of the positive instructions from God into our marriage beds. Sex is holy, but also exciting and intimate, when we are patient, kind, protective, trusting, hopeful, persevering (1 Corinthians 13:4-7); when we’re filled with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23); when we feel that depth of belonging and desire for one another (Song of Songs 7:10).

I genuinely believe God wants to bless our marriage beds! He has some parameters He asks us to follow, and He has wisdom on how to nurture our marriages by following His commands and His example of love. We should embrace the holiness of sexual intimacy in marriage, by God’s design.

Humorous. God is hilarious. I say this with absolutely certainty. If we’re all made in His image, consider how important our sense of humor is to us individually, in our society, and for our happiness. We didn’t get our wit or silliness from nowhere; it came from God. And, if you ask me, He told some humdingers.

Did you hear the one about a camel going through the eye of a needle? (Matthew 19:24). How about this instruction found in Exodus 20:26? “And do not approach my altar by going up steps. If you do, someone might look up under your clothing and see your nakedness” (NLT). Good point, God. Then there’s one of my favorite Bible stories when the judge Ehud gets an evil, and terribly fat, king alone and stabs him in the belly so far that the hilt of the knife disappears into the fat. After Ehud leaves and the king doesn’t let them back in, his servants don’t enter because they think the king is busy using the toilet. (Judges 3 – Thanks, God. Our Bible class full of elementary boys were truly engaged by this story!)

What does any of this have to do with sex? Well, you have to get naked, get in weird positions, communicate about things that used to crack us all up in junior high, and you have the ongoing possibility of getting interrupting by children or pets, accidentally pulling hair or pinching skin or even falling, and all the strange things that can happen with your body like a poorly timed fart. In the course of your long marriage, you may experience all kinds of sexual situations that are, objectively speaking, funny.

So learn to laugh in the moment. In fact, invite playfulness into your bedroom. Let your marriage bed be a place that is hot and holy, but also humorous. Lighten up and enjoy! Flirt and have fun. Use word play to discuss your lovemaking or one another’s body parts or to recall a private memory.

I don’t know if you currently have all three of these operating in your marriage, none of the three, or maybe just one or two. But I encourage you to think about what’s missing or what you can nurture more. God gifted us to have all three in our marital bedrooms — the hot, the holy, and the humorous.

And that’s why I wrote my book. It contains biblical and practical tips for helping you develop whichever one of these you need. Pick it up and let it bless your marriage!

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Two Interviews I Hope You’ll Listen To

Delight Your Marriage podcast logoI’m doing something different today and encouraging you click elsewhere, to the Delight Your Marriage podcast. This is a new marriage and sexuality podcast hosted by Belah Rose, who requested an interview with me.

We chatted a few weeks ago (before my “big reveal“), and the podcast recently went live. Listening to the first installment, I wasn’t sure I’d ever talked that personally about my marriage before. But I’m happy to share it with you here, because I want my experiences — bad and good — to encourage wives and marriages:

How Being Happy Saved Her Marriage with J. Parker (click title to link)

The second installment gets into my favorite subject — sex in marriage. I specifically address the issues I hear most often from wives and how we can make positive changes for our marital intimacy:

How Sex Can Be Great for Her Too with J. Parker (click title to link)

You can also head to iTunes for the Delight Your Marriage podcast there. Belah’s interviews with me are episodes 2 and 3. (By the way, don’t let the word “Explicit” scare you. It’s nothing more than I talk about here. Promise!)

Please take a listen. And may it bless your marriage!

Do You Have a Blind Spot in Your Marriage?

“The deepest struggles of life will occur in the most primary relationship affected by the fall: marriage.”
– Dan Allender and Tremper Longman

I came across this quote recently. It’s cited in Gary Thomas’s Simply Sacred daily readings book. It brought home to me something I’ve been thinking a lot about: Why is sometimes more challenging to be selfless and patience and giving to your own family?

I’ve been seeing it recently with stories I’ve heard from friends, comments from blog readers, and yes, my own experience. It comes in statements that sound like this:

“She’s so generous with her church, but she criticizes everyone and everything at our family reunions.”

“Our kids have so many good friends, but they fight constantly with each other.”

“He’s always leading youth events and going on mission trips, but he hasn’t taken me out on a date in ages.”

“She’s involved in so many ministries, giving of herself constantly, that she never has time for sexual intimacy with me.”

blind spotWe’ve all known that person who acts one way among church friends and another way in other contexts — the hypocritical Christian. But that’s not really what I’m talking about here. Many people who are devoted and gracious with others simply don’t see their own neglect or mistreatment of family. It’s a blind spot.

So in the realm of sexual intimacy, they don’t think about how that area of their life is also ministry.

The husband who patiently takes time to study the Bible with a seeker or greets visitors with a smile and questions about their day may turn around and show little to no romance or affection for his wife. Then he wants sex and can’t figure out why she isn’t leaping for joy at the prospect. The wife who pours her heart and soul into teaching children in Bible classes and serves meals to shut-ins may get home and pour nothing of herself into being sexually engaged with her husband. Then she can’t understand why he’s always so disgruntled about her charitable activities.

It requires intentional self-evaluation to ask “How am I doing?” again and again in our marriage. We tend to get married, grow comfortable, and fail to make the effort needed to maintain and deepen love. We remember our manners outside the home and forget them with our family. Especially our spouse.

But you see, Satan’s all over that. I suspect he’s just fine with you teaching Bible classes now while he slowly, subtly, certainly tears at the seams of your marriage, rip by rip. It may take time, but eventually he can render someone ineffective in ministry to others because they neglected ministry at home. With the foundation of your marriage crumbling, it’s not as hard to knock you down.

One of his weapons is messing with your sex life. Whether it’s distracting a spouse from marital intimacy with good things like ministry or bad things like porn. (Of course I recognize there’s a huge difference between these two, but marriages can suffer from both.) Whether it’s encouraging selfishness with constant demands for sex or with constant rejections of sex. Whether it’s creating division in how we view the significance of sex or the significance of other activities.

Over time, we let intentionality go and fail to give sexual intimacy the attention it requires to thrive. One or both spouses begin to feel untended, unloved, unimportant. The godly principles we espouse — such as love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness — are increasingly absent in our marriage. Over time, we lose our deep connection, distance and resentment grow, and eventually it’s easier to show kindness to the barista in the coffee shop than to your own husband or wife.

How do we get it back? How do make sure that Satan doesn’t gain a foothold through our marriage bed? Intention. Commitment. Reminders. Time. Bible study. Communication. Prayer.

We have to recognize the temptation to see our ministry as happening outside the walls of our home. Yes, we have a calling to reach out beyond our borders, to proclaim the Word and ministry to the needy. We shouldn’t neglect that calling. But neither should we ignore the ministry inside our home, and even in our marital bedroom. God has given us a unique opportunity to minister to our spouse in a way no one else can. This marriage bond means that we get our sexual needs and desires met through only one source — that beautiful husband or wife you vowed to love.

Satan wants to tear it down. God wants to build it up.

We decide whether to approach our sexual intimacy in marriage with godliness and honor.

Has sexual intimacy been a blind spot in your marriage?

Top 5 Posts in 2013 (& 5 More I Hope You Read)

The Times Square ball has dropped, the toasts have been made, and hopefully you managed to get a kiss at midnight from your honey. In short, the New Year is here.

Since 2013 has concluded, I wanted to share with you my top 5 posts from last year — based on blog traffic.

5. 10 Sexy Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband. Which is kind of cool that so many wives are looking for ways to make the holidays a special time of intimacy as well.

4. The One Sex Tip I Give Husbands Over and Over. I guess plenty of people agreed with that one tip! (Or at least wanted to know what it was. 😉 )

3. What?! You’d Rather He Have an Affair? My answer to a comment from a wife suggesting her husband have an affair rather than turn to her for sexual intimacy.

2. 3 Tips on Having a Great Orgasm. Yay! Julie Sibert’s guest post on my blog, with some practical tips on upping your pleasure in the marital bedroom.

1. How to Give a Hand Job. Which fascinates me, because I used to be bad at this. But then I learned a thing or two . . . and decided to share.

There are a few other 2013 posts which I’m particularly fond of. In case you didn’t read them, or want to revisit them, here are five other posts I’d love for you to read:

5. My Interview with Stupendous Marriage. Not that there’s much reading, but this post links to my interview with podcaster Stu Gray of Stupendous Marriage. I’ve been writing about Christian sexuality for three years, but this is the first time I’ve spoken about it way-out in public. Stu did a fabulous job, and I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss my passion for godly passion.

4. 4 Ways Sex Can Comfort in Crisis or Grief. This one was personal and eye-opening for me. Through my own experience, I discovered how sexual intimacy in marriage can reassure and refresh when you’re going through a tough time.

3. I Am the Higher-Drive Spouse (or Yes, Rejection Hurts). Wives are sometimes the higher-drive spouse, and that’s been my recent circumstance. I address this mismatch in drives, with a view of what it’s like on the higher-drive side.

2. Just Because He Stopped Asking Doesn’t Mean He Stopped Wanting. Maybe I liked this post because it’s a scenario I hear about, but rarely hear addressed. Some spouses believe that everything’s honky-dory because their spouse has stopped complaining about the lack of sex in their marriage, but sexual desire likely didn’t disappear. It’s natural to physically desire your mate, and indeed such desire shouldn’t go away.

1. How You Can Pray for Marriage Bloggers. I’d love to have your prayers for Hot, Holy & Humorous to be a successful ministry — one that reaches married couples who need help and encouragement. I know other marriage bloggers desire that people lift them up in prayer as well. Here are specific suggestions on what to pray.

Do you have other favorite posts from Hot, Holy & Humorous? And what topic do you wish I’d address in 2014?