Tag Archives: what does the Bible say about sex

Q&A with J: “Our Marriage Bed is a Mess” Part 1

My inbox is filled with questions from spouses telling me about their hardships regarding sexual intimacy in their marriage. I have maybe 100 such emails, and I often feel bad that I cannot get to each and every one. I imagine these individuals finallypainfully telling the details of their concerns and hoping to find some answer that will set them on the right path.

Yet my time is limited, my own marriage and family require attention, and God doesn’t expect any one person to do it all. I’m just one finger, or maybe just a toe, in the Body of Christ. I take heart that even Jesus sometimes turned away from the demands of people to keep His focus on the primary mission: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).

Since I don’t have the time and resources to answer each of those emails, I want to share six responses that come to mind when reading various stories of marriage bed difficulties. These are for the people who write me to essentially say, “Our marriage bed is a mess.”

Blog post title with unhappy couple in bed

I’ll cover three today, and three next week. Perhaps one of these touches on your particular situation.

And, by the way, I’m going to be really candid. No mincing words.

1. You’re married to a selfish jerk.

Sadly, some of you are living with a selfish spouse who dismisses your beliefs, belittles your feelings, and/or thinks your body belongs solely to them to be used as a sexual tool. Perhaps they also pursue sexually sinful practices and expect you to get involved or to look the other way.

If that’s your situation, you have to stand up for you! Set some boundaries. If you don’t know how to do this, go read Boundaries or Boundaries in Marriage by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Then follow through.

If your spouse’s attitude and behavior reaches the level of abuse — verbal, emotional, even physical — you have to stop allowing and enabling that. Even walk away, for your safety and wellbeing. And please no one tell me that suffering through abuse is somehow analogous to Christ suffering on the cross. Jesus allowed Himself to be mistreated then for a specific and higher purpose. But two other times, He escaped people wanting to physically harm Him:

At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:59).

Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp” (John 10:39).

A selfish jerk likely won’t change unless you throw a wrench in the gears, meaning you stop playing your part of the system. Instead, calmly oppose mistreatment wherever occurs, to others and to yourself. That’s biblical.

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17a).

2. You are the selfish jerk.

Sometimes the spouse who writes me is the selfish one. They complain about how they’re not getting everything they want in the marriage bed and explain how they’ve whined and argued with their “beloved” about how they’ve been mistreated without any progress. Wow, I’m sure that makes you a lot of fun to be around. 🙄

If you’ve given your spouse the clear impression your only interest in them is getting exactly what you want sexually, why are you surprised they don’t want to sleep with you? If you’re always complaining, often angry, or only touching them to get sex, you’re not an appealing lover. Kevin A. Thompson wrote a great post about this: I Wouldn’t Sleep with You Either.

Your answer is to remember what you did while you were dating, falling in love, first married. Are you doing those things now? What kind of person are you to be around? Do you need to focus on giving your spouse the gift of happiness? Are you making sex all about you? What about your spouse’s needs and desires? Ask yourself some tough questions, and then pray for God’s help and guidance on what you can do to be less selfish and move loving. (I’ll give you a hint: It looks more like Christ.)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus….” (Philippians 2:3-5).

3. You have a poor theology of sex.

Theology is “the study of the nature of God and religious belief.” More specifically, it can refer to “religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed” (Oxford Dictionaries). One core part of my ministry is correcting erroneous beliefs about sexual intimacy; that is, throwing out our wrong thinking about sex and replacing it with God’s design for sex in marriage.

Unfortunately, too many Christians still have beliefs about sex that aren’t in line with how God our Creator made sex. And those ideas of what sex really means, how it should practiced in our lives, and what to do when we face challenges impact our marriage beds. What plenty of spouses need is an adjustment in their theology.

So when people write me and say that they heard something was wrong or something was right when it’s really the opposite, I wonder if we shouldn’t simply open our Bibles more and see what our Lord Himself had to say about it all. Of course, some people don’t know where to look, and that’s something I’ve tried to address often. It’s also a problem that our churches and pastors don’t talk enough about sex and marriage. Sometimes what we spread is just off-the-mark, like my recent post for Crosswalk.com on 10 Myths about Sex You Heard in Church.

If this is where you are — not really knowing what part sexual intimacy should play in your marriage — then continue reading my blog and check out other responsible Christian marriage blogs like To Love Honor and Vacuum, OysterBed7, Heaven Made Marriage, The Forgiven Wife, Calm.Healthy.Sexy, Awaken Love, and the like. A part of me would also like to tell you which sources to avoid, but instead I encourage you to study your Bible more so that you will be “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Also, read books that cover this subject well, like my Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, Sheila Gregoire’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and Julie Sibert and Jeffrey Murphy’s The Pursuit of Passion. And listen to my podcast with three other marriage and sex bloggers, Sex Chat for Christian WivesGet others around you reading and listening these resources so that you have allies. Ask your pastor and/or elders to introduce more resources for married couples. In short, seek truth. I know there are a lot of voices competing for your attention, but truth is out there for those willing to pursue it.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it….” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Genesis 1:27-28, 31).

I have three more overall answers to many questions I’ve received, which I’ll cover next week.

If you’re one of the readers I haven’t specifically answered, please know that I appreciate you writing me, my heart does go out to you, I wish I could clone myself and do much more, and I’m praying for you and your marriage.

The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Poor in Spirit

In the course of my life and as I’ve grown this ministry, I’ve become convinced of this truth: Whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom as well.

Not only are there specific verses about marriage and sexuality in the Bible, but many principles can be applied to how we should treat our spouse when it comes to sexual intimacy in marriage.

Last week while I was at church camp (with 350 kids in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio), we studied the Beatitudes all week. These statements of blessing are at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and are found in Matthew 5:3-10:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The word translated blessed is “makarios.” This Greek word has also been translated as “happy” but carries the meaning of “fortunate” or “favored.” It’s perhaps the equivalent of someone who wins the lotto or marries a terrific woman, and others say, “What a lucky guy!”

Although, of course, blessedness isn’t pure luck, but rather the gift of our Heavenly Father. With the Beatitudes, I believe He’s stating both a truth and a promise: You will be happier if you live according to My principles, and I will bless you with My favor.

Being me, I got to thinking about how the Beatitudes apply to our marriage beds. What does being poor in spirit or meek or merciful have to do with how we approach sexual intimacy? Do any of these principles apply to our sex lives? Or are the Beatitudes solely about spirituality?

Since I believe our spirituality seeps out into our physical lives, I think there is an application. God wants us to love and honor him with our whole selves (see Luke 10:27), which includes our physical bodies on earth.

Let’s take the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? This is most often explained as the trait of humility; that is, understanding our spiritual poverty and need for God. The opposite, therefore, would be selfishness and arrogance.

How could “poor in spirit” apply to the marriage bed?

Someone who is selfish and arrogant might feel entitled to sexual pleasure, seek their own satisfaction, and/or blindly assert that they are great lovers, regardless of whether their mate is enjoying the experience. They justify their porn habit or sexual refusal or a myriad of other sins. Or perhaps they’re simply unwilling to discuss the problems that exist in the marriage, even blaming the other for miscommunication and dissatisfaction.

However, someone who is poor in spirit understands that he or she isn’t the be-all-end-all of the sexual experience. They recognize their flaws and need for improvement. They turn to God for help when things are tough, and accept help from their spouse when needed. They seek the best for their mate, not merely themselves. They pursue the spiritual health — and thus physical and emotional well-being — of their beloved.

Humility is among the toughest virtues to consistently pursue. Because we’re always looking at the world through own needs, desires, and perspective. We’re naturally selfish. And, as I’ve said more than once, if I didn’t believe my opinion to be 100% right, I wouldn’t have that opinion.

Humility requires a willingness to listen to your beloved and let go of your knee-jerk reaction to take care of your own needs. It doesn’t mean getting run over by your spouse (by no means!), but rather recognizing your own imperfections and submitting yourself to God.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

What a great promise. And a worthy goal for us to pursue in our marriage and marriage beds, starting right now.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer

What Are the Real Purposes of Sex?

What’s the point of sex anyway?

Historically in the Church and in our society currently, we often misunderstand the real purpose of sex. There are three basic reasons for God’s gift of sex in marriage.

What Are the Real Purposes of Sex?

Reproduction. Genesis 1:27-28 says: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.'” At that moment, He had created vegetation, animals, and humans — all with their own ways of reproducing. His design for us was a sexual relationship between husband and wife that had the potential to create new life.

When you really think about this process, it’s pretty incredible. Male and female come together, join their complementary bodies, and an egg the size of a grain of sand and a sperm 1/30th that size merge. From there, cells differentiate, a baby grows in the womb, and a full human being emerges months later. Let me tell you, when you look (up) at your man-sized teenage son, it’s particularly astonishing that this whole process started with a fertilized egg the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And all that . . . began with the sexual act.

The first direct mention we have of sex in the Bible shows this purpose of reproduction. And Eve understood how incredible this was: “Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 3:1). I can imagine her tone as she said, “I have brought forth a man,” like Holy canoli, how did that happen?!

And over and over, we see similar phrases:

  • “Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch” (Genesis 4:17).
  • “Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth” (Genesis 4:25).
  • “There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and made love to her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er” (Genesis 38:2-3).
  • “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son” (Ruth 4:13).
  • “Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son” (1 Samuel 1:19-20).
  • “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon” (2 Samuel 12:24).

Throughout history, the Church has had this reason down pat. Just like we understand that we need to eat to keep our bodies going, we understand we need to conceive children to keep our families and our communities going. This was the official teaching of the Church for many years — that sex was for procreation.

“The early Church Fathers of the Patristic Age did indeed teach that the marital act was solely for procreation and that spouses should intend children when they engaged in intercourse” (Catholic Online, Sex: Only for Procreation?). St. Augustine famously believed sexual passions to be a consequence of The Fall and thought that, if sin had been avoided, humans would reproduce “by a calm act of the will” (Christianity Today, What Would Augustine Say – On Sex: God’s Blessing or Humanity’s Curse?).

Procreation has been an easy reason for Christians to embrace throughout the centuries. The Bible’s message is that children are a blessing (see Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 17:6; Mark 10:13-16). Given the first commands to man to “be fruitful” and the many times God blessed His people with children, it’s not surprising that reproduction has been championed for centuries as a main purpose of sex.

Pleasure. I started to write, “this reason is more recent.” But I don’t think that’s true. It’s both ancient and recent. That is, in Bible times sexual pleasure in marriage appears to have God’s high blessing (see Song of Songs 5:1). In Jewish tradition, pleasure was seen as a woman’s right in the marriage bed. She was not to be deprived of it by her husband (see Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 24:5).

Through a culmination of influences (Gnosticism, an attempt to avoid the sexual immorality prominent in secular cultures, the rise of monastic societies in the Church, etc.), the Christian Church came to view sexual pleasure as opposed to spiritual purity. Indeed, the Song of Songs became viewed strictly as an allegory of Christ and His Church, with this view perhaps best espoused by Origen in the 3rd century. He believed that Song of Songs was the “meat” of scripture and could only be fully understood and appreciated by the spiritually mature. He worried about those who, “not knowing how to hear love’s language in purity and with chaste ears, will twist the whole manner of his hearing of it away from the inner spiritual man and on to the outward and carnal; and he will be turned away from the spirit to flesh, and will foster carnal desires in himself, and it will seem to be the Divine Scriptures that are thus urging and egging him on to fleshly lust!” (Origen, The Song of Songs Commentary and Homilies).

But I wouldn’t put much stock in that, since Origen thought the body was so evil that he also slept on the floor, owned no shoes, and reportedly castrated himself based on his interpretation of one line in Matthew 19:12: “There be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Not to be too graphic, but a guy who’d cut off his own nuts probably isn’t too bothered by not having sex for pleasure.

This perspective — but not self-mutilation — was the official stance of the Church for many years: that we Christians should be careful not to enjoy sex too much. Otherwise, it smacks of loving the flesh overly much and not being sufficiently spiritual. Of course, this view fascinates me given the physical acts that many such proponents took to display their spirituality. For instance, charity — a definite Christian virtue — involves the physical act of actually helping people with bodily needs, like food, water, clothing, shelter. Are we not to take pleasure in helping people around us? Must it merely be duty and nothing else?

Anyway, the Church has thankfully moved away from that in recent years, with an acknowledgment that we allowed outside philosophies to taint what the Bible really says. Just look at verses like these:

A loving doe, a graceful deer—  may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love” (Proverbs 5:19).

“I have come to my garden-my sister, my bride. I gather my myrrh with my spices. I eat my honeycomb with my honey. I drink my wine with my milk. Eat, friends! Drink, be intoxicated with love!” (Song of Songs 5:1).

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.’ May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine” (Song of Songs 7:6-9).

If you need more convincing — note our biology, ladies. That handy-dandy clitoris has no role to play in reproduction, solely pleasure. God wanted us to enjoy the sexual act and the intimacy that we feel when we’re physically one-flesh with our beloved covenant mate.

Intimacy. Speaking of intimacy, I tend to think this is the crowning jewel. Because, to be honest, you could reproduce and feel pleasure during sex without marriage. We see it in society all the time. But there’s something special about sex that makes it an act God intended to gift husbands and wives. Yes, of course he wants daddies and mommies to raise kids, but not every sexual act creates a baby. What’s the purpose of those other times?

Ephesians 5:31-32 says: “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Well, what’s that’s about? How is becoming united/one-flesh in marriage like our relationship with Christ? I think it’s about the deep, loving intimacy between lover and beloved.

This is not the only time marriage is compared to God’s relationship with His people. For instance:

“For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion” (Hosea 2:19).

God prizes intimacy. Between us and Him. Among His people. And certainly between husband and wife. In fact, He infused the sexual act with ways to make it feel especially intimate, like the vulnerability of nakedness and body chemicals like Oxytocin and Dopamine to make us connected to our lover.

And these effects are not seen in short-term bursts of sexual activity. Rather, the intimate feelings come when we are linked to a partner again and again, in longer-term relationships. As in marriage.

Sex is something to be uniquely shared with your spouse, and thus it creates a deep intimacy when you partake together regularly and lovingly. God intended sex for reproduction and pleasure, but also to nurture intimacy between husband and wife.

Those are the three primary purposes for sex I see in the Bible. What benefits have you seen from having sex in your marriage?

Don’t Just Have Sex. Make Love.

I know marriage authors who far prefer talking about making love than having sex. For the most part, it seems a bit po-tay-to, po-tah-to to me. If I say “make love,” y’all all know I’m talking about having sex with your spouse.

And from a writer’s perspective, it’s nice to have more than one way to express the meaning of sexual intimacy. We have plenty of alternate names for nookie — everything from “marital intimacy” to “the beast with two backs” (thanks for that one, Shakespeare).

In a marriage with healthy, godly sexual intimacy, does it matter too much whether we call it “coitus” or “making love”? Either way, you’ll likely experience it in a loving way.

But many of you are not in those perfect, we’ve-got-it-all-together sexual relationships with your beloved. Maybe it’s a far cry from where it should be, or maybe you just need some tweaking. But when you come together, it doesn’t feel as intimate as it should. It’s just having sex.

And that’s not really the point of sex in marriage.

For those of us who messed up pre-marriage and remember a bit of what it was like to be with someone you didn’t care about nearly enough, we definitely know the difference. It’s why I plead with people not to do what I did! (Including my children.) I want them to have a better experience than just having sex. Because anyone can do that. Big whoop.

But my Heavenly Father has a much more valuable gift for me. He wants me to experience deep and meaningful love as part of the physical act of sex. He wants it to be in the context of a covenant relationship with a life partner. He wants it to be pleasurable for my body, my heart, and my soul. And that’s why He said outright that it should be done in love.

It’s right here in this all-encompassing verse: Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).

Marriage Memory Verse 2-27-16

You can’t really argue with the word everything. That’s got to include sex in your marriage bed.

And the word translated as love is the Greek word agapeAgape is often described as a selfless, servant love that wants the best for the other person. It’s known as being the kind of love God Himself has for us. I like how Merriam-Webster defines agape as “love feast.”

That’s how agape works. It’s over-the-top, giving-all-I’ve-got love.

And it’s the kind of love we don’t master on our own. Rather, we channel it from God Himself by seeing our spouse through His eyes.

When you bring that kind of making love in your marital bedroom? Let’s just say, WOW!

Give it whatever name you want, but we are called to treat sex with our spouse as an agape experience. We are supposed to make love by treating our spouse with Christ-like love and approaching sex as an expression of our deepest feelings for our beloved.

“Do everything in love.” It’s not an easy command, but we should take it seriously. Especially when it comes to our marriages.

Isn’t your marriage worth giving it all you’ve got?

Memory Verse Help

Now whether or not you’ve been joining me for my Marriage Memory Verse challenge, don’t tell me that you can’t memorize this week’s verse! Four words and a citation. You can do it!

Remember that I’m only asking you to choose one verse per month to commit to memory. It’s also good to go over those verses at other times in your head to keep them fresh. Then when you face a difficult situation, those memorized verses come to mind as God’s guidance.

Let’s talk this week, though, about remembering citations. Because I stink at that. I’m always saying something like, “Somewhere in the New Testament, it says . . .” But it’s better to know where a verse comes from, so you can access it later and read it in context for better understanding.

And this is where “Sword Drills” are a great tool. If you grew up in a church that did this activity, you’ll remember how it goes. But basically, your sword is your Bible (“sword of the Spirit,” Ephesians 6:17).  You can play alone or with others. But close your Bible, look at the verse reference, call it aloud, and then see how fast you can find that scripture in your Bible.

Once there, read the scripture aloud.

Rinse and repeat.

By interacting with the information in a fun way, you’ll be more likely to commit both the verse and the citation to memory. For a great info-graphic on Sword Drills, check out this link from OneHope.

Only a few days left!

8 Things I’d Say about Sex If I Had NO Filter (Heaven Help Us All)

Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage started it, by posting 9 Things I’d Say about Sex If I Had No Filter. A few others (like Generous Husband) joined in on this concept, and I’ve decided to give it a go as well.

This was a real challenge, though, because I kind of don’t have a filter. (My husband laughed unnecessarily loud when I told him that.) I pretty much say what I think, although I give deep thought to how I say it. So maybe that’s my filter after all.

Anyway, here are eight things I’d say about sex if I said them exactly how they run through my brain — before I pretty them up for my blog.

woman with hand over mouth + blog post title

FOR BOTH WIVES AND HUSBANDS

1. Oh, for heaven’s sake, sex is all over the Bible! When naysayers are critical or appalled at the honest talk on my blog, I wonder if we’re even reading the same Bible. Because I remember trying to read through the Bible with my young children, and I couldn’t get far without a story about sex cropping up here and there. Everything from “Adam knew Eve” to Lot and his lunatic daughters and on and on, the Bible is filled with God telling stories and giving commands about His gift of sexual intimacy and its horrible abuses.

Yes, we need to be kind and gentle and respectful in how we talk about sex, but for heaven’s sake, it’s all over the Bible! Responsible Christian sex authors aren’t addressing anything God didn’t address in His Word.

2. Stop withholding or stop demanding, and stop acting like the other one is the whole problem. Withholders and demanders always have reasons why they’re doing it: “If he would only, then I would __.” “As my wife, she owes me __.” Or whatever. But as long as you are arrogantly certain the problem lies with the other person, nothing will improve.

If you’re demanding, stop that. Even if your spouse is supposed to give you sex, and I agree (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), you’re not thus relieved of God’s calling for you to be patient, kind, selfless, etc. See 1 Corinthians 13 — a few chapters later!

And to the withholders — even if your spouse doesn’t understand how tired you are or needy of romance you are or whatever (and yes, they likely should treat you better), that doesn’t mean that you get to erect a wall, post guards, and deny entrance to the garden. When you said I do, part of that was I do sex. (Look it up! It’s in the Bible.)

Yep, if you’re on one of these extremes, you can rationalize all day long but it won’t negate that you are not in line with God’s intention for your marriage and things won’t get better until one of you changes. Since you can’t force your spouse to change, how about you start?

3. Talk to your children about sex — yesterday, today, tomorrow, and on and on until they are good and raised. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, you feel unqualified. Yes, your children might buck you at times. But the world will be sending erroneous messages to your child almost 24/7 from the moment they can read the magazine cover in the grocery store line. It’s your God-given responsibility to get over the awkwardness and give your child the truth about sexual intimacy.

By toddlerhood, we parents have been peed on, vomited on, and who knows what else. Face it: We signed up for difficult and awkward! Come on, I believe in you. Step up and talk to your children about sex — now, and again and again.

FOR THE WIVES

4. Relax already! Think of sex like a spa day for your girly parts. If you tense every time like you’re getting a pelvic exam, it’s no wonder you don’t like sex. You’ve got to relax to enjoy this intimate experience with your husband! Think of sex like a spa day for your girly parts, where your most arouse-able areas get extra-stimulated and pampered. Lean into the interesting sensations like you would a fabulous massage or a relaxing pedicure.

If you practice relaxing and focusing on how you feel in those moments, you might find your body is capable of some super-neat sensations. And your husband has nice skills — especially once you hint or tell him where you like to be touched. Stop thinking about how you look, or what someone else would think, or if the kids will walk in (you locked the door, right?), or whatever. Relax!

5. Get into it. Flirt. Tease. Move. Moan. Wouldn’t it stink to go out dancing and have your husband merely shuffle his feet through the tango (or Texas two-step where I live)? Likewise, it ain’t enough to show up and offer your body like it’s a big sacrificial gesture. Don’t merely go through the motions. It doesn’t make you embarrassing or sleazy to really get into it.

Own your sexuality! Flirt with your husband. Tease and touch him. Move around as you make love. Moan and scream. Let loose and you might find you enjoy it more! He’ll really like it too. Trust me on that.

6. So what if the kids hear! You think that‘s what will cause them to seek therapy? Sure, I’ve probably done something as a mom for which my kids could seek therapy someday — some mistake on my part a few counseling sessions would help. But I’m fairly certain that moment your kids realize their parents have sex won’t ruin them or cause Freud to sit up in his coffin and shout, “Told you so!” Kids are more resilient than that!

Even if your children do hear or (heaven forbid) walk in, They. Will. Be. Okay. It’s actually good for children to know their parents make love and that sexual intimacy is a gift from God to marriage. So stop worrying so much. Of course you should lock the door, tuck away your intimacy aids, and hold off having naked Twister in the living room until they’re gone, but if they hear? Hey, that’s just what loving mommies and daddies do.

FOR THE HUSBANDS

7. She’s never had an orgasm? What are you doing wrong?! To be fair, there is a percentage of wives who have major issues reaching orgasm, and it has nothing to do with their husbands. But honestly, there’s a contingent of men out there who haven’t made this the patient priority they should.

Look, I know it’s annoying you can get there in five minutes and she takes forty. But she will like sex more when you help her find that real climax. And orgasms beget orgasms, so even if you have to spend a lot of time at first helping her figure out what gets her aroused and learning what you can do to stimulate her, it will pay off in the long run. That first orgasm is often the hardest to reach.

Now don’t worry if she doesn’t orgasm every single time (sometimes, some wives don’t even want to that much), but please make it a priority for her to reach climax fairly regularly. You’ll both be happier if you can figure this out.

8. Were you raised by wolves? You can’t just sniff her out, honk a breast, and think you’re getting some tonight. You are not an animal, you’re a real man. That means you woo your woman. You didn’t just catch her and drag her back to your den years ago and now the chase is over. Nope. You’ll be pursuing her for the rest of your life.

Tuck that away in your brain and figure out how to make her feel so loved and desired and valued and appreciated and beautiful . . . that making love to you sounds like a dream come true. Take your time: Show her your romantic side, touch and kiss just for the sake of it, pay attention to the areas of her body that are not erogenous zones, and treat her like the “weaker sex” (1 Peter 3:7). That verse doesn’t mean she’s actually weak, but rather Handle With Care.

Oh, and help her deal with those distractions that keep her from focusing on the two of you. In summation, no honking a breast and make her feel blessed.

That’s it! Eight things I’d say if I had no filter. Which, heaven help us all, I’ve now said.