Tag Archives: Blogging about Christian sex

3 More Principles Christian Bloggers Should Affirm About Sex

Last week, I began covering misconceptions and false teaching about sex that still show up periodically on Christian blogs and in other resources. While we can have honest and reasonable disagreements about particulars, some principles should be affirmed by all Christian bloggers.

The first four principles from last week’s post are:

  1. Sex is for both of you.
  2. God created sex for more than reproduction.
  3. Sex is not just a transaction.
  4. Force and pressure have no place in the marriage bed.

Let’s address the remaining three.

5. Even within marriage, there are some limits.

“Anything Goes” is a song written by Cole Porter, not a verse written by the Holy Spirit. And yet, that is the attitude of a few Christian bloggers—that once married, you can do anything and everything. As if the words “I do” mean “I do any kinky, crazy thing I want.”

One specific blogger used Hebrews 13:4 as his proof text that all activities were equally fine once married. In the New King James Version, it reads, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Thus, the blogger interpreted that the marriage bed is undefiled no matter what happens.

But that’s not what the verse is saying! A better translation would be any of the following:

  • Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)
  • Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (ESV)
  • Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. (NLT)
  • Let marriage be honorable in all, and the marriage bed undefiled; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. (BLB)

Hebrews 13:4 isn’t about green-lighting every kinky idea you’ve ever had, but rather keeping the marriage bed pure by avoiding adultery and sexual immorality. Plus, we have to consider how the rest of the Bible commands us to treat one another in marriage—and that doesn’t involve using our spouse as our personal sex toy.

Which brings me to another fallacy: that if God didn’t specifically ban an act, it’s automatically honky-dory.

Certainly the Church has at times banned or belittled a sexual practice that is perfectly fine. And we should not place undue burdens on believers, as the Pharisees did. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

But later in that chapter, Paul also points out: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (5:13). We should follow God’s direct commands but also apply godly principles to determine what can be on our bedroom menu and what should be left off.

We should follow God's direct commands but also apply godly principles to determine what can be on our bedroom menu and what should be left off. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 puts it this way: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Faithful Christians can argue about where the boundaries are, but the idea that there are boundaries should be no-brainer.

6. Porn and erotica are bad.

Here’s another should-be-obvious point, but it’s apparently not. Because I’ve read plenty of excuses for engaging with porn or erotica—everything from “it doesn’t hurt anyone” to “we learn from it” to “it helps us get aroused for each other.” And then there’s the standby claims that porn is a reasonable substitute when a spouse won’t provide sex or that erotica is okay because no actual persons are involved.

If you want to know what I think about porn and erotica, you can head to any of these:

But the summary is that they’re bad for your soul and your marriage. They move focus away from your spouse and onto others; they prioritize the physicality of sex above any other aspect; and they normalize fringe activities and searching for that next high.

There’s the storytelling subgenre oddly titled “Christian erotica.” All that means is that it has the same purpose and effect as other erotica, but the characters are married. C’mon! Are we really that gullible? Is it somehow okay to involve others in your exclusive, one-flesh bedroom if they’re married too? Think through that logic, and you’ll find it’s not logical at all.

In addition, porn involves real people who get hurt. Do not cite their willingness, the pay they receive, or “amateur porn” unless and until you have fully researched porn’s high prevalence of abuse, sexually transmitted infections, and sex trafficking. And just because that girl looks twenty-one doesn’t mean she is.

Whether you want to call porn and erotica sin or not—and I believe it is—it’s definitely unwise. Just ask all the couples who had their marriages wrecked by it. Ask couples who had to walk the journey of rebuilding their intimacy. Even ask non-Christian experts who researched the subject thoroughly (An Open Letter on Porn, The Gottman Institute). And if you’re in a sexless marriage, engaging in porn or erotica will worsen an already difficult situation.

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7. The Bible is not your bludgeon.

Last, but not least, could we please stay away from sites that recommend using a Bible passage as your personal bludgeon against your spouse?

The Word of God definitely has something to say about what sex should look like, as well as what we owe each other within marriage. But the Bible is God’s love letter to you—not His edict against your spouse. The primary goal of reading Bible passages should be applying them to our own sin-filled lives.

What then does one hope to gain by pulling out scriptures and hurling them at our spouse? Is it our defense mechanism? Are we lashing out to make our spouse feel pain like we’ve felt? Or do we simply expect our spouse to hurt so much they’ll change to avoid more of it? Even if that were to happen, how would that improve your overall intimacy?

Let’s take the most common infraction in the area of sex: using 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 to demand your spouse give you sex. Wanna see how that makes this blogger feel?

I actually like that passage because it’s NOT about obligation but the priority and mutuality of sexual intimacy. But you have to understand its context.

At that time, some Christians in Corinth had proclaimed celibacy a holier state so spouses were trying to avoid sex to be more spiritual. Rather than agreeing, the apostle Paul reasserts that God wants married couples to make love regularly, that sex is a crucial part of marriage, that we should not deprive one another as if that is a higher form of obedience when God Himself created sex for marriage! Paul’s not offering spouses a bludgeon, but rather affirming God’s invitation for couples to enjoy sexual intimacy with gratitude not guilt.

In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Paul's not offering spouses a bludgeon, but rather affirming God's invitation for married couples to enjoy sexual intimacy with gratitude not guilt. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

But let’s presume your spouse is completely wrong—on this or something else—and needs conviction by the Holy Spirit. You still don’t get to be the one to hammer down judgment. As Christ said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, ESV).

What you can do instead includes:

But please don’t use God’s words like Thor’s hammer on your spouse. No matter how right you may be in what is said, how you say it matters quite a lot to our Heavenly Father.

Have you seen problematic teaching on these points? What other principles are important for Christians to affirm?

4 Principles Christian Bloggers Should Affirm About Sex

From time to time, I open up a post from a Christian blogger about sexual intimacy in marriage and find myself wondering what Bible they’re reading.

While the overall message about sex from the Church has improved a lot in my lifetime, misconceptions and false teaching still circulate. I worry about spouses looking for answers who land on such pages. Will they recognize the errors or be misled?

In an effort to correct the record, let me set forth seven principles every Christian marriage blogger should affirm about sex. Today I’ll cover four of them and next week I’ll wrap up with the other three principles.

1. Sex is for both of you.

Through the years, too many Christian-based resources have acted like God created romance for women and sex for men. Excuse me, but there is zero evidence of this perspective in God’s Word. God created sex to benefit and delight both husband and wife. And romance is for both of them too!

Just look at these verses:

  • “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:7-8).
  • “I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10).
  • “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:3).
  • “Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!” (Song of Songs 5:1).

God intends for two people to be willingly involved in sexual intimacy. Sex is not just for men. It’s for women too.

If we don’t understand that important truth, we may:

Let’s get this one right: God created them male and female, and He wants both to be sexually satisfied in marriage.

2. God created sex for more than reproduction.

Too many Christians historically believed that sex was just for the sake of having babies.

But if sex’s sole purpose is reproduction, does it matter whether you enjoy it? In fact, isn’t it better to do other things with your time when no baby is possible? Could sex simply be a necessary evil for the sake of breeding and/or a temporary surrender to the flesh?

While all this was happening, I imagine God up in Heaven like this:

Today, Christian theologians and leaders rarely argue that sex is only for having children. But many husbands and wives report that their spouse checked out after the children arrived or reached adulthood. And I’ve seen tacit support for this idea on a few Christian blogs.

While it’s incredible that connecting our body parts has the potential to create life, the Bible teaches that sex in marriage goes beyond reproduction. God designed it to bring pleasure and intimacy as well. Consider Proverbs 5:19: “A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Ever sounds to me like past those childbearing years. And the entire book of Song of Songs celebrates marital intimacy without once mentioning children.

God’s design of our biology also displays His intention—with the health benefits of regular sexual intimacy, the presence of a woman’s clitoris (serving no reproductive purpose but providing ample pleasure), and the release of Oxytocin, a “bonding chemical,” during lovemaking. Research also shows that couples who engage in ongoing sexual intimacy are closer and happier.

3. Sex is not just a transaction.

It may seem obvious that God did not intend sex to be merely transactional, but plenty of statements suggest the opposite. Well-meaning Christian bloggers (and authors and speakers) may identify sex as something one spouse wants while the other spouse wants a different thing and then propose negotiating a trade.

Thus, sex becomes—dare I say it these days?—a quid pro quo. (Whatever your politics, I hope you laughed at that joke and don’t write me hate mail.) In case you still don’t know what quid pro quo means, it’s a Latin phrase meaning “this for that.” It’s like the saying, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.”

There’s subtlety here. Because we might negotiate frequency, suggest taking turns with sexual pleasures or climax, or tend to our spouse’s emotional needs knowing all along that makes them more likely to attend to ours. But those aren’t in the same vein as “You do X, and I do Y, and we’re done.”

Sex should not be something a spouse does only to get some unrelated goodie from it. God designed sex to have goodies for both husband and wife!

Do things for each other because that’s what Christ-like love looks like! But don’t look at sex—or other good things in marriage like affection and communication—as trading chips in the game of marriage. You both deserve better.

4. Force and pressure have no place in the marriage bed.

For the love of all that is holy, if I read one more Christian blogger suggesting you have every right to demand, pressure, or even force your wife to have sex with you…

No, I did not say “force your husband,” because oddly, I’ve never read that. (I’m sure it’s out there, but I haven’t read it.) I have, however, read several articles written by both men and women with notions like “there’s no such thing as marital rape.” Oh hogwash!

But, you say, doesn’t my spouse owe me sex? Hey, I’ll be first in line to say that marriage should, if at all possible, include sexual intimacy! That’s how God intended marriage to roll.

But hopefully, you’ve read the rest of the Bible in which God makes it eminently clear that His people should not demand their rights or ignore the feelings and value of another person. Hopefully, you’ve read about Christ’s sacrifice and humility, providing us the example we should follow. And maybe we should all camp out on this passage for a while: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

Now I’m not talking about communication, confrontation, or nudging, which are all reasonable at various times in marriage. I’m talking about abuse, force, or persistent pressure.

Even from a practical standpoint, those are terrible ideas. Think of times in adulthood you’ve been forced or pressured to do something. Did it make you more excited about the event or less likely to enjoy it? Of course others can pressure us to do things we’re later glad for, but most times we walk away with resentment and a desire not to repeat the experience. Do you really want your spouse to feel that way about sex with you?

Stay tuned next time for three more principles all Christian bloggers, and Christians generally, should affirm about sex.

Have you seen any of these false teachings about sex? How have they affected your marriage’s sexual intimacy?

Note: This isn’t about airing out particular websites or bashing individuals. Let’s remain Christian in how we treat others, including our enemies.

10 Confessions of a Marriage & Sex Blogger

On Monday, Kate of One Flesh Marriage posted 10 Confessions of a Marriage Blogging Wife. On Tuesday, Lori of Generous Wife followed suit with Confession Time. (Update! On Wednesday, Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard shared 10 Confessions of a Marriage Blogging Wife, and on Thursday, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage shared 10 Confessions of a Sex Blogger.)

Kate tagged me to add my thoughts. I’d previously written on Confessions of a Sex-Happy Wife, but today I’ll talk about being a sex-blogging wife.

1. I have a mild panic attack every time I look at the stats for Hot, Holy & Humorous. My original intention when starting the blog was to help a person here or there out in the universe who might stumble across my site. But now seeing how many people have visited, commented, and shared their stories makes my knees buckle and my brain go, “Really, God?”

2. I hate that I don’t have time to reply to every comment anymore. But I don’t. One of the consequences of this blog growing and reaching out is that I simply can’t get to everything anymore. I do try, but sometimes a comment falls through the cracks and I discover that days after. Then I feel bad . . . because I do care. I really, really do care.

3. BUT life doesn’t stop while I’m blogging. I do not have a housekeeper, a chef, a nanny, an accountant, a chauffeur, or a personal masseuse. In addition to blogging, I keep house, parent children, cook dinners, manage finances, volunteer in ministry at my church, and write fiction.

Murder of Roger Ackroyd book cover

Enjoy mysteries?
Be sure to read this classic!

4. Oh, and I read. I love to read. I feel like I should be reading more non-fiction, especially marriage and sexuality books, but I find myself reading about one of those for every 4-5 novels I tackle. I just love story. My favorites are mysteries and young adult fiction, although I read in almost every genre.

5. I do not run out of topics. I get asked this from time to time, and you might think that at some point, I will have covered everything I want to say about marriage and sexuality. At this point, however, I usually have about 10 topics outlined in advance. Moreover, readers suggest topics with their questions and comments, and current events inform and inspire what I should talk about. I also pray that God will direct me, and if I feel Him nudging him in a particular direction, I go there.

6. The Anonymous thing. This is one of the other most-asked questions: Will I always remain anonymous? My answer is no. Unlike superheroes and intelligence officers, I do expect that someday you’ll all know who “J” is. However, circumstances in life remain that make me unwilling to reveal at this moment. When will I “come clean”? It’s not so much a time as when certain events in my life line up, so we’ll see. But I promise Elizabeth of Warrior Wives that I will let her know before I go live with the information, since she has said that it drives her a little insane not to know who these anonymous authors are. (Hi, Elizabeth, if you’re reading this!)

Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage

My good friend, Julie

7. I am friends with fellow marriage bloggers. A small number of people know who I am. I have connected personally with Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage. Also, it was a reasonable requirement to be a part of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association to reveal my name and location to the core team, which includes Paul and Lori Byerly of The Marriage Bed, Generous Husband, and Generous Wife. Even those fellow marriage bloggers who don’t know my real name “know” me because I really am in person exactly the way I am with them in email and online. What you see, or rather read, is what you get.

8. My family doesn’t think I’m as funny as my readers do. Speaking of the “what you see is what you get” thing, I crack jokes and use wordplay here at my house as well in an attempt to lighten the mood and find humor in life. I do get laughs from the hubs and kids at times, but I don’t get the “I laughed so hard, soda came out of my nose” comments (thanks for that, Paul). I wonder if it’s like Jesus saying that no one’s a prophet in his hometown (Luke 4:24). I tell my family that I’m funny, that people say I’m funny, but I get a lot of huh looks from the gallery. Maybe the person who also gives you a honey-do or chore list just isn’t seen as being all that hilarious.

Good grammar is sexy. t-shirt

Another t-shirt I need.

9. I am a grammar girl. I love language and grammar. Our rich language is one of the things that separates man from animal. We can convey so much more because of our ability to describe our environment, express ideas and emotions, and tell stories. Good grammar and punctuation help to make sure readers receive the message intended. For instance, it’s apparently been argued for many years whether Jesus meant in Luke 23:43:

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV, and the way translated by most) or
“Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”

See the difference? Commas were not in the original at all. (If only Luke had me to proofread for him! And don’t even get me started on the Apostle Paul needing an editor to break up those impossibly-long sentences. LOL.)*

The point is, I hate when I see an egregious spelling or grammar error in a post on my blog. So if you see anything amiss in that department, go ahead and speak up. I will not take offense at being corrected. I want to do whatever I can to effectively get my message across.

10. My favorite book of the Bible is not Song of Songs, although I refer to it a lot here and I think it rocks. I don’t know anyone else who picks my favorite book: Ecclesiastes. It’s right before the Song of Songs, but it’s not nearly as uplifting as that book of romantic love. Yet, as a pessimist by nature, I love the inclusion of this book in the Bible. When things in life don’t make sense, Ecclesiastes reminds me what is most important, especially the conclusion to simply “Fear God and obey his commands” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). My favorite verse in the book? Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Confession time over. What surprised you? What else do you want to know about being a sex-blogging wife?

*Note: In no way do I believe such issues detract from the veracity and authority of Scripture. Moreover, Jesus can go to Paradise whenever He wants, and I can’t wait to be there with Him.