Tag Archives: One Flesh Marriage

Unfinished & Beautiful with Kate Aldrich

Brad & Kate Aldrich blog at One Flesh Marriage, with Ephesians 5:31 as their inspiration: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

I love their heartfelt posts on marriage in general, and when they cover sexuality, it’s always with biblical spirituality, authenticity, and practicality. If you’re looking for a place to start on their blog, check out their Top 10 Posts of 2015. They also host the 10-Day Sex Challenge in February.

Today, we’re blessed to have Kate with us, who is a fabulously fun woman and wife, and she’s sharing her heart on Feeling Beautiful. Welcome, Kate!

woman portrait .abstract watercolor

I can’t remember the first time it happened. I have no idea where I was or what brought it on. I can’t even remember how I responded. I just know I can’t remember a time when I was not conscious of my own body and compared it to those around me.

Everywhere I went I was inundated with images of what a woman was supposed to look like if she was going to be considered “attractive.” It took me till the beginning of my 30’s and two biological children (one natural & one emergency c-section) until I started to see myself for who I truly am, who God made me to be, and loving that person.

What woman alive has not struggled with her body image?

I think we could search long and hard and never come up with such a woman. It happens younger and younger now. My hubby and I have three kids. Two boys, ages 12 and 10, as well as a 9-year-old girl. We’ve been diligent about protecting our little girl’s mind and heart from the lies the world tries to sell her. Still at 9, she has asked questions about her body or made comments that make my heart cry! She is such a beautiful creation of God, and we are doing to do our best to tell her that every day. Admiring all that she is in Christ.

The question is how do we as wives, whatever age we are, embrace the beauty that God has created in us? The outside and the inside? Here are few of the things I have learned that have helped to change my perspective:

Loving you means taking care of you!

After we had our first son, I began to see how I took care of myself slipping. It was so much easier to just stay in comfy clothes all day. All of my energy was being devoted to someone else, and to be honest, I was running a little low on energy for myself. I was merely trying to survive the day.

It took me a bit of time, but when I was finally getting a little more sleep I had the opportunity to do more. I added exercise three times a week back into my schedule, and it became a time to take care of me. I also made myself take a shower each day and dress in regular clothes. Those simple things really helped me feel better as a wife and mom.

I continue to do this now, although with life sometimes my workouts don’t happen. But you know what? I just pick right up where I left off and get back on my treadmill. There is no sense beating myself up for a missed workout. Life happens. Yet striving to keep regular exercise in your life will help you take care of you!

Choose to believe your husband’s words

My hubby has always sought to lavish me with praise telling me that I am beautiful to him. I would drink it up like a woman in the desert and then, moments later, dispute it. I wanted those words so badly and yet, I couldn’t accept them. All the while he felt like I was calling him a liar. If the world is telling me I am not beautiful, how can I believe my husband thinks that I am?

If the world is telling me I am not beautiful, how can I believe my husband thinks that I am? Click To Tweet

Choosing to believe our husband’s words about our beauty is so important. Your hubby loves and adores you! You need to trust that! When he speaks those things into your life, take them in and say, “Thank you.” You trusted him with your life when you married him, trust him with your beauty!

When you are confident you are beautiful

My hubby says that one of the most beautiful things about me is my confidence. Both in life and in the bedroom. Being a confident person is sexy and beautiful. How did I get to that place, you might ask?

  • Seeking God on who He created me to be and who He is molding me into.
  • Believing that He loves me immensely, beyond words, just as I am.
  • Trusting and believing my hubby that he finds me beautiful.

You are His masterpiece

Five years ago our little girl said she wanted to take dance lessons. For me as a softball and tennis player, I was like “really?” My husband and I are always telling our kids to be who God made them to be, and He made our little girl to dance for Him. As she performed in her first recital, she recited a verse with her entire ballet class: “We are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10.”

“We are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10.” Click To Tweet

As I watched our precious, beautiful little girl proclaim who she was in Christ, I was moved to tears. I knew that God was challenging me that I too must believe I am His beautiful masterpiece. I am unfinished — He is still doing a work in me — but I am His masterpiece.

Ladies, we are unfinished and beautiful! When we embrace it, choose to believe it, and live accordingly, life takes on a while new look. I know I am beautiful in my Jesus’ eyes as well as my husband’s. I am unfinished and beautiful. You are too!

Ask God to give you eyes to see yourself as He sees you and trust what he shows you. Know that it is not always easy and there will be times that we allow doubt to creep back in, since we are all human. God wants you to feel your beauty. For a husband there is nothing like when his wife is confident in her beauty. You can be that wife.

Kate AldrichKate and her amazing hubby, Brad, write and speak on all things marriage. In 2009 they followed God’s prompting and founded One Flesh Marriage Ministries, a blog based on their marriage journey and God’s word in Ephesians 5. Brad is the Director of Small Groups and re|engage (marriage ministry) at their home church, the Worship Center. Kate is a homeschooling mom and a natural light portrait photographer. God has given Brad and Kate three amazing blessings, two biological and one adopted, who have enriched their life and marriage. They live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where the Amish buggies roam.  You can find their blog at www.onefleshmarriage.com

Scenic Blog Tour, Newsletter, Sex Challenge & Book Giveaway

Scenic Blog Tour

Oftentimes, when an author puts out a book, she launches a blog tour. It’s typically a whirlwind of interviews, guest posts, and reviews all revolving around the release date.

Book cover for Sex SavvyInstead, since the release of my book in November 2013, I’ve been taking a scenic blog tour for Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives. A stop here, a stop there. A slow meandering through blogs I enjoy and recommend. I thought I’d pause and let you know where I and the book have been — in case you missed any of our appearances.

Generous Wife gave a lovely review of Sex Savvy

Intimacy in Marriage featured my book in a post on 5 Ways to Sexually Please Your Husband

Sheila Gregoire chose Sex Savvy for her Top 10 Book to Read in 2014 to Boost Your Marriage

Journey to Surrender suggested four books in Give Your Marriage the Gift of Sex, including my book

Sex Savvy was listed in One Flesh Marriage’s 2013 Wife’s Gift Guide to Knock Your Hubby’s Socks Off

Warrior Wives did a review and giveaway of the book in Are You Sex Savvy? and I guest posted on the site with Staying Intimately Connected While You’re Apart

Stu Gray of Stupendous Marriage podcast interviewed me in Hot, Holy & Humorous – An Interview

I also have guest spots coming up on Marriage Life Ministries, One Flesh Marriage, To Love Honor & Vacuum, and Unveiled Wife. And maybe a few more. I’ll let my readers know!

Blog & Newsletter Subscriptions

You may have noticed a difference in the way posts are coming to you! (They say “MailChimp” at the bottom, don’t they?) I awarded myself the trophy of Most Bungled Blog Move — because when I moved from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, I managed to mess up the feed enough that over 500 followers were just poof! gone. My web administrator has helped me change the way feeds go out, so that I hopefully have everyone here again. (Hello! I missed you!)

But in February, I’m also launching a monthly newsletter! What will be in the newsletter? In addition to a rehash of my blog posts and recommended reads on other blogs, there will be a Scripture of the Month to encourage your marriage; a book recommendation — which could be nonfiction or fiction, but marriage-positive; a Sex Position of the Month; a Behind the Blog feature, with a glimpse at my blogging life; and more. I hope that you will be blessed by this new offering.

Sex Challenge

In TWO DAYS, One Flesh Marriage begins its annual 10 Day Challenge. Brad & Kate Aldrich challenge married couples to have sex consecutively for 10 days beginning February 5 through February 14. Why should you sign up? Check out the video from Brad and Kate:

If you’re not sure you can do all 10 days, just give it a shot anyway. I often find that even if I don’t meet my goal, by setting a goal and working toward it, I make more progress than I would otherwise. And if you do make it, good for you! 

Make sure you follow Brad & Kate’s posts during those 10 days for encouragement and giveaways. Your marriage will be blessed!

Book Giveaway

Speaking of giveaways, I’ve yet to give away a copy of my book here on the blog. So I figured it was time! Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives is available as an ebook in several formats and a print book through Amazon (or signed and sent from yours truly). The winner will have her choice. Just leave a comment below and you’ll be entered. You can use whatever moniker you wish, but you will need to provide an email address (it won’t show up on the blog).

The giveaway is short — running from today through Wednesday 12:00 midnight Eastern Standard Time. I’ll announce the winner in my Thursday post. Best wishes!

In the meantime, you can get a jump on things and get a whole bundle of books for a great price! Check it out:

4 books on marital intimacy, regularly priced at $21.96, now on sale as a book bundle for $10.00! Included is my book, Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives. Buy now! This deal is only good until Valentine’s Day.Sexy Valentine's Day Bundle

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.

More on Wife’s Low Sex Drive

Q&ALast Monday, I answered a question from a reader about her low sex drive, providing a checklist for possible causes so that the libido issue can be addressed. Another reader asked a similar question in my Q&A for J at HHH post. Here it is:

My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years. We were great friends for years before, have known each other since we were kids, and have lots of fun together. We did not have sex until we were married (he had before me though). I have always heard about great sex lives, and how much people love it, and how amazing it is, but honestly, I just don’t get it.

I have practically no sex drive to begin with (we have sex maybe a couple times a month, and we are in our 20s)–I know this hurts him. So when we do have sex, it often feels like it’s a chore for me. I have been told many times by other Christians that it is my wifely duty and I have to…I can’t always be turning him down just because I don’t want to. When we do, he is willing to take his time, etc., but I just want to get it over with as soon as possible so I can go to sleep. I rarely enjoy it. Honestly, I only enjoy sex if I have had a few drinks, and I don’t do that often. I don’t want my sex life to be based on alcohol making it better.

I feel like I could go forever without sex and be just fine. I just don’t want it and when we have it, it’s nothing great. I have wondered several times what the big deal is. Add to all this that I just feel AWKWARD and so uncomfortable. My husband likes to play around and grab me, etc., but I hate it. I feel like I am being groped by someone who is just a good friend, not my husband. And when we have sex, I am uncomfortable–it just feels awkward to me. It doesn’t feel intimate and loving–it just feels like sex. Nothing more. And afterwards, I usually feel so strange about it too.

I’m sorry this is so long. We have struggled with this for years. I have told my husband I just have no sex drive (it actually broke up my parent’s marriage bc of my father being that way, so maybe it’s genetic?) but I know he wants more. I always feel guilty or used when it comes to sex, and only satisfied if tipsy. Any help??

Don’t you have compassion for this couple? I do.

Since I posted my two cents about this subject last week, I wanted to come back and offer more resources this week. There are plenty of fellow marriage bloggers who have addressed the issue of a wife’s low sex drive as well. If this is a problem for you in your marriage, check out one or more of the following resources (and this is by no means a comprehensive list):

One Flesh Marriage: Do I Want the Libido Fairy to Visit?

One Flesh Marriage: Sexual Intimacy: Journey from Broken to Beauty

Marriage Gems: Possible Solutions for Low Libido

Do Not Disturb: Sex Drives: Libido Saboteurs

To Love, Honor & Vacuum: Reawaken Your Body

The Marriage Bed: Lack of Desire

Winning at Romance: Where Oh Where Did My Libido Go?

Intimacy for Marriage: 5 Things I Learned from My Failed Marriage

Pearl’s Oyster Bed: Where Did My Sexy Go?

Let me clear that while I believe that 1 Corinthians 7:5 instructs spouses that they have a sexual duty to one another, God doesn’t want you to approach sex in your marriage as a chore. Rather, the Bible talks about godly sexuality in marriage as:

Becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:18, 1 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 5:31).

Satisfying (Proverbs 5:19).

Delightful (Song of Songs 1:2, 2:3, 4:10).

Pure (Hebrews 13:4).

If you do not feel these things in your marriage, try to figure out why. I often hear from couples who went from floundering to flourishing sex lives in their marriage. It may take some effort on your part to find out what’s happening or not happening and then address it; however, it is worth the effort to strengthen this area of your marriage.

Finally, I want to suggest talking to your husband about how you feel about sex now and how you want to feel about sex. Attaining quality sexual intimacy in marriage should be a joint endeavor. Most husbands would be happy to do whatever they can to help you awaken your desire.

One last thing: If you are a wife who went from flailing libido to flaming libido, please comment below on how you got there. What was the issue and how did you address it? You might be able to help someone else if they are experiencing a similar problem.

Top Marriage Blogs 2011

Growing up, I was one of those kids during fundraisers who barely rapped on the neighbor’s door, hoped they wouldn’t answer, and when they peeked their head out murmured, “Do you want to buy _____? You don’t have to.” I hated selling! To this day, it is difficult for me to promote products or myself.

Top 10 Marriage Blogs 2011 logoSo when I received word that Stu and Lisa Gray of Stupendous Marriage are gathering nominations for their 3rd Annual Top Marriage Blogs List, I wondered how I should handle this. Ignore it? Mention it briefly and move on? Ask for a nomination from readers? Or simply go the route of Shameless Self-Promotion?

Then I decided that I’d rather focus on other great marriage blogs. So here are some terrific blogs I currently follow.

The Generous Wife. Lori Byerly gives daily encouragement for marriages with tips on everything from household organization to date ideas to sexual insights. These are quick reads, and there is a lot wives can apply to their marriages to make them better. Lori also does a round-up of posts from other blogs that have stood out to her, and I click through many of those links and find great material.

The Generous Husband. Paul Byerly speaks to the husbands in his daily posts on being a generous husband. I read them, though, because I get a lot of out of his blog. Both genders can learn from his tips for being kinder, more engaged, and more Christ-like in our marriages.

Intimacy in Marriage. Julie Sibert tackles the tough marital intimacy issues with aplomb. She’s covered everything from talking to your kids about sex to positions to her masturbation posts with me. She also posts straightforward advice on how to have a great sex life with your spouse. I highly recommend her blog and have yet to read a post I didn’t get something from.

Marriage Gems. Lori Lowe aptly titled her blog. She takes a research-based approach to strengthening marriage and keeps readers up-to-date on the latest information and studies. Also, her book First Kiss to Lasting Bliss is coming out in December 2011.

One Flesh Marriage. Brad and Kate Aldrich trade posts. They cover a wide variety of topics and do a great job of breaking down issues and providing step-by-step tips for working on problem areas. Their blog is informative and encouraging.

Preengaged. Eric and Heather Viets both post to their blog. Their topics are aimed at couples not yet engaged, engaged, or early into marriage. Yet a lot of what they say applies to all of us marrieds. They are able to take daily occurrences and draw lessons from them for our relationships, and I admit to being a complete love-sick sucker for their posts on fun marriage proposals.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum. Sheila Gregoire posts on marriage, family, and sexuality. From what I can tell, her target audience is Christian wives, but her appeal is broader than that. I especially love her Wifey Wednesday posts, which go to the heart of what we married gals need to hear. Also, be sure to look for her new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, coming out in February 2012.

Winning at Romance. Gina Parris has used her extensive background in sports psychology to advocate for great marital intimacy. She has wonderful tips in particular for women who struggle with low sex drive. Gina also hosted the Sexy Summit Teleseminar Series with some fabulous experts, and you can still get the series by clicking the affiliate link in the right sidebar of this blog.

I could list many more, but these marriage bloggers post regularly on relevant topics and often address sexuality in marriage – which is my focus. By the way, if you want to suggest a marriage blog for the Top 10 List, click HERE to go to Stu and Lisa’s nomination page at Stupendous Marriage.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Which marriage blogs do you love and why? How has reading marriage-focused posts helped your relationship? What do you want to gain from marriage blogs?