Yesterday I tackled the topic, What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew About Sex. Thank you to the guys for their overwhelming positive feedback. One man said, “I believe you have truly captured the substance of our [a man's] needs in a relationship. Thank you for stating clearly a sorely needed message of understanding.” I feel a need to let the ladies in on that, because all of the critics, both public and private were women. I’m OK with a little criticism, even the occasional hate mail. It keeps me thinking. But I don’t want the ladies to lose the message. Sex matters A LOT.
One of the things I talked about yesterday was that, “Husbands want their wives to freely offer themselves.” Some of you have let me know you are, praise God! However you are the minority.
Shannon Ethridge, the all around sex guru for Christian women, in her book The Sexually Confident Wife, says “Hubby isn’t wooing and pursing us like he used to, so our motivation wanes. Sex feels more like an obligation than a mutual thrill.” She cites a study that says only 8% of married women describe their sex lives as “very hot.” 21% call their sex life “routine and boring” and another 21% of respondents asked “What sex life?”
Yikes! Those statics are dismal at best. What happened to Garden-living when Adam and Eve were naked and NOT ashamed. A whole lot of crap happened. Sin happened. Abuse happened. Fear happened. Stress happened. A lot stuff that pulls us away from the God-centered intimacy that he created us for in the Garden. How can we get back to that kind of intimacy?
I know many of you want that. But realistically I know there are some things that keep us gals from baring all, even to our husbands, freely. Instead of communicating those reasons openly we tend just resist and yes, hide. Isn’t that what both Adam and Eve did after shame hit?
Well, here are some things that I think wives wish their husbands knew about sex… or at least I wish that wives would wish their husbands knew about sex.
- We have to have emotional intimacy first.
- Sometimes wounds of the past cause us to fear intimacy.
- We need time to warm up.
We NEED emotional intimacy first. Stasi Eldredge, my go-to gal, writes in Captivating, of our need to be romanced. She says, “this desire is set deep in the heart of every little girl – and every woman. Yet most of us are ashamed of it. We downplay it. … We are women of the twenty-first century after all. Uh-huh… and who is buying all those romance novels? “
Guys, listen up, you aren’t the only ones who were created in God’s image. We too bear a unique image of God from creation. It is God who has placed this passion within us because it bears HIS image. Our Designer says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3).
Our desire to be pursued comes from a very core spiritual place. It is Jesus who describes himself as the bridegroom coming for his bride. The story of all mankind is this – a romance, a divine, sacred romance. The story of scripture reveals a passionate, warring lover coming to win back his bride from the enemy. And as the bridegroom defeats his foe and rescues his woman, he describes the reunion as a wedding!
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. Rev. 19:7-8
Here’s the big problem, Satan leaves most men with this message “Back off.” ”‘You don’t really want to go there – she’ll be too much for you” is something Satan has set against every woman from the day of her birth.” (John & Stasi Eldredge; Captivating). Let me tell you, if you pursue your woman with a no-holds-bar passion, the romance will take care of itself, and so will the sex.
Unfortunately, sometimes wounds of the past cause women to fear intimacy. Sexual abuse is a huge obstacle for many women struggling to connect with their husbands. RAINN statistics report that every year over 200,000 women are sexually assaulted in the US. In 2/3 of those cases the predator is someone the woman knows. In these cases, trust is shattered. Confidence is replaced by fear. Healthy, holy sexuality has been distorted. The message sent to our sexual self is that sex is dangerous so hide it.
If you are in a marriage that is suffering because an abuse situation, I encourage you to prayerfully enter the process of healing with professional, Christ-centered counseling. Whether you are a husband or a wife, open yourself up to healing. Jesus promises to show up.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Ps. 34:18
Maybe the wounds were not from abuse, but rather sexual sin. A few months ago I sat in a room with 13 Christian women who were sharing their stories. Of the 13, only 1 had not yet had sex outside of marriage. Every single one of those 12 women who did, were paying the price. For different ones of us, it came in different packages, from overeating to adultery, to fear of intimacy with our husbands. No matter how the world tries to spin it. Multiple sex partners comes with a very high emotional and spiritual price tag.
Other wounds may seem more benign, but I promise you, the hurt affects women just the same. From domineering mothers to absent fathers or feeling like a social outcast. These wounds result is shame and guilt, affecting our ability to connect emotionally and give our bodies freely.
This may seem like dismal news too, but I have some REALLY good news. I have lived the consequences of sexual abuse from my childhood. I have also lived the consequences of sexual sin. But there is something amazing about God. He comes through in the most amazing ways.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord… Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion… For He has clothed me with garments of salvation…
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels… So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up… (From Is. 61)
God wants you to have freedom. When Jesus healed the blind, he didn’t restore partial sight. When he healed the lame, they ran. When he gave life to the dead, they lived – completely. He still has the same power to do that today. He wants to heal you. All of you, including the scars that keep you from living a free sexual life with your spouse. Remember it is our Lord who said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
This last one probably hits home with every woman who balances work, motherhood, household duties, and being a sexual woman. We need time to warm up. Guys, not so much. We are different. We need time to punch out of the mom clock and transform into a woman.
Maybe that means a bubble bath with some relaxing music, lighting candles and locking the door. Maybe that’s intimate conversation with our husbands. Maybe that’s slipping into something more comfortable (i.e. that isn’t covered in spit up, glitter from a 3rd grade craft project, or comet.)
Guys, let us have that time to warm-up. Ladies, MAKE the time to warm up. And really, no more excuses. You deserve it. Your kids can go to bed early. You don’t have to return those phone calls or finish up those papers. You need to take time for you and enjoy the gift of your sexuality as God created.
“One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover, I yearned for him… Awake… Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits… I aroused you under the apple tree… (From the female lover in Song of Solomon)
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled. Heb. 13:4
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Cor. 7: 3-5