X in a Healthy Marriage

~Appreciate Your Spouse~Buoyancy in Marriage~Consult Your Partner~
~Dream Together Part One ~Dream Together Part Two~Empower Your Spouse~
~Have Fun With Your Spouse~Give to One Another~Honor Each Other~
~Be Intentional~Jubilee~Kingdom Focused~Listen~~Mentor Relationships~Nourish~Own It~
~Pray With Each Other~Quick to Listen~Read Together~Selfless~Teamwork~Uplift~Vulnerable~Worship~

X in a Healthy Marriage

Of Course “X” is for Sex – Matt’s Thoughts

You and your spouse are not just roommates. God’s design for marriage includes passion and pleasure. Have you read Song of Solomon?

Or how about Proverbs 5:18-19?  Solomon is giving his sons all kinds of advice in the first nine chapters of Proverbs, much of which has to do with warnings against adultery. It is in this context that he says,

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.”

That doesn’t sound dull to me.

A healthy marriage includes mutual passion and mutual pleasure. In general, the husband’s sexual appetite is stronger – as in he desires sex more often than his wife. It doesn’t take much for him to think of his wife in a sexual way. Any of the following are possible: He could simply see his woman and think…sex; he might smell his woman and think…sex; he could hear his woman and think…sex; he may think about his woman and think…sex; often, if he touches his woman he’s thinking…sex. For her thoughts to go to sex, in general, it’s not so much about one of her physical senses, but if she feels loved. This varies from woman to woman and is part of the two becoming one. They become one as they come to know each other better in every way. If a husband knows and practices what communicates love to his wife “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” as the apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians 5:25, then she’ll want to become one with him in the bedroom too.

Guys, the reality is that we shouldn’t have sex as much as we’d like to…the children would starve. It takes time for her passion to build. Show her love every day, not just when you want her in bed that night. When her passion does build, do everything you can to pleasure her. Sex is not for your pleasure only. Again, in a healthy marriage the passion is shared and the pleasure is gifted to your spouse.

Gals, the reality is that, “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband,” and neither spouse should “deprive each other” (I Corinthians 7:4-5). For his sake, make it happen sometimes before your passion has rebuilt. Giving yourself to him communicates your love to him.

Captivating – Laura’s Thoughts

I love the phrase at the end of the passage from Proverbs that Matt shared above, “…may you ever be captivated by her love.”

Is there anything in marriage more beautiful than him being absolutely captivated by her, and her being captivated by him? To me, that is a true picture of marital bliss, and everything (and I mean everything) that goes along with it. To me, “captivated by” says a lot more than “attracted to” or even “in love with”. It also says more than “we have a great sex life”.

To be captivated by our spouse means that we are truly one in every sense. This takes vulnerability and trust. It takes a selfless attitude on both parts, and it takes honest and frequent communication. It’s amazing actually, how many other pieces of a healthy marriage come into play with sexual fulfillment in a marriage. It is all connected.

Guys, consider what you might do to connect with your wife in a way that makes her feel captivated by you. Gals, your husband finds you captivating, what are you going to do about that? (That was rhetorical. We figured you might take that up with your man.)  ;)

Ladies, we know you’re reading here more often than the guys. ;)  We’d love husbands to read this article as well. If you feel so inclined please send the link to your husbands, or if it’s easier, we’ve created a downloadable article for you to quickly print off and share. Healthy Marriage Tips from A to Z – X in a Healthy Marriage

Comments

  1. Brooke says

    Good (and fun) post! Only our Great Creator could bless us like that ;).

    Can I add some advice/encouragment (from personal experience)??

    Maybe there are women reading who do not have a healthy love life with their hubby or newlyweds who are staring at each other asking “what the heck are we doing wrong?” If you’re blessed enough to save yourself for your husband, but then have to switch the lightbulb on in one night, it’s not easy for everyone. If was a great challenge for several months in our marriage, but with God in the middle you can work through anything. DO NOT GIVE UP! I would encourage you women to find a women or two that you trust and that is spirtually mature, faithful, and one who will pray with you and help you along with advice and scripture and tools. Also, there are some really great Christian books on this subject that really help without being perverted. “Sheet Music” is a really fun one to read, and there are several others. (**If you are not married, do not read these with your boyfriend/fiance – don’t want those sparks to fly before you’re down the aisle). Anyways, there are great resources, and you’re not alone.

    Thanks Laura and Matt for your encouragment!

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    Danielle B Reply:

    I only disagree w/one thing. Reading it w/your fiance within a couple of months prior to the wedding is fine. You are already having pre-marital counseling, no difference. And there should be sparks between a couple before marriage, if not there’s a problem.

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    Brooke Reply:

    I meant sexual sparks b/c reading some of these books revs you up :) Personally, I would say if you want to read it together than do so in the presence/with during pre-marriage counseling with your consoler(s). And bring it on your honeymoon to read together. I wish my hubby and I had know about these great resources before we got married.

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  2. says

    Great post!!!

    It’s always awesome to see Christians talking about sex in a real way that matters to real people…and not just hemming and hawing vaguely about “intimacy”.

    If you know folks who are struggling in this area of their marriage (or shoot, any area really), I highly, highly, *can’t recommend enough* recommend Mark Gungor’s Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar. (http://shopping.laughyourway.com/laugh-your-way-seminar-dvd)

    We’ve personally gotten a lot out of it, led the small group study at our church, and loaned the DVDs to other couples that we’ve known who were struggling.

    Marriage is meant to be an amazing representation of the relationship between Christ and his church. With that perspective, is it really any wonder that it’s so under attack?

    Thanks, again, for a wonderful post!

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    Missy Reply:

    My husband is an Army Chaplain and uses Mark Gungor’s DVD’swhen he holds marriage retreats. Gungor’s really does do a great job of ‘putting it all out there’ but in a fun way. I love too how he weaves the Christian life in his talks. It’s a great way to present the gospel in a military setting without seeming ‘preachy’. Great post, Laura and Matt!

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  3. LillianD says

    I’m going to be honest here. This post is full of chliches. There are SO many women that I know who’s sexual appetite is larger than her husbands, it’s not something that is widely spoken about, but if you speak to a Christian counselor, it is a larger problem than what is commonly known. Yet the cliche is ALWAYS that guys want it more, while the woman is too exhausted from child rearing and cooking to give it up, but the Bible says submit (yeah yeah, mutual submission, I KNOW). I’ve sat through so many ladies’ classes (Church of Christ, which based on the language of this post, I’m assuming is where you worship) with these same Bible verses touted and this same exact message. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe, their bodies do belong to each other and neither should be turned down, that will lead to stepping outside of the marriage. I just think this post assumes that any problems in that area are universally caused by the same issue (women not giving it up enough). It can be very discouraging for a woman to hear this message when perhaps that is not her truth, many women would love their husbands to have that desire for them, and they are the ones who are too tired at the end of the day!!

    Also, does anyone else think we should be taking advice on how to remain monogomous from King Solomon who had 1000 wives?

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    Laura Reply:

    You are very right that some women have a larger sexual appetite, which is why we said “in general” the man has a larger appetite. I know this can be very discouraging for a woman whose husband does not seem to have a strong desire. It was pretty tough for us to cover so many of the different issues involving a healthy married life involving sex, which is why we are considering continuing some of these thoughts eventually in a new series. We are praying about that idea.

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  4. A question about babies says

    Can you also talk about how babies and birth control come into this equation? I’ve been exposed to the quiverful mindset — no birth control, ever — and I’m not in a place health-wise or faith-wise where I can just say ok, babies can come when they come.

    As a result, I am avoiding X completely. My own X drive is pretty low, given that I am still nursing and haven’t had a period yet. But still. I feel guilty and terrible about it, but what do I do?

    Are certain types of birth control ok? I can’t do NFP since my cycles haven’t returned at all. I’d also consider barrier methods (perhaps a diaphram or something like that?).

    I just really need help squaring the X and babies thing. In the Bible, does God intend X for pleasure AND for babies simultaneously, or can it just be for fun, no babies involved? Help!

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    Laura Reply:

    This can definitely be a difficult issue to decide on what is right for you and your husband. I’d be happy to discuss this with you more via email. We also strongly encourage that you and your husband talk and pray about it so that you can come up with a plan that you feel will glorify God in your marriage.

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    Danielle B Reply:

    I don’t want to get into bc on here. :-) it’s a hot topic for some Christians. I agree w/Laura, ask your husband, and see what he says, and the two of you then pray about it.

    During these time when you aren’t really feeling like having X. “Help” your husband out in other ways. There are many different forms of X.

    Your drive will come back. Bf’ing diminishes it :-). I often wondered if that’s the way God intended so we don’t have back 2 back pregnancies.

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  5. says

    Laura: I love this article…so real, so needed! It doesn’t matter you have a good relationship and X life you have in your marriage, we have to keep nurturing it! Great article! My husband will enjoy it….I just sent it to him!

    Mayra

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  6. Lisa says

    “…the children would starve…” Ha ha ha! That made me chuckle. :) This was a very good post. Thank you for tackling a sensitive but very important subject. My husband and I have found that as we get older and have more children, sex is kind of something we almost have to “schedule in.” It’s just hard with so many different things on your plate at once. But it’s definitely necessary to a healthy marriage.

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  7. Justine says

    My struggle in our sex life is knowing what is ok and what isn’t. I grew up in a family where we were taught that anything sexual was nasty. Now that I am married (and have been for 8 years), I find myself really questioning what is ok sexually in a healthy Christian marriage. Any advice on that??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Matt and I are thinking of writing more posts on this subject, so hopefully some of those posts will answer your questions. But ultimately, God created sex to be a very enjoyable part of marriage. Withing the context of marriage, there is nothing nasty about it. The worldly view of sex, where boy meets girl and they end up in bed together at the end of the night, that is the nasty part – the world distorting what God intended to be a beautiful piece of marriage.

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    Tituslady Reply:

    Hebrews 13:4 says the marriage bed is undefiled! So as long as its
    just you and your partner (no porn other people) then anything goes!
    It’s hard to give up what you’ve been raised on, but just start slow
    and if something feels uncomfortable talk it out, and try something
    new! It’s suppose to be fun and pleasurable =) No need to be
    embarrassed or anything!

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  8. Danielle B says

    I will add one book as well. The Proper Feeding and Care of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger. Not a Christian author, but TONS of great information!

    Our kids don’t control when we have sex. Not just at night, why wait until you both are exhausted? Sunday afternoon “naps”, we have a rule, if mom and dad’s door is shut and you aren’t dead, and there’s no fire and no one is bleeding don’t knock. (this applies only during the day) Everything can wait until you come out. Pop a video in, the kids can entertain themselves for a little while. Keeping the fire alive is very important in marriage!

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    Bridget F Reply:

    I enthusiastically echo that book recommendation by Dr Laura. Very good no-nonsense approach. I have tried to counsel friends with struggling marriages with this book and they HATE it because it focuses the responsibility of the wife and not the husband and too often women want to BLAME the man for… being a man? I feel so badly for the confusion of gender roles in the world today. Women are either empowered to be independent of men or they are objectified, men are either effeminated, or they are mindless brutish sex-fiends. The world is calling every good thing evil and every evil thing good. Sex is WONDERFUL! BEAUTIFUL! Precious! Endearing! I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it sure feels good to have you people here unafraid to speak the truth about Gods creative ability in regard to human intimacy in its proper role.

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  9. Brittney says

    I would recommend the book “And They Were Not Ashamed.” I was so glad I read that before getting married so I had a good idea of what to expect and work towards.

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  10. says

    Great post Matt and Laura! :-) Too often women forget this: ”The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband,” and neither spouse should “deprive each other” (I Corinthians 7:4-5).
    I’ve had to learn that myself….and it’s made my marriage much better.

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  11. Christina Preciado says

    Hi,
    Great post. An eye opener from a Christian point of veiw with wondeful support, unlike my secular friends who do not share my outlook of marriage and intimacy. I feel that is it so important to have time for my husband and he does for me, it is what keeps our relationship alive and healthy.

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  12. Erin says

    This is a great article! But I want to point out that a healthy love life may not always look exactly like what’s mentioned here. I struggled for years feeling lonely & inadequate while my husband (feeling the same way) suffered from an undiagnosed condition that left him with a severely lowered sexual appetite.
    I was reluctant to comment here but feel that there are probably others who may also be struggling through no fault of their own, and need to hear they aren’t alone or have an “unhealthy marriage.”
    My healing moment came when I realized that “normal” wasn’t in God’s design for us and that was okay. God knows what’s best for our marriage. We enjoy being “captivated” by each other like Laura mentioned, by openly communicating, being completely vulnerable and trusting each other completely.

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  13. says

    Thank you for writing about this subject! Sexual intimacy hasn’t always been easy for my husband and I, we both have different expectations and perceptions. However, I am thrilled to say that God has been really working in this area, especially in my heart, showing me what it means to lay down my selfish desires in order to serve my husband. The one thing I can’t stress strongly enough for anyone who is struggling with sexual intimacy in marriage is to PRAY about it! Once I started earnestly seeking the Lord, He changed me not only mentally, but physically as well, so that sex became a joy rather than a chore! I have enjoyed reading all the book recommendations, and I’d like to throw one in. “Intended for Pleasure”, by Ed and Gaye Wheat, is a very thorough guide, from a Christian perspective. I learned a lot from it, and I think it is an especially great read for newlyweds : )

    [Reply]

    lyss Reply:

    Intended for Pleasure is so helpful! I only wish we had found it
    before we were married instead of after. Maybe for some it all
    comes naturally, but we needed some help. I was leary of “how to”
    books, but this one is good. :)

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I echo the recommendation for Intended for Pleasure, and would add another WONDERFUL resource for women – Intimate Issues, by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus! Excellent!

    [Reply]

  14. says

    One of the greatest eye openers on this topic occurred recently for me when I was listening to Dennis Prager. Someone called in and said that she learned that her husband doesn’t always need a “Wow” night, sometimes those “quickies” are just fine.

    I asked my husband if this was true and he said “Yeah!! I love it when you rev it up, but I don’t need that every time.”

    Since then our lives have been enriched because I realized that I didn’t have to always be in the mood and always make things fun and exciting for him. Sometimes I just had to be willing to say “yes”, even when I didn’t feel like it. It was okay to be honest, too and say “quickie, please.” And then, sometimes I would be surprised to discover that I would become in the mood during the course of our session. :)

    [Reply]

    Tituslady Reply:

    I agree with that statment,but be careful not to over do it! If my
    husband feels rushed by me to finish b/c I’m tired, hurt,ect he has
    a hard time enjoying himself! So make sure it’s balanced!

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  15. says

    Outstanding post, Matt and Laura. And the comments are wonderful as well. I am going to email this post to my best friend who is going to be married soon.
    Blessings,
    Cynthia

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  16. Yvonna says

    Matt and Laura, I enjoyed your post and if God puts it in your and Matt’s heart to have a series on “Xylophones”, I would read it. Thank You and God Bless!

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  17. Lana says

    My husband and I have been married for 33 years. Sex is a learning process and it is always changing and getting better. My friends sometimes say to me that they wish their husband would treat them like my husband treats me; he adores me. My reply is that I am always available for my husband. I told my husband many years ago that I am willing daily. He took me up on that offer and it was daily for many months. Now it is usually about 5x a week. It completely changed our marriage. I thought that it would be a chore for me but I now see that God made us that way and not for just once or twice a week. Ladies I challenge you to make this offer to your husbands and then see what blessings come your way. I promise you will not be dissappointed!

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  18. Tituslady says

    Sex is a wonderful part of marriage! Without it we would be falling for fornication! I urge husbands and wives to make sure each is being pleased enough! Because the Bible even states if you don’t give them enough, it’s very very hard not to wander! And I know my husband struggles with how other women are dressing so awful these days, and he has to have me! Which I enjoy =) But it’s getting harder for men, and I’m sure some women to keep their eyes to themselves! I think it’s harder for men though, because usually you don’t see a half naked guy walking in Walmart. I also wanted to touch on birth control for a moment. I had a tubal done two years ago, and it is the biggest mistake we ever made! It hurts so bad, lowers my sex drive, I’m moody, it’s AWFUL! Through prayer we have overcome a lot of those challenges, but I would not recommend it for anyone! I would abstain from sex, before I’d recommend that! I’ll be praying for you ladies! We can get our groove on, and keep are marriages on exciting :P

    [Reply]

    Lana Reply:

    You could have an infection from the tubal! I have not had a tubal but I struggled with horrible pelvic pain for years. I complained to my GYN about it over and over and it turned out that I had a cyst on the vaginal wall that my doc could not see and behind that was a large infection. It can be hard to get a doc to listen but I am so glad to be free of all that pain.

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