I have a confession to make.
I’ve been having an affair. It’s a rather torrid affair; been going on for about 16 1/2 years now. We have regular rendezvous, we’ve been known to run away together now and then, and I just can’t seem to get enough of him. We have a secret life, known only to the two of us.
Ok, ok, you got me. You can relax now – yes, I’m talking about my husband.
But seriously, for the last 16 years, we’ve been carrying on a passionate love affair with each other. Through times when other things in our lives were difficult, even contentious, we’ve managed to maintain a deep, abiding passion for one another; the bedroom’s always been fun.
Recently, I’ve had the rather revolting revelation that that’s not necessarily true for everyone.
[The story that follows is an amalgamation of several conversations I’ve had over the past few months. If you happen to recognize yourself, well, there you have it.]
Not too long ago I was sitting with a good friend, whom I’ll call Stella. Stella had had occasion to observe my husband and me together in a social setting and commented on the rather frequent affection with which we seem to relate to one another. I’m aware that the way I touch my husband in public hints at the intimacy that exists between us, but had not thought about it being noticeable.
Apparently, she noticed.
So she asked me about our sex lives. I answered, quite frankly.
Here are just a few of the topics we covered during that conversation, and since that time, both she and her husband have commented that things have much improved for them.
Glad to be of service!
1) If he feels like a man outside the bedroom, he’ll be one in the bedroom, too.
Ladies, don’t expect that you can nag, belittle, correct and generally emasculate your man all day long, and then have him act the stud when you hit the sack. I’ve seen women treat their pets with more honor and respect than they do their husbands; then they complain about the lack of fulfilling sex, or even sex period, in their marriages.
Huh. Hello, genius.
The best piece of marital advice I ever, ever, ever received was this: Treat your husband as if he already were the man you want him to become. I mean, you have a vision for who he can be, right? So instead of correcting, nagging, trying to get him there, treat him as if he’s already arrived.
Hey! I think that’s called: honor.
When he feels ‘manly’, he’ll be only too happy to make you feel ‘womanly’.
2) Take care of your own junk.
Here’s the meat of this deal right here. I find in talking to women, you’ve got one of two dynamics happening. Either they’re the good girl, or they’ve been the bad girl.
Both are problems. Here’s why.
In church culture, the tendency is to treat sex as ‘bad, bad, bad, dirty, bad – except when you get married. Then it should be wonderful and amazing.’ But nobody ever tells you WHY it’s bad before you get married, except that it won’t be good for your marriage, then how to make it wonderful AFTER you get married. So you’ve got tons of ‘good girls,’ who might not have ever kissed a dude (a VERY respectable and admirable goal, believe me. That’s for my teenaged daughters, should they read this). They’re pure – and uneducated. And they can’t seem to flip the switch that says, ‘ok, now sex is GOOD and FUN!’ They tend to look at sex as a duty to be fulfilled, rather than a glorious benefit and God-given spiritual connection with their mate.
And they miss the fact that it’s fun. With this particular friend, I got a little graphic. I gave her some suggestions she might try. Would that we all had someone to give us such advice! I have a sneaking suspicion that if Titus had been written by a woman, it might have included such instruction. Wish I’d had it before my honeymoon … don’t you?
Then you have the ‘bad girls,’ who might have made some unfortunate choices in their past and are still dragging around the baggage thus obtained. These ladies, now that they are suddenly doing the ‘right’ thing, tend to feel as if they now need to forget all that they learned in the past (it feels good, it’s fun, imagination) because ‘good girls’ don’t do those things. They’re trying to make up for past sin with current boredom. Guilt keeps them in bondage, even as they’re now living ‘right’.
Marriage is uniquely designed to bring two people together, in all the ways that they can be brought together, unlike any other relationship on the planet. Ideally, both parties come to the marriage bed a little naive, a little scared, and a lot pure. But if that isn’t the case (and there’s no condemnation here, believe you me), you may have brought something with you – images, feelings, unresolved connections. There is definitely healing and freedom from those things. Pursue that, wholeheartedly.
Sex is fun! It should be. It’s supposed to be. I mean, there’s a whole book of the Bible dedicated to it. Ever read Song of Solomon? I heard Mark Driscoll say that Song of Solomon isn’t some random metaphor or allegory, it’s an instruction manual. It’s love poetry. He talks about her lips and breasts. She talks about taking him to bed.
They enjoy each other. There’s nothing perfunctory about it – it’s ‘delightful’ and a ‘joy’. Why do you think folks get into so much trouble before marriage?
So if it was fun back then, and you wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t, why shouldn’t it be fun now? I mean, really? God designed it, right? He didn’t design it to be obligatory or boring – He designed it to be fun! Would the species continue if it wasn’t?
So yeah, get healed of anything you brought into your marriage that doesn’t belong there. But be open to the reality that sex really was designed to be fun!
3) Use your imagination.
God gave us imaginations. I think we should use them.
You’ve heard the old adage about men being microwaves and women being ovens? Mostly true. So after a full day of work, housework, church, friend and family obligations, kids, money, what have you, the two of you fall into bed. He reaches for you, and you think, “Really? Now? DO you know what kind of day I’ve had??” Bang zoom, you roll over, both of you go to sleep frustrated.
Don’t pretend you’ve never done that. Liar.
Ok. Rewind. Crazy day – no doubt about it. But at some point, you intentionally think ahead a little bit. You know it’s been a couple days (maybe more…), and you’re pretty sure you know what he’ll be thinking tonight. So when you have a few minutes, you use that vivid imagination God gave you, and you, well, think things. You know what I mean. Imagine the two of you doing what it is you do. Prime the pump, so to speak.
Try it. I guarantee it works.
4) Have fun with each other.
Now. I’ve been told by some, “He’s just not interested.” How do you know? When was the last time you asked? Are you waiting for him every time? Geez, girl! Shoot yourself in the foot, why don’t you? Seriously, go for it. Don’t be subtle. Flirt.
Remember flirting? Yep – you still get to! He’ll love it. He’s waiting for it! You used to – you know how. And you know exactly how to flirt with him, just the way he likes it. Going on a date? Dress for him, down to – ahem – your, how shall we say, foundation garments? Good girls DO that stuff.
Take the initiative! TELL him what you want. Yep – I went there. Seriously. Be forward, blunt, brazen, all those things your momma warned you about. THIS is what you’ve been waiting for. Use all those feminine wiles you’ve been hiding. Use what yo momma gave you, if you catch my drift.
Plan ahead! And don’t give me the excuses – I don’t have time, you don’t know how crazy my life is, my kids, blah blah blah. If that’s really true, you need to set some boundaries in your life to give yourself and your spouse the connection you desperately need. Reset your priorities.
Put on some Barry White, baby. Within the parameters of the two of you, there can be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.
5) Don’t use sex as a weapon.
Jimmy Evans talks about the dangers of holding things outside your marriage. Women have a tendency to hold sex outside their marriages; in other words, they use it either to manipulate or punish their spouse to obtain some desired outcome.
Really?? I sat across from a woman once who said, “I won’t give him any until he does ____. If he really wants it, he’ll change.”
Uh, yeah. They’re not married anymore.
I heard of another woman who used it to get things she wanted, like clothes or furniture. I won’t even tell you what I think of that.
See, that power you hold over him can be dangerous. Wield it carefully.
6) It’s a spiritual connection you only get to have with him.
We’re always looking for spiritual connections. We can’t help it – it’s the way we’re wired. Don’t you just love when you meet a new friend, and you just – connect? We love that! We love the connections we have with our kids, friends, family, etc. Especially us women – we build whole ministries on ‘spiritual connections’ with other women.
But we forget the one we’re more spiritually tied to than any other on the planet. Remember the whole “two becoming one flesh” thing? The marriage ceremony, the reverend saying, “Do you? Do you? Ok, now kiss?” Yeah. Spiritual connection.
If you happened to be one that had such relations prior to your marriage, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In fact, you may really need to pursue healing in that area. Break some ties that might have been forged with other people, leaving you free to make the right tie. Those other soul ties may be what’s holding you back from really being free to connect with your husband.
On the positive, though, you have a unique opportunity to connect with your husband in a way that no one else on the planet has. Yep – through sex. There’s something deeply spiritual about sex that nothing else provides.
Think about it – even if we do look at sex as purely procreational, how creative is God that He would bring about the propagation of the species that way? Two become one, and a whole new being is created through it. Brilliant.
But even when it’s just purely for fun (it should be – regularly), sex in and of itself provides a cement, if you will, between the two of you that nothing else does, through the sheer intimacy of it. You’re never more vulnerable, more real, more open than in those moments with each other.
Ok. I know I might have gotten a little silly here, but this is serious stuff. If you have junk in the trunk, and we all do, deal with it. Let God deal with it. Get past it, so you and your spouse can discover ALL the benefits and enjoyments of marriage.
And have fun enjoying them!!