So there are a few things you need to know about me before I begin what I hope will become an open discussion between women of faith regarding…(said quietly) sex, physical intimacy or passion. Whatever you want to call it sadly I have come to realize that we as Christian women often try to hide it, minimize it, or ignore it. You need to know that I was very naive when I got married. I was raised in a conservative christian home. I was the only girl over 6 years younger than my one and only brother. We lived on a farm. My parents worked hard and I was allowed to be a kid for as long as I needed to be a kid. I went to a small school where kids were allowed to try whatever they were interested in and everybody knew everybody. Looking back one thing we didn’t do however was talk about sex. When my period started I told my mom and she gave me the appropriate supplies. I don’t remember really even discussing it. What I learned I learned at school in science class, from friends and magazines. What I knew was as a Christian I was expected to remain a virgin until marriage. After that I really didn’t know much of anything. Realizing that was probably the case, shortly before I got married one of my friends sat me down to “share a few things” she thought I needed to know. Debbie was several years older than me but single, never married. She, however, had married friends who had spoken openly with her about physical intimacy and she shared that bit of knowledge with me. I’ve never forgotten that conversation. Fast forward to today, with 33+ years of marriage under my belt believe it or not I am still learning about physical intimacy. It makes me laugh to think that I now talk with others about this. Me? I have barely said the word sex in public without quieting my voice or sounding very disgusted. Sad.
What is sad is that we’ve allowed the world to distort the beauty and joy of physical intimacy. We’ve allowed sex to be used to sell every product or service imaginable. If you don’t believe me pay more attention to commercials. I think what people really want is what sex can be, an expression of the deepest trust, love and desire of a person. However, people like me with beliefs that sex is meant to be with the one person you love most and marry tend to keep quiet. Our beliefs are called “out dated” or “unrealistic”. Our beliefs go against the all too public trend of talk about everything, do whatever makes you feel good and show off your body, all of your body, everywhere. So we just don’t talk. We attempt to keep our children from seeing or hearing “naughty” representations of sex or we often only point out to our children what not to do and leave it at that. This leaves a hole in our life. A hole big enough to fall into and cause difficulty. Ask me, I know from experience, my own and stories from others we have mentored over the years.
So ladies, I write this today as a woman who is still learning how to live and love my husband well. As I prepared for a talk recently I was reading in Proverbs chapters 5-7. As often happens when you read scripture something stood out to me that I had not taken note of before. Much of these chapters are warnings to men about “forbidden women”. It warns of their smooth talk and to stay away from the door of their house and to “drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. “ (5:15) We, as women, often stop with only those thoughts in mind. We expect our men to be faithful to us and heed all those warnings. We don’t want them looking at the Victoria Secrets models or porn on the internet. But if we keep reading chapter 5:18-19 says:
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts satisfy you always.
May you always be captivated by her love.” (NLT)
Whoa, those verses are full of advice. Remembering they are addressed to men let me throw out a few of my observations, recent convictions really.
- We are to be a “fountain of blessing” to our husband. Fountains flow. They don’t drip unless they are not working. Are blessings flowing out of me for my husband?
- It talks about the wife of your “youth” suggesting he is not a “youth” anymore. Implying to me these things are to be true years after you are married, not just when you are young newlyweds.
- Read the last line slowly, “may you always be captivated by her love. (emphasis mine)
“Captivated” that means that the man is to be captivated. That would imply the woman needs to be captivating. Before I go any further, let me say true physical intimacy takes two people participating. There are plenty of places in scripture giving men there mandates. As I just said ladies, this suggest we are supposed to be “captivating”. When was the last time you thought about “captivating” your husband? Really, stop for a minute and think. When was the last time you put any time, effort and/or money into trying to look your best for your husband or planned a special private night or even just got a new nightie? And yet we expect our husbands to be faithful to us and only us, even when scantily clad women are everywhere.
Sex is not bad. We were created by God as sexual beings to reproduce but also to cultivate intimacy which enriches our life. We as Christians should not hide from or try to ignore sexuality. We need to put it in it’s proper context, which is marriage. We need to celebrate it in that context. So I’m putting a sometimes uncomfortable topic out on the table. I’m challenging us as Christian women to quit making sex the lowest priority in loving our husbands. Take some time to think, and yes, even pray about this. Ask God to free up your thoughts and actions regarding intimacy with your husband. How can you captivate your husband?
If you’d like to discuss this further feel free comment below, message me through Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org All conversations will be kept confidential.