Despite the many years I fought against sex in my marriage, there were times when I would hear or read something that would stick with me because it made me uncomfortable or hit too close to home.
- A friend once shared with me how upset she was when her sister told her she hardly ever agreed to have sex with her husband. My friend said, “Sex is so amazing. I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to do it as much as possible! It really isn’t fair to her husband. After all, it’s his marriage, too.”
- A woman expressed sadness in a women’s bible study group: “I’m having such a hard time with menopause anyway, and it’s affecting my intimate life. I’m so sad to be losing that connection with my husband.”
- I overheard a pastor say to someone, “Making love is just that–making love. The more you do it, the more love you make.”
- My husband bought me The Gift of Sex (affiliate link) and I actually read it. The words of the title made me rethink what sex was supposed to be in marriage. Even though this rethinking resulted in me always wondering what was wrong with me that I didn’t actually feel that way, the words made an impact.
As stubborn and self-protective as I am, I tried to push these things away–but I couldn’t. The truth turned out to be even more stubborn than I was.
When my husband would talk with me about how rejected and unloved he felt at my control over our marriage bed, after we argued (or not) and I cried myself out, these words would float into my mind, taunting me.
The conversations and resources were individual puzzle pieces, fitting together over time to prepare me to see the real picture.
They were instruments of my heart’s softening. Over time, as words and blog posts and books accumulated, the walls in my heart became overloaded with truths that I couldn’t keep out.
At the moment when I finally faced all this truth, my heart was ripe for change.
These days I read a lot about marriage, and despite the fact that I absorb information better by reading than by listening, I even listen to podcasts and sermons about marriage.
I am always on the lookout for resources that I think would have stayed with me, even in the depths of my refusal, to think about sex or work on our sex life.
One of the bloggers I follow is Kevin A. Thompson. Over the past few days, he has written two posts that I want to pass along to you.
- The first is A Sunday Sermon About Married Sex, a blog post that links to a sermon he recently preached about sex as well as some of his other posts about marriage.
- The second is Four Rights of Marriage. (Hint: The rights are heart, body, time, and fidelity.)
He has just the right balance of truth that I wouldn’t have wanted to hear with compassion. I was asked recently what I thought about his sermon, and here’s what I said:
The sermon would have made me seriously ponder some things. He said good things about the emotional connecting aspects of sex, which would have gotten my attention. More important, he talked about how the marriage needed sex, not about how the husband needed it.
He talked a lot about the purpose of goals of sex and connected it to larger issues (temptation, nourishing the relationship, sex as a spiritual protection, the need to do something if sex is a problem, etc.) in ways I would have heard. Plus, his acknowledgement that some guys are jerks (“I wouldn’t sleep with them, either”) would have assured me that my feelings mattered. Even then, I don’t think I would have thought my husband was a jerk–but the fact that he said that would have helped me feel like he wasn’t just blindly backing up men.
I encourage you to head over to his blog, read what he has to say, and listen with an open heart to his sermon.
Then, pass it along to another woman who might need the words that he says.
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