Before marriage, I had grand ideas about sex in marriage – how it would be great and flawless and breathtaking and wonderful all by itself.
How my husband would bring all the fireworks, without much help or input from me.
After marriage, I learned quickly that a thriving sex life requires intentional effort from both spouses.
That stretching, learning, growing are hallmarks of a great sex life in marriage.
Marriage is for life and you are in it for a long long time. If you don’t like the idea of perishing from boredom, you must open up to the idea that finding new oceans is good for your marriage. And such exploration will require leaving comfortable shores.
Un-parking the Wagon
For most wives and when we find a sweet spot in the bedroom, like maybe a good sex position, we park there. I mean, we unload the whole wagon, drive down the stakes, fire up the barbecue, kick back and relax. When hubby comes along and suggests it’s time to find a more exciting campsite, we look at him like he just stepped off a bus.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more of what already works. After all, it takes a while for most wives to figure out what works and when we find it it, hanging about makes some sense. However, even the most exquisite meal, if served 10,000 times over – same way, same time, same place, same everything – will grow stale.
So let’s look at a scenario where hubby wants more variety in the bedroom and as a wife and for a variety of reasons, you’ve set up shop and won’t budge.
If your husband wants to try something new and you find yourself thinking “I don’t feel like it” “I am happy where we are” “I am not sure” “Can a Christian do THAT!?” – try and think on these questions;
1. Does it honor God?
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Regarding food offered to idols, Paul breaks it down to “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”
In other words, God first.
Not every everything is permissible for the married Christian couple. So it’s great that you are asking “Is this honoring to the One who created sex?” “Are we allowing unhealthy things into our marriage bed?”
While the Bible will not give you a list of what to do in your bedroom, it does provide guidelines for proper Christian living, like Romans 12:2 which says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Or 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 which says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
You might not find a list of “acceptable sexual practices for the Christian couple” but the Bible has much to say about how we are to conduct ourselves as God’s children. Let the word of God illuminate your marriage, including your bedroom.
How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path Psalm 119:103-105
(Recommendation – check out J Parker’s Hot, Holy and Humorous blog for practical insights)
2. Are you holding back?
I was a virgin when I got married. I did not know the workings of a male mind or even my own body. (And that’s okay as we are meant to explore and learn sex within marriage).
After marriage I discovered that my husband and I were wired differently and for us to experience greater intimacy, we had to embrace greater learning and become students of one another.
Timidity, bewilderment, ignorance e.t.c are all understandable on your wedding night and those early seasons. But they cease being reasonable excuses over the months and years.
Again, it’s not easy to transition from a place of no sex, to sex every night if you want (for the chaste/virgin bride). Or “I think that’s wrong” to “okay, let’s do it, whohoo that’s amazing” for the older bride. It’s hard to leave your comfort zone and embrace something new.
But sometimes the reason we struggle to leave these old places is because we think the new place has to be perfect right off the gate. And when it isn’t (and it rarely is), we bash ourselves and withdraw the permission to try again.
You don’t have to see yourself hanging off the roof in excitement before you try something new. Decide to take it one step at a time. A willingness to give it a try, without a lot of expectations, can make the difference between living in humdrum land and adding a little spice to your bedroom.
If you think you are the problem, take time to talk about it with your man. Tell him what you feel. Think about the experience as more of an adventure and how the greatness of any adventure is the journey itself, not the destination.
Think about it in terms of small steps. In my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily-Ever-After In The Early Years, I talk about preparing yourself for intimacy and how sometimes, you just have to do it. You don’t wait for your body to make up it’s mind for you. You decide and then your body follows.
(*In this section I am not talking about seasons when trying something new is nearly impossible, like when expectant or unwell or dealing with deeper sexual challenges e.t.c)
3. Does it honor you/your husband? Does it promote connection?
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3, 4
“Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” 1 Corinthians 10;24 “
Married Christian women are reading books and watching movies that fill their minds with foolishness and worldliness and they wonder why sex life isn’t great.
If your problem is being too reserved, you probably don’t have this problem. But it’s important to understand that being married does not mean anything goes in your bedroom.
You are a Christian, before you are his wife. You both belong to Jesus.
Any sexual act which degrades, dehumanizes, disrespects one or both of you, should not have a place in your marriage. Anything that seeks to replace your husband-wife connection, which makes you more reliant on it rather than your spouse for sexual satisfaction should not be encouraged.
And of course it goes without saying that if your husband is asking you to sin, (for example, watch porn together as a form of foreplay), it’s an obvious no-no.
It’s not all about your husband. The most fulfilling sex for most husbands is the one where his wife is excited, more fulfilled. Martyr-ship, the idea that “it’s all for him, let me lie here and endure it” kills it. With that in mind, you can talk about things which make you less enthusiastic about sex, or anything that makes you overly uncomfortable physically.
Remember that God did not create sex for your husband to enjoy alone. He created it for both of you. This post is not about shutting down and offering your body as a sacrifice. It’s about taking your marriage and sex life to the next level together. You can’t create a happily ever after all by yourself. You need one another. And that means being willing to engage and discuss and confront things.
I cannot over emphasize the need for frank, open and continued communication. I think that as long as we can talk about it, we can work through most situations in marriage.
For most wives the problem is having all these conversations going on in our heads and refusing to invite our husbands in. Or we invite him in but do so without grace or love or respect – which leaves him feeling rejected, not invited to share your side of the journey.
You might not understand the connection but being an enthusiastic partner in bed makes your husband feel loved and accepted. For him, making love is it’s own amazing love language and when his wife is willing to try out new things, it makes him feel like the most blessed man on earth.
So go ahead and invite that conversation, don’t say no, simply because it’s new. On the other hand, weigh everything against what God says and how we are to treat each other.
I hope these three questions get you thinking when it comes to exploring new frontiers with your husband. What do you think? What other questions could couples ask themselves?
*I understand that you might be the one suggesting more variety and spice in your bedroom. If that’s your situation, I hope you pick up my book, Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily-Ever-After In The Early Years and learn how to work through high-libido/low-libido situations.
And the winner is…
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