Well, your responses to my piece entitled “Married Women Need To Give It Up,” was great. I appreciate the candor of your comments. Some of the best ones could not be posted because they involved derogatory and scatological language. Here at Elev8, we have one motto regarding comments: Speak your mind, but be respectful.
That said, I heard you. I delivered a meaningful rebuke, but left out the road map. I understand that the area of your sexuality is an extremely personal one. No one will ever be able to give you a comprehensive list of all the the things you must do to improve your life in this area. However, in community, we can learn from the success of others. I have not always been obedient or willing in the area of marital sex. Many of my problems stemmed from the fact that I was not a virgin when I married, but more about that later. From talking to my friends who are strong in this area of their marriages, reading any book on the matter by Christians and non-Christians alike, talking to wise, older, saved women, talking to my husband, and most importantly through trial and error (which by the way has been really, really fun and at times funny), I have gained some valuable knowledge in this area. I’ll share just a few.
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5. Make it a point to think sexy thoughts throughout the day.
I know this sounds foolish. But remember when you were dating your now-husband? You’d spend a great deal of time daydreaming about him, practicing writing your married name, thinking about the last time he kissed you, and remembering the smell of his cologne. Guess, what? You can still do that. This is one area where men have a great advantage over us women. Every time I read the data it’s changing. Men have a sexual thought every 3, 4, 5 seconds, minutes. I can’t remember exactly. But it’s a lot! If I spent that much time thinking about sex, you’d think I had ADD. No housework would get done, no kids off to school…forget about writing. Unless of course I was writing about sex. The point is that wives must develop the habit of thinking about sex. This falls under the caption of “Taking every thought captive.” Instead of letting your mind wander to the bills, the kids, the bills, your aging parents, the bills, learn how to fantasize about your husband. Don’t front, you’ve probably had one or two about Denzel, or if your a Gen X-er, Morris Chestnut (both of whom are married by the way, so stop that). So you know how to do it. Just do it about your spouse instead of someone else’s.
4. Keep a calendar and make a date.
It sounds so clinical and whatever the opposite of romantic is. But until you get in the habit of expecting to engage in sex regularly, you won’t. I ain’t real deep. People are creatures of habit. Form a new habit. It takes time, so get started. Depending upon what your needs are as a couple, don’t let too many days go by before you “do it” again.
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3. Pursue him more and more often.
What nerve I have, right? I know. I am in this with you. My husband still “hints” that I could be more proactive in that area. As a matter of fact, at a marriage workshop, during a communication exercise, he once expressed that sentiment before a room full of people. Yeah. Welcome to my world. We were seated facing each other, holding hands, looking into each others’ eyes, when he said, “Sheeri, I appreciate our time in the bedroom, but…” I didn’t hear the rest because my blood ran cold, while I experienced my first bout of spontaneous deafness. Later in the exercise, after he repeated the part I hadn’t heard, I then had to repeat what he had said to me out loud, putting myself in his place. Having to verbalize his concern from his perspective was very sobering. I had to say to him that my lack of pursuit made him feel as unloved, unwanted, and disrespected. Wow. All of that from my acting like a princess. I love my husband, as I am sure you love yours – or at least did at one point. If I can improve his outlook by chasing him around the bedroom a few nights out of the week, let me go get my track shoes.
2. Read through a Christ-centered book on the matter with some female friends, who don’t gossip.
I cannot tell you how many side-splitting, tear-streaked, gasping for air moments I have shared with my girls as we have read through and discussed books, such as Shanti Feldhan’s, “For Women Only,” Dr. Kevin Lehman’s “Sheet Music,” Martha Peace’s “The Excellent Wife,” and “The Master’s Degree,” by Frank and Bunny Wilson, alongside our experiences. We could only confide on such a deep level because we knew none of our business would end up in the church bulletin. As a result of one of my discussions with a friend, she gifted me with a new sexy nightie in discreet wrapping at church one Sunday. She leaned in close to me and whispered, “This is for when you really wanna put it on him. I prayed over this [lingerie]; it’s anointed, girl.” I had to stifle a howl because we were in service! My times with my girls served two important functions: first – I gained knowledge and solidarity – we are all in this together – second – I acquired accountability – when you give reliable people permission to be in your stuff, the ones who love you follow-up. Oh and by the way, that nightie is anointed. Yes, is it by golly.
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1. Pray (as you brush your teeth if you have to)
Your sex life as a married woman is of the utmost importance to God. He did not create sex to be a burden, but a celebration. But let’s be honest, sometimes you don’t feel like celebrating. There have been times in my ridiculously happy marriage, that I’ve gotten that tap on the shoulder and been like, “Dude! What?!” (A wrong response by the way). So I exit the bed to brush my teeth, take a shower, or something…any change and all the while, I am praying something like, “God, you know I’m tired and this man is horny. Can you make me horny, too? Change my attitude? Make it fast? Something?” Usually the Holy Spirit will convict me of selfishness at these times, causing me to apologize so we can get the party started. Hey. The man needs ministry! Let’s get to it! And just like that, the burden is lifted.
I believe that part of the reason sex can be burdensome for married women is that we have mishandled it while single, and on the other side of “I do,” we pay for it. I have heard many a men cry “foul” in this area. The complaint usually goes something like this: Before marriage the wife couldn’t keep her hands off him. She may have even made all kinds of promises about how she was gonna “hook him up.” As a couple, they were so hot and heavy, they didn’t even make it to the altar sexually pure. And she didn’t mind. In fact, she was the pursuer most of the time. Now they’re married and he can’t buy sex – at least from her.
Part of the problem is that a couple who is sexually active outside of marriage is disobedient. The sexless married couple is equally disobedient. We know that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Do not think that you can subvert God’s order and experience no consequences. That lie is as old as the garden. “Surely you will not die. “Whatever, dude.
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“The good news is that we have Christ. If the area of your sexuality is a problem, start by confessing that to the Lord and appealing to him for help. Frank and Bunny Wilson’s book mentioned above had a line so amazing that it seared itself into my memory. They write that Satan “hates God to the point of insanity.” They continue on to explain that “Satan detests the marriage union – it is the physical representation of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25-27). Satan will stop at nothing to undermine and destroy that testimony. Once Bunny and I became aware of this enemy, we decided to fight back. We purposed in our hearts that our ‘oneness would be a witness.’ However, fighting that battle took more than a desire; it required a plan.” – from The Master’s Degree, p.30
Doesn’t that shed so much light on the state of your marriage, the state of our communities, the legal battles we are fighting over marriage as a nation? The enemy wants to make marriage over into his image of what it should be, not God’s. And let’s be clear, the enemy is not a human being, nor any group of human beings. Your personal best defense is a great offense. Make your own marriage great. Start by giving your husband a new wife…you! Give the Holy Spirit permission to make over your heart and your marriage. Model a healthy marriage for your children to see. Then when people comment on how stupid-happy you and your husband are, tell them Who is really responsible.
So be encouraged, but don’t just sit on your butt being encouraged. If you know you’re raggedy in this area, tell God, of course, but confess it to your husband as well, and ask for his forgiveness. Work out a plan with God that includes anything you found helpful in this piece, plus whatever you learn along the way. May God multiply even your tiniest efforts, just like he did the fish and loaves. Be blessed and knock ‘em out the box Ladies!
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