So if before marriage you, like one of our editors, thought your sex life would be the most incredible, easiest thing in the world…you were probably just as wrong as he was.
Josh Pease says he thought that, “The sex I’d have if I waited until marriage would be better than anything I could imagine. On my wedding night we would easily enter into every single fantasy my adolescent mind could imagine about sex. It would be mine for the taking.”
Instead, Josh reveals the secret all married folks know: Sex has at times been beautiful, awkward, intimate, frustrating, alienating, amazing, exciting and even funny. He would describe marital sex many different ways, but easy is not one of them.
So here’s the big idea: Sex is supposed to be awkward.
“I’m convinced that, especially for those raised in a conservative church culture,” Josh says, “we have not been given proper expectations for what sex should be.”
Here are a few other secrets you need to know about sex:
Marital sex is all about intimacy. It’s being in your most vulnerable state in front of the person who knows you most and asking do you accept me? It’s about lowering the walls of insecurity and letting your spouse know and see you as you are.
Orgasms in sex are an unbelievable gift from God, but that is quite literally the climactic moment, the capstone that memorializes a husband and wife’s connection to each other. Orgasms are the fireworks celebration of intimacy.
Intimacy is awkward. And hard. And uncomfortable. All forms of intimacy—with God, parents, friends, our children or a spouse—involve facing your selfishness and shame and saying “For your sake I want to be better than this. “
Could it be that God designed true sexual intimacy to sometimes be a struggle?
So if sex in your marriage has triggered conflict, embarrassment or shame, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. It just means you are two normal humans, trying to figure out how to be your most vulnerable selves.
If great sex was easy in a marriage, it would be all too easy for spouses to experience the instant physical gratification of it without having to work through some of their deepest problems.
So Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!
In all the awkwardness of sex, you may discover competing expectations, awkward conversations, bodily shame, and triggered memories from your pasts. Some of the most shattered pieces of your soul will be revealed as sex forces you into uncomfortable intimacy.
Now that’s something to look forward to!
But that’s the great news: the more you press into the awkwardness, the more you force yourself out of hiding, the more you communicate your expectations, the more you learn to have a voice in your sex life, the more you share with your spouse what aspects of sex are hard, the better the sex gets.
So here’s your assignment:
Share this email with your spouse and set a time to have an awkward and intimate conversation about sex.
Start with these questions:
What is one thing about sex that’s embarrassing for you?
What is one thing your sex life is missing?
What is one thing your spouse does (during or before sex) that makes your sex better?
Talk about how much shame is associated with your sex life.
What is one area in your sex life you’d want to see improve over the next year?
This conversation might get uncomfortable, but it can also be a lot of fun. Remember, God created sex for more than just procreation. He wants it to be an incredible act of intimacy.
So close your conversation by praying together that God would lead you into the best sex he has available for your marriage…and if the answer to that prayer involves some awkwardness…remember, that’s okay.
This issue of Thriving Marriages was brought to you by
Are Couples in Your Church Ready for Marriage?
When a soon-to-be-married couple comes to you for premarital counseling, you can see it in their eyes.
Expectations. Dreams. Illusions.
How can you possibly walk them through all the issues, questions, topics, reality-checks…on top of everything else you need to do in life and ministry?
And what if you don’t know what to cover?
Make sure couples are ready to wed so they get their marriages off on the right foot and thrive for years to come.
Not only will you get peace of mind from knowing this comes from a trusted source, but you’ll also get everything you need from authors Greg and Erin Smalley.
Check out Focus on the Family’s Ready to Wed [™] Kit.