My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is sex.
This week’s topic isn’t sex. I skipped it way back when because I didn’t know what to say about it. In the six months or so since I’ve pushed thoughts around in my head of what I think and what I’m comfortable saying. It turns out I’m not comfortable saying a whole lot about it publicly. It’s a very personal subject and anything I know or knew or have learned is very personal and private also.
But that seems like a cop out and I wasn’t satisfied with that being my only response. So I came up with two things I could say on the topic; two things that I was comfortable sharing and that someone might get something out of.
Every marriage goes through lulls, whether it be related to stress, health, relationship problems, the baby was up all night, we haven’t had a real conversation in weeks, etc. I heard a woman on Christian radio tell wives who were struggling to be “in the mood” to think throughout the day about being intimate with their husband and that would help you be more “in the mood.” Feeling good about how you look was another similar suggestion. You’re more likely to be in the mood for intimacy if you feel attractive, so the advice was to dress in a way that makes you feel good, not in a way that makes you feel “eh.”
These aren’t bad suggestions but they’re tricks. You’re still not in the mood you’re just tricking yourself. I think it may be better for a couple to look at elements of the relationship that are causing one of the partners to not desire intimacy.
It can happen to men too I guess, but most often us women are the culprits. As a friend put it, it’s each partners job to make the other want them. If she’s too tired from being up with the crying baby, maybe take the baby a few nights and get her a relaxing night at a nice hotel. Or if that’s not possible, hand her her favorite drink, the book she’s been trying to read for months and draw her a hot, bubbly bath. If you haven’t talked in weeks, talk. Give her flowers, or bring home her favorite candy bar, or ask to do together something she enjoys, or any number of other things that will show love to her. The point is show love to her. Speak her love language. Make her feel valued and important and loved because she is valued and important and loved, not just because you want something from her. We women can see right through that, by the way.
As a grown-up, I have a new appreciation on why you should wait until you’re married to have sex. Let me say first — I know what it’s like to feel strongly for someone and want to have a physical relationship. And I know that some people don’t care about only being with one person at all. Some people want to experience intimacy with different partners just like they vacation in different parts of the world. But in my own experience that kind of attitude robs you of something sacred before you even have a chance to experience it.
I learned through seeing several marriages end, including the end to my own, the true meaning behind Scripture saying “God hates divorce.” He hates it because it hurts His people and hurts them badly. I think the principle is similar with why God doesn’t want us having sex before marriage. You don’t realize, as a teen or young adult, the repercussions from that. I’m not talking about STDs or pregnancy. I’m talking about the things that carry over into the marriage after one or another of a couple has been intimate with someone else. It loses its specialness and uniqueness.
I was not my late husbands “first,” and it was a problem. I compared myself, initially and for years after. I wondered if she had a better body, was better at certain things, was he wishing he was with her, etc. Part of that was my own insecurities. But part of it was that he had shared something sacred with someone else, and as a result that made it easier for me to view that area of our relationship as less sacred. I had to choose not to let that bother me, and it wasn’t easy. You don’t have to be plagued by those things if you are only with the one you marry. Young people don’t think about that as a possible repercussion. It’s a lesson we learn only after it’s too late.
I read in a magazine in a doctor’s office a few years ago the statistics on teenage girls with STDs or just experimenting sexually. And the ages at which girls are showing up with diseases is getting lower and lower. I, as a mother of boys, thought: will there be any girls left for my sons to choose from that aren’t infected or who haven’t already completely given themselves to someone else or to multiple someone else’s. It’s funny to me to hear the mothers of daughters talk, mostly in jest, telling me “keep your sons away from my daughters” and “my daughters won’t date til they’re 35.” I take an opposite stance. I suggest we work together. I’ll pledge to raise Godly young men fitting of your daughters’ hand if you pledge to raise Godly young ladies for my sons to marry. In the end, we all want the same thing.