Sex, Love, and the Christian Marriage
I am going to tackle an issue that seems to plague many women that I talk to. By some this topic is considered taboo, and for others it is just simply uncomfortable. I used to be one of those uncomfortable people. So, let’s dive into it and unpack the issue of sex and love in the Christian marriage. Whenever I talk to women about their marriages we always end up on the topic of sex. It seems that it is an issue that looms over even the happiest of marriages. The most common theme that I hear is that as women and mother’s, we don’t see the importance of it. We are tired, we are not in the mood, and for some it just feels wrong after having children. Why is that? What is it about us that causes us to go from being madly in love with our husbands to dreading the most valuable form of emotional connection we can have with each other? Yes, we are tired and overworked, but it is so important that we make time to nourish the relationship we have with our spouses. When we are connected emotionally with our spouses, we are better able to show an example to our children of what it is like to be in a happy marriage. God created us to love our spouse and become one flesh in a very real sense. Yet, this is the main form of disconnect I hear from women every day.
One of the most common stories I hear is the feeling of being used. If you are a mother of small children, you know what it is like to have someone hanging all over you all day long. There is constant moving as you are tending to the needs of your children and the household. If you are a working mom, you are juggling work and home at the same time. All of this can feel very overwhelming. Then, your husband comes home, you finally get the kids to bed and are able to sit by yourself, and he gives you that look. It makes you feel as more of a machine than a person. Once again you are putting someone else’s needs in front of your own. In the Bible sex is talked about a lot. Unfortunately, in those times it was a very patriarchal society. The woman was seen as property that was bought, sold and served a purpose. That purpose was to serve the husband and have babies. When we start to feel like we are doing a duty, we also start to resent. There is a poem in the book of Proverbs that sheds some light on this and reflects the way that a woman should be thought of as, “a Woman of Power”. I am not going to quote the entire poem, but rather give you a few lines for thought. I encourage you to read the entire entry at some point. “ Who can find a woman of power? Her worth is far more than precious coral jewels. Her husband’s heart trusts in her; He will not lack in wealth. She provides him with good not evil; all the days of her life. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and instruction to be kind is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household; she does not eat bread in idleness. Her sons call her blessed; Her husband likewise praises her. Charm is deceptive and beauty evanescent; a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her credit for the fruit of her hands; and her works will bring her praise in the gates.” Wow!! That is a great description of what a wife and mother is. When we think of ourselves this way, suddenly we realize that we are worthy of love and intimacy with our spouses. It isn’t a chore or duty, it is what we are intended to do. We are made to be powerful and strong. We are also made to love. If we can change the way we think about sex and realize the importance of it in a marriage, we are able to strengthen that bond with our husbands even more. It is imperative to make time for intimacy.
The next most common issue I hear is that it doesn’t feel right to have sex after having children. It almost feels like a sin to some women. They feel as if they are doing something dirty. As long as you are in a committed marriage, there is nothing more natural than physical intimacy. That is what marriage is for. It is why God intended us to form the union of marriage. It is sacred and the act itself is a holy one. There is no deeper way to express your love for your partner than through physical intimacy. If your spouse wants you to do something that does not feel right to you, talk with them about it. It should be a time that you and your husband can safely show your affection for one another. It is a beautiful thing. There is nothing sinful about a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse. It is the way that we are wired. Take Solomon for example. He writes the most beautiful, yet juicy songs about his love. He goes into great details about her physical beauty and how it makes him feel. From Songs of Solomon, “How beautiful you are my love, how very beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, streaming down from Mount Gilead. Your lips are like a crimson thread and your mouth is lovely. Your curved hips are like jewelry carved from an artisans hands.” There is a lot more to the song, but those are just beautiful words of sentiment. It doesn’t stop there either, the woman also describes her lover as, “ My beloved is radiant and ruddy, prominent among ten thousand. His eyes are like doves. His lips are lilies. His arms are rods of gold.” There is no mention of God in the Songs of Solomon, but it is in the Bible as a way of emphasizing the human nature of love. We are made to love each other in the Biblical sense when we are married and it is OKAY!! It isn’t taboo or something that you need to hide from God. He wants you to enjoy your spouse. Now I understand that if your husband compares you to a goat nowadays, it would not be very romantic, but in those days, that was a very big compliment.
I hope that this helps to shed some light on a topic that is not discussed much among Christian women. It is good to remember that we all have different ways of experiencing love and showing affection. Your spouse may need the physical touch more than you do. It is important to express your needs, but take your partner’s needs into consideration as well. It is amazing what a little bit o an ailing marriage. It can open up more conversations, and a better understanding of each other. It reminds you of what made you fall in love in the first place. If you had the spark once, you can reignite it again. It just takes a bit of time and effort. The effort that you put into your marriage, however, will pay off in the end when your children see what a loving a committed partnership should look like. Aside from your relationship with Christ, your relationship with your spouse should be a priority.
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