Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learning to Say Yes

Every once in a while, we have a post here on Maidservants of Christ that is rated PG-13 for adult situations.  This is one such post.  If you normally let your child read over your shoulder, you might want to save this one for a more private setting.

I was raised a “good girl.” Brought up in church, I got the yearly lessons about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Being a people pleaser and rule follower from the start, I generally followed the guidelines given to me (except the rock and roll part – I couldnt stay away from Elvis!). Like many Christian girls with this background, I took a certain pride in my sexual purity.  I was a virgin until I was married, and Ive only ever been with my husband. I may struggle with other sins, but sexual sin is not a problem! 


Or is it?

photo credit: via photopin (license)
While American Christian culture succeeded in keeping me and many girls from my generation pure until marriage, it failed in teaching us to enjoy (yes, I said enjoy!) sex with our husbands as God intended.  As a result, I carried a lot of inhibitions into my marriage.  Ive often thought, “If it werent for sex, our relationship would be perfect.” There have been times since our wedding where my husband has felt rejected, and I have not always acted as if my body belongs to him. Weve had “dry spells” that had nothing to do with sickness or childbirth, and they were not his choice.  I committed sexual sin! 

Although talking about sex is a big taboo in Christian culture, I know Im not the only Christian woman to have faced this problem.  So when Jay Dee from sexwithinmarriage.com asked us to take a look at his online course “Becoming More Sexually Engaged – for Christian Wives,” I agreed eagerly. Through his website, Jay provides anonymous Christian marriage coaching (not counseling), and one theme he had noticed over and over from women who came to him with questions is that many wanted to know how to be more sexually engaged (that is, more receptive to sex and less inhibited).  In order to help more women at a time, he wrote this online course with input from his wife, Christina.  The course (composed of 30 lessons in 9 “modules”) is intended to let women see things from a mans point of view, not a womans idea of a mans point of view (more on that later).

Once I got past the discomfort of reading about sex, I found the content of the course to be impressive.  Wherever possible, the lessons are grounded in Scripture.  Not only does he use the expected verses from Song of Solomon, 1 Corinthians 7, and Genesis 1, but he also uses Scripture to encourage wives to make time for sex with their husbands or to be comfortable being naked in front of them.  He never used the Bible as a club, though. There was no sense of “guilting” women into being more sexually receptive to their husbands.

On the contrary, the more scientific sections helped me to understand some of the reasons that God would tell wives not to deny their husbands sex.  Remember what I said about “a woman’s idea of a man’s point of view?” I always assumed a mans desire for sex was largely physical, but the course taught me that my husband wants intimacy because he wants to feel connected to me. Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is one that women produce fairly easily and have in abundance.  Men have much lower levels, but they peak at, well, a sexual peak.  They also go back down to a normal low level much more quickly in men then in women.  In other words, while women want to feel connected before having sex, men want to have sex in order to feel connected, and the more often sex happens, the more connected they feel. The up side for women is that when a man feels more connected, he is more likely to do those things for his wife that make her feel loved.

In addition to helping me understand my husband more, the course was useful in its wealth of practical suggestions. Er, not THAT kind of practical.  If you are looking for those kind of bedroom tips, youll have to look elsewhere!  But if you want to know, for instance, how to learn to communicate about sex or how to overcome fear/embarrassment in initiating sex with your husband, these lessons have a lot of good practical skills to teach.  My favorite tips were the ones for “switching gears and getting excited about sex” because after a long day with three children, physical intimacy is often the last thing I want.

Each module gives you a chance to put these suggestions into practice with a “challenge,” something you should do to be more sexually engaged in your marriage.  If you do the course as suggested, you wouldnt move to the next subject until you have worked up to the completing the challenge.  The author has said that most women taking the course take 2-3 months to work through all the challenges.*

As a teenager, I hated the yearly “don’t have sex” lesson.  As a young married woman, I wish this course had been available to me much earlier. Wives need to hear “please have sex” as much or more than teenagers need to hear the negative lesson.  Sexual sin comes in many forms and can affect marriages drastically. If you are a wife struggling with being sexually engaged in your marriage, I would recommend this course.  Click HERE to access the course. For the next week (until November 11), if you use the coupon code MaidServantsofChrist, you can get the course at the reduced rate of $50.**  For the rest of November, it is on sale for $70. The regular cost is $100.  Now that may sound like a lot for an online course, but in terms of marriage help, it is cheaper than counseling.  If the sexual side of your marriage remains troubled for long, you may end up in the counselor’s office.  I think it is well worth the money to deal with the issue now.


Melissa

*When you finish the regular lessons, you will receive an email with a link for some downloadable bonus material.  Fair warning: the language in one and subject material in the other may be objectionable to many of our readers. 


**This is an affiliate link.  Maidservants of Christ will receive a small commission if you order from this link.  We would never endorse something we didnt fully believe in for any amount of money.

15 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the course. For those who are interested, you can check it out here: http://sexwithinmarriage.com/shop/becoming-sexually-engaged-christian-wives/?ref=6

    The bonus materials mentioned were written by us in response to some wives who had gone through the course and had requests for some additional information. The subject matter may not appeal to all, that's why they're "bonus" materials and optional, not part of the core study.

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  2. The attitude of the church towards sex is so destructive. I've never understood why frank discussion of sexuality wasn't encouraged. It is a part of life. Even if you think it is for marriage only why would you not want your children to be well educated in the matter?

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Heather. When it comes to sexuality, or any issue that we discuss here on Maidservants of Christ, what we think isn't the issue. We do our best to conform to the Scripture in everything. So when we say that sex should be saved for marriage, that isn't our opinion, but what the Word of God says (See 1 Corinthians 7:2, among others). If you are referring to our PG-13 warning above, that is simply a courtesy to our readers who are parents. Every mother has the right to decide when and how they will teach sexuality to their children, and we didn't want our blog post to be a shock to anyone who might read with their children.

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  3. You are right on the money with this post, Heather! I was a counselor and served on a church staff for quite awhile and this problem is far too common and too seldom talked about. Thanks so much!

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  4. My mom once asked my grandmother how she stayed married for so long to my grandfather (over 50 years). Her answer... never go longer than 3 days. lol Now that I'm married, I understand what she meant by that. Intimacy doesn't happen on its own. We have to work at it. Not just emotionally, but physically as well. Thank you for your willingness to share this. :)

    Alyssa (visiting from #DanceWithJesus)

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    1. I'll admit there was some hesitancy to share, not the review, but the personal nature of why I found this to be so helpful. But I know that I'm not the only woman who could use the help. Kudos to grandmother for her frankness!

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  5. Thanks for sharing openly about this, Melissa! You're a brave woman. This is such an important topic that is hardly ever talked about in the church. I appreciate your words today.

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  6. This is an incredibly important subject that every married man and woman need to have. I know it took some courage to write about it, but it is, sadly, a neglected topic. Visiting you here today from Strangers & Pilgrims, and praying the Lord blesses this ministry :)

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  7. Melissa, I know quite a few women who are struggling with this side of sexual sin. It is such an issue, and my heart always breaks for them. I'll have to keep this in mind to give to them. Thanks for sharing with #TheCozyReadingSpot

    Marissa

    Reading List

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  8. As a newly married woman, this article is very helpful. Learning to see sex as a need and way my husband feels loved.

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  9. Solid message on how to love well. I thought this so insightful: "In other words, while women want to feel connected before having sex, men want to have sex in order to feel connected, and the more often sex happens, the more connected they feel." Shalom!

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  10. Thank you for sharing on such an important topic. I have been married 18+ years and have 8 children. Though I was raised in a christian household, my parents always displayed a little friskiness in front of us children. Their example, and good Biblical teaching, led me to have a healthy outlook on sex. I'm sorry for your past experiences, but many christian women share them. And I'm sure this post will help many of them.
    Visiting thru Strangers and Pilgrims.

    Blessings,
    Leslie

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  11. This is lovely, thank you Helene, for sharing about it on my blog.
    But I had a tough time tracing your blog! Please add your links to your google+ about.

    You are Blessed Melissa

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  12. Good for you. I posted similar thoughts on my own blog under the wives series "A Cistern." God meant for wives to enjoy this part of the relationship as much as men, and my husband tells me it helps to cement the bond by making the man feel more protective. I suppose this is the layman's way of explaining the scientific words. But I sure never got as many comments as you did!

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