Who Needs Sex? 7 ways to sabotage your marital sex life

It’s always been one of my favorite stories and it was just about the only form of premarital prep that my dad had before marrying my mom.  Right before the ceremony, they began to throw a football together.  My Uncle David looks at my father and says,

“Harold, how do you think God thinks about sex?”

I’m not sure how dad replied.  But Uncle David’s reply was priceless,

“God thinks it’s great.”

Not sure where we get the idea that anyone, especially Christians, should be silent on the issue of sex.  For some reason, we’ll shout from the rooftops all of the blessings that God has given us but we stay strangely silent on the issue.  But with our (the church) silence, I believe, we’ve seen a toll taken upon our world.  We can blame Hollywood or any type of media outlet.  I’m of the opinion that we (the church) stayed silent over something God wasn’t silent about.  Since no one stepped up to the mic, someone else did. And now we are playing catch-up with a deranged understanding of this awesome and amazing gift given to our marriage by God himself.

My heart behind todays blog is to help bring liberty and freedom to married couples.  Again, sex is a gift from God. Like any gift from God, Satan would love to pervert the truth as to change it into the image that he desires.  In fact the definition of the word “pervert” is, “alter (something) from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.” And that’s exactly what he’s accomplishing.

God desires you to have a prosperous sex life in your marriage, yet there are some things we do to sabotage the enjoyment.  Like everything from God, we are called to be stewards.  And yes, you are to be a steward of your sex life as to not damage this blessing.

Here we go, 7 ways to sabotage your sex life

1. Use guilt. Manipulating the emotions of your spouse might win you a battle or two but you’ll lose the war.  Using guilt is wrong and abusive and it’ll make your spouse despise the every act that is supposed to bring your marriage joy.  I’ve always taught: God uses conviction; Satan uses guilt.  Conviction is a job of the Holy Spirit to prod us to move forward.  Guilt, by design, wants to keep us in a place of blame.  You’re not the Holy Spirit so stop trying to convict your spouse and/or stop acting like Satan and guilting your spouse.  Guilt is not your role.

2. Wait till you are in the mood. Sex not a gift just for the spouse with the higher libido.  It is a gift from God for you both. Imagine with me, your love language is “Quality Time” and your spouse responds to that need with “I’m not in the mood.” Or maybe you’re a “Words of Affirmation” person and desire conversational intimacy but what you get is “No thanks, I don’t feel like that today.”  In the words of my amazingly wise wife, you are the only one in this world that can sexually satisfy your spouse.  Regardless of what your love language is, we are called to serve our spouse (not just sexually).  Be open and be creative.  Take some steps forward, not out of guilt or condemnation, but out of a genuine heart to fill your spouse’s “love tank” to FULL. If your marriage is made up of two people desiring to serve each other (pouring into your spouse’s needs), the two of you will never run on EMPTY.

3. Invite pornography into your marriage. As I stated in my blog “Eviction Notices,” This is not just a male issue.   Both men and women can be stimulated by pornography and seduced into thinking it’s a help for their marriage.  The goal of pornography is to skew the authentic with fantasy.  Whether its “Visual” or “Emotional” porn, it is a huge stumbling block for couples and causes tremendous sexual issues. Two of my biggest reasons is it causes an unhealthy view of the female body as well as an unhealthy sexual expectations.  Top it off with the addictive nature of porn devised to make you dependent upon it, you then have a monster that isn’t worth the amount of space it will take up in your thoughts. Like a thirsty man crawling through the desert after a mirage, pornography has you crawling toward an illusion that will leave you constantly in want.

4. Comparison with other couples. We all get caught doing it.  We listen to another couples and/or see their marriage lived out on social media.  Comparison can be dangerous because it either puts us in a place of condemnation or competition with/by other couples…both of which are extremely unhealthy in marriage.  Just as you are uniquely made by God, the two of you as a couple are unique in your oneness.  Simply said, you two are not called to do and act like other couples when it comes to their marriage practices.  Yes, there will be characteristics we all possess as we strive to have our marriages reflect Christ.  But the manner and frequency will differ based upon the two people who make up the marriage. When it comes to the frequency of sex, there is no magic number.  Assuming someone else has a BETTER quality sex life because they have more quantity isn’t a healthy mindset (not that I’m against quantity).  But comparison will break you down and take your satisfaction from your spouse and place it upon the opinions of others.

5. Make intimacy all about intercourse.  Intimacy is the culmination of a day and not just a few moments in a bedroom. Sex is bigger than intercourse.  It’s bigger than foreplay.  It encapsulates the way you text, call, serve, respond, and look at each other throughout the day.  A great way to sabotage your sex life is to think that what takes place between the sheets is completely disconnected from the rest of life.  Open your eyes.  Perhaps he/she is struggling to respond to you because you haven’t responded to him/her all day.

6. Stop having fun together. You can’t discount fun in a marriage.  Dates cannot be rare occasions.  Anne and I, early in our marriage, didn’t have much money or ability to just leave the house because of two little ones.  It didn’t stop us from enjoying time with each other.  From projects and walks together to watching shows on our laptop, we found ways to engage in “fun” things that we both enjoy doing together.  Laughing together is good for the heart, good for the soul, and can stir the libido.  Fun is mandatory inside and outside of the bedroom.  Learn to enjoy each other.

7. Ignore past hurts. It’s painful to remove a splinter in your hand.  What’s even more painful is to wait thinking it’ll go away.  The longer you wait, the deeper the actual wound will get.  First, if you have past sexual hurts that you have carried into your marriage, tell your spouse and let him/her help you.  Remember, the two became one.  What is your issues is his/her issue and you move forward together.  Second, please get some help ASAP.  You’ve held onto it long enough and that hurt has no right in your life.  Find a local Christian counselor that specializes in this and begin the road to healing.  The healing that comes from the atonement of the cross includes our deepest hurts.

I end with this…

Proverbs 5:18-19 Let your manhood be a blessing; rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her charms and tender embrace satisfy you. Let her love alone FILL you with delight.

A key word (amongst many key words) in this passage is “FILL.” Just as much as sex is a gift from God, you are a gift to your spouse. You are the ONLY ONE that is equipped to “FILL” your spouse with “delight.”  If you are in a place of hurt or confusion, please seek Godly help. Don’t wait on it.  I’ve never met a couple that had a healthy sex life that got divorced.  I think the biggest reason behind that is they’ve learned to serve each other by “delighting” their spouse. And if your spouse is full, there is no room for Satan to work with.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

The “Try”: 10 Things you should TRY in your marriage.

My wife married a sci-fi geek.  I’m not ashamed of it.  I embrace it.  Anne, not so much. 

In his endeavor to become a Jedi, Luke finds himself needing to get trained by the best.  It is here we get one of the most well-known figures in all of the Star Wars universe: Yoda.

For us geeks, his wisdom pours out in a fantastic line that is just as iconic as the character, 

“Do or do not.  There is no try.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ4yd2W50No

I’ve heard it used and stated in so many different contexts.  Why not?  It’s an amazing piece of wisdom used to motivate his young apprentice to take some actions-steps forward. A few days ago, I saw it tweeted in regards to sex in marriage.  My immediate first thought: 

Discouraging “trying” may not be the best marriage advice I’ve seen.  

So I thought I’d do the opposite.  I want to encourage “trying.” Why?

For the couple going through struggles, it’s the personal effort the two of you need to show each other.  It’s the extra “try” that screams “I’m not giving up…we’re going to make it.” 

For the couple going through a season of life where you feel you’re just “existing” together.  No fights, no scuffles, yet there is no fun and no passion. The “try” just may catapult you forward over the hump into a amazing season of refreshing. 

For the couple in a good place in life, the “try” can be an extra log to the fire.  The time to try something new and exciting isn’t when things are getting mundane or frustrating. That’s the worst time to try to get momentum.  The perfect time for the “try” is when things are great.  The momentum picks up and flows.  Makes me think when scripture says, “from glory to glory.”

Here we go, 10 things I want you to “try” in your marriage…we’ll start with a few simple BUT powerful tips but please don’t tell yourself “I’m not going to “try” to do any of these unless I’m in the mood.” It’s time to back away from what you need step up into the “try” for the sake of your spouse and your marriage.  

1. Try to smile.  Sometimes we save our smile for our kids, friends, and/or for the people at church.  We take our smile for granted when it comes to our spouse.  

2. Try to complement/encourage.  Sometimes we resort to “I’ll do it if he/she does it.” Or I’ve even heard this one, “He/she doesn’t deserve it.” Childish tendencies take over us sometimes.  What brings it out? Hurt.  This is a basic need in EVERY human. Hebrews 3:13 says to “Encourage each other daily.” If you don’t do this for your spouse, the enemy will use someone else to fill that need and NO ONE should out-encourage/complement you.  Step up and try it.

3. Try to surprise.  Get spontaneous. I’ll admit, my wife’s version of surprise is different.  She likes to know what it is before it’s “sprung” upon her. That way, she can prepare her OCD self for it and actually enjoy it.  I can’t push my style of surprise upon her and expect her to enjoy.  Find your spouse’s love language and get out of the rut.

4. Try prayer and devotions.  I know what you’re thinking: “Shouldn’t you have had this at #1?” I’m a pastor and I thought you’d expect that. Some couples, like me and Anne, have a hard time with doing “couple devotionals.” We tried it and it didn’t fit.  But the key is this: we tried it.  Now, we’ll pass on to each other books, blogs, and sermons  as we look out for the spiritual well-being of the each other. I love putting my arm around her at night and praying over her.  I love hearing her pray for me.  Our devos may be separate, but it’s morphed into us pouring into each other in a way I didn’t expect.  But it happened with the “try.” 

5. Try nudity. (I thought that would get your attention.)   We base so much of sex as a “mood” or “an act.” For those that push “the act” upon the other, you ignore the emotions/mood.  For those that are all about the “mood,” you ignore this necessary and beautiful act of marriage.  Bring the “try” into your bed.  Why? It’s humility; You’re not there for “you.” Try sex from the vantage point of your spouse.  The bed isn’t there to meet your needs; it’s there as a platform to meet your spouse’s needs.   Remember this: there is NO ONE else in the entire world that can meet this need in your spouse. It’s you.  

6. Try a date. Most couples know that dating each other is necessary…well, kind of.  This is so simplistic yet I find it’s completely ignored and taken for granted.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It may not have any cost for that matter.  Anne and I like the simple walks together.  We’ve even taken our kids on walks.  The point was to have time together (which is Anne’s love language…that and Swedish Fish).  Try it. Ask your spouse out.  Plan out the day/evening.  Pour into their love language. 

7. Try to listen. A friend of mine gave me a quote I’ve used on my kids and I’ve needed to use in marriage. “Listen to me with your eyes.” Eye contact speaks so much to the person talking.  It shows more that singular focus.  It shows you are valuing them and their voice. Proverbs 20:12 says “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” Get past “Elevator talk” in your marriage. Your ability to actively listen conveys the value your spouse needs from you.  

8. Try to forgive. The preach in me wants to just say “Just forgive.  Make yourself do it.” But I felt the Lord leading me to challenge you to “try” forgiveness.  Why? So many people are afraid to “try” it because of how it may be received and/or given.  Colossians 3:13 challenges us to “try”/step-out into it regardless of your spouse’s reaction.  The response of your “trying” isn’t your responsibility.  The forgiveness is. 

9. Try to be healthy.  I know we’re ‘merica.  We’re a nation of unhealthy activities with unhealthy food.  But this should’t be our excuse to develop healthy hearts, bodies, emotions, and spirits.  I’m not asking you to be a marathon runner. I’m not demanding you to become a vegan.  I’m asking you to take an honest inventory of your life and ask yourself, “Where can I get healthier?” The bible says, “the two become one.” If you are actively “trying” bringing health into your marriage (God’s word, healthy relationships, healthy food, exercise, etc) , you are setting your marriage up for potential success.  

10. Try ___________.  This is where you have to get your imagination going.  It’s about you knowing your marriage and trying something that may be new or it could be something that needs to be revived.  Get creative.  Talk with your spouse. Go after something today. 

Yoda had it wrong.  “Do or do not.  There is no try.” And unfortunately so many people don’t/won’t try.  This needs to be a new habit for this new year.  Don’t wait for you to be in the mood to “try.”  If that’s the case, it’ll never happen because it’s about you.  Get humble and get “trying.”  

Sometimes it isn’t really about the “what.”  Sometimes all that matters is you “tried.” 

Thanks for letting me ramble…