I am VERY excited about this post. No, I’m not tooting my own horn here. I am very excited because this is the first post on my blog that I did not write! My journey in blogging has been amazing. In less than a year I have been able to network with numerous wonderful marriage bloggers and have been overwhelmed by the support that they have given me. One of those bloggers is J. J has more of a name than just one letter but chooses to write anonymously on her blog Hot, Holy and Humorous. She specifically writes on sex in marriage. My first post on sex was last month and it’s a topic that I think is important and that I will be writing on a lot more from here on out. Before I go deeper into the issue, why not ask the expert to write on it first? J has an amazing way of writing godly truth while still being funny, blunt, and holding nothing back. She’s breaking the ice for me here… I’ll never have to worry about going “too far” after this! But enough of me talking about her writing, it’s time for you to experience it for yourself! Thank you, J! I’m so honored by your time and talent!
Erin asked me to write about “the beauty of marital intimacy.” This phrase is sweet, poetic, warm and fuzzy; it makes my heart thump and my scalp tingle. Being, however, the blunt gal that I mostly am, I typically translate the question I hear from many wives as “What’s the big stinkin’ deal?”
The world around us is obsessed with sex. In television shows, movies, commercials, magazines, music, books, the Internet, and daily conversations, people are consumed with thoughts of getting physical. Everybody seems to be talking about it, doing it, trying to doing it, talking about trying to do it, or talking about having done it.
As Christians, we cannot allow the world to define sexuality for us. It isn’t what society would have us believe. Having chosen to be in this world but not of the world, we should choose a higher ground, a better path, a nobler future. So we get married, expecting a relationship deeper than a 15-minute tryst in the back of a pickup – and discover that we are supposed to have sex – lots and lots of sex.
Suddenly, what was anathema two minutes before the preacher said “I pronounce you husband and wife” is not only sanctioned but encouraged. Some of you probably had your parents or his parents bugging you at the wedding reception to get busy and produce grandchildren.
Indeed, it isn’t only future grandparents who expect you to have sex. It’s designed, expected, and blessed by God himself. Sex is not the carnal experience that the world would have us believe. In its proper context (marriage), sex is the physical joining of a husband and wife which expresses love, increases emotional and spiritual connection, and releases tension from the relationship. The Bible only gets 27 verses in before God tells Adam and Eve to “be fruitful.” One chapter later is the notable “they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God planned sex from the get-go – not merely as a reproductive act, but as a binding and beautiful experience.
How does God provide for marital intimacy to be beautiful – or a “big stinkin’ deal”?
Openness. Sex is an open and vulnerable experience. First, you must strip down to your bare necessities. Unless you’re a former member of a nudist colony or my uncle Larry, exposing all of your body parts is likely uncomfortable at times. (Just kidding: I have no Uncle Larry.) Then, you get into positions best described as, um, awkward. You touch one another all over and are penetrated by your husband.
Oh yeah, vulnerable to the nth degree. But in this act, you express the openness and oneness of your relationship. Nothing is held back from your spouse. In fact, the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for sex is “yada’,” which means “to know” (“Adam knew Eve” – Genesis 4:1; “Elkanah knew Hannah” – 1 Samuel 1:19; etc.). Truly, you have intimate knowledge of your spouse through sexual encounters.
Intimacy. Because sex in marriage involves only you and your husband, it is a special bond. Sex is one form of intimacy among several in marriage (emotional, spiritual, recreational, etc.), but the only form of intimacy that you cannot get with another person. I can have emotional intimacy with my spouse and a best friend, but only sexual intimacy with my husband. It is special because it is confined to the two of you.
You hold memories of intimacy as well. Remember making love on the rug in that mountain cabin? Falling off the bed and ending up in a heap of laughter? The special names he gave your breasts? These are wink-wink, ours-and-ours-alone moments, which bring you closer and foster that WE feeling in marriage.
Harmony. I was tempted to call this category “lubricant,” but that word wouldn’t come across correctly here. Still, the point is that pleasuring one another sexually smooths the rougher edges of your relationship. Hey, it ain’t easy living with someone 24/7! He is annoying, and frankly so are you. Having sex in a relationship is like wearing Rose-Colored Glasses. After the “I do’s,” some shade can be a good thing.
If my husband just blew my mind with a Richter Scale 7.2 orgasm, somehow I can overlook the six pairs of shoes that have been piling up around our bed for the last week. More importantly, if he’s sweaty, spent, and happy, he won’t care that I burned dinner and threw out his favorite sweater. Experiencing such a physical and emotional high with your spouse smooths over the other stuff, encouraging harmony in your relationship.
Mystery. Ephesians 5:31-32 compares marital intimacy to the relationship Jesus has with his followers: “’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” What an analogy! Couples with incredible marital intimacy often report a spiritual component of making love and compare climax to a slice of heaven on earth. Is that stretching it? The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, didn’t seem to think so. There is something beautiful beyond physical pleasure and relational glue when you experience sexuality as God intended. If this is a glimpse of the intimacy we will have with our Lord in heaven, I can’t wait.
What if you’re not experiencing any of this? What if sex is a challenge for you? If you don’t enjoy sex, you need to find out why. God designed our bodies to be aroused and pleasured, so if you struggle, you may have a medical issue, a sexual history, or relationship difficulties getting in your way. (I give some tips in Pain & Pleasure.) You need to clearly and calmly communicate with your husband about improving physical intimacy.
There are plenty of rockin’-the-rafters benefits of sex, but this post has been more about its beauty. Embrace the beauty! Embrace the intimacy! Embrace the blessing God has bestowed on marriages!
J is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, and a work in progress. She writes anonymously at Hot, Holy & Humorous, where she uses a biblical perspective and a blunt sense of humor to foster Christian sexuality in marriage.