The first command God gave to a man and his wife was — have sex!
Ok… so the directive was masked in the words, “Be fruitful and multiply.” But it was definitely about having sex and apparently in using the word multiply - it was meant to happen often.
According to a survey conducted by the Barna Group in the U.S.
55% of married men and 25% of married women say they watch porn at least once a month. But I actually believe these numbers are higher. Check this out:
Alexa Research examined 10 of the leading search engines and more than 9.1 million unique search terms. “Sex” was the #1 most popular search term. “Porn/porno/pornography” ranked #4.
According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:
1. Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce
2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices
5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing
6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported the following as the most salient factors present in divorce cases:
68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
So I believe that one of the most important commitments we can make as married couples is not just saying no to porn — as much as it is saying yes to thriving sex together.
The idea is like this. If our thirst for sexual intimacy is quenched authentically in our marriage, the desire to find “strange cisterns” will diminish.
“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.”
Proverbs 5:15-18 NIV
When the writer of this passage said “rejoice in the wife of your youth,” the context was actually taking new joy each day in the blessedness of your sacred sexuality together. So how do we do that? How do we keep our intimacy alive and vibrant with the same partner — for an entire lifetime?
Realize this — the better you know your partner, the better your sex can be! There is something beautiful about getting to know each other’s needs, desires and “turn-ons.” As a married couple, your sex life should actually be way better than two strangers “hooking up.”
Here are seven thoughts on how we can make this a reality.
1. Understand your sexual experiences together cement and bond your marriage.
Paul taught the Corinthian Christians that sex was not some indiscriminate physical act. (1 Corinthians 6&7) It is a deeply physical and spiritual endeavor that unites our souls and love for one another. It is one of God’s wondrous ways of reinvigorating our passion for each other regularly. Conversely, a dearth in intimacy will naturally lead to a detachment and disconnect.
2. Schedule sex together.
What? Are you actually saying to put sex on the calendar in my smart phone? It would probably be a good idea if you are always finding reasons why it’s never a good time to have sex. Rather than killing the mood with a lack of spontaneity, scheduling sex together will actually take away all the real excuses we could otherwise use. You know… “I’m exhausted after working all day”… or “The kids just wore me out today.“ Victoria Zdrok Wilson, JD, PhD, who cowrote The 30-Day Sex Solution with her husband, John Wilson says this, “Instead of thinking of calendar sex as unromantic, view it instead as a delicious form of foreplay.” Send each other anticipatory texts, plan what you'll wear (or not), ok… you get it.
3. Perfect the quickie.
There are times in our busy lives that time and energy are both at a premium. And if we have the idea that having sex always needs to be a long, drawn out experience, it will be much more easy to constantly postpone. If you've avoided speedy sex adventures in the past, don’t anymore — they’re kinda fun!
4. Learn to experiment.
We like different kinds of music, people, movies, food, hair-styles, cars and even churches -- right? So why do we think the most creative person in the universe would limit us to one “modus operandi” when is comes to our sexuality? So what does that look like for you? I’m not sure, but I know what it looks like for Lori and I. And that’s the deal -- you have to figure that out together. Don't be so conventional that it becomes boring. And don't be so absurd that you lose your intimacy -- or level of comfort and enjoyment. Sexual ruts -- always doing it on a certain day, at a certain time, in a certain room -- can breed boredom. Something as simple as mixing up places, practices and positions will add some much-needed spice.
5. Keep on communicating.
The number one reason that Lori and I have discovered so much fulfillment in our sex lives is communication. There is simply no other way to understand what your partner wants, needs or pleasures, other than honestly talking together — before, during and after your sexual moments together. Don't make assumptions: ask questions and make suggestions. And both partners in the marriage bed should be desirous to see the other’s enjoyment, even more than their own.
6. Take care of your appearance and health.
Doing your best to stay in shape and pay attention to your appearance helps you and your partner maintain an ongoing and healthy sex life. I’m not saying you need to both look like magazine models, but we do have a responsibility to take care of our bodies. But it's not just about pleasing your partner's eye; taking care of yourself makes you feel better about your own sexuality. And — your libido is dependent on your overall health. When you feel unhealthy, tired, ill or lacking in energy, you're not likely to be motivated to engage in regular sexual activity. Oh and one more thing — learn how to create some romance in the moment — what you wear (or don’t wear), candles, the right music… all elevate the expectation level.
7. If you are struggling together in finding real joy and satisfaction - reach out.
There are often very personal issues that can contribute to our lack of desire or freedom in our marriage bed. Sometimes it is past trauma — even as far back as our childhood. It may be a strict religious indoctrination, however unbiblical, that prevents us from fully committing to a robust sex life. Or it could be a continuing addiction to porn or fantasy that sabotages your desire. I appeal to you — please reach out for help! Meet with a pastor, a counselor or a mentoring couple to work through your challenges.
I hope this helps. It certainly isn’t exhaustive, but I pray if you are struggling in any way in your marriage, this will spark a new imagination of all that God’s gift of sexuality can be in your lives.
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