Yesterday we talked about how central sex was in a marriage: it’s supposed to be the acting out of everything marriage signifies, and it’s supposed to unite us in three ways: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
But what do you do if you don’t have a positive attitude about sex? What do you do if you’re bringing baggage into your marriage which is making seeing sex as a positive thing, or getting excited about sex, difficult? Or what do you do if sex has just never felt that great, and you’ve almost given up?
No matter where you’re at today, starting fresh with sex is possible. That is what God wants for you! But sometimes we have trouble with that because we keep believing things that aren’t true. And, as we’re going to learn throughout this month, our primary sex organ is our brain. What we think about sex completely determines whether or not we enjoy sex. So here’s your challenge for today: we’re going to confront any lies that you believe about sex, and replace them with the truth that God tells us. Let’s look at how that plays out in practice:
Starting Fresh Truth #1: I am a new creation
Are you haunted by things you did before you were married? Do you have flashbacks from old boyfriends? Or even ex-husbands? Are you bothered by past porn use?
All of these things can intrude on our ability to think of sex as something sacred between you and your husband.
So when you start to have doubts, and when thoughts of your old lovers start coming back, think about this verse instead:
If anyone is in Christ, she is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!
You are a new creation. You don’t have to be that old person anymore. And that old person no longer has claims on you. And not just that, but when you married your husband, God glued you two together. You are now one flesh with your husband, not with anyone else. The two of you, together, are also a new creation.
So when you get these negative thoughts in your mind, replace them with the positive: You are a new creation. You were bought at a price.
To explore this further, I’ve written a much longer post on how to Reconcile Your Sexual Past with Your Marriage, which may prove helpful to many of you.
Starting Fresh Truth #2: I am Pure
When God looks at you, He sees you as pure. Sometimes we have a hard time feeling like we’re new creations because we know what we’ve done in the past. But other times we have difficulties because of what was done to us. We were abused, or raped, or fondled, or teased. And we feel like we’re tainted, used, and dirty.
That is not the way God sees you. God does not judge you in terms of what others did to you; He only sees you in terms of what Jesus did for you. You are completely and utterly pure, once you believe in Him.
So the next time you start to feel dirty because of what was done to you; the next time you think that everyone else is healthy, but you never will be; the next time you feel like there is no hope for you; remember this verse:
He will rejoice over you with singing!
Think of how you hold a baby and sing to it, so amazed at how new and precious it is. That is how God thinks of you. He rejoices over you! So when you start having negative thoughts about your identity, replace it with that positive one.
And if you want to explore this further, I’ve written a post on how Abuse Survivors can Start Seeing Sex Differently.
Starting Fresh Truth #3: I Was Created for Pleasure
Do you believe that? Because it’s true.
God made you to feel sexual pleasure.
And I can prove it. Assuming you’re a woman (since it is mostly women who read this blog), you have a clitoris, a little knob of flesh just in front of your vagina which has no other purpose in the body except to bring pleasure. Guys don’t have that, by the way. Their primary sexual organs are multi-functional. That’s not true for us. God gave us a little piece of our bodies that was made simply to feel good.
So if sex isn’t feeling great for you yet, and if you have started to believe, “I will never have an orgasm”, or “I can’t see what all the fuss is about”, or “Everyone else may like sex, but I never will”, stop it. Don’t say those things to yourself. Instead, say this,
I was created to feel pleasure.
It’s true. And wouldn’t you rather say something true to yourself than to say a lie?
Now maybe you haven’t experienced a lot of pleasure before. That’s okay. In the surveys that I took for my book, I found that the best years for sexual pleasure for married women are between years 16-20. If you’ve only been married for a while, then, know this: it gets better with time. Women get more orgasmic with time and practice. So instead of doubting, or worrying, or giving up, get excited!
What we think about sex completely determines whether or not we enjoy sex.
Starting Fresh Truth #4: Sex is a Beautiful Thing
Sex is kinda awkward. It’s messy. You’re all sweaty, and there’s stuff to clean up afterwards. And sometimes it just doesn’t seem, well, proper. And so it’s easy for all too many of us to think, “sex is something we have to do to make babies, but it’s really best not to dwell on it too much.” We like feeling in control, clean, and organized. Sex doesn’t fit into that mold.
Maybe it’s time to throw out the mold. Sex is supposed to be a little messy. Sex is supposed to make you vulnerable, and a little out of control. It’s not supposed to be clinical!
But some of us were raised to think that it was something never to be spoken of or thought of, and then we get married, and that transition is really hard to make. And so we start to wonder if there really is something dirty or wrong with the whole thing.
That is another lie. I’m not saying you’re bad or sinful for believing it; I’m just saying that it’s holding you back from all God wants for you.
When God finished creating Adam and Eve, He pronounced them, naked as jay birds, “very good”. Sex is very good. So if you start doubting it, repeat that, over and over:
Sex is beautiful. Sex is very good.
Starting Fresh Truth #5: Sex Benefits Me
Finally, here’s the most common one: many of us have come to see sex as an obligation. When we think about sex, we tend to think, “do I have to tonight?”. We figure we should, because our husbands need it. It’s all about him.
Nope. Sex helps you, too! If you’re really tired, sex will help you get to sleep faster and sleep more deeply. If you’re anxious, making love will help calm you down. Making love boosts your immunity, makes you less depressed, and best of all, it makes you feel far more connected to your husband. So sex was not created for him! Not only that, but apparently women have deeper, longer, and more intense orgasms. When it really works, we actually get more out of it!
Next time you think, “I guess I have to tonight, even if I don’t want to”, stop yourself, and replace it with this:
Sex helps ME.
Now, I know many of you would like to move on to the nitty gritty of sex, and don’t worry: we’re going to get there really soon! But before we can work at making the practicalities of sex work wonderfully, we need to make sure that we’re believing the right things about sex. Sex isn’t magically going to work if you’re still walking around feeling slightly dirty, embarrassed, guilty, or obligated. We need to get our heads in the game, because when our heads aren’t there, our bodies won’t follow.
Great Sex Challenge 2
If you start to say negative things about sex in your head, stop! Take those thoughts captive, and tell yourself the truth instead. Repeat it if necessary. And if you really want to make this challenge stick, journal some of the negative things you believe about sex, and then write the truth underneath. Sometimes just writing and thinking and praying through it helps us to see our own negative thought patterns, and then reject them.
Stay tuned tomorrow when we’ll look at how to get comfortable in the skin we’re in!
This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an e-book!
Feeling sexually disconnected?
Like you've lost your groove?
Like you're on two different planets when it comes to sex in your marriage?
31 Days to Great Sex can help you talk through what's gone wrong and try some new things to figure out how to make it RIGHT!
29 Days to Great Sex: The Series
Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh (This one!)
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Dealing with Differences in Sex Drives (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10: Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: Show Affection (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 12: Hitting the Reset Button on Your Sex Life (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 13: Getting Your Head in the Game (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 14: What if You’re Not “In the Mood”?
Day 15: What is Foreplay?
Day 16: How to Orgasm
Day 17: The Pleasure Center
Day 18: Foreplay Can Be for Him, Too!
Day 19: Little Changes that Increase Pleasure for HER and for HIM (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 20: Deciding on Sexual Boundaries (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!
Day 25: Sex Once Kids Come (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 26: New Positions to Try–to Ramp Up the Fun! (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when you Make Love
Day 28: Being Mentally Present When You Make Love (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
Day 29: Celebrate! And Keep Up the Momentum (BONUS content in 31 Days to Great Sex)
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