I am not exactly sure why, how or when it happened, but one day I realized that I was standing on lots of platforms, talking on radio and television shows, and throughout many nations about the often taboo subject of sex. Perhaps it is because I was blessed to grow up in a home where my parents were open and honest with me regarding sex and were very openly loving and affectionate toward each other. So, today I find myself really comfortable around this topic, even though I think my daughters and my older grandchildren still squirm a little when John and I are teaching about sex.
Sex is God’s brilliant idea.
He created it as a gift and blessing for husbands and wives to enjoy in the safety and sanctity of their marriages. But sadly, we live in a world of immense sexual brokenness and shame. On every continent I have ministered in, I’ve encountered the painful reality that something so perfect and beautiful has gone horribly wrong. Genesis 2:25 describes a picture of perfection:
“Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” (NLT).
How stunning is that!!!
One of the questions I often ask women – young and old, married and unmarried – as I am teaching them is, “Can you honestly say that you believe that your gift of sexuality is a good gift from God?” The reactions are quite varied but I think many, if not most women, sadly feel like it’s a burden– not a gift to be treasured. This creates huge relationship challenges not only within marriage, but also in how we relate to the other sex and lead the generations regarding a healthy view of their sexuality.
I have become feisty about reclaiming this gift that God created for us to enjoy in our marriages. I believe that in many ways it has become the battleground of our society. In a world riddled with sexual exploitation in so many arenas – from pornography and infidelity to sex trafficking – I am convinced one of the ways to win the war is to let TRUTH speak into this matter and bring beautiful, healthy sexuality back into marriage, where it belongs.
Sex In Marriage
Sex as it was intended is holy and can create health and wholeness in a marriage. While sex is not the foundation for a healthy marriage, it is a beautiful expression in which couples can feel supported and comforted by each other.
There are certain questions I am often asked regarding sex in marriage, like:
- “What is normal?”
- “How often should a married couple be having sex?”
- “What is permissible in the marriage bed?”
I like to tell them there is no such thing as “normal.” Normal is nothing more than a setting on your clothes dryer and there is not a “one-size-fits-all” in this department. But here are a few thoughts I hope can help you:
- A healthy sexual relationship starts with a healthy YOU. I know I say that a lot, but if your heart/soul isn’t healthy, nothing works in the world of relationships. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”
- A healthy sexual relationship is one that is fulfilling for both husband and wife. It’s all about meeting each other’s needs. Couples should be discussing their needs openly in order to negotiate a relationship that meets BOTH of their needs.
- A great sexual relationship will come from an overall great relationship with your spouse. It can only truly be enjoyed when there is total trust – emotionally and physically.
- Great sex will require giving. Love gives, lust demands.
- Great sex will require understanding: being aware and sensitive to each other’s needs. Do you really know what your spouse wants?
- You were created to enjoy sex, not endure sex.
Sex and the Single Person
As humans, we are not made with an ON/OFF switch when it comes to our sexuality. When we say “I do” we don’t suddenly begin to have sexual thoughts, feelings and appetites that instantaneously surface. No, by then, we’ve been dealing with them for a while and navigating this sexual part of our lives is important whether we are married or single. Once again, having a healthy heart and attitude is critical for everyone. The best time to take care of your heart in this regard is before you ever enter into a relationship.
Our attitude towards our sexuality says something important about the state of our hearts – it can put a microscope on the condition of our heart. If we have been hurt or disappointed, if we have wrong attitudes or unresolved emotions and feelings, it shows up in this arena of our lives.
Every woman longs to be loved, known, cherished and pursued. That is the picture of true romance, which is the cry of every feminine heart. Whether your heart is free, or battered and broken, there is hope, healing, strength and beauty for your gorgeous, perfect, God-shaped heart. Every man wants to be a hero to the woman he loves – he can’t be a hero to a pornographic picture or a ‘one-night-stand’. He needs to guard his heart and keep it pure for the woman he will give his life to.
Everything God created is good and perfect, including healthy sexuality. While the enemy has wreaked havoc in the lives of so many – I believe as God’s family and creation that we can take back what he has stolen from us and rebuild healthy foundations into our lives, marriages, and families.