There’s no shortage of books, blogs, and podcasts that tell you all about the joys and pleasures of sex in the Christian marriage. In fact, many Christian authors have boldly stated that “God wants sex to be good for you” and that “married Christians should be having the best sex” since sex was God’s idea to begin with. But, it’s not always that easy, right?
Sex can be complicated and sometimes, it can be downright painful for people. Many couples have some hang-ups, some shame, some physical and emotional difficulties when it comes to sex or even just some dissatisfaction in general. So, if sex is a good gift from God, why doesn’t it feel like that sometimes?
Sex is more than a physical experience
There’s no doubt that the physical experience of sex is important. In fact, it’s so important that most of the time when couples seek help, they’re specifically looking for some type of physical help. Things like erection issues, orgasm concerns, pain with sex, and lack of arousal are some of the primary reasons that couples look for help. Thankfully, all of these things can be worked on and improved. But, when we concentrate only on the physical, we can miss out on some of the other highly relevant aspects of sex. Almost every time I talk with a couple about they physical concerns I’ve noted here, there’s also a need to talk about these other key aspects of sex.
Sex should be a reflection of who God is
When I was working on my sex therapy certification, we did this exercise in class where we named characteristics of God. We said things like: beautiful, grace-filled, loving, kind, and good. And then, our professor said, “these characteristics of God should also be words you can use to describe your sex life.”
Take that in for a second. If God created sex AND God really is good, then we have to believe that sex is good also. But, sex is only truly good when it reflects those same characteristics of God. This means that a Christian couple should handle their sex lives (and all communication about sex) in ways that show one another beauty, grace, love, kindness, and goodness. Showing these things to one another definitely has a positive impact on your sex life. And, when these things are shown, sex does indeed become a reflection of the goodness of God.
Ultimately, when we learn to treat sex as something that can ultimately honor God and our spouse or that can cause some pain and shame, we simply have to talk and behave in ways that reflect a Christ-like disposition. This is the only way to truly make sure that your sex life is a reflection of who God is.
Your sex life is a reflection of your marriage
Here’s a truism for you: your sexual relationship cannot be separated from your marriage relationship. These two relationships always mirror one another. So much so, that when couples are seeking help for their sex life, I always want to get some good information on their marriage as well.
If a couple is kind and generous to one another in their day-to-day interactions, they’re going to be kind and generous to one another in their communications about sex and in their sexual behaviors. The opposite is also true – couples who are mean, self-focused, and demanding in general…well, they’re going to be that way in the bedroom also.
“We”-focus vs. “me”-focus
When couples have learned to have a “we” focus instead of a “me” focus in their marriage, they can carry these skills into their sexual relationship as well. And for the most part, it’s a little easier to work on showing kindness in your marriage in general before trying to change those things in your sex life. This is why it’s important to focus on making your marriage strong and tight while you work on your sex life.
Maybe that’s not 100% where you are though. You may find that you and your spouse have great communication, you can resolve most of your conflicts and you really do like each other a lot, but you’re having a few sexual difficulties. If that’s you, then you’re in a really great place to make some changes in your sex life that will help you each feel more satisfied and fulfilled. #ShamelessPlug: my community group is specifically for couples that want to improve their intimacy but are otherwise pretty happy in their relationship.
Your sex life is a reflection of what you believe
Psychologists have been teaching for quite sometime that the way you think influences how you behave. As a field, we have clear evidence that if you think depressing thoughts, you’re going to behave as though you’re depressed. In fact, actors and actresses put themselves in character by focusing deeply on the pains and excitement that their character feels. This psychological theory is Biblical too. Proverbs tells us that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
This principle can absolutely be applied to your sex life. Couples who believe that sex can be better, typically take the time to actually work on their sex lives. Couples who feel the opposite – that sex is a chore or a necessary evil, typically find that they can do very little to improve their marital intimacy. In fact, one of the most important pieces of seeing improvement in the bedroom, is simply believing that things really can get better. This may mean reading testimonies of people who have seen improvement, or talking with friends who convince you that they used to have a lot of difficulties and no longer do, or maybe even reading blogs on this site that remind you that there really is hope when you get some proper help.
Just in case you haven’t heard it yet today (or in this case, read it…), I fully believe that couples can find improvement in their sex lives by working on a couple of key areas:
Believe that things can improve:Seriously. This is a first step. Your sex life will not get better, even when you get help, if you’re just going through the motions and don’t actually think things can improve. Seek help. But, only seek help you believe in.
Work together as a couple:Have you heard the saying, “it takes two to tango?” I know this typically refers to fighting, but it’s very accurate when it comes to sex. If you’re planning on having sex with your spouse, you need to involve your spouse in this work. It’s just not that effective when you’re doing all of it on your own.
Be willing to make some changes:If you’re looking to improve your sex life, know that this might mean making some unexpected changes in the way you initiate, the way you communicate about sex, and the expectations you’ve been having. Obviously, I can’t spell all of those out without knowing you personally, but making changes is a certainty if you want some positive change.
Those three are some of my bigger tips. Here’s a final important tip. Celebrate what is working well in your marriage and your intimacy right now. Tell your spouse something that you do enjoy and take a moment to let one another know about something that you’re glad you have with one another. That can be an important first step in opening the door for more conversations about improving your intimacy.
Blessings on you, your marriage, and your intimacy!
Very insightful and helpful article. I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about sexual relationships from the perspective of being a reflection of the nature of God. Truly a lot to think about!
Thank you! It definitely is a lot to take in when you start thinking along the lines of reflecting Him in lovemaking.