First of all, if you are reading this and you happen to be a man, would you please stop? I want to be vulnerable to women and I’d ask you to respect my privacy and not read any further.
I have a blog in my head about sex that I am nervous to write… for many reasons. First, this is after all the internet and anyone can stumble on this and read it. Second, I don’t want to talk about sex as if I am the expert (ahem). And third, I blush when I talk about anything even close to the line – so I’ll just have to blush through the next few minutes. But I have something on this topic I want to say – particularly to my friends who are new in marriage, are about to be married, or are dating but will someday be married. I don’t think enough Christian women speak up about this topic, both to caution and to reassure. So, humbly and fearfully, here I go.
This is going to sound strange – but it is remarkably true. Justin and I are attending a church that is very good for our sex life. Both the way the Pastor and his wife openly and honestly deal with the topics of sex and marriage, but moreso really the women who I have met through the church who have befriended me and encouraged me in this area. Don’t worry – I’m going to explain all of this – I’m not in some crazy cult. What I am is in a place of wonderful Biblical community, and true Biblical community shines light in all the dark places in your life. All of them. And when the light, love, and freedom of our God pierces all areas of our life, there is an overall improvement in the quality of that enlightened life. Including in our bedrooms.
I always try to be vulnerable in my blogs, but not stupid in the amount I share – so I’m going to walk this line very carefully. Justin and I have a good, getting better everyday, sex life. But one thing we have been surprised to find is the amount that our experiences before marriage with others has been something we have had to work through and deal with in marriage. And not all of that experience was willful, one of us was once a victim of a sexual crime and so we have had to deal with the aftermath of that. And before going to this church, we had developed a routine of only dealing with what we were comfortable with in our sex life. There was much that was avoided, much that remained unspoken, and entire areas of our life that were in bondage to our past.
So going to a church that emphasizes freedom and joy in ALL areas of life, and being around friends who encourage adventure and fun in intimacy frankly pushed us to see that working around the damage in this area of our life wasn’t good enough. We were intended to walk in victory and freedom in even this area of our life. So we began to shine light into dark areas and confront difficult memories. We began to trust each other and to be vulnerable to each other and began to work through these issues from our past.
First of all, let me say to my single friends. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. (Song of Solomon 8:4 ESV). Let me say, as someone who has walked this, the rules God has placed around intimacy are not to rob you of fun or joy, they are to protect you from harm. You will deal with the things that you do before you are married in your marriage. Period. All of the things you do. My struggles are not with people I had sex with – because I have not had sex with anyone but my husband. So many times, the question we ask is “How far is too far?” with the goal being getting as much out of a dating relationship as we can without crossing “the line.” Instead, the question we should be asking is “How much of myself can I save for my husband?” with the goal being reserving as much as possible of ourselves for when God intends us to give it to the man we have married. So if you haven’t gone there, or even if you have, it isn’t too late to stop and determine from this point forward to treat yourself like the rare jewel that you are and follow the instructions of God to reserve yourself for marriage. You are a treasure and a man only deserves to have any of you when he is willing to lay down his life for you and be joined to you forever in marriage.
To my married girls – Oh girls we are intended to live in freedom. Christ paid the price for our sin and death on the cross and we are free in Him. In any other area of our life, if there was damage and fear – we would deal with it. Why do we think that in the primary human relationship we have, the relationship with our spouse, we deserve anything less than perfect freedom? There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV). When we don’t deal with our past stuff and face our fears, we rob ourselves and we don’t demonstrate love for ourselves or for our spouses.
So here’s how this played out for us. I was the victim of a sex crime in my past. And so in my marriage, I would go nowhere near this area when intimate with my husband. In fact, if he even hinted a desire to go there, I would react in fear and hurt. I thought that since I was giving my husband everything else but this area, we were okay and I would deal with the other 20% I couldn’t give him someday. And we lived like that for a couple of years.
And then I started being around these girls from this church. These girls want strong beautiful marriages that honor God. These girls are in strong beautiful marriages that honor God. And they know that the world and our enemy are against freedom in this area and against strong beautiful marriages that honor God. So they pray for each other. They talk through struggles and encourage each other. They are open about their lives with their husband. They exchange ideas, encourage adventure and fun. They talk through every area of life – not just sex – and they encourage each other to honor their husbands. And they don’t do it in a creepy intrusive way – they do it in joy. Being around them was so fun, so freeing. We would be sitting at a table in a restaurant and someone would bring up a struggle. Immediately, someone would offer encouragement, another would tell how they overcame that, another would offer a scripture that worked in their marriage. So together these girls hold each other accountable. And I was around this and quickly realized that in our marriage, I wasn’t living in freedom and joy. There is an entire area of our marriage that I am fearful to deal with. This 20% that I was reserving DID matter. And I realized that 14 years later, I am still a victim to the person who hurt me. And not only am I a victim, but secondhand my husband is a victim as well. So I shared that with these girls. And they began to pray. They understood the reason behind my fear. They didn’t push, but they encouraged me to seek freedom in this area.
So, nervously, I shared with Justin that I wanted to deal with my fear. And I allowed us to go to the place I was terrified to go. And together, Justin and I dealt with my fear. And I will tell you with great joy that there was simply no comparison between what was done to me in selfish violence and the loving care of my husband. No comparison. It was not even like the same thing. And today, in our marriage, there is freedom. 100% freedom. I can’t tell you what this means to me. Light was shone on this dark area of my life, and the hole in my soul was filled with the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father and with the unconditional love of my wonderful husband that my God gave me. It is amazing. There is a song that we sing at church that says “In Your freedom I will live” and that is how I feel to have the Lord overcome even this in my marriage. So I write this blog not as a preachy thing or as an “expert” speaking down to anyone – I write this as a person who has watched a great freeing work take place in my heart and in my marriage and I want to share it in case there is anyone reading this living in bondage who wants to get free.
To my married friends, I simply encourage you to GET REAL friends who love Jesus and want to see you live in victory and then GET REAL with your friends. Seriously. Talk about the dishes, about the kids, about sex. Talk about lingerie and date nights and struggles. Encourage each other to be the best wives you can be. Make it fun, do it in joy, but above all make it real. And be cautious with who you select, make sure they are women of Godly wisdom. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. (James 3:17) And keep sharing and keep working until you are able to stand and say “In Your freedom I will live.” Don’t let the enemy have any area of your marriage or any area of your sex life. Not an inch. I believe in the restorative nature of our God. I’ve seen it firsthand. He makes all things new. He can restore what you have given away, He can restore what has been taken from you, He can restore what seems hopeless.
Wow – I did it. Writing this was pretty scary. I pray it helps someone. I know it is strange to write this on a blog of all things. But I SO want to be used to minister to women. And so I pray that there is someone who is reading this and who is touched by the love of our God who even cares that we have peace, joy and freedom in our sex lives. He wants us to have 100% freedom. 80%, 90%, even 99% free isn’t good enough for the daughters of the King. He loves us more than we can ever understand and He always, always, always makes all things new when we let Him. I am so grateful in my life He made even this new. Thank you Jesus.