By Terre Grable
Many Christian married couples have yet to experience a fulfilling sex life. Yet, it is an essential ingredient for a vital Christian marriage. Here are 7 barriers to a fun and fulfilling lovemaking for Christian married couples:
1. Not knowing what God says about sex
The first commandment God gave was to engage in sex (Genesis 1: 27-28.) God had just created humanity in His image, commanded them to be “fruitful and multiply”, and then commented “it was good” (Genesis 1:31.) Somehow, it seems like this was a priority for Adam and Eve.
2. Talking very little with your spouse about sexuality or your preferences.
When couples can share with their spouse about sexuality or their sexual preferences, intimacy is created. An emotional bond results from the intimate level of vulnerability on a conversational level. A great place to start talking about sex is to share what lovemaking means to you emotionally, how frequent you would like to have sex, and even times of the day or specific days.
3. Engaging out of obligation, rather than enjoyment
Many believe sex was solely intended for procreation, rather than recreation. To the contrary, the poetic references in the Song of Solomon describe lovemaking that is enjoyable and anticipated. Feel free to have some fun with sex with different positions and places. However, all must be with respect for your spouse’s considerations. I Corinthians 1:4 states that our bodies belong to our mates, not just us. It is written from a spirit of equality, where both spouses are to serve one another, rather than one controlling the other. For one spouse to force the other into sexual behaviors without consent is abusive.
4 Failure to plan
Many couples, Christians especially, are sexually frustrated. While some of this may be attributed to different sexual appetites, much more is a result of infrequency. Sex is never convenient, but is critical to a vital relationship. Plan for sex like you would any other appointment. Rather than thinking of this as stale, consider that it allows you and your spouse time to plan for the special time together. Planning also alleviates any concerns for sexual deprivation and sexual pressure.
5. Using sex as a reward or punishment
Sex is often used as a reward for some positive behavior. Or it can be withheld when one spouse is angry with the other. Couples sabotage themselves when their sex life becomes a bartering system. Because of its vulnerability, lovemaking must be unconditional to be meaningful. Find other ways to thank your spouse, and healthy ways to overcome your resentments.
6. Unresolved sexual abuse issues
Sexual abuse issues follow spouses into marriage. Victims of sexual abuse may have an aversion to lovemaking, or experience painful reminders of the past. For some, there may be a distortion of healthy sexuality. If you have been wounded from sexual abuse, realize that you did nothing to deserve this. Furthermore, there is hope. I encourage you to find a counselor that specializes in this area, and begin the road to recovery. It is one thing to survive sexual abuse, and another to overcome it.
The most significant destructive force to a healthy sex life is pornography. And yes, I am talking about Christian marriages. Images are burned into a person’s mind, thereby creating an insatiable thirst for more erotic behavior, or harmful behaviors. Some couples have stated the use of pornography enhances their sex life. I disagree. Not only is it degrading, but it fosters empty relationships by focusing on the physical rather than love. If your marriage has been affected by pornography, find a qualified counselor to help you rebuild the intimacy in your marriage.
In my experience as a Christian counselor, a lot of confusion exists amongst married couples regarding a healthy Christian sex life. The reality is that God has given sex as a gift for married couples to embrace rather than tolerate, or misuse. So much of today’s culture promotes a contaminated view of sex. As Christians, let’s change our culture by strengthening our marriages with a healthy Christian sexuality