That is the sound of Mrs. Happy yawning on a Saturday morning. After a week of hard work and general sleep deprivation, she looks forward to sleeping in a few minutes. Oh, and visiting Mr. Happy. Or Mr. Happy visiting her. However it goes. And everyone is happy in the end, if you know what I mean.
See, Mr. and Mrs. Happy have settled comfortably into marriage, including a relaxed and thoroughly satisfying sex life. It took a while to get there, and Mrs. Happy recently reflected on what a normal sex life looks like in a Christ-centered marriage. Normal is:
—Taking the time to learn how to please your spouse physically, making a bunch of mistakes, persevering, getting ticked off and disappointed at times, and watching your efforts and consideration for each other pay off in the long run. If sex has been unsatisfying for you up to this point, realize now that the problem isn’t going to solve itself. Someone is going to have to step up to the plate, say “Let’s start over with sex,” and begin what might seem like a difficult conversation. The ideal is to have this conversation at the beginning of your marriage, but if you didn’t, know that God still wants to bless you in the bedroom. Set aside your disappointments and bad attitudes and start talking with your spouse.
Sex is easy now for Mr. and Mrs. Happy. Mrs. Happy marvels, in fact, that Mr. Happy knows exactly how to please her. And sex is mutually satisfying—meaning both partners reach climax—at least 98 percent of the time (though not necessarily at the same time). It doesn’t always happen exactly when Mrs. Happy wants it to–our bodies aren’t perfect—but Mr. and Mrs. Happy have a Plan B, meaning a way to please each other if one of them doesn’t reach climax during intercourse. It generally involves using one’s hands. And that is what mature, considerate spouses do for each other, no questions asked. We take each other’s satisfaction seriously.
—Going through occasional dry spells where one of you doesn’t feel like having sex very often. And learning to be patient during those times. Those dry spells could be triggered by an illness, work pressures, the demands of rearing children, or just plain fatigue. Discord in the marriage can easily sap one’s interest in sex—without you even knowing exactly why. So can spiritual attacks or emotional trauma. It’s so important that we keep the communication lines open in marriage—and that we always remember love is patient and kind.
You might have to go a while (or a long time) without sex, at least the kind of sex you’re accustomed to. As much as you can discipline yourself, avoid masturbation during these times, and absolutely rule out resorting to pornography or extramarital relationships. Marriage should grow us up. Adolescents seek to gratify every sexual urge; grown-ups bear with each other, knowing we desire the same mercy for ourselves. If you’re unable to have intercourse for a time, learn how to use your hands to satisfy your husband or wife.
—Being available sexually to your spouse. Someone recently asked Mrs. Happy, “Does this mean you can never say no?” Of course not. But implicit in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 is an expectation that a husband and wife will have sex regularly, and that they will do so often enough to avoid exposing each other to undue sexual temptation. Undergirding all of this is deep consideration for the other person and respect for the strength of our God-given sex drive.
Mr. or Mrs. Happy occasionally says no, but we have three house rules: 1. If one person wants it really, really bad, the other spouse does everything within his or her power (including adjusting one’s schedule) to provide it; 2. If a spouse says no, it is for a good reason—illness, unavoidable fatigue, or a serious time constraint; and 3. If a spouse says not right now, he or she asks if it’s OK to get together instead at a specific time within 24 hours. That way relief is in sight, crises and explosions are averted, heavy machinery can be operated safely, etc.
Mrs. Happy has heard it taught that one can never say no, but this teaching doesn’t line up with the whole counsel of the Word of God. Plus it’s just downright silly—good marriages don’t work that way. As husbands and wives, we set about the business of pleasing each other (1 Corinthians 7:34). We operate by the law of love: doing unto each other as we would have done unto us. Demanding sex from your spouse when he or she is ill, emotionally despondent, or physically drained is not love. Denying sex for frivolous reasons isn’t love either.
By the way, at one time years ago Mrs. Happy had an opinion about how often a husband and wife should have sex. As she’s gotten older and observed other good marriages, she has decided that what it means to have sex “regularly” should be defined solely by each couple. You are having sex “regularly” if both you and your spouse are satisfied with the frequency of sex, taking into account work schedules, child rearing, and varying degrees of desire.
—Normal, most of all, is relaxed and fun. Sex is the adult version of play. Mr. and Mrs. Happy enjoy each other sexually as husbands and wives, because we’ve made a lifelong, exclusive commitment to one another that provides the security we need to be free. We exercise our creativity, we develop skills, we aim to please, and we don’t make a big deal out of it. Sometimes we experience deep emotions; sometimes, honestly, a major part of sex is just physical release. Our love for each other accommodates both the romance and the relief. And that’s pretty cool. Mr. and Mrs. Happy still find sex exciting after all these years; Mrs. Happy enjoys the anticipation of those lazy mornings and happy endings.
How does Mrs. Happy know God loves her? Because He created marriage and sex, and He says enjoy it as often as you please—within the bounds of commitment and purity.
Mrs. Happy has been married to one man for a long time. Got a question for the Happy family? Post a comment at www.mannaexpressonline.com.