How often do you and your spouse talk about sex?
Sex (and money) is often a lightning rod for marital disagreements. However, we tend to avoid the topic because we often fear having the conversation.
Any discussion on marital sex should start with the premise that God says to not think of our bodies as our own. (1st Cor. 7:4)
This can be challenging in our “me first” culture. We live in a time where “my” dreams, “my” desires and “my” needs come first. Unfortunately, this worldview reduces sexual intimacy to a personal craving rather than a holy, unifying necessity.
And yes, sex is a necessity – not just for the man or just for the woman – but for the unity of the couple.
Gary Thomas suggests that “sexual desire can knit a man to a woman, or Satan can use it to build an ever-growing reliance outside the home.”
So, if we are serious about building a marriage that remains unified, we must address sexual desire in a marriage. Therefore, we must be able to talk about sex with our spouse!
My wife and I call those every day things that get in the way of sexual intimacy “sex obstacles.” These are words, phrases or actions that seem harmless but can do damage over time. Do any of these sound familiar?
- I have a big day tomorrow so I need to get some sleep.
- I’m going to head back into the office and catch up on some work this evening.
- It was a rough day. I just need to chill tonight.
- When the game is finished, I’ll come to bed.
- I’m just not in the mood. (translation: I’m still annoyed about something you did several days ago)
And, the list goes on.
Each of these hindrances may be valid; however, we need to remove these snags whenever we can.
Desires do not go away with the excuses. In fact, desires multiply.
Couples who aren’t connecting sexually may look to satisfy that desire elsewhere – perhaps through pornography, an emotional affair, or even adultery.
As a result, the fear of not talking about sex has very real consequences.
In our book, Undivided Marriage, we give couples conversation starters to help open up the discussion about sex. Here are 3 questions to get you started:
1. How would you define the sexual health of your marriage? Discuss your different points of view and share with your spouse ways YOU are willing to change to make sex better for your spouse. (remember 1st Cor. 7:4)
2. What does having sex communicate to you? In other words, what message is sent when your spouse wants to have sex with you? Explain why this is important.
3. What are the common barriers in your marriage that prevent you and your spouse from engaging in sexual intimacy? How can you overcome them?
Too often we have feelings we don’t verbalize which can lead to resentment, anxiety, and even anger. This occurs far too often in our marriages when it comes to sex.
While talking about sex is very important, remember that as your spouse is sharing s/he is emotionally exposed and vulnerable.
The success of any talk depends on encouraging emotional honesty while responding to each other with love.
Now, start talking!