June 07, 2012
Categories: My Faith
The Naked Truth
This past weekend, our church continued the “Modern Family” series with a lesson that I wasn’t quite sure I’d share today – “The Naked Truth About Sex.” However, I figure that sexual intimacy is a God-given privilege designed for us to enjoy in the context of marriage (at least that was the original plan before society started setting the tone for how we treat sex)…so it should be discussed. With that in mind, I am going to share some of what was mentioned during the message last weekend, but if you’d like to watch or listen to the entire message, click HERE (and I really encourage you to do so).

There are four essential ingredients to every successful marriage. Let’s start with the scripture. Genesis 2:24 says, “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” 
  1. Severance: “a man leaves his father and mother.” We were always designed to leave our parents. However, so many times our parents get too involved in mechanics of the relationship we have with our spouses. As a result, we experience a lot of unnecessary conflict.
  2. Permanence: “a man leaves his father and mother…and is united to his wife.” 
  3. United: “and they become one flesh.” It is completely possible for two people to become so connected that God no longer sees them as two separate entities, but as one. For example, have you ever met a couple and immediately thought, “they look like siblings.” Yep…it happens. 
  4. Intimacy: Genesis 2:25 says, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Sexual intimacy was never designed to be a shameful subject – we were to be joined as one, naked and shame-free. I guess a lot has changed since Adam and Eve.
While intimacy is not the only essential ingredient to a successful marriage, it certainly is a key component. In fact, God provides us with an entire book devoted to intimacy: Song of Solomon…one of the greatest love stories ever told. Forget “Fifty Shades of Gray,” the story of Solomon and his love are the real deal. In fact, you don’t have to read very far into this book to know that this couple is completely hot for one another. Don’t believe me…just start reading. It almost reminds me of a recent episode of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (the bride wrote a poem describing how wonderful her soon-to-be husband was)….Solomon and his love do much the same thing. However, when reading this book of the bible, we’re reminded of how crappy we’ve become as lovers. I’m sure I could give examples, but you know what’s up. 
IMG_3523 bw blog
Our minister suggested that there are three huge barriers to sexual intimacy (outside of even bigger barriers like illness, long-term marital conflict, etc). He also brought his wife up to provide a woman’s perspective…thus the reason I suggested you watch the original message. 

1. Personal Maintenance

I’ve been married just under 3 years, so I can’t exactly use myself as an example…and I’m pregnant, so it’s probably not the best time to ask me about my weight. However, how many times do you see couples really let themselves go physically after they get married? Apparently, women on average gain 24 lbs within the first five years of marriage…men on average gain 30 lbs. Sure, we’re going to gain a little weight (although I will tell you that my husband and I have kept ourselves in the gym to maintain our weight for as long as we’ve been together – it’s a team effort), but why is it necessary to completely stop taking pride in how we look. 

Let’s not forget personal maintenance basics: showering, deodorant, brushing our teeth, filing our nails, etc. – cough cough, men (to my husband, I’m not talking about you). And let’s also put a little more effort into what we’re wearing on a daily basis. I’m well aware that my t-shirt and pajama bottoms are not sexy. Remember how much pride we took in our appearance before getting married? Why should we allow that to stop? Need direction on how to dress or how to wear your hair? Listen to your spouse – although some of those requests can seem a little ridiculous, what harm is really done by wearing your husband’s favorite dress or styling your hair a certain way. 

2. Lack of Quality Time

I regularly administer a personality assessment and feedback to what I often describe as “workaholics.” After asking these men (mostly men) to tell me about themselves, I typically ask what they want to get out of the session. More times than not, I am told “I want to better manage my time.” Regardless of any insight I can offer, here’s the reality…you’ll never have quality time unless you have a quantity of time. Granted, we’re all given the same amount of time – 24 hours a day, so much of the problem is self-management. 

As it relates to intimacy, men and women are just different when it comes to intimacy (for every one time that a woman thinks about sex, men have thought about it 33 times). Regardless, both men and women have to make time for it. Again, I am not an expert on this subject matter (since I have yet to have my first child), but I’ve heard so many couples (mostly women) talk about putting the kids first. Don’t forget that your spouse and your marriage are your first priority…not your children. If you don’t have a solid and fulfilled marriage, your children will suffer…so it’s absolutely necessary and important to make time for intimacy. 

Deuteronomy 24:5 says, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” Forget a year…what about one night a month for date night. It doesn’t have to be anything fabulous or expensive…a walk, a picnic, etc. 

3. Monotony

You’ve all heard the old saying “you can’t do the same thing, the same way and expect different results.” We all need to adding a little creativity to our marriages on a regular basis to “spice things up” if you will. Um…a few ideas were shared on how to mix things up…wearing something sexy, trying new positions, doing something together that you’ve never done before (new restaurant, traveling abroad, etc) – I feel like I’m watching an “awkward” movie scene with my parents right now. I think you get the idea. The point being that we may have married our husband or wife X number of years ago with the hope that we’d always be that much in love…but that kind of love takes work. With all of that in mind, I’ll leave you with the ABCs of Love: 
Attaining sexual intimacy in your marriage takes commitment.
Becoming a great lover takes time.
Comprehending the different expressions of love takes patience. 
So now I’ve gotta ask…what are you doing to keep your marriage hot? I know it’s personal, but I think we could all learn from one another…maybe I’ll even write down a few things to keep top of mind once our little girl arrives.

    date nights are hard to come by these days for us, but my husband and I work 5 minutes from each other so we have a lot of lunch dates together. We really value that time together, and try and save the feelings during lunch for later that evening! ;)

    What a great, thought-provoking topic! Since my husband and I retired very shortly after our marriage, we have had lots of time together – sometimes it seems too much! But, we also both had failed marriages, so we know the value of working at staying in love. Doesn’t mean we do’t sometimes get testy, and have spats, but for the most part, in the 6 years we have been married, we have managed to maintain the love. We still work at it – on a daily basis! Thank you for providing this as a reminder!

    My husband is 91 and I am 68. Sex is still important, even at our age. My old Pastor used to say when counseling couples that making love begins way before you climb into bed. Respect, care, thoughtfulness. All part of it.

    love this! so true! A huge lesson I have learned this year, is that even after we have kids I still need to make my husband # 1 priority. Man, did i have that backwards before!

    My hubs always makes sure to kiss me first when he walks in the door. After that, he usually goes off to play with Georgia. But he lets me know that I’m first in his book.
    Life with a toddler doesn’t always leave a ton of room for date nights, but we love Friday Night Movie Night. After we put G to bed, we get snacks, open a bottle of wine (just him for the next 7 months!), dim the lights and put on a movie together. We take turns picking, and it feels like our little escape, our own date night, even if we’re not actually leaving the house.

    I have been married almost 32 years & love my husband more than I ever have. That’s not to say our whole lives have been that way – but we continually work at it, putting God in the forefront & knowing HE is the roce of our foundation.
    We are empty nesters now and are loving re-exploring our freedom and just plain enjoy being together again.
    Bottom line though – God has been the most solid foundation we ever laid for our marriage and household.

    We’re learning to put each other first. It might seem like a daunting task because we have 7 children, but we’re making it our top priority. Date nights help us reconnect. Even grocery shopping as a couple helps! Once the kids leave home I don’t want us looking at each other like complete strangers.

    Hugs and Mocha,

    So true- it’s so important for a couple to make time in this area as well. Strengthens the bond.

    Gorgeous shot of you btw!!!

    True dat sista! Lol)

    Just kidding. This is actually a very serious & important topic. It does take an effort on both ends. Date night is a MUST at our house, as in our “family date night) Even if we can’t go out somewhere fancy… we sometimes have a nice late dinner after Jax goes to bed!

    P/S Gosh woman… that is a GORGEOUS picture!

    Great topic! I find that making sure I feel good about myself is really important for me in this area. It’s sometimes hard to transition from tired mom to lover. I’m working out more, watching my diet, and trying to do more things that make me feel like a girl/woman. Little details. Dates can be hard to come by, but we try to date at home as much as possible.

    You look amazing in that image!

    I once heard this advice and thought it made a lot of sense. If there is one room you should keep clean in your house, it should be the master bedroom. Keep it inviting for intimacy as much as possible.

    Thanks for posting this. It is nice to hear “young” people in marriage talk about these very important things. God is so important. Our marriage is definately better because of Him being in it.

    Now to the sex stuff, oh sorry, intimacy. You have to keep it spicy I always say. And since I don’t see my spouse much, it is a priority. But seriously, we always say I love you whenever we get to chat. Mike always calls before he takes off and when he lands. He then calls when he checks into the hotel and before bed. It makes us at home feel as connected as we can.

    Great post! Although we’ve only been married for nearly three years, my husband and I have been together for 12. We have hectic schedules (work and personal), so we often schedule “date nights” – that way we make sure to have nothing on the calendar and we carve out some time for just us. No TV, no phones. It really helps us reconnect and focus on each other as our top priority…even when life gets in the way sometimes :)