"You should never say no to sex with your husband."
This is a direct quote from my mom, the late Pamela Whitby Strong. When I first got married, I took this advice lightly. My mom was raised in a traditional mid-class american household of the '50s. Being a feminist, I responded, "Mom, you're old-school and it's adorable." As the years go on, I continue to hear her voice in my head holding me accountable as a wife.
I have been thinking about sex lately.
I have had some interesting conversations in the past few months with some of my sisters out there. Statements like, "sex is such a chore", "I'm too tired by the end of the day to have sex", "I literally never think about it"....sounds like we need some sexual healing up in here.
I'm no marital or sex therapist (disclaimer), I am well aware that there are marriages with severe struggles - I don't presume to know what you might be going through. So forgive me if I sound simplistic or trite. I am simply a wife with a few thoughts on the subject. I welcome your comments.
1. This is an opportunity to serve.
I know, you feel like a servant all day long. People are asking things of you, whining, groping, fussing, tugging, talking back.... and then there's the children, whining, groping, fussing....
You feel like a vending machine.
You feel like a milk factory.
You feel like an ATM.
You feel like a taxi service.
You feel like a mediator, coach, counselor, teacher, housekeeper, disciplinarian, chief whip-cracker.
So by the time the family is back home in the evening, and everyone is fed, bathed and put in bed, the last thing you want is for one more person to ask one more thing of you, right? Sisters, he's not trying to take from you - he's trying to commune with you. Of all the requests of the day, this is top-tier priority. If we truly are called to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, and love one another, and consider one another before ourselves, this is a great way serve.
2. He wants you - why is this an issue?
When your husband is initiating sex, that communicates that he desires you and wants connection with you. Some men get shamed by their wives, as if it is sinful or selfish. Sex is a good and perfect gift from God - the gift of connection, oneness, and of pleasure. Yes, there are other issues of intimacy. Maybe you don't feel cherished or respected. Maybe he needs to pour into you emotionally. I am well aware that in the midst of emotional tension it's hard to want physical expression. But if you are waiting for all to be right in the emotional realm in order for you to give it up - you are missing out. Withholding sex only makes him feel rejection and failure. Coach him by modeling the act of giving. Then talk to him later about what you want and need.
3. Pray! That'll get you in the mood!
Ask God to soften your heart toward your husband. Ask God to bless your sex life. Ask for a renewed desire. Ask God for emotional favor with your man. Ask for strength and stamina so you can give all of you. Ask God to produce fruit (not just babies) in your marriage. Bring God into the room!
((SIDENOTE: don't worry, I almost went with, "Get your pray on so you can get your freak on", or "Get prayed up, then cowboy up". #whyamisoawesome))
Friends, marriage is hard work! And striving for excellence and satisfaction in marriage is a never-ending endeavor. By no means do I have it all together. But I think it is important for us to talk about this stuff and to encourage each other.