I have to admit that in the past I’ve really struggled to write posts that center on this particular topic. Not because sex scares. Not because I’m not a fan of sex.
But quite honestly, it’s because I don’t feel like an expert when it comes to sex. I know that it’s an area that my wife and I are still learning and growing in together. It’s also one area of intimate connection that we have to regularly fight for in our marriage.
Again, not because either of us doesn’t enjoy it, but because life can get crazy!
We take on many roles: Spouses, parents, co-workers, and ministry partners to name just a few. There always seems to be a demand right around the corner or something to take care of.
Don’t get me wrong, we have gotten better over the years in all of these areas, including fostering healthy sexual intimacy within our relationship. But as I was thinking through this post, I felt the biggest truth you need to be able to take away from it is this:
Healthy sex has to be consistent.
At the risk of sounding legalistic or forced and in no way am I advocating for obligation sex*, I believe there’s more to that statement than meets the eye. Specifically, the two words which are emphasized: Healthy and consistent.
First, sexual intimacy between you and your spouse should be healthy. What does this mean?
Straight to the point, sex shouldn’t be just about meeting YOUR desires.
It actually should be first about meeting your spouse’s desires. When we come together with our spouse with that kind of motivation, it makes the union that much sweeter and that much more enjoyable for both.
I’m not going to detail in this post tips and techniques for better sex. That misses the point behind this article. What I will say is that healthy sex is the kind that you and your spouse both discuss and agree to TOGETHER.
I love what Philippians 2:4 says to us:
…not looking to YOUR OWN interests but each of you to the interests of the OTHERS.
I understand that Paul wasn’t specifically referring to sexual preferences here in this passage, but he was talking about what humility looks like. Humility disregards what is important to me so that you can receive what is important to you.
This is one of the hardest things for us as humans to learn. And I suspect this may be true as it relates to our sexual needs as well.
I think “healthy” sex isn’t just a time where two people enjoy intense physical pleasure, but it’s where they can connect deeply on an emotional level.
And even a spiritual level. The idea that you’re fulfilling what the Bible talks about in becoming one flesh is a beautiful reality.
Secondly, healthy sex is something that should be consistent. Perhaps it’s better to start explaining what this doesn’t mean versus what this does mean.
For starters, consistency is something you and your spouse need to discuss together.
What does a healthy connection look like for you? Perhaps this is 2 or 3 times a week. Or 2 or 3 times a day. Or 2 or 3 times within a month. The bottom line is that there’s no “one size fits all” for sexual intimacy. And don’t let anyone ever tell you there is.
The one caveat I would add to that though is this: If it’s been SEVERAL days, weeks, months, or yes, I’m saying it — years since you’ve connected with your spouse intimately, there’s most likely a problem there. And it’s your responsibility to figure it out if you want your marriage to thrive.
Look, I get it…life can be crazy! Between our jobs, families, kids, church commitments, ministry appointments, it seems as if there is always something or someone demanding your attention. And by the time the evening rolls around, you’re fried! I know I am.
But again, connecting with your spouse physically, emotionally, spiritually needs to be a priority.
And when something is being done with consistency, deeper intimacy will grow as well. Perhaps for some out there, it means you and your spouse schedule your time together.
Now before you roll your eyes and make any assumptions, hear me out: We schedule things and put things on our calendar that are important. And isn’t sexually connecting with our spouse important?
If not the calendar, keep the lines of communication open with your spouse and be looking for the moments and minutes you can steal away for time together. I think there’s sometimes been a misconception in the past that says sex needs to be this glorious thing that lasts for hours.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sometimes, when you don’t have a very long time to get away, it can be more functional and may not take much time at all. There’s no judgment there! Remember, you’re still connecting with the other person in a meaningful way.
I believe that it’s possible for you and your spouse to have an intimate and thriving relationship with each other. But it takes work, that’s for sure. It must take priority in your life. It takes consistency. And when those things happen, you will find that your time together will become
healthier and healthier.
Remember, one of the greatest keys to health is consistency.
If you want to read more about healthy sexuality, go buy The Good Guys Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire and her husband Dr. Keith Gregoire which will be available on March 15.