Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: '10 Secrets from a Wife Who Waited…and Who Loves Married Sex'


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Being that most of the married couples that I counsel...

Had sex before marriage, I am adamant about providing as much information as possible about why it's not a good idea, for any reason or on any level, to have sex with your future spouse until your wedding night. This (S-C-A-P) article is a stellar example of why doing things God's way (GOD'S WAY) is always best:

This type of post seems to be a trend among us members of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. I’ve caught the “10 Confessions” bug. But I wanted to take a slightly different route and explain why it was so wonderful to wait until marriage for my unmarried readers, and to encourage my married readers.

Here are my top 10 secrets, beginning at 10 and counting down to the #1 secret I’ve discovered about sex.


10. Married Sex Is Secure!

Sex outside of marriage is convenient. Sex within marriage is a covenant.


Pre-marital or extra-marital sex is just a convenient way to appease your hormones. Safety is a primary concern among women. We want to know that we’re safe, not just in our homes, cars, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, finances, and social activities, but in our sex lives too.

I have discovered the beauty of the covenant of sex I’ve made with my husband. A covenant is more fruitful, rewarding, and secure than a convenience. I have come to learn we can do without things that are “convenient,” but  a covenant? That’s not so easy to live without. God has made a covenant with His people – He promised the Israelites they would have a beautiful homeland to call their own. He promised sinners a get-out-of-jail-free card to those who confessed their sins and believed in Him, professing Him to be their Lord and Savior. Blood bound God to His Word. He sent His only Son to die for us, to take our place; His blood was spilled so that we might be new, clean, and whole.


“There is a lot of talk about covenants at weddings.  A covenant is a nice term for a rather gruesome affair (you can read about one in Genesis 15).  When people made a covenant in the ancient world, they were making an agreement that lasted their whole lifetime.  It included their children, born and unborn.  They made it official not by saying nice things or feeding each other cake, but by slaughtering livestock. It was serious business.  Somebody had to die. After stating the terms of the covenant, they split the slaughtered animals down the middle and walked between the splayed halves. They faced each other amid the carcasses and said something to the effect of,  “May God do this and more to me if I break this covenant with you.”  In other words, “I would rather be cut in half than break my promise”.”
 

While we dispensed with the blood sacrifice at our wedding, Adam and I understood the seriousness of the covenant we were entering. It wasn’t merely a contract to be broken if one or both of us weren’t happy. We are in this marriage for life and divorce is not an option. Adam is willing to lay his life on the line if necessary for me just as Christ did for the Church because that’s how much he is called to love me. (Ephesians 5:25-31), and that is why married sex is so secure. He isn’t going to leave me because he loves me, enough to die for me.

Place me as a seal over your arm; for love is as strong as death…” Song of Songs 8:6. Marriage covenant is forever. It is an eternal seal, until death parts you. When you enter a marriage covenant before your family, friends, and community, it’s not just the two of you who are bound together. It is God who binds you together. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Why do I loved married sex? Because my husband, God, and I are bound together securely in the covenant of marriage, and that’s powerful!
 

9. Married Sex Is Comfortable! 

Sex outside of marriage leaves you on edge. Sex within marriage gives you comfort. 
 

Think about it! When you’re not married, you have something to hide when you have sex. You might be afraid of someone walking in on you. You might have to go to extreme lengths to find a “safe” place for sex. You might be worried about someone else finding out accidentally.

Married sex is beautiful in that I don’t have to worry physically, mentally, or emotionally. I am engaging in sex the way God intended. If someone knows, oh well! I’m married. I’m expressing love to my husband. I can be completely comfortable and vulnerable with my husband because we are married and we don’t have to constantly come up with excuses for being physical, new locations to hide, and lies to explain away our actions.

I’m not saying married sex is perfect, or that I’ll never experience discomfort. But married sex is deeply satisfying and I find consolation in the fact that there’s no need to fear on the marriage bed. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” When I am fearful, I am afraid of the negative consequences. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1),” no negative consequences for those who follow His teachings – waiting for marriage : “I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” Song of Solomon 8:4.

Why do I love married sex? Because I can be myself on the marriage bed, without fear of reprimand or consequences.
 

8. Married Sex Is Better and Feels Good!

Sex outside of marriage “feels” good. Sex within marriage IS better.


Let me ask you something. Would you take a job because it feels good? You’d be noticed more at work and appreciated, and you’d be rolling in dough? Or would you take a job because it is good – because although you aren’t making as much money, you don’t have to compromise your ethics to do your job, because you are genuinely making a difference in this world without stepping on other people, and because you will have the opportunity to work hard and earn more money even if it takes longer? I don’t know about you but I’d choose the latter.

Married sex is better because it’s the right way to go. Ephesians 5:31 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” But married sex is also supposed to feel good. I can’t tell you the number of Christian women who have said, “Sex is just a duty of marriage,” or “Bite the bullet and get it over with.” LIES! Sex is not just for the man. God designed sex with us in mind too. Why do you think He gave us certain…*cough, cough* female body parts? Sex has gotten a bad rap in the Church. Because it’s been polluted by sin, it’s an off-limits conversation. Good girls aren’t supposed to enjoy sex, right?

Wrong! Sex outside of marriage may “feel good” for a little while, but married sex is good, and feels good. God created one man and one woman to leave their parents and to be united body, mind, heart, and soul to one another. God created pleasure in sex as a way for a wife to honor and respect her husband and for a husband to love his wife. Just read the beloved’s description of her lover in Song of Songs 5:10-16. She is ecstatic about being married to him. In Song of Solomon 7:10, she begins, “I belong to my beloved,” but then she continues, “…and his desire is for me.” He desires her, and so he should.

My husband forsakes all others when he comes to the marital bed. He honors me by giving of himself and making sure that I experience pleasure because it brings him pleasure to do so. He honors me by making me feel special, beautiful, and desired like no one else ever can or will.

Why do I love married sex? Because my husband wants what is best for me, and has made an everlasting commitment to love, honor, and serve me on and off the marriage bed, bringing me deep pleasure and happiness. Because my husband finds it sexy when I enjoy sex with him.


7. Married Sex Is Fun!

Sex outside of marriage is fun for a while. Sex within marriage is lasting fun.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard unmarried women say, “Do what feels good,” or “If you’re in love, it doesn’t matter.” LIES! I was flipping channels the other day and caught the end of a soap opera episode. A daughter was telling her dad why she chose to have sex with a stranger…because she wanted to experience a little fun in her life before she married her corporate lawyer fiancé. FUN? STDs, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, being left in the middle of the night, having emotional ties with someone other than your fiancé, cheating, broken hearts – do you call that fun?

Waiting until your married doesn’t suck all the fun out of everything. In fact, it increases the fun because you can have fun in a secure, comfortable, better, and good environment without the pressure of trying to hide your intimacy and without fear of reprimand or consequences. I don’t know about you but I’m a lot more relaxed in that kind of situation.

I heard a statistic recently (and I can’t remember where) that unmarried women who have sex with a partner or multiple partners are more likely to be bored with sex and their husbands once they marry. I can tell you this – by waiting, I’m not bored! Exploring my sexuality and my husband’s body every time is exciting. Making things interesting just requires a little creativity on both our parts.  It’s not boring because our love isn’t boring. It’s one roller coaster of a ride with my husband, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world because it’s an adventure!

Song of Songs calls married sex…

….delightful
 

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love  is more delightful than wine.” Song of Songs 1:2

I delight  to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” Song of Songs 2:3

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!” Song of Songs 4:10

How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!” Song of Songs 7:6

…pleasing

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.” Song of Songs 1:3
 

"How much more pleasing is your love than wine...” Song of Songs 4:10

…exciting!

Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.” Song of Songs 2:8

…inviting!


My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come away with me.’” Song of Songs 2:10

…an intimate gift!

You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” Song of Songs 4:12

Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Songs 4:16

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7:10

Why do I love married sex? Because my husband excites me and delights me and pleases me because I am special and precious to him! I don’t have to worry about someone ending our “fun” or someone else experiencing “fun” with him because my husband chose me over all other women and invites me into himself as I invite him into myself. 


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6. Married Sex Is Energizing!

Sex outside of marriage weakens you. Sex within marriage strengthens you.

Think about it. When you engage in sexual activity outside of marriage, your resolve is weakened – saying no is harder; your self-image is weakened – you aren’t so sure about yourself; your reputation is weakened – others won’t think as highly of you; and your heart is weakened – you don’t understand the difference between true life-changing, life-affirming, sacrificial love and the act of sex.

Yesterday I was feeling tired and wasn’t so sure I wanted to go to work. I sat down at my computer to work on some stuff when I began feeling like something was off. I quickly prayed and asked God to tell me what I needed. Suddenly hit with a bolt of realization and inspiration, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to draw my husband away from the computer and into the bedroom. He pulled out the Bible and began to read to me as we had forgotten to do our devotions over breakfast like we usually do. As I was lying on the bed listening to him read Scripture, my desire infinitely grew for this man – to be intimate with him in an even deeper spiritual, physical, and emotional way. Let’s just say that I was feeling great when I got to work and the hours passed quickly since I had some new found energy! ;o)

Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.” Song of Songs 2:5

*As a side note, the NIV Study Bible explains that “raisins” and “apples” most likely represent caresses and embraces of love.*

Married sex has made me stronger…

…physically

Sex reduces my stress levels, giving me more energy. If I wasn’t married and having sex, trust me – I’d be stressing!

Sex makes me stronger as I work all sorts of muscles in my body, and it works out a lot of kinks in my muscles too, making me more relaxed.

Sex boosts my immune system, keeping me getting a cold and helping me stay healthy.

…emotionally


I am happier…period.

I feel good about myself and my body, and I’m less self-conscious.

I am satisfied. Don’t get me wrong! I want my husband often, but I am satisfied with him. I don’t need to go looking for emotional fulfillment elsewhere.

…mentally

I  trust myself and my decisions more.

I can focus more on the task on hand.

…spiritually

My conscience is sharper.

I’m more aware of the spiritual affects of my decisions.

I don’t give into temptation as easily.

I am more in tune with God, grateful for what He has given me, and more enthusiastic about praising Him!

Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.” Song of Songs 1:4

Why do I love married sex? It’s even better because I’m married – I don’t have to stress about my environment or my partner because I will always be in the loving arms of my husband, and I’m energized by the love, devotion, and desire of my husband, helping me to be more relaxed, emotionally stable, productive, and spiritually connected to my Heavenly Father.
 

5. Married Sex Is Healing!

Sex outside of marriage causes a world of hurt. Sex within marriage is healing.

You bring all of yourself into the act of sex. Every sexual experience (from every touch to every kiss, every lustful look at another man to every look at porn, every act of sex to negative consequences of sex like pregnancy or disease) before or outside of marriage is carried over to the marriage bed. You have to carry heavy burdens of shame, guilt, and regret with sex outside of marriage. Sex outside of marriage is hurtful, damaging, and dangerous.

Flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

For those who have engaged in sex before marriage, married sex can also be incredibly healing. You may be struggling with hurt, shame, and guilt from your past, and here is a man whom God has given you, your husband, who loves you and won’t leave you and who wants to get to know the deep, raw parts of you and help you work through the pain and sorrow and shame of the past. I can’t think of anything more life-giving and life-healing, and I’m convinced there are few things more powerful than a husband who prays sincerely and regularly for his wife.


When I’m struggling with pain and guilt over something, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is when Adam prays over me. Hearing his words as he lovingly pleads on my behalf is so moving and powerful, and is like a soothing stream of water being poured onto my raw and tender heart. God says in His Word, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5

Husbands, pray for your wife and her sexuality. So many women today have been broken by the chains of sexual sin, some who have willingly entered and some who have unwillingly entered, and they desperately need the healing of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pray for her physical and spiritual healing. Pray that shame and guilt would be washed away in the blood of Jesus, and that the love of God would be her constant companion. Pray for the lies she’s been told to be exposed in the light of our Pure and Holy God, and that He would smash the lies from the Devil to smithereens. Pray for her heart to be renewed and strengthened through the intimacy of married sex, and that God would open her physically, emotionally, and spiritually to be known in the deepest sense by the man who loves her – you.


Wives, pray for your husband and his sexuality. So many men have been led astray by the promise of pleasure and satisfaction and have been damaged by what the world has to offer, and they desperately need to be restored in the eyes of the Lord. Pray for the healing power of Jesus Christ to come into his life and work through those inner places of destructive darkness. Pray for his enduring strength to fight temptation to give into what the world has to offer. Pray that you, as his wife, would show him the respect he deserves by giving freely of yourself no matter what has happened in his past before you, not guilt-tripping him but forgiving and loving him as Christ forgave and loves you. Pray that he would be an example among men as to how to love your wife and lead her in a God-honoring manner, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically too.

Why do I love married sex? Married sex is healing. I have learned the greatest act of healing in our marriage when Adam and I have been at odds with one another is to offer my beauty willingly without expecting anything in return. I treasure the look on his face when I give of myself completely after we’ve had tension between us. Married sex is powerful because it is life-giving and life-healing.


4. Married Sex Is Affirming

Sex outside of marriage leaves doubts about yourself as a woman. Sex within marriage affirms who you are as a woman.
 

I remember how much I struggled with wanting a boy to notice me and going to great lengths to make sure he did when I was a single lady. I crossed a few lines – things I thought were little at the time like robbing the guy of the chance to initiate a relationship and being manipulative. Why did I act like this? Because I doubted who I was as a woman and because I doubted God. I didn’t believe God had a man out there who would notice me for who I was. I didn’t believe I could truly be a woman until I had a “boyfriend” and ultimately until I had sex. I thank God that He protected me even in my ignorance, my discontent, and my insecurity.

Experiencing married sex is like having a veil lifted off my eyes and my heart. My husband affirms me as a woman by honoring me in the highest sense in choosing me as his bride. He affirms my beauty when he desires me physically, but especially when he desires me even when I feel undesirable.

I remember a time when I first got married how desperately I wanted to be loved one night. I was feeling lonely and vulnerable in our first apartment late at night when my husband was still at work. When he came home, I eagerly rushed to the door expecting to feel some sense of peace, love, and great relief. But to my chagrin, the feelings didn’t come. I went to take a shower, and I just broke down… hard. Before the Lord, I was cold, wet, and naked, miserable because I hadn’t been putting God first. I cried for a long time. After getting my heart right with God, I was completely satisfied with His love and my desire for Him was stronger. But then Adam came in. I felt awkward and ashamed. I didn’t think I deserved his love and was scared I’d put him before God again. I remember telling him to leave, but he wouldn’t. Without saying a word, he turned off the water, tenderly dried me with a towel, wiped away my tears, and carried me to the bedroom. Adam helped me realize that night that God had forgiven me and that the guilt and shame I was feeling was not of God. He desired me even at my worst – and by making love that night, I felt the healing power of God and the life-affirming worth He gives me.

Ephesians 5:28 says, "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Do you feel honored? I do!

Why do I love married sex? Because having sex with my husband helps affirm who I am as a woman as he makes it easy for me to truly be myself and to love my body, and because when I’m at my worst, my husband still finds me attractive – and that’s incredibly encouraging.


3. Married Sex Is Intimate
 

Sex outside of marriage has no lasting ties. Sex within marriage draws us closer to each other.

I’m not saying that sex outside of marriage isn’t intimate in the traditional sense of the word. You are ultimately exposing the most private parts of yourself when you agree to get naked with another man. But when you agree to get naked with your husband, you are inviting him to get to know you better.

I work at my community pool. Last week I had to “break up” a couple making out (among other things) at the far end of the pool. They couldn’t have been older than 16 and 17. I’m all for a little kissing, but at that age, relationships can be dangerous because the guy often becomes the center of your world. As she walked by me to leave, my heart went out to her and I wished I had some wise something-or-other to say to her, but at the time, I was a bit tongue-tied.

Dear unmarried lady friend, your heart and body are precious and you need to treat it as such. Sure it’s okay to have fun with your boyfriend as long as you are glorifying God. With frequent heavy physical contact, throw in some hormones and you are going down a slippery slope. I know. I remember how my hormones were raging when my husband and I were dating, but I’m so grateful we waited. You respect your man more by waiting solely for him in marriage and he loves you by waiting for the most intimate part of you. Sex outside of marriage cannot compare to the joy of fully giving yourself on your wedding night to the man you have vowed to take as your husband before God and other witnesses. Once you have given yourself away, you can never get it back. Treasure your body, dear unmarried lady friend, and wait for the moment of joyous fulfillment in marriage.

To my married lady friends, unleash your passionate desire for your husband – it’s Biblical! The woman in Song of Songs isn’t timid or shy. She has a level of desire for her husband that matches his. They playfully and delightfully invite each other to take part in loving intimacy, and they work to build each other up. Intimacy is more than sexual contact. Intimacy is the ultimate expression of love and respect.

The woman in Song of Songs shows all five of the 5 Love Languages as she...uses her words to affirm and build up her man, complimenting his manhood and encouraging his physical and emotional/spiritual love.

spends quality time with her man without distractions in a place far away from other people so as to show him her undivided attention.

gives the gift of herself wholly to him.

serves him by waiting respectfully for him until they are wed, and then serves him by letting him lead by asking him to take her away, yet still lovingly telling him what she desires.

invites him into the depths of herself, inviting him to touch and kiss her, embrace and envelope her in his love.

Why do I love married sex? Because I can be intimate with my husband, drawing him deeper into me and being delightfully drawn deeper into him. Being intimate within marriage allows me to strengthen the bonds of our love. I show my deepest respect and honor for him by engaging in sexual intimacy.


[Shellie here: OK, I don't know where her #2 is...guess she miscounted or mis-posted.]

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I’ve never run a marathon before, or a half-marathon for that matter. I do like to think of myself as a sort-of runner. When I’m stressed, upset, or just needed to burn up some excess energy, I always find running to be cathartic – just me and God meeting on the road between the pounding of my feet on the pavement and the stilted breathing. In that place, I met my Lord.

Preparing for marriage and planning my wedding felt very much like what I’d describe to be a marathon…or maybe a 100 meter sprint backwards and blindfolded. I’d also describe myself as a physical woman. I enjoy being active, getting outdoors and moving. I also appreciate the firm grasp of a good handshake, the warmth of a friend’s embrace, and I love my husband’s kisses even more now than I did when we were dating. Knowing that, you can probably imagine how difficult it was for me to wait until marriage. You and I are human, and human beings were created by our Designer to need physical contact. It reminds us why we’re alive – and gives us a chance to touch a part of our Creator God. It also gives us incredible comfort and reassurance – that we are not alone.

During my engagement, I lived on my own for nine months. I was under a lot of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pressure. I was trying to finish an academically challenging final semester in college while working three jobs to support myself and pay for my wedding. I was having difficulty with my family, I was struggling with my faith and what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life, and on top of everything else, I fell ill. If it weren’t for God’s miraculous hand in my life, a supportive group of friends who had become like family, and the love of my life, my fiancé, I think I would’ve fallen apart.

There were times I felt incredibly alone, and impatient. I just wanted everything to be over with and behind me. I wanted to be married, to be with my husband. I recall several times hearing a voice in my head saying, “You’re already engaged… it’s okay…” Doesn’t it sometimes feel that easy? It’s not really hurting anyone, right? I’m in love so it’s all right? It’s not really sinful if we’re engaged, hmm?

“Being with” the one you love before marriage is NOT what God designed us for…nor what He intended. In August, I wrote a series called 10 Secrets from a Wife Who Waited…and Who Loves Married Sex. I never finished. Today I will.


What is the #1 reason I waited…Love is patient!

An impatient Israel grumbled as they wandered around in the wilderness and many of them were unable to see the Promised Land. God raises up Moses and draws them out of Egypt, out of enslavement. God did not leave their side – as the Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night, He goes before them. God then leads them to the Red Sea so that Pharaoh, when he comes after the Israelites, will think that they’re confused and they will die.  But God has an amazing plan! The Red Sea could’ve been parted already and waiting for the Israelites to walk through, but instead asks Israel to wait, and parted it later. Why? So “the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory” (Ex. 14:18).

God has a plan for His honor and His glory. When I was in my crazy sprint toward my wedding and a vow that would ultimately affect the rest of my life – marriage, He went before me also with a plan for my honor and my glory. God asked me to wait for Adam and He was right beside me, fighting with me what seemed like an uphill battle against temptation, guiding me through the desert of my patience-stretched-thin. On the darkest and loneliest nights, God whispered reassurances to my heart that it was worth it because not only would He be honored and glorified, but I would bring glory and honor to my husband-to-be…because love is patient.

Sex outside of marriage is impatient, lacking the love needed to sustain marriage.

Impatience says, “I don’t love you enough to fight temptation.” Impatience says, “I don’t love you enough to do what’s best for you.” Impatience says, “I don’t love you enough to wait.”

Waiting for married sex shows strength of character and a deep love for God and your future spouse.
 

Patience says, “I love you period…no matter what!

I may have found some comfort in the arms of my lover before marriage, but not the kind of lasting comfort, pleasure, and joy God promises for those who wait. I wouldn’t get to see the long awaited “Promised Land” on my wedding night, and the taste of milk and honey would have soured and fermented.

With the pressures of wedding planning and the stresses of life closing in like the oppressive wheels of the Egyptian chariots, I could have easily panicked and jumped into the “Red Sea” heading for the Promised Land on my own. But I never would have made it, drowning in my own foolish attempts to do God’s job.

Do not be terrified; do not be afraid... The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes,and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his [daughter], all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:29-31.

In those moments when you’re struggling to wait, when you’re willing to settle, when you wanting to jump the line, run to the arms of God. Don’t disregard God’s plan when the race becomes painful or overwhelming. When it’s tempting to give in or jump ahead, remember that the Lord remembers those who wait on Him, and the Promised Land is waiting for you at the other end.


Patience says, “I’ll fight the battle with honor…

…for the real glory of a rightly-won victory, saving the darkest of nights for you and you alone the right way.”

Walk the way well. Fight the good fight with faith in God that He knows what He’s doing because you never have to blaze into the Great Unknown – God’s already been there

Why do I love married sex? Because I patiently waited no matter how challenging the race was getting there and because the ultimate test of love is to wait. And the waiting for my Adam, my Promised Land, was worth it because it was done the right way.
 

-----Bottom Line-----

1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient…” Replace the word love with your name and ask yourself if you can truly say, “I’ll be waiting for you, baby!”


Selah. And amen!

Luxuriant,

SRW

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