Sex & Marriage
Sex and marriage have become two words that almost don’t seem to go together. It seems the narrative has become, “Husbands never get as much as they want, and wives periodically grit their teeth through it.” We have experienced this first hand in our own marriage. It has taken us years to learn how to fully enjoy sex, and in all honesty, years to understand that sex in marriage isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity.
Much of our struggle in this area was similar to many other couples. I never felt like we were having enough sex and Cait had no desire to have any. It actually took us a long time for her to even experience total fulfillment. Yes, I mean what that implies! As a matter of fact, it was eleven years into marriage before she experienced an orgasm. For eleven years we struggled, fought, and were often confused about what we were doing wrong. We really loved each other but for some reason, we couldn’t figure out how to get into a healthy sexual rhythm. For anyone who experiences this, you already understand the impact that a bad sex life can have on other areas of your relationship.
We often found ourselves being sharp with each other and lacking patience. At different times throughout those years, it felt like we were parenting-partners rather than romantic lovers. Thankfully, that all changed in 2017 and things have only continued to get better.
This process caused me to ask some important questions. Such as, “Why do I desire sex so much?” At times I would compare my need for sex, to her complete lack of desire, and think, “Why am I so gross? Why do I need something that she seems to disdain? Am I really just an animal?” This is an important question for someone who feels their sex drive is stronger than their spouses.
The answer is actually pretty simple. God designed sex to be a powerful bonding force between a husband and wife. As I began to discover God’s design through scriptures like Matthew 19:6, 1 Corinthians 7:1-7 (NIV and MSG are both great) and of course much of Song of Solomon... I realized it was an important building block for marriage. In addition to scripture, I began to learn about the biology and chemicals like vasopressin, dopamine, and oxytocin that are released in my brain when I make love with my wife. It is very clear that God intended sex to be a powerful tool to bond my body, soul, and spirit to hers. Understanding that I was created this way helped me to silence the lies that I could have believed.
It also caused me to be very passionate about the value and importance of sex inside of marriage. It seems that for many it has become a “luxury” rather than a necessary expression of love. As my wife and I have begun to discover the beauty of it, I am so grateful we never gave up on experiencing sex the way God intended.
It took years of trial and error, failed moments and completely vulnerable conversations. Listening to her telling me that she didn’t enjoy it, and my coming to grips with that reality and not blaming her for it. I also looked for ways to express my desire for her without her feeling objectified. These were just some of the challenges we overcame, and in some ways, are still overcoming. There were even periods where I considered that perhaps this was my lot in life, to love a wife who couldn’t fulfill me in this area. I chose to begin to look for other ways to love her and be loved by her. Now looking back, I realize that the choice to not have sex wasn’t really an option if I wanted a healthy and fulfilling marriage. God didn’t give sex to marriage as an optional upgrade, but rather as a critical part of the base model.
As I assess the state of our culture in regards to marriage, I have realized that we are in desperate need of great marriages that have great sex! Let me connect some dots for you before you think a Christian shouldn’t be talking like this.
A study done by the Pew Research group on millennials’ mindset towards marriage came to the conclusion that many have the viewpoint of, “It’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family and acknowledge the end of traditional marriage as society's highest ideal.”
Fewer millennials will get married than any other generation. Out of those who do get married, they will marry much later. In a very real sense, our culture is losing its faith in marriage. Why is this?
For a few decades now, we haven’t given people something to believe in when it comes to marriage. Everyone is aware of divorce statistics which has caused many to believe divorce is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Consider how marriage is described in many places, “ball and chain” or “the end of freedom.” When most people think about sex, they view it as exciting and erotic when you are young and single. Believing it ’s boring and rare when you are married.
Ok, so why did I turn this personal blog into a cultural statement? Because I believe that one of the best things we can do for ourselves, our kids and society is to have great, connected, intimate sex in marriage! Our kids will watch marriages they hope to have one day and our culture will realize that God was right when He said, “It’s not good for man to be alone…the two will become one flesh and what God brings together let no one separate.”
Married couples I urge you, DON’T GIVE UP! Keep having sex even when it’s not great. Learn together, try new things. Make it a priority to make love in a way that connects your body, soul, and spirit. Your future self and the next generation will thank you for it.