To keep the intimacy going within our marriages, we need to take care. There are actions and there are thoughts that can threaten marital sex. We are highlighting those thoughts in this article. (Actions that threaten are brought out in other articles posted throughout this web site.)
“It’s difficult to keep the passion burning, but not impossible. Sex isn’t an event. It is an environment. We must make passion a priority and then set an atmosphere where passion can reign” (Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus).
Thoughts that Threaten Marital Sex
All of us, men and women alike, are affected by what we let our minds dwell on. If our mental representation of who is having “great sex” stems from romance novels, movies, or soap operas, we’ll be handicapped by a warped view. If we allow our minds to dwell on jokes, magazine surveys, or water-cooler conversations that deal with sex as an impersonal physical experience, we’ll never seek the oneness. We’ll never experience the freedom that sexual intimacy was designed to provide.
If we use our brainpower to form a critical picture of our spouses, our marriages, or our mating practices, we are, in fact, violating the sanctity of our God-created oneness. And we are robbing our mates and ourselves of the grace of holy sex.
On occasion, my wife finds herself in a group of women when a lively game of Bash the Husbands begins. Amy has no desire to play the game. So she tries to redirect the conversation or she simply excuses herself. She doesn’t do this because she’s married to the perfect man. She doesn’t join the bashing game for two very simple, yet powerful, reasons. One, she and I have made a commitment that, if we have a problem with each other, we’ll tell only one person: each other.
Two, we both realize the truth of the old proverb: “A marriage is only as good as it is in public.” In other words, deal with your problems at home, not in front of friends. And we must guard our unspoken words as well. We must keep our thoughts about our mates pure. Concentrating on pure thoughts doesn’t mean ignoring problems. Our thoughts are pure when we see our mates and their bodies as they truly are. They are God’s gift to us. We don’t bash our spouse when we’re talking to friends, and we don’t secretly wish they were someone else.
Thoughts on Marital Sex
Likewise, we keep our thoughts about sex pure. I’m not talking about pure from a staid, inhibited, or ‘sex as duty’ sense. They should be pure in that we savor the fact that the God of the universe smiles when His children “imbibe deeply.”
Song of Songs 2:15 is a strange verse about catching “the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.“ Both counselor and marital researcher Scott Stanley and psychologist John Trent have concluded that these “foxes” are the little things in marriage that, if left unchecked, will eventually undermine the relationship. This is true, just as foxes will destroy a vineyard.
What About These “Little Foxes?”
In marriage, for instance, the little foxes can be mishandled conflict that is allowed to fester. This results in barriers between spouses. And when it comes to the gift of our sexual connection, we must catch and destroy the little foxes that run through our thoughts. They threaten to kill the passion and fun God desires for us.
So what does your mind tend to dwell on when sex is a topic? I’d enjoy having sex with my husband if he were more like Mary’s husband. Or, sex would be better if my wife would just lose a few pounds. Or perhaps you find yourself thinking, I need to come up with a good reason to avoid sex tonight. It may be, I need to figure out how I can talk my frigid mate into having sex tonight.
Catch The Foxes That Threaten Marital Sex
When you allow thoughts that are critical or demeaning, no matter how slight, to fill your head, they will kill your passion. We need to catch those foxes, and get them out of our minds. And then we need to work hard in the vineyard to keep passion blooming.
Other thoughts about our mate and sex, however, need to be dealt with differently. If a husband or a wife is turned off to sexual intimacy due to certain behaviors that can be changed, then those behavior changes need to be dealt with in love. If innuendos or comments, ways of touching or responding, or even elements of hygiene cause you to think negatively about your sexual relationship, then lovingly address those issues. All little foxes need to be chased away through prayer and open, accepting conversation.
These thoughts come from the inspiring book, Sacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage. This book is written by Tim Alan Gardner, and is published by WaterBrook Press. For years, Christians have been told that sex is God’s creation. It is designed as a gift to husbands and wives. Yet few couples know sex as a spiritual, God -ordained experience. Within this book you can learn how to approach marital sex in a way that brings the fulfillment of true oneness. Find out how to experience a beautiful life of intimacy that blesses you far beyond the bedroom walls.
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5 responses to “Thoughts That Threaten Marital Sex”
(S.AFRICA) How is one supposed to re-act when a spouse finally comes home after an affair (deeply emotional and physical) and then says “give me time to get over her”? How does one give sexually under such circumstances knowing that his mind is elsewhere? How long is “time”?
(USA) I can only tell you what I would do. I do not want my truly repentant husband… imagine your circumstances. God bless you Sad. I really do pray all of God’s best for you. I wish I had the answers for you but I can only speak for me and I think each of us is entitled to a man that wants only us.
(USA) Approximately one month ago, I learned that my husband of 25 years had been carrying on a secret life for two years, telling me he was attending photography classes twice per week in the evening. He instead attended BDSM “classes” and photos sessions of naked women. During the BDSM classes, he was “partnered” with a women I learned he had an affair with for 11 months –that is, until I discovered the affair through his text messaging. I learned that he had been having sex with me the same week as we celebrated our 25th anniversary.
I am sexually naive, perhaps, but I did not recognize the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) symbol he placed on his smart phone screen, and he began to wear as a pendant around his neck. These were signs, I learned, of the BDSM community. Even as he claims to want to work on repairing our marriage, he still identifies himself as having “discovered” a part of his “true sexuality” in the BDSM community.
I cannot accept this. I cannot accept the role of this BDSM community and what it stand for in our marriage. I am certain it has led my husband down a path away from me, our marriage, and God. Does anyone on this forum have helpful opinions, info, or advice on the effect of BDSM communities on marriages? Please help.
Anna: I am a single Christian man who has done the BDSM thing and while I am not a sex or marriage counsellor, I have a couple ideas that might help. Let me start by saying that he definitely sinned through adultery. lust, and fornication, and I will not make any attempt to justify what he did. That being said though, the fact is, this “thing” is not just going to go away and that means you will need to respond to this tactfully. Start by understanding that nobody has a legitimate need to commit sin, but your husband does have a legitimate need for sexual stimulation. From his behavior, and you’re admitted sexual naivete, I’m going to jump to the conclusion that this is a massive and overdone attempt at compensation that he is using to fulfill his unmet needs.
I’m going to toss out a couple of ideas that I think will help. First, while I you didn’t state what exactly his paraphilias are, or what fetishes he has, I can say that some (emphasis on the word “some”) BDSM activities are, in fact, compatable with biblical mandates concerning Christian marriage. Not that this information helps you since you are adamantly opposed to anything relating to the idea of BDSM, but let’s think for a moment about this…
You will need some backround information in order for what I’m about to tell you to make sense, and that means you have a reading assignment. The book you need to read has nothing to do with BDSM. In fact, it is about as far removed from any kind of sexuality as one could hope to get. The book is “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. Yes, it’s that famous children’s book and here’s a link to watch a cartoon of it for free on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULDtgnQ0fy4
So, nine minutes have passed and you are now reading this next paragraph. Good, that means you’re still with me here. You’re reaction to BDSM seems like one based on fear, probably because you did a Google search on it and got a bunch of pornographic websites showing extreme acts of BDSM being portrayed. What you need to understand is that while a lot of BDSM really is like that, there is some of it that is not. Some activities are very tame indeed, amounting to nothing more than making love while wearing a blindfold. Yes, that really is a part of BDSM, and yes, God really does want a man and his wife to have mutual sexual fulfillment. In Genesis 26:8 it says “…Abimelech, king of the Phillistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Issac was sporting with Rebekah his wife”. I’m just guessing here, but when the Bible says Issac was “sporting” with his wife, I’m pretty sure that they weren’t playing raquet ball or soccer.
Something to know about BDSM is a thing called “negotiation”. Negotiation is nothing more that talking about an issue and deciding on a course of action that is mutually beneficial. You already do this with your husband outside of the bedroom, now it’s time to bring that into the marriage bed. My counsel is this: ask him about possibly dipping your toe into the shallow end of the BDSM pool with some very light kinds of things that you will feel safe with (excited by, ideally) and that he would find fulfilling too. Negotiate. Anything that is not defiling to either of you and which is within biblical limitations is fair game. BDSM is a very large pool. Stay out of the deep end, and this could become a process of discovery that brings you closer together than before. If he is fixated on extremes that are unacceptable by scriptural standards, this might be just enough to reign him in. I don’t know for sure. These things cannot be predicted, they can only be tried.
My condolences on the fact of his cheating on you. That was cowardly of him. He should have brought this up with you long before he made such a destructive decision. What he did was serious and you have every right to demand a divorce from him. But if you still love him and you want to save the marriage, this is one possible avenue of success for both of you.
I have been married for almost 60 years. My husband is 84 no longer able to perform, but still interested in touching etc. I was sexually abused as a child and never like touching much. Now it seems awful, since no real sex can follow. This is a real problem for us both. Help