We wrap up this blog series we’ve been in this week, talking about how easy it is to be on different pages in marriage. If you want to check out the other two posts you can here:
One of the most difficult areas of marriage is the area of sex. Not many of us are prepared for the sexual complexity in marriage. I know we weren’t. For the first ten years of our marriage, this area cause more arguments, created more resentment and put us on different pages more than any other area. We just didn’t get each other.
There has been a lot written about sex and by no means do we hope to solve every problem with this post. But I (Justin) want to share with you a few principles that will move you closer to one another (pun intended) in this area of your marriage. These are the starting point.
1. Spend time together
Sex is more than a physical act. God created it to be an overflow of the intimacy that we experience in marriage. Intimacy means “to be fully known”. The more we are fully known the more we have a desire to experience sexual intimacy. Guys have that desire all the time…but for women, sexual intimacy is most often given as an overflow of relational intimacy. You can’t experience relational intimacy without spending time together. If the most you talk is over text message or during commercials of your favorite show, the sexual temperature of your marriage will never rise.
2. Pray together
There is nothing more intimate than praying with your spouse. In prayer, we say to God things that we don’t say to anyone else. We share our heart, our fears, our anxieties, our hopes our dreams. We pour ourselves out. To experience that with our spouse invites God into the most important human relationship we have…our marriage. I guarantee you that praying together help move you and your spouse on the same page.
3. Don’t manipulate to get it
When we manipulate to get anything we cheapen it. For guys, this is one of our biggest mistakes. When I am trying to manipulate to get Trish to be intimate with me, it is more about me than it is about our marriage. It communicates a lack of value and a vacuum of intimacy. Over the last seven years, this has been something I’ve had to be aware of an work on.
4. Don’t use it as a weapon or punishment
We had a saying in our marriage for the first ten years: “You’re on shut-down.” When I would make Trish angry or we were in a fight, she would use sex (or the lack of) to get back at me. There is nothing that will put you on a different page with your spouse faster than using something God has given as a gift as a method of revenge or punishment. Guard your heart agains this.