April 22, 2013

{Unconventional} Marriage Secrets Day 8

{Unconventional} Marriage Secret #3: Just Do 'It'

Warning: Mom & Dad--- Feel free to skip this one if you like :)

     Michael and I feel that sex is SOOOO utterly important to marriage. Also, we think sex is so important, we are devoting two out of our  ten secrets to it, today's post as well as tomorrow's.  And ladies, notice how I am saying "we" not just "he."We have continued to mention that we have had struggles and terrible times in our marriage, but somehow, the one thing we have pretty much always managed to keep intact is our intimate life. If you have ever spent any time around us as a couple, you can sense the passion and deep love we have for one another.

     From the very beginning of the Bible, God instructed Adam and Eve to be "fruitful and multiply". He said "two shall become of one flesh" and so God is telling married couples to have sex! So as He is calling me to speak His truth, I am telling you to "do it".

        Sex was made by God and to glorify God. He loves it when you do it with your spouse. He loves it when you do it to serve each other and not to control one another. It helps you connect, it protects your marriage, it relieves stress, it is FUN. Why are we not all having sex all the time?

Plan For It

     Early in our marriage when we were kid free it really seemed like any time and place worked. Right? Even when we just had one kid who slept alone in his crib and spent many weekends away at my parents, we still managed to maintain some spontaneity in our physical life. But the more kids we add and the more activities those kids have, it;s like Farmer in the Dell up in here and we just can't seem to muster up the time or energy to do it. Can I get an Amen?

     I've said before it is often 9 pm before I sit down in the day to unload and decompress. When I walk downstairs after tucking in all the boys- disagreeing on school clothes for Mikey,  reading Clifford's Birthday for the 157th time to Linc, and nursing Knox-- sometimes physical connection is the farthest thing from my mind. I often need to switch over from Mom Becca to Wife Becca. But what happens if I am too tired and never make that switch. Or too hi-strung from the stressors of my day? And then it goes on to the next night? And then the next?

    We can tell when it's been too long because we will both start picking at each other and about silly things. Usually, we are able to identify the problem- lack of sex. So at that point, we make a plan. No distractions, sucker up and just do IT! We no longer live our lives where there are abundant opportunities for sex. As a busy couple, the actual window opportunity is pretty narrow.

      And I will be honest, sometimes I am like "okay, let's go on with it" but sex is like working out. It may take some effort to get your running shoes on and get to the gym, but once you sweat it all out on the treadmill you never regret it right? There has never been a time when afterwards I said to myself "Gosh, I wish I hadn't taken the time to do that." Sex is also a lot like pizza.  Even bad pizza is still delicious. Even bad or quick sex is still sex.

   And on that let's talk about frequency. I am not here to say there is a set amount of times per week or month that we should be consummating as couples. I think that depends on the couple. For some couples 'normal'= weekly. For others it could be daily. I think that it's 'normal' if both spouses desires and needs are being met.

   So I challenge you this--- when was the last time you did IT? If it has been more than a few days, pencil it in, text your husband, add it to your Google calendars and set an alarm reminder on your phone!! Just do IT. It is important. And remember, bad sex is still better than no sex or even bad pizza.

Give It Freely

    So here is where I think ladies struggle more than men. On this specific post I'm not going to go into all the biological details of how women work vs. how men work. But simply put-- women are like crock pots and men are like microwaves. Right? As a whole, women need the mental warm up in order to be physically intimate.  Some women, however, either knowingly or unknowingly, use that 'warm up' time to control and manipulate the situation. They make their men do all sorts of tricks in order just to get a little lovin' time because they think men will often do almost anything for sex.

   Ladies-- nowhere in the Bible does it say "Have sex with your husband if he is nice. Have sex with your husband if he buys you gifts. Have sex with your husband if he does all his chores."
SEX in marriage is not a privilege to be earned. It is just a part of marriage. It is to be given freely. If you are making your husband earn sex then essentially you are engaging in prostitution! Do not make him 'pay' for SEX.  One of my favorite verses is
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

It means exactly what you think it does. It then goes on to say that one is not to deprive the other of sexual relations unless there is consent from both, and even then, only for a short period of time.  Michael and I are huge fans of the controversial marriage book by Mark & Grace Driscoll, Real Marriage. They have some awesome advice on sex for our generation of married couples.

Now, of course there are reasons, logical reasons that difficulties and 'dry' seasons come up in intimacy. Maybe the wife just had a baby and she is feeling exhausted. Maybe the husband is struggling in his business and is feeling insecure about his worth as a man. Maybe there has been some secret sin in the marriage. We will go into depth about these type of things at another time.

Bottom line-------> If you are choosing to be and stay married, you choose to do all parts of marriage, especially sex.

Yeah... what she said. 

I'm a little leery about agreeing to putting all this out there. While all things here need to be said, they are personal. These things are private. There is a much more delicate way to say things. It is certainly possible to be a little more guarded and vague. But could that be a problem in our churches and conversations?

Tomorrow we will get more into some of the conversations we should be having. 

For now let's revisit our earlier post about models. It's possible many people have unrealistic models in our head about what our sex life should be. Herein lies another problem. You shouldn't have an idea or model outside your spouse. Your spouse should be your standard of beauty. You two need to TALK ABOUT YOUR SEX LIFE. Sit down over a cup of coffee or glass of wine and TALK. Talk about what you like and dislike. Talk about what you expect. Be honest about what's in your head and allow the other to feel safe to share with you. 

I have it better than most being married to Becca. She has a really balanced, healthy, and biblical view of sex. She has done a great job going after the women here and calling them out to step up in love and service to their husbands. Men, revisit my comments in this prior post. Think about what your wife wants! 

When was the last time you thought about what she wanted? When was the last time you thought about the tough day she had wiping butts and playing chauffeur to your crazy kids? I've been in sales for 11 years. I've been managing sales people for 6. I've been in charge of training our entire sales staff over a year. Here is the cornerstone of communication in any sales relationship; sell the way your customers want to buy. Sell to your wife the way she wants to buy. This is beyond business. This is how people are wired. They want to matter. They want to feel loved. Use it at home - it works! 

You've heard the golden rule right? What about the platinum rule? Treat others the way they like to be treated. Men, we tend to be selfish. We tend to think with our sex drive. Slowwww down. Think. Think about your wife. You live in your pants, but your wife lives in her head. That's where you have to meet her. You gotta talk, man. Becca said above for women not to use "romance" to manipulate. I'm telling you don't use your privileges as a husband as an excuse to not be romantic. 

Here's a practical tip. Pick a sex night. It can be the same night every week. It can be an alternating night you pick. But pick a night. Husbands, be sure that you are giving her what she needs while you are getting what you need.