Lets talk about sex

Many of you may have heard of the “10 days of sex” challenge that One Flesh Marriage has challenged couples to participate in. They have some wonderful resources about what to do if you are a higher-drive husband whose wife is hesitant to participate, and I think there is some good resources in there for “HD wife” marriages, too. If you are in a refused or sexually-starved marriage, perhaps you could approach these 10 days as days of fasting and prayer over your marriage bed. I would love to believe with you as well that in the next days you might have a breakthrough conversation about sex. Today, I  would like to welcome back my friend Evie Tate. She is going to share a little about how to talk about sex. I am honored to have a “spicy sister” who is willing to let us into her unique experiences and marriage. Welcome, Evie!

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While I don’t agree with the entire philosophy of the Salt ‘N’ Pepa song by the same name as this blog post, a few lines I think are helpful when brought under a Christian understanding of sex:

Let’s talk about sex, baby,
Let’s talk about you and me,
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be,
Let’s talk about sex.

When seen through the lens of a Christian worldview, we can adopt the truth found in those few lines above. In fact, it is vital to adopt the truth found in those lines. It is vital to talk about sex within our own marriages.

However, as I was reading the comments following my post “Heart Attitude,” I began to notice a common theme. It seems that for many couples there is a breakdown when it comes to communicating with one another, especially about sex. Of course, I don’t know each of the marriages represented through reader comments. It is hard to tell if the struggle over talking about sex is in the “talking” arena or in the “about sex” arena. So, I want to share some thoughts in regards to both.

“Talking”

Ladies, can I be honest? We really aren’t that great of listeners, are we? As women, we usually love to gab, often thinking of what we’re going to say next before the person we’re talking with has even had a chance to finish what he’s saying. Am I right? Especially in our marriages, we often fly right past anything our husband shares, simply to share what is on our own hearts.

For many husbands, this communication breakdown may very well be the reason it is almost impossible for a couple to talk about sex. Could it be possible that you don’t actually understand what your husband is sharing about sex? Could it be possible that in communicating about what you want, you’ve actually missed what he was trying to share about where he is? May I also say that it is often (though not always) harder for men to communicate their feelings about things than it is for women. So, could it be that your husband has felt it difficult to really express what is going on with him in a way that you’ll actually understand?

I’d like to challenge you higher-drive wives to sit down with your husband and ask him what he’d like for your sex life to be like. Ask him to be specific. And then I want you to really listen. Take notes if you have to in order to keep yourself from jumping in and cutting him off. Then, please respect what he shares with you. Respect where he is. I don’t know what he’ll share with you, but please treat it with care. If you don’t understand what he’s saying, gently and kindly express that, asking him to share more or asking him what he means. Make an effort to put to action what he shares with you.

I realize that you may have listened with all your heart to your husband or you may have made every effort to honor his design. I understand that some of you have husbands who simply refuse to talk about sex. My hope is that this next section will be helpful for you.

“About Sex”

If the “about sex” part is what is tripping you and your husband up in talking, I’d first encourage you to consider why it is so hard for you, personally, to talk about sex. Ask God to heal places that are broken in you in regards to sexuality. Ask God to heal wrong perceptions of sex and restore you to His perspective of sex.

If it is not difficult for you to talk about sex, but it is difficult for your husband to talk with you about sex, I’d like for you to ask him why it is difficult for him to talk about sex with you. And again, as I said in the above paragraph, really listen. Listen to what he shares with you. If he is comfortable with it, pray that those things will be healed in him and that God will open your marriage to a place of wholeness in regards to sexuality.

If what you uncover in yourself or what your husband shares is more than what either of you can walk through together, may I suggest seeing an *insightful* Christian counselor alone or together? It may be that the wrong perspectives or broken patterns of sexuality are so great in either or both of you, that you’ll need someone else to help you walk through healing in regards to sex. Know that God has a redeemed and whole view of sex that He wants to work out in your marriage.

In Conclusion

My hope is that you will not settle for massive walls in your communication with one another in your marriage. Please do not let the enemy create a wedge between you and your husband over sexuality. Learn to talk about sex with your husband. Pray for Jesus’ power to bring healing and oneness to your marriage. And ask for help if one or both of you cannot walk through healing on your own.

Thanks for sharing these important thoughts, Evie.
What about you, spicy wives? Is your struggle “talking” or “about sex”? Have you had a breakthrough in communicating about sex that you would be willing to share?

Praying for you today, amazing women.

Annabel

P.S. Evie has also written about her heart attitude, the phenomenon (female ejaculation) and living in truth.

Living in Truth

Good Monday ladies! My friend Evie is back again today sharing more of her journey of hope as a higher-drive wife. If you haven’t gotten the chance to know her yet, you can read more of her story here, as well as a little more of her experience with some of the nuts & bolts of sex here. Welcome back, Evie, I always love having you!

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Hi, again! God is growing me in understanding my high drive design and I just want to share with you some of how I am walking in line with who He made me to be. I shared in the post, Heart Attitude, how I had opted to shut down my drive to match my husbands, only to realize that in doing so I was also shutting down my heart. Confessing this was life giving.

Beyond confession, though, I knew that I had to live differently. To only confess would be to simply acknowledge the truth. Repentance was what I need to do and involves not only confession, but turning away from wrong living. In repentance we find true transformation, we find ourselves being made new. This stuff is all over Scripture, and often sounds very theoretical; however, when repentance and transformation are played out in everyday life, we see how practical they really are.

For me, repentance has meant being open with my husband about my desires and my sexual need. It has meant speaking up when I long for pleasure or a physical connection with him. It means living in step with the truth of my design, rather than shutting down my design and ultimately living a lie. It may not sound like I am “living a lie,” but when my husband asks, “Is there anything I can do for you?” And I say, “No, I’m happy,” but all the while I am aching for him to be intimate with me, that is living a lie.

So, I’ve stepped out there a bit more. I’ve asked for sex. I’ve asked if we could just play around a bit. It has been so good for me and for my heart.

The catch, though, is that I have to respect his response when he shares that he is happy to make me feel good, but does not feel up to getting anywhere himself. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that he may not be where I am in regards to desire. I often feel like I am self-centered or wrong if I don’t also cause him to “get there.” But the truth is that my pushing for that goal is actually more self- centered than just letting him please me, if that’s what he truly wants. To not allow him that freedom would make him less and less willing to make me happy if he felt pressure to always “get somewhere” himself. So, while I am learning to speak up and share my desires, I also have to balance that with a respect for him to be exactly where he is…allowing him freedom to not feel what I feel.

For the most part, my speaking up, my being free in my design has gone well. I run the risk of rejection every time; however, that is worth it and has been minimal in happening at this point. And often when rejection does happen, it is simply a result of my husband feeling pressure to “get somewhere” himself. The more I free him up to simply please me and be where he is (whether or not it’s the same as where I am), the more he is willing to engage me sexually, knowing he doesn’t have to get anywhere himself.

I share this part of my story, because, like you, I am learning slowly how to embrace my high drive design. I am learning how to walk in line with truth, not living a lie. I am learning how to share that with my husband in a safe and loving way, where he also is freed to live in line with the truth of his design. This transformation in our marriage is being worked out, so I share it with you, in hopes that you, too, will continue to pursue places of transformation in your own marriage.

Thanks for sharing Evie. What about you, friends? Are you learning to embrace your higher drive?

Praying for you ladies this week. I have a lot on my heart to share – still working on that post about seducing your lower-drive husband and hoping to have it up this week. Can’t wait to hear from you on that one too! Please keep me in prayer as I work on it & try to get it done – I need His words, not mine.

Annabel

The phenomenon

Good morning ladies! I wanted to welcome back Evie, who guest posted about embracing her higher-drive design a few weeks ago. Today she is here sharing her experience with the mysterious and wonderful phenomenon of female ejaculation. If you have experienced this, know that you are not alone! Evie and her husband have been married about three and a half years, and have two little boys. Welcome to this space once again, Evie. 

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The first timed it happened, I was surprised. So was my husband. As it happened more and more, I wasn’t even sure what “it” was. I, honestly, was a little embarrassed by it. I had never read anything about this in any of the sex books I had read. Thankfully, my husband thought “it” was pretty awesome, so that helped me not worry about “it” so much.

As time passed, “it” happened fairly consistently whenever I would orgasm. It had gone from just a little in the early days to a fairly large production as time progressed. I found out later this phenomenon that was happening to me was called, “female ejaculation.” What I also learned was that it was not scientifically proven and sometimes considered a myth. One Christian marriage book I read clearly stated that female ejaculation did not exist. I even asked a trusted friend about “it,” who also mentioned that she had always just thought it was a myth.

For a while these words “myth” and “does not exist” were discouraging and almost shameful. There was clearly something that was happening to me; however, I could not find any concrete information that could conclusively verify what was happening to me. This phenomenon continued (and continues) to happen throughout my sexual encounters with my husband. To us, “it” was often a marker of how amazing my experience was, how connected to my husband I truly felt.

As time has passed, I’ve continued to read and research this phenomenon to better understand what is happening with me because in my experience “it” is very real. What I have learned is that female ejaculation is simply excess vaginal fluid being squeezed out during or before an orgasm. The fluid is not seminal fluid (like in male ejaculation) nor is it urine. Female ejaculation is not scientifically proven. “Its” existence is widely debated. That is the summary of  what I have been able to gather thus far.

While the thought of female ejaculation may be shocking to some of you, my purpose for sharing about this is not for shock value. Nor do I share about “it” as an experiment in being crass. Rather, because I so desired to have affirmation that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this phenomena, I am sharing my experience with you. My hope is that if this is your experience, too, you will know you are not alone and that what you are experiencing is nothing about which to be embarrassed. Rather, what you are experiencing is an exciting facet of who you are sexually.

I have learned to embrace the reality of this phenomenon in my own sexual experience. I have learned to not be ashamed or embarrassed of it, but to own it as my own design. My husband has been a voice of encouragement, feeling proud of what he can “do” to me. I have learned to enjoy and even celebrate this aspect of my own sexual design. May you also embrace and celebrate your unique sexual design!

What about you, friends? Are you embracing your sexual design? Have you experienced this phenomenon or any other that has left you wondering? Rejoice today in how God made you!

I love you ladies,
Annabel

P.S. “J” over at Hot, Holy, & Humorous recently posted about this same phenomenon, and you can read about it here

A story of hope, Pt. II

O my goodness, ladies. I am SO EXCITED to finally be sharing a story with you that has touched my heart so much. Please welcome Joan, a higher-drive wife and amazing woman who has been married for over 35 years. As she so eloquently states, she is “spice” and her husband is “love”. She is bravely and faithfully sharing her story, and in doing so she is truly embracing the Godly model for older women found in Titus 2. Her story brought me to tears and gave me hope and strength for my own journey. I pray it will do so for you, too.

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This story is told in two parts. So go ahead and get caught up on Joan’s early years of marriage, her journey through children, menopause and cancer here.

Phase 4- Aging and Finally “Getting It”
With health, gratefulness, menopause, and cancer treatment behind me I now had to deal with a new foe- aging. It was a monster of monumental menace. Hubby didn’t get it, for in a sense he had been dealing with this for years. He was only 5 years older than me, but due to his health struggles, felt old before 60. I was approaching that magical number, and was not at all amenable to the reality. However, in another sense, life was better. I had learned not feel rejected anymore. Had gratefulness worked this? Well, what gratefulness began had been taken over by numbness. I liked not hurting. I liked not ever thinking about sex — at all. If he wanted it that was fine. I just did whatever I needed to in order to be as pleasant as possible, meet his needs, and belie my detachment. The home was pleasant. I never wondered if my refusal to accept aging could be connected to the sexual blahs. Instead of thinking about how I wanted to make love to my husband as I used to, I would now spend hours hating growing old. What to do about these wrinkles? What to do about osteopenia? How could the mirror be so mean? Is this really happening to me?? So did my gratefulness have a shelf life? Where was it now?

So I would get out my many books on the sex topic; but even while reading them a nagging conviction would always be on my shoulder. At his core he likes you better detached. Look how pleasant your home is! There is something unattractive about wanting him. This tape of self-protection played in my head often. So, it was obvious I didn’t miss emotional closeness enough to risk being turned down again. Another troubling pattern invaded the bedroom during this time. When I would least expect it, there were those pesky “sneaky” tears. Yes, all he needed to do was touch me tenderly in bed and they would start out of the blue, causing us both much annoyance. In my late 50’s sex was often interrupted this way. Getting the mood back was a tough proposition, and sometimes impossible.

The information gleaned from the books then began to take shape in my mind. Sexuality is intermingled with a person’s sense of identity. If we believe we are unlovely, unworthy, or unacceptable to ourselves, we will not feel sexual freedom toward our mate. Acceptance of self is inextricably attached to proper sexual function. So there was reason for my numbness and dysfunction in light of the aging issue. (I think this numbness is very common among women who struggle against aging.) Still, with raising a family behind me,  I vaguely hoped that one day, even with all my wrinkles, I would fall madly in love with hubby again… and we would be off and running around the world in our sneakers. As for his part, he grew in sacrificial love for me every day. Telling me he saw me as the same girl he married over 30 years ago didn’t seem to fix me.

But God started to show me through prayer that all the things I feared before the post-cancer changes were happening anyway. Though sex was happening, and it was okay sex, heartwarming romance was elusive, scrapping and nitpicking too easy. Life was slipping away at lightning speed, and peace without purpose wasn’t that great. Had I traded real living with all its delight (though risk of pain) for safety in loneliness? Was the problem really sex? Or was my refusal to be vulnerable the problem– costing more than I could afford to pay?
To be willing, even willing to be willing, to move ahead in forgiving fully, was even more terrifying than embarking on general gratefulness. To open myself up was not going to be easy. It seemed God was giving me the C.S. Lewis’ Dawntreader  Eustice treatment. The child was in the dragon’s body, but since selfishness had deformed him, God had to peel the dragon away, painful layer by painful layer, to reveal the boy again. So after our nest emptied, the two perimenopause babies gone, I swallowed hard and made a decision. I decided to embrace inevitable pain for the joy made possible by vulnerability.

Then I discovered something unexpected and disturbing. My libido couldn’t be easily called back. No snapping of the fingers and I would want him again. I could still function sexually. But cutting off vulnerability had created a worse monster than I would have ever guessed. Thirty years ago who would have thought that when my husband poured out his love for me creatively, sweetly, waxing warm and engaging sexually, my heart would be stuck, like stone, continuing cold, unforgiveness having bored a deep groove in my heart? Unthinkable. I had the man I wanted at long last. Now, a battle for my soul raged. Though I knew through salvation I belonged to the Father, there was something vitally important that needed to be fixed. Or we were in big trouble. But, amazingly, “The Fight” was no longer with hubby on any level! It was now completely my own fight. This was a huge step in the right direction.

So it really wasn’t about the sex — that it was supposed to be better- for me or for him. That I was supposed to be happy with less. Or him be happy with more. It was that God required my heart to be soft. And that my soft heart was most obviously revealed by my openness to all the fullness of sex with my husband. Nothing less would do. Relinquishing the frequency of sex into God’s hands would be part of this process. With this tall order, my life began to be a daily quest.
How does one change- or rediscover- one’s emotions? The scripture showed me in Romans 12:1-2. And in Romans 5,6, and 7– that I had to change my thinking. I had to go through a similar process I did after cancer, only with the focus on going further this time. The focus of going on to marital Joy. God is in the business of changing emotions. It just isn’t a quick thing. It takes our hard work, but it is ultimately God’s work. Forgiveness does have to make sense if we are going to do it. Though not in our emotions, in our minds- regarding our own issues. Risking pain has to make sense, though not in my emotions. No one likes emotional pain or even the thought of it. But the risk has to make sense in my mind, regarding my issues. And only God can do that work. When forgiveness is fully real, I will be fully vulnerable. And when I am fully vulnerable I will be experiencing sex as it is meant to be.

Slowly, slowly, I am digging myself out of the hole of selfishness and unforgiveness.  My relationship with my husband is being transformed into a thing of beauty if I will only stay the course. God is “building my house”.

Joan

I hope & pray that you ladies have all enjoyed Joan’s story as much as I have. I pray today that it speaks into your heart, and that the Lord uses it to reveal to all of us where we are walking in deception, unkindness, self-centerdness, or unloving ways. May His grace abound to each one of our lives. May we each be able to say that God is building our house.

Annabel

A story of hope, Pt. I

O my goodness, ladies. I am SO EXCITED to finally be sharing a story with you that has touched my heart so much. Please welcome Joan, a higher-drive wife and amazing woman who has been married for over 35 years. As she so eloquently states, she is “spice” and her husband is “love”. She is bravely and faithfully sharing her story, and in doing so she is truly embracing the Godly model for older women found in Titus 2. Her story brought me to tears and gave me hope and strength for my own journey. I pray it will do so for you, too. Joan’s story will be shared in two parts, today & on Friday. So be sure to come back and hear the rest of what she had to say.

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We have been married 36 years and have 4 grown children and 8 grandchildren. I am “spice” and my husband is “love”. When I barely knew how to love he has always loved me and been consistently faithful. Although he has largely operated out of shame and remorse due to his rebellion and involvement in the drug culture of the 70’s, I see freshly every day how blessed I am to have this “new creature in Christ”- a truly godly man. And that it was sin (pride) in me which shaped much of my reaction to the issues of sex in our marriage. God is showing me that my response is my responsibility. That He is a good God, and a Sovereign one. That nothing of our journey here on earth, when offered to Him, is wasted.
We aren’t really sure if I was always the higher drive partner, but we agree that his difficulty with  my needs as a “physical touch” (love language), wreaked havoc in our relationship. We also agree that God used the resulting excruciating pain to make us more like Jesus.
So, my hubby is not averse to my sharing our story- but it is difficult for him because I think most men with seemingly high drive wives can often feel like a failure, not wholly normal. Mine did.
This is my story so far, divided into phases.

Phase 1– The First 10 Years– Beginning of “The Fight”
My father emotionally rejected my mother, and not surprisingly I entered marriage with much ambivalence and fear. My being a Christian and virgin juxtaposed greatly to my husband’s new faith in Christ and his promiscuous past (including a brief, failed marriage). Yet, during that first year, with understandable difficulty trying to figure things out sexually, I was shocked that he only wanted sex about once a week. There were short periods of daily sex, but between those I would inwardly panic- unable to express my feelings of rejection, inadvertently going silent and “tugging at him” at the same time. In those early days he admitted that he had been taught to fear, as many men do, being controlled by a wife, and also that “aggressive girls” were not “good girls.” That this crazy thought was even in his head devastated me!
Then in answer to my desperate prayer during our 2nd year, he made a concerted effort to switch gears, learned how to meet my needs, making sure I was getting all I could out of our times together. Soon our first two children arrived close behind each other and, boom, I was again bombarded with fear. Surely babies would banish our new-found sex life. I was busy and happy being a mom. Why would the suspense of wondering when he would want me again set up a crazy cycle? I was insecure. However, even though his stability and love kept us afloat, by our 10th year his work was demanding- and sex was sporadic. He was puzzled by my unhappiness and confusion. What had I missed learning about sex? While people thought we were the cutest family, secretly I wondered what was wrong with me. Or, what was wrong with him? Was this a  frequency problem? Or was it my response to irrational fear? “The Fight” was on, even though we didn’t call it that– yet.

Phase 2- The 2nd Decade –Crazy Cycle
During this phase my husband developed a myriad of physical issues and mild depression. All this was understandable, given his self-abusive past, yet every time back injury or pain  robbed his interest in sex, I thought he was rejecting me. So a pattern settled in – emotional closeness followed by a physical ailment or emotional/sexual withdrawal. At year 14 and 15 two more babies arrived. My libido dropped while they were toddlers, and fortunately my husband missed the closeness of being connected sexually. He was concerned when I didn’t have a sex drive- and was willing to work at it. But by now I was conflicted. Should I go for the closeness of sexual intimacy, only to be rejected and frustrated? Or should I not want it and operate emotionally detached? I hated the feeling of detachment and I longed for closeness. So even when I did detach, I resented his lapses. These cycles were driving me crazy.

Phase 3- Menopause and Cancer– “Logs” Revealed
At the onset of perimenopause (around age 45) I suddenly got a surge of libido again. It was as if I were a newlywed- only much free-er. I felt I must get better at sex, therefore needed practice. Second, I believed I deserved lots of sex because I had saved myself until my mid-twenties. It was an entitlement mentality brought on by a fresh influx of new fear. This time it was the fear that life was slipping through my fingers–our eldest daughter was getting married! But now my husband was used to sex about once a week, and didn’t respond to my rejuvenated needs. Nearing 50, he thought I was being ridiculous, patently telling me I was “demanding.” Heading into menopause, feeling as though I was finally getting “good” at sex, enjoying it with more abandon, it was utter torment to be rejected– worse than ever before. I was now more able to pour out my heart to him, expressing the deep yearning I had for him, and when he didn’t respond, devastated, not being able to sleep, I often roamed the house at night. “The Fight” was no longer the elephant in the room. It was identified by both of us as the intruder who wouldn’t leave.
Where was God now? I blamed Him- I blamed both of them. I began to see that my relationship to the Lord was under its most rigorous attack or test. Would I trust God with my life, my needs? My husband was a good provider, a good father, and a good friend. Of course he had faults. But by any normal standards I knew he also would be considered a good lover. I just couldn’t see then that this whole mess sprang from me being “all about me.” I had made an idol of my needs at his expense. Sex and romance had actually been idols from before we were married. Mired in grief I thought the flow of tears would never end and I’d be carried to the morgue from a puddle one day. I was actually becoming engulfed by blackness— bitterness. During this time we sought counseling, never quite able to resolve our confusion in this “fight.”
When breast cancer arrived, we were totally unprepared. Yet hubby sprang into action, working diligently to care for me, selflessly thinking the sex issue could be revisited later. Really mature thinking. But for me, it was so much deeper. Through the surgeries and treatments we continued to have sex occasionally because I insisted on it– supposedly for him. Ironically, I cried after each time. I couldn’t explain my complicated emotions about sex while sick. Then in the middle of cancer treatment, God did begin an amazing work. Through a counselor, He opened my eyes to the log in them. This man told me I wouldn’t get well unless I changed my thinking about my problems. (I had secretly asked God why He would heal me….for this husband? Why? That’s how serious my bitterness had become!) I asked God to remove the huge log to see the gift of tremendous moral support my husband had given– more support than any woman could hope for.

Thus I began to dig out of the darkness. Even though I still couldn’t grasp how my sexual needs had to be placed on the altar, I willed to become grateful for the man God gave me, grateful for all the good things I did have! More than could ever be listed. And I did get well. Our home became more enjoyable. Nonetheless, besides the physical aftermath of breast cancer, I came out on the other side with “heart” scars.

Please come back on Friday to hear the conclusion of this incredible story. Joan shares how God is dealing with her heart scars, the challenges brought about by aging, and how she is walking in the light with her marriage & marriage bed.

I love each of you ladies, and I hope and pray that this story impacts your heart as much as it has mine.

Annabel

Heart Attitude

Amazing women, today I am humbled and honored to have Evie, another higher-drive wife sharing some of her own story with us. It is so exciting to me to get other “spicy” wives involved in the community here! I will let her introduce herself to you.

Hi, I am Evie.  Learning about this blog has been a source of renewal for me!  My husband and I have been married for about three and a half years, and we have two little boys (2 1/2 and 1 years old).  Even with those two pregnancies and new babies during our short marriage, I still have consistently been the spouse with the higher desire for sex.  This blog has served as an encouragement for me to embrace my design as a “higher drive” wife.

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My heart attitude has been so wrong lately regarding sex. You see it’s been apparent since early on in our short three year marriage that I consistently want sex more frequently than my husband. This hasn’t seemed like such a big deal until lately.

While we were on a weekend getaway a few months ago, I (again) consistently wanted more sex than my husband did. Because we are best friends who talk about everything, this stronger longing of mine came up in conversation that weekend. This was one of those super-honest-be-very-still-and-listen conversations.

As we talked, I was able to share that sometimes I felt like he was hesitant toward sex with me. He was able to share that his only hesitation is in regards to himself. He was able to share that he is more than happy to give me pleasure and satisfy my longings, but that occasionally he hesitated because simply because he felt as though he had to muster up a similar level of passion and desire that I was feeling. He shared that he does not always feel the same level of desire or need for sex that I do. I assured him that he does not have to feel what I feel. I told him it would be just fine for him to bring me pleasure without also having to “get there” himself. He told me how much he appreciated that release and also reassured me that he’d love to “make me happy” whenever I wanted sexual connection, release, or satisfaction. We both acknowledged the fact that I have a higher desire for sex than he…and that this reality is okay.

That was a very helpful conversation. We had a plan. It was good. I am grateful to have a husband who is more than happy to satisfy my higher desire.

The problem, though, was that very soon after, I quite internally began to live very differently than our conversation would suggest. Almost subconsciously, I decided to just not ask for sex or sexual satisfaction unless my husband initiated. I began to shut down the part of my heart that longed for sexual connection with my husband. This shutting down coupled with a few very stressful life circumstances led me to a season of being almost completely uninterested in sex.

Being uninterested in sex is not a good thing for me. It marks a shutting down of my heart. I did not even realize I was doing this until I started reading this blog. As I read this blog, I found my heart leaping with life again. I am a “higher drive” wife. That is part of who I am. To shut down that part of my heart, to ignore my “higher drive” reality, is to ignore the very design of who I was created to be.

As I continued reading this blog, I knew I had to take some time to recognize some very broken patterns in my heart. By shutting down my desire, waiting for my husband to long for sex with me was to deny my design. I had been living less than how I was created to live. This “living less” was no one else’s fault but my own.

I confessed this to God, asking Him to show me how to live more in line with how He designed me. I recognized that my high drive was not an accident but was divinely orchestrated. I knew I also had to share with my husband what I had been doing.

In sharing with my husband that I had been shutting down sexually, he affirmed that I was living in opposition to the way I designed. He assured me that what I had been doing was not a good thing to do…that just waiting for him to come to me was not good for either of us. He shared (again) how much he wants to please me sexually. He affirmed that he is completely okay with (and enjoys) my high drive design.

He explained that just as he was designed with a high need for emotional/relational connection, I am designed with a high need for sexual connection. He likened what I had been doing by waiting for him to come to me for sex to if he were to just wait to talk to me until I needed to talk to him. This example was so clear. My need to connect through talking is much less than his and if he waited for me to come to him for relational connection, he’d often be left feeling disconnected and unfulfilled. Likewise, by my waiting for him to come to me for sexual connection, I was often feeling disconnected and unfulfilled.

Moving forward from here, I honestly feel somewhat nervous. I so want to embrace my design as a “higher drive” wife; however, I am almost afraid of that design. I know that I was designed as “higher drive” wife, and I so appreciate being able to walk alongside you ladies on this journey to understand how to fully embrace this “higher drive” design.

So what about you, dear friends? Do you struggle to embrace your design? I would love to hear from you!

Radical Love

Today I am really excited to have Elizabeth Spence guest blogging with me! I really love Elizabeth’s heart on marriage, and you can check out wonderful writing by her and other amazing wives at her blog, The Warrior Wives.
Ps. Don’t worry – my last post on the theology of sex will be here on Wednesday.

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The ring was on my finger.  Wedding plans were under way.  My love for my fiance was exciting and I frequently dreamed about the day when we would be officially Mr and Mrs Dave Spence.  Together, we were working through the prerequisite premarital counseling required by our church before we could be married, counseling designed to help us work out important issues prior to entering into the marriage covenant.  Finances, housework, communication, sex…we talked about it all.  At the time, I remember vaguely thinking that marriage might be hard sometimes, but in my blushing bride naivety, I thought, “Well, we’ll just talk about it and then it will be fine.”  I knew of lots of good marriage books and had heard of some good marriage conferences.   I thought we had the perfect recipe for marital success.

If you’ve been married for longer than a day, you know how that turned out.

Although marriage can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life, it can also be one of the hardest.  And it doesn’t just take reading a few marriage books or attending a few marriage conferences or having a few really solid conversations about issues.  No, if a marriage is going to be successful, it’s going to take some seriously radical living.

Being radical is all the rage within the Christian community right now.  Authors like Francis Chan and David Platt are challenging the status quo within the church and inspiring many people to truly imitate Christ and fulfill his call to make disciples of all nations.  One of the most controversial statements that Francis Chan makes in his book Crazy Love is this: “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven (p.83-84).”  In other words, the only way to live the Christian life is to live completely sold out for Christ, no matter how radical this looks to the rest of the world.

Marriage shouldn’t be any different.  To put a spin on what Chan says, there should be no such thing as a lukewarm spouse or lukewarm love.  We are called to love radically, even in our marriage.  Christ is calling us to love even when we don’t feel loved. To love even when we aren’t being treated well. To give up our rights, the things we think we have deserved.  To see our husband’s desires and preferences as more important than our own.  To seek to serve and understand and appreciate and honor even when we find ourselves in a marriage that doesn’t measure up to our expectations.

I think that far too many of us wives have bought into worldly wisdom that prompts us to tell ourselves that we deserve to be happy, that we should stand up for ourselves, that our desires and needs are more important than our spouses, that we’ll only be kind to him if he’s kind to us first. I think Jesus would call us to task for thinking that way.

Am I preaching to you because I’ve arrived?  Nope.  I’ve only been married for a little over nine years, and so far 2 1/2 years of those nine years were fairly miserable.  I really wasn’t sure we were going to make it, especially when 18 months into our marriage, my husband informed me that he was unhappy and was leaving.  He didn’t.  God had an awesome transformation in store for us.  But you know what I know from here on the other side?  It takes a huge amount of work.  It takes enormous self-sacrifice.  It takes more guts than you think you have to push through the struggles.  It takes humility and compassion that can only come directly from our source of strength – God.

A godly marriage will require a fight, a fight for which you will need to take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph 6:12-13).   Yes, it is hard.  But God is faithful and will give you the strength and even the motivation to serve your husband radically.  With His help, you can do it.  You can be a warrior wife.