Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality

Blog

The Power of “One Flesh” – Part 1

The power of "One Flesh" Part 1If we’re not careful, we can start believing that God is a supernatural killjoy who wants to rob us of pleasure by limiting our sexual partners. However, the reality is that God wants to enhance our pleasure my limiting our emotional pain. He knows that when two human beings experience sexual intimacy with one another, they form a tight emotional and spiritual bond — a bond that brings excruciating pain when it must be ripped apart.

Marriage is designed such that this painful separation never has to take place. Granted, there are many times when we hurt each other, then we talk it over and walk through the pain together and we heal together and grow together. And throughout this sacred process, sex reinforces our relationship. This kind of sexual intimacy between spouses seeps deep into the fibers of our being, much more so than sex outside of marriage. It’s like the difference between superglue and scotch tape. If our brain is looking for a sense of permanence, safety, and security in order to experience the highest of sexual highs, we need look no further than the person whose head is already on the pillow next to ours.

Seeing our spouse not just as a companion or roommate, but as a sexual soul mate, will require abandoning our “fantasy version” of intimacy and embracing the real deal. Genuine intimacy can best be defined by breaking the word into syllables: in-to-me-see. In other words, “I will let you see into the deepest parts of me without fear or hesitation. I will peer into the deepest parts of you without judgment or condemnation. I will love you as completely and unconditionally as I love myself.”

With this mind-set we can become willing to offer our uninhibited selves completely-looking past pains, warts, scars, blemishes, distorted mental fantasies and all. Don’t feel as if you must get your act completely together before becoming vulnerable in the bedroom. Your spouse needs you now, just as you are, so that they can feel the freedom to be exactly who they are. As Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage, explains:

Continuing to give your body to your spouse even when you believe it constitutes “damaged goods” can be tremendously rewarding spiritually. It engenders humility, service, and an other-centered focus, as well as hammering home a very powerful spiritual principle: Give what you have.” (i)

To be continued…

Reference:

(i) Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, 218.

Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.

 

Love the Skin You’re In!

Love the Skin You're In!On Saturday Night Live, Billy Crystal (mimicking Fernando Lamas) frequently used to say, “It’s not important how you feel, Dahling. It’s how you look, and you look ma-a-a-hvelous!”

But the reverse is far more accurate. What you look like isn’t nearly as important as how you feel about yourself. It’s not your perfectly proportioned assets, but your perfectly confident attitude that floats his boat the most.Granted, if your weight has gotten out of control and you’ve truly let yourself go, you are going to feel much better about yourself after you start to look better. But when you’ve done all you can do toward that end (excluding starving yourself or undergoing plastic surgery), you owe it to yourself to be pleased with your personal best, which is going to look different than someone else’s personal best because we are all unique.

I believe every woman should be able to look into the mirror, appreciate the beauty of what she sees, and be proud to share that precious gift freely with her husband – stretch marks, c-section scars, cellulite, and all.  Let’s take a lesson from Lacey, who emailed:

We’ve been married five years, and my daughter is three.  I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant, which affected my self-esteem.  However, when I’m having sex with my husband, I feel totally uninhibited, and for that little bit of time, I forget how I look or how much I dislike my excess pounds.  When my husband tells me I am beautiful and that he loves me and desires me, I may not always understand why, but I never doubt it.  I can be sexually confident because I am confident in his feelings for me.  I know my husband enjoys sex with me no matter what I look like.  I think you can be a little dissatisfied with your body but still be a very sexually confident wife.

Indeed, you can be a sexually confident wife, regardless of your size or shape!

Excerpted from  The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.