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A Restful Rendezvous

A Restful RendezvousWhen I am stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I have found that being still and resting in God’s presence helps me cope with the demands of marriage, motherhood, and ministry. While I used to be too high-strung to slow down long enough to take these “sanity breaks” or not bother lying down unless I had two hours to nap, I now seize whatever time I can whenever I can. If I have twenty minutes before heading out the door to soccer practice, I let my kids know that I need some “Mommy time.” I close the door, set the timer, lay down on my bed and imagine Jesus holding me, stroking my cheek, even running His fingers through my hair. I often meditate on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” These few minutes can alleviate stress, lift my spirits, adjust my attitude, and give me a second wind to continue going about my busy day. Just knowing that the almighty God sees how hard I am working to maintain a household, raise a family, and run a ministry and sensing His loving encouragement to press on gives me the strength to keep running the race, even when I’m stumbling or feel like quitting.

 

I don’t know about you, but I desperately need that kind of encouragement and affirmation. I used to perform for others to get this need met. I knocked myself out for my boss, going way above and beyond the call of duty, just so I could hear, “You did a great job.” I fixed myself up all the time, dressing to arouse men and hoping to hear, “Don’t you look gorgeous today!” I went out of my way to do things for people just to hear them say, “I appreciate your thoughtfulness.” But when you look to others for your affirmation, you have to find ways to get a fresh supply, which eventually will run you ragged. But I have found that God’s affirmation fills my emotional tank even more than any human’s flattering words will. When I sense the God of the universe saying to me, “I see everything you are doing and your hard work brings me great joy… You are so beautiful to me even when you are sleeping… I see your heart and you are so very special to me,” His sentiments send me reeling further than any man ever could.

 

Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.  

 

Get In The Game

Get In The GameWARNING:  Today’s post is particularly graphic, so use discretion before you go any further.  I’d give it an “NC-17” rating.  Please keep in mind that all of these body parts, activities, and responses are GOD’s creation for His people to enjoy freely within marriage — with no guilt, shame, or inhibition!
 
Remember when you were a hormonal teenage girl, and you’d think to yourself before a date, I’ll only let him get to third base, then I’ll make him stop? Yeah, right.  How many times have women made that promise, only to wake up the next morning wondering where she lost her resolve? 
 
The truth is that a good French kiss (a.k.a. “first base”) can get your sexual juices flowing like Niagra Falls… a little nipple stimulation (“second base”) stimulates a lot more than just your breasts… and letting a man touch your vaginal area (“third base”) is simply opening the door wide to a very good possibility of intercourse (or a “home run”).  Too bad some of us didn’t understand the anatomy of female arousal when we were single.  Perhaps we could have maintained healthier boundaries in our dating relationships.  But all is not lost.  Now that we are married, understanding the “Oh!” behind female sexual arousal can exponentially enhance our sex life and marriage if we are willing to simply take things one base at a time.
 
For example, your husband asks, “Do you want to have sex?”  You check your internal radar and see not even a blip on your sexual screen.  You reply, “No, thanks.”  He goes to bed feeling horny and rejected (not a good combination, ask any man).  You go to bed wondering why his sex drive is so much stronger than yours.  But if you’ll remember the secret of female sexual arousal, you might be happy to get in the game and play at your own pace. 
Here’s how it works.  Instead of replying with a flat-out “no,” just try going to first base.  Tell him, “Nothing’s happening down there yet, but I’ll bet if you start with paying my lips some attention, we might could fix that!”  Feel the warmth of his lips pressing against yours.  Listen to how your breathing patterns change, both of you inhaling and exhaling together, and taking in one another’s intoxicating aroma.  Feel the wetness of his tongue as he explores your lips, then ventures into the crevice of your mouth in search of an identical friend to frolic with.  Remember your courtship days, when you felt as if you could let him kiss you for hours, and the cravings those kisses created to feel his touch up and down your yearning body.     
 
When you are ready to go to second base, take his hands and cup them around your breasts.  Let him caress your soft skin and massage your body.  Soon, his hands will move over and make room for his mouth, as his tongue explorations will move from your lips southward.  Affirm your readiness by running your fingers through his hair, enjoying the view as he bows down to the breast gods.  Feel your nipples become more erect than you thought possible, and allow yourself to relax and delightfully indulge in the pleasure of the moment.
 
Whenever you feel ready, encourage him to go from second base to third, spreading your legs and sending him signals that his wonderful hands are welcome there.  Let him manually, visually, and orally explore your private playground, showing him how you’d like to be touched if necessary.  Don’t feel rushed to reciprocate yet.  Just enjoy the pleasure signals your body is sending your brain right now.  Let this pleasure nourish your spirit and draw the two of you closer emotionally.  Now that you are fully present at third base, home plate doesn’t seem so far away, does it?
 

Before you step outside for some fresh air and a cigarette, here’s the moral to this story:  Don’t make a judgment call on whether you’re ready for a home run before you’ve even experienced first base.   The natural laws of female sexual arousal usually demand that we take things one step at a time, even after we have a wedding band on our finger.  So instead of responding, “No, I’m not in the mood” most of the time as if you are frigid, at least give him a chance to get you in the mood.  Otherwise, you shoot down your chances (and his) of enjoying the sexual intimacy that our minds, bodies, hearts and souls naturally crave.

 

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.