Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality

Blog

Getting on the Same Page Sexually – Part 1

Getting on the Same Page Sexually - Part 1“I just want to feel connected to my husband!” Gina cried in my coaching office.

The next day I met with both Gina and her husband.  Upon digging a little deeper, I learned that Connor felt the same way.  He wanted to connect more often with his wife too, and was quite frustrated that he kept trying and trying to do just that, only to be rejected by her. So how is it possible for a couple to want the exact same thing, yet both of them feel so unsuccessful in that endeavor?

First I asked Gina to define the word connection.  “I want to feel close to him.  I want us to talk more.  I want us to pray together more.  I want to feel as if we’re best friends,” she replied.

Then I asked her what she thought Connor’s definition of connection might be.  After a long pause, it was like a light bulb went off in her brain, and she boldly declared, “Sex!”

Connor shook his head up and down frantically like a baby kangaroo with A.D.D. on a sugar high after a birthday party.

He was saying, “I’d feel more emotionally connected to you if you were more willing to connect physically with me!”

She was saying, “I’d feel more physically connected to you if you were more emotionally connected with me!”

Another couple, Kim and Rick, say it took several years after having kids to work through their different ideas of sex and love.  Kim explained, “I felt tired and worn out after spending the day taking care of little kids and nursing a baby.  Thelast thing I wanted was sex!”  As a result, Rick grew distant because he felt like his wife didn’t want him.  Neither of them knew how to verbalize their feelings to each other without sounding selfish, but after a few months of only being intimate every couple of weeks, Rick spoke up.

“I just don’t feel connected to you, Kim.  I know you are tired but I need you to save enough energy for me.  Sex is what makes me feel connected to you.”

Kim says she was very frustrated at his comment because it seemed to require that she add to her ever-growing to-do list.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to feel connected to my husband.  I just had nothing left to give physically.  But he just couldn’t understand how having sex felt like something I had to do, not really something I longed to do.”

It’s bewildering how a husband and wife can have the exact same goal, but a different strategy entirely.  So how did husbands and wives get such different ideas about sex and love?

(to be continued…)

by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.

 

Keeping the Main Thing the “Main Thing”

Keeping the Main Thing the -Main Thing-Do you recall what Jesus said is by far the most important thing in life?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

This verse doesn’t say that Jesus wants us to love the Lord with whatever is left of our heart, soul, and mind. Nor does it say that God should consume our every thought every minute of the day. Most of us can’t sit around all day and meditate on God. He knows you have a life. He’s the one who gave it to you, and He wants you to be a good steward over your marriage relationship, your children’s education, your career, your household responsibilities, your church and social commitments, and so on.

According to this verse, Jesus wants us to love God more than any of the other things that demand our time and attention. We are to love God above anything else in this world, with as much strength and passion as each of us possibly can. We demonstrate this love for God by focusing our thoughts and energies on those things He’s prepared for us to do and that are also pleasing to Him. God wants us to do just as Paul encouraged the people of Philippi to do:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

To show you how this works, I’ll tell you about a typical day in my life when I’m able to keep my focus on godly things. I usually wake up with a worship song rolling around in my head, and I’ll more than likely hum a few bars or even bellow it out in the shower. As I prepare for the day, I try to look my best to give a positive impression to the people I will encounter. As I make breakfast, get the kids ready for school, make a grocery list, fill the car up with gas, and drop bills by the post office, I am serving my family. As I go about my work responsibilities, I do it for the sake of advancing God’s kingdom. As I send a note to a hurting coworker, forward a funny e-mail to my friend, call to check on my neighbor, I do it to build and maintain healthy and positive relationships.

All of these thoughts and actions are acts of responsible stewardship. I do them out of appreciation for the family and friends that God has given me. Is God my one and only constant thought through out the day? No. But even as I think on the various other things that demand my attention, am I loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind? Absolutely. When we demonstrate responsible stewardship of the life He has given us, our lives offer proof of our love.

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.