Sorry I haven’t blogged over the past week, but last Friday morning I was awakened to the shocking news of my dear friend Ruth’s sudden death, and life spun a little out of control over the days that followed. She was 47, and leaves behind her husband, Kevin, and six beautiful children ranging in ages from 11 to 21. Ruth developed a blood clot in her lungs 5 days after gall bladder surgery. Her family is here with us now, and Kevin gave his blessing for me to blog today about my “sexually confident friend.”
I met Ruth in 1993 when I was a 25 year-old youth pastor and mother of a one-year old. I was in awe of how highly her husband spoke of her, and how she took such loving care of her houseful of children, not to mention how hospitable she was to the teenagers at their church who often dropped in unannounced. She taught me how to overcome much of my pre-company perfectionism and just go with the flow. She taught me how to lift weights properly and make beautiful quilts. But probably the most valuable thing she taught me was how to be a sexually confident wife.
Hopefully, every woman has someone in her life that she can talk openly with about sexual issues. Ruth was that person for me. It’s odd to think that long before I started talking to the whole world about sex, I talked to Ruth, and now she’s gone.
When I was dressing to impress other men, Ruth spoke the truth in love. When I longed to hit the eject button on my marriage and go looking for the perfect lover, Ruth inspired me to create the perfect love — with the man I already had. She’d tell me how she and Kevin could be fussing and fighting all day, but completely put the argument aside when they went to bed. “We can fight tomorrow, but we’re having sex tonight!” was her attitude. Sex wasn’t something she withheld as punishment for bad behavior, or granted as a reward for good behavior. It was her way of connecting intimately with her husband, and she wasn’t going to let petty things cause either of them to miss out on that connection.
In fact, Ruth and Kevin were the first to invite me to speak to their church’s teenagers about abstinence until marriage in 1995. She was also one of the only friends to which I nervously entrusted my first manuscript for critique in 2000. And as they say, the rest is history. With each weekend conference I’ve led and each book released, she’s been one of my biggest cheerleaders.
In honor of my sexually confident friend, I’d like to challenge you to step outside your comfort zone in three ways:
* First, put aside whatever issue is bothering you about your husband today, and connect sexually with him tonight. It would make Ruth proud to know that her memory inspired such intimacy.
* Next, if you don’t have such a trusted confidante who can be a positive influence in your life and marriage, find one. Find a female mentor who will show you by example how to love well, as Ruth showed me.
* Finally, find a younger woman, and model for her what it looks like to be a sexually confident wife. We’re all on this journey called “life” together, and we all need someone to lead us, as well as someone else to lead.
Thank you, Ruth, for loving us all so well and teaching me how to be a Sexually Confident Wife!
Forever grateful for our sweet friendship,