I am writing this as a follow-up of my other article Why sex is for marriage ONLY & 8 benefits of waiting, because I could not read enough life experiences and witness accounts for the purity battle while we were fighting through it. It is one of the hardest battles I believe any person will go through.
Here is some encouragement for those out there: I am nothing but grateful that we fought that hard and succeeded in our battle to save our sex life for marriage, and it was worth every moment of struggle.
Here is why and/or what I have learned about sex within marriage, after saving it for marriage:
a.) Our wedding night was beyond all of my hopes and dreams and expectations. But understand this: we went into the first time with little to no expectation other than to just enjoy each other (I strongly recommend this for reasons c and d). We did just that, and it was amazing. After the bond that was created after 2.5 years of spiritual and emotional bonding, after the healing process I had to go through for my sexual past, after all of the vulnerable moments… we were ready. Ready to learn what God intended sex to be. Here is what I experienced – no shame, no guilt, no insecurity, only excitement, anticipation, love, and peace. That was a huge moment for me, because that was something I had never experienced before. I took so much comfort in knowing that Ethan is my husband, because I knew that I could trust him with my sexuality and that he would not change. I knew he would still strive to love me unconditionally.
b.) Sex is extraordinary, and extraordinarily temporary. I remember my mom suggesting before the honeymoon, “You guys can go for a day trip here, and see the sites there, and yaddah yaddah yaddah…” and I remember thinking, “Woman, we are not leaving our cabin! We’re gonna be too busy having sex! Do you understand how excited we are after all this waiting? Sheesh!!” But guess what – our bodies could only have so much sex. Literally, things stopped working after day 3 and we had to start setting time restraints so that we could let our bodies recuperate adequately enough, because without them we wanted to keep trying. It sounds so funny, but it’s the honest truth!
So during our 8 hours of rest, we were back to our old way of life – just hanging out together, shooting the breeze, making each other laugh, being silly, talking about things that matter to us, bickering from time to time. It was then that I realized that had I been spending that time with anybody but my husband, I would have been disappointed and bored out of my mind. But our relationship was not built on the foundation of sex, it was built on an emotional and spiritual bond. That time that we spent together one-on-one, in nature, without our daughter… was priceless. Sex supplements a relationship – it cannot sustain it or build a relationship past physical gratification.
c.) Keep sex in perspective. Keep reminding yourself what God intended sex to be.
The world has twisted sex into being something other than what it was made to be: something based on performance, physical satisfaction, the need to reach orgasm, and the need for sexual encounters to be wild and exotic. Something purely physical that doesn’t often enter into the realm of emotional or spiritual connection. Something revolving around the selfish desires of the person seeking satisfaction rather than seeking to satisfy the desires of the other.
This worldly vision of sex is something that a couple must fight together. We have to focus on what sex was made to be, not what the world says it should be. God opened my eyes to my own thoughts starting to follow this path about a month into our marriage. I found myself thinking more about performance than connecting with my husband. I thought more about my own satisfaction than showing him how much I love him, and making him feel how much I love him. I was thinking more about my own wants and desires than my husband’s.
God made sex to connect a husband and wife physically. God made sex to make babies. God made sex to be a service to each other, a way of showing physically how much a wife loves her husband or how much a husband loves his wife. It is a humbling experience when you realize that your thoughts have strayed to the selfish end with sex, and it has been so freeing for me since I have redirected my thoughts to purely enjoying my husband and wanting him to feel deeply loved and happy. I will also say that without my selfishness, sex has been far more pleasurable and powerful for me.
d.) Be willing and ready to work at it. It takes trial and error, it takes moments of laughter, it may even be frustrating at times. Nobody can do it flawlessly. Don’t expect that from yourself or your spouse. Just enjoy each other, remember that sex is meant to be a loving act and an act of service to your spouse – it doesn’t always have to produce great or mind-blowing results. As Timothy Keller says in “The Meaning of Marriage”,
“With sex, we were trying to be vulnerable to each other, to give each other the gift of barefaced rejoicing in one another, and to know the pleasure of giving one another pleasure. And as the weeks went by, and then the years, we did it better and better. Yes, it means making love sometimes when one or even both of you are not “in the mood.” But sex in a marriage, done to give joy rather than to impress, can change your mood on the spot. The best sex makes you want to weep tears of joy, not bask in the glow of a good performance.”
e.) You will find your sex life under attack at some point. Sex is an important part of marriage, and marriage is a very sacred thing – of course Satan would attack your sex life. We were certainly under attack within the first month or so. Wounds from my husband’s past and my own mistakes (no matter how small) were stirring up feelings of distrust. Distrust and the vulnerability that comes with sex do not mix. Our sex life suffered from that for a while, and it was extremely scary and disheartening. But after a lot of talks, and a lot of prayer, we are back on track building our relationship emotionally, spiritually, and sexually.
I have read and heard a lot of stories from people who reprimand others for waiting to have sex until marriage because they had an awful experience doing so and it ended their marriage. In most cases, I would be willing to bet that some, if not all, of the following were at play: their expectations of each other were too high (probably brought on by our hyper sexualized culture and/or pornography), they were thinking more of their own satisfaction than their spouse’s, they were seeking to impress rather than connect, their sexual relationship was under serious attack from the enemy.
Push through the attacks, seek God in how to fight for your marriage, and then obey.