This post was written as a Date Night Guide for Church Project’s Valentines Day Date Night on February 13, 2015
Sex in the Garden of Eden…can you imagine?
Adam and Eve were in a lush garden with flowers and vegetation not yet marred by the presence of sin. They likely heard running water in the nearby river and animals were walking around freely. And maybe most significantly, Adam and Eve, “…felt no shame.”
“…and they become one flesh. The man and his wife were naked, and they felt no shame.”
Make no mistake, Adam and Eve had great sex. What was the key ingredient?
Once a Year
We don’t do it often, but we do ask once a year.
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Guest Post: George Booth is a married father of 3 and serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution.
I recently had the privilege of attending a Marriage Vows Renewal Ceremony in Jerusalem, Israel. As we stood on a plaza overlooking this ancient city, the small party of assembled guests were struck by the beauty and simplicity of the occasion as we thanked God for 25 years of His love and faithfulness towards the happier than ever couple.
For this couple, the renewal ceremony had extra poignancy. When they first took their marriage vows, they neither believed in or followed God. But here they were, 25 years later, united in a common bond of love for each other, for Christ and for his church.
But I couldn’t help but ask myself, does a wedding vow ever need renewing?
After being married for just 18 short months, Star and I separated and were in the process of filing for divorce. During this time I was highly encouraged to go to marriage counseling…alone. It didnt make sense to me, but I went anyway. And, I’m thankful I did. I learned God’s blueprint and heart for marriage (and me), and HE changed my life.
During this season, I made it my mission in life to save my marriage. I confessed. I loved. I forgave. I was becoming the husband I never was but now knew God wanted me to be. I knew Star wouldn’t come running right back, but I thought it would just be a matter of time.
Instead, my love was met with Star’s increased rebellion.
I was appalled. I was in shock….
Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution.
It was nearly a decade and a half ago that I read, “Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask about Sex.” But still, Melinda’s story in one of the chapters stuck with me:
Melinda and her husband were understandably discouraged. She’d never been able to experience sexual climax. But she decided that rather than complain, she’d thank God for every little thing when she and her husband made love. Every satisfying kiss, every enjoyable sensation meant she was no longer wondering whether she’d feel something:
It was wonderful because it changed my attitude about lovemaking…[to] “There will be something to thank God for.” Slowly, I began to tune into my sexual feelings. It has been a long process but I have now experienced orgasm. I believe thanking God had a lot to do with it.
Can gratitude really do that?
Even now, this gets me thinking: What else can thankfulness do for Christian sex?
The truth: A lot.
I’m sorry to be offensive, but if you’re a guy reading this there’s a good chance you might be…
I know this because I was clueless, still struggle with being clueless, and see men almost everyday that are clueless about the condition of their marriage.
My wife begged me to go to counseling for almost 12 months before we got separated. She tried to tell me things were bad, but I just didn’t see it. I know we had things to work on, but I had no idea things were as bad as what she said they were.
I’ve since learned that it matters less if my wife’s perception about the condition of our marriage is right or wrong, but rather if and how I respond to her perception.
If her perception is right, I have a problem. If her perception is wrong, I ALSO have a problem. The only wrong way to deal with my wife’s perception is to ignore it.
I want to help you determine and discuss the condition of your marriage with your spouse.
In order to understand how to be a good lover of your spouse, you need to be a good mind reader.
Most people have a fairly decent understanding of what love looks like. In fact, if you ask most people what the Bible has to say about love they can recite some or all of 1 Corinthians 13…
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not….”
And granted, this chapter provides a good summary. But, it isn’t enough to know what love is…
Can I talk out of both sides of my mouth for a second?
In a previous post, I explained how Adam’s aloneness in the Garden reveals that we should view our spouse as God’s property, not our own, to love and sacrificially serve.
And further, we should reject the idea of primarily seeing our spouse as an object to meet our needs because Christ is sufficient to provide us everything we need for this life (2 Peter 1:3).
So, someone could summarize my last post by saying, “God is ALL we need”. And, depending on what they mean by that statement they might be summarizing correctly. But let me clarify…
Is God all we need?
I’ve written a good amount of anniversary and birthday cards over the past 20 years of being married to Star. Don’t tell her, but I have a couple phrases that I’ve used in those cards more than a few times over:
- “I’m so glad I’m married to you”
- “I’d marry you all over again”
- “What we’ve gone through has been worth it to have what we have”
- “I’m a better person because of you”
- “I thank God for you”
And on and on…(I’ll spare you the more intimate ones)
One phrase that I’ve been tempted to include ever since the late 90’s is, “You complete me”. Yes, the famous scene you know so well from Jerry Maguire stuck with me.
As romantic a phrase as this is, and as many people that may well intentionally use it, I’ve chosen not to. Here’s why…