Lost in Eden: Reviving Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Christa Hardin, MA
Does your sex life need a recharge?
If so, read your Bible.
While, I am joking a bit, it’s actually true.
When God created male and female, He also made space for them to have intimacy, calling them to be fruitful. In Song of Songs, we read about about the sensual and fragrant metaphors of grapes, cedars, apples and myrrh as healthy sexuality is described between two lovers.
In the Bible, along with information about every other marital need, God has given us a framework for purity versus Playboy-style sexuality in this fascinating imagery. Unfortunately, as you well know, somewhere along the way to now, perfect intimacy is obsolete, and it’s earliest echoes are from times lost in once-perfect Eden.
So going back to the beginning as best as we can, let’s look at a few things God says about sexuality and healthy touch. God gave males a seed, or sperm, to put into a woman and God created that to be a fulfilling and especial, fruitful time.
It is a pleasurable time created for a couple to enjoy as well as a time to make future generations. Other brief biblical references are in Proverbs 5:16-18 where a man is chided for having sex with strangers and recommended to enjoy only the wife of his youth. It’s clear that God wants a couples to have a healthy sex life, just as it once flourished in the Garden of Eden when a husband and wife were free to roam and be together whenever they desired.
In order however, to tend to this lush sexual garden well as married couples of today, let’s spend some time thinking about what a precious and well-tended intimate garden looks like.
In a garden, we see is variety – it isn’t always the same, right? A healthy couple isn’t afraid to enjoy variety and different ways of experiencing one another sexually as they become more and more intimate and safe, such as varying positions, touches, times of day or places.
There are also different seasons in a garden, which definitely occurs in sexuality, considering some couples want more or less intimacy than others and some couples have troubles of infertility, vaginismus, sexual dysfunction, issues from medications, more or less hormones at varying times, illness, age, childbirth, menstrual cycle, emotional issues, and fatigue to boot with many these different seasons.
There are many ways we can tend to our marital “garden” sexually so we can thrive. Some couples need extra space and time to process after a sexual moment together while others need more foreplay.
More often than not a couple isn’t perfectly balanced in their individual desires so it’s important to talk about it. Don’t get angry if your spouse wants to talk about it at an agreed-upon time. Take a deep breath and leave the embarrassment to the middle schoolers learning about it and certainly not the marital bedroom.
Unlike the typical middle-school human sexuality talk, which is intentionally framed with very carefully and guarded dialogue, you can and should talk openly and freely with your spouse. For the sake of ease, here are some grounds rules to help it go really well.
Find out when your spouse feels comfortable talking about it. Some spouses don’t want to talk right before or right after sex whereas others feel that is the very best time.
Some would rather talk about it on another day completely, or even while the wife is menstruating so they have something to think about for a little while before trying anything different, whereas others could talk about it any time as well as feel comfortable engaging in sex of all kinds even during the female cycle. There is no end to couples preference in this area.
Here are some ideas for your talk with one another and questions for one another:
When can I safely tell you about my ideas for our sex life?
What are some things that have hurt your feelings in the past sexually (from me or anyone else) or have made you feel devalued in your sexual experience?
Is there anything you want to add in or try to accomplish during our time together (longer orgasm, new position, new lotion)?
Also what are the ways we are intimate that feel best to you?
What makes you feel ready to be in the mood?
How often would you ideally like to be intimate together? How does it relieve sexual or stressful tension for one or both of you?
What’s something one or both of us think is preventing us from having a better sexual life together?
Do we need to carve out room for intimacy in our schedule?
What do you find most attractive to me during our intimate times? Are there certain phrases, comments, touches or scents that drive you wild?
What do you think God wants for our sexual life together? Do we honor Him and one another during this time?
Who could be our accountability partners (counselor, coach, or male for the husband, female for the wife) if we struggle in this area?
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