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Friday, December 19, 2014

Your spouse doesn't just want more sex, he or she wants more of you.

Don't forget to enter my Friday Freebie giveaway below and win a copy of Sheet Music, by Dr. Kevin Leman, a great book for couples. 

How much sex is enough sex? Who gets to decide? Is compromise the best strategy? Which matters more: quantity or quality? What constitutes a good sex life? What about the whole high drive/low drive thing?

These are all good and important questions when it comes to sexual satisfaction in marriage, and yet they only touch the surface of what it means to have a sexually satisfying marriage.

Sex Matters

Back when I started this Gift of Sex series, I explained why sex is so important to a strong, intimate marriage. If you still aren't convinced, go back and read it again. Bottom line: a marriage where either partner is sexually dissatisfied for a prolonged period is a marriage at risk.

Sex matters, because couples say it matters. In my recent poll on the meaning of 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (Who Owns My Body?), 95% of men and 92% of women, agreed or agree strongly that "sex is essential to keep a marriage strong." That's 94% overall. Less than 3% overall disagreed. The other 3% were unsure.

Another startling result was the fact that 98% of men and 97% of women agreed (or strongly agreed) that "It is important for me to know that my spouse desires me sexually."

Sex really matters!

More of You

As can happen for any couple, a few years ago our sex life had become somewhat routine. Due to some physical issues Jenni was having, not only was it routine but also a bit clinical. Yes, we were having sex, but it wasn't passionate or spontaneous. Eventually Jenni picked up on my dissatisfaction. I admitted it was an issue, and I disclosed my desire for "more" to her.

Initially Jenni felt hurt, like I was saying she didn't satisfy me or excite me. She responded by withdrawing, saying that she wasn't what I wanted. It left me feeling sorry I had said anything. But then the Lord broke in and whispered to her, "It's not that you aren't what he wants; it's that he wants more of you."

She asked me if it was true and then, after I said "exactly," she chose to believe it. It's made a dramatic difference not only in our sex life, but in our ability to talk about it more openly, without condemnation or shame creeping in.

Couples whose sex life is less than satisfactory often argue over three kinds of "more:"
  • More frequency
  • More variety and less routine
  • More active engagement from their partner
The three are certainly interrelated, but I'm going to look at them one at a time in subsequent posts.

We'll start next time with the most obvious one: frequency. So check back for some fascinating results on frequency from my recent survey. You won't want to miss The Gift of More Frequent or any of the other coming "more" posts. You can subscribe here to make sure you don't miss any posts.

Meanwhile, enter the giveaway below. If you leave a comment, please note it in RaffleCopter so it counts toward the giveaway. You can tweet about this post once per day for additional entries. Ends Monday at midnight, as usual. 

Whether you enter the giveaway or not, I highly recommend this weeks Friday Freebie as one of the best books on sex from a Christian perspective that I've read, and I've read a lot of books on the subject. It's comprehensive. It's frank. Yet it's written in a open and friendly style. If you buy through my links below on Amazon, you help support this ministry.

Click for Kindle Version or for Paperback Version.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas is coming! Here is your last minute gift help!

I'm interrupting my Gift of Sex series for this very important post!

I probably don't need to remind you that Christmas is only 9 days away. Sorry if that gives you sweaty palms. But not to worry. I'm here to help.

Before I offer the promised help, I would like to remind you (once again) that Christmas is NOT about gifts. Sure, if you are like me you probably enjoy the chance to bless your wife (or husband) with a nice gift. But don't lose your focus. Remind yourself that we are celebrating the ultimate gift.

The God of the Universe stepped out of the perfection of heaven and came to Earth as a man to win you and me as His eternal bride. Now that's a gift.

Now back to the main reason for this post.

Indeed, I've been watching out for you, studiously monitoring my inbox, Facebook, Twitter and blog reader feed for Christmas gift idea lists from marriage bloggers I follow and respect. I'm sure you can find a great gift idea for your spouse among these lists!

So relax and click away...

What to Get Your Husband:

Wife’s Gift Guide to Knock Your Hubby’s Socks Off! 2014 Edition from Kate of One Flesh Marriage

Gifts for Him from Lori, The Generous Wife

Romantic Gift Ideas for Him from The Romantic Vineyard

15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Husband from Jennifer, The Unveiled Wife

Sexy Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband from Sheila of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

50 Gift Ideas for Him, Under $20 Each from Darlene at Time Warp Wife

10 Sexy, Manly Items for Your Hubby’s Christmas Stocking from J at Hot, Holy and Humorous

What to Get Your Wife:

Christmas Gift Guide to Wow Your Wife – 2014 Edition from Brad of One Flesh Marriage

What Does Your Wife Want for Christmas? From J at Hot, Holy and Humorous

Gifts for Her from Paul, the Generous Husband

Romantic Gift Ideas for Her from The Romantic Vineyard

The all-important What Not to Give Her For Christmas list from First Things First

Gift Ideas for Women from Jolene Engle

10 Creative Gifts That Cost Little or Nothing form Jerry Stumpf of Cracking the Marriage Code

More For Him or Her:

The One Flesh Marriage Gift Idea Archive from One Flesh Marriage

Christmas Gifts to Nurture the Soul from Sheila at To Love, Honor and Vacuum

For the wives of husbands who struggle with the whole gift thing: Giving Your Husband Gift Giving Help from The XY Code

How to Get the Perfect Present for Your Spouse from Simple Marriage

From Journey to Surrender

Sign up for my Pathways monthly marriage newsletter and get a free copy of the updated and expanded Intimate Connections, Print out the 20 fun fill-in-the-blank intimate conversation starters and put them in a nice binder.

See my archive of Romantic Ideas. Dozens of romantic gift ideas for her and even some for him.

Do you  have a gift idea? Care to let us in on what you are giving your spouse this Christmas? Do you know of a good idea list that should be added to my list of lists? Bring it on! Comment!

image credit: dimol / 123rf.com

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pour a little passion into your marriage this Christmas.

It's Friday Freebie time again! Each week this month I'm giving a different gift to you as part of my Gift of Sex series. This week you can win a copy of Shannon Ethridge's book Passion Principles through the contest at the bottom of this post.

I choose this book for the giveaway this week because Shannon really gets it that sex is much more than just a physical thing. It is also spiritual, mental and emotional. Great sex involves your whole beings, and this book dedicates sections to how to integrate each area into your sex life.

This is a great book to read as a couple in order to spark some conversations, especially if you have a little trouble talking about your sex life. Each chapter includes a "Ponder the Principle" section with conversation inducing questions.

I highly recommend The Passion Principles as a way to give your spouse a gift that will spark a little more passion this Christmas. If you by the book on Amazon through my links you will help support this ministry. Click the links below for the version you want.
In case you missed my recent series Pump Up the Passion. I've recapped it below. Each post has practical tips on how to grow the passion and intimacy level in your marriage. You'll even find some tips that will make great Christmas presents.
  1. Passion: The Key to Moving from Duty to Delight
  2. Pursuit (for Husbands)
  3. Pursuit (for Wives) 
  4. Playfulness
  5. New Passion Perspectives
  6. Positivity (for Husbands)
  7. Positivity (for Wives)
  8. Pleasure
Get the book (or win it) and browse through my series. Take some steps toward giving your spouse the Gift of Passion this Christmas.

Enter the contest below before midnight on Monday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Give the gift of yourself to your spouse this Christmas
[Tweet This Post]

Christmas is a giving kind of season, and we're talking about giving one of the most important gifts to the most important person in your life. Yes, we're talking about the giving "The gift of Sex" to your spouse.

Last month I did a survey on a portion of scripture that doesn't get a whole lot of attention in the church. My wife actually shared in her post, The Gift of As You Wish - In Bed.
The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.
1 Cor 7:3-4 NLT
I realize these verses convey a pretty radical idea, but that's the Kingdom of God for you.  Yes, there it is in black and white: your spouse has authority over your body. I was happy to see that in my survey, 93% of people said they thought this scripture still applies today. I heartily agree. But some of the other results in the survey made me wonder why the marriages represented in the survey aren't sexually stronger than what they reported.

Here is a quick look at sexual satisfaction by gender.
If  you are not a chart kind of person, let me break it down a bit for you. About as many husbands felt negatively (43%) about their sex lives as felt positively (44%). Wives, on the other hand were 60% positive to 30% negative.

The Rights and Wrongs of It

Whiles it's true that spouses have the rights to sexual satisfaction from each other, there is are wrong ways to go about it. Demanding, berating, begging and bargaining are definitely the wrong way to go about getting sexual satisfaction. Throwing the above Scripture in your spouse's face isn't likely to produce any positive results either.

So what is the right way to go about assuring sexual satisfaction in your marriage? The truth is that this is a shared responsibility. I describe this shared responsibility as mutual sexual surrender. Mutual sexual surrender is simply the notion that each of you is to freely give the gift of yourselves and your bodies to each other.

It means not withholding sex or gate-keeping where physical intimacy is concerned. It means saying yes unless you have a very good reason to say no. And "I don't feel like it" is not a good reason. In my survey, almost one third of wives and 10% of husbands admitted to regularly saying no to their partners. In addition, one in three wives and one in seven husbands said that "not feeling in the mood" was a reason to deny their partner sex. These are not good numbers.

Giving Yourself Freely

I'm going to pause here to remind you of a very important Bridal Paradigm principle - the a marriage model based on the notion that we are the bride of Christ, and Jesus is our Bridegroom:
The Bridal Paradigm is more about what it compels you to give than what it permits you to demand. [Tweet This]
Put another way, you should read and take to heart the scriptures on marriage that apply to you and disregard the ones that apply to your spouse. In other words, work on your half of the bargain. It's the only part you actually have any real control over.

If you are like some in my survey who regularly deny their spouses sex, for whatever reason, I'm asking you to change your thinking. Remind yourself that your body was created so the you could choose to give it as a gift to your spouse. You and your spouse are one, so any gift given to your spouse is actually given to yourself as well.

Think of the delight your spouse will feel when you give yourself as a gift to be "unwrapped." Whatever self-image issues you may have with your body, try to lay them aside for the sake of the sexual oneness that God intends for your marriage.

If you want test out what this kind of mutual sexual surrender can do to radically change your marriage, make a pledge to yourself that you will not say "no" for an entire month. Watch what happens to the intimacy and passion level in your relationship.

If you are feeling really, bold, write a card to your spouse with the one month pledge on it. Explain that you are giving yourself as a gift to him or her this Christmas. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Aff Link
Win a copy of J. Parker's great new devotional for women: Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. 

I thought Gift of Sex month would be a great time to bring back Friday Freebies by offering my own "gifts of sex."

This week I'm happy to give away a copy of a great new devotional book by J. Parker of Hot Holy and Humorous fame (Thanks to J for making this available to my readers!)

If you aren't familiar with J's blog, and you should be, she writes about sex from a Christian perspective, with both wit and sensitivity, something that isn't all that easy to pull off. Her new book, however, filled with 52 weekly biblically-based devotions, is a bit more on the "serious" side - and that's a good thing in this context.

Although each weekly devotion is short and easy to read in just a few minutes, there is plenty to chew on. Each devotion starts with a scripture passage, then J. shares her reflections on what it means for our sexual relationship with our spouse. There are also a few thought-provoking questions, followed by a related prayer.

If you want a taste of the content check out her post, What Does a Sex Devotion Look Like?, where J shares one of the devotions that didn't make the cut of 52 that are in the book.

This is a fantastic resource. I love the idea of taking the Bible into the bedroom. After all, sex was God's idea in the first place. There is no reason to separate the spiritual from the sexual.  It's all spiritual!

Below you'll find the details of giveaway, including the opportunity to take my newest poll on sexual satisfaction in marriage. Of course you can also take the poll without entering the contest at this link.

Give your marriage the gift of a better, more spiritually aware sex life. I highly recommend you get J's book for yourself or a friend. (You can get it through my Amazon affiliate link and support this ministry by clicking on the book at top of his post, or by clicking these links for Kindle or paperback.)

Hurry and enter!  Contest only runs until 11:59 PM Monday!

Giveaway Details: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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