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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Every so often I check my blog stats to see what kind of searches land people on my blog.  It’s always interesting, and the results from the past eight weeks are no less so. 

I like to look at the results as a kind of snapshot of what’s on the heart of married people today. Granted, most people who come to my blog via web search are looking for answers to a problem or dilemma, so the results are skewed in that direction. Still, I think it’s helpful in identifying what issues folks are facing these days. 

Top Searches (Part 1)

In this post and my next one, I’ll be reviewing the top ten searches, in order, and discussing what they say about the state of marriages today. Because exact search terms vary, I did my best to group like searches together to get the summary statistics.

  1. Sexual Surrender/Sexual Submission – What’s fascinating about this search it is the first time it has appeared with any significance. It jumped out of nowhere to number one. I can only attribute it to the“50 Shades of Gray” phenomena. The funny thing is that I only have ever addressed this topic in one short series, and none of the posts included anything about ropes or floggers. 

If you want to learn more about REAL sexual surrender, the series starts with an Introduction to Sexual Surrender, followed by separate posts on sexual surrender for Wives and Husbands, and ends with some Concluding Thoughts.

  1. My Husbands Won’t Lead – This is the first time since I started checking search results (almost two years ago now) that this search term was not number one, dethroned by the “Gray” factor. I am still convinced that this is the number one issue holding marriages back today. Men have been conditioned not to dare “step up” yet many wives are desperate for them to do just that.

Pretty much every search landed people on “What if My Husband Won’t Lead?”

  1. Sex – I don’t write a lot specifically about sex, though I do address it periodically in the context of discussing many other topics. The interesting and sad thing about the people finding my blog through a sincere search about sex (I threw out the obvious porn searches!) is that two thirds of the searches were related to sexual shame.  I think sexual shame is a particular problem in the Christian community, due in part to the church’s failure to deal candidly and openly with the topic. I also wonder whether or not there is a lot of shame associated with the recent explosion in popularity of erotica, particularly BDSM erotica.
Most searchers found this post:  Shame and Sexual Intimacy.  I have a terrific series on shame, which I claim is the biggest intimacy killer, together with its evil twin sister, fear.  The series starts here: Shame and Intimacy, which includes a fantastic TED Talk video.

  1. Surrender/Submission – Off and on, I have written a lot about biblical roles in marriage, and I’ve given pretty equal treatment to the topic of a husband's headship or leadership, and a wife's submission. Consistently, however, submission gets the lion’s share of the search hits. My theory goes like this. There are a lot more wives trying to figure out how to walk out biblical submission than there are husbands looking for information on how to lead in a biblical manner (See #2 above.)
I also think there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation about the term submission and what exactly it is. Those looking to gain clarity on what submission really is all about mostly ended up on one of two posts.  The fist is part of my “What I Believe About Marriage” Series, “Love,Respect and Submission.” The second, somewhat older but ever popular post is, “Respect,Submission and Trust.   
  1. Intimacy/Oneness – The popularity of these search terms fall right in line with my New Reader Survey (take it now if you never have by clicking the link). Since I started the survey a few years back, the number one item people say they want to hear more about is “How to Grow in Intimacy.” What they are ultimately seeking is how to live the “one flesh” reality that the Bible describes, which includes spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy.
A significant number of the searches pointed people to two post from my very early series “On Being One Flesh:” Sexual Oneness  and “Unity and Individuality.”  Also popular is a similar, more recent (and I think better) post on When Two Become One - Unity and Individuality.

What do you think about the marriage topics that people are searching for?  What do they tell you about the state of marriage today? Leave your thoughts below.

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