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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Give the gift of yourself to your spouse this Christmas
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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. 


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