Lauri Rowe has been my biggest encouragement and sounding board this month as I dug deep on sexuality, it seems only fitting her end by sharing her story.
Sex! What a small word! 3 little letters, but so powerful. Some may call it a dirty word, but others see it as life giving. What do you think when you hear the word Sex?
It may make you uncomfortable or excited and it has certainly been both censored and exploited. For most of us it brings a wealth of emotions like pain, sadness, joy, fear and even comfort. For me it has evoked all of those feelings and some feelings I can’t even find words for.
I am a married, 42 year old mom of 2 and a Christian. I married a flawed, amazing, handsome Christian man and together, we’ve come a long way in our 20 years of marriage. For most of those years I have struggled with that three letter word, sex.
I’ve had to pull back a lot of layers to make peace with my own sexuality. I was not a virgin when I got married so for the first few years I had to tend to the baggage of that. Then my marriage suffered some gut punches, I think most marriages suffer the same. Ours could have been knock out punches but with God’s grace we survived.
During the past 20 years I’ve gone from a person who was clueless about her sexuality to someone who values sexuality as a gift from God. It wasn’t an overnight transformation, it took a lot of work and soul searching. I never thought I would see my sexuality this way. If anything I thought it was something that kept me separated from my maker. I never heard anything positive from a pastor or youth leader about my sexuality, actually quite the opposite.
I grew up believing my sexual urges made me weak, a sinner. I’m not blaming anyone here, but that was the message my teenage brain received. I understand now at 42 that my pastors and youth leaders were trying to protect me, but still it didn’t make sense to 15 yr old me. I wonder now how my story would have played out if I’d been exposed to the truth.
Here’s the truth: Sex is God’s gift to us. Our sexuality is completely tied to our spirituality and much like your prayer life it needs education, attention and growth. I wish I had known at 15 what an amazing God given gift sex was, how it is meant to enhance my life and my marriage. How it is important and sacred. Not scary and dirty. I wish I’d understood it as a gift God gave me to help me endure the daily struggles of life and bond with the one I love. This lesson took me years to learn, to reprogram my brain from sex = shame to sex = gift. Years to realize that I was worthy of receiving the amazing pleasure intended when God created sex.
I wish the church would take back sex. We have given sex to the world and allowed it to tell us what sex is and how it works. We (the Church) need to reclaim sex as what it is – a gift from God.
We need to teach and preach on it, rebrand it! Sex is good, because God created it and God is good!
So, how did I retrain my brain? It started with understanding that my view of sex was broken. This is easier to see when your marriage is falling apart and you are grasping at anyway to find intimacy with your spouse again (or for the first time.) So, I read. I read books on sex (I highly recommend The Sexually Confident Wife, by Shannon Etheridge or any book she had written on the subject, she also has a blog and podcast), I listened to pastors who weren’t afraid to address sex. I was lucky enough to learn from a pastor at a camp named Ted Cunningham who wasn’t afraid to talk about how successful marriages needed sex! Something in his words breathed life into a part of me that was dead. I listened to him teach on the Song of Solomon, a whole book of the bible about sex. I had no idea such a book existed! It opened my eyes to looking at sex differently and hearing it from a man of God gave me courage to make changes.
I learned that my sexuality was incredibly important in the battle to save my marriage. I began to open my mind and my heart to enjoying sex and I quit believing the lie that sex was all abut my husband and all he wanted from me. The truth was that God wired men to view sex as intimacy and created my husband with a sex drive that would force him to need me. It was his way of connecting with me and showing me love. I quit resenting having to have sex and started embracing this time to grow together. I learned to talk about what I needed in bed. We explored fantasies and experimented with what worked for us. We slowly gained trust in each other and we grew in ways I never imagined possible. We allowed ourselves to enjoy each other sexually. We had fun a lot of fun and we still do!
The result? My marriage started to change… I started to change. We started to heal, in large part because our sex life got better. Sure, there were obstacles in my way and some were mental, so I prayed through them and worked to heal my mind.
Other obstacles were physical. Sex is chemically driven and to have a healthy sex drive, you do have to do the mental work but that isn’t always enough. After doing the spiritual/mental work I still lacked the drive. I wanted sex because I finally understood how essential it was, but my body didn’t want sex. My mind was on board but my body was like ehh… I’m tired!
So, I once again turned to research and investigated what was going on. This led me to a conversation with my gynecologist. She explained hormones to me, and talked about testosterone and it’s role in a healthy sex drive. Further testing showed that guess what? I didn’t have enough, not even close to enough.
So, I started hormone replacement pellets and they’ve been a game changer for me, the final piece to the puzzle, Finally I felt aligned spiritually, physically and mentally and it was a beautiful thing.
Ladies please don’t believe the devil’s lie that sex is a job or that it’s dirty. Don’t believe the lie that sex has nothing to do with God or your spirituality. Don’t believe the lie that your marriage will thrive with a lack luster sex life. Don’t believe the lie that your husband is a sex addict and is only interested in his pleasure. Don’t believe the lie that sex dies in marriage. There are so many places to uncover the truth about God’s plan for sex, please seek them out. If you’ve done the soul work and the mental work and you still lack desire, go get your hormones tested.
Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy you and your marriage. He will attack your sex life, tell you it’s too taboo to talk about, that it is dirty. That you should feel shame when you desire sex. I’m proud to say now that satan has no hold on my sexuality. I’m crazy in love with my husband and I want his hot body all the time. We enjoy Gods gift and it blesses us! It blesses my children because they have parents who are crazy about each other. They have parents who turn to each other to escape life’s struggles, not the world and other people or things. They have parents who are unashamed to lock the bedroom door and bond and de stress, using the tool that God created to do just that. My sexuality is vital to the health of my family. So is yours. Do the work! I promise it is worth it!
My husband and I are closer than I ever dreamed possible. The intimacy we share is something I never even knew was achievable.
THIS POST is part of the MORE LIKE ME Series, Month 2, Sexuality. To join our online Facebook group, go here!
Lauri Rowe is a sassy southern mama who can often be found in the kitchen, sharing her love for food with her Oklahoma hometown. She is passionate about Jesus, people and authenticity and does all 3 alongside her husband where they mentor marriages at their precious church.
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