A Fashionista Wannabe In A Stay At Home Mom World

   Last month, I told you about Stitch Fix and how much fun I am having getting beautiful, high quality pieces delivered to my door!!!!!  {You really should try it, just once!!!}

  However, you also know, that I am a stay at home mom, who works hard to STAY HOME.  

Do you follow me on pinterest?  I have a Pinterest Board called “A Fashionsita Wannabe In A Stay At Home Mom World” and that sums my life up perfectly!

  I adore looking at the latest fashions, putting together outfits, accessorizing, but the truth of the matter is…….  

I literally only wear “real” clothes 2 days a week!

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Family Friday to go see Grandma at her restaurant {followed by an occasional date night with my honey} and Sunday for Church!

  Otherwise?

Comfy clothes ALL THE WAY!

   I have been a stay at home momma for over 10 years. Comfort became important to me from the day I brought my babies home from the hospital. 

I mean, my outfit is only going to get puked and pooped on, right!?

  I got really scruffy over that time, sweatshirts and sweats getting bigger and baggier the more kids I had.  I didn’t go anywhere, so it didn’t matter. 

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  Well, that part of my life has changed a bit.  I now have to pop into school, or get out for errands much more often than I used to, simply due to the age my children are now.  With a 5th grader and 1st grader that must be picked up every day, my days are no longer spent within the walls of my home like they were when they all were babies.

  So about 4 years ago, I decided I was too scruffy, and went shopping……..

And came home with cute church dresses.

  So I went shopping months later…….

And came home with cute tops and jeans.

Oops. 

  I didn’t NEED that kind of stuff, but it was so pretty!  It was hard to find comfy stuff that was cute!

  Finally, after months of picking up bargains here and there, I realized I was getting NO WHERE in the “Home Clothes Department”, so I MADE myself start looking at the cotton comfy items.

  I am not an athletic person, I tried sweats, but they just didn’t trip my trigger.  Then, the clouds parted, the angel choir sang their Hallelujah chorus, and leggings came back in.

Woo-hoo!  NOW we were talking!!!!!

   I found some long t-shirts at Sears and 2 pairs of leggings at JCP.  I wore them over and over and over again that first year.  Adding sweaters in the winter, changing from boots to flip-flops in the summer.  Paxton was still a baby and I could easily nurse him with no fuss.

{EEEEEK! Where does the time go? I want my baby back!!!!}

Home clothes

{sigh} 4 and no more, 4 and no more, 4 and no more……

Anyhow, it was perfect! I felt cute, but was still super comfy!

  The next season, I added to my wardrobe:

  I hit Khols’ sales racks, and found a few longer sweatshirt-material tunic tops that went with 2 pairs of leggings.  I also got some comfy slipper-esque boots in both black and grey.  (10 pound babies did a number on my arches, so I have to wear shoes or slippers at all times!)

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  The next season, I found some cardis on sale at Target, some seriously marked down brown boots from our Marketplace grocery store, and a scarf to complete one of the outfits.  

All of this will go with the same basic leggings, & colorful v-neck undershirts I had from before:

PicMonkey Collage

  This season, I added a bit more flair to the rotation, when my favorite bargain place to shop, Zulilly, had a big printed legging sale:

fashionista blog

My SAHM fall, winter and spring wardrobe are now complete!

  I love that I can ABC all the different pieces, and make a bunch of different looks! 

  As we transition to Spring then Summer, I switch to long cotton skirts, and v-neck tees in a variety of colors with the same cardis until it gets too warm for that extra layer.  I do the same with shoes, switching from boots to moccasins then flip-flops as the temperature rises……Still comfy but cute!

    In order to be classified as “Home Clothes”, clothing items must:

A) Be comfy

B) Be comfy and on the clearance rack

and

C) Have I mentioned Be Comfy?  Yes?
     Ok, then CUTE enough to run into the school, go to Bible Study Wednesday night, or stop at the store any time, without having to change clothes first!

   I want to be free to lay on the floor with my kids, curl up with a book during nap time, get snot wiped on my shoulder, without any harm.  I do NOT like to wear jeans, or anything that would cut or pinch when I moved around cleaning the floor, and nothing that will catch and rip while I am doing chicken chores.

  I also want to be well dressed for my husband.  He is my number 1 human priority and I want him to be proud to have me pop into his office, or get that big ol’ grin on his face when he comes home, because he likes my cheetah leggings and fur boots. 

  Dale is a corn-fed country boy, he doesn’t care about jewelry, makeup, or fancy clothes, but I think he responded differently to me when I put away his giant sweatshirts and my ugly sweats, and got out some cute- but-comfy home clothes that made me look like a woman again. 

  *Note: Dale brought up a good point here.  He says his response didn’t change towards me, but he said my response back did.
Think about it, when I felt like I woman instead of a frumpy mom, I responded like one…..  INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!

  It’s easy to lose ourselves in the daily grind of home with kids, but if a cute pair of boots and leggings could put a spring in your step tomorrow, I think it’s something worth shopping for!

Hugs, T

Word of the Year 2014: Balance

   I had not ever had a “Word of the Year” before, when the Lord spoke to me RESTORATION in 2013, then followed it up with a million and one “God Moments”. 

Click on the word Restoration above, when I re read it, it gave me tears and chills. 

  Our Father in Heaven is so incredible to speak to us in such tangible ways.  I was asking Him in to Restore what the locusts had eaten at my house and in my marriage in 2012.  I was asking Him to restore my joy, to heal my heart.

He did.

He still is.

I feel my Word of the Year for 2014 is BALANCE.  As the Lord has blessed our home in various areas, we have gotten busy.

And you know what I think about busy:
Burdened
Under
Satan’s
Yoke

So my commitment to 2014 is to filter everything through Christ Jesus and His word, and His desire to be Number ONE in my life.  To stop and PRAY about each commitment before it goes on the calendar.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

My second commitment is to put my husband and his needs next, followed by my precious children.  This means that I will not always be staying up late at night to create a blog post for you all.  This is tough for me to say and do, because I am a pleaser and by nature want to do my best, both feet in.  I have worked hard to have blogs set into January, ready to go, because I worked ahead knowing the Holidays were going to be crazy.

But here is the deal….

No one made me blog 5 days a week for the past 3 1/2 years, but I have done it: driven by my need to give it my all.

I am plain burned out, and I think I need to admit that to you and to me.   So, sometimes if you come and there is no post, just know I am choosing to snuggle up with Dale on the couch, make a t-shirt scarf, play a game with the kids, or just read a book for fun.  

  I also am going to have to find BALANCE in my Photography business as it grows.  I want to limit myself to 2 appts. a week, no appointments wedding weekends, and once again put into place, a waiting list for any appointments beyond my set limit. 

  The pleaser in me wants to fit everyone in anytime they ask, but in putting my life back into its proper order, it will just not be possible. I know God will bless this commitment, even if it means some people chose another photographer.  I am ready to be ok with that.  I release it.

  I also want to be careful not to over do next October-November.  We call this the Christmas Card RUSH.  I was working all morning, all nap time, AND staying up until 2 in the morning trying to get sessions done because there were simply not enough daylight hours.

Paxton got to the point where when I was heading outside he would ask, “You leaving a long time mommy?  You got lots of photo shessions today, Mommy or just one?”

The others would ask, “Mommy, can I watch you edit so I can be with you?”

Yikes.

Time, no matter how much I beg, does NOT multiply.

For years I kept asking God to multiply my “Pie”, my time allotted each and every day.

A slice to hubby, a slice to kids, a slice to cooking, a slice to Facebook, a slice to blog, a slice to edit, a slice to a hurting friend, a slice to quiet time….wait, there are only crumbs left well before my list is done!

My family is my world, and I want to show them that by giving them my biggest, best piece of pie, not the crumbs.  They are starving for me!

I want to seek them out while they are still seeking me back.  Avery goes to school next year, these moments of me being a stay at home mom are passing quickly through the hour-glass, and I can’t help but feel jealous of the time I give other places.

Another area I want to apply Balance to, is natural healing and home treatment for illnesses.  There are so many wonderful natural ways to help the body heal, I want to learn more!!!!  

I have home remedies from the kitchen cupboards and utilize herbal supplements, homeopathics, and Natural Remedies, a lot.

This year in an effort to find balance, I want to replace the money spent on herbal supplements with essential oils.  I am a long time Young Living oil user, but am excited to say I have branched out and tried doTERRA as well.  I have been blown away by the results we are already seeing in our home this week!  We used DigestZEN twice for owie, sick tummies, gone in 25 minutes and Lemon for Paxton’s drippy nose, gone the next day.

Eeek!  I could go on, but I will wait and make another blog for another day as I learn more.  I am excited to study these new essential oils and share with you!!!!

  So, can you commit with me to find BALANCE in 2014?

Anytime you add something, it means another area must give up!
Seems simple enough, but it was news to me!!!!!

finding balance

  Can we commit to limit busyness, so we can have family time around the table each evening, curl up with our spouse on the couch after a long day, read a book, or knit a scarf?

 Commit to communing with God, no longer rushing from thing to thing, wondering where the time goes?

I want to find Balance in 2014.

My battle is not against the people who ask me for my time, but against the devil himself….

1 Peter 5:8 (AMP), it says:

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

“Do you ever feel your life is out of control—out of balance? As a child of God, we must take time from our busyness to set our priorities in order. Life is a gift and should be lived well.
We all have emergencies where we burn the candle at both ends, but this should not be the norm or soon there will be no candle left to burn.
That candle is the spirit within us that inspires us and propels us into forward motion.

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness”(Psalm 18:28).

The darkness refers to our confusion, hesitation, frustration, or anything that would put out the light within us, as life has been known to do. Finding balance in life applies to all age groups, as the principles remain the same. It is essential to keep the most important things on the top of the list and to allow proper time for these things so one does not burn out, become frazzled or haggard.”

Source

More about Christian women finding balance here: http://christianity.about.com/od/womensresources/a/KW-Work-life-Balance.htm

May God bless you with a fresh start and a fresh perspective on your “Pie” of time each day in 2014….

Let’s keep each other accountable!

Hugs, T

Sex God’s Way Resource List

Sex Resources

Resources on Waiting

Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy

When Dreams Come True: A Love Story Only God Could Write by Eric and Leslie Ludy

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris

Sex: It’s Worth Waiting For by Greg Speck

Fiction reading for Young Girls About Saving Themselves For Marriage:

Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn
The Christy Miller Collection, Volume 1
The Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 2
The Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 3
The Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 4

Resources on Intimacy In Marriage

The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire

31 Days to Great Sex An E-book by Sheila Wray Gregoire

Honey, I Don’t Have A Headache Tonight:Help for Women Who Want to Feel More In the Mood
Audio Download by Shelia Wary Gregoire

  Sheila also has a fantastic blog covering Intimacy and Marriage called: To Love, Honor and Vacuum.  Go check it out, you are sure to be blessed!

Hot Chocolate for Couples: Practical Ways to Sweeten Your Love Life by Cindy Siglar Dagnan

Romancing Your Husband: Enjoying a Passionate Life Together
Romancing Your Wife: A Little Effort Can Spice Up Your Marriage

by Debra White Smith

Resources For Rebuilding After Betrayal

A Way of Escape: Freedom from Sexual Strongholds by Neil Anderson

Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time
Every Man’s Marriage: An Every Man’s Guide to Winning the Heart of a Woman 
Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation
by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

  A HUGE list of resources can be found here, at the bottom of the Surviving Infidelity Page!

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     Thanks for sticking with us for this series on Sex God’s Way! Did you survive the series without too much blushing? Did God move and speak to your heart about something you can give to Him? 

Get some of these resources and be open to learning and hearing from the Giver of all Great Things!

  It has been a joy and honor to share our hearts with you on this blessing and gift for Married Couples to enjoy!

Oh, and has it been 72 hours yet!?!?!?!?!!   Winking smile

~Angela from My Heart Ministry and Tonya from 4 little Fergusons

  Don’t miss this comment-spurred bonus post:  “Sexual Addiction: Road Block To Intimacy”

Sexual Addiction: Roadblock to Intimacy

  When Tonya asked me to partner with her in writing this series on Sex God’s Way, neither one of us was prepared for the number of responses we would receive from women who were struggling because their husbands were not interested in engaging in sex with them! Much of our experience and study had prepared us for WOMEN not being interested in sex, but MEN?

  Weren’t they supposed to be complete sex-mongers?  

  As we read the comments and private messages from these women, one common theme began to stand out: most (but not all) of these husbands had dealt – or were still dealing – with an addiction to porn and/or masturbation, or some other form of sexual sin.   I find myself grieving for these women who so want to share this intimate expression of love with their husbands but are not afforded the opportunity.

  Oh, how Satan has abused and broken this beautiful gift our Lord created for us! And I have prayed in earnest for these husbands to be freed from their bondage and enabled to love their wives with heart, soul, mind and BODY! And so it is through prayers for wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit that I write these thoughts:   Sexual Addiction is a VERY real thing. We don’t want to look at it the same way we do an addiction to heroin or alcohol or gambling, but it is no different! It creates a very physical craving for more and more stimulation, each act requiring more stimulation to achieve the level of pleasure that was achieved the time before. It involves chemical reactions in your mind and body, alters the brain, and it involves a mental and emotional addiction as well.  These men have trained their bodies to need A, B, then C to achieve orgasm.   

  More importantly, men who are addicted to sexual stimulation have been put in Spiritual bondage by our enemy the devil.   When they have been involved with porn or masturbation or other ungodly sexual activity, Satan has chained them through this sin. They MUST face their addiction, calling it what it is and confessing it OUT LOUD, and then they must invite Jesus to break these chains. They need Godly men and women to pray with them, pray for them, pray over them to gain freedom over the long-lasting effects of their sins.

  Sexual addiction is too often hidden away in the secret places of our lives, but it must be brought out into the open and dealt with. My husband has a close friend who was a closet alcoholic for years, and it wasn’t until it was forced out into the open that he was able to face it and deal with it. Sexual addiction works the same way.  Jesus came to se the captives free, ALL CAPTIVES in all areas!  HE is the key to breaking free from this bondage.  

  A person fighting to gain freedom from sexual addiction will also need someone to walk alongside them through the struggle. Think of it like an AA sponsor, only for sex. This person must have total access to the addict’s life; he’s got to be allowed to ask the addict ANYthing and know that he’s going to get an honest answer. It’s kind of like an accountability partner, only it’s that plus SO much more.  

  If men are used to having erotic stimulation such as porn in order to achieve and maintain an erection, they may need to take a “fast” from any and all sexual stimulation. This means TV, ALL internet access, magazines… they will ALL have to be purged from their homes. They will have to be HIGHLY intentional about guarding their eyes in surroundings outside their homes. And then they and their wives will have to commit to NOT initiating anything sexual for a period of time. It won’t be fun for either one, but it is with a purpose.

  As 1 Corinthians 7 instructs, they must use this time for prayer…together…about their sex life! Just like a person who has been living on junk food… the good, healthy stuff just doesn’t taste good…UNTIL you purge your life of the junk. After NOT eating the junk for a good long time, the real stuff tastes really good! And after a man completely purges his life from the junk and re-trains his appetite to enjoy Godly sexuality, his wife should more than arouse and satisfy him.   I know that not every man’s inability to have sex or disinterest in sex ties back to a porn and/or masturbation addiction, but I think that many do.

  Even once a man no longer views the porn, that sin still has a hold on him until he fully surrenders it to the Lord. If it’s not porn, it may be some other sexual issue that is still wrapping guilt around the whole idea of sex. Even someone who was sexually abused is often burdened with guilt over something that was never his fault. Guilt will always stand in the way of true intimacy!  

  Wives, here are some thoughts for you as you support your husband in his pursuit of freedom from sexual bondage:   Imagine your husband in chains and shackles, locked behind the bars of a prison cell. This is what Satan has done to him through his addiction to ungodly sexual stimulation. Let that image compel you to have compassion and mercy on your husband, and let it drive you to your knees in prayer for his release. Your husband is not the enemy; Satan is.   Take the pressure off of him to “perform.”

  If you have tried unsuccessfully to have sex, know that your man probably feels really low about himself. That’s his MANHOOD we’re talking about, you know?! So relax for a while and don’t try to push him until he’s ready. While you’re waiting on him, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! I’ve said it before and I’ll just keep saying it…PRAY about your sex life! Take the responsibility off of yourself and your husband and wait on the Lord to lead you!  

  Affirm your husband and his manliness without attaching it to anything sexual. Let him know you appreciate how he takes care of you and your family. Applaud his achievements at work, his involvement in community service or church activities. Remind him that you love him!  

  Did I mention that you should PRAY for him?  

  Realize that you can’t fight this battle for your husband. HE has to make the choice to pursue freedom through Christ. And understand that it wouldn’t matter how beautiful or sexy you were, you wouldn’t be enough to draw your man away from the addiction. Not because you aren’t gorgeous, but because Satan has convinced him that the sin is better, that the counterfeit pleasure is better than the real thing.

  Satan is SUCH a liar!

  One more thing: PRAY! (I think you’re starting to get my point…)  

  My sisters in Christ, don’t give up on your husband or your pursuit of an intimate relationship with him. NOTHING is beyond the reaches of our God’s mighty power, and I firmly believe He can and will restore intimacy to your marriage.  Be persistent in your prayers and compassionate in your love, and may God’s tender mercy trade your ashes for beauty and your brokenness for restoration.

 “Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good.” Psalm 90:14-15

   I’ve shared this on my blog today too, come on over!

~Angie, from My Heart

www.xxxchurch.com has some excellent resources as well as an online “detox” program you can take part of.

The Sex-Starved Wifeby Michele Davis, is not a proclaimed Christian read, but is used by many Christian counselors.

Head on over to Post 2 for more Resources to pick up on Saving Sex for Marriage, Intimacy in Marriage and more…… 

Road block to intimacy

{Part 2} Sex After Infidelity: 8 Steps To Success

This is post 2 for today, head back to post 1: Returning to Intimacy After Betrayal

Sex after Infidelity

8 Steps For Intimacy After Infidelity

1) Choose to focus on the good in your spouse and the love that runs so deeply in your veins.  It’s easy to forget the reasons you fell in love.  Write, speak and say positive things, and watch the bountiful harvest of your kind words grow and bloom in your marriage as you fall in love all over again.

2) Never forget your battle is NOT against flesh and blood, aka your spouse. Imagine Satan standing beside your bed, tossing seeds of doubt, negativity and heartache, just hoping they will take root and ruin your love-making.  He hates you and he hates your marriage, which means he reallyreally hates sex and the unity that comes after. There is no better way to stick it to the devil, who tried to destroy your marriage, then to make love to your spouse!  It is an act of Worship to your Heavenly Father.

3) Remember the power of Forgiveness.  My spouse, broken before Christ, had asked the Lord and Savior to wash away his sins.  He was white as snow again.  It was ME, who was bringing along the filthy rags right into our intimate time.  Forgiveness means letting your heart love again during Love Making and letting go of the past for good. 

4) Love with all your heart.  To fully connect to your spouse, your heart needs to be into it.  Be ALL there with your spouse and enjoy every moment together. I know its scary, but be present as your heart and bodies, join as one.  Talk to your spouse about your fears, so they can help you know by their sweet and assuring words, that you are their one and only love. 

5) Break Old Ties.  Out loud, bind those connections in the name of Jesus and break them off.  There is a reason the Lord talks about 2 becoming 1 flesh, in the Spirit World, it happens.  Cutting those ties will help you move into a closer intimacy with your spouse and get satan out of the picture! 

6) Guard your mind from the devil’s attacks.   It blessed me so much when Dale would lead us in prayer before being intimate, asking the Lord to bless our union, and binding satan in the name of Jesus.  He HAS to flee when he hears that precious name of our Lord, he HATES it. This helped me to stay there with Dale and not let my mind go to the past.

7) Let your love-making be a healing balm for your wounded soul. I found comfort and healing in Dale’s arms, his tears and mine. Don’t let satan lie to you and tell you making love will make things worse.  He only wants to cause you further pain. 

8) Remember that Sex is a gift from God.  You can hurt your Heavenly Fathers just as much by failing to use a beautiful gift He gave you, as MISusing it all together. 

  God bless you on your road to healing. Satan’s attacks WILL come, so be alert, be unified; body, soul and spirit, as you fight him for your marriage.  

And don’t EVER forget, that Victory is yours, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus.

  Take that, satan.

~T

Shared with To Love, Honor & Vacuum

{Part 1} Returning to Intimacy After Betrayal

 

Sex after betrayal part 1

  In Scripture, unfaithfulness is the only “acceptable” reason for dissolving a marriage. But we, Tonya and Angie, are telling you today that even this ultimate betrayal does NOT have to result in divorce.

   Forgiveness is absolutely possible through the work of the Holy Spirit, and full restoration and reconciliation is yours for the taking. But if you’ve experienced betrayal in your marriage, you may have a few reservations about bringing sex back into the relationship. By sharing our stories and what we learned through our experiences, we hope to help you see that it IS possible…desirable, even.

How am I supposed to even entertain the thought of sexual intimacy with him when he’s been unfaithful? How do you move on? How do you move back into the intimacy that was robbed from you?

Angie:

  Infidelity doesn’t have to mean certain demise for your marriage. Obviously you have to rebuild trust before you can bring sexual intimacy back into the relationship. I am so blessed to have a husband who truly felt sorry for his choices and was willing to do whatever it took to rebuild my trust. That willingness in and of itself did so much to help that process.

  Bringing sex back into a marriage after infidelity is definitely something you have to pray about. This isn’t a topic we usually think of when we think of prayer, but it is definitely something we need to submit to the Lord. He will let you know when it is time, and He will help you follow through when you decide you’re ready to give yourself to your husband sexually again. It’s not something you should rush into. It happened pretty quickly in my marriage because I needed the assurance that my husband wanted me. I was feeling inadequate and unwanted, and I needed to know that my husband chose me over his infidelity. Bringing love-making back into our marriage helped so much with my healing process and allowed me to focus on forgiveness instead of my own rejection.

Tonya:

  It took me a month to allow Dale to kiss me. It took a bit longer than that to move towards intimate touch. The first time we made love, I sobbed. Raw emotions and pure love and heartache, all pouring from my shattered heart as two became one once again.

  He stopped, of course, as he realized where I was emotionally. Cupped my face in his hands and kissed away my tears. His willingness to stop made me willing to push on. I WANTED to be one with my husband again, scared as I was to allow him all of me. For the next few months, tears followed our love-making sessions. Only because my heart would swell with love, and those broken pieces would stab, catch my breath and ache from the inside out.

My husband didn’t sleep with another woman, but I still feel like he cheated on me.

Angie:

  Sexual intercourse with another person is not the only form of infidelity. Your marriage vows probably included something about keeping yourselves only for each other. This includes your eyes, your mind and your emotions as well as your body. Porn, emotional involvement and masturbation are all forms of infidelity in that the offender takes something that should be given only to you and then gives it to someone else. My husband didn’t have sex with another woman, but it didn’t lessen the feelings of betrayal and rejection that I felt. Sometimes just recognizing that these things are a betrayal can begin the healing process

Tonya:

  Betrayal comes in many forms, Dale’s started with the eyes and eventually led to physical betrayal. Whether you are dealing from the shock of finding out your spouse’s porn addiction, one night stand or full-blown affair, you are dealing with a VERY intimate, very personal form of betrayal.

Porn creates an ugly lust that needs to be fed regularly. Your beautiful love-making with your spouse could never, ever, EVER fulfill that ugly lust. It is impossible.

I tried to bring sex back into our marriage, but I just couldn’t do it…

Angie:

  Don’t try to rush things. The hardest part for me was waiting on God’s timeline instead of trying to force my own. Allow yourself to grieve for a while, but don’t dwell on the details! Satan likes to use those details to hold us captive and prevent restoration in our marriages. And expect a few setbacks. Scott and I brought sex back into our relationship pretty soon after things blew up, and things were really great for a while, but then a week or two later it was like we were starting all over again. The most important thing we did was COMMUNICATE. As hard as it was, I had to tell him what I was feeling. I was honest with him when I was having a bad day, when the reality of what had happened was knocking me down. I let myself feel the pain, but I didn’t wallow in it. And I had to help Scott know how to respond. Did I need him to just hold me and reassure me? Did I need him to give me space? Our husbands aren’t mind readers, so we need to help them understand what is going on in our hearts and minds. If you find that you have a hard time opening up to your husband, write your thoughts in a journal and then read them to him. For some reason it’s just easier to read your own words out loud than it is to say them off the top of your head.

I’ve tried to make love to my husband, but in the moment I can’t get the thought of what he did out of my mind.

Tonya:

  One of the biggest steps we made was the day I admitted in counseling that I could feel “her” in our bedroom tormenting me during love-making. Our counselor explained that when 2 become 1, even outside of marriage, they are bonded together in the Spirit world, actually connected like a sewer pipe. He asked us if we would like to be freed from that connection. Of course we both said YES! They laid hands on us and we all prayed out loud, binding Dale’s connection to her in the name of Jesus, setting Dale free from anything and everything he had taken from her generation sin line in their union and cut off all ties.

We both could feel the release and knew Dale had been set free from this connection. You don’t have to understand it all, you will feel the change. There is much we don’t know about the forces of Good and Evil constantly battling around us, attaching to us via a lustful look, risqué book or raunchy movie.

There was a complete and TOTAL change in the tone of our bedroom after that, and it was a huge step in the healing process for us. After this, we were able to move into an intimacy unlike anything we had experienced before. What doesn’t break you, DOES make you stronger. This does not mean the attacks no longer come, it just means you recognize them for what they are.

The next struggle in the bedroom came from my lack of self-worth. I struggled with self-image for a good year, writing the blog post NOT ENOUGH, during this time. I kept wanting to make this about me, which was a sin unto itself.

Listen, do not try to use a rational mind to understand your spouse’s irrational, in-the-moment decision. It won’t make sense. EVER.

Angie:

  Pray, pray, pray! I really can’t emphasize this enough! Ask the Spirit to guard your mind and your husband’s mind. Ask Him to cast Satan far from you and to silence his lies. Although Scott’s body wasn’t bound to another person, his mind was filled with ungodly sexually charged thoughts. I worried that he wasn’t thinking just of me while we were making love, and I had to surrender that to God. I also had to pray that God would take my husband’s every thought captive and make them obedient to Him. It’s okay to pray your way through your love-making. God will honor your desire to love your husband and to be obedient in your submission to him. You also must communicate to your husband what is going on. If he doesn’t know WHY you can’t follow through, he may mistakenly perceive it as a rejection of him. Sometimes it is also okay to choose not to participate in some sexual activities if they too closely resemble your husband’s infidelity. But again, you’ve got to communicate that to him without being accusatory.

Tonya:

  2 years later I can tell you that there will come a point in your timeline of healing when you actually consider being thankful for “The Fall”, thankful for the truth, even if it came as a jaw dropping shock. I am beginning to see how it was worth it. Worth the new man and new marriage I live now. The love that grows deeper with each passing day, tested by fire and found strong enough to stand again. The freedom my husband found from stepping out of the darkness and into the light.

The Oneness we both found with our spouses, from allowing the Lord to turn our Tragedies into Triumph, is unsurpassed. 

  Do not give up on your marriage!  Victory is yours, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus!  Satan is defeated by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony.  THIS is why we share today, the good news of Jesus Christ, who makes ALL THINGS NEW. 

Revelation 12:11a “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony……”

May the Lord bless you and your marriage as you commit each step towards total healing to Him!

~Tonya and Angie, My Heart Ministry

 This is Part 1 for today.  Be sure to catch Part 2, Sex After Infidelity: 8 Steps To Success 

 

No More Excuses {Part 2}: 23 Ways To Turn Up The Heat In Your Marriage

This is post 2 for today, be sure to head back and check out  No More Excuses{Part 1}: Overcoming Inhibitions In The Bedroom!

23 ways to turn up the heat

23 Ways To Turn Up The Heat in Your Marriage

{From various sources including Joy from Simply Bloom and Fulfilling Your Vows}

1)  Check Your Price-Tag: Get your identity and value straight!  Ask your doting Heavenly Father to remind you of your value.  When you really grasp how much He loves you, and the price He paid to spend eternity with you, it’s hard to stop that radiance and confidence from overflowing into every area of your life.

2) Invest in Yourself:  Set some goals, put more thought into your daily wardrobe, get out and walk more, eat more healthily, spend more time in the word allowing God to transform your heart.  The better you feel about yourself, the more apt you are to confidently offer yourself as a gift to your husband.

3) Throw Away Your Beige Undies: Ok, ok, you are allowed to keep ONE pair for those white pants you wear to church, but the rest GO.  Head to JcPenny’s and do some shopping. They have some super cute, non-ride up your butt, undies in various colors and prints, and offer some with lace, some without.  They are comfy and cute!  Get a variety and rock the better, sexier, you all day long. It’s amazing what a pair of cute undies can do for your Mommy Morale.

4) Flirt With Your Man: If the brain is the largest sex organ, and we’re slow cookers, it helps to start thinking about gettin’ cozy with your hubby early on during the day.  Plan a little.  Send him a sexy text or hide a love note in his car.  Get creative.  And prepare your heart to bless your man when the opportunity arises.

5) Have A Date Night:  I love that my kids are watching me date their daddy…it models our priorities and expresses the delight we find in our relationship.  If finances are tight, or you can’t find a sitter have date night at home.  We do this on Friday’s and I look forward to it ALL week! Snacks and a movie, game night by the fire, or just light some candles and crawl to bed early.  Dating at home is FUN!

4) Invest In Your Friendship:  Make a point of smiling at your husband.  And laugh!  It’s astounding to me how quickly we stop smiling and laughing with our ‘forever boyfriends’ once the routine of everyday life sets in.  Laughter truly is a powerful medicine and it has a mysterious way of knitting your hearts together.

5) Guard Your Sanctuary.  Turn off the TV in your bedroom, in fact, I recommend getting it out of their entirely!  We did that about year 4 of our marriage, and haven’t ever regretted it!  Remove the clutter, dust off the candles or add some Christmas lights to your 4 poster bed, lock the door and turn your bedroom into a romantic haven for you and you the love of your life.

6) Just Do It!  Don’t let your level of interest keep you from engaging in sex with your man.  When it comes to women, desire often occurs AFTER arousal.  And remember, the more you do it…the more you’ll want to.  I dare you to test that theory!

7) Be Prepared:  If sex isn’t messy, you aren’t doing it right!  Stock up: mints, towels, wet wipes, lubricant and enjoy each other to the fullest.

8) Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative!  Predictability can extinguish sensuality.  God has given us such freedom in this arena.  Just be sure to draw the line at bringing “others” into the mix, pornography and the viewing of other naked bodies creates lust in the heart, which is a sin in God’s eyes and the same as having sex with that other individual. {Matthew 5:28}

9)  Plan A Surprise Dinner, ALONE: Whether you hire a sitter and head out spur of the moment, or hubby comes home to a scantily clad you and an otherwise empty house with dinner for 2 on the table, the point is, plan it.  It’s a surprise dinner – alone, and for no reason. “Just because” keeps the fires burning.

10) Do ‘It’ First On Date Night:  It’s amazing how the dynamic shifts when we slip in a little intimacy before date night when possible.  Our emotional connection is so much sweeter, it takes the pressure off being too tired when you get home…and who knows, maybe you’ll get to blow his mind with Round #2 later?

11) Put It On The Schedule:  As odd as that may sound, it works.  We find time for things that are important to us…but when we fail to plan, we plan to fail.  Make it a priority (with a smiley face on the calendar) and that way you always know you’ll connect every 72 hours when life gets hectic.  After a while, your “radar” will go off, and you won’t even have to look at the calendar to know the 3 days have passed since you have been intimate, because you will desire that connection, too.  

12) Simple Touch: Hold hands in the car, when you are walking in the store, at church.  Touch in general keeps your love alive.  Leaning over the top of the recliner for a kiss as you walk through the living room with clean laundry, brushing your body against your spouse as you slip past them in the kitchen, having a towel and a kiss ready for them when they step out of the shower….. All this cultivates non-sexual intimacy, and keeps you connected with your spouse.

13) Make Out.  Seriously, there is nothing better than making out in the kitchen during supper clean up.  It’s good for your kids to see you love each other, even if they say GROSS.  And, it keeps the passion burning and the mood in the midst of mundane chores.

14) Focus On Your Spouses Strengths & Positive Qualities:  Nothing will squelch your desire to get cozy faster than a foul, negative attitude toward your husband.  Be intentional about bringing out the gold in him…remember, you have the power to make your man great, or break him down completely!

15) Learn The Fine Art Of The Quickie:  Don’t be a high maintenance lover that needs A B & C to be completed in a certain order for “it” to happen. Grabbing those moments where the kids are all content with TV time, or hopping in the shower together, will make the rest of the day go smoothly with giggles, stolen kisses and winks across the room afterwards in the after glow of your love.

16) Greet Your Spouse With A Kiss & A Smile: Make your home the safe haven, the welcomed relief at the end of a long day.  This simple act goes farther than you think in showing your spouse you love them, missed them and so appreciate them!

17) Listen to Your Mate: With both your ears AND eyes.  Face to face time is HUGE in the name of intimacy as a couple.  Never fail to make time to chat face to face, without TV or any forms of media in your midst.

18) Say I Love You Often:  At the end of a phone call, in a text during the work day, before bed, or across the room.  Be verbal in your love for each other.  Non-verbal is great too. Dale squeezes my hand 3 times and I know it means I Love You, whether in the dark of our room or during family prayer time, we can connect quietly and secretly in our I Love You squeezes.

19) Touch While Falling Asleep: Whether you lay in his arms, or simply curl your back up against his, making that trek across the King Bed shows hubby that you desire and love him and find comfort in his touch.

20) Pray Before Intimacy: We talked about this earlier this week in the Honeymoon post, and while it seems odd, it’s incredibly powerful.  We tend to separate God from sex, which hopefully after reading all this sex series, you’ll be less inclined to do.  Rather, invite God into the midst of your passion – it was His idea, after all.  He will bless your pants off!

21) It’s Never Too Late To Learn: There are so many excellent books that both educate and encourage fabulous sex in marriage. Pick one and read it together as part of your evening devotion time.  I will post some resources tomorrow.

22) Enlist Some Help!  Pick a few married girlfriends who would be wonderful at checking in from time to time to make sure you’ve seduced your husband lately.  Have great conversations – both inspiring and convicting, but always honoring – about intimacy.  Challenge each other onto greater passion!  Vulnerable accountability is a real gift in this area.

23) Prayer Is Powerful: Ask God to increase your desire for your husband and reveal His heart on this topic to you.  Believe it or not, God wants to increase the passion in your marriage even more than you do…and He’s endlessly resourceful!

When a husband and wife cultivate an atmosphere of intimacy throughout the day, they have a higher likelihood of enjoying physical intimacy later. The physical act of intimacy is made that much sweeter when it is a culmination of your love, not merely a stand alone expression of it.

We need to fight to reclaim what God intended as a powerful, life-giving gift to husbands and wives.

It’s time to Rediscover Sex God’s way…….

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

~T

 

Shared with To Love, Honor & Vacuum

No More Excuses {Part 1}: Overcoming Inhibitions In The Bedroom

Just tuning in?! Get caught up on our Series on Sex, God’s Way here!

A Guest Post by Angela Clark Logan, My Heart Ministry

  In my last post, I addressed the idea of wives being more intentional in reaching out to their husbands sexually. I challenged you to be bold enough to initiate a sexual encounter with your husband at least every three days. I mentioned the fact that we have our reasons for being reluctant to do this, and today I want to address some legitimate inhibitions that we ladies have to overcome. But please understand this: they are legitimate only if we agree to strive to conquer them; they become excuses when we hide behind them and use them to avoid sexual encounters with our husbands.

  I think the most common obstacle we girls deal with is our self-image. We’re uncomfortable with our bodies. Please see the truth in this statement: Your husband doesn’t see all the faults that you see. He’s not paying attention to all your flaws, because he’s so excited to be in bed with a naked woman and he gets to have sex! Your husband LOVES you, which makes you more beautiful to him than any cosmetic surgery ever could. Your man isn’t looking to see if you have the perfect body, he is looking to see if you are a willing and eager lover.

  I know that for some of us, all the rhetoric in the world won’t help us feel more confident about our bodies, so here are some practical things that you can do to help yourself feel better:

Get in a couple of hours of exercise every week. I’m not talking about becoming a fitness addict, but I do know from experience that even a little exercise each week can improve how you feel about yourself and your body.

Take a warm shower or bath before bed. You’d be surprised at how much sexier you’ll feel when you’re clean, as well as how much the warm water does to make your body responsive to your husband’s touch.

Light a candle. Its light is less intimidating and more flattering than lamplight!

Find some sexy but flattering lingerie. Granted, you won’t wear it for long, but it will help you feel sexy!

Remind yourself that you are a beautiful creation, perfectly designed by our loving and wise Lord. Psalm 139:14 reminds us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple. Do you know how beautiful the temple was in Old Testament times? NOTHING could compare to its beauty! And YOU were created to be just such a temple. YOU are beautiful, sister!

  Another issue I see is the expectation that sex should be this passionate, romantic experience, the kind of sexual encounter that we see in the movies and read about in our “romance” books. And we just can’t live up to that. There’s a good reason: it isn’t realistic! Sex certainly doesn’t have to be boring, but it will never truly mimic what we see on the television or movie screen, or even what our imaginations conjure up when we read those steamy romance novels. We’ve got to stop watching and reading those kinds of things! Scripture calls us to meditate on what is honorable and holy (Philippians 4:8), and these erotic, unrealistic sex scenes certainly don’t fit that bill. Once we abandon those worldly fantasies, we can focus on making our own sex life exciting in realistic and attainable ways.

Here are some other excuses we make:

“I’m too tired.” Prioritize, girls! Weed out some lesser important parts of your day so you can save enough energy for your husband!

“I can’t switch from being ‘mom’ and ‘housekeeper’ to ‘lover.’” Keep the idea of being your husband’s lover in the back of your mind all day. Send him a flirtatious text or leave him a sexy voicemail. (Just make sure it’s a private mail box!) Kiss him (more than a quick peck on the lips!) when he comes home. Most importantly, make sure you’ve got alone time together every night! Put the kids to bed or send them to have quiet time in their rooms for an hour before you go to bed, and spend that time interacting, snuggling on the couch…get that fire started before you head to the bedroom!

“I just don’t enjoy sex.” I don’t enjoy doing laundry, either, but I do it because I love my family. And so we give ourselves sexually to our husbands because we love him. Communicate to him about what feels good and what doesn’t, and I would bet that he will be willing to help you find pleasure as you willingly participate with him.

  I know that I have just scratched the surface on this topic of inhibitions in the bedroom. Very soon Tonya and I will talk together about how to bring sex back into the marriage after infidelity, as we recognize that some issues are more serious than mere “inhibitions.” Bottom line: sex is a vital part of marriage. It’s time for us to accept that fact, determine to work past our inhibitions and then throw ourselves fully into the act of loving our husbands in this very physical way.

Come on over to My Heart Ministry and read more!

~Angie

Head on over to Part 2: No More Excuses, 23 Ways To Turn Up The Heat In Your Marriage

Being Intentional In The Bedroom: The 72 Hour Challenge

Welcome back!  We are continuing our Series on Sex, God’s Way with a guest post today from a friend of mine!  Just tuning in?  Then get caught up on the 4 previous sex posts, here.

Angie-close-up-2_thumb.jpg

A Guest Post by Angela Clark Logan

  Hello! My name is Angela Clark Logan. I am a mother of four amazing kiddos and wife of one incredible man. I grew up in a little town in the mid-west where I learned to love small-town values and dreamed some big-city dreams. I attended Ozark Christian College and earned a degree in Biblical Literature and Music Ministry. While at OCC I met my husband, Scott, and for eight years served next to him in local ministry. Now he teaches junior high and high school music, and we continue to minister through our local church and the Men’s and Women’s Encounter ministries.

  It was through Women’s Encounter that I had the opportunity to meet Tonya and hear her incredible story. We have a common passion for helping women succeed in their marriages, and I was thrilled when she asked me to partner with her in this series. I pray that through these posts, Tonya and I will equip you with the tools you need to not just survive in your marriage, but THRIVE. Read more of what God has been teaching me at My Heart Ministry.

 Chocolate.

  It’s the best coping mechanism ever invented by man. Especially the dark kind. I know some of you may disagree, but for me, there are days when I just need a little chocolate to get me through. Just one little bite, and as it melts in my mouth the frustrations and stress that are bombarding me just melt away with it.

  Ah, yes…chocolate is a glorious thing. Even my husband has learned the value of chocolate. As I sent him to the grocery store one evening, he asked if there was anything else he could pick up. I looked at him and sighed, “sanity.” When he returned he set in front of me a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. Sanity in a bag. And he didn’t even make me share.

  It is said that chocolate is the next best thing to sex. In fact, I think many women would confess that they would rather have chocolate than sex. I would bet, though, that their husbands would rather go the rest of their life without so much as a nibble of chocolate if it meant they got to have sex on a regular basis. Did you know that men are actually created to need a sexual release about every three days? My friend and author Cindy Dagnan writes, “Sex is as necessary as breathing for most men… because of the periodic buildup of seminal fluid, they actually need it.” Stephen Arterburn adds in his book Every Man’s Battle that “For most men, this buildup…takes only about seventy-two hours.” We cannot deny that our husbands are sexual people; it is indelibly woven into who they are. And yet we girls continue to justify our reluctance to have sex with our husbands.

  I’m going to be very blunt for a minute: all too often, our reluctance really just boils down to us being selfish. Oh, we have our reasons, but when it comes right down to it, we aren’t having sex with our husbands because we just don’t want to.

  Look at it this way: If you had decided to start eating really healthy, how would you feel if your husband sat down next to you with a big plate of whatever your favorite treat is, be it cookies or pizza or buttery popcorn? It’s right there where you can see it, smell it…almost taste it. But you can’t have it. Would you feel loved by your husband? I think most of us would want to smash his face in it! But do you realize that this is what we’re doing to our husband every night when we climb in next to him with no intention of making love to him? We snuggle up next to him (just to sleep, of course!) wearing nothing but a thin little nightgown. He can feel you beside him, he can hear you breathe, smell your scent. But he can’t have you. Ouch. Changes the perspective a little, doesn’t it?

  So what’s a girl to do? Start by being intentional in how your love your man. View sex as a way of meeting a legitimate need, as something very special that he desires FROM YOU, and as a way that you can bless him and show him that you love him unconditionally and without reserve. One way that you can be very intentional is by being the one to initiate.

  I know that initiating sex can be an intimidating thing for us wives. It requires us to be vulnerable and to step completely out of our comfort zone. But it is so worth it; you will be amazed at your husband’s response! He will be thrilled that you love him enough to initiate! It will take a little practice, but with FREQUENT practice it will get easier. You can get really creative and romantic with it, but it can also be as simple as having a special candle to light, a “signal” of sorts to let your husband know that it’s his “lucky” night. Maybe you can leave a card on his pillow that says, “Tonight I’m Yours.” Find something that works for you and then do it!

  Sex within marriage is a beautiful thing. Even if you don’t feel that emotional, romantic kind of love, sex can be an expression of your commitment to your husband. (And it might even help you develop those lovey feelings!)

  Here’s my challenge:

three day calendar

  Think back on what I said about men needing a sexual release every three days, and then commit to making love with your husband at least every seventy-two hours. And by this I do not mean to simply make yourself available to your husband. You must actively engage in sex with him not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

  And yes, you’ll need to initiate, especially if he’s so used to being turned down that he doesn’t even ask anymore.

  Decide today that you will actively and intentionally meet your husband’s need for sex, leaving no more than three days in between encounters. You may find your marriage renewed, your husband energized, and yourself needing a little less chocolate.

~Angie

    A GREAT BIG Thank you to Angie, for being here today to share her heart and passion with us.  She will be back next week, so be sure to tune in Monday for the continuation of our Sex God’s Way Series! She has lots more to say on her blog, My Heart!  ~T

Sex Within Marriage: Desire Not Duty

Are you guys hanging in there?  I know this is a highly sensitive subject, but one that I feel needs to be talked about more.  One in 3 marriages struggle with mismatched sexual desire.  Some studies even find that some married couples only have sex 10 times a year.  WHAT!? 

  This is NOT what your Heavenly Father had planned.  His desire is for you to have some Red Hot Monogamy within your marriage!  Did you know that a survey done for “For Women Only” showed that even if men were getting all the sex they wanted, 3 out of 4 men would still feel empty if their wife wasn’t both engaged and satisfied?  This means we need to work towards our DESIRE for our husbands, not simply acting in duty.

Desire not duty

   Today’s post comes from Joy at Simply Bloom and her Re-Discovering Red Hot Monogamy blog post.  It’s a fantastic read!!!!!

  “SEX. It’s everywhere, except where it matters most.  We live in a sexually saturated culture, with the only voice we ever hear being the corrupted addicted, perverted one of the world, exploited by the media.  Why on earth is the church mum on this topic? 

  Why are we allowing our sex lives to slip down the tube, unnoticed, un-discussed, as though it were not the magnificent gift – and powerful weapon – it is?”

  Sadly, we’ve bought into the lie that it’s the ‘heathens’ that get to have the fun, wild, creative sex…and we, the prim and proper church folks, get relegated to the ‘missionary position’ {pun intended}; the boring, predictable, two-dimensional left-overs.

Seriously.  Enough with that nonsense!

  We should be talking as loudly, if not louder, about this mysterious gift God gave his most beloved creation, mankind.  Sex is mind-blowingly incredible…and it’s because God made it that way.  On purpose!

God intended for the marriage bed to be a place of toe-curling, kick-the-nightstand-over sex; madly passionate, deliciously intimate connectedness.

   Why do we settle for so much less?

  We’re doing our marriages, and our children’s future marriages, a disservice by not talking about this subject.

  The marriage relationship was designed to be a tangible expression of God’s heart toward His church; a great love-affair marked by unconditional love, passion, faithfulness, selfless service, and vibrant communication.

  Sex is dear to God’s heart, and anything dear to His heart, Satan tries to steal, distort and misuse as a weapon against the heart of man.  Only something as powerful as this rouses the enemy to corrupt to such an extreme.  Just read the news.  On second thoughts, don’t.

  What a devastatingly destructive weapon sex has become in this world.  At the core, it is lust, unabashedly tainted by greed and selfishness, with a voracious hunger for power and control, and it often results in addiction.

Let me be clear when I say, this is not the sex I’m talking aboutI want to look at the stunningly intimate, life-giving, spirit mingling gift of sex between a husband and wife….”

Christians should be having the best, most invigorating, creative sex ever!

We’ve got to stop feeding the lie that “good girls” don’t have fabulous sex with their husbands.

I strongly believe it’s the overflow of this faulty understanding about God’s heart toward sexuality that has many marriages in the church today suffering from a case of watered-down, resentment-laden sex.  A far cry from the ever-growing, relational oasis it was designed to be.

And because no one talks about this, except maybe the Cosmopolitan-reading ‘bad girls’, we suffer in silence.

It’s a dangerous dynamic that has the potential to destroy a marriage if not addressed.

“Sex is the spice that rescues our relationships from becoming mundane pursuits of chores” – Bill & Pam Farrell.

If you even wondered how important sex was to God’s heart, notice that He dedicated an entire book to a detailed, juicy exploration of the topic.  Find some time to slip away and read Song of Solomon 2:3-17 and Song of Solomon 4:1-7.  It’s steamy stuff!

You see, sex is like glue in marriage.  The mortar of the marriage structure.  It requires the ultimate sacrifice of vulnerability, humility, and selflessness.  And it immediately creates a shift in the ‘climate’ of your relationship, and ultimately, in your home.  A sexless marriage will cause ripples in every area of your life.  Nothing is unaffected.  I realize this is a tough reality to accept, but know that there is always hope.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, puts it this way…

“Men need validation. When they come into the world they are born of women and getting their validation from mommy is the beginning of needing it from a woman. And when the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like a hero, he’s very susceptible to the charms of some other woman making him feel what he needs. And these days women don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give a man what they need… I hold women responsible for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.”

  Do we fully grasp, as wives, that when we said ‘I do’, we were committing to be our husband’s sole source of sexual satisfaction for the extend of our lives together.  Sure, other {unhealthy} counterfeits threaten to creep in from time to time, but the responsibility to meet those God-given needs lies in our capable hands. 

Because sex has the power to unlock your man’s emotions…and you’re the one holding the key…it is inconsiderate – and frankly, un-Christlike – to withhold that gift from him.  Strong words, I know.  But if we refuse to do our part, there will always be another eager to fill our shoes.

Our men no longer need to go looking for opportunities to sin sexually – it literally knocks at their door several times a day.  We have the incredible ability {the power and honor} to help guard their hearts and minds in the fight.

Fight for your husband, beloved!

Our bodies are so very, very different, and while we do comprehend that on many levels, we often don’t realize the implication that has in the intimacy department.

Men are indeed like microwaves…hot and ready in a matter of nano-seconds, and satisfying them is relatively uncomplicated, comparable to a blindfolded attempt at ‘pin the tail on the donkey’.  Women, on the other hand, are the {sadly infamous} crockpot.  The one with a whole lot of buttons and knobs.  You know the one.  You’ve got to twist this 37 times, press that, move this lever 52 degrees clockwise, tweak this little button for 12 minutes and then pray it’s plugged in properly, because if it’s not…dude, you’ve got to start all over again!

Not really, but you get the point.

God made us this different on purpose! It takes time and effort and communication and a whopping dose of sense of humor to pull this stuff off!  All valuable qualities to cultivate in a marriage.

Don’t give up…practice makes perfect!

When we realize that our husband’s desire for connecting with us intimately goes deeper than a superficial, physical need for release, we may be more inclined to bless his heart by pursuing his body (and jumping his bones).

As a side note, and in talking about the importance of meeting his need for physical intimacy – which motivates a desire in him to meet our need for emotional intimacy, it would be remiss not to mention the wisdom {oh, husbands…are you listening?!} and importance of a man intentionally touching his wife’s heart first {it’s all about both partners selflessly giving 100%…not just a half-baked effort in the hopes you’ll meet in the middle).

Allow me to explain…

Mark Gungor talks in his series, Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage, about the access points to men’s and women’s hearts.  Aptly named the “happy” place.

Okay…now put away any persnicketiness, dust off your sense of humor and work with me on this one, okay?

For a man to touch his wife’s {ahem}, he needs to access her heart first.  Or as Mark succinctly puts it…”be nice to the girl!”.  And as we’ve discovered, for us to really access our hubby’s hearts…we often need to touch his “happy place” first.  Or at least make sure it’s getting enough, um…happiness.

The Happy Place

Cue the oxytocin, and voila!  It’s magical.

Or something.

Sex is a balm for their weary souls. Our husbands are out there everyday – them against the world – they desperately long for a safe place to come home to, to be completely real and vulnerable, and to be fully accepted and loved. Our desire for them fuels them in a way we will never fully understand {Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only}

Show Me Mine, And I’ll Show You Yours:

It’s amazing how easily – because they don’t always touch our hearts first – we put off meeting our men’s needs until we feel ‘primed’.  And while it seems natural – after all, it’s really hard to be sexually vulnerable with someone you don’t feel you’re emotionally connected to – we’re basically declaring, “fill my emotional intimacy tank (while you’re running on the fumes of an oil rag)…and only then will I consider filling your physical intimacy tank.  “Me first.  You second”.

  It takes remembering the depth of love {1 Corinthians 13:4-7} I’m called to offer my precious man – that was first offered to me in the midst of my sin and rebellion – to correct my heart.  When I lay down self and meet his needs first – even when my tank is feeling empty – he is passionate about meeting my needs.  It initiates an energizing cycle in my marriage.

  We are in a battle for our husband’s hearts. The phrase ‘it’s okay to look at the menu as long as you eat at home’ is absolute bollocks.  And our husbands know it.

The Bible says that an affair of the heart is very much an affair {Matthew 5:27-28}.

  God created men to be visual creatures – don’t bemoan it and whine about it, work with it, sister!  Take it up with their creator if you have an issue with it.  And in case it needs to be said…”don’t be modest behind closed doors!”.  Our husbands love being entrusted with the most intimate, brave, wild side of their wives.

Embrace your inner ‘goddess’…and for Pete’s sake, let her out a little more often.

  Don’t forget that even sexier than our girly figure in the bedroom, is our Godly confidence in the bedroom!  So let’s do what it takes to get comfortable in our skin.  When we feel sexy…we are sexier to our men.

  Be intentional about smiling at him again whenever he walks into a room.  Laugh easily.  And stop being so easily offended.  Learn to flirt again….”

  A big thanks to Joy for allowing me to share parts of her amazing Re-Discovering Red Hot Monogamy Series today!  Head on over to her Simply Bloom Blog to read more, you won’t be disappointed!

~T

Shared with To Love, Honor & Vacuum’s: Wifey Wednesday!