[From Julie] This week marks the beginning of the second half of the book and starts the discussion of sex. Strangely, our numbers were down this week. 🙂 I’m sure it has nothing to do with the topic we were set to discuss. It was also Father’s Day and I don’t think you could find a better gift for your spouse than a little re-enactment of how he became a father in the first place. Just sayin’ ladies that a little sex with your husband is much appreciated. Just ask him.
Those of you who are reading the book along with our small group may have noticed that the book is divided into two sections (essentially). The first half deals with your friendship and developing constructive patterns within your relationship. The second half deals with the sexual intimacy component of your marriage. The first half of the book is the foundation that makes a good and healthy sex life even possible. During other marriage classes I’ve said that sex isn’t everything but it isn’t nothing either. You may have noticed that when you are going through a stressful time as a couple your sex life isn’t as active. It is often the first thing to go when you aren’t feeling as connected as you should. When that happens sex becomes more of an issue usually because one or the other of you isn’t satisfied and the wedge between you gets deeper. The goal for this small group is to get you talking about everything and that includes your sex life. So now that you’ve started talking about your friendship and started ‘taking out your trash’, we can delve into the sex discussion. Everybody ready? Doesn’t matter we’re doing it anyway. 🙂
Chapter six is a good start to the many discussions about sex which you will hopefully be having with your spouse over the next few weeks. Being able to identify how each of you views sex in general is a good idea. This chapter introduces the ways that sex is most commonly perceived. It gives a framework and vocabulary to discuss this rather private topic with. Often talking about sex is more intimate than actually participating in it. Be brave with each other and let your partner hear what you think and listen with an open mind to what your partner shares with you.
We live in a culture that views sex as god. Everything revolves around it. You can sell anything with it and you can access it anywhere at anytime. The porn industry is a monster both in the money it makes and in the damage it can cause. Mark Driscoll quotes stats later in the book that say that people in the US spent more on porn last year than the total revenues of the pro football, basketball and baseball combined! You have to make a conscious effort to keep your mind and thoughts focused on your spouse in the sex crazed culture that we live in. The “sex as god” perspective idolizes sex and makes it something that it was never intended to be.
The idea that sex is gross is sometimes a response to the sex is god idea. It is an over-reaction to our culture and often is perpetuated by parents trying to raise kids to have a more ‘Christian’ perspective. It can also be a result of past abuse that has left the victim with a warped view of sex. This ‘gross’ perspective is the idea that sex is for guys (because they have stronger desires) and making babies but not for enjoyment or any other reason so try to avoid it as much as possible. It isn’t something that we talk about with others especially within Christian circles. If you have questions or concerns than you need to figure them out by yourself. This perspective reduces sex to simply a biological function. It overlooks the true meaning of sexual intimacy.
When you view sex as a gift you recognize it as something to be received, enjoyed and valuable. It was created by God for the benefit of marriages. It is the part of your relationship that is unique and something that you share with only one person. You are your spouse’s only lover. Think about that for a minute. You are the only one to fill that role. Do it well. Become more thoughtful, caring, giving and adventurous. Look for ways to serve each other in the bedroom. Discuss what you want to try to be open-minded.
The Driscolls discuss six benefits that sex provides when it is within the context of a loving marriage. Sex is for pleasure, for children, oneness, knowledge, protection and comfort (p. 118-119). That’s a lot of benefit for one aspect of your marriage. It’s worth talking about and working through your issues for. Start thinking of your sex life as a gift that is intended to benefit your marriage greatly. Renew your mind and redeem your sex life. Your biggest sex organ is your brain so it stands to reason that “Thinking rightly about sex is essential to your enjoyment of sex.”
So this is it everyone. Start talking it out. For those of you in our small group, your homework is really valuable in getting these discussions started. Share your thoughts, apologize if you need to, forgive when you need to and share your bodies with each other. It’s meant to be enjoyable so have fun.