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June 24, 2021 2:00 am
Our perspective on physical intimacy can be compared to working a jigsaw puzzle. And according to Juli Slattery, it's important to put it together using the right picture.
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Robles puzzle section can see actually highlight those pleasures are part of the more frightening a broader picture highlights lines welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most kind and will send it on day will soon if you can find email@example.com or on our family life. This is family life today so we get your message today from the family life love like you mean it virtual cruise and you wonder what it would be like when you heard it was virtual.
It's actually ended up being a great idea and we couldn't get on a boat because a covert and so we decided let's do a virtual cruise and so couples all around the world zoomed in Nero online and experience talks, workshops, music of a there were couples doing ballroom dancing in their family room.
I've heard couples had, you know there's beach towels out at home and so it was really fun but let's admit the real cruise will be better. The great news is in February next year 2022, February 6 to the 13th. We are back on the water. Actually, if you want to get on the boat. You can sign up right now before June 28 you get a better deal. So I go to family life today.com right now and sign up for the real cruise not virtual real cruise next year, but we get to listen to a message that Julie Slattery gave the virtual cruise on a pretty hot topic that she call it God's acts in your marriage and we both know Dr. Julie Slattery. She is a great friend sees unknown clinical psychologist season, author, speaker, broadcast professional, but she's also the president and cofounder of authentic intimacy and she has her own podcast called Java with Julie and she just answers tough questions about sex.
And so I love Julie because not only is she brilliant. She has a brilliant mind but she also is an expert in this area and she pressed brings it down to earth and talks about the things we all struggle with and we need help and she always come from a biblical perspective and this this message was dynamite because she walks us through different perspectives that we have. Especially we in the church have about sex and it's honest and it's real and I'm telling you is life-changing as often is the case I've been asked to speak on. That's what I do for a living now so I will tell you in the course of the ministry that I run, that I literally ask thousands of questions about sex like you can think about it. I've been asking questions from thousands of Christian couples about things like what's okay in the bedroom. Is it wrong for us to watch pornography together as a couple. I would like you sex is painful for me or even how I'm officially happy having sex and I think as I look at this questions all boil down to one central question that I think most of us don't know how to answer and that question is what should our sex life look like like what's wrong what's healthy and most importantly, what is God honoring white lighting guy. Give us this gift of sex in the first place. As we navigate the challenges of the sexual relationship actually supposed to be working towards. I think a lot of Christians don't answer that cup. That question and it's even possible that you guys disagree as a couple on how to answer that question. One person thinks I should look this way, and the other person thinks it should look that way and I think the best encouragement I can give you that we have together is to help answer that question as you working through challenges and asking yourself questions about how do we overcome just as easily have in our marriage has never come differences in our opinions, which we actually striving for.
I know when things that I've been doing during quarantine and get me some of you will think this is really nerdy as I like to excel puzzles at one point I got my husband to agree to do a jigsaw puzzle with me and the first day we get. He's like this is awful like how could you enjoy this relaxing so honestly day like today on weekend burns got stairs listen to an audiobook and just work on a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Now the way I do my jigsaw puzzles actually become my basement right now you can see jigsaw puzzle. There, and I've got the box propped up so I can see it because when I did a puzzle.
I'm looking at the context of what the front of the box is telling me that I should be creating and I really can't imagine doing a puzzle without having a frame of reference to show me what I should be creating. I really can't imagine doing a jigsaw puzzle. If I were looking at the wrong box. If I thought I was creating this picture when in reality be creating another none of the pieces would make sense an analogy I like to think about as we consider the question what are you supposed to be creating with sexual intimacy within your marriage because if you're working from the wrong picture then you're going to be very confused about how to overcome some of the common challenges that we face when it comes to sexual marriage so before we get into the right picture and want to talk about two pictures that a lot of couples will be working from thrashing around pictures and can create confusion in your sex life. So first, the first one I want to look at is a puzzle that is based on really the world's perspective and you'll be looking at a site here. The world puzzle really highlights the idea that sex is about self-fulfillment about your pleasure highlights the fact that you guys have to experience great sex all the time. It's always pleasurable. As always, can be fun.
You're always going to agree on the fundamentals of sexuality and if you are looking at this puzzle it at this picture you're trying to get a sheet of sexuality in your marriage is what you believe. First, I believe that your sex life is broken. If it's not always pleasurable.
If you go through a season where is not fun are one of you is having trouble just with climax orgasm, you think something is seriously wrong with us. You also think that sexual compatibility is the most important thing in your marriage. I you believe that hey, if my spouse's desires are different from mine were forever broken and that's just never get to work and you probably believe that you are sexually healthy. As long as the physical experience of sex is good and all of the statements come from the wrong perspective because this is really not how the Bible teaches us to view sexual intimacy with marriage now. Is there a place for self-fulfillment and for pleasure, for sure. There is an healthy sex life should include aspects of pleasure and will talk about that a little bit later, but when your whole perspective says it always has to be pleasurable.
We always have to be compatible sexually. I get very frustrating when you run into situations and seizes your marriage where that's not the case and this is why some Christians think things like that in our marriage. Because core helps the physical experience. Be good and that therefore must be healthy, but the Scripture would say no, actually that's not health and that's not the way you want to navigate sexual challenges in your marriage. It might also be why someone might be thinking about leaving their marriage because sex and the marriage is pleasurable or good and I talked to both men and women Christian when you feel like God would not want me to have to struggle this much in this area. Maybe he wants me to leave my marriage and again that's the wrong perspective course the reason why so many single Christians who say why in the world.
When I have sex with somebody before I get married like don't I want to know that were sexually compatible and again that's the wrong perspective because the most important aspect of the puzzle you're putting together is not compatibility something else and again will get to that in a minute.
So that's the first picture that I think a lot of couples are trying to create an against the wrong perspective now. The second picture that I think a lot of couples are trying to create and this might surprise you a little bit when I talk about it. That's the wrong picture but call this the traditional churches puzzle of sex and is teaching that a lot of us got growing up its emphasis that sometimes we hear a lot of Christian teaching about sex and it highlights the rules in the duty and so when you go to church or you read your Bible, you read these list of things that God says are wrong, that are defined as sexual immorality over and over and over again and you learned that sexual immorality is wrong, but you may also have begun to believe that sex itself is wrong or sexual measures wrong and that the most important thing is following these rules, or you may have heard that sex and marriage is all about, obligation or duty. Now I want to say that when I bring up that traditional church puzzle and sex and I talk about obedience to rules or duty. There is truth in this puzzle there Stanley truth. When we look at that picture of God's design for sex that is really clearly said that sex sexual intimacy is supposed to be reserved for man and woman within the covenant of marriage. That's true. And there's also a truth in the fact that when we get married there's a sense of this is part of our love for each other and we should withhold it. But the problem with the traditional churches picture of what were building in our sex life as it emphasizes those two aspects and neglects the broader picture of what sex is supposed to look like in your marriage and so as I worked with couples who really are rooted in trying to create this picture of sex all around rules and duty. Some of the things they might believe.
First of all, you might believe that your sex life is broken.
If you have any sexual sin in your past that you carry around a sense of shame and forgiveness. I remember talking to one lady who been married probably close to 30 years and she honestly told me that sex in her marriage had never been good I did okay for a husband that she never really enjoyed it and she couldn't figure out why. So she went through Bible study through our ministry and in that Bible shut study, she discovered that she had been believing a lie for 30 years per marriage in the line.
He said essentially because she and her husband had sex before they got married. She felt like God can never bless their sexual intimacy within marriage. She didn't realize that, essentially punishing herself for the last 30 years of her marriage because she didn't really believe that God could give her forgiveness and freedom. And when she learned that his likeness like Bob just going off. I don't have to live in shame and I think when we overemphasize the rules without also bringing in the redemption freedom that Jesus offers the complete picture sexual and ceaseless to be we can really feel like we can't move past something even as difficult as an infidelity that God can't bring healing and redemption and respectively that God doesn't even want us to be free, but the Scripture tells us that Jesus died for our freedom. He died to set us free and that's in every area including any kind of past sexual shame or guilt that were carrying around.
If you believe this puzzle. This is what you're creating and it's all about obedience and duty.
You might also think that your spouse owes you sex because you got married now. Again, let me say that there is a passage in first chapter 7 that communicates that we have a sense of meeting each other sexual needs within marriage.
That's when things were called to do were never to use the Scripture to have the kind to where I'm demanding something for my spouse where you have to give this to me that's a very unloving attitude and is not all representative of the heart that God calls us to have within marriage towards one another, and so that would be an attitude that again you're creating this puzzle and you looking at that picture you might get that a little bit there, or you might feel like hey I'm just resentful towards my spouse, or even resentful towards God because I'm not enjoying this part of our marriage.
Another thing you might believe that he might believe that we are sexually healthy. As long as we have weights and I think of the young couple Christian couple going off to their honeymoon and essentially the advice we give this young couple often might not say it out loud weeping. That's like saying you're free.
Now go have fun.
Just don't break the rules. We don't get a context for the kinds of things that they can encounter not just on their honeymoon, but there can encounter early in marriage and what you think back here honeymoon here first year of marriage did you run into challenges in your sexual relationship. Are you prepared for those did anyone tell you that you encounter those. My husband and I ran into very serious disappointments, honeymoon, and it actually led to conflict because we didn't know what to expect that we followed the rules, but we still experience pain least we still experience in disagreement.
Things weren't working right for us and so we were really confused. I can't befall the rules license is difficult and you know what I've learned. Now over 26 years of marriage, is that God not only calls us to be sexually immoral, but he also calls us to become sexually mature and grown-up understanding of this gift within marriage and to grow within our love for one another and so this this picture of your puzzling and if you're just looking at the rules give you a glimpse of what that maturity even looks like so important and I think that you understand that God presents this beautiful picture that were supposed to creating sexual sexual seats from the Scriptures that is so far beyond his following rules and Bibles puzzle of sexual intimacy actually highlights not just rules displeasure those are part of the more importantly the broader picture is that highlights covenant love. What do I mean by that.
Why does the Bible highlights covenant love as an aspect is the key aspect of our sexuality will display the Bible begins with the way if you go to the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible and you reduced to chapters in chapter 2, before sin enters the world God's created a man and a woman and they are stark naked in the garden and says they're not ashamed that they enjoyed each other sexually.
Sex begins with this intimacy with his writing, and then if you read the Scripture all the way to the last book of the Bible, Revelation C, there's another wedding. But this wedding is between Christ comes for his bride for his bridegroom and there's a wedding ceremony and were united and were taken to his new home.
So the big Bible begins with this wedding in the Bible and sweating in this very common verse that we often talk about we talk about marriage sometimes don't pack is in Ephesians chapter 5 where Paul essentially combines these two weddings. He makes the connection between any says the purpose for marriage and the purpose for sexual oneness. He actually is referring to one flesh union.
There is a ministry that helps us understand God's love for his people. So, upon saying here is essentially a set the whole Bible is the story of the way and wedding of Adam and Eve in Genesis and everywhere wedding since your wedding my wedding on marriages.
They foreshadow the ultimate wedding of Christ and his bride.
I really love how author and teacher Christopher West explains that he says the Bible can be summed up in five words. God wants to marry us in the very beginning of Genesis to the very end of creation, we see that God's created male and female covenant of marriage and the sexual union of the wife not only to be something that's sacred but it's embolic of the wedding that stay calm now I know that they cut ablation of mine. It's like R8 that sounds very theological, Julie. But how is that going to help me. Here's what I want to think about that is the front of the puzzle box that's what you use to make sense of all the different pieces of sex within your marriage. It's what you used to get perspective when you're going through things like conflict around your needs versus your spouse's needs. It's what you used to work through disappointment when your body is not working the way you wish they would. Or where you're just exhausted all the time and what I want to do in the rest of our time together as I want to help break that down into four practical things when we look at the puzzle box.
God's love for us.
This covenant for us is an informed help me make sense of how I should be stewarding sexual and see within my marriage would be listening to Dr. Julie Slattery as she gave a message on the love like immediate virtual crews this past February and oil board not only to talk about a hot topic but she is given a perspective that is so hopeful much of well and I think that we've all been there and I like that she just kind of broke it down into the world's puzzle traditional church puzzle and in the Bibles puzzle and I don't think most of us really have an idea of what God's blueprint looks like for sexual intimacy in a marriage that we didn't we didn't know we didn't.
We knew the world plan that's all that we had really heard. We went to a conference two weeks before. What in the family life.
We can remember.
And that was the first time in all my years and years to write you ever even considered God's perspective.
To think that we're just gonna snap right into that as we got married a couple weeks later is reduce talking about. It was a real struggle mean this was the biggest drug over first year of our marriage is understanding God's heart in this I'd say the first 10 years the years. Pelvic is not only did we struggle in the beginning because we in our relationship when we dated, we really tried to do it God's way and so that was good. But then we carried so much shame from our past and then I would say the thing that really was hard to do with having kids because now I like this is really hard and I felt like it became a duty, which was the go to expressly hear my wife thought sex was a dude I just set it on the radio that's good for everybody was about that. Why do I just well it felt like I was a mom I was raising kids.
We didn't have room much romance in our relationship, and I felt like the only time you are affectionate with me was when you wanted to have any kind of physical intimacy and so we stop holding hands. We stopped really kissing and I felt like a break. That's all you want. That was just tell the world our struggle every week and left no, but I usually had no concept of what real intimacy was much more than physical, specially for you. It's affection in conversation and sharing our hurts together and it is nonsexual touch holding hands and just a hug. I had no idea. I think at that point we knew God's word.
We were studying it, we were teaching it. But I'm telling you to really apply it for all of us. It can be difficult.
Not only is a difficult in the bedroom. It's difficult your marriage life so you need someone to come alongside and say let me help you. And that's what Julie did and it's interesting because a lot of us think we don't need help you remember when we first got married and my dad came to visit us. Oh yeah and you know Dave and I have all these books on the bookshelf and on marriage on sax on intimacy and he's kind of going through all of our books, and he pulls out. I can't even remember the book may be intended for pleasure and he pulls it out in my dad. He wasn't walking with Jesus at that time.
Any looks at the title and he does is talk about sex and are like he goes well. You guys must be bad if you have to actually read about it to know how to do it. You are so offended that I think I made some comment like, well, your wife would like you to do about it only for the truth is I'm so glad we did and we all need that help me and that's why we have Dr. Julie Slattery helping us.
I mean it's like this is not some you do is figure out on your own. You need God's perspective God's word God's truth and that's what she's given us today. Yeah, and she's also helping us to be super practical. Here's what God's word says and this is how we can live it out and that's what we all need is with everything in life when we can align our thinking with God's thinking on any subject when we renew our minds about what is true, it changes everything we been hearing today from Julie Slattery about how this applies in the area of intimacy and romance of the marriage and honestly this is a subject that regularly I hear from couples who say were challenged in this area. That's why am so glad were able to address this appropriately on family life to the she presented this message on the love like you made a virtual crews in 2021, we were able to be on board a big cruiseship because of cold this year but the good news is next year. Work will be altogether again back on the boat sailing the seas and the Caribbean.
The with the crews are starting to fill up all of our love like me to merge. Cruises have sold out. In past years, we expect that to be the case again this year, this week were making special pricing available to family life to the listers it's our back cruising event. You can get all the information on a website of family life to the.com or this is even simpler. Just call one 800, FL, today we can answer any questions you have. We can reserve your cabin over the phone.
Again the number is 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today and I know the last year plus has been tough for a lot of marriages make the love like you mean it clues in 2022. Your opportunity to get away to reconnect to realign with God and with each other again. Call us to reserve your cabin number is one 800 FL today.tomorrow working to hear more from Dr. Julie Slattery about how thinking biblically comes to romance and passion of intimacy, a marriage can be a game changer for our relationship. Hope you can join us for that on behalf of our host Steven M Wilson on Bob team. We will see you back next time for another edition of family life today, production of family helping you pursue the relationships that matter most