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Rethinking Godly Sexuality in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2022 6:00 am

Rethinking Godly Sexuality in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 15, 2022 6:00 am

Dr. Juli Slattery recognizes that many couples a poor foundation for understanding God’s design for intimacy — that our sexual relationship is a metaphor for the intimacy God longs to have with each one of us. (Part 2 of 2)

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Today in Focus on the Family work would be returning to a common challenge that can leave husbands and wives, frustrated, ashamed and even heartbroken about the relationship of the following conversation about intimacy and marriage is suitable for younger listeners, we do recommend you redirect their attention elsewhere hostess focus presidency and author Jim Daly and Anjan Joey had a very important and frank conversation with Julie last time and really discuss why so many Christian couples struggle in this area venting the seating on the not to love guilt onto all of us, but it is a struggle and we don't seem to have a healthy understanding of God's design for sexuality within marriage and I'm so grateful that Dr. Slattery is written, this wonderful new book, God, sex, and your marriage. I'm even blurt the title out you can go to is anybody going to respond. You can say those things in the same sentence God sex in your marriage or those are three whammy's but it is so critically important for us to talk about this because again we should be the role models for how God intended this, and I'm looking forward to the conversation. If you miss the conversation last time I go to the website you can download the focus app for your smart phone and that we got the whole inventory radio programs you can listen to so I encourage you to listen to the conversation last time.

As we talk about this topic again today and for YouTube viewers just go back and find the previous conversation right there so you can watch it. Do contact us if we can offer any advice, insights or follow-up with regard to what Dr. Slattery shared last time and get your copy of the book God sex in your marriage are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family or stop by the show notes for the link Julie it's great to have you back.

Thanks for having me always get one that's fun to catch up with you and Mike's in the audience so everything you say has to be true that's right naughty and down her back and forth but it's so much fun last time we talked about covenant love which is a great reminder of what God intended.

So for those that missed last time when we just start their quick recap on what covenant love this so covenant love is best contrasted to the contract which is how we usually think about marriage, how we think about friendship is lines. This is working for me were gay and proposal to meet my needs then direct work like increasing marriage like we have long-suffering contracts, so will put up with a lot more than we will let their friends but there's still a limit and we apply that to sexuality as well. So as long as my needs are getting that Abby long-suffering first season, but this is really about it being mutually beneficial and if things get too difficult then maybe we should consider getting out of this marriage swelling covenant love is really till death do us part right until there's nothing it's gonna break this bond and we need to continually work on making things better for each of us right where it is. We talked last time about how the picture of healthy sexuality is God's covenant love and even if you think of the words of Jesus and of God saying I will never leave you or forsake you. Nothing can separate me from your life. Imagine if a husband and wife said that to one another and he meant it. That's the spirit of company that is really good and that that is the concept and that is why the Lord uses this area of marriage as a metaphor to his relationship with us that faithfulness, even to the point of faithfulness. That's what this is about faithful to me your Lord, you know not, and how you may not be faithful in your marriage but that's the metaphor. It is selling are you all in for me right so the idea is that as were working on sex within marriage. We should be learning about the nature of God's love for us and likewise as we grow in our walk with God and understand more aspects of his love.

We then apply that to every aspect of marriage including sexuality.

Julie you've identified four pillars or qualities of the covenant love you just described what are the 44 pillars. Let's talk about sure yet. This is really helpful for me personally. Jim, not just to say the picture in my marriage especially like covenant love to drill down into what is that practically mean and as I look at the Scripture and I journey with God. There are aspects of this covenant love that are really tangible and applicable to sexuality within marriage. So the four pillars are first of all, faithfulness that a relationship with God is built on a promise of faithfulness. That's the nature of that covenant. The second pillar is intimate, knowing that the whole purpose of our covenant with God is that we might have deep fellowship with him so you don't just get married to follow the rules.

The purpose of marriage. One of them is that you grow in deep intimacy and that you have sexuality. The third pillar is sacrificial giving that our relationship with God is even possible because of what he gave to us sub sacrificially and my love for him is demonstrated and how I I lay down my life for my Lord every day.

That's what I'm called to do so in the marriage relationship and sexual relationship. That's a component is how are we self giving, how we sacrificial with each other and then the fourth pillar which is a beautiful one is passionate celebration. If you've ever met a Christian who follows all the rules and is dutiful has no joy there something wrong part of our intimacy with God should be celebration and thanksgiving even in the difficult times and that transfers over into sexual intimacy as well that healthy sex life because of those other three pillars has reason to be celebratory list again so faithfulness you're saying is, the core core described how that fits into the intimacy marriage. Why faithfulness is so critical. Faithfulness is the foundation of everything else.

So if you don't have faithfulness in your marriage.

You can't have intimate knowing sacrificial giving is going to be skewed and passionate celebration is can be short-lived. So faithfulness is the parameter like that's key. One thing I've realized is that your character is the most important thing about your sex life. If you have character you can't build a long-term satisfying sex life.

So that's what I feel like sometimes we wanted to sale. Faithfulness is for some couples that struggle at this no every married person needs to grow in faithfulness and it's not just about.

I won't cheat on my spouse. Faithfulness means I'm in a be a safe person for you.

You can trust me.

My character is reliable and trustworthy and it plays out in a lot of different ways that is so good in fact in the book you talk about you. Mike struggling the early part of your marriage and Mike said something to you. I think on your honeymoon you were struggling right from the get-go.

What did he say why did the mean so much to you. So we started off our honeymoon and were unable to consummate a marriage because of physical pain on my part and so we went a few days like this and we were both so disappointed. And at that point, I think starting to sort of turn against each other like it's your fault that this is your fault like you know how that happens when you hurt and disappointed and we were staying in this one-bedroom log cabin so we could really get away from each other. We each went to our corners of the cabin and then I noticed that Mike was reading his Bible, which was a good sign. I'm glad he's he is by well I don't think is really mine, but he came over to me. After a little while and he just say you Julie. I know this is disappointing. I'm disappointed too but I just want you to know I'm not going anywhere that we have our whole lives to figure this out and that was so significant to me because he was putting a huge brick in the foundation of faithfulness in our marriage.

He was making me feel safe and that he wasn't angry with me. He wasn't blaming me that he was looking towards the future and so we talk about faithfulness. The issues of pornography and infidelity are huge, but I think we also can't neglect that faithfulness is about the person I am in my becoming a safe and trustworthy person intimate knowing is the second pillar you describe in the book the Old Testament Hebrew word Describe what your dog is why that caught your attention so you die is the Hebrew word that is often used to describe sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. And so even in Genesis. It says Adam you die. Eve and it means to intimately know and so it's sort of an illusion to. They knew each other sexually, but that word yet die in the Hebrew Old Testament is used over 940 times while most often it's used to describe the intimate knowing that God has with his people selling someone 39, when David says you know you know me you know the word is on my time before I speak it. He's using that word yet die over and over again how how wonderful are your works.

I you die that full well the deepest right arm when Moses is saying I want to see your glory uses that word yet.I want to know your glory husband knows a wife and so if you are reading the Old Testament Hebrew, which I don't know much Hebrew, but I know this word you would be reminded continually that the deepest intimacy of a husband and wife is a reflection of the deep intimacy God wants to have with his covenant people even know but it was you so many times that's what we don't want to recognize these parallels for families but God is saying.

I want to know you like, you know your spouse site physically like wow okay that's for you bring that all into the sacred was intrigued by something else too much of the book that for many couples sex is nothing more than what you call the sanctified hook up describe what you meant there and how Christian couples may be missing the greater value if it's just a physical thing, but I think this is true of a lot of couples because if you think of the paradigm that we we enter into marriage with its I have these last I have these passions.

Finally, I have a place to channel them that is given me husband or wife. And so it becomes about our bodies having a physical exchange that we negotiate and were checking the box.

This is why compatibility feels like it has so much pressure in the average marriage.

I got married, had these needs met. Therefore, I expect that they be met and where just connecting physically without realizing that that's not intimacy that's right just being sexually active sometimes and I think this is really common in particular when there's been pornography involved here physically connecting with your spouse but your mind and your heart are not even there you have your thought, your spouse has their thoughts. You don't how to talk you not sharing the journey and this is where I say you might be technically following the rules, but you're not working towards what God intended your sex life to be because he created it for intimacy.

Julie keeping with this pillar of intimate knowing and again were discovered faithfulness as number two intimate knowing you mentioned dry seasons in a marriage where you may go for a period of time with no physical intimacy now.

I've often thought, that's not healthy. Your son could be good for you. Okay so go ahead and tell me depends on why so when a couple is just drifting away and there's no sexual activity. There's no movement towards that.

I'd say that's a bad thing. There are season. Certainly when you might be going through stress or grief for you just don't have the time and energy. Yes there are seasons, but they should not be long seasons and the key to the is talking about it right. It's not misinterpreted right spouse just lost.

Russ is not there right now. Give me a few days or something like that when they don't talk about it to be really sure what I mean by this is that for most couples they think about how often were having sex.

So we haven't had sex in six months or three weeks. It's that conversation of the activity are we checking a box and that's all they think to ask about but what Scripture is really calling us to is a continual pursuit of sexual intimacy and they are seasons where even in order to build intimacy.

You have to let go of some of the activity. Now what I mean by that. Some he give you an example.

Let's say you have a woman who has experienced significant trauma in her past. She gets married and sex and the act of intercourse is triggering for her, but she keeps saying this is important so I'm in a make sure we have sex but every time they have sex.

She feels in some ways objectified, she might feel re-traumatized and her husband loves her and can't figure out why she can enjoy this weather's deep woundedness that doesn't go away because you get married and so then what happens is there's this deep conflict where they don't how to talk to resist these issues. He feels rejected.

She feels bad couple like that might need to say hey let's get a timeout and get some help and really look at how trauma from the past is interfering with us. Building intimacy because God's design is for mutual pleasure.

It's for sharing is for communication and this couple stuck and so sometimes they can be so focused on reactive sex once a week or three times a week, that there actually working against building intimacy against healing against communication against freedom. So that's what I mean by their seasons where it can be healthy did not focus on activity, but instead this is key instead to focus on building intimacy. I think that's also the case when there's been a pornography addiction or a betrayal in order to really build intimacy. You have to address that you can't just say let's forget.

It happened you have to go to the wounds you have to go to the breach of trust, and rebuild it before you can really date was moved to the third one sacrificial love. I am not sure if this connects, but one of things that you and I talked about the past.

Gary Thomas will talk to him about it but you looking generally couples tend to not always believe me I hear from the folks doesn't flip but the 8020 rule is, we tend to marry people who are opposite us in many ways extroverts married introverts. I think in part it's a beautiful scriptural truth. You know were looking for the complement of our world were not strong writing, but those can be the things that really drive us crazy over the long haul and marriage. How does that apply intersexual differences, you know, so if that's true of the milk chocolate on the dark chocolate couple.

How does it work in our sexuality.

Well, it's a reality that most of the second and marry somebody with whom are sexually incompatible and Christian singles that can still ask me why should we sleep together before we get married and we want to know for compatible and I'm like hey let me just rent it for you. You will be incompatible.

Yes, even when you're dating. If you think you're compatible you get married and you married a very different person with a different approach to sexuality with different hormones with different body parts in said there's a natural incompatibility built into marriage when my husband and I were wrestling with some of this incompatibility in my marriage. There was a season where I was really frustrated and I would say I wanted to ask God like why would you give us this gift and then keep us from enjoying it because were still incompatible, but he began to show me that actually some of that incompatibility as part of the gift that that's part of safe, like where Adam and Eve incompatible before the fall, and could it be that Adam was like hey lets you die and he said I want to go for a walk and talk first. I can almost guarantee that if that was before sin, and that must be the sign and it is part of God's good design because it means you can't be sexually fulfilled unless you learn to be unselfish. God wants us to love like he loves and that means love has to cost us something and I think the average Christian comes into marriage, expecting that God is going to give me and my spouse all of my needs met and they get angry, frustrated, disappointed when sexual love actually begins to cost them so you know in this area Julie again.

I'm going to's beasts come up stereotypical and I don't mean to offend anybody but oftentimes a woman can build up a lot of angst here because it becomes duty to my Christian duty. I don't enjoy what whatever the issue is he wants it to. Frequently and so I just do my dutiful fine not putting the emphasis in their own purpose for living connects with women's heart that is inside how some feel know just what I gotta do but speak to that sacrificial love again to make sure we cover correctly.

I think you might have some experience. I think your three young boys, you weren't feeling exactly in the mood right and you had to grapple with. This is a great illustration for a lot of sure wives about what to do part of the reason that we think that way is because you been taught that way. I've been in many's sermons and conferences where the message is women you have the duty to failure has been sexual needs and there is a veiled threat there that if you don't, he's more like a lady cheat on you or to look at pornography and this comes out of a misapplication and a misunderstanding of something that Paul wrote in the letter of first Corinthians, and I think it's really key that we grapple with what is this passage in first 20 and seven actually mean in the context of the whole story and picture of what God designed marital sexuality to be so when there is this idea of the duty and and I hate that word because it's been so missed understood what God is really calling us to is he saying in marriage, you have an obligation to minister to each other sexually. Now that's a very big difference. So let's say if were going with the stereotype, which is always the case that the husband has a higher sexual desire will not only is his wife called it a form of ministry to him to walk with him in that journey, but he's first read for spending seven called to minister to her sexually, and her sexual needs night might not mean I want to have sex three or four times a week could be emotional. It could be. I need you to minister to my woundedness or I need you to make me feel so safe that I can discover who I am is a sexual person I need you to not put pressure on me. And so when the husband and wife are both embracing that God is calling me to minister to my spouse in this very sacred area. They began had very different expectations and communication, but the way it's been applied has been one sided and it's only focused on the activity of sex not the deeper aspect of ministering and intimacy. Let's cover that last and final pillar, passionate celebration for the site is who you ask.

A lot of women say they like that the intimate knowing of the cover passion celebration play how God has designed our bodies is amazing and I know people are uncomfortable with is using these words that God created the orgasm. It was his idea. God created the nerve endings he crafted those.

And again, even as I say that some of you are right as give me a reason notes try. He didn't create like all of it. He made it to be celebratory and passionate and feeling good and he says to be intoxicated with sexual love which is drunk with sexual love like this was his idea. Read the song of Solomon which is curious. It's the only book in the Bible that is about a human relationship. Every other book is ultimately about a relationship with God. This is the only one that focuses on human relationship guy didn't choose parenting to write about.

He didn't just choose marriage. He chose sexual intimacy within marriage and the pleasure of sexual intimacy and marriage and so this has a high priority in the Scriptures, but we don't know how to understand it, we seen it so twisted in our culture that we don't know how to see God reclaim and redeem that. That's why were you know Julie I think as we close. Obviously there's degrees of brokenness in this area of life and generally were speaking to the couples that maybe are just on autopilot for going through the motions but it doesn't have the full understanding of what we've talked about through degree. If a couple is in a desperate situation. That's where the need to call us as a starting point to get counseling help and we can refer people to counselors in their area and get even more help in that way. Where there is greater brokenness like is legislative so we want to encourage everybody a wonderful place to start courses with your book right at the end here. What is that word for the couple. She's hearing. Julie got me for a good living sanctified physical relationship.

You know I don't I don't get out. I don't really enjoy it my duty everything you said is connected. Now what do I do what he said her yeah I say every one of us needs to take a step in that step might be different.

As you mentioned. For some it might be calling Focus on the Family and saying we need help, but for some of us, and this is been my step at different seasons guide. I am going to pray about my sex life in the next three months.

I am going to be devoted to asking you to give me wisdom to help me in my spouse communicate and connect and invite you into the space in my heart every single one of us can do that can say Lord show me the next step redeem the brokenness and I don't know where you are in your journey.

That guy just wants to be part of it and he wants you to take that next step so good. I hope people will respond your don't be embarrassed were here we been in ministry for over 40 years. We want to help you.

So call me. Why struggle in silence in this area. Let's be triumphant.

Sounds amazing, but what's really live like the Lord intended us to live in the area of sexuality in our marriages.

Julie, thanks for your vulnerability you write so well and you talk about your own shortcomings in social where the people are drawn to what you say because of the vulnerability.

I also have to say thank you to you because you guys did a lot of training me by filling your heart is everything I'm doing is really cool but I would encourage you to do the first thing maybe get a copy of Julie's book. You can do that directly through Focus on the Family. It's an honor to do that to put it in your hands if you can make a gift of any amount will send it as our way of saying thank you if you can afford it will get it in your hands on me more about ministry here so don't let the finances keep you from a better sex life in your marriage.

Callers will get it out to you will trust others will cover the cost of the you donate as you can. Maybe a little extra so others can also get a copy of this great book God sex in your marriage are numbers 800 K in the work-family 800-232-6459 or stop by the website. The link is in the show notes.

We hope you have a great weekend with your family and with your church family as well and plan to join us on Monday for insightful conversation with Henry cloud and John Townsend about finding the balance between your marriage and your in-laws, the spouse got the intrusive mother-in-law has got to have a talk inside.

I love you guys put off for my spouse she comes number 11 and got first half of Jim Daly of the entire team.

Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision on abortion are you ready for what comes next and how should we respond as emotions run as Christians we need to be ready. Focus on the Family can help you prepare. Join us every Monday to hear inspiring stories from people who face their own pro-life moments and experience God's love to learn more mobile mobile

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