Such a topic for Christians! They struggle to talk about it in church. Sometimes they’ll talk about it with friends. But realistically there is this barrier, this discomfort for many Christians when broaching the topic of sex. It’s almost viewed as taboo. Something that dare not be discuss because….they’re not sure why but just because.
I know this is a sensitive subject, and as an Atlanta Christian counselor I would like to encourage you to explore it anyway. Of course, in a safe and healthy way…but still. Go ahead and consider it. How is your sex life? How often do you and your spouse communicate about it? Are there challenges in this area?
Let’s talk about ways Christians can work to have better sex.
- Being a safe place. Partners benefit greatly from feeling safe with their person. And not just physically safe. Partners desire emotional safety. If this is lacking, sex may be impacted. It may be worth it to ask yourself if your partner feels physically and emotionally safe with you. Do they feel you will care for them? Do they feel you will protect them? Do they feel you will validate them? If not, they may hold back emotionally or physically or be timid or not engage at all. If you’re not a safe place in your partner’s eyes, you’ve got some work to do. You may even benefit from asking them how you can help them feel more safe in the relationship. You may benefit from seeing a counselor together. You may benefit from building your friendship. There are many things you could do, but seriously. Work on this. It’s important.
- Self-awareness. Many Christians have the idea of sex pushed so far back in their minds. They view sex as sin outside of a marriage. And then when they get in the marriage they don’t know how to change that script. This is where self-awareness comes into play. Becoming aware of our own judgments, thoughts, and feelings helps us begin sorting through all of it. Another way self-awareness helps is understanding your own body. When you become aware of what you enjoy, you can communicate that lovingly to your partner. And, it helps.
- Communication. Once you start building awareness and your partner does the same, work to communicate about what they enjoy or don’t enjoy. Communicate about what you enjoy or don’t enjoy. This is tough for women (stereotypically speaking.) They sometimes struggle to communicate their most vulnerable needs. And ladies (and really all of you, men included) I encourage you to push through how uncomfortable it might be to say certain things and say them anyways. Of course, say them in loving ways, but still, say them.
- Understand the BIG difference. I like to share with people that stereotypically speaking women long to feel loved and out of that feeling they have sex. Men long to have sex, and out of having sex they feel loved. This is difficult for couples because often times women feel their emotional needs are not met (they don’t feel loved) so they don’t want to have sex and then their husbands don’t feel loved because there’s a lack of sexual intimacy. Work on this! Work on emotional connection. Work on the barriers that hold you back from engaging with your spouse. See an Atlanta Christian counselor. Ask the tough questions. Have the difficult conversations. Your intimacy is worth fighting for!
- Let go of unrealistic fantasy, and think about ways you can make THIS relationship great. Sometimes we allow our minds to cloud with notions of sex being like it is in the movies, or in porn, or what we’ve heard from friends. And sometimes that’s a really dangerous thing because our real sexual relationship doesn’t match up with the story we hold in our head about what sex SHOULD be. So, scratch that. Focus on this relationship. Work to improve your intimacy. Realize that much of the information, images, ideas we get from sex in the media is inaccurately portrayed and can leave us feeling disappointed about the reality of it. So, work to change the story in your head. Work to improve the real relationship you have. If that’s difficult, see someone who can help you do that. Speak to mentors. Talk to therapists. Read educational books. Learn about how real sex can be good. With that being said, this relationship can definitely be great. It can be creative. It can be beautiful. It can be fun. You just want to make sure you’re not comparing it to something that’s not real.
- Address any challenges with professionals. There are many ways that life circumstances can negatively impact sex. Emotional issues, medical issues…life issues can get in the way. If you are experiencing problems that are getting in the way of your sexual intimacy, speak with a professional. There are medical issues that can impact both men and women and create problems in this area. Speak to a doctor if you’re having issues. There are emotional issues that can get in the way. Speak to an Atlanta counselor.
I hope this helps you in your work to improve your relationship. It’s difficult to pull such a broad topic into a small article, and there’s lots that is left unsaid. The most important thing to remember is to work at it and find support if your relationship is struggling.