Blog Post by Rodney A. Wilson
Rodney Wilson is a regular guest post writer on Selma on Leadership. Rodney has been a marriage and family pastor/counselor for almost 20 years. Rodney and Selma have been married for 40 years and they have spoken and written on marriage and family issues for most of their married life.
I do a lot of premarital counseling. One of my favorite sessions is on sex and romance. It is so meaningful to talk with, instruct, advise and encourage engaged couples on this delicate and often misunderstood part of marriage.
Here are some points I share with each couple. If you are engaged, listen up. If you are married, read on. This can be for you too!
Here are 4 words of advice for newlyweds on sex:
- Be patient. When I was a kid my older brother was playing a board game with his friends. Being 5 years younger I couldn’t play, of course. So I fiddled with the box top and noticed the slogan describing the game. It indicated the game was easy to learn but the more you played it, you realized there was some strategy involved as you learned the game.
The slogan: “A minute to learn – a lifetime to master.”
Could you describe sex any more aptly? It doesn’t take long to figure out the physical aspect of sex, but the more you are intimate with your mate you begin to discover there is some strategy involved. The husband thinks, “If I treat her in a loving way outside the bedroom, she is more confident inside the bedroom.” Or a wife thinks, “If I respect him in front of others outside the bedroom, he treats me lovingly in intimate moments.”
There is some strategy here.
Be patient, newlywed. See sex as a lifelong journey with your spouse. It is ever unfolding and never quite arriving. Don’t see that as a negative thing. Rather, see it as a challenge that keeps you two focusing on each other as a team.
- Talk about it. Imagine a couple married in 1920 (back when no one dared talked about sex). That couple goes on their honeymoon and the husband wasn’t all that fulfilled in their initial sexual experiences. But he remains quiet and assumes she’s okay with it. Ironically, the wife is feeling the same thing, yet she also maintains her silence on the matter.
So on they go through life with neither of them ever fulfilled sexually because they did not address their concerns. “It’s just too intimate to discuss” is their rationale.
How sad. You must not be that couple! There are two levels of intimacy: both the act of sex and the more personal, more vulnerable act of talking with your mate about how your sex life is going.
My challenge to you as a married couple is to refuse for sex – specifically your sex life together to be a taboo subject. Rather, see it as continuous learning. You learn, evaluate (talk about it), make adjustments, and then you learn more.
As you do so, you are preventing the dilemma of the 1920 couple from happening in your marriage. God wants you to have a fulfilling sex life as a married couple but it takes communication for that to occur. Break the ice and keep it broken. Talk about your sex life.
- Keep it fresh! When you and your mate took your vows you said something to the effect of “forsaking all others and keeping only unto you…” What that means is that if Jesus doesn’t return anytime soon, and you both maintain reasonable health, you are pledging to make love only to your mate – not through the months and not even through the years – but literally through the decades! For that to happen in a fulfilling way, there has got to be an effort to keep your sex life fresh. Be creative and work to keep the mystery in this area of your marriage.
I once counseled a couple with sexual issues and her opening statement was, “Tuesday night is our night. It the only night we ever make love but we don’t miss a single Tuesday. I have grown to hate Tuesdays.” Ouch! If everything is exactly the same every time, eventually your sex life will become routine and boring. And boredom will kill a couple’s sex life.
So keep it fresh. Do what it takes to stay attracted to each other and to fight boredom from creeping into this part of your union.
- Seek help if needed. Long gone are the days of the stigma of seeking a counselor. If there is something not clicking in your intimacy, do not suffer with it. Again, God wants you both to be sexually fulfilled in each other. Seeking help for your sex life is not a selfish thing. Rather, seeking help when needed is God-honoring as you seek to strengthen your own marriage.
Sex is a gift as well as a responsibility. It is work but well worth the effort. Be patient with it. Let it develop a chapter at a time. Talk about it as a couple and make the appropriate adjustments. Be proactive and seek help if needed.
When do you become a master couple on sex? I don’t know. Our 40-year marriage is still on the learning curve.
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18
Enjoy your journey of marriage as you take a lifetime to master.