If you read last week’s post, “Too Pooped to Whoop” and thought “How does she do it? Every three days? Where does she get the energy for such passion?”, this article by Heidi will begin to answer that question. It is not a matter of trying harder, but viewing sex in your marriage as a spiritual act. It becomes a surrendering action where you invite God in to do His work. I can so relate to Heidi’s journey discovering her spiritual strongholds through her sexual relationship with her husband. It requires a vulnerability, giving of ourselves, much the same as God is asking of us in our relationship with Him. Please welcome Heidi to FancyLittleThings and make sure to check out more of her writing and her fellow bloggers over at “Adding Zest to Your Nest” or her own blog “Moms, Ministry and More“.
Can I just tell you that when God showed me this I freaked out? At first I wondered if my kids had finally and officially driven me nuts.
But then as I pondered, prayed and reflected on scripture, I realized that I was not going insane but that God had finally broken through my resistance and allowed me to understand a divine truth: that a godly, passionate marriage bed reflects the intimacy He has with His bride.
Therefore, He wants me to have great sex. Frequently. Openly, Passionately, and Unashamedly.
(And all our husbands say amen.)
With the revelation that my sex life did not measure up to biblical standards, I first tried doing what has always worked in other areas: try harder.
Sorry, no go. That just doesn’t work when it comes to intimate issues. I had no choice but to get real honest with myself and face the truth about what my sexuality reflected.
As I read in Ephesians 5:25-32 that a husband’s love is to mimic Christ’s love and bring about cleansing, washing, removal of spots and wrinkles (hello? we are obviously not talking about the body here, at least not mine), I realized that my sex life reflected more “body in action” than “heart engaged.”
I let my husband’s love help and heal me in other ways; but sexually? Well that required giving up control at a level I hadn’t been ready for.
As I opened my ears to hear the painful truth, I realized that God was showing me an area of weakness in my life, a way in which I am very easily tempted: to perform instead of relinquish control of my heart.
Now you have to understand, this was really hard news for me. All of my life, I’ve been the good girl. I’ve wanted to please God. I’ve wanted to do the right thing. In fact, so much so that it became a stronghold.
The thing about this stronghold is that it looks okay, even commendable. It can look downright spiritual. Isn’t our enemy sneaky?
I’ve been in ministry since age 22 (that was awhile back, in case you were wondering) and I’ve been a missionary for 8 years. I’ve “surrendered” all sorts of things. I’ve surrendered the possibility of living the American dream…of living in comfort…of security in relationships and finances… of pursuing my dreams and career…of having nice things…on and on. Not saying this to boast, simply to say that I was totally and completely duped to my true condition.
So I thought I was surrendered. People told me I was surrendered.
But my marriage bed told me I hadn’t relinquished control of my heart.
I had performed well. I had been obedient. I had followed Jesus in ways He had asked, and all of these things were right. But surrender is different than performance.
After the years began to tick by and the easy, passionate, youthful lovemaking season gave way to one with more responsibilities of both the body and spirit, the spot light began to expose some ugly inner workings of my heart.
I could engage physically with my husband. But I hadn’t surrendered certain deep places of the heart.
Just as this was the case in my marriage, God showed me it was true in my relationship with Him. In fact, my sexuality was a reflection of my spirituality. I was good at serving God, but not at letting Him have all of me, unprotected and unguarded and unashamed.
Can you believe that I didn’t even know this about myself? It started with a very early childhood wound and sadly, the rigid religious setting I grew up in drilled it nearly to perfection.
Wounds are susceptible to infection and mine got infected with this deception of worth based on actions. Wounds and infections also require constant salve and bandages- I accepted the constant application of performance and hard work as mine.
And everyone around me was happy with that. It made life easier for every body. I had spent my entire life keeping the wound doctored and bandaged, but had never fully allowed Jesus to heal it.
As God used my sexuality to show me the truth about my innermost places, I began to see the wonder of what He really wanted to do.
He wanted the real me, the one I was trying to stuff down with performance because I believed that is what He wanted (and I believed that is all I was worthy of, not of real relationship), to break free of all that junk. Spiritualized junk. Boy, I’m an expert at that kind.
He wanted to present me spotless and blameless before Him in love… and without wrinkles, too. (I wonder if He put that phrase in for us women, isn’t He great? Oh I love His sense of humor that comes just at the perfect time!)
It has nothing to do with performance.
In fact, it is something He does all by Himself. I just have to let Him in to do it.
Why is it that we fear something that is so wondrous, so whole, so liberating? Well, because the enemy tells us to fear it and we have believed his lie.
I’m not sure where this finds you today, but may I ask what kind of statement about God your sex life makes?
Does it reflect redemption? Does it reflect healing and cleansing? Does it reflect oneness restored with God? Does it reflect God’s wonder and joy? Do you embrace it as the blessing God intends for it to be?
God wants you to.
We have a great team of contributors here at Adding Zest and each one has a unique angle. Mine happens to be this spiritual side of our sexuality. Because um, as you can tell, I’ve been down a pretty twisted road.
I’m learning that God is a gentleman and He is escorting me to the deep places of heart and spirit. And y’all, it’s affecting my marriage bed- if you know what I’m sayin’.
My husband is happy and so am I. And that’s all I’m going to say for now :).
(Posted July 2010 and March 2011 on www.addingzest.net)
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