By: Allie Joy Hudson
5 min. read
The Sex List
Sometime last year, my husband and I sat down at our kitchen table and wrote out our “sex list.” We have open talks about sex often, but writing this list gave us an opportunity to clearly express our expectations, hopes, and goals for our sex life.
On the list, we wrote down our ideas about concepts like communication, spontaneity, serving each other, and confidence, as well as practical things like how often we’d like to have sex and things that each of us really enjoys.
Writing out our hopes for our sex life helped us to have a guideline that would keep us accountable in continuing to love and pursue each other. However, our list isn’t something set in stone. We’re always learning, and we’re both willing to go back and rethink what we’ve written down at any point.
Our Sexual Integrity Includes Our Sex Life
I’m so thankful that sex is one of those things you never stop learning about. It’s a gift from God, and it sure is a good one. I love that our God designed sex to have so many intricacies and layers – emotionally, spiritually, and physically – that keep us learning, growing, and excited to discover more about it with our spouse for the rest of our lives.
As we strive for sexual integrity in our lives and our marriages, we need to recognize that a hugely important element of sexual integrity is our sex life with our spouse. This isn’t something we should just coast along in and casually hope that it turns out okay. Our sex life is an area that deserves our attention and care. As we work with our spouse to enjoy and cultivate this gift, this honors God, builds up our marriage, and better equips us in the fight for sexual integrity.
So how exactly do we do this? How do we prioritize, treasure, and grow in our sex lives? I put together a list (yes, another one. I do love my lists. Ha!) of ways you and your spouse can grow in your sex life together. Let’s take a look:
Cultivate intimacy with your spouse. This is so crucial. If we view sex as a purely physical act, we’re missing out on so much. While sex is largely physical, physical intimacy isn’t the only factor at play here. Sex gives us time to truly be with our spouse, to have undistracted time to focus on, love, learn about, connect with, and serve them. Each sexual encounter reunites a husband and wife over and over and over again. There is such a beautiful depth to sex. Don’t miss out on this.
Learn together. As I mentioned above, there are always new things to learn about sex, especially as you practice, as your tastes change, and as you try new ideas. There are lots of good books, podcasts, and other resources out there. A book my husband and I learned from was Sex 101, and another one we’re hoping to get soon is A Celebration of Sex.
- Continue to date each other. We hear this a lot, but it really is important. Carving out intentional time to spend with your spouse helps to keep the element of pursuing each other, one that was present when you were dating, alive and well. Spending time that you’ve set aside for just the two of you keeps fun, spontaneity, play, and romance alive in your marriage, and it sure doesn’t hurt your sex life either.
Talk to each other about sex. Ideally, marriage is a safe space. You and your spouse have covenanted yourselves to each other. You see each other at your highest and lowest; marriage is a place for vulnerability and trust. While talking about sex with each other may feel awkward, you won’t grow and learn together if you don’t. As you do this more often, it’ll feel less awkward over time. Strive to talk openly yet gently about what works for you and what doesn’t, things you might like to try, anything. Take time to listen to your spouse as they share with you. And, keep in mind that these conversations don’t just have to be apart from sex. Share briefly with each other while you’re making love too.
Pray often. Ask God to protect and richly bless your marriage and your sex life. Marriage and sex strikingly reflect Jesus’ intimate love for His Bride, the Church. God has given us these gifts to reflect Him, to honor Him, and for us to enjoy. Invite Him into these things prayerfully. Just as we depend on Him to help us fight against temptation and lust, we also need to depend on Him to help us in our marriages. It is only through Him that our marriages can thrive. Pray, both together and individually, over your marriage. And try praying before you and your spouse have sex.
Have grace with yourself and each other. While sex is such a blessing, it can also be frustrating, difficult, and disappointing. When you’re first married, it takes time to learn each other’s bodies, habits, and needs. And at any point in your marriage, things happen. Sex isn’t always “fantasy caliber.” So, as you experience frustrations, go through them together. Be kind and patient with each other and yourself. And don’t let those hard times prevent you from trying again.
Play together. Sex shouldn’t be a thing of selfishness and conquest. We need to remember that sex is something to be enjoyed, a type of innocent play. It should be fun! Be creative, flirt, laugh a lot, and enjoy each other.
Be UNASHAMED. Sex is the most intimate thing two people can engage in, and you get to share this experience, to share yourself, with the person you love most. Don’t be afraid to go into a sexual encounter with confidence. Be generous with your body and with your words. Affirm your spouse. Admire each other visually and verbally. Look at the way the lovers in Song of Solomon are so beautifully vulnerable with their words and with themselves! Share your body, express your heart, and unite your souls.
Related: Sexual Integrity After “I Do”
Something to Fight For
As we continue through this blog series on sexual integrity, we must recognize that there are so many ways we can and need to fight to uphold sexual integrity in our marriages. Keep in mind what we discussed today; don’t miss out on this crucial way to fight!
Sex in marriage is a good thing; in it, we have something to fight for and not just something to try to shut out and fight against. We can fully embrace this good gift.
God gave us the gift of sex in marriage, and His desire is for us to honor Him by protecting, cherishing, and enjoying it. So today, strive to think through and implement some of these ideas. Pursue your spouse, and honor Jesus in the process.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven for two and a half years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.