Because of the AMAZING Nicole Espy, if you missed my talk last week on sex, she did a LIVE recording and posted it on our Facebook page! God bless her! It's under videos if you missed.
I said several things from the stage last week and followed them up by saying “if you remember nothing else, remember this” so I do want to go through and restate those things because come to find out, there were a LOT of things I wanted you to remember. :I
My talk could basically be summed up with the two main points being things that apply to WAY more than just sex in our lives and those things were:
1) We are all broken
2) Our unwillingness to TALK about our brokenness is what keeps us from healing.
I went on to unpack four practical application points to help aide in healing our sexual brokenness or “limps” specifically, and those points were as follows:
1) Cut the wound open. Be willing to go through the pain it might cause to sit your husband down and open up about what you see and feel when it comes to sex in your marriage and your past experiences with it. What holds you back? Do you have any past baggage you need to share with him? How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about his expectations? What are his needs? Etc. etc.
2) Nike. JUST DO IT. Go against your nature and initiate or agree to sex in the times that you have been dodging it. When you feel upset, insecure, afraid etc. Be willing to take some risks. There’s no sense in going through our marriages on a hamster wheel if we are experiencing frustration- try something new. When it comes to fighting for your marital intimacy- you can’t really lose here.
3) Know the enemy is waiting. Acknowledge that sex is of such importance that the enemy has been working to break your relationship with it loooong before you even met the man who became your husband and that he was influencing your husband in the same way. SO… know that wherever there is a victory in your marriage, in particular, your sexual relationship that because it’s the single most beautiful act of relational intimacy we are GIVEN- know that he is there. He is fighting in UGLY and brutal ways to keep you from having sex and to set you back anytime you make any forward progress.
4) PERSIST. When it comes to any sort of brokenness- the more work required to heal it, the more powerful the result right? So, because healthy sex has the power to transform our marriages- know that the work required to take it back and honor it will be HARD. It will require sacrifice, love as a verb kind of action, time, and the willingness to PERSIST even if things feel hard or hopeless.
The last thing I really wanted you to take away was to stop yourself the next time you’re declining one of your husband’s advances and consciously think differently about what is going on, to reframe it. I said “I want you to HUMANIZE his need for you.” Now I repeat though, this does not mean just give in and have sex. What it means is to stop and think about what is happening. Recognize how you’re feeling, what you’re assuming his advance might mean. Is it kind of a like a, “great, this again?” or “as if I haven’t done enough today” or simply “I’m so tired.” Identify what you’re feeling and think for a second what he might be feeling. Could he be afraid you’re going to roll your eyes at him and say not tonight again but he wants closeness with you so bad that he’s putting himself out there despite the risk of being shut down? Could it be that his body is responding to the fact that during his lunch break he got a vision of you at the park from last weekend when you had no idea that he was looking but you smiled while swinging with your daughter and it was the most beautiful thing he’s seen for awhile? That he’s been carrying that image all day? Maybe it’s a perfect opportunity to say babe, what you said earlier in the kitchen really hurt my feelings and I have been holding onto it but I hate how things like this get between us so I want you to know that sex is the last thing I want right now because I’m still mad… but I want YOU. I want to fight for the health of our marriage so be patient with me, can we settle for cuddling tonight? Or like I said, rolling over and looking at him with a sweet smile and saying “I can’t get into that headspace right now babe, but I would love if tomorrow night after we put the kids down- we just go to town on each other.” And yes, you can still be a Christian and say that. ;)
Lets fight the cycle of wanting sex so desperately our whole lives just to finally get married, have children, and dread it.
Now, I have to say that if any of this seems insensitive or impractical its because it lacks the meat that puts it in context so go watch the video!
I love that Nicole stood after me and said what she did about you needing to find a woman, NOW, who will agree to hitting her knees on behalf of your marriage. Who will tear the roof off for you and your husband both in an effort to push you closer to Jesus. Find a friend who agrees to pray not just over your marriage but over sexual intimacy specifically in your marriage.
I need to say this. When I stepped off the stage last week I was almost instantly attacked. I had been studying and praying, asking God to use me to speak what he wanted said- for the FIVE months leading up to those 40 minutes in front of you. In those five months, I felt in stride with the spirit and confident, not as a result of my own strength but alive and confident with what Christ was doing. I stood up there and poured out what God led me to and LOVED the gift of being able to do so for every single one of those 40 minutes…. until I sat down in my chair.
I came under FIRE. So much so, that I ended up crying which if you know me, is weird unless I’m watching “This is Us.” I instantly started backpedaling. Insecurity, fear, and twinges of regret began falling out of my mouth. The crazy thing is that because the enemy is so cunning, the way he attacked me was by saying “You said too much, you hurt someone.” Which seems kind of noble right? It could be healthy for me to feel sensitive and conscious that I may have reopened wounds or triggered some really hard things but not when it means feeling as if I shouldn’t have said the things that God led me to in the first place. I can be sorry for the pain caused while not being sorry for the content that caused it. I thank the Lord for the women who rallied around me afterward and said “No, you don't get to do that. You spoke Truth, don’t ever doubt when Truth is spoken.”
I feel like God placed these blinders of sorts on me as I prepared to speak. He steered me away from my typical empathic and sensitive emotions and kept my eyes fixed on Him. He knows that had He opened my eyes to the potential of someone getting hurt, I never would’ve gotten on that stage.
If the enemy is alive and well within our group and we are worthy of being attacked- it’s because we’re onto something. The vulnerability that is being lived out, the risks taken and the all-out GUTS it takes to go first in our fight for freedom will always be something the enemy sets as priority 1 to destroy. So lets keep it up. I closed last week apologizing that my message wasn't warm and fuzzy. It wasn't the kind of thing where I stood and was able to say "You are doing exactly what you're supposed to do and you are exactly where you're supposed to be as a Mom" because I pray that you already KNOW that. In knowing your strength and power as a woman and mother already- THAT is was makes room for messages like this that can leave us with the audacity to want more. To go after the highest potential for those we love the most.
So lets keep giving the enemy hell… and improve our marriages and sex lives while doing it. ;)