God and Sex Continued
I’ve been overwhelmed with the comments I’ve received to yesterday’s post, both on my blog and through email. Thank you, each and every one of you, for your positive comments, encouragement and prayers.
Todd was spot on in his comment. That was one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written. Mine is not an anonymous blog. My parents, sisters and several other family members read it, along with people I have personal relationships with here and in other parts of the country. Knowing they’re reading about my great deal on furniture or the latest adventure in parenting is one thing. Knowing they’re reading something so personal is quite another.
I decided to squeeze my eyes tight and go for it because it’s a very real issue. Not just for me and Todd, but for thousands of other couples. Whether it’s cancer or another medical condition, intimacy is almost always altered. The sad reality of that is marriages are ruined because of it. I never even considered that until I started conversing with women who were going through divorces and/or painful counseling while being treated for breast cancer.
I am grateful to God for the marriage He’s blessed me with. Yes, I mourn the loss of certain aspects of my previous life – I have moments when I feel as though Todd and I have been cheated. But much greater than that I am filled with abundant joy and gratitude for the life I have now. I know for an absolute certainty my marriage is based on so much more than a physical relationship and I know I’m loved without condition. If that doesn’t make a girl blissfully happy, nothing will!
As for the sermon series, I don’t know what we’re going to hear. I do know that whatever is said it will be Biblical. Not a “how to” message, but what God’s design is for men and women. And I don’t have a problem with hearing such a message in “mixed company”. Young children won’t be present and I have a hard time believing the sermon will get the teenagers all hot and bothered while preaching sex within the boundaries of marriage.
Shushan (Cute screen name, by the way) – I wanted to address your comment about not wanting to hear anything on this subject at this period in your life. I totally understand what you’re saying. I AM at a place where I can hear whatever might be said. However, I went through chemotherapy in Arkansas while my husband lived and worked in Pennsylvania. The weekends he didn’t come home I didn’t want to hear anything about husbands and wives. It was too painful.
But the way I feel about it is Biblical subjects should not be avoided for any reason. If a person is uncomfortable because their toes are being stepped on then they need to just deal with it. (And have I been through some painful sermons for that reason!) But if a person is uncomfortable for the reasons you’re talking about I think it might be better to just avoid those particular services. Just my two cents.
There’s a whole lot more I could write, but a great deal of it would probably be redundant. So I’m going to end the topic here and hope I managed to express the important stuff. And being the shallow, superficial gal I am, I’ll be back to the mundane in no time at all!
I’m proud of you for writing that post. It took some guts and you did it eloquently. I certainly could take some pointers since I have the opposite problem and tell too much.
You Rock, Jenster! Get this stuff in a book so you can start saving for that Anniversary trip! ;o)
I love your honesty. It takes alot of guts to speak your mind and it’s really refreshing. Btw, when are you going to Scotland?
Slackermommy – I’m kind of a contradiction. I share pretty much everything where the cancer and reconstruction is concerned. But other things not so much.Becky – I’m working on it! Or I’m trying to work on it. :o)Aim – Thank you. As far as Scotland, Todd and I have talked about going for our 25th anniversary for years (that will be 2013). But you know how we had to cancel Hawaii this past summer and were going to reschedule for next summer? We’re toying with the idea of going to Scotland instead. But that would drastically cut the romance level because the kids will be with us. So we may be back to Hawaii after all. The truth is it will depend on where we get the better deal. :o)
Well, I really hope you get your trip to Scotland sooner than later. :)And I sure understood that you were being more open about these things that most people can stand to be -and I admire you for it -I also appreciate the comment on my blog :-DBut I am going to disagree with your two cents. Subjects like loving your neighbor as yourself, worshiping God with all your heart, and the effects of sin can apply to most everybody. I’d agree that all such subjects should be addressed whether it steps on toes or not (and I think this is where you are coming from?)But I believe a subject like this – where even in scripture a certain restraint is often exercised- is a bit different. I definitely AGREE that it is a good thing to have it, but it sounds like they plan a fairly explicit discussion which IMHO really should be reserved for the those to whom it can apply. That’s easier done as a special couples study. OTOH – I guess if your church lacks many singles, sick/injured people, widows, or very senior citizens (and the children are elsewhere) then it DOES belong on Sunday morning, since it would bless most of your members. Otherwise, its asking the less fortunate to consider at length what they can’t have those weeks or skip the main fellowship – like second-class citizens or something.As Christ says:: Matt 12 “For there are some eunuchs, who were so born from their mothers womb: and there are some eunuchs, who were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”By which I mean – that I don’t think Apostle Paul would get much out of those weeks either. ;-)That said, I am really glad you are anticipating Godly instruction and I pray it is a blessed session :))In Christ,Susan
that should be Mat 19:12sorry about that![Good thing that wasn’t on the quiz, huh? lol]
Shushan – I’d agree that all such subjects should be addressed whether it steps on toes or not (and I think this is where you are coming from?) That’s exactly what I was talking about. :o)I can’t say how explicit the series will be. I DO know they’ll be biblical. I guess we’ll just see.And I don’t mind that your two cents and my two cents don’t quite add up. I’d bet we agree on a whole lot more than not.
Jen,I come from a part of the country where people don’t whisper the word s-e-x. Still, even among us northern Californians, there would be some discussion about the sex series at church. I applaud your church. And I applaud your openness. I also applaud your writing, as it’s fabulous!Warmly,JillPS: I applaud Todd!
I just wanted to let you know that I admire the courage it took for you to share yourself with us. Sex is a hard subject for many people – I hear about those people who have sex every night and get jealous and being the bad person I am, I’ve decided they are lying ;)My best friend’s church has something called the Alpha program and the latest one is on marriage. All aspects of marriage including sex. It’s held on Monday nights and Sue has been very happy with how her and her husband are learning more about each other. She told me she wished Bob and I would take the class but I know Bob too well so I told her to take notes ;)As for church, I wasn’t raised in one and I don’t go to one. I figure God is anywhere I am and I can talk to him anytime – having had panic attacks all my life, there have been many conversations with Him while curled on sobbing on the bathroom floor. If I was to go to church it would be one like yours or like those ones where they dance and sing. I’m not one for ceremony even though I love to talk one and one about faith and God.I think I would want a mentor if I was to go to church. Someone who would be open to my questions and able to explain certain practices.On a side note, my best friend can talk very openly about sex (I’m talking TMI but I’m her best friend and she can tell me anything) but she finds it very hard to talk about her faith as it’s so personal to her.HugsCindySP.S. I hope that you find some inspiration from the sermons.
Jill – Thank you for coming to visit me! I lived in Arkansas for 18 years so I know what part of the country you’re talking about. Though our church there (Fellowship Bible Church) did a fantastic series on marriage and one of the sermons dealt with sex. It was received quite well.I hope to see you around a lot!Cindy – I hear ya on not believing the people that say they have sex every night. Unless they’re newlyweds, then maybe. lolWhat you’re talking about is one of the reasons I love our church. It’s awesome. I’m the same way. I talk to God one on one all the time. That’s a great thing except when I used to walk in the park after dropping the kids off at school and talk to God at the same time. I tried to only talk in my head, but I’m much too animated. I’m pretty sure people thought I was nuts. So we had to move.I also used to be of the mind that I didn’t really need church. And when it gets right down to it, we can worship God where ever we are and church is not a necessity. But I realized how much I loved church and actually needed the contact and communion with other believers when Todd and I started actually going to church. (There’s so much I could say here, but it would be another series of posts, I’m sure. lol) Anyway, I totally understand what you’re saying, especially with your anxiety issues. I’ve gotten to the point that I crave corporate worship if I haven’t been for a while.Whew!Anyway, thank you for your encouragement. I always love to read what you have to say. ’cause you’re usually snarky and funny and even when you’re not snarky there’s always some humor in your posts and comments!! :o)
Hey Jen ~ I tagged you for a Meme.
Wow! What an incredible couple of posts and comments. Theoretically I guess since many of us read romance one might conclude it wouldn’t be hard to translate that into our real lives and just ‘tell all’. So not true is it? I have family and friends that read my blog too, so I can relate to your reluctance about revealing something so personal.I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen trying to translate into words some thoughts about what you’ve been going through. The truth is even though I’ve had a hysterectomy, not having endured the same trials you have, I CAN’T know. What I DO know is that reading these was like being in conversation with you. Which is, in the end, why so many people love you who’ve never actually met you. Your honesty, faith and love shine through in your words.So I have to say again…Wow!
Jen,I have immense admiration for youand Thank You so much for sharing and also helping.After reading your posts with all my heart I actually am going to try to reaccess the values I have in my own marriage in regards religion and sex.DH and I are in our early fiftiesand things do change to a different phase.As long as the love and support is there I think pretty much everything else will fall into place.Perhaps not right away but eventually.For me, at least patience is a virtue.Hugs Jan
And…my 2 cents is that sometimes, I love my husband so much and want him so little (that way…), that I do bring God into the bedroom (usually the bathroom right before we get going). I pray to want this man whom I love so much. I pray for help in pleasing him, and I pray for enjoyment and pleasure for myself so I can relax. God is definitely involved in all aspects of our lives if we let Him. And…He always answers my pleas for help. Yes, I know there are meds or counseling or hormones, etc., and I’m exploring them, but really, it all comes down to His love and power which which has already given me victory over this low libido thang.
Jen, you are always thoughtful, interesting, and eloquent in your posts, no matter the topic. It’s why so many come to visit. You make a trip to the grocery store seem interesting. As always, thank you for sharing so much of yourself. You give me a lot to think about, and that’s a good thing 🙂
Dev – Okie dokie!! Looks like a fun one, too. :o)Rosie – I think the misconception with a lot of people is that sex and romance are the same thing – in books and in the bedroom. Au contraire, mon frere. And thank you so much for your very nice words.Jan – You’re so right. We all have different phases or seasons in life. And patience is a GREAT virtue! One I’m not very good at.Gretchen – YES! Somewhere along the line sex was turned into something it was never meant to be and so people don’t associate it with God. Prayer is good for EVERYTHING!Stacy – You can come visit me any time you want because you always say the nicest things and give me the big head!!! :o)
Jenster, I can’t comment much since I am not married and I do have different views in this area. But I do want to say that you are one brave lady to step out with such personal insight into your marriage and life. Most of women put up a facade about their personal lives and it’s hard to push it aside…Deb
Jen, thank you for being so open and sharing with us. It takes a lot of courage to put oneself out there like that! Your blog is an inspiration to many…think of how many more your book will reach. 😉 ((HUGS))
Good advice about avoiding certain services, Jenster. I did that when I was dealing with infertility. Mothers’ Day was particularly difficult, as were baby dedications. It wasn’t fair of me to expect others to forego these wonderful celebrations just because I was having a difficult time. I just found out when those days were and didn’t go. God gives us these difficulties for a season…these things do come to an end.
Thank you for sharing in your post. You are brave! You also have a great husband.