How to Make Love to Your Wife – Part 1

Cute_Love_Couple_in_Romance_with_Umbrella1

Making love. What a familiar phrase in our society. For some, it means simply hooking up, having sex. For others, it means much more.

I contend that it means much more to your wife. Have you ever asked her to define what “making love” means to her? If you never do, how will you know you are actually doing it….or is it simply enough for you to have sex?

Your wife (as well as yourself) is created by God as a three-part being. She has a spirit, a soul and a body. Most men (because we are wired differently – by design) tend to naturally focus on the physical when the topic of “making love” comes up. Men’s magazines are filled with articles on techniques, tips and positions all intended to make the experience much more pleasurable physically.

In this 3-part series, I will attempt to explain how a husband might go about making love to his wife in all three arenas of her being – beginning with her spirit.

The spirit or essence of your wife is truly who she is at her core. She is so much more than a body. Her body is simply God’s designed shell for containing (for a short lifetime) her physical body – but if you have ever seen a dead person you quickly come to realize that he/she is not there – that their body is simply a shell, a covering for their true self.

So, in order to make love to your wife spiritually, we much approach her on a spiritual level. This is why if you are not a believer, or a believer who isn’t walking in the Spirit (see Gal:5), it is impossible to make love at this level. Approaching her spiritually means reaching out to set her needs on that level.

Ephesians 5 says that we (husbands) are to wash our wives with “the water by the Word”. We are to speak the Word of God over her, pray the Word of God over her and read that same Word with her. God’s Word is power, and that power will unite your spirits as you spend time together in it. It is not enough to attend church (even though very important), or even a small group meeting together. You must deliberately set aside time together to read and discuss God’s Word.

Probably the most powerful thing a husband can do to make love spiritually with his wife is pray. Pray for her, as Christ continues to do for his bride (us), but also pray “with” her. The thing that most husbands find the hardest to do is the most powerful tool God will use to unite your hearts like nothing else. Our enemy knows that as well, and that is why he is hell-bent on keeping husbands and wives from it.

Making love means making time. Making time to talk about your walk with God, read His Word and especially to pray will promote an atmosphere of oneness in your marriage that will be profound. It will also keep the two of you relating on a spiritual level when the trials/troubles of life follow you home.

Remember – Galatians 5:16 says if we “walk in the Spirit, we will not gratify the lusts of the flesh”, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension and division.

Most marriage issues are caused by one or both spouses simply not walking with God. Without His help, without His Spirit living in and through us, we are doomed to live in our flesh and continue to struggle in our marriage.

Guys – become a spiritual man. Walk with God every single day. Surrender to His will, devour His Word and ask Him for divine help and power to put your wife’s needs ahead of your own. Remember, we are commanded to love her “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. Are you living like that?Are you loving her like that?

If not, we need to repent. Ask God and our wife to forgive us and determine to live deliberately and sacrificially for His glory. Horizontal issues are solved by living vertically.

Start today.

Rob

3 Things Your Wife Needs You to Know – About Intimacy

Intimacy-of-Money-03-03-2014

Anyone who has been married for more than a day knows that men and women define hundreds of words differently, and in most cases, very differently.

Intimacy is such a word. In our marriage class/small group we always ask the husbands and wives to define it for us. Want to know what they say?

Wives – “closeness”, “connected”, “oneness”, “emotionally close”

Husbands – “sex”

Upon further investigation, the word “sex” is typically expanded to mean physical oneness or closeness.

Our culture almost always associates intimacy with sex, or in a sexual connotation (intimate apparel, intimate setting), so it is little wonder that men do too. Truth is – all the answers given above from our class are correct. Where couples fall woefully short is by not understanding or appreciating the other spouse’s definition.

So – for the men reading this blog, here is a brief overview of what you need to know about your wife’s definition (and expectation) of intimacy. I would also encourage you to ask her for her definition of intimacy.

1. Intimacy does not equal sex. Granted intimacy may end up as sex, but to most women (your wife may be the exception) intimacy is not defined by having sex together. To her, intimacy means closeness. “I feel close to my husband, emotionally” is the definition we most often get from wives. What this means in practical/man terms is: we have spent time together, we have talked through the many issues on my heart, I feel caught up with what is going on with him, I feel that he loves me and values me, I feel safe in our relationship, I feel cherish, I feel connected. These things cannot happen without having been physically together in a non-sexual way, talking, processing life and issues and connecting as friends more than roommates or business partners.

2. Wives don’t have pop-up blockers. A typical husband can come home from a horrible day at work, having run over a dog along the way, have a headache and a deep desire to plop into his favorite chair – but if greeted by his wife dressed in her little black dress who informs him the kids are eating dinner at the grandparents house – can instantly be all-in for sex. Wives, on the other hand, would need to talk with you about her horrible day and process her feelings about it. Cry a bit over the poor dog who ran out in front of her car, take some headache medicine and want to get off her feet as well. If you greet her in your newly purchased red, satin speedo – there will be absolutely no arousal or burning desire that magically wells up in her that makes her want to have amazing sex on the kitchen table. She cannot block out all the events and relational issues of her day like a man can. Once again – it takes time, understanding and conversation (processing).

3. Wives are not porn stars. Statistics tell us that nearly 90% of all men (husbands included) have viewed porn at some point in their lives  and as many as 70% view it on a regular basis. The women (paid performers) they watch always greatly desire sex, greatly enjoy sex and are greatly satisfied by their partner. This leads to many problems for men, but particularly when it comes to expectations. They cannot help but want to experience some of that “greatly” from their own wives. When they don’t, they subconsciously feel slighted and become more emotionally distant from their wives. This leads to more pornography, which leads to more disappointment and emotional distance – a very vicious and intimacy-killing cycle.

Moral?

Spend mass quantities of time with your wife. Sit and talk, go for a walk, hold hands, court her, pursue her – make her feel special, loved and cherish. Talk with her about her day, her anxieties, her fears, her dreams. Help her out around the house and with the kids. Ease her burdens. Lighten her loads.

Don’t expect her to desire to meet your need for physical intimacy until you take the time/effort to meet her need for emotional intimacy first. That’s what a leader does. That’s what laying your life down for another means.

That’s what Jesus did for us….regardless of our performance or response and expecting nothing in return. Don’t be so selfish that you only serve, love, help when you want sex.

Flee from porn if you are dabbling or using regularly. Get a mentor, an accountability partner, or even a formal treatment program if necessary. It is worth it. Your marriage, your children, your legacy – are worth it. Don’t let the enemy destroy your life and your home.

“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” Eph. 5:25

If we will learn to do this – we will have the amazing marriage we’ve always wanted.

Rob

Porn – A Wife’s Perspective

When Rob asked me to write something to you guys from a wifely vantage point, let me tell you I was fully intending to address something from the lighter fare of married life…. like, how one hand-picked flower on a Tuesday night dinner table means more than a dozen standard red roses on V-day.

But (sigh) this is not your pancakes-for-breakfast kind of post. And, I guess this is not a light and fluffy blog anyhow so I hope to be in well-accustomed company. If this is your first time, welcome, please
come back for more. I hope I don’t scare you away. Maybe I’ll scare you to stay…

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…Prov. 1:7

I come to you in a spirit of great humility as I share with you, from a wife’s perspective, what it does to “me” when you are looking at…her.

I pray this is not a struggle for you! If it is, or it is for someone you know, read on, but be aware…it is about to get real, reeeeal. Early in our marriage, my husband struggled with pornography, an addiction that plagued him from his early teens. Praise God he is walking in freedom now. Are you??

I want you to go for a walk with me. A walk into the soul of a woman, a wife as her husband struggles with this most pervasive habit. What follows are some of the myriad of thoughts that flood her mind and heart as she too wrestles with this painful reality.

“Oh my husband, can you hear me?

I have tried to tell you this before, maybe even screamed it, if not to you then on the inside. I live in
fear that saying it again will only push you further into the arms of your addiction, into the arms of her.

How can I ever measure up to her? I know you say you don’t compare us, that it’s not about me, but in
my eyes there is another woman in our bed. Another woman captivating you. I used to captivate you.

I want to give up on myself, in part I already have, it hurts too much to try. I feel rejected and
weathered when I see our internet browser history, how can I ever compete with her body and what
she can do with it? A one dimensional woman in our 3D world of bills, meals and baseball fields.

I am but a mere competitor for your attention in the midst of a covenant relationship that should be
safe. You promised.

We go to church, you and I. We look nice, you are good to me otherwise…”that’s hopeful, that should
be enough, I can’t have it all” I tell myself. That doesn’t last, though. It’s the middle of the night and
you are outta bed again. Once again I’m confused and angry that you are not the “Hi, how are you?!”
church-man at 3 am when no one is looking.

Oh how I hate seeing you as her slave, self-shackled, chained , linked to her lust, the Key within reach.
I’ll help you be free if you’ll let me. That shame you feel, I feel it too. I want freedom as much as you.
Your sin choices reach far beyond the midnight hour.

I shudder at the thought, but sometimes it hits me, “Will you look at our daughter this way?” (I told
you…real.) What would our precious girl think if she caught you in the act or found your stash? Would
she be able to recover? Would the father wounding be too much, her body image shattered in a matter
of moments when she finds out what’s lovely to you? I beg God to protect her from what you look at.
Don’t you want to protect her?

How will our sons ever walk in freedom if you are not fighting? They will be men soon, sooner than we
think. Who will tell them that Jesus is enough if He is not enough to satisfy you? You are a good man,
but will our sons see your goodness or just the addiction and the hurt I carry…Will you give them a fighting
chance to win against this fleshy epidemic. Their great chance begins with you.

Do you know I hope, pray and long for your freedom? Oh, how I deeply dream, hope, call it yearning (I’m
not sure there’s a word to capture the deep-down-ache) for you to be FREE.

I want to RUN with you into the arms of Jesus for freedom and call you my hero husband! I know deep
down it is who you are and who you long to be. I remember.

Change OUR legacy. I believe in you, bring that belief out in me.

I want to stand by your side with forgiveness in my eyes and hear you say:

“It is finished…I am done with her.”

 

Well guys…… are you??

Joni (not her real name)

Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be
burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Barriers to Intimacy – A Wife’s Perspective

This blog post is a must read for all of us husbands. It appeared in the Fruit In Season blog, written by a wife and mother. All of us need to understand each of these, and diligently seek to “live with our wife in an understanding way”, as we work through them.

Top 10 Barriers to Intimacy 
“I am my lover’s and he is mine…”
~Song of Songs 6:3
In yesterday’s post I mentioned I would post Top Ten Ways to Spice Up Your Love Life, yet I realized that there might be barriers that would need to be broken down to make way for the spice. In my marriage we’ve dealt with most of these barriers at one time or another and now enjoy the spicy love life that is a natural and God-pleasing result of their destruction.
I have listed these in descending order, with the most difficult barriers last:
10.  Time

Everyone deals with challenges related to time.  For you it might relate to work schedules, or kids’ bedtimes, or to-do lists.  But let me encourage you to make the time necessary to share intimate time with your husband.  Work on pushing back the kids’ bedtimes, get the dishes done early or leave them till the morning. Wake him up at midnight for a quickie (yes, he’ll most likely be willing) Nothing is more important than your spouse and his well being.  And how long does a little hanky panky really last anyway?

9. Distractions

I totally get this one.  And I have to say that I am much more guilty of being distracted than my husband.  He can focus like a laser when he wants to, while I am sensitive to every little sound, whether the kids are actually asleep or just “in bed”, the laundry that’s in piles on the floor, and the stuff I didn’t get done.  But it is worth it to capture those thoughts and bring your mind back to your husband.  Make a joke out of it if you must, and be honest about how challenging it is for you, but work hard to give him your fully attention.

8. Pop-Ups

Remember this?  Well, I have pop-ups while I’m with my husband that are eerily similar to the VH1 pop-up videos of the 80’s.
Pop-ups relate to #9 except that they really are all in our heads.  Does this sound like a familiar mental scenario for you when your husband is trying to get you in the mood?
Ooh!  I forgot to turn on the dishwasher!
Did Colin remember to take a shower after karate?
Shoot, I didn’t renew the library books.  Now we’ll have a fine.
Is the door locked?
As with distractions, we need to consciously turn off the mental drip drip drip that inevitably takes our attention and remember who is most important.  Try to have a certain time at night when you decide that work is done and you can rest your mind.  Prayer is very helpful and the Spirit will bless our attempts to focus on connecting with our husbands.

7.  Lack of Energy

I don’t think there’s any mama in the world that has not dealt with lack of energy that then affected her love life.  It’s very simply a part of life.  You get no sleep?  You’re exhausted and thus sex is the last thing on your list. This is where your husband can really help.  If you need a nap, ask.  If you need to get a mother’s helper, get one.  I can almost guarantee that if you tell your husband that you’d like to get some help a couple of times a week so you can be refreshed enough to spend quality time with him in the bedroom, he will gladly fork over the cash.  If your husband desires that time with you, and you really just don’t feel like you have the energy, can I suggest that you take 10 minutes to freshen up and prepare yourself to say yes anyway?  Consider it a long term investment that takes a half hour or less.

6.  Lack of Desire-

Lack of desire can have many causes, one of which is #7 above.  Other reasons may include hormones, depression, illness, or some
of the barriers on this list coming up.  I wanted to include this for a specific reason: this lack of desire is not what the Lord wants for your marriage.  It is biblical to desire your husband and so it is important to work toward that end.  Believe me when I say it is not easy and I have been there.  However, physical intimacy in marriage is foundational and problems in this area seep into every other area.  Figure out what the root cause is and make a plan to fix it.  Read a book, pray, speak to a pastor or counselor.  Be proactive and get your desire back.

5.  Poor Communication

Men and women are different.  While you might not fit the stereotypes exactly, it’s unlikely that you and your husband have the same communication style, love language, etc.  You both come to the table with insecurities, expectations, and family histories which affect the way you communicate and what you hear.  Communicating about sex is no different than communicating about anything else of importance.  You can’t read each other’s minds and hurt feelings and rejection are often the end result of assuming you can.  There are many books and resources out there to help you learn to communicate well in the area of sexual intimacy.  A husband and wife should be able to discuss with love things such as frequency, what  is pleasing/not pleasing in bed, past sins and hurts, etc.  Don’t let this slide.

4. Worldy Thinking

Sex is God’s idea.  We should enjoy it.  We should be creative with it.  The single people of this world do not corner the market on good sex and we need to prove that in our relationships with our husbands.  If you are plagued with the idea that sex is shameful, or should be same-old-same-old, or that your husband is perverted for wanting it a lot, then you are not aligned with God’s heart on this.  A wife’s body is not her own, and neither is a husband’s.  If you have a sexual past, confess it and repent of it.  Then embrace the God-given gift of joyful physical intimacy!  Don’t let the world negatively affect your love life.

3. Anger

I went through a period in our marriage when I was very angry at my husband for my own unhappiness. And while he wasn’t perfect, I had no reason to pin all of my negative emotions on him. Unresolved anger poisons our minds and makes true intimacy impossible.  If there are deep reasons for your anger, by all means find ways to heal the hurts in your life and do the hard work to forgive.  If your anger centers around annoyances, unreal expectations, and petty grievances, work on your own heart and get back to what’s really important: oneness with your husband.

2.  Low Self-Esteem

We are getting down to the nitty gritty and I can’t help as much with these barriers.  Low self-esteem is something that affects so many (the majority?) of women.  Our insecurities may center around our physical appearance, or they many stem from childhood hurts and offenses. But these insecurities are based on lies and we need to learn to speak the truth to ourselves, or find someone who can.  Being in the Word is crucial for combatting low self-esteem.  If the Lord of Creation esteems us and sees in us His precious Son, who are we to disagree?  This is an issue that runs deep and will require a lot more work to overcome.  Find a support system of friends who can speak scripture into your hurts, see a counselor, speak to your husband and be honest about where you are.

1. Emotional Distance

There is no doubt about it: sex and love are intertwined in marriage.  Husbands often need sex to feel loved and wives need to feel loved to desire sex.  It can be a vicious cycle if one or the other of these elements is lacking.  When we are feeling emotionally distant from our husbands, for any reason, we are going to have a very hard time being intimate. In our marriage we have had periods of challenge when one of us has hurt the other deeply and it’s taken a while to heal; and other times when simply the fact that we haven’t spent a lot of time together wears on our emotional connection.  Whatever the reason, emotional distance for women is a barrier that is at the top of the list.  Communication is crucial to restore the vulnerability with your husband.  Believe it or not, being physically intimate can help to heal the emotional gap, but it is hard to really let go and trust God enough to take that step.  If you have serious emotional distance in your marriage, speak to a counselor or pastor.

Do any of these speak to you?
How can you move forward in breaking down barriers to intimacy?

Guys – now you know what is going on inside the heart/mind of your lovely wife. Let’s be more deliberate about helping her through these barriers, instead of holding them against her and creating resentment in our heart toward her.
Love well,
Rob

A Woman’s View on Women and Sex

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Husbands and wives will both benefit from reading some great wifely insights from Kate, of One Flesh Marriage.

If her relationship is suffering, she won’t want or enjoy sex. Her body might, but she won’t.

For women, how we feel about our relationship with our husband, greatly effects whether or not we enjoy the sensations leading up to and during sex. For many husbands, this is not news, but why we are this way, remains a mystery.  When we feel connected and close to our husband, we have the potential to feel sex all over, mind, body and spirit. When we feel distance in our relationship, we can still experience sex, and there is a physical response, but it is just not the same. Many women will struggle to experience sex even on the physical level when their relationship with the husband is strained.

God designed husband and wife to be one flesh. Sex and intimacy is so much more than simply a physical connection. Even though physical is vital (a need in my book, not simply a want) and needs great attention, it is not the only intimacy that needs nurturing. We all know that physical connections can happen without building intimacy on other levels, but there are consequences, one of which is that the intensity of connection will suffer. The four areas of intimacy that we like to point people to are, Spiritual, Emotional, Intellectual and Physical. These are four areas we have identified as contributing the one flesh connection.

Spiritual Intimacy – Sharing your faith together. This could be through worship, bible study, prayer, etc. Having time where the two of you explore all that God has in store for his children as well as looking at God’s plan for marriage through His Word.

Emotional Intimacy – Sharing of your thoughts, dreams, fears, struggles, joys, victories-all of the things you are going through. Having openness and connection through those things allows you as one flesh to experience what your spouse is going through. When we neglect this kind of sharing and understanding, we feel misunderstood and forgotten.

Intellectual Intimacy – Spending time sharing with your spouse what they most enjoy learning in life. We all have the things that we truly enjoy learning about or doing. In some way finding time to share that with your spouse will bring you closer in understanding and sharing their passion, even if it is not a passion of yours. It is saying to them, that you value what they value, which is another piece to being one flesh.

Physical Intimacy – This is the most obvious of the types of intimacy and there is much to be learned where the physical techniques and what feels good is concerned. Yet without nurturing the other three, it can become a purely physical sex.

When you take the time to nurture these different areas of intimacy, you are encouraging a oneness that is not based on physical connection alone. Then when the time comes to share physical intimacy together, your wife will feel better about the overall relationship. She can look back and see how you have done things that interest her, that connect with her emotionally and that share your faith together.

Will working on these other areas of intimacy fix all your sex issues-no! That would be nice though, wouldn’t it? I do believe however that it will encourage a close oneness that will help your overall relationship and therefore affect your sex life as well. Keep loving and serving you wife, putting her needs first and you will find God blessing your obedience. .

Help men understand how and why things like doing the dishes, playing with the kids, and paying the bills on time make sex better for a woman.

Women are multitaskers, we often have a to do list running through our head that includes, but in no way is limited to: a grocery list, a list of social events, a list kids activities, things needed to be done around the house (dinner, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, etc), a list of phone calls and emails to return and many other things that sift through our thoughts every day. When it comes time to spend alone time with our hubby we snuggle up and make time for sex but those lists are still filtering, dashing, scurrying, scampering through our heads, at an alarming rate. Shutting off the list and thoughts of what needs to get done is, well . . . crazy hard. Some might say near impossible. For me, the longer and more extensive the list, the harder it is to let go and get in the “mood.” Sadly I believe for many, as the list gets longer, the idea of and motivation for sex moves further and further down on the list.

When my hubby comes home from his long day of work, I know that many times he would really like to sit and relax. For many years we did just that. He would be tired from work and veg out, usually in front of the TV or computer. I would continue on with my lists and eventually fall into bed with no interest in anything but sleep. Somewhere over the years, God opened our eyes to the fact that if we served one another first and thought about ourselves second, we both felt the love and help of the other. My hubby started coming home and asking what he could do to help get things crossed of my list so that I could relax after the kids went to bed. Sometimes I would let him do what I was doing and I would go and play with the kids. Other times when he asked, I would ask him to keep the kids occupied for a bit while I finished up. When my hubby took the time to put my needs first instead of just relaxing, he found that I was much more energetic and ready to spend time making sex a priority after the kids were in bed.

As we all know it is a two way street, as I began to make sex a priority there were times I had to tell myself that certain things on my list could and would have to wait. I was putting my hubby’s and our marriage’s needs above that of my own desire to get all the things checked off of my list.

Wives, I believe God has designed us with the amazing ability to keep many things running in our brains at one time. Husbands, you helping to check a few things off the list, or to take the kids so your wife can get some things done uninterrupted, is an immense help and frees our minds up to think sex! Not only does it allow us to think about sex and time alone with our husband, it also encourages better sex. How you might ask? When we are not feeling stressed and bogged down by the entire list running through our heads – our mind, emotions, and body have a better chance to respond to the pleasures sex brings. For many women “getting in the mood” means shutting off all that is going on in our brain. If you help to shut some of that off for her then she can get into the mood and enjoy the experience. The best way to see if this is true is to give it a try. Not just once, but often! See if helping your wife to get things done or off her list, encourages intimacy together. Pray as you are helping, that you would have eyes to see and ears to hear what your wife needs. You will be helping your wife to potentially enjoy time alone with you so much more!

 

Reading about it is good……Doing it is better…..

Rob

A Great Sex Life

Happy Couple

What does it take to enjoy a fulfilling and long-lasting sex life in your marriage? I thought I would go to the husbands and see what they think.

What do Christian husbands say is crucial for all of us to understand when it comes to experiencing the fulfilling marriage God intended? Sadly, not every Christian husband could be surveyed, but here is a compilation of suggestions and encouragements from authors, bloggers, pastors, speakers and friends:

1. Make Christ your #1 Priority – don’t expect your wife to make you happy. It is not her job. Look to Christ to supply “all your needs through His riches”. Check your priorities to see if your wife, or kids, or job, or hobbies, or fitness, or whatever, are competing with Christ for top spot in your heart and mind. Give your sex life over to Him and pray that He will make it everything He wants it to be. He will do “exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or think”.

2. Pray with your wife. We all know we should, but few actually do. Nothing is more emotionally connecting to your wife than to have you take the time and emotional energy to pray with her.  Prayer allows her to see inside your heart and connect with what you are concerned about. As we have already seen, when her emotional tank is full, her mind is more apt to think about your fulfillment as well. Don’t pray to get what you want. Pray because of #1 above.

3. Make sex a priority in your marriage. We need to talk about it more openly with our wives. She obviously must embrace it as well, but will be more open as you pray and talk about it together.

4. Keep pursuing your wife. Most of us quit pursuing something after we get it. It is our nature. We can’t afford to do that when it comes to romancing our wife. Think back to when you were dating. You dressed nicer, shaved closer, wore her favorite cologne and thought of fun things to do together. Obviously, life was less hectic then, but we have got to make romance and intimacy a top priority.

5. Don’t be boring. Do you get in an intimacy rut? Do you always go to a movie on date night? Do you talk about business, or the kids when you are out with your wife? Your wife wants to be courted, romanced, pursued – desired. Just like you want to be sexually desired by her, she needs to feel your desire to be with her – not just for sex so you can be fulfilled – but for talking, walking, laughing, playing together – like the good ‘ole days. She longs for connection.

6. Become a student of your wife. Make it a priority to find out what is going on in her world, and in her mind/heart. Ask her how she feels about things. Listen deliberately. Make time alone with her a must-have on your do-list. Find out what she loves, what she fears, what is bothering her, and what brings her great joy. Ask questions. Be prepared to take whatever time it takes. The time spent with her will fill her sails with appreciation and love for you.

A great sex life is a result of loving your wife well. Don’t keep waiting for her to “get it”. Take the initiative. Lead. Be the husband God calls you to be, without expecting or demanding anything in return.

Remember, for your wife, intimacy comes before sex. Emotional intimacy IS intimacy. Take time to love her before attempting to make love to her.

Rob

Wives Need Connection

couple-talking-in-living-room

“Wives need a reason for sex. Men just need a place” – comedian Billy Crystal.

Yes, we are wired differently, and our approach to “connecting” with each other is also different. For men, sex is connection, but our wives need to feel connected before sex. As this picture illustrates, men may have plenty going on in our lives – marriage, kids, work, bills, debt, boss, employees, health, hobbies, friends, parents, in-laws, etc. – but if our wife shows the least bit of interest in sex – all we have to do is flip one switch. All other worldly cares are suddenly banished to the back of our brain, and we are fully engaged in the moment.

Wives, however, have to make sure all those individual knobs are turned to the right setting, and everyone and everything is in its place. THEN, she needs to feel that you and she are connecting and you love her, and she feels loved, validated and appreciated. She needs her heart full, and her mind at peace, before she can fully engage in sex.

She needs connection with you – at an emotional, spiritual level. She needs to be romanced. She needs to see and feel that you love her. She wants time with you – to talk – to just be together – to connect. The quote ” no husband was ever shot while doing the dishes” is kin to the old saying – “what do you call vacuuming, putting away the dishes and taking out the trash (without being asked) ?? Answer – “foreplay”. This sounds very foreign and down right strange to most men – but research shows that many wives get nearly as much satisfaction from connecting (talking, expressions of love, time with their husband, romance) as men get from the act of sex. Yes, there are many wives who love sex as much as their husbands. If you are in that marriage – count your self blessed, and enjoy.

Many wives will say they enjoy sex, but it just isn’t a top of mind priority. Again – they have more knobs.

Sex, as God intended, was not this complicated. I firmly believe that Adam AND Eve were very sexually active and desirous of each other. Sin made life, marriage, and sex – complicated and frustrating. But God has answers (as always) for our needy soul…

I Corinthians 7: 33  – But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife our primary concern when it comes to sex should be to please our wife. If we will concentrate on that – we will also receive our own satisfaction.

I Peter 3: 7  – Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect  – we need to make sure we are being considerate and respectful as approach this subject of sex with our wives. Is there something we want to do that she doesn’t want to? Ex: many husbands desire to still go “parking” with their wife (we love the danger and adventure of it) and their wives are petrified of getting caught and really don’t want to. Are we respecting her needs and desire for intimacy and closeness before expecting sex? Basically – are we being selfish, or self-less when it comes to sex?

Husbands are to put our wives first. We are to prefer them above ourselves. Yes,the wives have responsibilities too – but we are to love them (and obey God’s word) regardless of their response.

 

Love is patient. Love is kind.

Rob

 

 

Are You Protecting Your Marriage?

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Re-post of Michael Hyatt’s excellent perspective posted on his blog – michaelhyatt.com

The lead story in the news a little more than a year ago was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity. Apparently, he has fathered at least one child out-of-wedlock. There are likely more.

To be honest, this whole thing made me angry, especially when I consider the impact this had on his wife and children. He is also one more negative example for our own children and grandchildren.

After hearing about this story, my wife Gail asked, “How does someone like Schwarzenegger engage in this behavior?” Great question. Off the top of my head, I offered this:

  • He had numerous opportunities.
  • He evidently thinks he is special—and entitled.
  • He is using his blood supply to power an organ other than his brain at the moment-of-temptation. (Yes, I really did say that.)

However, I don’t intend for this post to be a rant against Gov. Schwarzenegger. I am not his judge. He will give an account of his choices—as I will mine.

But I want to go on the record and say this: Adultery is not normal. It certainly isn’t inevitable. It is not the way God created us. We were made for monogamy and fidelity.

When we are loyal, we reflect the faithfulness of our Creator. When we are disloyal, we reflect the betrayal of both Satan and Adam. It is no wonder that the Bible often speaks of sin as “spiritual adultery.” Betrayal is the original sin.

However, we live in a fallen world—one that is increasingly indifferent to sexual sin. If we want to live and lead with intention, we can’t be naive. We must recognize the temptation adultery poses and protect ourselves accordingly. Nothing will destroy our influence and legacy faster than an affair.

If we are going to avoid becoming casualties, we must have a strategy. Here are three actions I take in order to protect my marriage:

  1. I invest in my relationship with Gail. It is amazing to me that so many men are willing to invest such enormous spiritual, emotional, and financial resources in relationships other than the one they have. This doesn’t make economic sense. If you want your marriage to grow and flourish, you must invest in it. This means investing time—dreaming, laughing, listening, and crying together.
  2. I set specific boundaries.This may sound old-fashioned, perhaps even legalistic. So be it. I think our world could use a little old-fashioned common sense. Therefore:
    • I will not go out to eat alone with someone of the opposite sex.
    • I will not travel alone with someone of the opposite sex.
    • I will not flirt with someone of the opposite sex.
    • I will speak often and lovingly of my wife. (This is the best adultery repellant known to man.)
  3. I consider what is at stake. What story do I want my grandchildren to tell? This puts it all in perspective for me. Do I want them to be proud of my life’s story or embarrassed? Do I want to be remembered as a person who loves his wife and is faithful to her? Or do I want to be the one who squandered his legacy in a moment of indiscretion?

It is time for real leaders to lead—not only in their professional lives but in their personal ones as well. If we can’t lead ourselves, we are not qualified to lead others. Character matters. We must take responsibility for our own actions. Our grandchildren are counting on it.

 

Above ALL else….. guard your heart.

Rob

Coach Petrino – Lesson 1

Needless to say, it has been a very long week for Coach P, his family and the U of A administration. As I have pondered this sad tale, I have been struck with a few thoughts I wanted to share with you guys. I would love to hear yours as well.

Lesson 1

Why are we surprised when another high profile man falls? Coach P. is just one of a long, long line of high profile athletes, coaches, celebrities, Bible characters, pastors, fathers and friends that have taken Satan’s bait, and gotten caught in their sin. He is a man; a guy – with the same urges, drives, emotional needs, temptations we all have. It seems we put men like him on some sort of pedestal, or simply think they are not the same as we are.

But, indeed, Bobby is one of us. Tempted to watch movies he shouldn’t watch, gaze at internet sites he shouldn’t visit, flirt with women he should stay away from, hire women he shouldn’t hire, and set himself up for a great fall. Like most of us, somewhere along our journey, we have thought to ourselves – “no one will ever know”, or worse yet, “I can handle it”.

The truth is – we can’t handle it, and people will know. Satan lies and deceives us, and then laughs a big belly laugh when we fall for it, and severely damage our life, reputation and witness.

Bobby, like all of us, began his marriage never intending to be led astray by a younger woman, and devastate his wife and family. He loved them. He would tell us even today that he loves them – and he most likely does. He just played an age-old game with the enemy – with the same results that have occurred for centuries – he lost. He is like the young man in Proverbs 7:

vv. 6-9 – While I was at the window of my house,  looking through the curtain, I saw some naive young men,
    and one in particular who lacked common sense. He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
    strolling down the path by her house. It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell.

The guy knows this immoral woman lives on this particular street; he knows she is typically standing around the street corner in the early evening, and he knows her reputation – yet, he seems surprised when he is seduces by her and falls into sin – like he never saw it coming. Of course he saw it coming, he set himself up for the kill. He deliberately chose to walk into the trap. He has no one else to blame. Some would say – he reaped what he sowed.

So it is with Bobby. So it is with us.

There is most likely a long list of compromises, choices, justifications and “setting himself ups” – that led up to the infamous motorcycle ride and crash. The jury is still out as to what consequences will be reaped, but severe damage has already been inflicted.

None of us has the intention of reaping destruction on our life, our marriage, our children, their children, our reputation, character, name, heritage, witness, etc., yet men are notorious for making small, misguided, deceptive, dangerous choices that can do exactly that. Lesson 1?

Stop now. Don’t go near her door. Don’t visit the websites. Flee. Pull away from the magnet that draws you in. Admit your need. Tell a close friend (mentor) and pray. It is not worth it. Don’t listen to the lies. Take action before you wreck your motorcycle, and your world crumbles around you.

Be deliberate,

Huz

Why Men Stray

What makes men stray?

Marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman surveyed husbands who had been unfaithful, and those who had not, to get at the real reasons behind men’s infidelity. Neuman dug through past research on male infidelity and found that most answers came from the wife’s point of view. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask the guys? he thought. So for his new book, The Truth About Cheating, Neuman  unveils his findings — including what cheating men say could have prevented them from straying.

Here, some of his findings:

48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated.

So much for the myth that for men, cheating is all about sex: Only 8 percent of men said that sexual dissatisfaction was the main factor in their infidelity. “Our culture tells us that all men need to be happy is sex,” Neuman says. “But men are emotionally driven beings too. They want their wives to show them that they’re appreciated, and they want women to understand how hard they’re trying to get things right.” The problem is that men are less likely than women to express these feelings, so you won’t always know when your guy is in need of a little affirmation. “Most men consider it unmanly to ask for a pat on the back, which is why their emotional needs are often overlooked,” Neuman says. “But you can create a marital culture of appreciation and thoughtfulness — and once you set the tone, he’s likely to match it.”

40% of cheating men met the other woman at work.

“Oftentimes the woman he cheats with at the office is someone who praises him, looks up to him, and compliments his efforts,” Neuman says. “That’s another reason why it’s so critical that he feel valued at home.” Luckily, there’s a clear warning sign that your husband is getting a little too cozy with a colleague: If he praises or mentions the name of a female coworker more than he would a male counterpart, your antennae should go up — and it’s time for the two of you to set boundaries about what is and isn’t okay at work, Neuman says. Is it acceptable for him to work late if it’s only him and her? Can they travel together to conferences? Have dinners out to discuss a project? Ask him what he’d feel comfortable with you doing with a male colleague.

Only 12% of cheating men said their mistress was more physically attractive than their wife.

In other words, a man doesn’t stray because he thinks he’ll get better sex with a better-looking body. “In most cases, he’s cheating to fill an emotional void,” Neuman says. “He feels a connection with the other woman, and sex comes along for the ride.” If you’re worried about infidelity, focus on making your relationship more loving and connected, not on getting your body just right or finding a sexy new nightie (although men find both very sexy).

Lessons

#1 – Guard your heart. The Bible says “above ALL ELSE, guard your heart”. Don’t allow yourself to go there. If you start to have thoughts about a co-worker or friend – run, flee – deal with it. Be humble and honest with a mentor. See a pastor, counselor, friend, mentor or adviser quickly. Don’t let it go any farther. In addition, protect your eyes/mind from provocative tv, movies and internet. It WILL have an effect on your heart, and therefore, your marriage.

#2 – Stay emotionally connected to your wife. If you’re not getting the encouragement and support you need, go talk with a mentor couple, or counselor together. Find out why, and deal with it. Don’t wait until you have fallen to figure out what could have prevented it. You have to fight for more face time together and keep working on having fun in your relationship. Nothing, not even the children or your job, is more important.

#3 – Stay desperate for God. Jesus said in John 15:5 that we “can do nothing” on our own. Without His strength, wisdom and direction, we will try to figure life out on our own, and will most likely make some painful mistakes. He created marriage. He created sex. He knows our needs and how best to meet those needs. Stay close to Him…every day. Don’t become a statistic.

#4 – Stay filled with the Spirit (Galatians 5), because if we do, the Word says we “will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh”. That is a promise from God. The opposite is also true. If we do not deliberately choose to be filled by and walk by the Spirit every single day – we will always choose to follow our fleshly lusts.

We have got to live life with a daily desperation for Christ and His indwelling Spirit.

Your marriage matters.

Rob