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Posts Tagged ‘Sex’

There are several words in the New Testament which are translated as love. There’s Agape, that unconditional, self-sacrificing love which God has for us and which He desires for us to have toward one another. There’s also Phileo, “brotherly-love.” And then there’s Eros, or sexual love.

 

Eros love is the physical intimacy between a husband and his wife. It is the expression of romantic love between spouses. Sex, within the bounds of marriage is special, it brings the spouses together in a one-flesh relationship unlike any other in the world.

 

Solomon wrote, “Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on this earth” Ecclesiastes 9:9 (CEV)

 

Eros love is part of God’s design, a gift of His goodness not just for procreation but also for mutual enjoyment. Sex as God intended it is a source of delight and a beautiful blessing to be shared within the sanctity of marriage.

 

Enjoy God’s gift of Eros love with one your spouse.

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‘I Wanna Know Them First’

by David Lapp | @AmberDavidLapp

  • Many working-class young adults who don’t object to premarital sex still think relationships should move more slowly.
  • Many agree sex should happen in a loving relationship, but how can you tell if the love you feel is mutual?

 

read more…

http://family-studies.org/i-wanna-know-them-first-hookup-culture-one-night-stand/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=72a0715501-Newsletter_95&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-72a0715501-104541745

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And Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. Luke 20:34 (NKJV)

Skye Cleary,[i] writes ten questions that German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche would have you consider before you get married:

  1. Can you hold decent conversations? Marry someone intellectually interesting to you. “Everything else in marriage is transitory, but most of the time you are together will be devoted to conversation.” Human, All Too Human

In The Adventist Home we find these words:  “There are persons who have for some time made a profession of religion who are, to all intents and purposes, without God and without a sensitive conscience. They are vain and trifling; their conversation is of a low order. Courtship and marriage occupy the mind, to the exclusion of higher and nobler thoughts.”[ii]

  1. Are you sexually attracted to each other? Imagine what each other will look like in twenty years. “Sometimes it requires only a stronger pair of spectacles to cure the lover, and he who had the imagination to picture a face, a figure twenty years older would perhaps pass through life very undisturbed.” Human, All Too Human

Sexual or outward attraction should not be a determining factor in choosing a future mate.  “Children and youth who devote time and means to make themselves objects of attraction by outward display and affected manners are not working in the right direction. They need to cultivate true, Christian politeness and nobility of soul. . . . The beauty of mind, the purity of the soul, revealed in the countenance, will have more power to attract and exert an influence upon hearts than any outward adorning.”[iii]

For a relationship to develop there must be some attraction, what many today might refer to as “chemistry.”  If you are not attracted physically to the other person, there may come a time where they will find someone else attractive and distract them and pursue them.

Father God, help me to keep these two areas in mind as I consider who I may have a relationship with.  If I ignore these two areas, I could be setting the stage for future discontent.

[i] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-cleary/10-essential-questions-to_b_7699300.html

[ii] White, E.G. The Adventist Home, p. 51

[iii] White, E.G., My Life Today, p. 123

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My beloved has gone to his garden, To the beds of spices, To feed his flock in the gardens, And to gather lilies. Song of Songs 6:2 (NKJV)

 

Robert Preidt, HealthDay reporter, writes about a study of married couples conducted at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh which found there is no emotional boost with more activity in the bedroom.[i]  The couples in the study were randomly assigned to either double the amount of sex they had each week or to have their usual amount of sex over a three month period.

According to the researchers, people who had more sex were not happier than those who had their usual amount of sex. Instead, the study found, the couples who had more sex actually had a small decrease in happiness.  As they dug deeper into the data, however, the researchers found that one reason why simply having more sex did not make couples happier was because it seemed tied to a drop in their desire for, and enjoyment of, sex.  It wasn’t that having more sex led to lower desire and enjoyment of sex; it was because they were asked to do it instead pf initiating sex on their own.

Lead investigator George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology, said that despite the findings he believes couples tend to have too little sex, and that boosting the amount of sex in the right ways can be beneficial.

Study co-author Tamar Krishnamurti also believes that the desire to have sex decreases much more quickly than the enjoyment of sex once it’s been initiated.  As he explains, “instead of focusing on increasing sexual frequency to the levels they experienced at the beginning of a relationship, couples may want to work on creating an environment that sparks their desire and makes the sex that they do have even more fun.

The key conclusion then is not for a couple that would like to see positive changes in their relationship to simply increase the amount of sex they have but rather to make sure they both have an enjoyable sexual experience thus increasing their intimacy.

Father God, you created sex for us to enjoy.  Help us to maintain our experience enjoyable for both so we may be drawn closer together and our intimacy may strengthen our relationship.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/sex/news/20150508/think-more-sex-will-make-you-happier-think-again?ecd=wnl_men_051515&ctr=wnl-men-051515_nsl-promo_2&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds. Proverbs 25:20 (MSG)

Chronic depression affects every part of daily life, including sex. It curbs sex drive, yet sex can boost your mood and is important for relationships. At the same time, some depression medicines can curb your libido.  Breaking this cycle can be hard, so, how do you get out of this funk? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but according to Katrina Woznicki[i] from WebMD there are some proven ways to successfully treat depression without ruining your sex life.

  1. Treat the Depression First. Depression is the Number one cause of disability in the U.S. for people ages 15-44, and men and women struggle equally with sexual problems during depression. As Woznicki explains, “People with chronic depression can experience a loss of desire, take longer to orgasm, and simply find sex less enjoyable.”
  2. Work With Your Doctor. Antidepressant drug side effects can be tied to the dose prescribed. Sometimes simply lowering the dose will treat the depression without blocking sexual desire. It’s important to remember not to tweak the dose yourself.  Woznicki adds that people that start taking antidepressants often don’t start enjoying sex more until after being on the medication for a few months. And there are antidepressants that don’t affect sex drive.
  3. Talk to Your Partner. According to Woznicki, the key to improving one’s sex life is to start talking with your partner. She also notes that what’s pleasurable depends entirely on the couple. What’s important is that it appeals to both partners and they are both comfortable with what they want out of sex.  As she explains, “Just the having the conversation about what you want sexually reduces the negative feelings that are folded into the depression. Arriving at the right answer to these things means working with your partner.”  As spouses you should ask yourselves, “Do I want this?” or “Am I truly expressing what I am feeling?” That’s a very crucial conversation.

Father God, Some things limit our expression of love to one another.  Bless us and heal us individually and as a couple.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/men/sexual-health-13/depression-and-sex?page=1

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Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 1 Kings 1:2 (KJV)

Julie Edgar[i] continues her list of six marriage mistakes that women make and how avoiding them can make their marriage better.

  1. Mismatched Communication Styles. Some women repeat their complaint or a concern a few times to try to get their husband’s attention. Many men will interpret that as nagging, but it may just be about having different communication styles.  Remember to pause to let your spouse absorb what you’re saying and have a chance to validate what they’ve heard.  Some marital problems are “perpetual”, they simply cannot be fixed.  The key is accepting that some things will not change, picking which battles to “fight,” and working on the things that can change with mutual effort.
  2. Not Making Sex a Priority. Whether it’s business, fatigue, or the responsibilities of maintaining a household in order, many women don’t make enough time for sex. What is true is that what’s best for a husband and wife, and for their marriage, is a healthy sex life.  What their kids need more than anything is parents who have a strong, positive marriage as it ensures them the safety of home.  Women need to build in time to make love with their husbands.  It is cannot be left up to chance because a healthy sex life is the result of spending alone time together, building anticipation throughout the week.
  3. Forgetting to Cherish Their Partner. Some women get so focused on kids, work, and home that they forget to make the small gestures that go a long way to solidifying their marriage. They can be smiles, eyecontact, hugs, or touching, or verbal comments like “I agree with that” or “good point” or even the word “yes.”  Listen, express agreement, appreciation, or affection; those all send out a positive message which builds your husband and your marriage.

It isn’t that difficult to maintain a good relationship, but it does require some intentionality on your part.

Father God, help me to cherish my spouse and to express it by listening and with a good sexual relationship with them.

[i] Ibid.

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Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Genesis 18:12 (NKJV)

 

The controversial singer Miley Cyrus expressed at a TODAY show in 2013 that sex decrees or totally ends after age 40. “I heard when you turn 40, things start to go a little less sexual,” Cyrus told Lauer. “Probably around 40, around that time, I heard that’s when people don’t have sex anymore.”

On the contrary, as discussed on TODAY’s[i] trending segment in 2015, a study found that when couples pass their 50th wedding anniversary, they actually experienced a slight increase in their sex lives, and that couples married for 65 years reported more sex than those married for 50 years.

Researchers noted “that an individual married for 50 years will have somewhat less sex than an individual married for 65 years.” The study of 1,656 married men and women ages 57 to 87, was published in the January issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior. The data was collected from the 2005 – 2006 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, which was a comprehensive study of sexual attitudes and behavior among older Americans.

A survey conducted by the same show in 2014 found that just over one-third of people in their 50s, both married and single, reported having sex a few times a week or month. By comparison, 43 percent of 40-somethings said they had sex once a week. Nearly 25 percent of people in their 50s reported having no sex ever, compared to 17 percent of those in their 40s, according to the online survey of more than 1,400 adults, ages 45-69. But of the sex they’re having, 45 percent say they are quite satisfied with their sex lives, thank you very much.

What this research indicates is that sex between husbands and wives does not have to come to an end when the age of childbearing arrives but can continue to provide pleasure to both spouse for many more years to come. Even Sarah, Abraham’s wife, understood that.

 

Father God, help us to continue to enjoy sexual intimacy in our marriage because it keeps us emotionally and physically close to each other even into the golden years of our life.

[i] http://www.today.com/health/take-miley-married-sex-gets-better-longer-were-married-2D80510599?cid=eml_tes_20150226

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And you, my dear lover—you’re so handsome! And the bed we share is like a forest glen. Song of Songs 1:16 (MSG)

 

Solomon’s wife says that their bed is green, like a forest glen.  They found their marital bed a place of enjoyment and pleasure.  But for some couples, sex is an area of ongoing conflict.

  1. Sex

Whether newlyweds or married for many years, sometimes couples face conflicts with their sexual relations, or lack of them.  One of the main reasons may be a lack of knowledge or understanding of sex or of their spouse’s preferences, what they like or dislike.  But Mary Jo Fay[i], author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says that “brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy.”  Here are a few suggestions to deal with this issue:

  • Learn about healthy sexuality by reading books, together, that deal with it from a Christian focus.[ii]  Read them as part of your devotional time and discuss what you are learning in your reading.
  • While it may not sound very romantic, plan for it. Schedule it and make plans so that there are no distractions or interruptions.  As Faye says, “When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation.”
  • Individually write a list of what you like and find enjoyable and then talk together about each other’s list. Take turns fulfilling each other’s desires.
  • In some cases, sexual difficulties stem from deeper issues. In those cases you may want to consult with a Christian therapist who can help you manage those issues in a positive manner.

Father God, you created sex for our health and enjoyment.  Help us to learn about it and to keep it alive and well in our relationship.

[i] Ibid

 

[ii] Here are a few examples:  Captivated by Love, Alberta Mazat.

The Gift of Sex. Clifford & Joyce Penner.

A celebration of Sex. Douglas E. Rosenau

Sex begins in the Kitchen and Sheet Music.  Both by Kevin Leman

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Scripture: Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NKJV)

Observation: Eliminating sexual immorality (Greek porneia) from the community is a top priority for Paul in 1 Corinthians. But Paul is not unique in this regard. The entire apostolic community (see Acts 15:20), as well as the entire Old and New Testament, are united in this concern. What is unique about Paul, however, is that he offers arguments to explain prohibitions against sexual immorality. For example, in 5:6, he explains that the sexual immorality of one person has a negative effect on the entire community. Such arguments clearly show Paul’s strong commitment to persuasion (rather than coercion) as his method of choice for inducing fundamental and lasting changes in people. (Andrews Study Bible Notes. 2010 (J. L. Dybdahl, Ed.) (1491). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.)

Application: The image in this text is not of a person that stands by, walks away, or moves away from sin. Paul urges us to FLEE sexual immorality. As I read this verse I am reminded of the story of Joseph while he worked for Potiphar. His wife did her best to entice Joseph to have sexual relations with her, but his response, and his resolve were firm: “How can I sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) One day she made sure they were alone and grabbed Joseph by his garment, “But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside” (Gen.39:12). He didn’t stop to reason with her, nor did he simply stand to leave her presence, he fled. Joseph recognized the gravity of her actions and the danger of the situation, and he fled to get away from her.
It is interesting that our verse for consideration today (1 Cor. 6:18), is connected to an often quoted verse: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (v.19). This verse is often used to remind us that we need to take care of our physical bodies by abstaining from certain foods and chemicals, and by eating properly and exercising, etc. While I would not disagree or object to the use of v.19 in that sense, we need to remember that the context of v.19 is v.18 – flee from sexual immorality BECAUSE our bodies are temple of the Holy Spirit, and when we commit sexual sins not only are we sinning against our own body (vs.18), but against God (Gen. 39:9; 1 Cor. 6:19).
Sexual promiscuity in any way is self-gratification and contrary to God and of His will for us. That’s why Paul doesn’t simply suggest we stop but urges us to FLEE from it all.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to flee from sexual sins, not only because we sin against our own body, but because we betray the trust of others, and we sin against You.

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Scripture: (2 Sam 13:15 NKJV)  Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”

Observation: Amnon, son of David, fell in love with his step-sister Tamar and plotted to have her come to his house under the pretense of being sick.  While there, he forced her, maybe even raped her, but having accomplished his evil plot he despised her and rejected her altogether.

Application: I wish more single young people, teens and single young adults, would read this story and learn that it follows the pattern or most pre-marital relationships.  I think this is particularly important for young ladies who surrender their virginity early with the desire to show their boyfriend their love, for fear they will loose them if they reject their advances, or in the hope they will keep them even while he pulls away from them.  Those who believe in evolution would say that man is the hunter and when they have caught their prey they loose interest in them.  Those of us who believe in God believe that once a woman has surrendered what is most sacred to her, men loose respect for them, and therefore they have no more interest in them.  While young man think that having premarital sex will bring them closer together, more often than not it becomes an insurmountable barrier.
Several years ago there was an article in Time magazine about the report by the National Marriage Project, out of Rutgers University in New Jersey, which says that, “Cohabitating couples are more likely to experience a host of domestic problems — including, if they finally get marriage, divorce.
Last year in the U.S., more than 4 million unmarried heterosexual couples shacked up, in contrast to only half a million at the end of the supposedly free-spirited ‘60’s.  Though living together has become conventional, the report cites studies showing that these unions, in comparison to marriages, tend to have more episodes of domestic violence to women and physical and sexual abuse of children.  It notes that annual rates of depression among unmarried couples are more than three times those of married couples.
The report contends that cohabitation reduces the likelihood of later wedded bliss.  It quotes a 1992 study of 3,300 adults showing that those who had lived with a partner were 46% (it is now known to be 80%) more likely to divorce than those who had not.  ‘The longer you cohabit, the more tolerant you are of divorce,’ says David Popenoe, the sociologist who co-wrote the study.  ‘You are used to living in a low-commitment relationship, and it’s hard to shift that kind of mental pattern.’”
Premarital sex and premarital cohabitation do not benefit the relationship; instead, it will bring a host of problems, challenges, and difficulties including not marrying the person with whom they had intercourse or with whom they live, including abuse to them or their children, and ultimately divorce.  God’s plan for sex after marriage is best and healthiest and provides the best chances for lasting happiness.

Prayer: Father, bless the young and single who are tempted to enter into relationships and practice premarital sex and help them to not fall into a sin which will bring about life-lasting difficulties and challenges.  May they enjoy the best and healthiest of relationships before and after their wedding.

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