Riding the elevator up to our hotel room the night of my wedding was the most exciting elevator ride of my life. God had redeemed my sexually broken past and that night I believed he would bless our new marriage.
Prior to marriage, God healed multiple areas in my life.
He healed me from sexual abuse.
He healed me from sexual impurity in dating.
He healed me from sexual addiction.
On my wedding day, I was a pure bride. Pure only because of the blood of Christ when he died on the cross for my sins. Christ’s blood made me sexually pure.
Recovering from any part of sexuality that is unlike God’s design is very challenging, but God healed me and made me white as snow. Even through God was the healer, I slowly claimed the credit.
“I” went to counseling.
“I” put up physical boundaries.
“I” repented from my sins.
“I” stopped watching porn.
“I” became proud.
Entering my wedding night, I believed I deserved great sex. I had worked so hard to be ‘pure’ and now I was finally getting what I had worked so hard for.
Lesson #1 We can’t earn purity.
Jesus’ blood makes us pure, not our own actions. We are sinful prideful people deserving nothing, not even good sex.
Looking back at old blogs, I wrote countless articles about purity. Here are a few: 8 MYTHS ABOUT WAITING UNTIL YOUR WEDDING NIGHT, ENGAGED AND NOT HAVING SEX | THE FIGHT FOR PURITY, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PURITY? 5 ACTION STEPS TO GUARD YOUR HEART FROM IMPURITY.
4 months into marriage, my view of sexuality, purity and relationships is growing and changing. I am turning to Scripture to try and ground my beliefs. Sexuality is bigger than a 5 step solution or a 10 things blog post.
I feel confused some days. I feel like a failure and because of this, I haven’t been blogging. I’m on a journey, just like you, so be patient with me. Intercourse has been painful, nothing like the movies. The pain is real, but the harder part is the disappointment and anger I face, because I thought I deserved amazing sex. I thought the key to great sex in marriage was checking off boxes. For example, if you stay pure in dating and engagement, then you’ll have great sex.
Lesson #2 Living a pure life before marriage does not guarantee great sex in marriage.
This is a lie that our churches teach. Our churches desire for us to live pure lives. They never say, “Stay pure and you’ll have great sex,” but it is implied.
When sex is painful, I feel betrayed. Betrayed by all my married friends who failed to tell me how painful it would be. Betrayed by the pastor who gave us pre-marital counseling who did not mention sex once in our many meetings. (Note to pastors, talk about sex in counseling, please! It is better to talk about it uncomfortably than to stay in your comfortable bubble. Christian couples need a safe place to talk about sex.) I’m thankful my husband and I had other avenues to talk about sex and did not rely solely on our pastor.
The world lied to me. Porn lied to me. Romantic comedies lied to me. And the church lied to me. Sex isn’t what I thought or what I was taught. No one said it would be hard or messy or painful.
I wasn’t prepared for this disappointment, for this crushing blow of feeling like my body is broken.
As I wander through figuring out this new chapter of my life, I hold on to one hope. This brings me to Lesson #3.
Lesson #3 Great sex isn’t the goal of marriage.
If great sex was the goal of marriage, then my marriage would be marked by failure. If I had married a man who loved me only for my sexuality, then he would have already walked away.
When sex is hard, remember that the goal of marriage is holiness, not happiness. God has already started to use sex to make me holier.
I am humbled even through the writing of these words.
My pride has been broken and I am finally writing to my readers.
Navigating sex in marriage is a journey and I’m so thankful for my husband. God is using this journey to grow my intimacy with my husband. Growing in intimacy as husband and wife is more beautiful than the sex portrayed by the media. Real sex is more than intercourse. Our love is growing and I’m so thankful for our marriage.
If you want something practical, check out this tips:
If you’re a pastor, talk about sex to the couples you mentor AND from the pulpit.
If you’re a friend, ask your married friends how their sex life is going. My counselor told me that it usually takes 5-8 years for couples with sexual pain to seek help.
If you’re engaged, enter marriage with realistic expectations about sex so you’re not disappointed.
If you’re married and struggling with sex, join me on this journey to discovering biblical sexuality and physical healing.