Jared Wilson has a great post about practicing grace-centered sex. It’s almost oxymoronic to our culture to do such a thing, because sex is about taking, right? Taking what I want? Receiving what feels good to me?
But grace-centered sex is about giving freely to each other. And you know what? Amazingly enough, as is true in other areas of life, when you are willing to freely give you find yourself receiving, too.
Jared has 3 practical steps for women and men. A couple of parts meaningful to me include:
There are certainly exceptions, and many men are willing to settle, but the majority of men are not merely interested in sex for the release. In Shaunti Feldhan’s For Women Only — highly recommended, by the way — she reveals the results of her survey question, “With regard to sex, for some men it is sufficient to be sexually gratified whenever they want. For other men it is also important to feel wanted and desired by their wife. How important is it to you to also feel sexually wanted and desired by your wife?” A whopping 97% said it was “very” (66%) or “somewhat” (31%) important to feel sexually wanted and desired by their wives. Only 2% said it wasn’t important so long as they got enough sex.
What Feldhahn discovered, to her surprise, is that for men, sexual satisfaction is tied only superficially to sexual release — it’s not less than that, but certainly more — but also to feeling desired, accepted, encouraged, adored, and attractive to their wives. She concludes — and most men would affirm — that it is important for wives not just to be willing, but to participate, cultivate eagerness, to engage and enjoy.
Wilson continues in his advice to men:
There is almost nothing more shaming to a wife than to feel as though her husband’s vision is captivated by someone else, even if it’s just a pretty stranger who happens to pass by. Over time, as couples become more and more familiar with each other, and bodies change, etc., a wife’s fear of losing her husband’s eye typically grows. Husbands, make it your firm commitment — a covenant with your eyes — that you will not measure your wife against anybody else, real or imaginary. If measurement takes place, they must measure against her, and they must all fall short. In Proverbs 5:18-19, the father warns his son against adultery and says:
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
The Hebrew word there that is rendered “breasts,” by the way, is of course best translated as breasts. This is not metaphorical, and it’s not temporary. May the breasts of your young wife satisfy you at all times, which means even when neither of you is young any more. Is your wife skinny? You like skinny. Is she not? Then you like “not.” Maybe her body changed. Well, then, you changed too. And this can’t be something you just say; it must be something you actually feel.