PODCAST: What Are We Not Telling Couples About Waiting for the Wedding for Sex?

by | Mar 10, 2022 | Podcasts | 37 comments

Podcast Wedding Night Awkward Wait for Marriage
Merchandise is Here!

We’ve got some uncomfortable truths about waiting until marriage for sex for you today!

Yesterday on the blog I was talking about the increased rate of vaginismus among couples who wait for the wedding–and what we should do about that.

That’s a large part of the honeymoon chapters in our new books The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex–which launch on Tuesday (YAY!)

But we’ve got another uncomfortable truth to add to it in today’s podcast, so listen in!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:

Timeline of the Podcast

2:30 Some clarifying beliefs
4:35 “Wait for marriage so that sex will be hot!”
9:45 Why are rates of vaginismus on the honeymoon higher for this group?
21:20 Saving sex for marriage is not an arbitrary rule
25:45 “My wife doesn’t want sex now that we’re married!”
36:30 Some reassurance
39:45 Reader Questions with Keith
59:30 Encouragement!

Main Segment: Sex Isn’t Always Better if You Wait Until Marriage

And we need to stop threatening and bribing people into waiting, and instead talk with nuance about why waiting is good to do.

Rebecca and I tackled two of the uncomfortable truths about waiting:

1. If you wait, you have a 25% higher chance of vaginismus

But even aside from sexual pain, sex may simply not be that great because of the way we’re doing the honeymoon and the wedding night. We’re ignoring the natural progression and the sexual response cycle, and we’re imposing duty and awkwardness onto sex instead (you have to perform now).

And for many couples, it just doesn’t work well!

2. Many couples find that sex was better BEFORE they were married

We’ve also had so many men especially say that their wives were all over them before the wedding, but that all stopped once the wedding was over. And women who say that they lost their libidos afterwards.

We go into why (there are a few different scenarios that may be going on here).

But we also do an impassioned plea for couples who wanted to wait but didn’t to not feel as if God is judging them and punishing them now. You’re allowed to enjoy your marriage!

Can we please stop with the “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”

Keith joined me to talk about how this saying is problematic. Even if it’s empirically true (if single women went on a sex strike, more men might commit), is this how we want to portray sex and marriage? That men don’t want commitment, and only marry for sex? Would we even want to marry such a man? And that men want sex and women don’t? Sometimes the way we frame things has great repercussions.

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Reader Question: How do we rekindle love when we both feel rejected?

Keith and I also tackled this reader question, which I think many of us can relate to!

My husband is great!! He is a man that was set in his ways before we got married. What do I mean by this? He washed the dark laundry on Wednesday and lights on Sunday. After dinner he always has to wash all the dishes. Every morning he makes the coffee and brings me a cup and we watch the news.
My problem is my love language is physical touch. Not sex, I have a very low sex drive. His is physical touch. We’ve been married 6 years. We both know the others love language but have felt rejected for so long. My husband won’t go out of his way to hug me and give me random kisses because he’s felt rejected. I now feel that the only way to fix this is to some how overcome my feelings of rejection to give him what he needs. I know once I do he will give me what I need. The problem is I don’t know where to start because it’s hard to ignore my rejection. I’m just lost!!!

That’s a common one, and Keith and I had some tips for fighting the drift–many of which are in our two new books!

The All New Guides to Great Sex!

Launch March 15!

Imagine building a great sex life–from the ground up!

What would it look like to build a picture of sex that was MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE FOR BOTH–with no harmful messages?

Welcome to the The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and the ALL NEW Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

Pre-Order Now! (Helps us out a ton)

And if you email your receipt, we’ll send you a special pre-order BONUS

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

Uncomfortable Truths about the Wedding Night Podcast

What do you think? How can we stop drift? And why is sex sometimes better BEFORE the wedding? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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37 Comments

  1. A2bbethany

    Yesterday the discussion kinda blew up, in the evening. And while sex is main commodity of life,(power, money,sex) I would never want it in a way not blessed by God.

    When deciding what to believe, I don’t care about anything but what God has said in the Bible. What has every reference to it implied? I fell in love with serving God and being close to him, and nothing was going to jeopardize that! I only got married because I got a clear sign from God, that this was the choice. I was also fully prepared and interested in walking away from ever marrying. Marriage is always easiest in the fantasy world, never actually approached.
    And I’m ok with having a roughish starting to marriage in that area!

    When I look back at our nonsexual, bare minimum(to most standards) touching, I’m very happy with it.
    We put the physical desires to the side, and our main focus was communication. We shared ourselves together intimately and we never felt pressured by anyone.
    I took it a step further and actually set up a timeline for our first kiss. (I didn’t want any feelings of shameful secrecy)
    Our wedding night? Basically a makeout session and that was it for us. I guess our process of dating/engagement/marriage was fast enough, we missed out on any guilt trips or pressures.(3months total)

    I believe that our strong foundation in communicating, was our strongest asset. Because we’d even discussed a potentially sexless marriage and how we felt about it. His willingness to forego sex completely until/if I was ok, gave us the freedom to make it a non issue.
    So unmarried sex? Don’t try to make the tail wag the dog. God made it for marriage and a life of commitment. Just because the world is messed up and nobody is perfect, doesn’t make a wrong right. Sexual suffering isn’t an exscuse for walking into sin. It’s a reason to keep looking for God’s true designs. If anything, I’d encourage a couple to wait for any touch that’s sexually arousing, and then after marriage, enjoy taking it slowly. At your individual pace. I think it’s safer in every way, and if you are too impatient to wait, something else is off.
    Now I can listen to today’s podcast!

    Reply
    • Anon

      I really don’t get why people tie themselves up in knots over the whole sex-before-marriage thing anyway. Do I believe it is wrong? Yes. So is losing your temper, stuffing your face with too much food, saying something spiteful about another person, lying, ‘forgetting’ to declare income on your Tax Return… With all these other sins, we confess them, receive forgiveness and move on. We don’t tell people ‘you yelled at your friend – you are a horrible person and the rest of your life will be terrible because of what you’ve done’. And we don’t tell them ‘hey, don’t worry about those horrible things you said – you don’t need to be sorry about it because God loves you’ either. No, we say ‘that wasn’t the right thing to do, but if you confess it, God will forgive you and help you do better in future’. So why don’t we do this when we do something wrong sexually?!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Anon, I don’t think that’s what she was saying. She’s not saying that someone is a horrible person and that they’re going to suffer for the rest of their life. She’s just highlighting the reason why God has that command in the first place. God’s commands are for our good, because God loves us so much! But doesn’t mean your life is ruined if you misstep like so many believe. God is so kind to all of us.

        The Bible also does place a certain emphasis on sexual sin, but God’s forgiveness is greater, like you’re saying. We can hold the two in tension- it’s not either or.

        Reply
        • Anon

          Hi, I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying – sorry if I wasn’t clear.

          What I was trying to convey is that the church seems to have made sexual sin into a class by itself, particularly in regard to premarital sex – either it’s presented as the most terrible thing you can do and something that will inflict lifelong damage on you OR it’s treated as something that doesn’t really matter as long as you love each other. But we should actually be treating it the same as any other transgression – doing our best to avoid it, and if we fail, confessing it to the Lord, accepting His forgiveness & cleansing and seeking His help & strength to avoid it in future.

          It makes me so sad to see some of the comments on this blog – people who had sex with their partner before marriage and years later are feeling shame for it. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for ALL our sins. If we’ve brought something to Him for forgiveness and cleansing, we don’t need to keep feeling shame over it because He’s blotted it out forever!

          Reply
          • Nessie

            Anon-
            It’s refreshing to hear a Christian not give condemnation for this sin, so THANK YOU. I did not wait. Grew up in church but saw no one with a relationship with God- but had a mom who talked about following the rules so we looked perfect then bad-mouthed all the people, broadcasting the sins- real or imagined- that other congregants had. So I figured what was the point of following His rules. (I came to know and accept Christ over 15 years ago, months after the birth of my child- after several years of marriage, fwiw.)

            I do wish I had waited though largely because the physical relationship blinded me to the unhealthy emotional aspects. I might have seen we should not have gotten married. We were both so immature and unhealthy, and neither of us had witnessed healthy relationships. It is what it is, and we are trying to make it better now, though it is slow-going.

            Before we married, I was gravely looked down upon and called out hatefully by others who had the same rules-of-church life I grew up with. (These same people knew my boyfriend well but he was *never once* spoken to. Just me. He was simply being a guy, but I was a s!ut.) Having the weight of both our sins heaped on only me was enormous and made me see Christians as people that thrived on condemning others.

            Had someone spoken to me in love and compassion, maybe I’d have made better, more godly life choices. Maybe I’d had come to know Jesus sooner and not lost years of time I could have been getting to know Him better! However, I still encounter people that assume I was a good Christian girl and several have treated me differently if/when I shared that I wasn’t. (This makes me hesitant to be real with Christians now, so I appreciate the anonymity this site offers.)

            I have a few friends that know my past and don’t treat me differently, but even though God has forgiven me many Christians have not. And that is really hard when it is heaped onto my own guilt of having had sex before marriage. I can feel God’s forgiveness towards me but heaven forbid Christians let me forget what a dirty sinner I still am for having done that 20 years ago.

            So thank you everyone here that refrains from judging. You give me hope that some Christians exist that can let me move past old sins that God has already forgiven. Much love to you.

          • Anon

            Dear Nessie, whenever that condemnation rears its head again, remind yourself that when God forgives our sin He doesn’t just forgive it, He ‘remembers it no more’. If God chooses to forget our sins, how dare others remind us of them?!

          • Nessie

            Anon, ❤️.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Yes, I agree! We shouldn’t treat it like its own class of sin that can never be recovered from. That’s just not biblically accurate. We’ll have a lot more to say about this when our mother-daughter book comes out. When you look at the books written to teen girls, and do a word cloud, SEX is so big in the word cloud you can’t read anything else. Like, that’s pretty much all we talk to girls about. It’s very distorted.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, I think that this is one of the biggest reasons to wait–that we can have that foundation of communication and emotional connection. Sexual activity can make people feel closer than they actually are.

      Reply
    • NG

      A2bbethany,

      I so applaud you for wanting to do things God’s way and for His honor. That’s the testimonies I have heard from many others, as well.

      It’s not about following some rules, but having an intimate, close relationship with Him, and flowing from that place.

      I’m also believing God for a similar marriage, where He is the initiator and match-maker, and it’s about Him.(I have seen Him to give His best in other areas of life as I waited and sought Him, so I know that’s what I want in marriage, too.)
      Not sure I’d be ready to jump into bed during the first night – I would imagine yes, but it’s not supposed to be about performance.

      Back when I was younger (before hormonal changes..), all I wished was to be ‘fast and furious’ lol.. now it is more like ‘slow and sensual’.. As long as the person is the right one, anything is fine, really.. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jo R

    So “libido” is the word used to refer to sexual interest and desire. I think we need a word that refers to ***emotional*** interest and desire. Many women have a responsive sexual libido, and many men have a spontaneous sexual libido. Men are raring to go at the drop of the hat, and women have to see if they’re interested.

    But with emotional libido, I think the percentages are reversed. Women’s emotional libido is on all the time, and men just aren’t sure if they’re ready to share emotionally. Women don’t understand why men aren’t more interested in working on the emotional side of the relationship, just like men don’t understand why women so often need to try to want sex.

    I think part of this is the holistic way women view marriage and sex. After the wedding, women often want to continue the relationship factors that were in place before the wedding (the long talks, the make-out sessions that don’t lead to sex, the doing of small things for each other) and just add sex to the mix. So women have the high spontaneous emotional libido to keep the marriage on a high relationship level.

    For men, though, and especially in the church where so many men think marriage is defined mostly or even entirely by sex, that sex is the most important thing in marriage, they don’t see any reason to nurture the non-sexual parts of the relationship. So their focus is naturally on the one thing that they think is the most important bit, and they don’t encourage their responsive emotional libido.

    Since men very often have a responsive emotional libido, their wives feel rejected as partners in life and even just as human beings, and a woman can’t help but reach the conclusion that her husband doesn’t want HER, just the sex that she provides. So, once Wilma observes that Fred would have married any woman who gave Fred sex, what is left that’s special in their relationship? Nothing at all. Fred no longer shows Wilma that there’s something special about HER, and HER ALONE, that prompted him to want to marry her. So Wilma feels zero emotional connection, which won’t help her responsive sexual libido, at all.

    It’s like the old joke, which actually isn’t the slightest bit funny, where the wife says to her husband, “You never say ‘I love you’ anymore,” and the husband replies, “I told you I love you on the day we got married, so why do you need it anymore?” But few men would think it was the slightest bit funny if, when he said to his wife, “You never have sex with me anymore,” she replied, “I had sex with you on the day we got married, so why do you need it anymore?”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, I think this is definitely true, and your Fred and Wilma analogy is on point.

      Reply
    • NG

      Hi Jo R,

      It’s interesting to observe how things have changed as I age. When I was a young woman in my twenties, I probably was the ‘typical girl’ emotionally geared and looking for that connection first.
      As I have become older, know myself more and am comfortable within my skin and personality, I found that dichotomy ’emotional vs. physical’ disappear, and instead, I was filled with that intense longing just to be one with the right person – spirit, soul, body, without distinctions. Whenever I was attracted and drawn to someone, that was so strong that I would have been willing to get down to that intimacy as soon as possible.. (so I don’t understand when some people say they have to ‘test’ things to see if there is any attraction.) Thankfully maybe, things never progressed to a relationship and marriage – so I’m still waiting to experience that dimension one day.

      We are a complex unity, comprised of distinct parts, but still one personhood. As a Christian, I’m seeking to live my purpose with all my ‘compartments’ unified by God’s Spirit and leading. (not that there are never contradictions or ambivalence..)
      Interestingly, it was actually an old Gnostic heresy that wanted to see distinction between the soul/spirit and body, claiming that body/ physical was bad, while spirit was the ‘real thing..’

      Reply
      • NG

        What I tried to say – not so coherently – is, the older I get, and the more whole I feel as a person, the less ‘gap’ there is between my emotional and physical sides.
        Maybe one purpose of marriage also is that husband and wife grow so close that the ‘gap’ between them also disappears, and the stereotypical ‘male’ and ‘female’ reactions change into mutually desired intimacy and bonding?

        Reply
  3. Anon

    Right at the start I noticed your comment about taking all your clothes off, being naked in front of your spouse and then feeling awkward about what comes next. I’d take it back a step – you don’t have to start off by getting naked! Especially if physical contact has been limited to hugs, handholding and the occasional kiss before the wedding.

    On our wedding night, my husband suggested I change into my nightdress in the bedroom, while he got ready in the bathroom. We got comfortable touching each other through our nightwear first. Then under the sheets with the lights turned right down. It was several days before we got round to being totally naked in full view of each other, by which time it just felt totally natural. If I’d been expected to strip off on my wedding night, it would have taken way longer to get comfortable being around each other.

    Reply
  4. Nessie

    1. elucidate
    verb- to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain: (Rebecca nailed it.)

    2. You mention the bait and switch of men saying their wives stopped wanting sex after marriage… agree with all you said. I’d say a lot of men do a similar bait and switch, too. My boyfriend left me notes, called just to say hi/love you, did sweet things for/with me, enjoyed spending time with me, talked, went on dates, etc. … When he became my husband, he stopped all of that and simply expected sex and pouted or got grumpy if I didn’t give it to him. And when I initiated, he wasn’t always able to go with it due to unconfessed porn issues (and he certainly wasn’t going to take care of my desires if he wasn’t getting his)- but I was expected to be understanding and not take it personally.

    It’s a two-way street, but both sides have been filled with roadblocks from toxic evangelical teachings.

    3. A friend’s kid just got engaged- I’m so excited to gift these books to an engaged couple and hopefully help them get started off right!!

    Reply
  5. Anna

    This may be trivial, but I’m so glad that when you discussed wedding night and honeymoon sex, and you got to talking about if you tried intercourse and it hurt, to go right back around and start trying to get her to arousal again. There were lots of Christian resources I read that mentioned lube at this point. That may SEEM like they’re trying to be helpful, but the very strong message in that was, “If you try and put your penis in and she hurts, just grease her up enough and it’ll go.”. Problem there is, if you’re, I don’t know, under 30? and you’ve been checked out by a gynecologist beforehand, there’s probably nothing wrong with your ability to produce lubrication yourself. So lube just represents an awful shortcut.

    Lube is mentioned so many times in a Christian married sex context, that I suspect there’s a whole bunch of women having unaroused intercourse, and evangelicals all own stock in K-Y and Astroglide.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh my goodness this is so sad and funny at the same time: “evangelicals all own stock in K-Y and Astroglide.”

      Reply
      • NG

        Hahahaha !! It *is* tragicomic.

        Reply
    • Blue

      This is a really good point. Yeah there’s nothing wrong with using lube. But “just grease her up and it’ll go in”…..sad and funny.

      Reply
    • Andrea

      Yes, yes, yes, agree with everyone else about how spot on this is. Instead of waiting for her to get properly aroused (which includes the expansion of the vaginal canal), they lube up and shove it into a collapsed tube. No wonder so many women are in pain. I say “collapsed tube” because I recently learned that the vagina is a like a sock in its resting state. This was in a book called Cliteracy, which I think people have mentioned on here as a helpful secular resource along with the very popular Come As You Are.

      Reply
  6. Blue

    This is amazing, and so explanatory. We didn’t wait but we actually planned our first time while engaged, and so fell into all the same pitfalls you all talked about in this podcast. It was a considered decision, there was family pressure to have a really long engagement and if it were my child I would advise a much shorter engagement.

    I don’t feel guilty though and haven’t really. What matters about marriage is a commitment to each other and to God with the support of your community, not a government seal of approval.

    Reply
  7. LBO53539191

    While I agree with sooo many of your points and absolutely love the great majority of what you’re saying today’s podcast about waiting for sex til marriage, I felt that some of the speech about premarital sex, even when engaged/committed to the other person, was a bit irreverent and spiritually dangerous.

    You (I suppose it was more Rebecca who said this) didn’t come out and say it wasn’t sin, but it seemed you really minimized it by trying to say that it’s not that big of a deal in an effort to console people and dispel false promises about how great sex will be if you “wait.” That’s of course a prosperity gospel-esque and overly-simplified and myopic perspective. Totally agree with that.

    I understand your effort to attempt to console people who have stumbled in this way and to try to help them not feel eternally condemned by this sin, as much of the messaging in the purity culture has done this. But, along with dispelling purity culture lies and telling the truth, the antidote to not feeling condemned five years into your marriage about this type of sin is not through minimizing the sin— it’s through clinging to the redemptive truth of the gospel, and repenting and receiving God’s grace for it. All of our sins were enough to separate us from God- even little white lies; these, too, required Jesus’ shed blood and resurrection to save us from his just wrath.

    That’s not being over-the-top, that’s just the truth of Scripture. I’m not saying you don’t believe this. But, shouldn’t it have been more of a focus in talking about this issue, since the gospel is the center of what we believe as Christians and is therefore the lens through which we ought to filter everything?

    We are often so quick to minimize sin when we don’t fully recognize how utterly holy God is. A little white lie is not just devastating because of its earthly consequences (although I don’t discount those consequences, of course), but it’s devastating and entirely deserving of God’s full wrath because of how holy God is. It’s not so much about the crime itself as it is about it the value of the Thing you sinned against- in this case God, who is morally perfect and holy. The same goes for all of our sins, even premarital sex.

    Premarital sex is still called fornication, even if you’re in love and intent on marrying. Rebecca seemed to suggest that premarital sex is somehow more okay in that context? Maybe I misunderstood, but it really seemed like that. Of course it’s best not to soullessly have sex with just anyone, but it’s still sin to have sex with someone who is not your husband or wife, even if your intention to do that is there.

    Up until the marriage day, you are not each other’s husband or wife— therefore you are free to leave, all the way up until you say your vows at the altar– that’s not a technicality of just “signing paperwork,” as Rebecca mentioned. It’s not as if signing a marriage license is all that stands between you and being “officially married.” It’s the making of the binding covenant of marriage which is sacred and supernatural. I agree that you’re husband and wife in the eyes of God if you’ve made the covenant, even before signing the license! In God’s eyes at that point, you’re married. But as much as the topic of sex needs “nuance,” God is also black and white. Either there’s a covenant that’s been made, or there’s not.

    This picture of saving sex til marriage mirrors the full intimacy we can now have with God as his redeemed Bride. Until salvation, you absolutely are separated with God and cannot at all have that intimacy with him. Once you enter the covenant of salvation, you have complete intimacy with Him- only capped by our current earthly limitations, that we look forward to shedding once we are fully glorified in Heaven. Again, either, you’ve made a covenant with your now spouse, or your haven’t. Likewise, you’re either saved by God’s grace, or you’re not. This isn’t a grey issue.

    God’s commands are always for the purpose of “that it may go well with you.” This doesn’t mean a prosperity gospel happy ending- but as I already stated, and as I know that you both did mention- it’s inherently protective of both spouses and any future children that come from that union.

    All sin is a big deal. But God’s grace is the bigger deal that ultimately glorifies him. When we diminish the severity of our sin, we diminish the amazingness of his grace and the redemption that he poured out through the cross and empty grave. Can’t lose sight of that for a second.

    It’s not about, “It’s okay! It’s not a big deal!!! Don’t worry!!” It’s about, “It’s okay! God has redeemed you from ALL your sin, and you are a new creation! We have all sinned and were dead- but now we are clean, new, whole, and alive! Grasp ahold of that truth and walk in it!!!” That’s a way better message to me, and I think it’s worth asking why that wasn’t a bigger focus in this episode, especially if your audience is a Christian one. Maybe you’ve done that more in the past, but I still think it was lacking here.

    Again, I still appreciate a lot of what you have to say and am thankful for your insights.

    Reply
    • Meredith

      This is exactly the kind of pearl-clutching I was talking about in my comment yesterday.

      Would you give a long lecturing comment to someone about the sinfulness of overeating? After all, all kinds of Christians are guilty of gluttony. Or what about not giving to the poor. Jesus never once said anything about sexual acts keeping you out of Heaven but he definitely said that people who did not help the poor were going to hell.

      Why is unmarried sex in a loving safe relationship soooooo singled out by the church?? I mean, good God, with all we have learned about how heinously a vast number of “Christian” men treat their wives sexually, we’re going to go out of our way to say how sinful it is for an engaged couple to sleep together?
      Seriously, this is why I don’t want my kids growing up in church. Talk about straining our gnats and swallowing camels!!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Hi Meredith! The focus of my comment was about how we can declare our sins for what they are BECAUSE of God’s amazing, incomprehensible grace. The more we realize our sinfulness- with anything, not just sex!- the more we realize the depths of his love for us. My point was that there’s no need to minimize sin just to feel better and console ourselves. The gospel is sufficient for that. And sorry about the length- I wanted to be super precise about a delicate topic; I’m also long-winded and don’t know how not to be 😆 anyway, that was my point; I hope it came across!

        Reply
    • NG

      Excactly, LBO53539191!

      Sexual sin (whether with one’s fiancee, with a random stranger, or with someone else’s spouse) is sin. It is not unforgivable.
      (Where do people get the teaching that one has to feel condemned for years and years? The Bible sure does not teach that – Paul actually mentions a list of sins, some sexual in nature, with the comforting statement ‘Such were some of you, but NOW ..!’)

      However.. these day the pendulum really has swung to the other extreme. While anything can be forgiven, and God is very gracious, and has promised to redeem our lives, sexual sins still are different in the way they affect our whole being and involve us with other people. We’re sinning against God, our own body, and the other person(s)… Especially grave, if we do so as Christians, claiming to be a follower of Christ: we’re taking God’s temple and defiling it.

      Those warnings are not written in the Bible to keep anyone from God’s love and grace, but rather, to safeguard our lives and to keep us in Him.

      Reply
  8. Side comment

    I liked Sheila & Keith’s discussion about the reader question. I heard the question a bit differently, though. The characteristics described by the reader could point to possible autism in her spouse (or OCD, or anxiety, as Keith alluded to). Autism has a prevalence of 1 in 44 Americans. Marriage advice that works in a typical relationship does not work as well, and often fails completely, for neurodiverse couples. It can be hard to find a therapist with knowledge in this area. Sheila has previously had a couple on the podcast to talk about these things as well. There is a therapist named Sarah Swenson who has written extensively about this.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Very true! We actually recorded that segment THREE times (talk about frustrating; the sound kept not working). In one of the takes we talked about autism as a possibility here, but obviously not in the final take. But I completely agree with you.

      Reply
      • Side comment

        So sorry to hear that! Very frustrating! You made it look smooth, though. And thank you for hosting Dan & Stephanie awhile back; it’s important stuff to know.

        Reply
  9. Mark Hansen

    Hello. Regarding the last reader question and the concept of reaching out. I agree, there comes times, when God calls us to risk rejection and to reach out to our spouse, and to others for that matter.

    In fact, that is just what God the Father and Jesus did. We see this among other places at the end of I Peter 2. There, Jesus example of going to the cross is given.

    Then, immediately in chapter 3, Peter turns to marriage. In verse one he says likewise wives…and in verse 8- likewise husband’s.

    It is in the same spirit of sacrifice that Jesus showed that wives and husbands are to serve each other — likewise

    Reply
  10. Sarah

    There’s a great John Mulaney skit on ‘why buy the cow’ in which he calls it “a bananas insulting expression – to an entire gender!” but concludes with “why buy the cow? Because you love her.” To which I thought: “huh, a secular comedian is out here saying more respectful things about women than a lot of the transactional stuff I hear in the church!”

    Reply
  11. Erica

    The last reader question if this podcast resonates with me. For child 2 we bought a lazy boy chair, it was fantastic for nursing, but it was my husband’s chair. Sex took a downhill turn. Then we moved, the chair ended up in the toy room, which again became my nursing chair as the older children played. Great memories. Last year we remodeled and my husband’s first request was the chair move to the living room. I didn’t think much of it. Sex again took a downward turn. I think now looking back. The chair separates my husband and I after the kids go to sleep. The touch that allows me to be responsive is missing.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That is so interesting! i think you may be on to something. I’m going to use this in an upcoming series on what kills a woman’s libido. So good!

      Reply
      • NG

        If you want a hint for that series about ‘libido killers’.. one really big one is years of rejection and disappointment.
        It can cause the body to shut down. Not that it’s conscious, but after getting excited, having your hopes up high and finally beginning to believe that ‘wow, there really might be something real and God-given with this man’, only to be cruelly disappointed – it is a being hit in the stomach. Not just emotionally, but it’s very draining for the nervous system, the thyroid and other hormones..

        I’m one of those women with a high libido who for decades would have appreciated nothing more than a man who appreciates that side of me (and the whole personality of course). It’s probably because of some extreme traumatic sitiations in 2019 and 2020 (not Covid related..) that triggered sudden menopause symptoms.
        Now, I ask myself like Sarah did if I ever will have pleasure in anything, even if my husband appears 😀
        Poor man, I hope he won’t have to suffer…
        It just feels such a waste to have all that bent up sexual energy for years, and it was never a joy, just a source of grief..

        I know there are women who say God gave them something in the place of that disappointment. That really has to be from Him then, because humanly speaking, I am seeing ashes..

        (That all the while watching and reading other people celebrate their anniversary and telling how much they value their spouse, and how they could not have done it without the help of that husband / wife. If I ever have expressed that I longed for the same, the usual reaction is a blank stare.. or, a statement like ‘go to counseling to get fixed’..)

        Reply

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