Before we can get into the fun side of being a lover we should take a look at the things that can prevent us from enjoying intimacy in marriage. Sadly few people wait until their wedding night these days leaving loads of marriages scarred by unnecessary baggage. It wasn’t meant to be this way. We, like swans, were designed to love once and to make that love last a lifetime. In Song of Solomon it says three times, “Do not stir up nor awaken my love until it pleases.” Usually when something is repeated in the Bible it means that we really need to get it! Many versions omit the ‘my’ from that verse but when you realise that the original text says ‘my’ you realise that what is being requested is a man asking the woman not to arouse him before it is the right time to be aroused. There is a right time and a wrong time to be aroused. Why? Because once you are aroused it is very difficult not to want to go all the way and this is why the verse in 1 Corinthians 7:9 had to be added to the Bible. It says, “…but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Awakening love before it is ready will either lead to a quick marriage or sin. It is always best to take time to befriend someone before allowing love to be awakened. Get to know them. Pray about whether or not they are the once you want to spend your life with. Remain objective before love hormones kick in and make you blind to the things you should see. Sex before marriage diminishes sexual fulfilment within marriage. You can find more about remaining pure in Being a Single Woman but now let’s focus on what to do if you have already awaked love before it is ready.
Sex Outside of Marriage
If you are in a sexual relationship outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage then end it immediately and stop hurting yourself. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” Even though you may not realise it at the time, sex outside of marriage is harmful to you which is why the Bible says to flee it. Don’t try to ease out of a sexual relationship – you cannot as you are united with the person. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can continue seeing each other but stop having sex – it seldom works and you will always end up in bed together. Don’t justify your relationship by saying that you intend to get married and have asked God to bless your relationship. Until the day that you marry you are unmarried. There is no grey area – you are either married or unmarried whatever you say to justify your sin doesn’t make it any less sinful.
These hard words are not written in judgement or to condemn, they are written by a woman who has been ensnared by sin herself and can vouch for the pain that results from sexual sin. My plea to you to get out of the sinful relationship that you are in is for your own good. Sex outside of marriage always leads to pain and consequences that are unbearable at some point in your life. Perhaps they don’t rear their ugly head right away but they always come back to bite you. I can only imagine how precious and beautiful loving only once must be – a treasure that I do not posses and will never know the beauty of.
Sex with a Past
Thankfully, God redeems and restores. I will never know the beauty of loving once, even God cannot give that back to me, but He does other wonderful things if we remain true to Him and commit to sexual purity. Here are a few things that can crop up if you have sex with a past:
God does not erase your memory when you repent of your sin. Once you have made a memory it stays with you forever so be careful what memories you make. Take responsibility for the ones you can control and for those that you have no power over, deal with them quickly so they don’t rob you of your joy and peace.
Dealing with Memories
You might remember something but it is your choice as to whether or not you continue to think about the memory and allow it to affect you. You can’t stop the memories from coming but you can choose what you do with them when they come. Most importantly, you can change how you feel about the memories.
1. Submit Your Memories
When a memory comes to mind submit it to Jesus right . Don’t linger in the memory or take a trip down memory lane with a past lover. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Catch the thought and give it to Jesus. You can do this by simply saying so either out loud or in your mind. It’s a decision you make and once you have given to Jesus leave for Him to deal with.
2. Replace Your Memories
The next step is to fill the void from the past memory with something else, something positive. Build your marriage by thinking about the right things and don’t entertain wrongs thoughts. You always have the power over your own mind. No one has brain washed you and God certainly will not even if you ask Him to. He gave us free will so it’s up to us what we use it for. Memories do come but you can choose whether or not you linger in them. Replace bad memories with good ones, you have the power to do so.
3. Transform Your Memories
God, in His mercy, can heal us from our memories so that we no longer have negative or upsetting feelings from them. In my experience, He doesn’t remove the memories but He does remove the effect that they have on you. This comes through healing.
There is little you can do if you have a memory at an awkward time like during love making or on a date night so it’s best just to mentally submit the memory to Jesus and to replace it with something else. However, you can create a private time with just you and Jesus where you can proactively deal with your memories. In a quiet and private environment, allow yourself to go back to some of the memories that are bothering you and ask Jesus to go back with you. As you relive the memory, ask Him what He has to say about it and ask him to heal you. You will find this time with Jesus incredible and result will be transformed memories. A healed and transformed memory means that when it comes to mind it has no effect on you. Healed memories can be quickly dismissed and forgotten about. Healed memories have no effect on your present. They are merely stored data in your brain but have no real effect on your body or emotions.
Many times our past dictates our responses and behaviours. If you have been in a serious relationship you may find that you transfer some of that relationship into your marriage. You might find that you mistrust your husband for things that your past man did or you may treat him based on your past. It is essential to separate your marriage from your past relationships and there are several ways you can tackle this:
1. Seek Truth
It is easy to be blinded by strong feelings and in these times you must commit to moving beyond these feelings to find the truth. Your marriage will be significantly robbed if you allow your past relationship to determine your behaviour in your marriage. First you need to seek the truth about who your husband is and secondly about what he likes.
Sex is very specific to the person so you will need to take time to learn about what turns your husband on, what pleases him and what he dislikes. Don’t treat him as you have treated past loves. He needs to be explored and discovered. Seek the truth about him.
2. Meditate on Truth
The best way to forget the things that you need to put behind you is the force your mind to think about the things that you want to become a reality in your life. For example a past thought based on a bad experience could be, “All men are the same, all they want is sex.” This past thought could be based on a lie that you have believed due to hurt. The problem is that whenever your husband hurts you this lie will immediately rear its ugly head. He will hurt you from time to time because he is only human, misunderstanding and misinterpretation happens and you are probably sensitive in some areas. To get rid of this bad pattern you need to meditate on what you know to be true. When you feel hurt change your thoughts to what is true, for example. “My husband loves me and when he desires to have sex with me it is because of his love for me.”
The truth is that all men are the same in many ways and their need for sex is one of those areas. All men need sex just like all women need to be loved. Sex = love for a man. This in itself is not a bad thing but the emotions that you attach to his need could be received as either a good or a bad thing. Meditate on the truth so that your husband can be free to express his sexual needs without you chastising him for being a bad man. This is just one example but a very common one, find what you struggle with and replace it with a truth phrase that you can meditate on.
3. Act on Truth
Once you have begun meditating on truth you need to find ways to act on it. Acting on the truth will seal the truth into your heart and before you know it the problem area is no longer a problem. Treat your marriage as your first and only love. Find out who he really is and what he really likes, making no assumptions based on past relationships. Your behaviour towards him should be determined by him and by what you know to be true and right. No past should influence any part of your marriage. Keep your mind focused on the truth that you have found so that the way you treat your husband is specific to him. What turns one man on may offend another. Not all men are the same. Don’t treat your husband like your perception of ‘all men’.
There is much more that can be said but I will leave it with you to figure out. If you are a lover with a past, deal with the past so that you can enjoy your present and have hope for your future. Let me leave you with one little gem of truth. Your sex life is the most important part of your marriage. Don’t leave it to chance, be intentional, work on it and enjoy making love to your man!