Cudd Memorial is sending two mission teams to Boston this year. They are essentially vision teams, which will help us see the need and gain a heart for the city. Hopefully next year, we can make one big trip that last for a weak. Please pray for the church planter named JD and his family as they continue to see God start something beautiful in Boston.
Are you ever around negative and critical people? People like that go around spewing venom on unsuspecting victims. Before you know it, their critical spirit is like a virus – it affects the whole group. I want to challenge you to speak up the next time you hear the critic working their sad ways. I want to challenge you to use two very simple words: “That’s ugly.”
Be bold and courageous. Simply say, “That’s ugly.” You might think, “I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” Christians need to be salt and light. We need to speak the truth in love. You are not running them down to simply say “That’s ugly.” You are making them think twice before they do it the next time. At the end of the day, you won’t be able to change the critic. They have a lot of issues that leads to that type of behavior. However, you can stop the spread of the virus from going to the beautiful person sitting nearby. Try it this week. It’s just two words: “That’s ugly.”
All married couples want an amazing sex life, but not everyone experiences that. What contributes to an enjoyable sex life? There are three common facets:
· There are times of intense and passionate sex
· There are times of connective sex
· There are times of fun and creative sex
All three of those things are not necessarily pronounced and overtly emphasized each time a couple is intimate. However, all three need to be in regular rotation. But let's imagine that some couples have a steady diet of all three, but the sex still comes across as “just ok.” What now?
If you are really going to enjoy sex, then you have to learn to "let go" (insert Disney's Frozen joke here). But in all seriousness, there is a correlation between really “letting go” and enjoyment? The more you let go; the more you ENJOY. Some people really struggle to let go and be completely uninhibited in bed. Often times one or both spouses struggle to fully let go. They might experience moments of freedom, but they are quickly brought back to restraint. The reason for this is fourfold:
· You think you are not allowed to “let go.”
· You think you are not good enough.
· You don’t know if you can completely trust your spouse in bed.
· You don’t think you deserve to enjoy sex.
Which one (or two or three) applies to you? Pay special attention as we go through each one below.
You think you are not allowed to “let go.”
Sometimes people don’t think they are allowed to really let go in bed because of the negative ideas expressed during their upbringing. Perhaps while you were growing up, things were said or implied in respect to “letting go in bed” that became rooted in your belief system.
Our religious beliefs can be another reason. We think, “Surely God does not want me to ‘really get into it.’” Or “We can be pretty wild, but there is a point at which it is not respectable for a good Christian to act that way in bed.” “We cannot move like that or sound like that,” we think. As a pastor, I’m not sure how Christians draw those conclusions from the Bible.
Some Christians almost have a modern version of Gnosticism in their belief system, which states that anything to do with the physical is bad. The New Testament could not disagree more. The physical is good. We are sexual creatures. Don't be embarrassed by the natural flow of expression. Rather, be turned on by it. Embrace the desire like that found in Song of Solomon 7:7-8: "Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit."
You think you are not good enough.
Others have come to the conclusion they are not good enough in bed. They think they are bad at sex, or even awkward. However, the beauty of a covenant marriage is that it provides a safe place to grow in your sex life.
We can understand "not good enough" to also mean the feeling of not being pretty enough or handsome enough. Self-esteem in the bedroom is so important to your ability to let go. You have to fully embrace the notion that you are lovable and capable if you are going to let go in bed. Embrace the fact that you have great worth in the sight of God. Reread Psalm 139 and Matthew 10 in order to better understand God's love for you. Remind yourself who you are in Christ. You are lovable and you are capable.
You don’t know if you can completely trust your spouse in bed
Sure, your spouse is trustworthy. And yes, you love your spouse. However, have you put a limit on how far you will trust them? That guardedness makes you more reserved in bed. Remember, there is a correlation between letting go and enjoyment.
Perhaps you have trust issues. There might have been trauma or abuse in the past that makes it hard to trust people in general, not just your spouse. It is best to recognize the pattern Jesus uses when ministering to people that have experienced trauma.
In the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11, Jesus established trust, addressed forgiveness, and challenged her to go and make different choices from that point forward. After everyone had gone home, this woman is left standing face-to-face with Jesus. She is completely and emotionally spent. A near death experience and forceful humiliation will do that to a person. And there she is, the rawest version of herself standing before Jesus. And in the presence of God we see that the title given to Jesus in Revelation 19:11 approperately fits: Jesus is “Faithful and True.”
So, Jesus displays who He is to her: Faithful and True. Next, He addresses forgiveness. Whether we have done the crime or we are one who has been wronged, forgiveness needs to happen (real forgiveness). Lastly, Jesus points us to making different choices moving forward. Often it is “go and sin no more.” At other times, we need to make different choices; such as, leaning into the tension or choosing to move forward when you want to shut down, etc.
You don’t think you deserve to enjoy sex
This point is somewhat related to the idea that he or she is not good enough. It could also tie into our last point about trauma and abuse from the past. Things happen to us that make us conclude we don’t deserve enjoyment. We can even twist things around into thinking we should be punished (i.e. masochism). A woman that experienced abuse as a child might have concluded that the abuse was her fault. As a result, she needs to be punished. Do you have the idea in your head that you are not worthy of enjoyment? Deep inside of your soul there is still a little boy or little girl that has done something wrong and needs to be punished.
There is so much to consider on this subject of enjoying sex. I hope that this article has caused you to think deeper on this subject than ever before. It’s time to really let go and experience that amazing sex life you have always wanted with your spouse.