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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Beauty of Sex Within Marriage

Happy Monday, sweet friends! 
To start off our week, I have a special guest post today from a dear bloggy sister and friend of mine, Ashley. She is a GEM, you guys. We both contribute to Quite Magazine, and she writes a wonderful blog called Always Ashley. I love her heart for the Lord, her husband, and ministering to young women. A passion of mine in my life and ministry is waiting on God's timing in relationships and saving sex for marriage - and she offers some very important insight and wisdom on this topic that NEEDS to be talked about - how to approach the beautiful gift of sex within marriage! I know her heart and words will bless you! 

Take it away, Ashley! 


                                                                      **************

When Erin and I first began to discuss what I would write about this month, no other topic sounded louder in my spirit than this.

If you're familiar with this blog, then you know our sweet friend Erin has an unrelenting passion for spreading the message of sexual purity to as many women and young girls as she possibly can. I've been reading Sweetness Itself for a little over a year now, and her determination is nothing less than inspiring. However, there is one area that I feel is missing from this message that she simply cannot touch on yet: How do you approach sex after marriage?

Now, if you are reading this because you want a finite example as to how sexual intimacy will be once you and your beloved have entered into a holy covenant with God, then I suggest you stop reading now. All I can do is give you a glimpse into the expected and unexpected moments that my husband and I experienced as newlyweds.
One of our engagement pictures. Love me some him!
Before I met my husband, I'd been in a very exclusive and committed relationship with God since January of 2010. I hadn't even held a guys hand let alone go out on a date or (dare I even say) kiss someone! Needless to say, navigating through the boundaries of physical intimacy was difficult for us throughout our engagement. There were times when I felt very confident and comfortable around him, and felt our determination to maintain a physical relationship that pleased our Creator was solid.

Then...there were the other times.

Times when temptation got the worst of us and we allowed battles with purity to be lost.

I know my husband has mentioned before that he felt once we were married the pressure that engulfed our desire to honor one other and our Faith with our bodies would be lifted to sense. Not that we wouldn't be focused on Him anymore, but that we would be more comfortable with the simply things like cuddling, kissing, hugging (yes, I said hugging), etc.

I don't think I was ever certain of this, but I remained hopeful.

Unfortunately, not much changed on my end after we were married. Even though we now had the freedom to honor God through engaging in sexual intimacy, I still found myself feeling guilty. Those feelings stemmed from so many places.

Initially, I believe it was because I'd been try to stay committed to reserving my body for my future husband that once he was here I didn't quite know how to handle it. The whole idea of having sex with him seemed wrong. Whew...that's hard to admit. And it was even more difficult for him to come to terms with. He often felt it was because I wasn't attracted to him, but that certainly was not the case. I mean really, have y'all seen my "Mr. Hottie McHotness of a Belizean-Christian" husband (*wink wink*)?!? Being attracted to him certainly was NOT the problem! I honestly just did not know what to do. So much had gone wrong within both of us before we got married, even before we met. When it came to engaging in sexual activity, we'd both had several other partners in our past. We'd been in unholy relationships where we focused on our own happiness instead of bringing joy to our Father. I found myself in relationships where I was using physical intimacy in an attempt to fill voids in my heart. Voids from not feeling wanted by my biological father. Voids from feeling rejected in social areas of my life. Voids from not truly understanding my value in Christ.

When I gave my life to Christ, all of that changed. I wholly became His and being someone sexually seemed so off to me. I almost felt like I was cheating on God. For months, I couldn't even have sex with my husband without wearing my wedding ring. It was as if I needed to be reminded that it was okay, that I wasn't just satisfying my flesh, but that we'd made a covenant before God and He was pleased with us. Memories of experiences with past partners were now tainting something that was supposed to be so holy, so sacred.
All of this may sound like I've been sipping the crazy sauce, but I'm just trying to be real.

I know a lot of Erin's readers come here to hear her heart for purity and abstinence, and that many of you are waiting for that day when you can finally share yourself with your husband.

It's a beautiful thing.

Don't allow Satan to ruin that for you when the time comes.

If you've remained sexually pure leading up to your wedding day, embrace intimacy with your husband whole-heartedly and know that it is a way to honor him and the wonderful God we serve. If you, like me, gave pieces of yourself away to someone who was undeserving, remember that Christ's blood has washed you clean from every sin. The you who will be wrapped in your spouse's arms in the future, is not the same you that once found solace in fleshly gratification. If your innocence was taken from you through abuse of any kind, you must understand that God has always been with you and that you are still precious to Him. He has now blessed you with someone you can trust to keep you safe, to protect you, to be your covering, and you be an example of His love to continuously counteract the pain you endured.

My sisters, I pray these words touch your heart and ease your spirit. I pray your marriage is beautiful in every way God intends it to be, and that you embrace every aspect of it with joy, patience and love.

Love y'all.

With A Servant's Heart, 


Ashley Danielle


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21 comments:

  1. Love, love, love your words. I just got married a little more than a month ago, and I waited to engage in sexual intimacy until marriage. Before I was married, I often wondered about the transition. I relate to you on those "guilty" feelings (even feeling guilty about feeling guilty!). Prayer has power during these times. :-) Nevertheless, sex within marriage is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Thank you for reaching out, Ashley!

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    1. Hi Gabriela! I'm so happy you enjoyed this. I think it's something that should be talked about more, and congrats on all of your newlywed fabulousness!!! xoxo

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  2. This is SUCH a good piece!!! It is so hard to be freed from guilt, even if the things you did you before marriage were just with your spouse. Still. The shame is hard to shake and transition to being in wedded bliss. This resource was a HUGE huge help for me and had lots of great practical tips. http://shop.familylife.com/p-1527-intimate-issues-21-questions-women-ask.aspx

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  3. LOVE love love this!! I can't even tell you much I can relate. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy intimacy and he doesn't stop when your married. Thanks so much for this word. :)

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    1. heather @ http://likeamorningcupofcoffee.blogspot.com/

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    2. Yes, satan will do all he can to try to ruin the beautiful things God creates. But he needs to brush up on his Revelation study because in the end...he loses!! lol. Thanks for reading!

      xoxo

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  4. Love love love this post!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Great post Ashley. I think sometimes we think that sexual intimacy will be a piece of cake but many times it takes work just like the relationship. Even for those that have no sexual experience it can be frustrating and foreign for a very long time. Someone above me mentioned prayer, in the beginning of my marriage I prayed a lot where sexual intimacy was involved. Praying to him about it was very strange but thankful he is happy to help in that area too!

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    1. Heeeeeeeeeeey Charity! When we are fighting spiritual battles like this, prayer is the best things we can do. God will change our hearts to align we His if we ask.

      xoxo

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  6. This was so beautiful and so needed!! Thanks for being brave and sharing!!!

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    1. Thanks for the love, Katie! Not sure if it was bravery, but I'm glad God pressed it upon my heart to finally write this.

      xoxo

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  7. Very good post! I can relate. I had crazy guilt after my husband & I got married. He was a virgin when we met. I, on the other hand, had many partners before giving myself back to God. We ended up having sex before we were married & I felt so ashamed for the longest time. God has healed my heart over the years. But, you are so right! Sex in marriage is a very beautiful gift.

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    1. Thanks God for His love and healing!! whoo-hoo!

      xoxo

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  8. Thank you for sharing this, Ashley. I love how you were vulnerable enough to share that you have had sexual partners in the past. Although, I am unmarried I have several sexual partners in the past. Grateful for the saving power of Jesus and new beginnings. God bless you!

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    1. Thanks for the love! I wanted to be as honest as possible and I'm glad it touched your heart.

      xoxo

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  9. Thanks for sharing, Ashley :) For being vulnerable enough to share your story.....Was very good. Thanks :)

    I think the idea of that aspect of a romantic relationship scares me more than anything. I would go my life just cuddling, and kissing, and sleeping with "him", but not the other aspect.....I hope I feel ready when that time in my life does come.

    Lauricia
    Giveitsomestyle.blogspot.com

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    1. Just give your entire relationship wholly to God even before that time comes. Ask God to prepare your heart, mind and body for any plans He has for you in the future and He will take care of you. :-)

      xoxo

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  10. Ashley -- Thank you for being so sincere and allowing Jesus to shine through you. I needed this!

    Lots of love,
    Katie

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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