Where Have We Gone Wrong With Sex?

By Shauna Pilgreen

A critic for People magazine said that no one watches a heavy sex film for the dialogue. Society has made the sweaty scenes an illusive standard and tricks us into thinking that what we have in our godly marriage is plain. Our flesh craves for that which is outside of His design, but it’s what is inside His design that is so vast and freeing and beautiful. The illusion created by Hollywood was never intended to satisfy our sexual needs, but to bind our partners to a standard that is unachievable.

It’s not that we’re not having good sex, maybe even great sex. It’s just that what is written about such a sexy topic tends to become a script for a pornographic film that has nothing to do with great sex. Rather, objectifying a human or treating such a sacred act like last night’s leftovers.

So where have we gone wrong with sex within a godly marriage? Because really, if we compare the stories, it seems as if Hollywood sex is provocative and godly sex is basically plain.

Reality #1: We’ve made sex so casual that no one really values it.

It’s just simply a part of marriage.

It’s what husband and wife do.

It’s an obligation.

It’s my duty to him.

It’s what I expect her to give me.

Not long into marriage the shine has worn off and sex is something that has to be done to keep our marriage in tack. It’s seen as casual, routine, and dutiful. But duties don’t get better. Unloading the dishwasher is a duty for me. I unload the dishwasher because we need to use the dishes. It just has to be done. Sex is not supposed to be in the same category as unloading the dishwasher, my friends.

Sex was intended to have great value – a value that nothing else compares to within the context of marriage. A value that supersedes any Hollywood box office movie. The wise woman who birthed me {that’s my mom}, told me in my engagement months, “Shauna, it gets better and better.” Now that I have experienced her words, I know it’s valued in her marriage and something I want to strive for in mine. This dissolves the idea that sex is a duty, but rather elevates the God-created act as indescribably sensational and beautiful. To put the value back into sex that God intended it to have, we must not shift our eyes to Hollywood, but to our spouse. We must fall in love all over again in fresh new ways that spark satisfaction and pleasure that only the other can provide.

Reality #2: We are usually takers rather than givers in our sexual desires.

A typical taker wants sex and demands it. Yet there’s another type of taking that disguises itself as a giver. For this taker comes up with excuses and pushes back and thinks of a million other things to be doing. This spouse is just ‘taking’ in different ways. Taking their time. Putting everything else before their spouse. Both of these takers victimize themselves in a marriage relationship, and it’s possible for both husband and wife to be takers simultaneously. This typically sends the relationship spiraling down to either divorce or a mediocre marriage that frames itself as “just fine” to their friends and family and church community.

Takers withhold. Takers demand. Takers are in it for themselves. Takers always blame the other for wanting too much or not meeting their needs as much. “Too much” and “as much” get us nowhere.

Givers, however, enable the relationship to get somewhere. I could remind you of your marriage vows or tell you to list all that you love about your spouse to persuade you to give to his sexual desires. Rather, I want you to consider that you, yes, desirable and sensual you, have a priceless and private offering that was never yours for the taking, but for the giving.

Great sex is experienced between two givers, not two takers. So consider ways to be a giver this week: Initiate. One evening, you take the lead. Do what you know the other enjoys.

While People magazine critics might have pegged sex movies more about the action than the dialogue, great sex within the confines of marriage needs to begin with the dialogue. What does he need to hear you say? How does she need to know how you feel? But always let your words be swept into action. Because all talk is what drives us to the magazines, internet, novels, and movies. Let your generous words give life again to what pleases one another through sex.

How is your sex life? Are you a giver or a taker? Has sex become a duty in your marriage?

Published October 1, 2015

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Shauna Pilgreen

Shauna is married to Ben Pilgreen, pastor of Epic Church in San Francisco, CA. They have busy 3 boys and are in process of adopting a precious girl from India. Shauna loves exploring her city, engaging in her community, and encouraging women. Join her on her blog at ShaunaPilgreen.com where she shares how their family lives out the Gospel in the place they call home.