You Have a Sex Drive

January 13, 2015

in the generous life

You have a sex drive.

Yes, really you do. You may be aware of it or you may have buried it. You may like it, love it or hate it.

Years ago I hated mine and buried it the best I could. God was understanding, but not terribly impressed and set about to convince me that it was “very good” and that I needed to let Him heal the hurts and teach me about sex.

Well, I wasn’t terribly impressed with that, but saying no to God doesn’t work too well, so off on an adventure I went.

I think the concept that has helped me most over time is that we are stewards over our lives, our bodies, our relationships, etc. We’re supposed to take care of ourselves and others and that’s a serious responsibility.

I didn’t choose to be abused sexually as a kid, but it was my responsibility to deal with the fallout as I became an adult. It was my responsibility to choose what I believed, what I exposed myself to in books, movies, etc., and how I chose to deal with my sexuality and my marriage relationship.

So, yeah, ouch. I realized that much of what I believed and how I was acting was at odds with His Word. That was the first step for me, admitting that I needed to let God help me own my sexuality and the truth about my sexuality. At first it was pretty overwhelming and there were days when I was in so much emotional pain I thought (maybe even wished) I would die. I had enough history with God to know that if you hang in there long enough, He comes through, heals, and helps you through the process of learning and growing up. So I cried through the pain, prayed for courage and wisdom, and day by day walked toward sexual health.

There was a time when it became easier and a time when it became joyful. I’ll be honest and say there are still times that I struggle, but they are few and far between. It has been worth the pain and struggle … because it was the right thing to do and because it is a good gift from God.

When you ignore, bury, or generally down play
your sexuality, you are missing out on something
wonderful that God desires for you to experience.

 
When you ignore, bury, or generally down play your sexuality, you are missing out on something wonderful that God desires for you to experience. It is His good gift to you. You’re also missing out on the pleasure, intimacy and joy of sex with your sweetie.

So God created man in his own image … male and female he created them … And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply …” And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.  portions of Genesis 1:27-32  ESV

(I’ll be sharing more thoughts about sexuality over the next few days.)

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you about your sex drive and how He designed you to work sexually.

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Do Not Disturb: Intentional Sex? Great list of reasons to plan for sex.

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Jon Acuff: 2 reasons you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people. and Inspiration vs. Comparison I love his perspectives. Try this one on for your life and your marriage.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris January 13, 2015 at 7:01 am

Thank you for sharing your heart, Lori. So much of you what you say here has been true for me as well. It is lovely to finally be able to enjoy God’s good gift.

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Bonny @oysterbed7 January 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

Lori,
You are so right that it is our responsibility to our creator to deal with the fallout of our junk and in so doing, we are taking care of ourselves. I usually take care of others far better than I take care of myself. I like being reminded it is my responsibility to care for myself and look down deep, even if it’s hard, painful and tearful. God will meet us there.

Your candor will minister to many silent, hurting women. Thank you for sharing the hope of baby steps and the truth that God desires us to see and experience sexual intimacy as a great gift.

You always say so much, so beautifully and clearly, in such a thrift of words! I admire the talent God has given you, my sweet friend.

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Lori - The Generous Wife January 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Thanks, Chris and Bonny, for your encouraging words.

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libl January 13, 2015 at 10:18 am

I would like to ask what advice do you have for a wife who loved and owned her sex drive but has since stuffed it because her husband does not appreciate her sex drive? How can any refused or denied spouse maintain the health and integrity of their sex drive?

I really looked forward to being married and expressing myself sexually, but my DH hates a lot of what I like. Even after discussion, prayer, trying, etc he has drawn a line. It is a daily battle of temptations: anger, resent, bitterness, porn, being unkind and unloving toward him. And, it is hard for the sex we do have to not be fraught with disappointment and dissatisfaction.

I think that question would make a great post.

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sunny-dee January 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I was going to ask a similar question to libl. My husband simply disengages from me sexually; I don’t have a sex life because I have no input into it. I mean, I can’t ask for or plan for sex, I can’t seduce him; he has flat-out said he just doesn’t feel that way about me.

I am actually okay as long as I distance myself from sex mentally. We’re great friends and partners. I can even feel loved, to a degree. But I can’t “own” any sexuality, or any peace of mind I have just takes a nosedive.

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Lori - The Generous Wife January 15, 2015 at 2:38 pm

@libl & @sunny-dee

Of the resources I know, I can suggest Intimacy in Marriage (Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren’t Getting It http://bit.ly/1u7meCE) and I would suggest the forums at themarriagebed.com (http://bit.ly/1g6XKxN). You might also check out the article Lack of Desire (http://bit.ly/1cVMFBS) for possible culprits (often problems are a combination of a number of issues, rather than just one).

I would start there and glean any ideas that you think might be helpful. Try a few of those. If you are still not getting any traction, then seek out third party help.

I will also be listing a number of other resources in tomorrow’s blog post.

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Greg January 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm

“When you ignore, bury, or generally down play your sexuality, you are missing out on something wonderful that God desires for you to experience.”

Lori, I would love to know your take on this statement above (minus any Christianese–I think you know what I mean) for those for whom there is no biblical sexual outlet (widowed, single, disabled, etc.)?

My own personal view is that God, in the end, is not interested in our sexual well being. Spiritual well being, and obedience to abstain from sexual sin, yes–there’s plenty of Scriptural evidence to support those; but despite God’s creation of our sexual drive and desire, there are no guarantees or biblical support for our sexual fulfillment in His Word. Reality all around us backs up this truth time and time again.

Greg

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Lori - The Generous Wife January 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I will answer this briefly, and then if you wish to continue the conversation, I would be happy to do so by email. This is a blog for women about marriage, and I don’t usually address single issues here.

I said: “When you ignore, bury, or generally down play your sexuality, you are missing out on something wonderful that God desires for you to experience.”

I think it would apply to singles. You don’t ignore, bury, or down play your sex drive, you just handle it differently. You don’t have a sexual partner, so you take care of your own sex drive (I have no problem with masturbation for singles). It’s important to keep your mind from sin (don’t think about your neighbor), and, our culture is so sexualized, it’s important to guard your eyes and ears because you don’t want to grow your sexual needs/wants until you are married and have a spouse.

“My own personal view is that God, in the end, is not interested in our sexual well being.”

I believe that God is interested in every part of our lives (even our sexuality and He meant it as a good gift) and His perfect will is for most of us to be married and enjoy great sex (there are a few folks who are designed to be single Matt 19:12).

” … there are no guarantees or biblical support for our sexual fulfillment in His Word. Reality all around us backs up this truth time and time again.”

There is no guarantee of anything in this life because we live in a broken world, but that is no excuse for dismissing God’s will and intent for sex in marriage. All kinds of things are broken in life and we keep at it because we wish to live according to His will. How is sex any different?

Biblically I think there is a huge case to be made that God intends us to be sexual in marriage and have amazing pleasure and intimacy. There is an entire book of the Bible (Song of Songs) set out for us to learn about sex so that we may have the pleasure of His gift.

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rebecca January 24, 2015 at 1:56 am

Lori, as I read and scrolled down I thought, hmmmm, how is she going to answer all that? . . . but, that was a really excellent answer: take care of your own sex drive but do it in a way that you don’t think about your neighbor (don’t dishonor God or yourself); guard your eyes & ears; —and don’t grow your sexual needs/ wants until you are married and have a spouse (—really important not to create addictions). Excellent answer! —And Lord God, help us all to have a serious addiction of a different kind: singleness of heart, an undistracted mind (Psalm 112:7) –for You, Lord.

In the early Christian church, as well as the middle-ages and beyond, the church just destroyed and decimated sexuality in marriage and its pleasure and intimacy. Read any of the period’s main thinkers and you see quotes everywhere like: “If you refrain from filthy intercourse you become a temple holy and pure, released from afflictions and troubles.” “Sex of any kind, even within marriage, except for procreation, is foul and to be avoided at all costs.” . . .It shows very clearly that the church was more than responsible for repressive, unhealthy attitudes toward sex. Many serious Hebrew and Christian theologians of the times didn’t even think Song of Songs belonged in the Bible. They claimed it was the equivalent of a bar ballet that only belonged only in a pub.

I assume all we can do is move on and try to get beyond all that but never, ever forget grievous errors and realize we may even have them now on other critical issues. So, we have to seriously pray, seriously think and seriously question. Otherwise, we can have 1900 years of wrong in some other critical area.

Is the church just floating along with society and the times? flat earth, slavery, loans were completely wrong (“owe no man nothing”) until the 19th century, head coverings, jewelry, make-up, women working outside home, divorce, remarriage. It all got reversed no matter how many hundreds of years it had been true and proof-texted from the Bible.

Lori, what are some practical ways we can be more humble before the Lord so we are not blind? If you have to use a counsel or reinterpret morality then is morality dependent on human minds and not some objective moral Bible standard? How can you have a thousand years of Christian Bible scholars who love the Lord getting it that wrong? Do all these church counsels of history come down to trying to justify what we want to be true or what society forces on us (southern Baptists and slavery, maybe someday homosexuality)? It’s so confusing. Obviously the church missed the mark writ-large on sexuality for thousands of years. How can we stay humble and teachable and on-guard for grievous errors?

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Lori - The Generous Wife January 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Rebecca, I don’t know that I have any good answers. Certainly we all have truth and error in what we believe and those who have gone before us had the same problem … they were human and they goofed up sometimes.

Mostly I think it’s about studying the best you know how and being graceful toward others because we are all on a journey toward greater truth. There is that balance between being teachable (I may have it wrong) and being able to teach (I share what I believe and hope that it will bless others).

We have far better tools for studying today, which is helpful. We also have the Internet for sharing. Years ago, you might rub elbows with a few scholars and today we can hear from many more.

I think, if I have any advice, it would be to hang with folks who are learning and growing and routinely challenging what they believe. Be a Berean. :) Acts 17:11

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rebecca January 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

Thank you Lori. You are right about being Bereans and more diligently examining the Scriptures and asking more/better questions. I don’t mean to be harsh or question your wonderful spirit in any way. Moreover, I am sure I would have made many of the same errors and maybe even more because I fail so many times too. . . . . But Christians owning slaves for hundreds of years, as well as, 1900 years of interpreting sex and sexuality wrongly, et.al. . . . .Well, it is hard to just call all that a “goof”. These are systematic failures and actionable supervised neglect. That said, I have not a clue what to do about it except as you state, to study harder and be on-guard by asking more questions. —Oh, one last point, we may have more technology BUT they had access to extant manuscripts (source documents and lots of them) that are now lost to time. More scholars would only put us in a better position if we had all the extant manuscripts they had access to. Anyway, thank you for giving so much of yourself to try to help us all. –So many of the ideas here are just invaluable.

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