When you think about it, our sexuality is comprised of not just a handful or even a hundred different events, but rather thousands of experiences throughout our lifetimes. The relationships we’ve been raised with, both inside and outside our homes, the movies and television shows we’ve watched, the music we’ve listened to, the billboards we’ve passed by, the sermons we’ve heard (or didn’t hear), the conversations we’ve had with peers on school buses and in Sunday school classrooms—each one of these experiences add up to comprise a collective sexual identity. And since no two people have lived identical lives, it only stands to reason that different experiences are going to lead to different expectations.
One of my favorite expressions is: “Our sexuality is as unique as our fingerprints.”
Frequently reminding ourselves of this undeniable fact can force negative thoughts (such as fear, confusion, judgment, or condemnation) toward our spouses right out of our minds. Rather than thinking of our partners as sick, twisted, or perverted because of their sexual aspirations, we can see them as adventurous, playful, or exciting. Instead of assuming that our spouses are frigid, sexual sticks-in-the-mud, or straight-laced prudes, we can respect the fact that they are self-controlled, pillars of strength, and protective of their sexual integrity.
This doesn’t mean we have to bury all hopes of cultivating the rich, rewarding sex life we long for when our spouse is a little more on the conservative end of the spectrum than we might prefer. We can still work toward building greater levels of trust and confidence in our marriage partners such that they may change their minds in the future. Nor does it mean that we have to become a sexual doormat if our spouse leans more toward the liberal end of the sexual spectrum, giving into anything and everything he or she conjures up. We can still have healthy boundaries and only agree to what makes us comfortable.
By viewing our partner’s sexuality through a non-judgmental lens, we’re able to make him or her feel respected, safe, celebrated, cherished, and loved. Isn’t that one of the main goals of marriage?
May we never insist on having our own way at the expense of our partners’ comfort zone.
Show us how to help each other feel so safe in our marriage bed that blossoming comes naturally. Give us both patience and passion as we express our love for one another, and may you be glorified and honored by all of the pleasure we experience in our intimate times together. Thank you for the many gifts that we have in our marriage, and in our marriage bed! Amen.
See the previous posts in this series here: