Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night –
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new –
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true…
– [excerpt] from “Ring Out, Wild Bells” by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1850)
As the first of January approaches, we are yet again mindful of another year gone by…as well as another new year in the making. This is the time of year when people find a renewed sense of purpose that seemed to elude them in days past. Ideas are fresh, minds are willing, and resolutions abound. In January, many decide to eat healthier, work harder, forgive faster, love deeper, and cross more to-do’s off of their ever-growing bucket lists!
Now, I certainly believe our mindset for doing better should always be “there’s no time like the present” – no matter what time of year it is. Yet perhaps January’s chiding presence is similar to that of the Lord’s table in the worship assembly. God’s grace allows us humans, feeble as we are, to be reminded week after week of Jesus’ sacrifice and our solemn need for renewal. We are to continue righteously all the week long, no doubt about it. Yet there is just something about a Sunday and breaking bread with the saints that sets our spiritual minds toward greater heights. In similar fashion, once every 365 days we become blessed with a new year – a reminder that we must not cling to yesterday’s trash, but press on to tomorrow’s treasure.
This year, I want to encourage all wives to make a resolution that will change their lives. I give you fair warning: if you are not interested in stepping out of your comfort zone, bettering your marriage by leaps and bounds, and serving in a behind-the-scenes sort of way, you might want to leave off reading now. However, if you wish to be the crowning jewel of your husband’s deepest desires, then I am here to help you achieve that goal.
Your mission this new year? Our daily bed. That’s right…this year I am encouraging you to place making love to your husband as a daily priority. I know, I know, I can hear the exasperated sighs even now of women who find sex the most unenjoyable pastime ever invented. Even so, I can personally tell you (woman to woman) that this one modification can take your marriage from boring to soaring.
Where are all the brave women of God at? Join us, as we consider the 9 Most Important Factors To Consider When Making This New Year’s Resolution A Reality…
A good resolution must have determination, or it will surely fail. It’s easy to make resolutions, but it is much harder to keep them. If we want to make resolutions that we are sure to keep, we have to be truly serious and intentional about them.
– Know your “why”. Is this resolution just another good intention? Or is it something you are truly passionate about seeing through? Make a list of the reasons you want to see this resolution become a reality, and look back in on it frequently when you feel apathetic.
(I would like to note that this is not an exhaustive article on all the biblical reasons to make love to your husband. If you are interested in reading something along those lines before proceeding further, I recommend checking out my article “The Damnable Defrauder” from April 2014. Perhaps it can help you to find your “why”.)
– Pray! Talk to God about how hard you are trying to please Him and your husband in this area. Ask Him to lead you; making you strong where you are currently weak. Then, show Him your sincerity by your actions. He will help see you through (if) you offer yourself as a vessel of His will.
– Schedule. Without a legitimate game plan, today’s good intention quickly become yesterday’s negligence. I suggest making love first thing every morning, so end of the day exhaustion will not become a factor. End of the day crumbs are hardly befitting of our earthly lords! Even so, this is merely a suggestion. Everyone’s schedule and sleep patterns differ, so timing is for you and your husband to figure out. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you made a plan and you stuck to it.
Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. – Proverbs 4:25-26
Know your “why”, pray, schedule…and most importantly, always follow through!
Many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks. – John Lyly, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1579)
Fear, nervousness, and uncertainty are among the most common causes of defraudation. Women experience a sense of trepidation in regards to sex for various reasons. They may be self-conscious of their bodies. They might have an aversion to sex because of an ingrained idea that sex is dirty or disgusting. It could be that they have been hurt in the past, and are afraid of opening themselves up. Whatever the case may be, there is a little three word saying that goes:
Mind over matter.
These three words can turn an unpleasant experience into a tolerable one; and a tolerable experience into an enjoyable one.
We all know this childhood cause for trepidation: the diving board. You know what I’m talking about. You finally get old enough to dive into the deep end of the pool, so you saunter joyfully over to the boards. You wait in line without a care in the world, you climb the ladder with a song in your heart and a big grin on your face, and then you get to the edge and look down –. “Oh. This is horrible! Why did I ever decide to do this? The water is too far down. I can’t jump! What am I gonna do? Mom’s smiling and waving from across the room, the kid behind me is yelling “hurry up”, the lifeguard is frowning at me…I’m going to die. Please Lord, I’m just a kid! If I turn back now, all the other kids will laugh at me! *pause* Well, here goes nothing…” And so you jumped. You lived. Just like that it was over; it wasn’t so bad, and then you were climbing back up the ladder and diving over and over just as fast as the line would let you.
The diving board is a prime example of mind over matter. When we don’t allow ourselves an out, when we simply accept our present circumstances as they are and dive right in anyway, we realize that what we were afraid of really wasn’t so fearful after all.
Present fears / Are less than horrible imaginings. – Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605-06)
In other words, the fear of sex is far more terrible than the act itself. We know that God has not given us spirits of fear! Let us not give Satan a foothold by bringing trepidation into the marriage bed. We can and will rise victorious if we will implement “mind over matter”.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
Communication is key when it comes to the marriage relationship…we all know that. Yet too many seem to forget this when it comes to sex. Many women clam up and feel embarrassed to talk about their sexuality; but talking about it makes it a whole lot easier to do it! (No pun intended…)
Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. – Dostoyevsky, “Critical Articles: Introduction,” Polnoye Sobraniye Sochinyeni (Complete Collected Works, 1895), v. 9
How true that is! A joyous marriage must have two people who are bound and determined to be one. In terms of communication, that means honesty, clarity, and not bottling up our feelings and leaving the other spouse guessing as to what we want. I am persuaded that best friends make the best lovers. What I mean is this: if you’re not very connected outside of the bedroom, you’re going to have a hard time being connected inside the bedroom. It’s important to try to build closeness in every aspect of the marriage.
As awkward as it may seem at first, try to normalize talking about sex by casually introducing it into conversations throughout the day. Your husband will love your flirtatious advances; and if your heart is right, you will get a kick out of finding more ways to rile him up and keep him longing for you.
Once sex becomes a more normal topic in conversation, it will become easier to help your husband know what you like, as well as come to him with any problems you are having physically or emotionally. As you overcome the barrier of communication and open up to your man in this way, it’s going to take your oneness to a whole new level.
…speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. – Ephesians 4:25b
If you are resolved to make “our daily bed” a reality for your marriage, then you must renew your mind with a sincere fascination for your man. In our thought lives, we must learn to always emphasize the positives, and minimize the negatives.
When I was a child, my father often gave me this exhortation: “change your thoughts, change your life”. This simple but meaningful phrase has impacted me in many ways through the years. If we can not change our thoughts inwardly, how can we expect to change our actions outwardly without meddling in deception and hypocrisy? Change must first come from within, lest our actions become merely an outward facade that amount to filthy rags in the sight of our Creator.
What do you find attractive about your husband? Allow yourself to focus on and delight in those things. Does he have a mischievous smile that makes your heart sing? Strong arms that fit around your frame just right? Gorgeous, understanding eyes? Whatever it is about him that makes you weak in the knees, dwell on it! Don’t be a fault-finder and dwell on what repulses you (i.e. he is sweaty, he has bad breath, you hate that big ugly mole on his chin) What good do such thoughts do? Satan would love to drive a wedge between you and your husband by having you dwell on the repulsive, but Christ would have you to dwell on the lovely. Whom will you obey? Consider the words of the Shullamite woman, who knew very well the joys of fascination:
My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. – Song of Solomon 5:10-15
Now that is a woman who honors her husband. How it must please God to hear a wife praise her husband so! May each of us learn from and emulate such passionate thoughts of our own husbands.
Starting today, I encourage you to take pride in the unique, special man that God has given you…and throw away any negative thoughts of him out of your mind the moment they enter.
God made sex to be enjoyed by married couples, plain and simple. Yet too many women have this mindset that sex is “dirty”, and can not fully let themselves enjoy the experience. This is not God’s perfect will for us! We have been wired from the beginning to desire our husbands in every way (including sexually), yet somehow we have allowed society to blur and pervert this truth. Let’s go back to Eden and see what God has to say about it…
Unto the woman he (God) said…thy desire [teshuqah] shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. – From Genesis 3:16 [clarification added]
We can see that we are called to desire our husbands. Yet what exactly does this look like in a marriage? If we look at the original Hebrew word for desire, “teshuqah”, I believe we will find that it has a more interesting meaning than meets the eye. It is defined as follows:
Teshuqah: stretching out after; desire, longing, craving. As in…
A. of man for woman
B. of woman for man
C. of beast to devour
This word speaks not only of want, but of yearning, craving, a real sense of “gotta have it“…in short, we are made to have the hots for our husbands! Still not convinced? Check out this God-inspired passage from Song of Solomon 2:3:
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Yep. You did just read that. Straight out of the word of God! This kind of marital delight is not disgusting, immoral, or shameful. It is pure, it is holy, it is uniting, and it is life-giving. Not only is it perfectly acceptable to find recreation in sex, our God would have us to find great delight therein.
Oh, the horrors of an expectant female. Like a leaky roof or a drippy faucet, no man asks for this in his life! Expectations are some of the biggest hindrances to marital bliss in general. If we continually focus on keeping everything about our husbands to our own personal standard, rather than letting him have a reasonable amount of liberty in Christ, we have become a stumbling block. It is so important to continually remember that we are to be our husband’s help meet…not the other way around. When the roles become reversed – watch out – sin lies at the door!
Expectations can likewise cause a rift in sexual harmony. If you are going to begin making love to your husband on a daily basis – here’s a crucial tidbit to keep at the forefront of your mind: this is mostly for him. It’s not primarily about our girlish desires for romance, quality bonding time, comfort, etc. Allow me to be transparent: this is mostly a physical release for him, so that he can go on purposefully with his day – unencumbered by temptations of the flesh. If we as women can begin to free ourselves from expectations, then every benefit we get out of sex will come as a happy little surprise.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. – Alexander Pope, Letter to John Gay, (Oct. 6, 1727)
While this may seem like a bleak outlook on life, it is actually excellent advice. The less we expect, and the more contented we become in taking on the role of humble servant, the more joy and peace filled we will be.
Some days you might get an hour long, candlelit tryst complete with romantic music and whispered words of heartfelt devotion…and other days you might get four and a half minutes in the bathroom wearing half a pair of pants while he’s running late for work! The point is, it’s not about us. It’s about pleasing God and our husband, and being available whenever, wherever…for however long. It is the way of a virtuous wife to focus more on pleasing than being pleased. Remember the words of our Lord, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35c)
Do we always feel like cooking? No. Yet hungry bellies need fed, and we christian wives gladly prepare our family’s meals anyway. Do we get a thrill out of changing our baby’s diaper? Not so much! Yet we will have an unhappy little tyke on our hands if we neglect this duty, so we do it anyway. Do we just adore taking time to pay off our bills? Of course not. Yet we push ourselves to do it anyway, because we are aware that it is needful. We can cook, we can change diapers, we can pay bills…all regularly, and without a second thought. Can we not do likewise for our husbands? Can we not make ourselves servants in this area also, knowing how vital a healthy sex life is to the well-being of the home? Think about it.
Time is love, above all else. It is the most precious commodity in the world and should be lavished on those we care most about. – Sydney J. Harris, “Money Is Time”, Clearing the Ground (1986)
Another thing to consider in making “our daily bed” a reality in your marriage, is proper lubrication. Let’s face it, sex is not that enjoyable if you’re the unlucky owner of the Sahara Desert. Now, I am going to let you in on a little secret that just might permanently change your sex life with your husband for the better. Believe it or not, there exists a magical lubricant that can be found almost anywhere: be it your local drug store, the mall, the park, even your own home! Best of all, it’s free!
*Drum roll please* This magical lubricant is…WATER!
I can not emphasize this enough, girls…drink water. I used to struggle so much in this area. As a child and on into my teen years, I despised drinking water. I wanted flavor! You could give me a glass of juice, tea, pop…I would gladly drink it to the last drop. Water, on the other hand? I’d have to pass. (I cringe to think of the state of my internal organs at that time)
Fast forward to my eighteenth year (and my first year as a wife) and let me just say that my water-shunning days were hurting more than just my kidneys. Being the slow learner that I am, it took me a while to figure out that hydration equals lubrication. Maybe I’m the only person on this planet too thickheaded to figure this one out. However, on the off chance that you might be one of those naughty water-shunners, I exhort you to push yourself and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You can do this. All you have to do is start a new habit and don’t allow yourself the luxury of giving up. After a while, you will get so used to drinking water that you will actually come to enoy the “taste”.
The recommended daily water intake varies from person to person depending on their height and weight. It doesn’t take much effort to do the math (a quick google search for a reputable water calculator is a good start) If you have a hard time drinking water, I would suggest scheduling certain times of day to drink a goal amount. That way you have reasonable breaks in between, and don’t feel overwhelmed. For example, my recommended daily water intake is somewhere around 60 ounces, so I make a habit of drinking four 16 ounce water bottles every day. On a typical day, I drink one water bottle every two hours until I have drank all four bottles. I feel that I benefit not only by having breaks in between, but also because it’s easy to remember when to drink them when I am consistently drinking them at set times.
Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time thou shalt drink. – Ezekiel 4:11
Okay, okay, you got me. This was a specific command given to Ezekiel for a special purpose, not a command for all mankind. I do hope it at least gave you a chuckle! Nevertheless, common sense tells me that if other living things such as plants and beasts are “smart” enough to drink water at every opportunity, it might be worth looking into for us humans! Just saying. 🙂
If I had a dollar for every time I have heard menstruation being used as an excuse to defraud one’s husband, I would be a very wealthy woman! Contrary to popular opinion, menstruation does not have to put the marriage bed on pause. In fact, there are many simple ways to adapt to this time of month, rather than allowing it to become a stumbling block in your marriage.
Is menstruation messy? Sure. Inconvenient? You bet. Yet with a little ingenuity, we can keep being just as passionate with our husband during this time as we are the rest of the month.
Probably the easiest fix is to bring a towel with you to your intimate time. A dark colored one that is already a bit tattered should do the trick; that way you don’t have to stress about ruining a good towel (though even if that happens, let’s keep our priorities straight: our husband’s joy, or a silly towel?) I like to keep a towel in our bedroom all week long during my mense; that way I am always prepared to please my husband.
Another way to keep the passion alive during that time of month is to make love in the shower. This is of course cleaner than using a towel, but can be a bit awkward depending on the shape and size of your shower, so obviously there are both pros and cons to this method. Why don’t you give it a try? I bet your husband won’t be complaining!
Aside from messes, there are hygiene issues that can come into play. Perhaps the blood makes your husband uncomfortable, or leaves you with an unpleasant scent at times. On your heaviest days, it might be desirable for your husband to use a condom, leaving him clean and mess-free. As far as any displeasing scents, this is to be expected with absorbant feminine products such as pads or tampons. Washing up before sex, or applying a safe, scented lotion can help to keep things fresh and appealing. Personally, I highly recommend using a menstrual cup which collects rather than absorbs – essentially removing any odor. (Along with being cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, comfortable, long-lasting, drastically reducing risk of TSS, etc. But I digress…)
I dare you to lay your reluctance aside, and allow yourself to be subdued to your husband…every day of the month.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. – Proverbs 3:27-28
Get the picture?
Wives who often give in to aggravation do not good sexual partners make. However, aggravation can turn a woman into a cruel, embittered defrauder before you can say “bye, Felicia!”. Aggravation is a favored tool of the devil: it separates, it festers, it destroys.
There will be times when our husbands aggravate us to no end. He will say something that offends, he will leave his dirty laundry on the floor for the 87th time, he might even make an inappropriate advance towards another female. Immediately our guard goes up…”don’t touch me”…”leave me alone”…”I don’t want to be with you”…and pretty soon we are playing stupid games like the silent treatment, or inching as far away from him in bed as humanly possible. Worst of all, we keep our body from him and expect him to come begging our forgiveness…when nine times out of ten, we have blown his aggravating action way out of proportion and now we are the ones who owe him an apology.
Never…I repeat, NEVER use sex as a weapon. It is cruel, unjust, and in direct disobedience to God’s will for your life. Punishing your husband in such a way (and yes, it is punishing) will end up also hurting YOU and your marriage in the long run.
Anger would inflict punishment on another; meanwhile, it tortures itself. – Publilius Syrus, Moral Sayings (1st C. B.C.)
Sex is a man’s greatest outlet for bonding. If we withhold sex out of anger, we are essentially removing his chance at initiating reconciliation in the way that speaks love from his heart. In so doing, we are prolonging our own pain, as well as tempting him to sin against us. This is folly! It is not our job nor place to “discipline” our husbands. To take revenge is only to add sin to sin, and we know that two wrongs don’t make a right.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. – Romans 12:19
Our husbands do not have to “earn” our bodies by their favorable behavior. It is their place in the home that gives them the right to make love to their wife, not a show of good works.
Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. – Proverbs 24:29
When your husband aggravates you, be an adult. Talk to him about the problem in a clear, concise manner, find a solution, fix it, and then drop it. (I mean it, don’t hang on to that baggage! Let it go.) Make a habit of always reconciling quickly, and aggravation will significantly lessen in your union. Hey, if you’re really daring, you can even have sex before you reconcile! It might just help to expedite the process. You can thank me later!
While there may not be a specific verse that demands daily lovemaking, I do want you to remember that we as women are called to submit to our husbands “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). When it comes to our heavenly Lord, we are called to “daily perform our vows” (Psalm 61:8), “daily praise Him” (Psalm 72:15), “watch daily at His gates” (Proverbs 8:34), “seek him daily” (Isaiah 58:2), “take up our cross daily” (Luke 9:23), etc. On principle, does it not appear most befitting to offer unto our earthly lords their most basic desire more than only “here and there”? I challenge you to be honest with yourself and truly consider how often your husband needs and desires your love in the way that speaks most plainly to his masculine heart. I know you can do this!
In so doing, you will equip yourself to be the virtuous wife of your husband’s dearest affections, that he may have “no need of spoil” (Proverbs 31:11). May the year 2018 take your marriage from boring…to soaring!
She transformed his miseries into sexual excitements and, to give credit where it was due, turned his grief in a useful direction. – Saul Bellow, Herzog (1964)
For God’s Glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.