Tag Archive | sex

10 Gems I’ve Found and Treasure in My Marriage

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I was sitting on the plane beside my husband getting ready to go on our honeymoon. I’d never been on a plane before let alone over 2,000 miles away from my family. I looked out of the window to see my Mom, Dad, and sister waving in the window. All of a sudden, I realized that I wanted my Daddy! The man who’d protected me, and made sure that I was taken care of… The man who’d taken me in for stitches, knew that I’d need health insurance with my accident-prone self, the man who could pick me up and carry me to help if needed… How was this barely out of teenage-hood husband going to take care of me if he didn’t know me! Now, mind you, we had dated off and on throughout our teenage years, but he didn’t understand me like my Daddy!

 

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The flight attendant spoke to everyone on the flight just then: “Folks, we have over-booked this flight. Would anyone be willing to get on a later flight, and receive extra flight miles compensation?” I didn’t care what that meant, but I knew I could get off right then. I started to stand, and my husband grabbed my hand, and shook his head, “no.” But… But… As we took off, I cried. I knew they were crying, too. This was my new life. The man beside me would now take care of me. He would learn how to love me the way I needed. But I prayed with all my might that I could feel God’s presence with me, and that it would be okay.

 

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As you embark on this new journey, you may very well be thinking, “We’ve got what many couples lack: True Love. All you need is Love.” But as the infatuation fades, and you are left with the hard work of building a love that lasts, I would like to prepare you with some wisdom that I have learned that I hope may help you on your new endeavor. Here are Some Gems I’ve Found in My Marriage that I Treasure…

 

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#1 Know Thyself and to Thine Own Self Be True

Runaway Bride is one of my favorite movies. I laugh so hard at how she bolts in many various, spontaneous ways. But, I also love the moral. She was trying so hard to be what each potential spouse wanted her to be, and yet, she had no idea who she was. Even in my own life, I realized that I did the same thing. I wore red, because my husband liked it on me. I went along to every big event that he wanted me to until my body crashed again and again. So, if you don’t like eggs, you don’t have to eat them because your spouse tells you to. Do what’s right for you, and respect that your spouse may like something different.

 

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#2 Make sure that Heavenly Father is FIRST in your life.

This person beside you may some days feel like a stranger to you. You may wonder how you can be so far apart and yet live together. You may not even like that person some days. But your Father in Heaven LOVES you and your spouse more than anyone ever could. He knows what each of you NEED. He knows the DESIRES of your hearts. He wants you to feel and BE LOVED because He IS love. Spend time with Him alone everyday. Talk to Him about your frustrations and express your thankfulness to Him at all times. You Never Have to Feel Alone. ❤

 

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#3 PRAY FOR your spouse.

My mother warned me that there would be times that I wouldn’t like my spouse at all. I didn’t believe her until it happened to me after being married only 3yrs. But what did God ask me to do for him? Pray for him. That ONE change for me made all the difference. I didn’t want to. I was so angry at what I felt was mistreatment, that I wanted revenge. But I prayed for him because God asked me to.

 

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#4 LOVE your spouse.

I don’t mean the passive meaning of “I love my spouse” I mean to actually DO it. Evaluate the Love Languages. Each person needs to know that they are loved in EVERY way, but there is one or two things that your spouse will crave to FEEL loved. Find out which one your spouse craves, and make sure that they are getting what they need. Find out which one you crave, and ask for it; teach your spouse how to love you better. And until they’ve got it down, keep asking God to show you that He loves you. When I craved hugs, my kids were more than willing. When I craved conversation, God gave me a couple of girl friends to fill that role. And in ANY of these love languages, do not intentionally deprive yourself or your spouse. I do not deserve… they do not deserve… it’s not about deserving love. Jesus’ Love is Unconditional, and being a follower of Him means that we are trying to be LIKE Him.

 

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#5 Try to UNDERSTAND your spouse.

My husband and I decided to go on a marriage retreat with our church group. It was super fun to hang out with married couples. The one thing that I left with, though, was how we responded differently because of a personality assessment. Since then, I have researched and wanted to understand more: from the Greek Personality Profile to The Color Code to whatever the popular trend is. BUT Nothing has helped me more than the Dressing Your Truth program. I learned how our doodling, way of processing things, voice pitch, facial features, body shape, and body movement all fit into our energy type BECAUSE it’s how God made us. I was able to see that my greatest weaknesses were also my strengths depending on how I used them NOT depending on how other’s saw me. I am not only happy with who I am, but I am so grateful for how I can see, now, that my husband complements me.

 

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#6 Be GRATEFUL.

Many spouses gripe about the things that they don’t like about their spouse, or nag their spouse to do what they want. “I don’t like the way he leaves the toothpaste lid off of the toothpaste… the toilet paper roll is the wrong way… the dirty clothes all over the floor… the house is too messy.” If you concentrate only on the things that you don’t like about your spouse, that is ALL that you will see. If you concentrate on the things that you LOVE about your spouse, you will see MORE of what you love. It is totally okay to respectfully and lovingly address things that you feel are hurtful or that you or your spouse could be better at. But it is NOT okay to be critical, to nag, or to publicly humiliate your spouse to get what you want… even if it’s a “joke.”

 

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#7 Take a Time Out BEFORE things get too Heated. 

Watching my parents argue, my mother would follow my dad and make him talk. Eventually, my dad would end up angry and he’d walk off mad. My husband would do the same thing and follow me when I walked away. Each person has the ability to gauge when they are too angry to think clearly. When you feel that trigger, take a time-out. WALK AWAY when you’re angry, and COME BACK when you’ve cooled off to talk again as many times and as long as it takes! No, it doesn’t have to be in the same night. Many people use the scripture “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” as a sermon on getting over being angry fast or hurry up and solve it before you go to bed. Some things are not that easily solvable. But taking a time-out from that subject, or even a cool-down time and coming back to talk about it when you’re ready, helps to solve things as companions not as opponents.

 

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#8 Pornography is NOT a way to become closer together. 

“Well maybe if we took pictures of… or imitated this action… or had multiple partners…” Seriously, if you want to be closer to your spouse, be close to God FIRST. The closer you are to Him, the more you try to be like Jesus, the more that the Spirit reigns in your home, the closer and more Passionate you will be together.  My husband likes to say that ANY addiction that you have is trying to fill a God-shaped hole in your soul. When you fill yourself with God’s Love, God’s Word, and God’s Spirit, you won’t expect someone or something else to make you feel good. You will feel fulfilled.

 

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#9 Counseling is for those Willing to Work it Out

I can’t tell you how many jokes I’ve heard as reasoning NOT to see a counselor; “I can’t see a ‘shrink.'” “I’m not crazy, so I’m still good.” “People can just put up with my insanity if they really love me.” After the loss of our first baby, my husband and I were fighting non-stop, and he finally agreed to see a counselor with me… to prove that I was crazy and needed help… my motives weren’t any better. We had been taught through our prior experiences that “counseling was for crazy people.” Please do not fall for this misconception. We were healed through counseling… a few times for different reasons. Needless to say, my husband had changed his mind about counseling and decided to pursue his calling in life to be a counselor and help others like us. If you are physically injured or in pain, you’d see a doctor. You don’t only have one physical pain in your life. If you need help working through some things mentally, see a counselor, so that it DOESN’T get out of hand, and be life-threatening, or marriage-threatening.

 

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#10 Make Plans Together 

So, for this last one, I thought I would combine all of the things that others have told me they wished they had known. This includes: Time Management, Budgeting, Cleaning, Cooking, and Parenting to name a few. These are things that you can discuss together, grow together, change together, and grow some more together. What you VALUE will be what you give your time, money, and energy to. If you value your job MORE than your spouse, your time management will focus around your job. If you value your children more than your spouse, your budget and time will show them as your priorities. If you want to make your marriage work, your spouse comes second only to God. If you want to be healthy, you need that alone time with God, time to rest, and time to play, as well as, work. If you want your parenting relationships to work, you need to find ways to spend time individually with each child. Your job should support these priorities. Your friends should support these priorities. Only a strong marriage union, can hope to become a strong family union. And only two people fully dependent on God individually, can hope to have a strong marriage union.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning about Sex

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Growing up, I was taught sex-ed in public school along with everyone else in my class. I was almost a year younger than other people in my class. I was absolutely grossed out. It was too much information all at once.

After my son was born, a friend offered to babysit for me for an appointment I had. When I walked in, her son, around 9yrs, was looking at a drawing of a naked woman. I was shocked. She just replied that they talk openly about it and would rather have them look at drawings than the real thing.

From those experiences, I DO feel it is important for the family to teach their children and not leave it to the church or school system. I also think that it needs to be a private thing that the kids are able to talk to the parents without making it a family discussion. And of course, age appropriate would be helpful.

This, so far, has been my favorite series to teach my kids about sex from. I have both boys and girls, so I’ve read all of the books from each set. About once a year, I take each kid individually to read one of the books or chapters in the books depending on what age they are. I feel it opens up communication and reminds them of things that they may have forgotten. Each book adds on things and is age appropriate from a Godly perspective.

 

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Before I had the girl set, I used the boy version  of Why Boys and Girls are Different (ages 4-6yrs) for both genders. It included the same information and pictures. This book talks about how God made each gender, they both like different things, they are the same and yet different. It shows a naked picture of a boy and girl and how their bodies are different and then moves on. I love how it talks about how all families are different, but that God chose to put us in families. We read this in one sit down session. I actually started my kids at 3yrs because they already had observations on the fact that they were different from the other gender in our home.

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 Where do Babies Come From? (ages 7-9) took us about a week to read one chapter at a time. The boy version and girl version are different because of the child’s perspective that is telling the story. That way it is more able to relate to the gender that is reading it. This book goes over the fact that girls and boys are different, as well, and adds on with fertilization, pregnancy, and nursing.

 

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How are you Changing (ages 10-12yrs) took us about a month to finish together. It talks about how God made you wonderful, the organ differences between man and woman with technical terms, how a sperm connects with an egg, colorful diagrams of a baby in the uterus, nursing, twins, individuality, changes of both adolescent genders, and again ends with how God made you wonderful. These topics were right on topic for their age group. If left to myself to teach and no curriculum, I may have made faces trying to come up with the technical terms. I love the guide that it gave me to not make it a weird thing to teach. We talked technically about it and I offered to talk about any questions after each chapter. There are parts in bold that I have my children read to me and I read the rest. I love the scriptures put in during each chapter the help the child to gain confidence in who God made them.

 

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Sex and the New You (ages 13-15) talks about the same things as the last book and adds a little more. The pictures are black and white diagrams, and it also includes scriptures of how God made each wonderfully. This book talks about being a good friend or family member, choosing good friends, and being aware of peer pressure that leads into dating. It also talks about using birth control, sexual experimentation, pornography, recreational sex, sexually transmitted diseases, being unmarried and pregnant, masturbation, homosexuality, and sexual abuse. It also ends on how God makes us all unique and wonderful.

 

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Sex, Love, and God (ages 15yrs and up) talks again about the same things as the last book, but adds more about dating and preparing for marriage and family.

I am excited about these books that I have read to each of my children for their age groups. My children love reading them with me for not just the one on one time, but because they enjoy learning about something they feel is important. I’m thankful that someone created a Godly curriculum that leads in the discussion of sex in a beautiful, age appropriate manner.