I just reached the three year anniversary of teaching Awaken Love classes to wives and it has me feeling more than a little emotional and sentimental. We were sharing today in bible study how important it is to look back and REMEMBER and to see how God has worked. So today, I look back and REMEMBER.
I recruited my first class by emailing my most trusted friends, sharing the call that God had placed on me, and asking them if they would come. All I had was a rough outline that God had downloaded during a weekend of sex at a cabin, a name for the class, “Becoming a sexually confident Godly wife”, and my own experience of awakening. Julie, Andrea, Shanna, Kathy, Karen, Lynn, Lori and Jane met me on my porch ready to listen, share, stretch and critique. I was so nervous teaching that my lip would quiver and my mouth was dry as a bone. Friends later shared that I must have felt called by God, because otherwise I would not have put myself through such misery. I’m sure I looked like a deer in the head lights as a struggled to put into words what sex meant. After just a few nights of class, my friends began sharing what a change they had experienced in their marriage and how much closer they felt to their husband. But in the middle of the night, I was plagued by thoughts of failure and insecurities, “Who was I to talk about sex? What if I misdirected them? Did any of this really make a difference?” My husband was my rock, he reassured me, he held me, and he comforted me through sex. I made a few changes to the curriculum – adding Song of Songs and some mixer questions to get the women talking, and then I ran with it.
Classes were filled by emailing more friends, friends inviting friends, and eventually offering it through women’s bible study. My first year was filled with laughter encouragement and affirmation as I taught over 100 women.
All of that came to a screeching halt the second year. It was if God was saying, “Are you in this for real, or are you just in it for the fun and games?” Sex is filled with struggles and for many women it is a painful place to go. Women began to ask questions about missing orgasm, troubling fantasies, healing from a spouse that viewed pornography and past sexual abuse. I shared what I knew, pointed them to resources, and had the privilege of praying for them.
That same year for the first time, I had several women question if I had crossed a line in the explicitness of some of the articles I email during the week. I spent a lot of time thinking, praying, and seeking counsel. My pastor told me, “Make sure that you don’t do anything that you don’t have a reason for.” One of my goals during class is to give the women a picture of how much fun and freedom they can enjoy in their marriage bed. When you boil sex down to a sterile education, you miss the passion that God clearly communicates through Song of Songs. Reading articles written by Christian women that dripped with fun and juiciness helped to whet our appetites to the pleasures available.
The pool of women that I could personally invite was dwindling and marketing a class for wives on sex has its challenges. My goal all along was to only market to women so that they didn’t have to endure a husband poking them as they cajoled, “why don’t you sign up for that?” My favorite marketing solution was to hang fliers in the women’s bathroom at church with my email printed on pull tabs.
Towards the end of the year, Plymouth Magazine interviewed me to write an article about my woodworking. It soon became obvious that my passion had shifted to educating women and the article was written about my classes – and then promptly tucked into the deep recesses of the pages of the magazine. The best thing was that it forced me to finally develop a website christiansexclass.org and begin blogging. Writing takes time, but it is time that is well spent. Writing helps to formulate into words what I believe, what I have learned, and how to communicate the details.
I also began to get a few speaking opportunities at local moms groups. Since the time I was a young child and could not pronounce my R’s and L’s, I have always felt ill at the thought of speaking. But if God was going to open up doors, I was going to walk through them. The affirmations of women whom heard me speak astounded me – especially since I felt so miserable. In the spring of that year, while teaching an 8 week bible study on marriage, I asked God to heal me of my nervousness, and in an instant He healed me. While I still feel nervous beforehand, and usually experience my perfunctory case of the runs, when I speak I feel strangely calm.
No longer surrounded by women I knew, but by women from all over the Twin Cities, my third year of teaching, I feel like God has given me a new freedom. I am no longer glued to my outline or even obligated to it, but trust where God takes us. My focus is not only why God created sex, but his design for sex, what that looks like and how we get there.
I am eternally grateful for the women that have invited others to my class. You may never know how the ripple of women strengthening their marriage has affected the lives of generations to come.
Halfway through my third year, I ran into a hick up at church. A young girl had seen my flier in the bathroom stall and asked her mom, “What is sex?” The mom had been upset enough to talk to someone on the Church Board, and without any notice or explanation to me, my fliers were removed from the bathrooms. My first thought was, “where better for a young girl to learn about sex, than from her mom, in church?”
I probably sound a little bitter, but I am actually thankful, because it gave me the push I needed to come up with a better name for my class – Awaken Love. I also spent some time working up a brochure and a new flier without once using the word sex – thus my new website Awaken-love.net.
The biggest blessing this year has been the women that God has brought with a heart for this mission, and equipped to teach. During the winter Shannon drove an hour each way to attend class, took impeccable notes, and has already taught her first session. Michelle soon followed, young but wise and eager to learn. She is currently test running her first class with a group of encouraging friends. Melanie, skyped in from Texas this spring, and just received approval to lead a group of women this summer at her church. Debbie skyped in from South Carolina and has already been mentoring friends in this area. I am so excited to see how God is going to use these women and for the new women He is going to bring.
Since I taught that first group of friends out on my porch, God has given me the opportunity to teach almost 250 women. I have attempted to understand the challenges husbands have in loving their complicated wives, and share insights in men’s classes. I have developed advance classes for the women that are as much about encouraging each other as about curriculum. I was also entrusted with teaching a couple’s class devoted to 2 entire hours of talking about sex.
What is God going to do next? I have no idea, and I will put not limits on it.
I used to pray, “God, even if it is only one, use me.” This past Fall I found myself praying, “God, even if it is a thousand, use me.”
Nobody said anything about speaking to LARGE groups…
I don’t know where that came from, but why in the world would I limit what God could do through me? I have had to battle my own demons that hold me back from believing that God could use me in even bigger ways. The safety of staying in the back ground can be just as insulting to God. Why couldn’t God use me in those ways? What if I am supposed to speak to large groups? What if I am supposed to develop a video study? What if…?
Every class I teach, I am amazed at how women are transformed and have a new understanding of this thing we call SEX. I love every second of teaching and have absolute faith that when we are open to hearing, God will speak to us. We serve a God that is passionate and full of life and his desire is that we might have life. His desire is that we might enjoy a life long journey of “knowing” our spouse, of allowing our spouse to “know” us, and “THAT” my friend, never gets boring.
The amazing thing, is that God wants that with us too….