I have met all kinds women in Awaken-Love classes. Many have healthy marriages, but just as many have real struggles. Some women hate sex or have a husband dealing with porn. Every once in a while, a woman in the midst of real crisis attends. An affair or porn has devastated her marriage, and she and her husband are trying to rebuild. Though the road is not easy, they inherently understand that embracing God’s gift of sex is part of the answer to create the intimate marriage they desire. Regardless of where women are, what they’ve been told, or what they’ve experienced – even if they are separated and their marriage might not survive – they need to understand God’s intention for sex.
Learning God’s Intention
Many women walk in on the first day of an Awaken Love class as strangers, secretly carrying wounds, disillusionment, and confusion. Stifled by the silence surrounding the topic of sex from their family and church, they courageously jump at the opportunity to find answers. Over the course of six weeks, as they learn what God wants for them, their views, mindsets, and attitudes on sex are turned upside down. Women wrestle to cross the chasm separating them from where they are—feeling dirty, disappointed, duty-bound, drained, or disinterested—to the place where they can begin to believe that sex is an awesome gift from God to women, as well as men.
Armed with God’s truth about sex, women understand what direction to move or even what boundaries to set as they navigate brokenness. As I share about God’s intention for sex, sometime the tears stream down a woman’s face because she has never experienced anything remotely close to intimacy during sex. Sitting through class is hard, but she begins to see God’s vision for her, and it gives her hope. God is a good God. He intended for marriages to experience extravagant, intimate connection during sex.
Uncovering the Lies
During class, we talk about the reasons we feel the way we do about sex. We recognize that our negative ideas and attitude come from somewhere, and we go searching for those sources. We talk about the messages we received about sex from our families, churches, schools, friends and culture. Every lie, or wrong message the world has told us about sex gets dug up.
Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. We begin to see how we got to this lonely place. Women listen to each other’s stories of shame or regret and somehow, we find that we don’t feel so alone. We create a judgement-free zone to gently help each other move toward God’s design for our sex life. Through community, prayer, and God’s grace, women begin walking toward freedom. It is an amazing thing to watch.
I have grieved alongside wives as they shared their husband’s struggle with porn. I have felt the shame men and women carry from porn, erotica, or masturbation. People that grew up in the purity culture struggle to believe that God wants them to enjoy freedom and passion in their marriage bed. Living in a broken world feels hard and complicated Yet uncovering the lies and dealing with our baggage is an opportunity for growth and for change. It invites us to understand the healing of our heavenly Father and see Him work miracles. As we bring God into our conversations about sex, we find freedom.
We need to understand the battle. The battle is not won by white-knuckling or denying our sexuality. The battle is won by creating what God wanted for us—intimacy – to be known. Rather than hanging onto isolation and shame, we must courageously share our story and create opportunities for others to share theirs. In Awaken Love classes, regardless of your past, or your present, you stories will be received with compassion and grace. Just like Jesus did, we speak truth in love, extend grace, and offer hope and healing.
We all have had different experiences, and our own unique journeys. Even if your marriage is a mess, God wants you to know what real intimacy looks like. Regardless of the health of your marriage, I pray that God has something for you as you learn about His intention for sex.