Today’s blog is the third in a series of posts written by former Radical Mentee Benj Miller, and his wife of 15 years Erica. Benj is a brand consultant in Atlanta, where he and Erica live with their four awesome kids.
We’re sharing Benj and Erica’s posts on Christian married sex because it’s one of the things that most often trips up young couples. Men and women have different levels of sex drive, and God uses these differences to grow our character and our faith. Our Happy Wife Pledge post brought more comments than any other, so we know sex and marriage are big deals for those in our tribe. Without further ado, here’s Erica . . .
My husband told me he had been writing some thoughts and organizing things he had been learning to try to get clarity for himself and maybe to share with other Christian husbands. He asked if I would glance at it and maybe help edit. Of course! Then I saw his topic was sex . . . oh, no!
This is not an area of life or our relationship in which I feel super comfortable, knowledgeable, or especially confident. But it wasn’t my document or about my side of things, so a little editing and a few suggestions couldn’t be too hard to offer, right?
As I read his words, I was deeply moved. I received the gift of a new glimpse into his heart. He wrote in such an honest and vulnerable way, exposing feelings we have talked about before, but I didn’t truly understand. He thinks processing and sharing this is for his personal growth and to spur on similar growth for other husbands.
But I think God first wanted to use my husband’s written words to speak to my heart and to allow me to understand my sweet man more intimately. I care enough to respond to what he has written because I would guess that other wives’ thoughts have some similarities to mine (but maybe not, so please let these posts be conversation starters!).
While sex in our relationship has been an ongoing area of up’s and down’s over our 15 years of marriage, my husband’s words bring new clarity in a few areas.
- The experience of sexual intimacy runs deep in a man. Deep in his heart . . . not just in his junk. Without meaning to, I, like many wives, had chalked up his desire for sexual experience and release as purely a physical need. Like a garbage can that needs to be emptied . . . and, embarrassingly, but honestly, with that much respect and care at times. I certainly did not look at his desire as his heart wanting to give and share a connecting physical experience.
- My husband is after my heart, not my lady parts. He desires for me to trust him, believe his good intentions, and prioritize him. Sex is not the end goal. The end goal is openness, closeness, connection. I choose to lean into the idea that my man is safe and longs for all of me to be available to him because that is a place of freedom for both of us. As a result, I am much more open to frequent and rich sex.
- My guy loves me as I am. He is not my mirror image. He does not see me as I see me. I am so blessed to have a man who does not look at me with eyes that criticize every extra pound I think I need to lose, is somehow blind to my body parts too large or too small, chooses not to complain about the callouses on my hands, and on and on. We women are so stinking critical of ourselves, and we think everyone else must see us this way too. God has used my husband to encourage me in areas where I am ridiculously hard on myself. I can “come as I am” with him and he loves me the same. No matter what.
Question: How would your wife respond if you shared the pieces of Benj’s posts that resonate with you. What would she realize that she presently isn’t seeing? How would she see you differently if she saw more clearly into your heart?
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