Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Right View of God's Good Gift

Someone recently wrote:

“I can't really find an appropriate section to post my comments so I'm putting them here... I was raised to believe in the importance of staying pure until marriage. I read all of your books on courtship and purity and through God's help avoided many pointless relationships and hurt. A few years ago I met the man God had for me, and after dating for 2 1/2 years, we got married just 2 months ago. Sounds like a great deal, except our relationship as man and wife is not so great. From all my study and years of fighting impurity, I now feel guilty and like it is wrong to be physically initmate with my own husband. My brain knows sex is supposed to be a beautiful thing in the confines of marriage, but fighting my feelings is hard. I am not sure how to deal with it. Have you encountered anyone else having this guilt issue?”

Josh Answers:

Thanks for your post. Rest assured that you are not the first person to struggle with something like this. And I don't want you to be discouraged. You're still a newlywed and issues related to sexual intimacy don't just "work perfectly" for a lot of couples. It takes time, patience and being conformed to godly, biblical thinking about sex. I am confident that God can and will help you walk through this.

I can't address this thoroughly here because of the public nature of this blog, but I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that for whatever reason, in your good desire to be pure you've adopted unbiblical attitudes and ways of thinking. I don't know what books you've read or what experiences you've had or what thoughts you've thought over the years, but they've added up to ways of thinking about sex that contradict the clear teaching of scripture. I don't say all this to condemn you but to give you hope. These wrong thoughts can be repented of, turned from and the truth can be embraced! The Holy Spirit wants to help you to change and to see sexual intimacy in marriage as a joyous, beautiful and pure thing.

Just remember this will be a process. It will take time. Just as a person who indulged in lust and fornication has to repent of wrong ways of thinking about sex you need your ideas of purity realigned with God’s.

I think this process will involve studying the Bible and good Christian books that can help you begin to understand what God’s word says about sex. You need to renew your mind in this area. This involves identifying specific lies you’ve believed and countering them with the truth of scripture. It involves giving thanks to God for the good gift of sexual intimacy in marriage. I also think it will involve open and honest communication with your husband. He needs to understand your struggles so that he can encourage you, pray for you and lead you in a right view of sex. I would encourage you to study together and pray together about this topic.

I'd like to mail you a copy of “Feminine Appeal” by Carolyn Mahaney. She has a chapter in her book that can help you. And for your husband, I want to send "Sex, Romance and the Glory of God” C.J. Mahaney. I might include a few extra articles as well. This will be a little late wedding gift from Shannon and I.

So please email your address to my assistant Katherine. If there’s anything other specifics on your circumstances that you want to include to help us counsel you can include that as well. It probably wouldn’t be best to try and use this blog as forum for communicating further on this topic. You write to: kreynolds@covlife.org.

I hope this helps you! Don’t lose heart. God is going to help you in this! He is so faithful and wants to see you enjoying his good gifts! Remember, you're only two months into marriage. Relax and rest in God's power to change your thinking to reflect his.

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