Sex is the Icing on the Cake

  1. Share
5 5

Growing up, I was never much of a cook. With three sisters and a mother who all cook and bake masterfully, I had no reason to learn how.

As a wife and mother, I reluctantly accepted my role as the family chef. A few years ago, I attempted to bake a homemade cake for a dinner party. I measured all of the ingredients carefully, preheated the oven, and baked my cake at the exact temperature the recipe called for.

When the timer went off, I anxiously opened the oven to see a lopsided brown lump waiting for me. Since our company was arriving shortly, I did not have time to whip up a substitute dessert. I grabbed the frosting and tried to spread it so it would cover up the deformed cake. To my chagrin, the frosting proved useless. It simply took on the lumpy and lopsided form of the cake. I covered my mistake by cleverly announcing to our friends that my young son had helped me make dessert!

Sex is truly the icing on the cake. It will always take on the form of the relationship, even for couples who try to use it to cover up other problems or to think of it as a separate issue. Many couples come to counseling complaining of problems sexually. Very often their sexual dynamics are a perfect illustration of what is happening throughout their entire relationship. This is why you can’t just work on sexual intimacy without also getting into deeper issues of trust, emotional needs and communication.

Instead of viewing sexual problems as a separate part of your relationship, consider that they may be symptoms or indications of relational aspects of your marriage that need work. For example, if one of you is always pursuing sexually and the other tends to avoid sex, is that also true for other aspects of your relationship? Does one person feel neglected while the other feels dominated?

Just like emotional intimacy in marriage, sexual intimacy works on trust and communication. If each person’s vulnerabilities are protected and their needs are met, they will become more and more intimate sexually. If they feel insecure, exploited, or unsafe, their physical intimacy will become unsatisfying, superficial, and infrequent. The good news is that every day—like today—presents an opportunity to change the momentum of a failing emotional or sexual relationship.

Working on your sex life is not just about sexual intimacy. It presents an opportunity to address unresolved conflicts, hidden feelings of shame, and unhealthy relationship patterns in your marriage. To get that work started, try going through the Passion Pursuit bible study or perhaps meeting with a counselor. Your marriage is worth the investment!

 

Want to read more? Check out these related blog posts:

 

Community tags

This content has 0 tags that match your profile.

Topics I'm Interested In

Comments

To leave a comment, login or sign up.
  • Befuddled

    Befuddled

    Women who desire and enjoy sex, and there are more now than ever, don't need prodded and endless hoops jumped through to enjoy sex. Unfortunately, too many Christian women are uptight, do not seek or enjoy sex and expect their husbands to just suck it up that the wives don't want or enjoy sex. Excuse after excuse for broken women.
  • Deseo 97

    Deseo 97

    Can someone please remove Befuddled from this thread. If a woman is on here she is looking for help not blame!
  • Befuddled

    Befuddled

    It is not blame, it speaks of a real life problem and part of getting help / healthy is confronting reality. Some men actually honor their oath and commitment to their wives, follow the rules, don't cheat... and end up in a sexless relationship, their wives saying "tough luck, for better or worse". Call it tough love if you like. Denying reality fixes nothing. Whitewashing reality fixes nothing.
  • Jacci Roberts

    Jacci Roberts

    Friends, thanks for your comments here. Our desire is that the blog offers practical help and hope for those who are seeking. Certainly, there are both men and women who aren't interested in growth, healing or pursuing sexuality in their marriage as God intended.
  • Elizabeth Chang

    Elizabeth Chang

    I think Befuddled has a point though.

Related Content

4
Being Sexy Has Nothing To Do With Your Body
When I talk to women about sex in marriage, one of the most common concerns is their bodies. “I’m just not sexy!” Practically every woman feels like she is either too old, too fat, too flat-chested, or too plain to be sexy. We live in a world that has definite opinions on what is attractive and sexy. Marketers spend millions of dollars and countless hours transforming naturally beautiful people into virtual goddesses with makeup, lighting, stylists and photo editing. As a result, we each carry images in our mind of unattainable standards of beauty. We can never be young enough, thin enough, or pretty enough to be sexy. Like most women, I’ve gone through seasons of insecurity, wondering how in the world my husband could ever view me as sexy when I’ve given birth to three children, have stretch marks and wrinkles and score all “A’s” in my cup size. Mike has seen beautiful women and been impacted by the seductive and pornographic images that are so prevalent in our culture. No way I can compete with that! Fortunately, God has created a husband to be excited and sexually aroused by his wife even after decades of marriage and even if he has seen women far more beautiful than she is. The average husband has the capacity to be sexually captivated by his very average-looking wife.  Sexy Is a State of Mind While men are often sexually stimulated by what they see, they are sexually enticed by an invitation. Pornography, prostitution, and affairs offer more than naked women. They present an invitation… an invitation to have fun, to be wild, to let go, to be aroused, and to be accepted. I believe that most men choose these options not because the women are more beautiful, but because the women are more available… more enticing. Solomon wrote about an immoral woman seducing a young man. Read what he wrote and notice how little he says about the women’s appearance in contrast to her availability: He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, ‘I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, for my husband is not home.’ She seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.” Proverbs 7:8-21 Without knowing anything about this woman’s appearance, we can tell that she is sexy. She is confident, enticing, available and eager. This is what men respond to and what they often don't experience in marriage. Sexy isn't an act you put on to fulfill a husband's desire. It is embracing the fact that God created you as a sexual person, able to enjoy the beauty and passion of your sexuality with your husband.  What does it actually mean to be “sexy?” The dictionary defines “sexy” as “sexually attractive or arousing.” According to this definition, it is a very good thing to be sexy with your own husband. While I don’t want to be seen as “sexy” to the average guy, I do want my husband to view me not only as his friend, but also as sexy. I want him to experience me as his passionate, confident sexual partner. I also understand that this an important aspect of my own maturity and freedom to enjoy sex within our marriage.  Embracing Sexy I can remember many years ago being a brand new mom. One day I was walking down the stairs with my newborn son and saw my image holding him in the mirror. In that moment, motherhood dawned on me. I could now “see” myself in this new role. Becoming a mom happens the moment you get pregnant but it takes many months to grow into the role of motherhood. This is also true as a wife. You became a wife on your wedding day, but it takes months and years to realize what that means - particularly related to your sexuality. Just like any other area of life, you have to grow and mature in your sexuality. It’s not something that just happens. In fact, you may need to relearn being sexy as you transition into different stages of marriage and confront new challenges. I love how Linda Dillow says it. “It’s not what you got, but what you do with what you got that matters in the bedroom.” Linda is in her 70’s and has been married for over 50 years. As bodies age and break down, a mindset of pleasing and enjoying each means that you can still have a passionate relationship in the golden years of marriage.   As women, we can spend far too much energy worrying about what we look like. That time and energy will be far better spent if we learn what it means to be fully present and able to enjoy the pleasure of sex with our husbands.  The woman you read about in Proverbs 7 used her sexuality to entice a man she wasn’t married to. However, we can learn from her about how to use our sexuality to entice the man we are married to! Here a few practical things you can do to grow into a wife who is comfortable being sexy with her husband: Entice with words. She seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. Proverbs 7:21. As a married woman, you say a lot of things to your husband. You ask him to pick up milk at the grocery store, you scold him when he tosses the baby in the air and you might thank him now and then for being a good husband. But how often do you use your words to entice him sexually?  Just read a few verses from the Song of Solomon and you will meet a wife who did just this! Entice with your clothes. The woman approached him, seductively dressed. Proverbs 7: 10. Wearing something black and lacy may not be for your husband as much as it is for you. As ridiculous as you may feel at first, wearing sexy nighties or underwear helps you get in the mood and can encourage you in believing that you have something wonderful to share with your husband. Entice with your bedroom. My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Proverbs 7:16-17. In the throws of normal life, your bedroom can become a pretty unromantic, uninviting place. How about a bedroom makeover, creating a space that says, “It’s time to be sensual and have fun together”? Next time you wonder if you’re really sexy, skip the article in Cosmo and remember that sexy is a state of mind. 
4
Your Sexual Differences Can Make You Better Lovers
Have you ever wondered why God made you and your husband so different? For many years, I thought that might be my first question to God when I got to heaven. The differences between me and my husband, particularly in the bedroom, were driving us both crazy. Sexual intimacy created more conflict in our marriage than unity and more pain than pleasure. It seemed like a cruel joke or a gift that we were staring at but couldn’t seem to open. I know I’m not alone. I’ve met with women who want to end their marriages because they are “sexually incompatible.” Here’s a newsflash: If you married a man, you are sexually incompatible. You will probably argue about how often to have sex, whether or not to try new things, when to have sex, and how quickly to get to the “main event.” Over the years, God has been teaching me the beauty of differences. I am getting glimpses of His grand design—even in the middle of the frustrations differences sometimes cause. Now I see that sexual differences between a husband and wife can be a spectacular form of blessing. In fact, it is through differences that the deepest unity can be achieved. If you are doubtful about that statement, give me a chance to prove it.   Man and Woman were Different Before the Fall Imagine that you and your husband live in sexual utopia. You always want to have sex at exactly the same time and the same way that your husband wants it. Every initiation is met with an eager response. There is never any conflict about foreplay, being too tired, giving each other pleasure or trying something new in bed because your desires are always exactly the same. How fantastic would that be? It would be almost like the sex portrayed in movies—what a great love life! God, the creative Creator, certainly could have made sex that way. He could have created man and woman to be exactly the same sexually. But He didn’t. In fact, He intentionally made us vastly different.   Did God make a mistake? Did He "mess up" the master design of sex by making a husband and wife so diverse? Does He sit up in heaven and laugh that we can't seem to please each other? Remember that even before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had primary sexual differences in the way God created them. God declared His creation of man and woman “very good” and this very good included sexual differences. Here's the deal. God's design for sex is NOT just for immediate exquisite pleasure (although he is all for that). God has a much more beautiful gift of intimacy for you and your husband to open than what the world says sex is about. But here's the catch: it requires a different kind of love. Sex is designed to be more than an expression of love between a husband and wife. It is also the refining fire of love. It tests and teaches a willing man and woman to reach beyond their natural desires and learn what servant love really is.   Every Difference Asks You a Question Every time you and your husband disagree about something sexual, you are presented with a question, “What kind of lover will I be?” The world knows only of a love that feels good. We are born with the natural response to “love” those who meet our physical and emotional needs. This kind of natural love is essentially self-love. It really says, “I love the way you make me feel.” If your husband had the same sex drive as you, if he liked to kiss and be touched all over the same way you do, frankly, loving him wouldn't cost you much. You already know how to love your husband with natural, selfish love. It's easy to please him when he's pleasing you. But do you know the secret of loving him when it’s a “bad husband day?" Do you know how to respond to him sexually when it's the very last thing on earth you feel like doing? Do you know how to give him grace when he isn’t able to meet your sexual needs? THIS is the kind of love that God wants to develop in you and your husband. And He just might be using your sexual differences as the training ground. In contrast to selfish love, God's love for us is unconditional, unchanging, and steadfast. I call this servant love. Instead of always asking, "What's in it for me?," servant love asks, "How can I bless my husband?" Marriage inevitably burns through the natural love pretty quickly. The time soon comes when your husband isn’t meeting your needs or wants to do something that you have no desire to do. If your love is limited to the natural, it will disappear through the challenges of differences. You will shut down, complain, or criticize because your husband just doesn’t do it for you. You will wonder if you are “falling out of love.” God is very concerned about what kind of lover you are becoming. Only by His love can you reach beyond what you want and begin to consider what your husband desires.   Sexual intimacy is one of the most tangible tests of love in marriage. There have been seasons of my marriage in which I would be willing to do almost anything for my husband except give my body to him. I would bake his favorite cookies or go camping with him, but giving myself sexually was asking too much. Now I see the beauty of becoming a great lover. Through differences God taught me aspects of love like empathy, mercy, forgiveness, and unselfishness. He’s taught my husband these same things. We are learning to yield to each other out of deep love. Look at it this way: if men and women were exactly the same, great sex would never require commitment or unselfishness. The way God has designed it, great sex over the years is impossible without genuine love. The greatest pleasure is reserved for those who are the greatest lovers. What a beautiful design! How about you? What differences are you and your husband fighting about? Ask the Lord right now to begin showing you how He can use those differences to challenge and refine your love! For more, check out  Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?, a 10-week Bible study through the Song of Solomon.