Earlier this week, Craig Gross, pastor at XXX Church in Las Vegas, posted a blog entry about seven keys to great sex in marriage. Before I jump into my response to his post, let me offer some background. XXX Church, as you can imagine, offers services to individuals dealing with pornography addiction. They attend trade shows and hand out Bibles to adult film actors and actresses. The man who founded XXX Church with Gross, Jake Larson, has spoken at our church more than once. He’s a dynamic speaker and I’ve had the pleasure of working with him before on a side project. So, I’ve known and respected their work, and acknowledge the value it offers.
Then I read Gross’s post.
I’m not going to rehash every detail, but there are some things that stood out to me. I believe he meant well but, more than once, he was off base.
I’ll save you time with this, don’t bother with Gross’s article if:
1-You have more than one kid who takes your time and energy through the day then has trouble sleeping themselves at night (he advises sex twice a week at minimum).
2-You don’t have the money or time to rent a hotel room (he suggests this).
3-You have excuses like a physical ailment or physical or emotional insecurity (his advice is to get over it, work out, or get counseling).
4-You, as a man, ever hesitate in initiating things (he says to not worry about your wife, just take it off the table and initiate as much as you want).
He does make a valid point about connecting with your spouse and that is key. His post has inspired me to offer my own take on things. Here are some thoughts for the rest of us with issues, kids, and actual lives inside real marriages:
1/ Creation: I believe we are all called to create. Carter loves to draw, write, and tell stories (don’t know where he gets it!). Your love life inside marriage should be an act of creation. Take the time to possess each moment and make it something new. Pay attention, even if the lights are off (as Gross says to never do in his post). When you must make the effort to steal your intimacy in the midst of stresses, make it count.
2/ Empathy: Give something to each other. It doesn’t have to be physically. I’ve written before about sex being a commodity. To many people use it for power over their partners. Want to increase intimacy? We have a front door that needs fixing. Today I handled it (after putting it off for two weeks, as per my usual home projects). Val appreciated the effort. When you start small with giving, it can lead to larger results. We all love to reward ourselves. Once in a while, reward those closest to you.
3/Foundation: You know what builds a marriage? Struggle. You know what builds a family? Adversity. You grow together and you don’t know what you have until you are pressed. Great sex comes with the victories, with the moments of joy that can spark a connection when you least expect it, when you see the look in their eyes that says We did this together.
As you start the grind of a new week, think about your relationship and your family. What could you do to make it better? Every step is a positive one. Take the time, pay in your effort, and you will see the rewards.
Soundtrack inspiration: Did this song at church today. One of my favorites, Hillsong’s Cornerstone.