Upcoming New Book Study

We will be taking several weeks off from book studies in preparation for our next book study. This will give you time to acquire a copy of the book we will be working through together. The book I have selected to lead a discussion on is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

We will be discussing several chapters each week otherwise it will take too long to work through the book, so for those who wish to participate be ready on Monday, May 2 to begin discussing chapters 1 and 2 of this book.

Disclaimer: In general, I am not a person who does well with books that offer black and white assumptions and solutions, especially as it pertains to men and women. At the outset of reading Love and Respect I knew it would trigger a lot of frustrations for me and looking over the table of content alone I could see that the book would reflect the stereotype that “men are the ones in the relationship who want the sex.” In beginning to read the first several chapters, I could also see that it leans heavily towards, “Women are the ones who rant and get in their husbands faces and men are the ones who shut down.” These first several chapters also left me feeling that while I chose this book thinking that it spoke to both men and women, it really felt like it was more a book with a message for women. It seemed that the examples all focused on teaching women the importance of respecting their husbands and the points where the author talks about men loving their wives, felt strangely as though they too were directed towards women as an acknowledgement of this need in a woman. I do not disagree that my husband needs me to respect him or that I need him to love me, but I found it odd that the book seemed to lean so far in the one direction when I had assumed upon choosing it, that it would speak to both equally. My feeling that the book was directed towards women was confirmed as accurate when I read the following from page 66, “Our Love and Respect message is designed to help wives see that their big, powerful husbands are really in need of something that wives can give – respect.”  I do not disagree with this, I just didn’t understand based on the description of the book that it would lean so far in that direction, at least in the first section of the book. The other thing I will openly admit to disliking about the book is that the author comes across to me as trying to fit pretty much everything in the relationship into these boxes of women needing love and men needing respect. While he admits that women also need respect and men need love, in his fervour of defending the opposite as higher needs, I think he errs in assuming too much about all relationships and expresses some arguments that are not well founded. I do believe that there is a legitimate reason why the Word is specific about wives respecting their husbands and husbands loving their wives, but trying to fit all aspects of the relationship into those directives results in confusion, I believe.

So why did I choose this book?

I selected this book knowing that it would trigger my distaste for statements that include the sentiment, “Men are like this. Women are like that,” because I have been processing through the directive in scripture that wives ought to respect their husbands. Now, the man I chose as my husband also happens to be a man who is filled with integrity and worthy of respect so in my case honouring him with respect comes mostly natural, although I do not claim to have always treated him in a respectful way 100% of the time. The reason I selected this book, knowing it would be a challenge for me to read, is because the Lord has been stirring me to pursue an understanding of what He means when He says that I ought to respect my husband. My definition of respect (a thought or feeling of high regard in response to a persons honourable actions and intentions) doesn’t fit with how I currently perceive references in scripture about respect which seem to indicate that respect ought to be an unconditional, underlying current regardless of the other person’s behaviour. What if there is more to it than I currently understand? I believe the Lord is going to use this book to bring me revelations that will show me more of His truth and so I invite you to journey with me through Love and Respect, even if you are like me and the stereotypes turn you off. There will be something the Lord will teach you if you approach Him with an open, teachable heart as you read.

For those who do not feel that it would be edifying to participate in the discussion, please refrain. If you would like to respectfully point out your opinion without attacking that of others, feel free to participate.

 

Sentence Starters

Finish the following sentence in the comment box:

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Masturbation makes me ______.

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Q&A: Flirting

What do you all do to flirt with your husbands to lead to sex
or to simply flirt to show playfulness and interest in him still?

I thought this would be a fun discussion. I really believe that flirting throughout the day is important. It helps me to be mindful of my husband as more than just another being in our home when he and I take the time to be playful and affectionate.

How do you define flirting? To me it is being intentional about giving subtle cues that you want your spouse to draw close to you. Is your husband going to catch every cue. Probably not. Please don’t be upset by that. Flirting is a playful, fun game. Like yesterday at dinner my husband and I ended up sitting on the same side of the table. This doesn’t usually happen, but our kids had set up their own little kids’ table so we were able to sit side by side. At one point I said something and rubbed his inner thigh and then took my hand away. He grabbed my hand and brought it back. It worked, but not every cue is received, even the more obvious ones sometimes.

So what kind of flirting have you discovered to be enjoyable and effective? Hand holding. Undoing a button on your shirt. Leaving a note for him to find during the day. What flirting ideas have you enjoyed the most and which ones get results? Do you find that there are things which your husband does that work to make you draw close to him, but that don’t work so well when you do the same for him? Which things work for both of you?

I liked how the question which sparked this discussion was phrased. If you are a couple who enjoys flirting, do you reserve it primarily as immediate foreplay or is it sprinkled in throughout the day? For me, flirting during the day can be the difference between a night of sex or not. It’s that important. It’s important for me to see him doing it and it’s important for me to be intentional about doing it for him too.

So what do you think? I’d love to hear what you all have enjoyed most in your flirtatious acts towards your husband.

Weekly poll #89: How many different books have you read about sex and marriage?

Sacred Sex: Chp. 10

And so we read the last chapter of this book.  It seemed to tie everything up that we’ve read thus far.  I love the first few pages that talk about how our lives are saturated with contracts, to the point that many of us even think of our marriage as one.  We each said what we would do for each other and then we sit around watching to make sure that the other lives up to their end of the ‘contract.’  But what we entered into on our wedding day wasn’t a contract, but a covenant.  Gardner goes on to explain how a covenant has two parts; an oath and a symbol or action to back up that oath.  He references Genesis 9:11-13 where, after the flood, God made a promise (His oath) and then gave the rainbow (his “sign of the covenant”).  For us, the vows we made on our wedding day were our oath, and the act of sacred sex is our sign that consummates our marriage.

He goes on to say that wonderful marriages take work, which we all should know by now.  He says:  “…great marriages and great sex lives don’t just happen.  They are created by faith in God and by consistent, hard work…To have a great, God-honoring, soul-touching sexual relationship, we must seek our mate’s needs above our own.  We must seek oneness above pleasure… We must ruthlessly battle against any outside force (pornography, abuse, other relationships) that would seek to destroy our intimacy.  We must accept our mates just as they are, as God’s perfect gift.  We must see sex as a celebration of God’s presence.  We must enter into utmost intimacy with our mates with a perspective of sacredness, holiness, and grace.” (pg. 204)

Gardner reminds us all that love is more than just a feeling…it involves actions.  When you love someone you should want to show it.  You should want to “fill their love tank” by speaking to them in their primary love language.  And if there are hurts or things in your past that hinder you moving forward, he reminds us that:  “God is bigger than any hurt and greater than any cold relationship.  He can bring you out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.”

I’m glad that I decided to read this book.  It wasn’t overly long and brought up some very good things for me to think and pray about.  I really haven’t mentioned much about the discussion questions at the end of the chapters, but I feel like the ones at the end of chp. 10 are some really good final questions that wrap up the essence of the entire book.  I haven’t been reading this book with my husband so he is unaware of these questions.  I have decided to do #1 on page 208 and just see how it goes:  “Make a list of three things you can do to make your mate feel more loved and cherished.  Include those things you know you’ve been avoiding.” He goes on to ask us to not mention this to our spouse, but rather to just do it and see where it takes us.  I haven’t decided on the specific three things yet but when I finish writing this article I’m going to put pen to paper and write a physical list.  I encourage all of you to read through the questions on pgs. 208-209.  They are a good wrap-up to this book.

This will be the final discussion area for the book Sacred Sex.  Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this along with me and comment about how it has affected you.  If you have any final thoughts or key points that you’d like to bring up, you know what to do! :)

Sentence Starters

Finish the following sentence in the comment box:

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One food that always seems to remind me of sex, is ______.

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