Q&A: Difficulty Showing Affection

“I have been with my fiancé for two years. I love him very much, but have a difficult time showing it. He is a great man. Has great integrity, treats me well. He is my best friend. He has also done a lot for me and I have supported him in his time of need. I can’t imagine my life without him. However, his needs are frequently the last things that I think about. I often feel pressured to hug or kiss him, in part because he makes such a big deal when I don’t. When I do hug or kiss him he thinks it is because he lectured me into it, when really I just felt like doing it. I have become increasingly affectionate, however, he feel that I have been lectured into being so. That may be the case, but I really just want to now. He has lots of issues surrounding things that happened in his childhood, most seriously being made to feel inadequate and having a mom very much like me. I just know that I love him and need to work on showing that, getting him to believe the genuineness of it and getting him to stop making references to my past relationships.  I rarely question whether or not I love him or that we are meant to be together until he starts to point out my shortcomings when it come to showing him that I care. I don’t like that.  I don’t like the confusion. He’s a great man. I understand that and I don’t want to let him go.”

It sounds like you two need to work on your communication skills.  You could easily look into some pre-marital counseling to help with that.  I’m not sure about where you live, but here it’s the norm to receive counseling before you get married, to help iron out many different issues (some of which you mentioned).  I think that you two would benefit greatly from talking to someone prior to marriage.  They will help you two dialogue about key issues that are affecting your relationship.

On a side note, at one point in my marriage I was the less affectionate one.  I, too, felt pressured to hug/kiss my husband and sometimes would even cringe when he would touch me.  Talk about a shot to my husband’s ego (and heart)! :(   He wanted me to feel cherished and loved when he touched me, not to resist him.  It was a sad time in our marriage, and I was reacting that way because I was hurt & angry and holding on to something that had happened in my past, although I didn’t realize it at the time.  My husband confronted me and basically told me that he couldn’t go on any longer like we were.  We had a VERY LONG TALK and got everything out in the open, and in the end I agreed to try to work on my responses to his touch and being affectionate… and he agreed to be patient with me and let me try to work through it in my own time schedule.

After a month or so he remarked to me casually that he could tell that I was actively trying to make a change and that he appreciated it.  That’s all that was said.  After a couple more months he told me that he noticed I was freely giving him more hugs/kisses out of the blue and that it made him feel so good…and he thanked me for it.  A couple more months went by and by this time he was approaching me with hugs & kisses and I wasn’t cringing or pushing him away any more.  I had worked through my issues (that he knew about, because remember we had talked) on my own timetable without pressure from him.  And now here we are years later and I’m still so very affectionate with him!

I told you that only to let you know that I’ve had a similar situation and came through it stronger.  You and your fiancé can as well if you are willing to communicate honestly about what your issues are and are willing to give each other the space and/or encouragement you need to work through them.  This is definitely something that can grow larger and interfere with your marriage in the future, so you really need to focus on coming together with a plan for how you will work through this now. I’ll pray for you two, that you are able to work through this together and come out stronger on the other side.

Q&A: “Born Again Virgin”

We recently received the following email:

My question is about the phrase “born again virgin”. I have and continue to counsel lots of high school and college students that have given and in some cases have been robbed of their purity before God’s timing in the bounds of marriage. I want to give them biblical hope of how the Lord can restore but i also want people to know the cost of sin. Have you guys heard of a woman being physically restored to virginity? And what are some good verses to confirm the the restoration of our Jesus?

As we discussed this question we wondered if it was referring to a miracle whereby the Lord Jesus physically reconnects the hymen. If that is the question, I would answer that although I haven’t heard of that particular miracle, I do know that He has done many other creative miracles and it is not out of the bounds of reason to presume that he might do something like this. Having said that, the bigger issue is that His character and history show that He is unlikely to do something like this and leave a person in a poor spiritual condition.

Jesus cares a great deal about the state of our soul and if we have experienced wounding I have most often seen any physical healing come out of first being healed emotionally. So if a young, unmarried person gave away more than they wished to (or it was taken), the Lord’s history shows that He would be most likely to first walk with the person through repentance (in the case of promiscuity) and forgiveness, and free them from the chains of sin. At that point He may or may not reconnect the hymen.

If you are referring to the practice that I am familiar with where an unmarried person repents of their sexual sin and then recommits themselves to a higher standard of sexual integrity, I know that it is common for young women and men to renew their commitment to purity after having been promiscuous. There is no direct scripture reference about it so we can only take the wisdom from the Word as a whole and apply it.

So for example, we know that when we confess our sin he forgives us and then goes on to purify us (1 John 1:9) and He removes the sin completely from us (Psalm 103:12). We specifically know that he addressed people who had a sexually promiscuous past and said things like He is a God who restores to us “the years that the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). He is a God who restored His people back to His service after they had failed and upon repentance (David, Peter, Me, You).

In researching for this article I also came across this parable of Jesus taken from Matthew 21. Interestingly, I have read over the Bible (specifically Matthew) many times and studied it at length and I truly did not know this was in here…. God shows us what we need when we need it.

28“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29” ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31“Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Jesus is addressing the chief priests and elders in this passage. I love the heart of God expressed here. When it comes to kingdom work, he would much rather have thieves and the sexually immoral who have repented, than people who say they follow him, but do not actually DO what he asks them to.

So I would encourage anyone who wishes to recommit themselves to sexual purity to do so and study how Jesus received all who came to him in true repentance.

Sex and Intimacy Questions to Consider With Your Future Spouse

Intimacy questions
What does intimacy mean to you?
Read and discuss The Five Love Languages. Determine what love languages you and your future spouse speak.
Do you think it is important to continue dating after you are married? If so, how often?
Do you find it hard to ask for and extend forgiveness to others? To yourself? Do you find it hard to receive God’s forgiveness?
Do you know how to discuss differences of opinion in a respectful manner?
Do you and your future spouse view issues such as sex, finances and family planning in a similar way?
Sexual questions
Read and discuss a book such as Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman or Red Hot Monogamy by Bill and Pam Farrel.
What is your plan for your first night together? Do you want to try to have full intercourse the first night?
Do you know where the hymen is located? Do you wish to have it broken prior to your first night by a gynecologist or to break it together on your first night?
Is lingerie exciting to you?
Are you comfortable with your body? How do you feel about being naked?
What kinds of birth control options do you have and which one would you like to use to begin with?
How often do you think it is reasonable for a married couple to have sex?
What type of lubrication do you wish to use if there isn’t enough produced naturally?
Which sexual practices do you see as sinful?
Which sexual practices are you uncomfortable with performing even though they may not be sinful?
What are your views on giving oral sex? What are your views on receiving oral sex? Swallowing semen?
What are your views on anal sex?
What are your views on the use of sexual toys, such as vibrators?
What are your views on masturbation while you are together?
What are your views on masturbation while you are apart?
What are your views on manually stimulating each others genitals?
Have you participated in any masturbation until this point in your life? How do you feel about it?
What are your views regarding sexual activity during menstruation? Is it to be avoided completely? Should only intercourse be avoided?
Do you have any sexual sin in your past? Have you received God’s forgiveness for it? Have you prayed and broken the soul ties with those partners if intercourse was involved?
Do you have any sexual abuse in your past? Have you processed the pain (through counseling if necessary) and become free from its power over you?
Do you have any fears regarding sex?
Are you aware of the process of how a female becomes aroused and responds sexually? Do you know where the clitoris is? Do you know what it does?
Are you aware of the process of how a male becomes aroused and responds sexually?
Are you aware that there is often a time difference between how long a female needs stimulation and how long a male needs stimulation in order to orgasm?
Why is foreplay important?

Others of you may be able to add to this and I would welcome you to leave your suggestions of further questions to explore in the comment section. Thank you.

Premarital Sex: How Far is Too Far?

Although the target audience of Christian Nymphos is married Christian women, I want to take the time to speak to the unmarried women who might come across our blog to address the age old question: How far is too far?

If you have decided that you want to live with sexual integrity and are honestly seeking to understand want boundaries you need to establish, then I hope to help you by way of leading you through several things you’ll want to consider.

Let’s first remind ourselves that if we have submitted to the authority of Jesus, then we have His Spirit living in us to empower us to stand in self control. No temptation is too great that we can not give way to the Spirit of God in us to have victory over it. However, for us to know when we need to allow the work of God to help us with this, we need to understand what behaviors He desires us to establish.

So where do we draw the line? Is virginity only about whether or not your hymen is torn? Is any sexual behavior that leaves the hymen in tact OK? Is oral sex real sex? Should all genital contact be avoided, but fondling other private areas like breasts or rear ends is OK? What about kissing? Should all kissing be avoided? These are some of the questions you must know the answer to if you want to live a life that is pleasing to God.

To begin with, I believe that Jesus is much more concerned with purity than virginity. If your only goal is to keep your hymen in tact, not only are you setting yourself up for sexually transmitted infections, but you are also setting yourself up for sin. Thoughts turn to lust far sooner than the moment a penis is inserted into a vagina. The term “sexual immorality” in the Bible covers so many areas for a reason. Lust, premarital sex, adultery… though all of them may have unique consequences, all do a similar thing in our hearts. So we want to follow the command to flee sexual immorality which involves the idea of getting as far away from it as we can rather than seeing how close we can get.

In light of this, I will share some of the physical boundaries I established to keep myself from lusting after the guys I dated when I was single. You will need to evaluate who you are and develop your own set of guidelines based on what works for you

Boundary 1: If it isn’t seen in a bathing suit, it isn’t touched. This avoided all confusion about whether oral sex was OK or if it was OK for my boyfriend to fondle my breasts. Any act that would involve the parts that are normally covered by a bathing suit was most definitely something I had determined that I did not find to be appropriate for an unmarried person.

Boundary 2: If my physical behavior is something I will be embarrassed to tell my husband about some day, I won’t do it. I am happy to say that there are very few things that I look back on and wish I hadn’t done. More than pushing my boundaries, they were just not honoring to the people around me. (ie Heavy kissing with another friend in the room.)

Boundary 3: I will keep all kissing above the shoulders. I knew that kissing was something that I could do without lusting. That doesn’t mean I was free with my kisses, but I knew that if I was in a committed relationship that kissing was something I could choose to do and not be lusting as long as we kept all kisses above our shoulders.

When I started dating my husband we talked about what physical boundaries we would set and he wanted to refrain from kissing on the lips until we were engaged. (We knew early on that we would get married.) I didn’t feel that I needed to set that boundary, but he did so I honored that.

These are modest boundaries and so uncommon today, but I am still young. It really wasn’t that long ago that I was committed to this set of standards for myself. If your boundaries can be more generous without lusting or becoming overwhelmingly tempted to enter into more intimacy than you believe is right for an unmarried person then feel free to establish them as God leads you.

Just believe me when I tell you that oral sex, anal sex, breast sex, and penis in vagina sex are all sex, and it is my conviction that all of them are behaviors that are completely inappropriate outside of a committed marital relationship.

Fantastic Honeymoon Sex Guide for the Virgin

So you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. You’ve thought about your wedding night many times and wondered what it will be like. Anyone who remains a virgin until their wedding night in this culture did not arrive at that place by accident. It was a deliberate choice to live a life of purity. Good for you!

So now you’re engaged and you actually have a date that you know will be the night you first get to have sex. How exciting! What now?

Before the Honeymoon

The first step is to communicate with your fiancé long before your honeymoon. Talk about your expectations both for the honeymoon and for your sexual relationship in general. Click here for a list of questions to examen together as you approach your wedding day. Among the questions you will want to look at, consider how often you think is reasonable for a couple to have sex? Are there certain sex acts you feel are sinful? Are there others you may want to try sometime, but don’t think you will want to try right away? Do either of you have sexual sin issues? Talk about it now. What about masturbation? Are there some circumstances where you think it is acceptable for either of you to masturbate? While one of you is out of town? Women who masturbate can use it to keep their drive up, while men tend to have a refractory period which may mean that he is unavailable to get an erection when his wife wants to have sex with him. These are all important discussions to have before you get married because unexpressed expectations result in disappointment when things don’t go as you thought they would.

In addition to communicating your expectations and ideas about sex, you want to understand your sexual body. If you haven’t explored yourself very much take the time to connect with your sexual side. Do you know where your clitoris is? Do you know what it does? Do you know that you don’t need to have penis in vagina sex in order to achieve an orgasm so theoretically you can have an orgasm on your first night? Do you know that there are two kinds of orgasms that women can have? Consider all these questions and find the answer if you do not know it. You can ask any of the women you trust or you can ask us, the women of this blog. We are here as a source of information and support to all women, that we would embrace who God made us as sexual beings and for the purpose He intended. Good girls LOVE sex.

What to Pack for the Honeymoon

First, you will want things to set the mood. Lingerie (some guys like it more than others, but even if your man doesn’t it can be something that makes YOU feel sexy so that is reason enough to wear it), music, massage oil, candles. You’ll want some sort of lubricant and I would bring a variety so that you can see which ones you like the best. Some are stickier than others, some are flavored, some are warming (I have heard mixed reviews about these warming lubes). Coconut oil is a little known secret lubricant I will share with you, but do not use it with condoms as it can break down the latex. As you become accustomed to intercourse you may find you need lubricant less and less, but you may notice that you need it more during certain times of your menstrual cycle.

As much as you like the idea of having continuous sex the whole time, it just isn’t possible so keeping the fire going in other ways is a good option. A sex game and/or book such as Intimate Issues, Celebration of Sex or Red Hot Monogamy might be fun to enjoy together and all these books are written by Christians. My husband and I actually went to a library on our honeymoon in search of a book to help us. It’s a funny memory. I wish we’d thought to bring one with us.

On the practical side, whatever form of birth control you are using, be sure to bring that with you (pills, condoms…). If you anticipate that the place your are staying at for your honeymoon may not have enough towels, you may want to bring extra towels because sex can be messy and good sex is even messier. Both you and your husband will be producing lots of natural fluids in addition to any lubricant you add from a bottle.

The First Night

So now you have communicated your expectations and have packed for your honeymoon and you are days from you wedding which means that sexual awakening is just around the corner. This is one of the things you need to talk to your fiancé about. What do you expect on your first night? If you get to the hotel at midnight, you are going to be exhausted. In that kind of situation, how do you and your husband want to spend the first night together?

Leading Up to Penetration

If you enjoy alcohol it is a good idea to have a glass or two to relax you and continue building the mood. Spending lots of time in foreplay is going to help you produce your natural lubricants. Enjoy lots of kissing and exploring each others bodies. Allow yourself to let go of your inhibitions and embrace your erotic self. God made you a sexual being so rejoice in that. Your mind is an important tool in arousal. Let your mind become involved. Connect mentally with what is happening in your body and talk about how you are feeling. You will find that as you become more and more aroused that your vagina is producing more lubricant. So the more aroused you are the easier it will be for your husband to enter you. You will most likely benefit from additional lubricant before going for penetration.

The First Time

So now that you are aroused and ready to have your husband enter you, you want to be in a position that is comfortable for you. When your husband breaks through your hymen it will be anywhere from a little uncomfortable to very painful so you want to be in a position were you feel you can control the situation. No propped-up-against-the-wall sex just yet. Many women find it easiest if they are laying on their back with their husband on top and then guiding him in with her hand, but you may find that you feel it is easier with you on top because you can lower yourself on your husband as you feel comfortable. Communication at this point is key because your husband needs to know if you want him to go slower or faster or stop all movement. It won’t be hurting him so you need to tell him how to proceed. Not only will breaking the hymen be uncomfortable, but you also will be very tight which may be painful. The more you have sex, the more you will loosen up, but this can take quite some time for some women.

The key in all of this is to enjoy yourselves. It will be new and exciting and awkward all at the same time, but so much fun. Enjoy the journey and maintain great communication all through your marriage in every area.

Enjoy your honeymoon!

Why Wait for Wild, Crazy, Awkward Honeymoon Sex

I grew up being taught that sex was for marriage and I made a decision before I started dating that I would be a virgin on my wedding night. I saw that as a very precious gift that I could give my husband and started praying that he too would be a virgin when we got married. I dated through high school and college, choosing guys who respected that decision. One boyfriend, in fact, I dated for nearly two years and his hands never roamed to places that were sexual. My rule to myself for having guys touch me or me touch them was “If it gets covered by a bathing suit, it doesn’t get touched.” It was a simple way to have my boundaries clear in my mind and I knew how far was too far.

So why does it matter? What is really wrong with sex outside of marriage? Does the Bible really say that sex outside of marriage is wrong?

Let’s start by looking at the Bible to understand what God’s intention was for marriage and sex. God created Adam and Eve to work together in the garden and from the beginning He said they would be one flesh. This is a reference to sexual oneness. God arranged it so that when a man and woman have sex it is a union of their spirit, soul and body. In the right context this is a very good thing, but in the context of having multiple partners before marriage it is a very dangerous thing. Why? Because ties you have to other people which are only intended to be had with your spouse become a block to intimacy.

There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not have sex before marriage.” It isn’t that clear, just as the concept of the Trinity isn’t overtly stated anywhere in scripture. We need to look at scripture as a whole to understand God’s view of something and included in the category of sexual immorality is this concept of “fornication” which is simply premarital sex.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Ephesians 5:2-3

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

God doesn’t establish what is right and what is wrong to punish us or make our life hard. The truth is that the way He calls us to live is perfect in every way and will result in blessing and joy if we follow it. So by giving us parameters by which we are free to release ourselves sexually, He is giving us a safe place to be who He made us to be. It is damaging to us if we participate in acts He has instructed us to avoid.

The only problem with sex is that it’s wonderful and the secret is out. We have explored the spiritual reasons for committing yourself to abstinence before marriage, but on a practical level, apart from God having established that sex is to be enjoyed in the safety of a committed marriage relationship, why would anyone choose to remain a virgin until marriage in a world that doesn’t value purity.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and unexpected pregnancy without the security of a marriage in place are among the higher, most practical reasons to commit oneself to sexual purity. Most of the people being infected by STIs are between the ages of 15 and 24 and teenage pregnancy is overwhelmingly rampant. Once a teenage girl becomes pregnant her life is changed forever. Whatever she does at that point will affect her for the rest of her life. And with STIs that can affect your ability to have children later in life, cause a plethora of very uncomfortable infections, and possibly even become fatal I am saddened and surprised that the message is so strongly on safer sex when the real solution is to remain abstinent. I do not sit on the side of “they are going to do it anyway, so let’s minimize the damage.” I believe that our young adults possess a tremendous ability to stand with sexual integrity and I find it insulting that so many “professionals” don’t believe that unmarried and sexually aware young people can control their sexual behavior. They certainly can, but they need to be empowered with the knowledge to do so.

Apart from these reasons, it is intensely gratifying to know that you have shared every sexual experience with one person only. My wedding night was amazing, and my husband was a virgin too. We have enjoyed years of exploring each other and finding out what we find erotic and pleasurable without thoughts of prior partners. Whether we are referring to body parts, sex acts or technique, I know that I am the best he has ever had because I am the only one he has ever had. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Having said all this, if you have made mistakes in your sexual past and given away more than you wanted to, it isn’t to late. God can bring forgiveness and offer you a second chance at renewed virginity. If you want to recommit yourself to purity and abstinence it is a simple as coming to God the Father, acknowledging your sin and asking His forgiveness in the name of Jesus, and then inviting Him to cleanse your heart and mind and empower you by His Spirit to remain pure. He can take your broken heart and make it whole again.

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