Restore the passion in your marriage with these biblical tips
Posted in , Feb 11, 2015
With the release of the movie, 50 Shades of Grey this Valentine’s Day weekend, it seems that everyone is whispering about sex. As Christian married couples, we don’t need to watch a movie to get the spice we’re looking for in our marriage, but it's time we start talking out loud to our spouses--and even a therapist, if necessary--about keeping the passion alive.
I caught up with Michael Sytsma, PhD, an ordained minister, licensed counselor and certified sex therapist, who provides marriage and sex therapy to about 25 couples a week. Dr. Sytsma says:
I feel so encouraged when I read the Daily Guideposts’ Devotionals. I love looking for ways to share these tidbits of faith with others. Thank you Guideposts, for sharing God’s love with more people than we can ever know!
-Rhonda V, Diamondhead, Mississippi
“[When it comes to 50 Shades], I remind people that sexual fantasy is powerful. Kept within a healthy marriage it can be rich and enhancing. Moved outside of marriage it can be intoxicating but often does great damage to the core of our security, playfulness and true erotic intimacy,” he explains.
“This is true with pornography, erotic fantasy novels, sexually focused movies or anything that glorifies sexual partialism or the sexual buzz.
“Erotic sex cannot heal someone’s brokenness, depravity, depression or loneliness, and we need to be very cautious in filling our mind with stories and images that play with this fantasy (Philippians 4:8). There are far more valuable ways to spend a couple hours enriching sexuality in marriage,” he noted.
Here are Dr. Sytsma’s 5 tips to spiritually spice up your sex life.
1) Flashback to the Past
Dr. Sytsma points out that in Revelation 2, Christ (the Groom) commends the Church (His bride) for staying committed but says that she has fallen out of love over time and lost her passion.
Christ provides the recipe for regaining that passion by telling His bride to remember how it was when that passion was strong.
According to Dr. Sytsma, this is a great pattern for married couples to follow, as well. Couples should reminisce and remember the really good times to regain “that loving feeling.”
“What did you do early in your sexual relationship? Were you more adventurous, spontaneous, playful? Maybe you took more time or gave more to each other,” he said. “Identify as many factors as you can and try adding them back in.”
2) Be Playful
Many married couples lose the sense of play over time. Sex shouldn’t be a chore, in other words, it should be fun. So, have fun! Dr. Sytsma suggests not being so concerned about arriving at “the destination;” rather, married couples should take their time and enjoy “the journey.”
3) Rest Up
While you wouldn’t necessarily think napping together would spice up the bedroom, being well rested is actually an aphrodisiac for many.
“Many sexual fantasies include phrases like, ‘we were on vacation and relaxed,’ ‘we slept in late and stayed in bed,’ ‘the kids were at grandmas giving us time to relax and take a nap,’” Dr. Sytsma explains.
“Try structuring the day so sex doesn’t get the last ounces of energy for the day. Instead, approach it with the energy of a well-rested body and mind.”
4) Talk About It
While communication is key to a good marriage, it’s also key to a healthy sex life.
“Sex itself is a powerful type of communication, but we need to occasionally add words and talk about it if we really want to make it better,” Dr. Sytsma shares.
“Most couples who come to see us have never really talked about how they make love. What do they do and what do they like? All couples develop a well-scripted sexual dance of ‘you do this’, followed by ‘my doing that’. This is a rich part of making love, but is it really working for you?”
Dr. Sytsma suggests fixing a cappuccino or a savory cup of tea and sitting down at the kitchen table to talk through “the dance.”
“How do you know when each other is in the mood? What do you do first? What comes next? How do you know when it’s time to move to the next step? This is very uncomfortable for most couples but if you can stay curious and playful, it can be a rich exercise,” he assures.
“If you aren’t quite ready to dive into the deep end, buy a good sex manual and take turns reading it out loud to each other, pausing often to comment and discuss.”
5) Focus on the Intimacy
It’s important to never forget what sex is really all about.
“If it’s not about connecting deeply with each other, giving yourself fully to your spouse, fully exposing yourself in the moment (heart, mind, passion and body) and sharing the discovery of what truly excites you deep inside, you’ve lost the true passion,” Dr. Sytsma explains.
“The greatest sex comes when we protect each other and the marriage bed until it becomes a safe place to fully expose our eroticism with each other.”