Healthy Sexuality from a Christian’s World View CCOU 305 Healthy Sexuality Book Review and Critique of The Gift of Sex Written by Clifford and Joyce Penner Abstract God Created both man and women in his image and called it good. Adam needed a partner, a helper in which he could join hands with and enjoy life with a lifelong mate. As they became husbands and wife, called by God called them to be fruitful and multiply through child bearing. God has given the gift of sex to be enjoyed by each partner in the Marriage bed. The term sex has is meant to be an expression of Gods character his longing to be one with his creation.
Exploring human sexually form Christian point of view help Christians and non-Christian’s reform the meaning of love , sex, and marriage as God intended sex to be enjoyed reflect his desire to be united with his creation. Exploring Healthy Sexuality: A Biblical Perspective Sexuality is a gift from God, in fact he values men’s and women’s sexuality and sexual desires. However the moral values of society has made sex form of personal gratification and fulfillment, instead of a mutual expression of emotional and physical bonding between and man and a women.
One author Wrote “…in the truest sense , the fall into sin was a fall out of relationship.. out of our secure place and belonging with God into self absorbed isolation and inner emptiness (Willson, 1998 ) Both men and women are ill learned concerning human sexuality, The biblical expression of sexuality is to be views as a prized gift. The gift of sex has been lost in many marriages because of the lack to education and proper biblical teaching on the subject of sexuality. The author of Intended for pleasure wrote, “God so designed is that we cannot truly be satisfied with mere physical nd physiological relief in sex, The world , which often tries to view love and sex in marriage as two separate entities, has missed the Point. In God’s perfect design, it is in marriage characterized by agape love that all emotions of love increase and multiply” (Wheat and Wheat, 2010). The world view concerning sex is wrong, and has and continues to wreak havoc on human race. If single and married men and women don’t try to learn a biblical point of view concerning sex, and in sexuality in a way that honors God, the marriage and the single man and women will still wonder in isolation and emptiness.
One author wrote “ Making a relationship work doesn’t depend on recognizing differences, it’s a matter of appreciating those differences (Parrot, L &l L 1995). The bible portrays sex as reflection of our relationship with God, reflecting the deepest of commitment that we can share with another human. Children of God are created for relationship; our sexuality both for men and women is a deep expression of ta desire to be connected to another.
Their is a book titled “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy (Thomas, 2002) Perhaps men and women just don’t see clearly concerning sexuality and gender differences. It would seem that the wonderful, erotic and fulfilling union a person can share with a mate is also a expression of how intensely connected Christian can be to God. One author is noted as saying “The kingdom of God – the nature and character of God , as well as the outworking of God’s plan on earth – was to be played out in and though man and women and the concept of family.
There God pronounces His blessing” (Hansen, 1997). The symbolism is found on the book of Ephesians chapter 5, “Husbands love your wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. The sexual union between man and wife is a picture of God’s desire to become one with his children. Sex is not unclean but a God given gift from God for man and women to share a deep positive message of love, and commitment to the each other and the marriage. Exploring Healthy Sexuality: The Physical Dimension Body image is a part of our self image that deals with how human’s perceive there body’s, it’s appearance to us and to others.
Like the human body is truly a piece of art, only God could make a masterpiece that has been inspired artist from all over the world. Psalms 139:14”will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works…’ As person develops there body image in three way’s sensory experience as a child relating to how our body made us feel. Did we have positive feelings as a child when we were touched even effects our perception of our body. The second factor that helps a person develop a self-image is feedback from those whom we value in our lives. ? The third factor is A poor self-image found in the comparison of our self to others. A person’s negative view of their bodies can become a barrier in having a fulfilling sexual experience with a mate. It is written in Gen 1:31 “ and God saw all that he had made and behold , it was very good. ” Since our sexual parts are from God we should not be ashamed to explore. It is highly recommend that both husband and wife and explore and examine each other genitals together, this act allows for greater confidence and freedom in sexual expression.
While doing an self-examination women will find her clitoris, many women report that the most pleasurable place to receive stimulation is around the clitoris. The clitoris is located above the urinary duct. It may be hard to locate at first because there is a hood that covers it. The clitoris is the only organ in human anatomy designed solely for pleasure. God intended women to be able to enjoy sex and give them self’s to there mate in a fulfilling sexual way. The vagina continually produces lubrication. Lubrication is a normal response to sexual response and even at rest.
In general the vagina can be referred to as the organ of accommodation, a vagina is a muscular pass away that is changeable in size.. It is noted that women don’t gain the majority of there sexual pleasure with the penis inside of the vagina but women tend to be most responsive to sensual caressing and stimulating of the body through touch and caressing of the breast, and kissing Mystery does not enhance the sexual experience, slow down and take the time to know our body and export your partners, by doing so in a loving a genital way.
It is ok for a man to touch his mates gentiles and even use his fingers in a effort to explore the vagina. Though physical touch can help in understanding each other body; the key to exportation of male and female sexuality is communication. A noted Psychologist and author Dr. Hart wrote “ A women’s sexual satisfaction comes from a foundation of trust, romance and the ability to be vulnerable, … her sexual response is motivated more by intimacy needs rather than a need for physical sexual arousal, (1998).
The sexualityof a women expressed in marriage moves beyond just physical stimulation. For a husband to truly know his wife sexually he must also explore and know her emotional needs in a the relationship. Moving from girl to women in the young girl hormones primary estrogen and progesterone gradually increase promoting the development of breast tissue, boarding of hips, hair growth in the genital area. This change can happen in girls early as ten to twenty years of age, 200 years ago the age was around sixteen to eighteen years of age.
Changes happen to a women sexually through out there life time. Even at Menopause a women experiences lessening of vaginal lubrication. Some boys may have a nocturnal emission, and testosterone gradually builds with in a boys bodies. Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for sex drive, in both men and women. When, a female child is violated as a she may shuts down her sexuality, which in turn affects her hormones. The organismic response can be actively pursued by the who has difficulty letting trusting and letting go.
But there is hope for restoration. The husband must take the advice of noted author Les Penner, who wrote “ Focus on the person not the parts, enjoy the process of exploration, remember kissing and cuddling does not have to lead to sex, at times slow down the process. , love your wife by helping her relax (1997). There is healing after traumatic sexual experiences the male counterpart in the relationship can and must be aware of his role in the healing process. Exploring Healthy Sexuality: The Total Experience
The total response to sexual stimulation goes from getting interested in sex, not hard for us men, to the sensual act to cleaning up after sexual intercourse. Men and women do respond to sexual stimulation differently. Yet there are some common grounds by in which a couple can positively relate in sexuality in spite of gender differences. The human body is bombarded by our senses such as touch, smell, and feeling such as desire. The best way for a married couple to move into generating asexual encounter is by spending time together. The thought sounds simple enough but couples have many distractions.
It is best that a couple set time apart to relax and talk and dream dream’s together. At times jobs, children and even houses hold choirs are externals which erode building communication in the marriage which is life giving to a sexual aspect of relationship. The author of Sacred sex wrote “ A couples sexual relationship has a far higher purpose that pleasure or procreation, Sex is the one thing that joins people in to one ( Gardner 2002). There is no universal rule to whom responsibility to imitating sex in a relationship falls upon Great sex does not have to be spontaneous.
Men and women have a lot of distractors in life, one of the best ways to safe guard from sexual dysfunction is to pursue a level of communication that expresses , love and emotional security by having a save zone; concerning sexual communication. One author wrote “ The desire to connect is not just a emotional feeling . Bonding is a real powerful connection that cannot be undone without great emotional pain” (Mcllhaney and Bush , 2008. Communication does not have to be limited to words. Communicating sexual desire can be lighting candle or just letting the other partner know that sex is desired.
The freedom to communicate is such a way is done my cultivation a safe place p were thought and expression are heard with understanding and empathy. A couple can enjoy connecting throughout the day by communicating acceptance, love and desire throughout the day. Experiencing Sexual Pleasure together Yes Pleasuring one another is a gift from God, sexual pleasure crates a chemical reaction in both the male and female which help’s the two become one. A couple must have the freedom to touch each other in ways that are welcomed and exploratory in nature.
Touching the breasts of women in a genital fondling way can cultivate a feeling for the women, the is welcoming. Penner wrote “ Given that an affirmed and adored women tends to get in touch with her sexuality and turned on women is usually a turned – on man, his needs will most certainly be met (1997). Understanding that a women may have hindrances to concerning sexual desire must be understood and accepted by her lover. Sometimes sexual desire must be cultivated and it can sparked if done properly A women sexual desire and urge often follows rather than precedes a feeling of arousal .
After all a husband will more likely get his sexual intimacy needs met when he meets his wife’s relational intake needs. In the marriage bed there is a give and take and a sharing that takes place which communicates sexual desire and love along with a desire to feel good physically. There is nothing wrong with such a desire but a couple must be on guard that they do not become selfish in the way they give into the pleasures of sexual intercourse and in the way it is expressed in the marriage bed.
At some point during the fondling and caressing and kissing their will be a point when there is a desire for entry. The best time for entry is when the women is ready, allowing her the freedom to guide a man into her will give her the freedom to accept the union and let her self enjoy the sexual experience. A positive sexual experience is the giving to the US factor in a relationship, “ We give up part of our individuality to create this “US” When we give to US we actually receive (Hartgrave , 2000) Unlike a man her feeling must match her bodies response to sexual touch.
Once a physical release for women a orgasm and for men ejaculation a time of affirmation an and closeness must be maintained. Chapmen wrote, “ The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words, we are far more like to be motivated to reciprocate (2010) Staying close to one another and holding each other plays a very important role in creating the a emotional and spiritual bond the relationship.
Each couple has different winding down needs, there is not a formal way to allow the body to go quiet down after a sexual encounter. The best way to is to communicate the needs in the confines of the relationship after sexual release is to communicate . The time after release is a very sensual and relaxing experience it can be cultivated in such a way that trust, emotional security and warmth can be communicated without words . Even cleaning up can be a warm experience for the couple, using a warm towel to caress a women vaginal opening can be welcomed and enjoyed by both couples.
Even making the bed together after playing romper room can build a routine which communicates the joy of making love to a mate. Exploring Healthy Sexuality: When sex isn’t working As pointed out our bodies are made by God to enjoy sexual pleasure. Humans are made in a way that our bodies and our emotions both physical and chemically respond to sexual touch. God desires for married couples to enjoy sex as a bonding and relational enhancer for procreation and sexual expression. Many couple’s have problems with there sex life, often times they just stay in the slum.
One author wrote “As Christians men and women must come to the point in there personal expression of sexuality that sex is a sacred , sex is serious and sex is a grave responsibility” ( Ingram2003). Ignoring a sexual problem in a marriage is like sleepwalking through the life of the relationship. Eventually its results in chaos: despair, destruction, pain, broken homes, and relational wreckage. Often time a newly married couple will come to the marriage bed with misinterpreted ideal’s and feeling concerning sexual expression.
As women’s sexual response tends to be a bit slower that her male counter part Is a great tid bit of information that some new couples are unaware of. There is a quote from a counseling section in the book called, His needs her needs written by Willlard Harly, it goes like this “When John wants sex , he wants is right now. He doesn’t care how I feel, all he cares about it satisfying himself,” (2011) The affection that a man gives to a women in a romantic relationship is like a door which opens to her welcoming a sexual encounter.
As a married couple both men and men need to actively pursue sexual awareness. One of the many contributors to sexual dysfunction in a marriage, is simply the lack of knowledge surrounding gender differences on the topic of sex. Particularly in the area sexual process and response. There are many problems that can lead in to a unfulfilled sex life in a marriage. Some of them are Guilt, the church as a whole has thought the sex is bad. Over coming a longing fear o guild and shame must be overcome to have the freedom to enjoy sexual expression with your partner.
Anger can also be a inhibitor to a healthy sex life, “ If you have deep –seated anger and have been taking it out on your wife, apologize to her now. Ask for her forgiveness, and show her you mean it by taking steps to change” (Smalley 2010) There must be a mutual harmony in the relationship and the women must not be ruled over but be cherished and respected. Often times a women will keep silent concerning her anger and withhold sexual contact. The lack of a proper self image and traumatic sexual experiences from the past can also effect the sexual relationship. Sex must be rediscovered by a couple ogether with proper counseling they both can move to a mutual place of trust acceptance and passion can be restored. Each person in the relationship must be committed to acting out positive behavior changes which help move the sexual relationship to a place of building instead of a tearing down. The responsibility for safeguarding the relationship is both the man’s and women’s personal responsibly. Keeping in mind a positive sexual relationship starts way hours before the light’s go out. The feelings of being in love come and go in a relationship often times a couple must work through these times in a effort to preserve the relationship.
John Gray wrote “Women often complain that they fell unloved, where their partners have not idea what they are talking about. The Man will ask, How could she possibly feel unloved? Look at all he things I do for her. ” Communication can be linked to the lack of giving kind words and genital hug’s or even helping round the house. Men have a tendency to withdraw from the relationship when there is friction, this reaction can cause the desire for sex from a women’s perspective to wane. The condition is called drifting apart. Marriage takes hard work from both partners to make the relationship fulfilling and a blessing to each partner.
But there is hope, love can be restored, just give he the attention she needs, and communicate with her cornering what is troubling her in the relationship, all women have a internal list of what can this can be intended to enhance the quality of the relationship. “Women intuitively understand how to have a good relationship; us men have to work at it” (Gray 1993). There are also physical boundary’s which may inhibit a sexual response to a mate. Women in general have many factors that related to their sexuality. There could be a hormone imbalance especially if they are over the age forty.
There could be the lingering fear of getting pregnant which is effecting her sexual response. Perhaps the man may have problems sexually such as erectile dysfunction, or have problem with premature ejaculation. There could also be problems physically in the vagina that make sexual intercourse painful. For many older couples medications can play havoc on a couple’s sex life. The relationship must be built upon trust and the freedom to communicate these problems as they come up. Proper pre- marital counseling should address some these issues upfront.
The keys to unlocking the struggles associated with the lack of sexual fulfillment in a relationship are multi fasted but can be linked to the lack of education, counseling, and personal responsibility. The list of problems that can affect a couples sex life in very large. But there is a few area’s that a man can safe guard his sexual relationship.. One of the best ways to protect a marriage from sexual addiction is to have a accountability partner and also cultivating a relationship what does not hold secret’s. The author of Victory over darkness: [e]expresses the need for men to be on guard to sexual temptation.
The mind is the controller of how men choose to respond to truth’s found in the bible. Once temptation is considered, the temptation triggers a emotional response it is up to man to choose to act emotional ties to the behavior (Neil Anderson(2000). Sage guarding a relationship is full time work. A man must always be on guard to not compromise the wedding bed with sexual addiction. It is noted that four out of ten sexually active singles are a carrier of some type of sexually transmitted disease. What a tragic price to pay of infidelity in a marriage.
But there is hope submission to God and a change of behavior though repentance can bring restoration in this area of a man’s; life. Exploring Healthy Sexuality: Enhancing the sexual experience Our culture in many way’s has in time separated God from the bed room. It is in the bed room that a reflection of God’s desire to be in union with his creation can be seen.. We as Christian should thank God for our sexuality and ask him to play a part in the expression of love to our mate. Sexual expression does not have to take the form of just intercourse, but also in the form of verbal physical touching and caressing.
Its ok for a man to say I love you. “ He may love her , but if he does not say it she will not feel it (Gray 1993). Doctor Gray in his book Men women and Relationship describers seven positive attitudes that will help a man meet his wife’s emotional needs: They are, Love, caring, understanding, Respect, appreciation, acceptance, and trust. (1993) The characteristic listed by Dr. Grey seen to be very much in line with describing the Lord. If a couple truly desires to have a fulfilling relationship with their spouse a personal relationship with the Lord must be cultivated and pursued by each individual in the relationship.
The man can take a lead and be a example by inviting the Lord in his relationship with his wife. By Praying together, and by attending church together, and by reading the Bible together a couple can safe guard their relationship. If a couple truly desires to have a fulfilling sex life together it is best to spend time and learn also from the Master who created it, out Lord and Christ Jesus. Citations Anderson, Neil (2000). Victory over the Darkness. 157. Ventura, CA: Regal Publishing Chapman, G (2004). The five love Languages: The secret to love that lasts,37. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing.
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