Last week was a crazy one in terms of marriage and sex talk by famous pastors. Ed Stetzer did his usual excellent analysis on the information that came out and you can read that here. (I love Ed. He's one of those rare helpful people who wants to help churches of just about any denomination get better at the Great Commission - including Methodists like me. Thank you, Ed, for your kingdom focus!) I don't want to comment on everything in the post, just something that stuck out to me about pastor Ed Young's upcoming bed-in.
The bed-in is supposed to draw attention to Ed and his wife Lisa's new book Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse. I've not read the book yet. I might not because, believe it or not, I feel a little over-sexed by the culture both inside and outside the church. My wife and I enjoy each other and feel practically no inhibition in our bedroom. I'd say that some of the safest and carefree times of our relationship together are when we, to borrow a phrase from Tommy Nelson's Song of Solomon series, renew our marriage covenant. When I look at our relationship and think about deepening our intimacy, sex isn't where we need the most work.
Are we the odd couple within American Christian churches?
What would really deepen our intimacy with one another?
I know the answer to that and I want to trot this thought out there for people who might be thinking, "You know, sex really isn't our problem." Let me entice you to read a blog post that I'm about to link by providing a snippet from a comment left at that particular blog: "I will say that few things make me feel more loved and cared for by my husband than when he___". Now, how would you fill in that blank? How would your spouse fill in that blank? As I judge a book by its cover, Pastor Ed might tell you that sex is the key. While that is important to a marriage, what might turn out to be the most underrated key to lasting intimacy is prayer. (Pastors you should definitely read this post by Brian Croft about praying with your spouse. It's where I took the comment I mentioned).
You want to try something that will increase your vulnerability? Want to really lay yourself bare and naked before the one to whom you have pledged to love and serve "till death do us part"? Want to increase intimacy and, hey, maybe even improve your sex life because you have an even greater connection and commitment to one another? Pray together.
Sure, you expect me to say that. I'm a pastor. I think you should pray. I'm also a gigantic hypocrite because that is one of the biggest weaknesses in my own marriage and I've made a commitment to destroy that weakness. Since that barrier to intimacy is on my mind, sure, I'm thinking a lot about how prayer can contribute to intimacy with my wife. Maybe it would help you, too.