Often, soon-to-be-married couples in church worry about sex. They’ve waited ’til marriage or re-committed to waiting, and then worry they won’t be good enough or believe sex needs to be a certain way. The wedding night is then feared. But actually, approaching sex thinking it just needs to be fun means it will be, despite what actually happens.
I remember chatting with a close group of friends, and one of the girls who was getting married soon starting talking about sex. She said she was very worried and scared about the wedding night. She liked to talk and share her problems a lot, as you can tell. But we all started discussing the topic. It was clear there was a real concern there.
This is something that lots of people I know have struggled with or are worried about
This woman and her future husband were Christians, and he had never had sex before. She had become a Christian and eventually decided not to have sex again until marriage. She was now nervous and worried because he had never had an experience of it and she hadn’t had it for a very long time.
Fearing The Worst
She was scared because:
- She wouldn’t be good enough
- It would be bad
- They would do it wrong.
This is something that lots of people I know have struggled with or are worried about. They have navigated the tough dating stages (Read I Wasn’t Sure When We Were An ‘Official Couple’), and are now faced with another worry.
People worry because they either have never had sex, or had it but decided to wait ’til marriage for the next time. Then the fear builds towards this specific event; Is it going to be good? Will it live up to expectations? Will I be good enough?
Sometimes people think ‘I’ve waited all of this time so God owes me a fantastic wedding night’ (Yes, people have actually said this). But then worry after hearing a few horror stories and are fearful it isn’t that easy after all.
Our culture tells us that it’s crazy to wait until marriage to have sex, for many reasons. One reason is because sex is an important part of marriage, so you need to know you are compatible in that way. You need to know you can have good sex before you commit. (Read How Important Is Physical Attraction)
This belief has caused many Christians who do wait to feel like they are taking a risk, and/or worry that they may end up having a bad sex life. This is a real concern among couples soon to be married in the church.
We Need to Talk About Enjoying Sex
There are Christian couples really struggling with this and no one is talking about it.
Similarly, the newly married couple may find out that sex is not what they expected, not as easy so initially not as fun, and feel let down. This is understandable if they had a different expectation in their head.
Our perception of sex is more important than the actual reality.
However, new research can show us how to make sure sex is fun, and not something to fear. It suggests one simple truth that can transform the fear and worry into excitement: Our perception of sex is more important than the actual reality.
What this means is, if couples approach sex thinking it will be fun and enjoyable, then they will enjoy it no matter what actually happens. Whereas if they approach it thinking it may be bad, hard or a let down then it will be, no matter what actually happens.
We Can Give Good Advice
This is important because if newly-married couples and soon-to-be-married couples approach sex with worry, angst, and fear, then it will be a let down. But if they approach sex knowing that it may take a bit of work, it may not be simple but it’s meant to be fun, and sex is a journey and not a destination, it’s more likely to be enjoyed.
The advice I gave my friend who brought this up was simple, sex isn’t something that has to happen ‘one way only’ with both participants ‘following these steps’ otherwise it’s rubbish. People learn together and grow together. Even if the first time is a bit awkward, you can still improve together.
We need to see sex as fun rather than a test
I think God has a lot of things to say about sex. Ultimately he created it to be a blessing. This research seems to say that our approach to it is more important that the act itself.
Imagine if we, and everyone in the church, reminded each other and dating/engaged couples that the perception of sex is more important than the act. That fear and struggles really don’t need to dominate our thinking.
The next time a newly engaged couple is approaching the subject of sex with fear, we need to remind them that God wants sex to be a blessing and a gift in marriage, no matter what our sexual history is. And they need to remember to see sex as fun rather than a test.
How easy do you think it is for people in church to believe sex is meant to be fun rather than something to fear? Comments welcome below