3 Surprising Reasons to Initiate Sex With Your Man

Today I have re-posted from the blog of a favorite author of mine, Shaunti Feldhahn.  Tim and I made her aquaintance several years ago when we had her speak at Parkview.  Marriages, even Christian marriages, are in desperate need of help today.  So today I wanted to share this important blog from Shaunti:  

By Shaunti Feldhahn 

Although this article is for women, I’m sure some astonished men are looking in, and asking, “What do you mean why you should initiate sex?!” To guys, the answer is completely obvious! It reminds me of that line from the movie City Slickers when Billy Crystal’s character tells his friend, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

So ladies – why?

Well, the most “obvious” reason is the one guys are thinking of: pleasure. And women think of that too, of course! But I’ve been researching men and women with thousands of surveys for years now, and it is clear that, statistically, although that reason is front and center for most men, it is often not front-of-mind for the busy, tired, distracted wife and mom. In our research about women for For Men Onlyin fact, we found that the vast majority of women simply aren’t thinking about sex (and thus the pleasure of sex) all the time, the way most men are.  So sex just doesn’t happen as much as it might otherwise.

Which is quite a shame when you think about it!

So ladies, here are three other reasons to get you going:

1. The more you have sex, the more you’ll be thinking about having sex. 

It’s all about testosterone. We women have testosterone, too, just not as much as men. And neurologists and other research scientists have found that if you get out of the habit of having sex, your testosterone levels drop and you want it less.  But if you have sex at least once a week, your testosterone levels rise and you actually want it more.  Although there are certainly exceptions, men’s higher T-levels are why they tend to be thinking about and wanting sex more than their wives.

If you have sex at least 1x/week, your testosterone levels rise and you actually want it more. 

So if you’re the one with the lower desire, you can improve your libido simply by having sex once a week or more.

Try it! You’ll like it!

2. When you initiate sex, it deeply comforts and affirms your husband. 

When you initiate sex, it deeply comforts and affirms your husband. 

We women have no clue how much self-doubt men carry around all day.  Am I any good at what I do?  Does my wife think I’m a good husband?  Is my colleague going to figure out that I’m making this up as I go along?  Do I measure up as a man?  As a dad?   Men are far more emotionally vulnerable than we realize.

And I was stunned, when I studied men for For Women Only and my other books, to discover that a man’s most emotionally vulnerable time is when he approaches his wife for intimacy.  A man feels like he is shakily extending out his unprotected heart, not knowing whether she will tenderly embrace it or smack it down.  Certainly, there are also women who feel vulnerable when they are the ones with the higher libido than their husband. (Here’s an article if you’re one of those women. )But for the majority of couples, it is the other way around. So when you respond well to your husband’s vulnerable heart, it is deeply comforting. (“She thinks I do measure up.”) 

A man’s most emotionally vulnerable time is when he approaches his wife for intimacy. 

But now go one step further: if you are the one who reaches out now and then, he is not only comforted… he is flying. As one man told me – laughing, but completely in earnest – “The thought is, ‘Not only does she think I measure up – she thinks I’m a stud!’ You have no idea how much that affirms a guy. I may feel like a total imposter in life, but if my wife wants me I can handle anything.”

3. An affirmed husband is a loving husband.  

An affirmed husband is a loving husband. 

I know we women don’t want to only focus on “what’s in it for me”… but let’s get real about this: what’s in it for us is pretty amazing.  When your husband feels desired sexually, he feels like you’re saying he is a good husband, a good dad, a good man.  Every day, your man sees so clearly all the ways he doesn’t measure up to what you need – and yet by affirming him sexually you are saying he’s a good man, anyway. He feels like you are saying, sure, he will make mistakes at times, but you’re on his side no matter what.

And as a result, he is so grateful for you. A man who is secure that you love and appreciate him will run through fire for you. He will be softer. More loving. More caring.  Because he is more secure.  And seriously: who doesn’t want a more loving, caring, attentive husband?

Now, sadly, there are always exceptions to this. There are going to be marriages where it doesn’t work out that way. But statistically, those are truly exceptions. In most cases, a husband who knows his wife wants him, wants most of all to be the man she will always need.

Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women OnlyFor Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).

Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

This article was first published at Patheos.

How’s the Care Going for Your Marriage?

I had the privilege of interviewing the “American Sniper’s” wife, Taya Kyle, for Mother’s Day last year at Parkview.  Taya shared a great illustration that has stuck with me for encouraging people to take care of their marriages because it was such a great analogy.

Taya correlated that if we had only one pair of shoes for our entire lives, how we would take such great and special care of them.   Yet many of us do the opposite:  we tend take our spouse for granted, often talk to them in ugly or belittling tones, and expect them to put up the worst sides of our self.  We talk to them like we’d never talk to our coworkers or friends.  Wow, would we want to live with ourselves? 

Somewhere along the way, did you quit enjoying being together, having fun together, and laughing together?  We need to learn to give our marriages the special attention, care, and treatment they need to make our marriages not only last a lifetime but to thrive. 

So, how do we do that?  After 33 years of marriage, here are a few tips I have either learned from someone else, learned the hard way, or from a counselor.  Every marriage is different because the people are unique as well as the circumstances, so use what you can and throw out the rest. :D

1.     Remember, you can’t change other people!  Even your spouse.  They can only change themselves and it must come from a desire within.  You CAN change yourself, how you request things, and how you treat others.  And if you do, you catch more flies with honey.  Just saying.   

2.     Never stop dating.  Many of you have heard me say this before because I drilled it into my daughters’ heads.   But you need this time to keep enjoying each other and to stay connected.  Life has a way of making us drift apart even though we are living in the same house.

3.     Assume good intent.  Okay, I wasn’t good at this one.  I had to learn this.  Women and men are so different and what my husband would sometimes doing naturally, I would misread as him trying to make me mad or get to me.  It took me awhile to relearn the thoughts that would battle in my mind.  I have since asked for clarification “Are you mad at me for something?” (remember, ask this with a nice un-accusatory tone).  Often it is a no.  Sometimes when we are upset about something else, we unintentionally take it out on our spouse.  I once was so upset about a book I was reading, it was being demonstrated through my actions and attitude to Tim!  Thankfully, once I figured that out, I got rid the book without even finishing it.

4.     Get to Christian counseling.  I can’t say this enough.  It often takes a third party to help you both see and understand each other’s viewpoints, help you find a solution, and help you move forward as a couple.  We have had to go to several different counselors at different times to get the true help we needed.  But thank you, God, we did!  Also, many of us either have learned some bad habits or distructive communication techniques or even have suffered from sexual abuse, so it is imperative we learn how to change.  

5.     Have “no phone/internet” times.  Honestly, this is so difficult because of social media, our phones are how we connect with our grandkids, play our music, and even watch shows.  But if you and your spouse are sitting outside or together and most the time you both are on your phones or laptops, you need to discuss what can be done about it.  As a white elephant gift at Christmas, I opened a “mobile phone jail” which as I thought about was a GREAT idea!  I believe if they aren’t in front of us, we are forced to think about things to talk about and have interaction.  Tim and I have discussed other things we could do together besides just watching shows.  We love it but there isn’t a whole lot of interaction.

6.     Use kind requesting tones instead of accusatory tones.  “Hey, babe, would you please help me out by hanging up your bath towel after your showers?  It would be a huge help because then it wouldn’t get as mildewed and stinky, giving me more laundry sooner. I’d really appreciate it.”  Then if they do, be sure to say, “thank you” – this is often perceived by men not only as appreciation but as a sign of respect to them.   And nagging does nothing to help your marriage:  Proverbs 21:19 says “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.”

7.     Focus on your spouse’s strengths, not weaknesses!  It is so easy to get into a negative critical mindset if we allow our minds to stay there.  It is amazing how your attitude can change if you stop and think of what they have done lately, what they might be going through at work or away from you.  Then focus on the good things about your man.

Philippians 4:8“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (NIV)

8.     To go along with the prior suggestion, praise your mate regularly and even in front of other people.  Les and Leslie Parrott tell us, “Couples who praise each other regularly are happier, more secure, and more unified in their relationship. They feed the positive energy in their marriages. But couples who don’t spend the time or energy on praise aren’t as happy, and their marriages are less likely to succeed.”  I learned the following practice from my sister-in-law several years ago.  We use dry erase markers and put a document under the 5x7 frame.  The document says, “I love you because…”  Each of us takes turns writing various aspects, characteristics, or activities we notice in the other person that we love or is appreciated.  Or just use a cute chalkboard but put it where you both will see it regularly.  It is here for you to download for free.

9.     No matter what, show your man respect. Instead of telling you how this can make or break your marriage, listen to my podcast with my daughter Lauren as we discuss this here.  But God definitely knew the best marital advice for wives is to respect their husbands and for husbands to love their wives in Ephesians 5:33.  

Marriage takes a lot of work. I know the movies make it seem like it will be like a fairy tale and if your marriage takes work, then you must be married to the wrong person.  Not so.  If that were the case, Tim and I would no longer be married. 

But God had a plan and we’ve allowed Him to work in our marriage, making it Godlier.  Thank heavens He did!  We are more in love and having more fun in our marriage than ever before.  What a blessing to have all that history to share as well as our children and precious grandchildren.  So hang in there!

Praying for Your Marriages,

Determined Denise


The Birds & the Bees… One Mom’s Approach to Teaching Her Children

I have had a couple of situations recently that have prompted me to talk about this topic.  One was a very scary circumstance of a friend’s granddaughter who had recently been approached by on-line a sexual preditor and the other situation came up as one of the young women I have mentored was discussing sex at a Bible study she is leading of older teen girls.  She asked several of us women who had grown up following Christ, including my three married daughters (married from 8 weeks to 5 years), why we had waited to have sex until after we were married.  

These circumstances caused me to pause and be grateful all three of my daughters had waited to have sex until after they were married.   I do not say this is in a prideful way because it was by the grace of God and continually praying for wisdom that this was the case.  I really wanted them to know sex was great--but with their husbands.

So, I have decided to share with all you Jesus-following moms some of the things I did as I raised my three daughters to give them a healthy Bible-centered view of sex.  No, neither I nor they were perfect:  some had a couple of non-Christian boyfriends, some not-so-moral Christian boyfriends, and I had the same in my own life. But my heart is over-joyed that they saved themselves for marriage and (hopefully) have a great relationship with their husbands.  

But I was super-intentional about my approach to teaching them about sex.  I didn’t have much, if any, Christian teaching or conversations with my parents when it came to sex --my parent’s generation seemed to have a fear of talking about sex so I wanted my daughters to have a healthy view and a great Biblical attitude and freedom about it as they went into marriage. Please don’t think I am an expert—I just continually tried to learn and utilize resources as much as I could.

One of the most important things your children need to see is a healthy example of marriage. Do you talk respectful and kind to and about your husband?  What tones do you and your spouse speak to each other in? I want to recommend a book I gave my own daughters regarding this topic, and it is now available in workbooks and devotionals.   It is Emmerson Eggrich’s Love and Respect,  I wish I would have read this book about 20 years earlier but it is never too late.

Rachel and Ash

Rachel and Ash

Lauren and Tommy

Lauren and Tommy

Becca and Andy

Becca and Andy

Do you and your husband display love around your children?  Hold hands?  Kiss in front of the kids?  Your marriage needs this.  Your children need to see this.  Dr. Kevin Leman’s books Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Creating Intimacy to Make Your Marriage SizzleSheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, and Les Parrott’s Crazy Good Sex: Putting to bed the Myths Men have about Sex are great books that talk about intimacy in marriage.  

Do you and your husband still go out on dates?  When we were early married, we didn’t have much money and we did not have family in town to babysit, but we budgeted for at least one date night a month.  I can’t tell you how important it is for you and your spouse to do fun things together—it helps you see the best sides of each other and remember what you were attracted to in the beginning.  Get creative:  look for group-ons, coupon books, trade babysitting, hiking, concerts in the park, museums, etc but keep dating!  I recommend to make this happen twice a month if not more.  And, plan an overnight away together at the very least, once a year.  Your marriage needs this to stay strong.


One of our dates:  out bike riding!  Healthy AND inexpensive!

One of our dates:  out bike riding!  Healthy AND inexpensive!

The backbone of a healthy sexual attitude of a girl is building a good self-image.  As you know, this is much more difficult to do than write.  We definitely don’t want our daughters obsessing over their outward appearance nor think they have to look like the models in the ads but it does affect how they feel about themselves.  This is one of the reasons we invested in braces and contact lenses for our daughters, why I would give them a perm when they really wanted one when they were a 5th grader (thanks, mom, for helping me with this!), why I would try to stay semi-current with styles, or pay for a stylish haircut for them.  I didn’t have sons, but this stuff affects boys too.  What makes them feel better about themselves?  I also tried to make healthy food to help their health and weight be healthy.  Thankfully my own mom modeled that!  (FYI, I NEVER EVER mentioned my girls’ weight to them as they grew up—ever...there is too much danger in girls developing anorexia and bulimia!).  

We also would instill self-confidence and character by talking about being kind to others, bragging on them when they were generous, and allowing them to develop talents and skills they were bent toward.  Music was in our genes so lessons in voice and on various instruments were invested in.  Be aware that families can go overboard on "developing their children's talents" to the extreme that children never have any downtime to rest or develop their imagination, so pray for wisdom.  And build up those personality traits that are positive:  Are they a great organizer?  Have a great sense of humor?  A great story-teller?  Empathetic toward others?  Make sure you brag on these traits of your kids to build their self-image.

Okay, modeling a good marriage is key and building a good self-image plays a part, but what about the actually talking about sex with your children?  

I would buy age-appropriate books that discuss body differences in a Biblical way.  They can’t be afraid or ashamed of their own body and have a healthy view of sex.  I would make sure I’d read these books with them.  At the bottom of this article, I’ve listed several books and sites for good resources.  Let me know which ones you use. 

This next idea was something my sister-in-law did with her children.  I remember asking her “Can I copy you and do this too?”  And I hereby give you the same permission.  Adjust and do it to fit your family situation.  

When my daughters were ten, thirteen, and 16-years-old, I went through the book Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson (warning: this is dated material!!) with them.  Each girl was treated to a special one-on-one overnight trip away with me and we would go through the material together.  Side note:  Honestly, if you can work out care for the other children, it would probably be good for both parents to do this with the child.  We didn’t have that option nor knew if it would be too uncomfortable for our girls, so I just took them.  Here are some pages that might give you more good Christian information and articles:

The reason we began this at ten years of age, is because our world throws sexuality on girls so young.  In fact, you will probably need to weigh your own child and their circumstances to decide when to start.  Then I did it again at the age of 13, because that is when girls and boys are starting to like each other more.  Then again at the age of 16 because that is when our girls were allowed to car date alone with a boy.  All three of them.  

I bought a copy of the book as well as the cds for it (yes, I am aging myself—no downloads back then) and we’d play a couple of hours of the book on the way to dinner.  I would stop the audio every once in a while to either bring out something, give examples, or to see if they had any questions.  I liked this material because it first talked about self-esteem and why some teenagers don’t always make good decisions.  This is good material but it definitely is dated; it doesn’t address the internet, phones, nor texting.  Those topics have to be discussed as well as sexual predators with today's world.   

So here is how this weekend would play out:  We had various friends who had cabins or other houses about two hours away from us, so I just arranged to stay there for one night.  If you have the money for a hotel or hotel points, that would be great too.  But make it far enough away.  The weekend would include dinner out at a restaurant of their choice, a movie to watch together after another hour or so of the book, breakfast together (I’d bring this food in a cooler), a walk together the next morning listening, lunch, and on the drive back, we’d finish listening. We would also make a stop for a new shirt or pajamas for a special item to remember our weekend together by.  

The key to this trip is for your children to learn about sex from you first—not from their friends, the internet, or school—and in a healthy Bible-based way.  This also teaches them they can talk to you about ANYTHING and, in the future, makes you much more approachable as they become teenagers.  They learn they can trust you to be honest with them.  

There is probably better and more updated material out there.  I’ve tried to include some options below for you to view although I have not read most of them yet.  

Have you run across some good material for teaching your children about godly sex?  Please share below so others can benefit.  

Praying that you can lead your children in healthy God-based sexuality,
Determined Denise

Additional books and resources:

•    10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex: *Knowing What to Say*Guiding Them to Wise Decisions*Giving Age-Appropriate Answers by Bill and Pam Farrel
•    Lintball Leo's Not-So-Stupid Questions about Your Body
•    The Ultimate Girls' Body Book: Not-So-Silly Questions about Your Body by Walt Larimore
•    The Ultimate Guys Body Book by Walt Larimore
•    http://www.christianbook.com/page/christian-parenting/sex-education
•    Passport2Purity--Weekend Retreat Kit By Dennis Rainey, Barbara Rainey
•    The Focus on the Family ® Guide to Talking with Your Kids About Sex: Honest Answers for Every Age by J. Thomas Fitch, David Davis
•    Learning About Sex Series (books according to age)
•    https://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-development.asp
•    God's Design for Sex Series By: Stan Jones, Brenna Jones
•    Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children by Joe S. McIlhaney Jr. M.D., Freda McKissic Bush M.D.
•    Protecting Your Son From Aggressive Girls article by Dennis Rainey

FYI, I get nothing by promoting these products.