Julie - posted on 01/28/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )
I often see the topic of sex after childbirth on other boards. Many of the posts say things like “I just don’t have any interest” or “I feel like I’m always pushing my husband away.” I saw these posts this morning, and it made me sad, but it made me think, why are Christians not discussing this? For some reason, sex still seems to be a taboo subject in many Christian circles, and it shouldn’t be, especially here. The ordinance of marriage isn’t complete until it is consummated through the act of sex. After all, isn’t sex how we all ended up becoming moms in the first place? The lack of sex can lead to real problems that can cause serious issues in marriage, and this is true even in Christian marriages. Statistics show that the two primary reasons for divorce are money and sex. So I want to offer an open forum where Christian wives and moms can discuss these problems openly and receive encouragement and advice.
Physical intimacy is often glossed over lightly, but it is a vital component of a healthy marriage. The Bible commands us to have sex with our husbands! In his book Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas suggests that this not only prevents us and our husbands from falling into sin, but also helps us to have better prayer lives. It is even directly addressed in the Bible:
“The husband shall fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, NIV)
My son is four months old, and I know it can be hard to spend the time and energy for sex: I’m tired, I’m sore, and I’m afraid that the baby will wake up in the middle of the fun. But my body is not mine alone, it belongs to my husband, and he needs me, and I need him! It often takes extra planning and work, but it is worth it for a better relationship with my husband.
Communication is important, especially if you are struggling with low desire. Trust me; your husband wants to know what’s going on and what he can do to get you in the mood! This may be mundane things like helping more with the housework so you’re not so tired, or things like setting a romantic atmosphere or more foreplay. Don’t be afraid to talk openly to your husband about it.
If you are having sex for the first time after having your baby, or for the first time in a long while, remove any distractions or possible interruptions; your husband should be your priority. Try leaving your children at a sitter’s house so you and your husband can have the house to yourself for a few hours. My husband and I did this as soon as we got the ok from the doctor. We left William with my mom, and our time together that evening helped us get on the right track. Do what is necessary to make time for your husband. If you can, arrange a whole weekend away just for the two of you. None of this has to be expensive or fancy. Just remember that your husband should still be your priority, and you should make sure he knows it. Don’t get stuck on being a mom and forget that you are also a wife.
I would recommend the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas to anyone who is married. He addresses marriage as a spiritual discipline designed to sanctify us and to help us become more Christ-like (even through acts of physical intimacy!). I am only halfway through, and it is already changing my attitude towards my husband.
I hope that this post has served to encourage you and motivate you to be diligent about your physical relationship with your husband. Please feel free to post your thoughts, share your problems, and encourage each other.