This is great! In an effort to reclaim sex for married people, Pastor Ed Young issued the married members of his church a seven day sex challenge – seven straight days of sex. Here, CNN talks to the pastor and his wife talk about their experience (they missed one day) and reads some reaction from other participants:
The sexual union is VITAL to the preservation of marriage and, by extension, the family. The marital embrace is where the husband and wife express with the language of their bodies what they expressed at the altar with their minds and hearts on their wedding day. Each act of sexual intercourse is meant to be a re-committment of the spouses to each other, a renewal of the wedding vows. Most modern families are so busy, between work, kids, extracurricular activities, etc…that I’d be willing to bet that this is one of the first things that suffers between the husband and the wife and is the driving force behind so many divorces. How much healthier would marriages be if couples were regularly and honestly renewing their wedding vows?
So I encourage all my married readers, even if it requires you to take a weekend away from the kids, to make time for this intimacy. Don’t just “have sex.” Be a total gift of self to one another, holding nothing back (including your fertility). Take this advice from Christopher West:
If you really want “good sex,” start by inviting God – who is love – to be with you. (Don’t worry; God won’t blush. He created sex.) Keep the lights on. Consciously renew your wedding vows with the language of your bodies. Mean what you say, and say what you mean.
Take the risk of surrendering your whole self unconditionally to your spouse. Receive your spouse unconditionally. as you do, look deeply and steadily into each others’ eyes and thank God for the joy you know in being made in his image as you explode in the ecstasy of the true communion of persons. (from Good News About Sex and Marriage)
Seriously, it doesn’t get much hotter than that…unless you’ve ever read JP II’s Love and Responsibility, which offers detailed advice for married couples. Since love is an “ambition to ensure the good of another person,” JP II says:
intercourse must not serve merely as a means of allowing sexual excitement to reach its climax in one of the partners..but that climax must be reached in harmony, not at the expense of one partner, but with both partners fully involved…love demands that the reactions of the other person, the sexual ‘partner’ be fully taken into account….
There exists a rhythm dictated by nature itself which both spouses must discover so that climax may be reached both by the man and by the woman, and as far as possible occur in both simultaneously. (p. 272)
He specifically calls on the man to take the difference in male and female reactions into account (the man’s being shorter) and, out of the virtue of love, show “tenderness” to the woman in this regard during physical intercourse. YES! the POPE wrote that (before he was Pope)!
Also, for those times when there are serious reasons to avoid a pregnancy, periodic abstinence is a great expression of love, not to mention respect for the nature of the sexual act itself.
Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. (1 Corinth. 7:5)