Why can’t my spouse and I have a good conversation about sex? Part 2

In the first article, we asked the question “Why is that when we attempt to talk about sex inevitably the conversation ends on a sour note, especially when we can talk so freely about money, children, careers, and the events of daily life?”  Our first answer is that walls were built due to the guilt of experiences in the past.  The way to destroy these walls is through the freedom and power of forgiveness.  However, this is not the only reason why some couples struggle.  In this article, we want to consider reason number two.

Reason #2:  One or both persons believed they are being personally attacked.

We have seen it often through the years here at Faith.  A couple that communicates according to Ephesians 4:29 about many subjects is not willing to practice godly communication about their sexual relationship.  Instead, they say comments that do not properly reflect either one’s relationship with Christ.  In these moments, the reality that both persons are saved by grace, that both persons have their sins removed as far as the east is from the west, the reality that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit acted in order to give them new life and an inheritance that is undefiled, does not change the way they speak to one another.  So, in harsh tones they say things like ….

  • You would be sexier if you lost 10 pounds.
  • You care more about whether the sheets are clean then you care about us pleasing each other.
  • You care more about yourself than pleasing me.
  • What you want is boring sex.

So what your spouse hears is that he or she is not good enough, not attractive enough, and not skilled enough.  These things hurt.  They hurt a lot.  These words encourage the two of you to create more and more distance between you, and more and more reasons not to discuss sex ever again.  Thankfully, there is a better way.

What do you do about it?

Here are four pieces of practical advice on how to correct this matter:

#1.  Remember that you speech is to be a conduit for God’s grace. In Eph 4:29 we see phrases like “according to the need of the moment,” good for edification,” “give grace to those who hear.”  That is, your speech is to be modeled after God’s.  So before you unload a barrage of comments about how your spouse is not satisfactory … remember grace.  Remember God’s grace for you (as you were satisfactory to him) and remember that your words should be a conduit for grace.

#2.  Look at each other through the lens of love. First Corinthians 13 shows us what love looks like with skin.  It is patient and kind, it believes the best, and it is not boastful.  Too often we see each other’s words as a frontal attack on our character and our person, rather than see them through the grid of love.  In other words, maybe you do need to have an honest conversation and you would get much further along with you would listen with the love of Jesus rather than the suspicion of Satan.

#3.  Remember that your speech always flows from your heart. If you are not right with Jesus in your own life, then your heart is not properly prepared to discuss such a sensitive issue.  So, let us encourage you to get your heart right first.  Then, with a heart full of appreciation for the finished work of Jesus talk to your spouse about how you can love each other more effectively in your intimate relationship.

#4.  Be patient. Our society encourages us to want it now.  We want everything now.  God is a patient God.  In fact, his patience made it possible for you to believe in Jesus.  So model that kind of patience.

Talking about sex with your spouse can be difficult.  But it is often made much worse by the unkind words that come out of our mouths.  However, there is hope.  Your conversations can be different.  Jesus, and all that he has done for you, can radically impact the way these conversations occur.  In the third and final article on this subject, we will look at another common killer:  intruders.

Rob Green
Pastor Rob Green oversees Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries. A seasoned counselor, Rob also teaches others how to counsel--through FBCM's training conferences and Faith Bible Seminary's MABC program.