[Not for very young readers]
Jess, over at Making Home, wrote a wonderful post about intimacy in marriage. I love the way Jess discusses this topic, with tact and dignity. You can also check out her previous posts about this subject.
As I'm not married yet, I often write about the incredible importance of chaste, modest, pure behavior prior to marriage. This is something I believe in with all my heart. However, as we prepare for marriage, I think we should also study the issue of physical intimacy. Don't get me wrong – I'm not talking about the horrible sex education lessons that are given in schools. A young lady can discuss this with an older, wiser woman who can be her mentor, for example her mother or older married sister. Someone who can explain that modesty and chastity should not be confused with body shame or being embarrassed by our sexuality. Sexuality is a wonderful, beautiful gift – and it belongs in marriage alone.
The secular view is that sexual inexperience can lead to problems in marriage, and therefore we need 'practice'. That's bollocks. Our bodies and souls are not cars and we don't need a test drive. Meaningless relationships – and most of the so-called 'innocent' dating are just that – have a dangerous potential to destroy this beautiful gift of intimacy that should be saved for our future husbands. Don't you think that's one of the reasons divorce rates are so high?
Physical intimacy can be especially difficult for women who had to go through abuse and/or heartbreak in the past. I'm precisely one of those women. I was exploited and verbally and physically abused by one of my boyfriends, and there was a stage in my life when I thought I would never get married because I simply couldn't bear the very idea of being intimate with someone. By God's grace, I'm past this stage now, but I'm still struggling with the issue. As I thought about this more and more, I came to the conclusion that being chaste until marriage might actually be less of a challenge to me than becoming intimate after marriage.
What can I say? This is disturbing. I want to get married and I want to build a good, strong, godly marriage, which can't happen without a healthy attitude towards intimacy. I expressed these concerns over at Jess's blog, and started thinking that maybe I should get counseling, to make sure these issues are worked out, for the sake of my future marriage.
Can anyone, perhaps, suggest good books and/or websites that might be helpful?