If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read chapter 6 of Longing to Love: “How Love Blooms into Fascination.” The chapter is posted below. It’s an honest and insightful reflection on sexuality in marriage.
Tim Muldoon states that there’s a great difference between the idea of sex and the acts of love that develop between two people who are committed to each other. Once two people are alone in a room together, the preconceptions must fall away, the movie and TV images must fall away. Although Tim and Sue came to their wedding night without previous sexual partners, I would venture to say that, even for people who have a sexual history, there’s an “idea” of sex that must be given up when a new relationship begins.
If a sexual relationship follows God’s design, then it must thoroughly honor the individuals in that relationship. The traditional wedding vows include the phrase, “With my body, I thee worship,” and within a loving, committed relationship, that phrase makes perfect sense. The other person becomes your focus. And with this person, you create entirely unique memories. If there was someone before this person, back in your history, the script that person wrote with you no longer applies. Christ is able to make all things new with us, regardless of our history. That spiritual renewal applies to the marriage bed.
In a sex-saturated age, we carry way too many ideas about sex. We carry a lot of images, too, and many of them have nothing to do with love that gives, forgives, sacrifices, and honors. We’ve known for a long time that sex begins, not in our sexual organs, but in our minds. Our attitudes, images, scripts, and expectations work their effects on the love we make, or try to make.
Try to identify the ideas of sex that have brought difficulties into your life. Write down those ideas as best you can. You might create a ritual whereby you present these ideas to God and say, “I want to give up these falsehoods, these fantasies that keep me from embracing my reality with love and faith.”