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    • By MomWise Olatunde Onabajo

She sat in the corner of her dark closet and quietly sobbed at the realization that her life was headed in a direction she had not anticipated. Her sex life, that is! About a decade ago, she walked down the aisle with a smile so wide, guests called her “ray of sunshine, “the most beautiful bride”, and “the jewel of the day”! Even as she glided across the dance floor in the arms of her prince charming, she was sure they would live happily ever after, making love from sunrise to sunset, surrounded by rose petals on 1000 count Egyptian cotton bed-sheets—boy was she wrong!
Sure the first couple of years were great, hubby catching her by surprise with whispers of sweet nothings, making the hair on the back of her neck stand in arousal. They would explore their bodies for moments unending, basking in the pleasures of love as recorded in the Bible. Honestly, she could relate with the bride in Songs of Solomon 1:2  who said, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine…He is mine and I am his”. They played around the house, sometimes naked, sometimes clothed, but all the time frolicking in the ambiance of love.
She couldn’t say when things started to change but retrospectively, the change was gradual. First, they grew from a family of just the two of them to family of five then six! Soon children were invading their bedroom at night under the guise of nightmare/scary dreams/monster under the bed. Then extended family members’ visit turned to long term residency (nothing against family members). Then there was body dysmorphic disorder—the constant obsession about flabby stomach, crooked nose, sagging breasts, acne-covered face, flabby arms, big lips. Then there was a health issue and low self-esteem. All these piled on succinctly, leaving them too exhausted to make attempts at addressing their failing sex life.
She thought she was alone in the rabbit hole of a failing sex life, weeks upon weeks of sexless struggles, raising a family of six, working on projects at work, singing hallelujah in church!  until an aunt who has being married for almost twenty years shared her story.

“There are seasons of highs and lows in marriage,” her aunt said.
“What do you mean?” she asked, seating up in her chair, eager to hear her aunt’s story.
“Darling, marriage truly is for better for worse! There was a season, my husband and I were not sexually active because of health issues. He struggled with diabetes which affected his ability to perform between the sheets,” the aunt said.
She was struck by her aunt’s confession and humbled by her vulnerability to share such intimate issue. “Auntie, but you and uncle are usually very affectionate with each other. I see how uncle looks at you and admire that about your marriage.” Her aunt smiled, encouraged her through prayer and shared helpful tips to keep the sex spice alive and burning.
Without a doubt, sex is one of the important ingredients for a successful marriage. But in a relationship where it is lacking or struggling to survive, what can be done? How can a couple rekindle the fire of intimacy and enjoy the “garden of love” as described in Songs of Solomon?
Here are a few tips gleaned from older couples and marriage counselors:

      1. Communication: sex is such a sensitive topic, (and especially ego-related for men), so communicate from a place of love about the lack of intimacy.
      2. Seek Godly Counseling: lack of intimacy/sex can be an indication of a deeper issue in the marriage.
      3. Rekindle Attraction: Do you remember what attracted you to your spouse the first time you met? 
      4. Health-related issues: Seek medical attention from specialists such as gynecologist, urologists, diabetes specialists, mental counselor, etc.
      5. Spend time alone with your spouse, away from distractions (children, technology, even work)
      6. Give Role Playing a try/Introduce sex-toys?

Honestly, the jury is still out on the last tip. People feel differently about introducing sex apparatus in their marriage. Christians especially, sweep this silent killer of sexlessness under the rug of ‘Holy Living’, not ready to explore options—and not necessarily toys—that  could improve our sex lives. While there is no scripture in the Bible that explicitly says “Thou shalt or shalt not use sex toys”, I’d like to hear our readers’ thought on this.
“To Toy”, or “Not To Toy”? How does Hebrews 13:4 fits into this question.
“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
God designed sex and intimacy for marriage–between a man and a woman to bring glory, praise and pleasure to Him. I believe God is as interested in your love/sex life as He is in your spiritual growth.
“And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” Genesis 1:31. Remember, this verse comes after God had made man and the woman and commanded to “be fruitful and multiply”.
Lastly, I want to share some benefits of sex:

      • Burns calories: upwards of 100 calories/hour, depending on the activity.
      • The big O releases oxytocin, the “cuddle/love hormone” that promotes bonding.
      • Releases endorphins, the hormone that activates pleasure center in the brain, helps you relax and starve off depression
      • Improve your sense of well-being and satisfaction in your relationship

Love is beautiful, intimacy is important, and sex is a substantial ingredient required to help a marriage blossom into an enjoyable, mouth-watering, thirst-quenching, and satisfactory journey!
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