Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

If I heard it one more time, I swore I was going to flip out.

“As a wife, you are to meet your husband’s needs.” 

“Don’t reject his sexual advances; he has physical needs only you are allowed to meet. Don’t deprive him and thereby open him up to temptation.”

“Sex is about meeting your husband’s needs.”

If you were raised in conservative Christian circles or had any connection to them whatsoever, this was likely the extent of what you were taught about sex within marriage.

Nothing about it being enjoyable for both husband and wife.

Nothing about it being designed for both husband and wife.

Nothing about it being OK for the wife to initiate just as much as the husband does.

Nothing about how a woman’s body was uniquely designed in such a way so that she can enjoy sex as much as a man can.

Nope, none of that was commonly taught in ultra-conservative Christian circles. But you know where I did find that narrative?

In the Bible.

When I read the Song of Solomon as a married woman, I was blown away by what I found within the pages of that book. I found that the book known as Song of Solomon portrays the Shulamite woman as being someone who initiated sex, enjoyed sex, desired sex, and was a visual person just as her husband was. This was not at all the narrative on female sexuality that I had been presented in the circles in which I ran. 

Instead, what I had come into contact with was the Victorian-era idea that you should, “Just look up at the ceiling and think of England”. And, yes, that was a real thing that women of that era were told in regards to sex in marriage! In other words, sex is something a wife has to put up with, because clearly she wasn’t meant to enjoy it. It simply wasn’t designed for her.

Or was it?

Around the same time I read Song of Solomon through new eyes, I also came across 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 which says, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 

I was blown away by that wording: “the affection due her … do not deprive one another”. Clearly sex was not intended just for the man. Nor was it something only men were designed to desire and enjoy. That was a part of the created design of both genders! This shed a whole new light on things for me.

I realized just how unhelpful and, I would say, downright harmful and unbiblical the belief was that sex is just for the man and a wife just needs to meet her husband’s needs. I’m going to be frank here: wives need to stop just meeting their husbands’ needs.

God designed husbands and wives to enjoy true intimacy to the fullest extent within the beautiful institution known as marriage. But if all we ever think about sex is how we need to perform it as a duty to meet our husbands’ physical needs, there is no intimacy there. Just work, just drudgery, just something we have to stare up at the ceiling during and get through as fast as possible so that we might check it off the “good wife” to-do list. 

I don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of marriage I want. 

I want a marriage where my husband wants to meet my needs and desires just as much as I do his. I want a marriage where my husband wants to please me just as much as I do him. I want a marriage where sex is seen as a beautiful gift from a loving God, designed to cultivate true intimacy between husband and wife, not as a job or duty to be performed. I want a marriage that is passionate, enjoyable, sensuous, and fun. 

And you know what? That is marriage as God designed it. It may not be the picture of marriage we get from either the church or culture sometimes, but it is the picture of marriage we get from God. And it is ours to enjoy.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Rebekah Hargraves

Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah's first book, "Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)" released last fall, and the "Lies Moms Believe" Companion Bible Study comes out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via her podcast.

What Happens to the Mamas When Their Children Are Grown?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Five children walking hand-in-hand, color photo

A friend came up to me the other day after church and commented, “I’ve never seen you alone. I had to make sure you were okay.” It’s true. I’m never alone. I usually have one or two children hanging onto me and three more milling about with my husband close. But at that moment, my husband had stepped away to collect the younger ones from the children’s service, and my older two had run off with their friends. I was standing alone. And as I stood there, one thought crossed my mind, “This is what it will be like when...

Keep Reading

8 Fight Songs for the Single Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding earbuds in ears

They whispered to her: You cannot withstand the storm. I have had days when the storms hit me while I sat on the shower floor with my knees to my chest feeling completely defeated, letting the hot water beat down on my body. I have had nights when the storms hit me as tears stained my pillow. As time has moved on, I am learning how to beat the storms. This is only possible because of the family and friends that God has brought into my life. This is my fight song. These are and have been my take back...

Keep Reading

Your Brother Is With Jesus Now

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Brother and sister in yellow outfits smiling on park bench

“Thao is with Jesus now,” we told her, barely choking out the whisper. Jesus. This invisible being we sing about. Jesus. The baby in the manger? Jesus. How can we explain Jesus and death and loss and grief to a 3-year-old? And now, how can we not? We live it, breathe it, and dwell in loss since the death of her brother, our son, Thao. Here we are living a life we never wanted or dreamed of. Here we are navigating loss and death in a way our Creator never intended. What words can I use to describe death to...

Keep Reading

Even When You Can’t Find Joy, Jesus Is There

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman through pane of rain covered glass

The international church service was vibrant with voices lifted up in songs of praise. Many clapped their hands and some even danced before God. But I wanted to be invisible. Joy felt like a land depicted in a fairy tale. I had returned from the hospital the day before—a surgery to remove the baby who had died in my womb. Watching this church buzz with happiness unearthed my fragileness. I slouched in my chair and closed my eyes. Tears trickled down my freckled face. My mind knew God was in control, but my heart ached as yet another thing I...

Keep Reading

He Mends Our Broken Hearts

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Praying hands of woman with bracelets

Rays of soft sunlight streamed through the curtain onto the hospital bed. I stepped to the edge of the bed, taking a moment to soak in his face before gently holding his hand. Eighty-nine years is a rich, full life, and each passing day revealed more convincingly it was time for him to go. Grief and relief shared the space in my heart as I carried the weight of understanding each visit held the opportunity to be my last.  When he felt my hand, his eyes opened, and he gifted me a smile. Pop Pop always had a smile for...

Keep Reading

When I Feel Like a Failure, God Reminds Me of His Grace

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child hugs mother in sun flare

I’ve always been a teeth grinder, especially during times of high stress. Striving manifests itself physically through my teeth and jaw. I have even shifted several of my teeth from the grinding, moving my pearly whites to become crooked and a little unsightly. I should’ve known this morning that the night of grinding my teeth before was going to turn into a day of clenching my jaw. The spiritual warfare was intense, the temptations strong. I felt angry and burnt out.  After I finally laid my son down for a nap, I sat on the couch and told God, “I...

Keep Reading

My Father’s Faith

In: Faith, Grief
Man with grown daughter, color photo

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy lately.  When my dad passed away in 2011, I lost the most influential person in my life. He was sacrificial in his love for me and others. His heart was devoted to the Lord, and it was evident to all who knew him. His death marked me in a significant way, and I still struggle with grief 11 years later. But his life marked me in an even greater way, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. As I reflect on legacy, I think about the impact that my dad’s faith had (and still...

Keep Reading

Silence the Lie that Says You’re Too Much

In: Faith, Living
Mother and daughter smiling outside wearing sunglasses

As a kindergartner sometimes I tagged along to my mom’s work as a hotel housekeeper. While my mom worked, I played in the recreation room. Her boss checked on me and always had something fun to play with or a story to share.  One day, in a burst of excitement, I shared something special that happened over the weekend with the supervisor. The words bounded from my mouth like a puppy ready to play in the morning.  The boss chuckled, “Whoa, motor mouth! Slow down!” In a split second, my 5-year-old heart crumbled, and the lie that would follow me...

Keep Reading

He’s the God of Small Things In Motherhood Too

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding infant, black-and-white photo

Normally, on a Sunday afternoon during the girls’ naptime, I try to get some work done or lie down to rest. But a few days ago, I instead wrapped a blanket around my waist to keep warm and pulled cutting boards and pots out of the cupboard.  Before I had kids, I wondered what kind of mom I would be. In fact, I was pretty sure I knew. My outgoing and vivacious personality attracted kids to my side for years. Their energy matched mine, and we giggled and chased each other before collapsing on the floor. I pictured myself holding...

Keep Reading

Let’s Stop the Negative Talk about Marriage

In: Faith, Marriage
Square, wooden arch with floral and fabric in field, color photo

Growing up, I remember hearing many negative phrases used about marriage—on TV, by distant relatives, anywhere, really.  “The old ball and chain.” “All my wife does is nag.” “You’re happy in your marriage? You must still be in the honeymoon phase.” These are just a few examples of the many things I have heard for years that create a negative connotation around marriage. I never really thought much of it until I fell in love and got engaged to the man of my dreams. Can you guess what happened next? “Just wait . . .” I heard entirely too many...

Keep Reading