Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

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.

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.

When You Stop Running into My Arms, I Pray You Run to Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child and mother walking on beach in sunlight

I love seeing the light in my little girl’s eyes when I pick her up from school at the end of the day. Her eyes open wide, and she runs to me loudly saying, “Mommy!” for all to hear. I pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss on her cheek. She smiles ear to ear and knows she is loved and adored. She feels safe in my arms, and I pray that never changes. I want to always be her biggest cheerleader and greatest fan–holding the streamers on the sidelines in shades of brilliant gold encouraging...

Keep Reading

Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom hugging daughter by bed with open Bible

While excavating Mount Masada in Israel, archeologists discovered something extraordinary . . . a date palm seed. It might not seem like much (especially if you’re like me and totally expected it to be a new dinosaur or something), but this particular seed sat dormant in the dry desert soil for almost 2,000 years. Scientists ended up finding several more seeds like it throughout the Judean desert, and with a little TLC, they were able to sprout not just one but six of them. Six date palm trees, now bearing fruit that hasn’t been seen in two millennia. Incredible, right?...

Keep Reading

Choose to Be a Mother, Not a Martyr

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, black-and-white photo

There is a trend in motherhood right now . . . maybe it’s happened for a long time, but now since I am a mom, I am experiencing it: this idea that everything we do as moms makes us a martyr. And honestly, I am guilty here more times than I’m not. RELATED: You’re a Mother, Not a Martyr We have these inner, silent dialogues between us and our husbands, parents, in-laws, and friends. Things we say and think, but they never hear. They compound on each other in the hallways of our hearts before bitterness creeps in without us...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Reminds Me How Much I Need Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby in nursery, color photo

Parenting is not only about the work it takes to raise up a child, but it’s also about continuing the work of being raised in Christ. Stripping back our innermost layers of selfishness and laying our pride exposed. Seeing ourselves as the center of our own personal schedule is no longer an option. Feeling like we have power over anything quickly vanishes into thin air. Parenthood pushes us to surrender and accept God’s sovereign control. Parenting sanctifies us.  Parenting shows us our sinful attitudes. When plans are ruined, when another blowout spoils the perfect outfit you chose, when your toddler...

Keep Reading

When Did I Become Such an Angry Mom?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman with head in her hands

My oldest children and I had just navigated a tabletop board game. My son lost. My daughter won. I also lost. She’s four. For the record, I was trying my best. We were all putting the game away together when my son grabbed my daughter by the face and yelled, “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE YOUR BREATH STINKS!” And then, Mount St. Meredith erupted. I (not so gently) removed him from the situation and (not so calmly) insisted that he . . . brush his own teeth. Yep. For the record, I was trying my best. RELATED: Mom Anger: Taming...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

So God Made a Farm Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Family walking on farm road at sunset

One day, God looked down at all the fields, barns, pastures, and farmers and knew He needed someone to take care of all the families on the land. He knew it had to be someone confident in herself to see that the farm doesn’t come first, even when it sometimes feels like it does. He knew the farm needed someone who understands her role is important, too—especially during the seasons of motherhood when she’s not out driving a tractor. Someone proud to stand by her farmer’s side.  So God made a farm mom. God knew farm kids would need someone...

Keep Reading

Even If It Doesn’t Feel like It, God Is Holding You

In: Faith
Woman sitting against tree outside

Sweet friend,  When you’re sitting in that doctor’s office, waiting to find out what is wrong, I know you’re scared. I wish I could come and sit down beside you, hold your hand, and reassure you that it’s going to be okay. No matter what news she tells you, it’s going to be okay.  Your world might change in an instant. I know there are so many feelings swirling inside you and that you’re fighting back the tears, but it’s going to be okay.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it, God is holding you. He knows exactly what’s going...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, Even When Motherhood Doesn’t Look Like You Planned

In: Faith, Motherhood
Teen with Down syndrome sits on couch with mother

I see you trying to keep your head above water every day, trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, have time for things you want to do, time for self-care in a world that glamorizes it, to meet the needs of your other kids, your husband, and have a social life on top of therapies, IEP meetings, meltdowns, evaluations, working with your child one-on-one, and just all the additional stresses that come with this life. There are too many to list, but if you know you know.  I see you wondering if you’re doing enough for your child when you...

Keep Reading