Elisha: Sex is still a priority.
People say if you want to see what someone prioritizes, look at their calendar and bank statement. In other words, we give our time and money to what we value most.
I am grateful Katie and I had wise and faithful council in our life prior to having our first child that iterated and reiterated the importance of a vibrant sex life while in the midst of raising children.
It makes sense, considering that parenting is something designed to be carried out by a united, married, couple. If we are neglecting the one activity that sets marriage apart from other platonic relationships, how can we say we are a united, married couple?
Even in the craziness of taking care of babies and raising young children, we still find a way to prioritize what is important to us.
We still feed ourselves food, manage our hygiene, and pay the bills. If we can do those things, we should most definitely make time for marital intimacy.
Katie: God didn’t create Sex to Be Lame After Kids.
He created sex to be enjoyed within marriage . . . and he created marriages to “be fruitful and multiply!”
Think about it. Even if you wait 5 years to have a baby–okay, let’s say 10 years–you’re still a parent waaaay longer than you were ever one-on-one with your spouse.
Satan populates the myth that sex is only exciting OUTSIDE of marriage. No kids attached. No ring attached. No strings whatsoever.
But God creates the ideal. Satan can only cheapen what God has created.
To me, that means our marriage intimacy, yes, even after kids, was ultimately created to be the most sexy, erotic, pleasurable experience we can fantisize, within the guidelines of scripture.
Regardless of where our marriage is on a day in and day out basis, that is what Elisha and I want to work towards.
Elisha: It’s not about expectations, it’s about willingness to grow.
The truth is, Katie and I both had really high expectations for our post-baby sex life. Maybe even unrealistic expectations.
That’s a bad thing, right?
It wasn’t for us.
Why? Because our expectation for a great sex life was not nearly as high as our expectation for our need to learn and grow. Because we had people telling us that sex could be awesome after kids we truly believed and expected that to be the case for us. So, when it wasn’t awesome right off the bat, we didn’t stop believing, we started finding ways to grow and improve.
We did not settle. We were not victims to this new flow of life. We were students.
Katie: What are We Telling Ourselves?
What are we telling ourselves when it comes to marital sex after kids?
Are we embracing that it is good, biblical, holy, unifying? Do we think of something ugly or traumatic that happened in our past? Do we think of it as just one more exhausting task on the to-do list?
What are we telling ourselves when it comes to our spouse?
Do we tell them how hot they are? Do we take the effort to verbalize the things we love about their bodies? Their minds? Their personalities? Or do we criticize, compare, and tear them down?
What are we telling ourselves when it comes to our own bodies?
Ladies, I’ve been there. Saggy, sad, maybe even ashamed of my postpartum scars and extra weight. It was brutally difficult to break past those mental barriers and countless insecurities to let my husband find pleasure in me. I mean, even now, I’m sitting here feeling like a whale nearing my third trimester. Every day it’s a struggle to work to tell myself that I am beautiful . . . and I am beautiful in his eyes.
(That said, this is why working out, supplementing, and eating well is so important to Elisha and I. We don’t want to fight that mental battle on a regular basis.)
Mindset effects our physical intimacy just like everything else, and I want to be so careful I’m listening to God’s Word and not culture.
Elisha: Postpartum Does Not mean Post-Romantic Life.
As a man, I felt weird and awkward trying to be romantic around my postpartum wife after our first child. I didn’t want her to think I wanted sex when we both knew it was off the table. So no more snuggles, no love notes, no picking up flowers on my way home from work.
That was not good.
Why? Well, by the time Katie’s body was ready for intimacy, we were emotionally miles apart. She was convinced I wasn’t attracted to her and I was convinced that my light-hearted and playful lover was gone forever into “responsible” mommy-land.
I think this happens a lot. The husband doesn’t want to come across as insensitive to his wife’s new role as a mother, and the wife is unsure her husband still desires her like he did before. It goes undiscussed, so the mother goes into ex-lover-full-time-mommy-mode and the husbands puts up a facade acting as though his sexual drive is no longer existent in effort to be a “gracious husband.”
Katie and I want to communicate during seasons of abstinence so we’re both on the same page and still unified in our decision.
“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”1st Corinth. 7:5
Katie: Our Bodies are Not Our Own
If God’s Word didn’t say it, I wouldn’t believe it.
We live in a time in history, where the good desire to protect the abused and mistreated has somehow twisted into affirming a self-seeking independent spirit. This leaves no room for the healthy dependance and fulfilment that comes from wholly giving yourself to your spouse in a biblically sexual way.
“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”1st Corinth 7:4
Can this verse be taken out of context and misused? Yes. But here God is speaking of a healthy, safe, protected relationship that is mutually giving and receiving.
Because of this verse, physical intimacy is never off the table for our marriage. (That said, I live with a husband who dwells with me according to knowledge, and is thoughtful of when he approaches me.)
Elisha and I will never reject one another.
And sex is never with-held as a punishment.
Ultimately, we live in a fallen world, where sickness, physical pain, and sin are prevalent. Physical intimacy is such a large subject, dependent on so many other factors of marriage, but our goal is to always be reaching and growing to the beautiful ideal of marriage God paints for us in his scripture.
Learning with you,
Katie and Elisha Voetberg