August 24, 2017

Good in Bed

Gary Thomas — 

Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.  Song of Songs 8:10

“Don’t let this lawyerly facade fool you,” Sandra Bullock warned Hugh Grant in the movie Two Weeks’ Notice. “I’m actually really good in bed.”

I was eating an airline dinner, flying somewhere over the Midwest, when I put on the headphones and caught this piece of dialogue. In a Christian worldview, a single person wouldn’t know whether he or she was “good in bed.” But since I was stuck in an aluminum tube 30,000 feet above the ground, I had plenty of time to think, and the question challenged me in another context.

When did I last ask myself whether I was good in bed? While it’s a grave mistake to reduce sex to mere mechanics, the question can go much deeper: When did I last care about that question? And why do so many women’s magazines that cater to singles feature this question, while publications reaching out to married couples almost never even raise it?

How sad, I thought, that a single woman who has no long-term interest in a man could be more determined to please her boyfriend sexually than a married woman would be in pleasing her husband. Shame on me if I spend less time thinking about how to pleasure my wife than a single man might think about how to keep his girlfriend interested.

We have to fight against taking our spouses—and our responsibilities—for granted. And taking them for granted is easy to do, because on the day we marry, we gain a monopoly of sorts. Our spouses commit to have sexual relations with no one else. In a faithful marriage there exists no competition or even comparison. The only intimate life our spouses can and will enjoy is the intimate life we choose to give them. Regardless of whether we act thoughtfully, creatively, or selfishly in bed, they receive only what we provide. It’s sheer laziness if I give less attention and care to the mother of my children than some twenty-something kid gives to a young woman he met mere weeks ago.

Rather than make us careless, this exclusivity should make us grateful, and therefore even more eager to please our mates. The principle goes well beyond the bedroom, of course. You’re the primary person for intimate talk and encouragement. Are you “good in communication” too? You’re the first person who should be supporting your spouse in prayer. Are you “good in prayer”?

But let’s not act as though the bedroom is unimportant: When did you last ask yourself, “Am I endeavoring to please my spouse in bed?” If we’re slacking in this area, our spouses can’t really do much about it—but we can, and we should.

Here are some questions to ask: Do I want to reward my wife’s commitment to me, or do I want to make her regret it? Do I want to bless her, or will I take her for granted? Do I want to be a generous lover, or am I content to be a miser who reluctantly doles out occasional “favors”? Am I creative? Am I enthusiastic? Am I initiating?

Honestly ask yourself, “Am I good in bed?”



This post is an excerpt from the newly re-designed Devotions for a Sacred Marriage.

This book has 52 short devotions for couples to read and reflect on—one a week for a year. If you’re looking to give a “spiritual boost” to your own marriage, or want to offer a gift to another married couple, this beautifully designed book could be just what you’re looking for.



This blog is not written for women in abusive marriages. The advice offered in these posts will challenge both husbands and wives, but the advice could be counter-productive if it is applied in an abusive relationship.

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16 responses to Good in Bed

  1. “Am I good in bed?”
    I wouldn’t know, because my wife stopped all sexual intimacy 32 years ago, so after 37 years of marriage I have no idea. I do know that I am alone in bed.

  2. Hi Gary,
    My first time commenting and a fairly new reader.
    You should ask me sometime how, by the hand of God, you literally seem to have saved my marriage.
    But to the blog at hand: Wow! Thank you. I needed to hear this. All excuses and ponderings aside, let me just say that I completely get it. I get where you are coming from in every sense, because even though you may not have written it for someone like me, God had you write it for someone like me. And I receive it. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. The fact that I received it means a door opened to growth for me.
    There are reasons why I became selfish. Some may even say “very good reasons” why I became selfish and withdrawn, and ultimately sinful (best watch out!- when someone sins against us, our anger, resentment, bitterness and pain can lead to our own sin!)
    But here we are on a new page (thanks in part to you), and here I am gently melting into his arms once again (thanks in part to him…..but it is all due to God), and I find myself wanting to be better in every area because my husband has become better to ‘us’. So, like a flower in the spring, I begin to open to the love, respect, honoring and cherishing he has so richly acquiesced. And this will be my “reward” to him. Not because he asked for it, but because I cannot help but give it. Because I long to see him happy. Love your wives right, gentlemen. Even I am surprised at the results as I am only beginning to bloom. And I NEVER thought I would see this day! But then again, I never thought I would see the day that love would die either. What newly married bride ever does?
    So, I have a lot to learn, but I am willing. And ready to change.

  3. “The only intimate life our spouses can and will enjoy is the intimate life we choose to give them.”
    What a great statement to chew on Gary!

    Thank you for this post.

    • Yeah that’s the one that got me as well.
      Thank you Father for eye-openers especially the ones who bring it to us.

  4. I don’t know many women who haven’t tried to be what her husband wanted until she cracked to pieces. Knowing Jesus likes me, and finds me pretty, likes my ideas, and my creative meals, and sees how hard I try gives me the extra strength to both care about what I need and give more of what he really needs without feeling like I won’t make it another day.

  5. Great concept for us all to want to please/satisfy our spouse in bed…however, I struggle with the question, “Do I want to reward my wife’s commitment to me, or do I want to make her regret it?”. “Rewarding” my spouse’s commitment with great sex seems contrary to a mutually satisfying intimate sex life. Should sex really be a reward?

    • Pondering Wife,

      In a mature, cherishing marriage, your greatest pleasure comes from giving pleasure to your spouse (in all ways, not just sexually). So asking this question does lead to a mutually fulfilling and satisfying sex life–especially if both spouses adopt the idea. I can see how the word “reward” could sound troublesome but I’m not using it in that sense. What I mean is the commitment to never take our spouses for granted–in any aspect of marriage

    • I don’t think he is implying that “sex” it self is the reward. It’s the outcome of sex that is rewarding or unrewarding. Good sex = reward, Bad sex = unrewarding.

  6. Gary you raise some excellent points but seems important to me that somewhere in the equation we ought to be asking our spouse if there is anything we could do that would better please them. Asking great questions is something few do but we all ought to work hard on it. If you have the courage, ask your spouse two questions. When in the last week did you feel most loved by me? and When in the last week did you feel least loved by me? ( and don’t expect them to ask back )

    • Unfortunately, in 25 years of marriage, I have never been asked these questions by my husband. I would probably fall over dead if he did! But, having had an unfaithful spouse, it’s hard to imagine that he thinks about what he could do better in this area…maybe he assumes its good because he has successfully pleased another, younger woman.

    • Norm, more and humble communication is always a good thing!

    • I’d love to ask those kinds of questions but they become a weapon in my husband’s hands: “NEVER!!” in angry terms would be all I would get. Despite trying my hardest. 🙁