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.