In a previous webpage I described ways of speeding healing from sexual fears. Although the principles are currently used by therapists they can actually be found in the Bible.
This continues a web series that begins at
When a Woman Doesnít Want Sex
Young David was out minding Dadís sheep when he spied a lion ready to pounce on a lamb. David loved that lamb but this was a terrifying situation. If he let the lion have its way, he would lose a sheep, but David would be safe. If he tried to rescue the lamb, however, the lion would want to turn on David and tear him apart. No doubt, David quickly prayed for the lion to go away. Almighty God did nothing. Heart pounding, David refused to be intimidated by this ferocious beast. He faced that terrifying creature and slew it.
Later, David spied a bear. Bears were even more feared than lions because they are stronger and more erratic. David prayed. Again God did nothing. Instead of retreating, David, inspired by his former experience, again refused to give into his fears and suffer loss.
Why had God not intervened? Why did he leave it to David to face that fearsome beast?
Later, Goliath was making a mockery of God and of all the people of God. All Israel was praying that Goliath would go away. God did nothing. Israelís entire army were willing to surrender to their fears and let Goliath intimidate them. But suddenly David discovered why God had allowed that lion and bear in his life. Inspired by his previous efforts, he faced that giant and delivered Israel.
Not even that was the end. David continued to find himself in frightening situations where it would have been so easy to act like Israelís army hiding in holes hoping for a miracle. Each time, Almighty God could have slain the enemy, but instead he waited for David to do it. Why? Because each time that David refused to surrender to his fears, he become stronger. The Lord had exciting plans for David. He wanted David to progress from rescuing a lamb, to rescuing the entire nation, to ruling that nation. It took many hard, seemingly endless years, and many apparent setbacks, but every distressing, fearful experience was preparing him for greater and greater exploits for God. David ended up not just ruling Godís people, but blessing every subsequent generation of Godís people through his psalms. His songs touch us because they tell of his fears and his depression and agonizing questions that speak powerfully to us in our own trials, and he inspires us because he faced those emotions and overcame.
Likewise, God could instantly deliver you of things that threaten to rob your marriage of its unique joys. But you are destined to bring glory to Almighty God. As the wife continues to seek to reclaim the treasure of marital relations, she will not only gradually receive that prize, but the inner strength that these victories give her will take her to greater and greater things. And, like David, her victories will empower her to minister to hurting people. Likewise, as the husband refuses to be dominated by his flesh as it screams out for things that his wife cannot currently give him, and as his spirit cries out to God for more of the fruit of Godís Spirit in his life, he can rise to spiritual greatness. Like David, they can move from spiritual insignificance to being giant-killers, and to being people who bring comfort and deliverance to countless people.
In achieving your goal of you and your partner thoroughly enjoying each other sexually, I have emphasized taking lots of small steps and avoiding large, scary ones. At first glance, Davidís progression from shepherd boy to king seems to involve just a few, large, scary steps. In reality, Davidís progression fits the pattern we have established, although the steps were scarier than I advise because some things are meant to be scarier than making love. Too much fear is always counterproductive, but in dangerous situations, a little fear is helpful. It puts the body on red alert, releasing chemicals and physiological changes that raise the body and mind to peak performance when you need to fight for your life. Making love, is divinely intended to be the exact opposite of fear. If the purpose of marital relations were character development, then forcing yourself to endure fear or unpleasantness would be a display of love, self-control and courage that you could regard as a victory. But character development is not the divine purpose of marital relations. Your long term goal should be sex that fits the divine pattern. By that critical measure enduring unpleasantness in marital relations is not an achievement but a setback because it further entrenches into your natural reactions feelings that sadden God. Alternatively, whenever you limit yourself to only what you find pleasurable, it is a victory because you are moving further along the path of delighting the Giver by gaining maximum enjoyment of his gift to you.
Marital lovemaking is meant to be blissfully reassuring and soothing; making one feel wonderfully secure. In fact, Scripture refers to the act of intercourse as the giving or receiving of comfort (Genesis 24:67, and especially 2 Samuel 12:24). Fear should be avoided to help you grow into the habit of enjoying marital relations as the source of reassurance and emotional warmth that God intended it to be. But this must be coupled with a desire to be released from every fear and to keep progressing in your ability to enjoy every aspect of marital relations. So in your relentless pursuit of Godís best, be inspired by David.
Davidís advance started with target practice. Over and over and over he used his sling, limiting himself just to a target. Somewhere in this process he would have started imagining his target was an animal. He would eventually have progressed to trying to hit game. Like his early attempts at hitting a target, he would have missed more often than he hit, but he refused to give in to discouragement. He kept trying and trying and trying.
He knew that as he grew older his father would want him to protect the sheep from wild animals. So somewhere in his development of his use of the sling, the boy would have started imagining his prey was a lion or bear. The very thought must have been frightening but he kept gaining confidence in his skill with the sling and kept visualizing killing a wild animal until the thought seemed increasingly normal to him and he came to believe it was within his capability.
Slings were not just for hunting game or killing dangerous animals, however. They were weapons of war, and Israel had enemies that men were expect to fight to the death. So David would have begun visualizing killing an enemy soldier with his sling. And like a typical boy, he would have progressed to imagining he was defeating a mighty warrior, maybe even a giant.
Using similar steps, David progressed with his harp playing until he could confidently play before an audience. Eventually he found himself playing before the scariest audience Ė the royal court and the king himself. Slowly he began to feel more at ease in the Kingís court. He felt very uncomfortable with royalty but gradually his friendship with the Kingís son grew. Slowly he progressed to speaking to the Kingís daughter. Saul offered him the chance to join the royal family through marriage. That was too scary for David and he refused. But it had sown a thought within him. Slowly he began to imagine himself becoming the Kingís son-in-law. Gradually he become so comfortable with the idea that, after considerable coaxing, he married the Kingís daughter.
Samuel had already anointed David as the future king, so, as scary as it was, David would have begun thinking of himself as one day ruling all of Israel. He slowly grew in leadership skills. First with a handful of societyís rejects, then the number gradually grew to about six hundred (1 Samuel 23:16). Finally he became king, but only over two tribes. Later he progressed to being king over all of Israel. Gradually, still other countries became subject to him.
Despite wanting to keep this brief, I have detailed many of Davidís steps to what would once have been terrifyingly impossible because I want you assured that rarely does God drop anyone in at the deep end. He takes us one tiny challenge at a time. So we have every right to expect that God would not usually take an abuse survivor from terror to full marital relations in one giant step. Modern researchers might be discovering that Ė surprise, surprise Ė the method outlined in Scripture works, but the fact is that it is Godís way, not some modern invention. The Lord is lord. He can, if he chooses, break his normal way of doing things. He has every right to command a woman terrified of sex to plunge immediately into full marital relations, and he has all the power to make it miraculously successful. This is no more likely however, than the instantaneous healing of a broken leg. A wife should deliberately engage in an aspect of lovemaking that currently upsets her, in the same way that she would run a marathon on a newly-broken leg Ė only after being absolutely certain that God is asking it of her. Maximum sexual enjoyment will most likely be attained by receiving exquisite pleasure from things you currently find unpleasant but, the normal way to arrive at this is by steps so tiny that no step is fearful or unpleasant.
Grantley Morris 2000. All rights reserved.