Proverbs 15:16 says: “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.”

Psalm 127:2 says: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

Proverbs 5:18-19 says: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Maybe the Bible is on to something! Scientists have recently discovered that sleep and sex make you happier than wealth!

The new happiness index, developed by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research, and commissioned by Sainsbury’s, has found that sex and sleep are the two things that have the strongest association with a person’s happiness and wellbeing – well above money. Researchers found that while upping your income (even if you quadruple it) causes very little increase to your happiness, being well-rested and well-sexed have a significant impact on how joyful you feel. The study involved polling 8,250 Britons, finding that the average person has a Living Well score of 62.2.

Those who get the most sleep were found the score 15 points higher on the index than those who struggle with sleep, while people who are deeply dissatisfied with their sex lives scored seven points lower than those who said they’re very satisfied. To be clear – very satisfied doesn’t mean these people are having loads of sex. It just means they’re very happy with the quality and frequency of the sex they’re having. Increasing your household income from £12,500 to £50,000, meanwhile, results in an increase of only two points.

So quit working late, leave the chores for later, and go to bed with your spouse!

Some of the best marriage advice I ever heard was this: “no one will respect your spouse more than you do”. You set the tone for how your friends, family, co-workers see your spouse. Let me ask, how are you doing? I am part of a woman’s group at our church and it’s amazing how fast a simple complaint about a husband can snowball. Everyone has a story to share or a frustration that can be topped. While most of the time it’s playful, I don’t always find it to be honoring to our husbands. I am sure the same thing can occur in men’s groups. We should lovingly guard our spouse’s reputation. Here are a few ideas how:

  • When you are talking about your spouse, try to speak about them in ways that it wouldn’t matter if they overheard what you were saying.
  • Say good things! If you talk about your spouse in a positive way, it’s likely to make you feel more loving towards them. A session of complaining about your spouse will often make you have a negative attitude towards them. Think about how you want your spouse to talk about and treat you, then try to emulate that.
  • Tame your tongue. The writer of James was right in James 3:8 “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”. Before you speak, think.
  • Be careful about who you talk about your spouse to when you have a problem. If your mom doesn’t particularly like your husband, definitely don’t share any marital problems with her.
  • When you are in a group that the conversation heads towards talking about spouse’s in a bad way, redirect. Try to have topics on hand that you can switch to.
  • 1st Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.

How about some awesome sex links for the new year?

Two helpful lists for wives: 20 romantic things you can do for your unromantic husband and practical things to do for your husband in just 10 minutes. But someone needs to write a list of tips for husbands!

“I want a marriage so great that it becomes dangerous to the Devil.” And, I also like the jokes on the Taco Bell sauce packets. My favorite: “When I grow up, I want to be a water bed.”

Grow your sex life in 2016, including two series on oral sex. (Yeah, I know you’re going to click the link now.) Also: three out of five.

Sometime this week, ask your husband to make a list of five sexual things he would like to do with you during the next year.

Then make your man a promise:

You will do three of those five things in 2016.

Yes, watching Han and Leia’s estrangement was painful. This was my iconic childhood romance!

Why you need to start dating in 2016. Sexy Corte and I are attempting to have a babysitter scheduled once a month so we can go out.

Make goals to be a better lover to your spouse. Instead of wishing for a better lover, be a better lover!

“Follow your heart” is bad advice and unbiblical. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Dragon slayer.

A young wife learns that nagging is counterproductive. Husbands nag too, but we do it differently.

Sex before desire. Sometimes arousal leads to desire instead of the other way around… so get naked and see what happens.

366 questions to stimulate conversation with your spouse. This gives me an idea for another random generator for our site.

Do you have a link you want to share? Put it in the comments!

(Click here to read the whole Sex in Song of Solomon series.)

After a long delay we’re back to the Song of Solomon series, this time reading chapter 2. As background: The book is commonly understood as a celebration of marital/sexual love and it contains a lot of rather graphic imagery. It’s an especially important book because it’s very sex-positive and provides a powerful illustration of the joy God takes in the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife.

The book is written in the form of a dialogue between  the Lover and his Beloved, with occasionally interjections from the wife’s Friends. The language is dominated by agricultural metaphors that can make the book difficult to understand for modern readers who aren’t familiar with the context (which certainly includes me). I’m going to do my best to untangle the imagery, but some of it is guesswork.

As I wrote in the previous post. the end of chapter 1 flows into the beginning of chapter 2 with the Beloved comparing her Lover to a mighty cedar, and the Lover comparing his Beloved to a rose — both ageless metaphors for male and female sexuality. Chapter 2 then gets even more explicit. Says the Beloved of her Lover:

As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with raisins;
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am sick with love.

The Lover is once again a tree, and the Beloved delights to sit in his shade and eat his fruit. In fact, the Lover has brought his Beloved to the banqueting house. What do you think they’re feasting on? Hint: each others’ bodies. Double hint: oral sex. My most-visited post is titled “Yes, You Should Swallow”, and here’s some Biblical affirmation. The Beloved goes on:

His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

The embrace described is sexual intimacy. The Beloved is so aroused that she knows she has lost all self-control, and she admonishes other young women to avoid this passion until it finds its proper place in marriage.

Then we hear the Lover cries out to his Beloved and entice her: the time is right for us to make love.

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.”

The Beloved surrenders herself to her Lover and they have sex until dawn.

My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    he grazes among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on cleft mountains.

Chapter 2 is even more sexual than chapter 1! If you thought God and our ancestors were prudes, I hope this exploration of Song of Solomon changes your mind. God intends for sex between husbands and wives to be mind-blowing!

(Click here to read the whole Sex in Song of Solomon series.)

I’m going to do a series on the sexual passages of the book Song of Solomon (which, if you didn’t know, is in the Bible). This post is about chapter 1. The book is commonly understood as a celebration of marital/sexual love and it contains a lot of rather graphic imagery. It’s an especially important book because it’s very sex-positive and provides a powerful illustration of the joy God takes in the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife.

The book is written in the form of a dialogue between  the Lover and his Beloved, with occasionally interjections from the wife’s Friends. The language is dominated by agricultural metaphors that can make the book difficult to understand for modern readers who aren’t familiar with the context (which certainly includes me). I’m going to do my best to untangle the imagery, but some of it is guesswork.

The couple is not yet married at the beginning of the story and are fantasizing about each other. The book begins with the Beloved initiating sex rather explicitly.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
    your name is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.

Nothing ambiguous there. Note especially the “let us hurry!” This woman needs some action. The Beloved continues:

Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.
Tell me, you whom I love,
    where you graze your flock
    and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
    beside the flocks of your friends?

She works hard and takes care of her family, but her own needs have been neglected. The Beloved wants to find her Lover — why should she wander around like a prostitute (“like a veiled woman”) searching for him among the flocks?

Her Lover replies:

I liken you, my darling, to a mare
    among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.
Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
    your neck with strings of jewels.
We will make you earrings of gold,
    studded with silver.

The “mare among stallions” imagery is pretty hot. We read above that the young women adore the Lover, and the Beloved is no less in demand. The Lover will array his Beloved in jewels befitting her beauty.  (Some have interpreted these jewels to be the Lover’s semen shot onto his Beloved, but that may be a stretch.) When the Beloved replies she again turns the conversation to sex.

While the king was at his table,
    my perfume spread its fragrance.
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.

These three verses focus on the fragrances of the Beloved and her Lover. While the Beloved is spreading her… fragrance… her Lover is feasting. Her Lover is a packet of perfume (“csachet of myrrh) between her breasts. Women commonly used henna as a beauty product (as a component of make-up or hair coloring), and her Lover makes the Beloved feel beautiful.

The Lovers go on to praise each other:

Lover

How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

Beloved

How handsome you are, my beloved!
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

“Verdant” is “green with vegetation; covered with growing plants or grass” — but figuratively: alive and fruitful. The Lovers’ marriage bed is full of primal, natural life. This is a joyous picture that always makes me smile.

The Lover closes the chapter with a metaphor that must transcend the ages.

The beams of our house are cedars;
    our rafters are firs.

That’s a lot of wood. Beams and rafters create a rather girthy image in my mind, but given the intimacy of the moment I suppose we’ll excuse the Lover if he brags a little.

The chapter break isn’t fluid here, so let’s finish this post with the first two verses of chapter 2.

She

I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

He

Like a lily among thorns
    is my darling among the young women.

If wood is the ancient metaphor for the penis, its equivalent for the female is the flower. The Lover’s member is a massive cedar, and his Beloved’s girly bits are a beautiful lily — compared to her, the other young women are thorns and thistles.

J. Parker writes about what dads teach their daughters about intimacy and it’s a great read. Since this is a blog more about sex than family, let me specifically focus on this paragraph:

Fathers can also overtly teach their daughters what men are like in the sexual arena — how a man’s mind works, what he pays attention to, how he struggles with lust, how he desires a deep connection, how sex is related to that feeling of connection. Dads have the opportunity to arm their daughters with knowledge and wisdom based on their own experiences. They can help their girls navigate the minefields of dating and courtship and then be the kind of girlfriend and wife a godly man needs.

Obviously there are limits to what you can tell your kids about sex, but most parents err on the side of silence. Your kids will learn about every position, every kind of sex toy, every sexual act. Kids have always shared this “illicit” knowledge among themselves, and now there’s the internet to fill in the blanks. Of course, everything they learn from these sources will be slanted by worldly values, full of error, and provocatively lustful.

As a parent, you should get ahead of the situation. You can be the source for sexual information for your kids, and you should instruct them with Godly, Biblical wisdom and experience. Developing this kind of open, trusting relationship with your kids takes time and energy, along with a willingness to  broach difficult subjects and share personal stories. These things aren’t easy, but teenagers really are hungry for information and as an adult, you’ve got it — if you can surmount your embarrassment and share it.