hey we’re in Jennifer Smith of marriage after God helping you call today an extraordinary marriage and today we’re gonna share with you our struggle with intimacy [Music] hey thanks for joining us again this week as usual we want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so you get notified every single time we upload a new episode also we would love for you to share this video with your married couple friends so in this episode we’re gonna just dive into one aspect of our marriage it’s been the one that has defined our ministry in many ways it’s the one that started us into the ministry of just encouraging marriages and wanting to impart to other people what God’s been teaching us and it’s in the area of intimacy we did an episode telling our whole overarching you know marriage testimony but we just want to talk mostly in this episode about just what the intimacy issues were what we dealt with when it started and hopefully you guys can get just a bit deeper into knowing us and also maybe get some hope in you if you’re in a situation similar to ours because you know we’ve talked to people that have had similar situations and they felt like us hopeless so in sharing with you we hope that you would be encouraged and also maybe even encouraged to tell your own story to someone to find help when you if you need it and so that’s what our goal is today yeah sure you about sex and intimacy is not an easy topic to cover like it’s not easy or natural to just tell the world about know that you even fight you in doing this one it’s like do we really want but here’s the thing I found that as we shared our story over the years we found that it has brought healing and freedom and encouragement to other people in hopeless situations or painful situations situations where just like us they felt completely alone or too embarrassed to talk about it and so we wrestled with all those insecurities in the beginning too but as we started to talk about it we found that there it was okay to talk about it and we should be talking about certain things so that other people know how to get help or how to you know just be encouraged to know that they’re not alone in those struggles and to give them that little bit of Hope that will carry them on through the next day and the next day and the next day yeah and the in reality you know the Bible talks about just being children of light and we’ve talked about this in the past and the idea is like the enemy loves to keep us in the darkness we like to keep our sin in the dark News we like to keep our pains in the darkness don’t tell anyone don’t share you’re the only one dealing with it and you know what it does is it keeps us right there yeah you never find healing you never you never find victory and so we’ve found that the more we talk about it the more victory we have over it yeah it doesn’t control us emotionally it doesn’t control us physically it doesn’t control us spiritually and so our ministry and hope is that we’re helping people teaching people showing people by example hey pull those things into the light so that they can become light yeah and here’s the thing sex and intimacy is a huge part of marriage and so for all those listening all the husbands and wives who listen to our podcast I mean they are dealing with that on a day to day basis anyway so former fashion yeah so we need to be talking about it and so Aaron why don’t you start out by just giving a little back story from your side of the before marriage though leading up to marriage what were some here at the deputations about sex well we saved myself I didn’t have intercourse with anyone outside of marriage I didn’t have I don’t have a squeaky-clean past though like I you know I struggle with pornography my whole life it was something that I it was a daily event for me and you know in my mind somewhere along the way and I know a lot of people think there’s a lot of men I thought that marriage would fix it I thought oh this is just something that I need now and in reality marriage only amplified it which is that crazy than you think think about but marriage doesn’t fix sin you know we are supposed to were called to walk in that purity in that light and the marriage isn’t the key to it that isn’t the answer but I thought it was but I did save myself physically even though I didn’t save myself spiritually which is sad and you know getting married I just was thinking like okay now it’s gonna be all good I’m gonna be able to enjoy my wife you were looking forward to it I was looking forward to I should write maybe looking forward to at a wrong level because of the things I was dealing with and walking in but that’s where I was that you know and I was looking forward to the the wedding night I was looking forward to a life with my wife and you know being able to have intercourse and enjoy my wife in that way and I just thought that God owed me that because I had waited Oh like the good Christian boy that I was yeah so my story is very similar I grew up a Christian I saved myself physically from intercourse but also didn’t have a squeaky-clean past I mean there was some relationships that I had where you know we did other things but truly my heart was to give my body to my husband and I I did what I could to save that for you and I I had expectations of I have really high expectations of it being all fulfilling like I thought this is it yes yeah like I I envisioned our honeymoon night and I saw us you know being together and I just had a lot of hope for being fulfilled in that area of my life because it was something that you know growing up it was always like no no no you can’t do that you know so there was a vision of freedom there that I was looking forward to yeah and there was also I remember we talked about this early on in our healing process and they in the middle of our marriage I should say now where we talked about how you know not only was it you were looking for it to be awful fulfilling but you were looking for me to also fulfill other things just emotionally and just like you saw me you had me on a pedestal and I had you in the same kind of pencil so it wasn’t just sexually but it was like everything yeah and and that again going along the process of walking through all of these things we learned that our expectations were just so out of whack yeah we had no one talked we’ve had this sex talk maybe and I’m actually remember having the sex talk well we did do a series of premarital counseling which I had some sex talk stuff there’s more encouragement leading up to the marriage about how what marriage was gonna be like but no one warned us that it might not work no one said like hey just just so you know I might not work yeah which you know we’ve sadly had people tell us B after hearing our story that’s why they they believe in sex outside of marriage like well what about test drive and that like using those kinds of derogatory terms and but I didn’t marry you for sex right I saw it as a fruit of marriage and so that mentality is just totally demonic and wicked and it should be if you’re thinking that way or if you know people think that way that the end results not sex the end result is a godly marriage for you know doing ministry for gotten together but we we had those wrong perspectives we had those wrong attitudes and to be honest because of what we’re going through I remember very vividly those all those thoughts I had like oh man I wish I would have you know not saved myself for marriage I actually remember regretting that and I was on the other end having thoughts of we’re incompatible were just one aspect of our marriage so Before we jump too far ahead let’s talk about the wedding day and the wedding night we skip that part let’s just go right to it now as I called all of our dreams cracking crumbling down so devastating it was a we’ve read we’ll just say this we’ve we’ve redone our honeymoon several times because our first study was so bad it was you know first of all we we find that that’s the night it was the night that we realized that sex was not gonna happen now we had hope still because we’re like oh this is day one it’s gonna take a couple days turned into weeks but not only did you know we weren’t even able to like consummate our our marriage like we still work together and we still did things and we’re not gonna get vulgar on on you know our show but you know we were together we just couldn’t fully be together amaura weeping like I remember just like why is this not working I remember a big patient – oh you were so patient and but all I just I just wanted to go myself in the bathroom for a couple hours and be by myself because I felt already that I’ve disappointed you more that I couldn’t fulfill your needs and yeah those insecurities came on like immediately well and it’s natural because you’re like first of all the wedding day was really like intense intense and long and you’re just tired and you’re like now what are we supposed to do like it’s no one you can’t be prepared for like stepping into holy matrimony it’s like a it’s a weird thing and so we’re like for the first time ever we’ve never slept with anyone before we’re like and now we’re supposed to be like perfectly compatible and everything supposed to be fine and and I also remember on our wedding night remember thinking and we I think we even talked about this how our whole lives being growing up Christian’s sex was a sinful thing yeah it was a no-no not just a no-no it was like it was like yeah it was like the worst thing that’s what it felt like and then Austin we’re married and boom it’s like no no it’s all good yeah and like there was this we had these totally twisted views of sex because no one in a healthy way within the church that we were raised in and in the churches and just in the church in general taught us to think about sex like nah I don’t remember ever hearing from a youth pastor like sex is a good thing the gift that it is and that you should be protecting yourself because of how good it is and how valuable it is it’s like protecting you know a wealthy investment or a you know a fine piece of china or like these things are they’re valuable but they’re only used it in the right time for the right thing that was never really liked hot toss we just had this perspective of like sin sin sin sins and married oh now it’s no longer sin and like it should just all work and like it’s gonna be great and you have in your perspective should perfectly shift and change here’s the thing had it worked what our perspectives had changed because it didn’t work we didn’t and it like highlighted all of those things well I would say it might not have highlighted those things fast enough we’ve talked to people that they don’t even talk about these things they don’t realize these these broken expectations are on there they’re uncommunicative lessons that we’ve learned and because they don’t really struggle with it it manifests enough but because we were hit head-on with this problem I think we actually started communicating about things that people mostly never get to like oh well I guess we like why is this you know supposed to be so easy in the first place and we realized we started talking about all these things that we learned and like you know and even if it did work I remember you specifically had a very hard time being naked around me like which in the beginning like of course it’s gonna be uncomfortable it was it was like oh this is like weird different yeah but we actually like I don’t remember feeling clean about it because of it’s always been sin and all sudden now it’s supposed to be good so not only could we not have sex and it was painful and there was tears and it’s our honeymoon but I also remember like not fully feeling free with you I remember feeling kind of dirty like Oh like when is this gonna feel like it’s supposed to feel like because no one ever gave us did you remember feeling that way yeah and I think that a part of it too was the sin that was wrapped up with sexual intimacy for you pornography for me it was it wasn’t things that I would think about and you know books that I would read and so we both had sin wrapped up around with sexual sin that we brought into our marriage right so it makes sense that we would also feel dirty and when it doesn’t work we couldn’t be together the way we were supposed to do so which highlighted us desiring our sinful even more even more because yeah now we’re like oh now we’re justified in our sin because this is supposed to work in God you’re not giving me what I deserve therefore I’m okay to do this over here which we weren’t but that’s those are had things that we thought so just moving on in the story a couple weeks go by I think I talked to my mom and maybe a girlfriend about our situation and they kind of just looked at me funny and said like you shouldn’t have any problem with yeah you should be having at all I’m sure it’ll work itself out type of thing what was going on in your head in those weeks um I kept telling but you know me I’m an optimist so I just kept telling you and myself like Oh like I’ve heard from various people over the you know time that we were getting married get becoming married that it might be painful and that it takes time because it’s no we’ve never done that before and and so I’m just I just kept repeating I just I was hoping my happy thoughts at payoff actually for several years I feel like you were so stable in this area emotionally even though you were probably wrestling I’m sure you’re wrestling hiding you were hiding what I was feeling you were hiding good because I felt as your wife very encouraged even in my brokenness that there was hope and there was encouragement because of the word that you showered over us and I just really appreciated that and so just for those listening like if you guys are facing you know intimacy struggles and it whether it’s the husband or the wife the other spouse can be a huge encouragement in this area simply by sharing words of hope you know visions of the future encouraging praying yeah which we did every single time you know suggesting those those hints of like hey why don’t you go get this checked out or maybe you can go talk to a girlfriend cuz you did that kind of thing for me and even though not all those solutions worked I remember going to the I was always hoping that something was wrong with you know I know I was just going to share the story of going to the gynecologist I remember then you know telling me well you everything checks out you look fine and you like a man yeah I was like there’s nothing wrong with me it but I knew that something was wrong because it could like it was so I don’t even know if we’ve shared this yet on in this episode but it was super painful for me physically to engage in intercourse and so it just that’s why it didn’t work yeah and I just want to go back a couple steps you were talking about you know me being encouraging for over the years now that you’re mentioning I’m thinking like yeah why was I so encouraged because internally it was like angry and broken and like frustrated but like it was encouraging I think like I said I was still optimistic and I was I wanted to believe that it was gonna work right cuz I love you and I wanted to I wanted everything to work and but I think looking back we would have been confronted quicker with the reality of it on my part if I wasn’t walking in my sin because in reality I didn’t need you as much as I probably should have needed you I’m just thinking about not that I didn’t want to encourage you not that I didn’t want it fixed I think the the full weight of what was going on was being masked by my sin and I you know I’m sad to think about that that I wasn’t letting myself experience with you at the same level as you because I was finding my satisfaction elsewhere in my flesh and you know thank God he’s you know fully you know cleanse me of that and he’s taught me how to walk in purity through his holy spirit yeah but back then I think that’s where we were at like I I was using as an excuse I was you know even though I still felt guilty and shameful and confessed to you you know time and time again of that sin I think that’s what shielded me from from walking fully with you in it which is it that is not good yeah and so if anyone here was walking through something similar and you’re just wondering like ah you know I want it my spouse doesn’t or you know or vice versa you guys need to come to it together and talk and see if there’s any sin that might be masking you from actually walking together in it that’s really good just take some time to evaluate your lives in and confess if necessary and like fully confess and repent what I did is I would confess and not actually repent because repentant means to turn and I wouldn’t I would apologize for the guilt and I’ll apologize for doing it again but I would never fully repent and so if you’re walking in any sort of sin if you if you’re a husband and you’re walking in pornography and that’s keeping you from designing your wife and your wife it desires to be with you you guys need to fix that and vice versa if your wife’s walking in you know pornography or you know erotica or these things that are going to keep her from desiring you then you guys need to repent to each other find healing find accountability and wisdom and walk away from that so that you can walk together and that’s really good and I don’t want to skip over this by any means because I feel like pornography and sexual sin is such an important topic to tackle but we are going to be doing a future episode on his and her points of view because we both have different different journeys of walking this out with each other so just encourage our listeners to stay tuned because those those episodes will be coming out yeah but just to move forward in our story our our struggle with intimacy lasted about four years in total at office yeah so it was really exhausting it was really painful it was really emotionally draining on both of us but like I said you seemed a little bit more steadfast in that area and encouraging and I my I felt like my heart just got harder and harder and harder towards you enjoyed Scott yeah definitely did and that affected and amplified other issues in our marriage normal things that people struggle with like finances or job making decisions or you know anything that comes our way I just felt so irrational over and didn’t want to deal with and you know I just remember having outbursts and you know struggling with rage and we had some pretty good fights I mean I don’t I don’t even like thinking about going back to that place because it was so unhealthy and spiritually unhealthy for our relationship and it wasn’t where we envisioned our marriage to be four years in by any means I’m never going back to those expectations where like we were expecting everything to be perfect I literally thought before I got married I was like I’m never gonna fight with my wife I’m perfect there’s a thought a literal thought I had I actually thought the exact same thing I was like I’m Way too perfect to have any problems like I’m easygoing like if we have a discriminant okay and like the one person in the world that can make me the most mad is now one with me you know we read a book once and in the book it talked about your spouse being a full-length mirror reflecting your sin back at you and that’s exactly what you are when your and so not only did we have sin we were walking and not only we did it we have this this sexual issue that we where we couldn’t have intercourse we couldn’t be together we couldn’t consummate our marriage to fully highlighting those sins now we’re like having to be like we have to live together and walk together and every day we know that like such and such is happening and oh and doesn’t matter our turn for sex was like we wouldn’t say hey you want to be together tonight we’d say you want to try you want to try that was literally our term you hated it but that was literally the what it was because it was it was like we want to try tonight you want to see if it’ll work tonight never did and you know maybe I like a handful of times we we were able to have intercourse but it was not without pain yeah and and that was our world we lived in and you know we thought we were the only ones that dealt with it we’ve had people kind of like reprimand us in our online and say why didn’t you guys just go get help and we did we talked to and we talked to nurses you into gynecologists we we actually sat down with a counselor one time and the and the person gave us you know some terms that will mention later about what it might be and that was it but they just kind of they looked they looked at us the same way everyone else liked at us like you young right you shouldn’t really be struggling with this but okay and we’re just okay and so we kind of just stuffed it back and kept doing our life and pretending everything was fine and we were really good roommates yeah other than all the fights we could still muster and we’re friends to an extent but not lovers yeah and not in love with each other that was a tough four years so what do you think got us through those four years I mean well you know we we both were believers even though we were both mad at God even though we were both becoming more better with our situation we definitely weren’t as righteous as job you know who went through way more than us you know we were like immature and complained about everything and thought we were you know you know what was us when there’s people in the world suffering from way worse things yeah right but I do believe that at the end of the day we still didn’t we had our foundation in Christ and even though we were immature in the way we saw looked at God immature in the way we walked with God immature in everything God was with us and watching over us and walking us through us and you know as the scriptures say that God works together for good all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose and so this thing that we saw as as evil and painful and not good at all God is sitting back watching what it’s doing to us he’s using this crucible in our life to sanctify us and to change us and to transform us and to bring us to our knees because we were so young so immature so prideful so arrogant with our what how we believe things were gonna go what we were gonna do how we were gonna you know and gods like actually I got different plans for you and this is not gonna go the way you think and you know what if if the only thing it did was highlight our sexual sins which is not the only thing that did but it massively did God used it to draw those out and said no I don’t want any of this yeah prune dis pruned us down to like stubs and he’s like now you can produce fruit I’m seriously so grateful for God’s love and compassion and grace in our lives and I feel like that is the reason why we made it past those years because he never gave up on us yeah and like you said he brought us to our knees like he never once turned his back or abandoned us and even when my heart was super hard and I refused to go to church with you because I just didn’t I knew what it meant stepping into his place like I just wasn’t ready for that even then he was still pursuing me through you you know you would pray for a second he’s pursuing me and cuz I felt this like I’m like I don’t want to give up like I don’t know what else to do but like I know God’s the only one that could do anything to make this better so just to encourage those listening again if you are in the midst of any sort of marital struggle prayer was so key and vital in helping us walk through this valley this this darkness that we experienced and so if you and your spouse are struggling with anything please be the one that initiates through prayer because you don’t know how it’s gonna change things that you don’t know how it’s gonna change you or affect your spouse and it was so powerful in in the trajectory of our marriage and and bringing change to our marriage yeah and God uses our what he tells us to pray and desires us to communicate with them and commune with him and even though many of our prayers were selfish and wrong focused and backwards we were still communicating with him and it it minimum puts your focus on God yeah and reminds you that he’s there right even if you feel like he’s not listening because God wants us to pray in his will and his will was that we would be mature not that way would be necessary happy he wanted he wants mature and holy people and so I think yeah just God III I don’t even want to take credit like because it’s easy to say like what we prayed and like we did these things but I really think that God kept us yeah and was was guiding us through this and kept even when we were angry would remind us like I’m still good God and he is a good god he’s a perfect God and he knows what we need way better than we know what we need and what’s awesome is out of this like who knew like a ministry would create this pain I couldn’t even imagine hey well we would even think it’s like we got married like hey let’s turn a marriage ministry you want to go through four and a half years of milk it was just kind of like marital suffering and then and then we’ll know we would we wouldn’t go back and choose it either but we’re glad that God’s getting the glory we’re get we’re I’m even more so than the ministry that God’s given us and that and that he’s allowed us to do this for a living and and just encourage other marriages and the fruit that we’ve seen in other people’s lives through God working through us I’m just thankful that God grew a matured us and taught us what he taught us through that season absolutely and still teaches us you know how to trust him and how to surrender to him because you know leading up in our story we got to a point finally where the weight of it started hitting me and I couldn’t handle it anymore and I was like done yeah like emotionally spiritually physically and and I was just over and you can see it on my face and we you know we still would go to church most Sundays you know and do the do the run through the motions and I’m sitting there and we’re just we were quiet on the way to church and we you know you talked about this in your book but this was the turning point you know and I remember what the the message was about that day but I remember God speaking to me I didn’t hear him audibly I didn’t hear him say here and stay married but he brought some remembrance which is what the job of the Holy Spirit is he brought to remembrance the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and I remember just walking through the story and remembering the prayer that jesus prayed three times he said Lord let this cup pass for man he’s talking about the cup of suffering that he was about to take for his future bread that’s what that’s what this story’s about is Jesus died on the cross for his bride because the church is his bride and he he prayed that he didn’t have to Lord if there’s another way he says but not my will but your will be done and so essentially he was saying this is gonna be hard and I don’t know if I can do it but I’m gonna do your will anyway and Jesus had to do it in God’s strength because God was the one empowering him to do this and he had to die as a man so he felt all of it so I just remember this story of Jesus praying these things three times asking God to take the cup of wrath away and and I just felt like the Holy Spirit is saying like Jesus died for the whole world for a bride that’s spit on him and cheated on him and did way worse things than what you’re going through with your wife and he said if Jesus can do this do you think you can do it for your wife he was saying like can will you it will you take this cup this is which is what he was asking me in reality I’d already chosen to take the cup we had made the vows and so I was just reminded I’m like well either I can walk away from my vows and and think that I’m owed something that Jesus didn’t even get or I can take what I’ve been given and I can serve my wife and love my wife even if I never get from her what I think I’m deserved and it was such a the cup that I had to carry was such a smaller Cup compared to what Christ carried for me and so at that point and not to compare me to Christ necessarily but it was the Holy Spirit saying like Christ died for you like the least you can do is live for your wife and I remember thinking like well okay and it wasn’t like that simple I was like weeping I just came to the conclusion I said whether ever fixes there was not my love for my wife was rekindled that day and said and it was a more of a christ-like love it was different because I decided to let I chose to love you whether I could ever get from you whatever I deserved from you as a wife and that’s what we need to do as husbands is we have to choose to love our wives as Christ loved the church giving himself up for her as Ephesians 5:25 says and I don’t get to say like only if no I get to throw all of that on say I’m gonna do what Christ has called me to do because that’s what Christ has called me to do and I’ve made a choice I’ve married my wife she’s my wife and I have to love her this way and the story doesn’t stop there but that’s where the story this new story began yeah was me choosing to remain even if nothing ever changed and so why don’t you go to the next part of this and well you know we’ll get to the happy ending yeah it was that same week that you were in the shower and I remember specifically yelling out to me babe what was what’s the one thing you’ve been using for the last four years plus you know more than four years were married before we were really married and I know exactly what you were talking about it was like my face wash why you know and you you said yeah I remember that story so about six months before this happening we sat down with another couple from the church and kind of shared with them or struggle or go to Missy trying to look for help and I remember our friend sharing this story about one of her friends that went all organic to try and heal PCOS because she was struggling with just some symptoms that were uncomfortable for her and so her story went she went all organic changed all of her household products and she ended up pregnant which is just really hard yeah it’s really hard to happen with PCOS so anyways um so we kind of through that that yeah we weren’t trying to get pregnant at the time so we’re thinking like okay like yeah we do because we thought it’s it doesn’t impact us in any way but for some reason that story stuck well when I was in the shower I felt like like that story came to my head and I was like okay so that girl got made she felt better from those symptoms by changing some of her face washes and shampoos and conditioners and stuff and so I’m in the shower and I’m like looking at all the bottles and I’m like and there’s all these chemicals um you know what I’m talking about you you have all these just grab one of your soap bottles or face wash the bottles and just see if you can name any of them ingredients and so I’m calling to you and you’re like my face wash it’s the only thing that she’s been the most consistent with that I remember because we had a lot of fights about it marriage because it’s expensive it was expensive and we didn’t have a lot of money back then being missionary but there’s the one thing she’s like I have to I have to have it I actually used it multiple times a day because it I felt it did help keep me from having acne yeah so I’m like hey I would rather you have acne and us be able to be together then the other way around and she’s like she was like crying she’s like I don’t want to give it well the reason that you were asking me to give it up is cuz when you got out of the shower you started googling all of these ingredients and I looked up every single ingredient the bottle there were a handful that were different types of parabens and when you look that up this website popped up that talked about parabens being endocrine disruptors so they even knew back then well yeah what I looked at up is I went to a toxins website chemical toxins website and you can put in these chemicals these ingredients and it’ll tell you the level of toxicity over half of them were like high the other half were low or none but over half of them were like and then what I would do is I would read what the possible symptoms or what they possibly can effect was and the ones that because I’m not a scientist yeah the ones that affected the areas that we struggled with were the parabens which which mimic estrogen which affect the endocrine system which infect all those sexual hormones and like so he’s very quickly putting all this together and he’s come up with this idea that hey maybe these parabens from your face water reflecting you are affecting you and mimicking estrogen so that your body’s not functioning the way that it should be in that’s why it’s painful and I’m sitting there going yeah right so we we brought this up many times and people are like oh so you got rid of your facial wash and that fix everything and they’re like mad about it right like seriously I even went back to my gynecologist to tell them what was happening with this scenario and she didn’t even believe me she was like no I has no so regardless if it works for everyone we had tried a lot of things yeah like everything like someone was like just go have a bottle of wine and relax did nothing you know just think about this or put some worship music on it like they gave us a plethora of all these things that we could do different positions different everything right up not to be graphic you know but we tried everything yeah so if we care enough about our marriage what why would we not try this so long story short we put the face wash on the shelf I gave it up and I kid you not three days later I’m calling Aaron on the phone middle of the day we’re both at work and I’m like look I don’t want you to get too excited but like my body feels different my body feels different and I don’t want to try right away because I don’t wanna get my hopes up but like this feels right and so we went another couple days and by the end of the week we had sex for the first time and it was awesome and it was awesome it felt like it felt like the first redo house when we started redoing our hell but so we went back and what we did is we just we just started cleaning out all these things that we thought we needed you know it started with parabens like anything the parabens went and then as we this kind of like started our journey for healthy living it wasn’t just parabens but it moved on to other types of ingredients that we found out we’re bad for us it even moved into food you know being more aware of conventional versus organic and GMO and and just waiting to reinsert our stuff and you know we the Bible wants us to be wise people the Bible desires to be why is it mature and so we don’t just sit and our spirituality is over here and everything else is over here it doesn’t work that way no actually everything should be within our in the confines of the relation that we have with God and so when it timed like the Bible talks about health about talks about our bodies and how they’re the temple of the Holy Spirit and how we are to use them and not use them so why would it be so unspiritual to not look and be considerate of the things that we put in our body and on our bodies which actually can be a lot because when we started cleaning stuff out we realized that we could take these five body washes different scents and things that we had in our shower replace it with one and I replace it with one thing such as cheaper I know and better for you and so we downsized a lot but in a really good way for our bodies and I just want to add to what you’re speaking about you know why would it be an spiritual for us to choose to make sure what we’re putting in our bodies and honor our bodies is good for us the same is true when you think about the enemy so you know why wouldn’t he try and attack from an outside angle and outside sword he’s gonna use everything at us he’s gonna hit everything he’s the kids there that’s what he does yeah he’s gonna use everything he can get his hands on to try and destroy what we have and so a big part of our encouragement and one of the reasons why I wrote the unveiled wife book was to try and get husbands and wives to understand that sometimes we fight in our marriage because of outside influences sometimes it is below in things we don’t aren’t paying attention we’re not being aware of yeah so some things that are just in our environment that we can change we have control over that we’re just not paying attention to and so I think that that’s a really really important aspect for Christians who are called to to fight against the enemy and to be prepared against to be wise and I want to I want to highlight we are not advocating that being all organic and eating non GMO foods makes you more holy right this has nothing to do with holiness per se this has everything to do with being wise and so for us you know if my wife uses a detergent just to talk about our bodies if she’s a detergent that has any dyes or sense in it like perfumes I get a rash over my whole body my sons have the same similar sensitivities on their skin my skin is sensitive I don’t know why it’s not sensitive to everything is just sensitive to certain chemicals so detergents like like I know my kid did you use a different detergent cuz like my whole body’s like red and itchy painful and so why would like my I believe that you were probably more sensitive to this than other people are other people don’t struggle the same way and they use the same face wash but for us we just started realizing like well like we should be wise about everything like how we spend our money what we spend our money on what we eat what we put it you know what we put in on our bodies not to become more holy not that it makes us closer to God but that it makes us more like God because it makes us we think the way God thinks he wants us to be wise and so we’re gonna be wise with everything he’s given us yeah and here’s a really cool thing since sharing about our story even though like Aaron said we’re not scientists we had no idea back then if it really was the parabens they do none parabens stuff back then well we started seeing a lot of urban cream cosmetics and sin sharing your story through the unbelled wife community we’ve heard so many stories of women saying hey I read your book or hey I read that article a to change you made a change I took parabens out and me and my husband can have pain-free sex now and so I’m again not even trying to use those stories to brag or say this is this is the right thing but there is something to say about about testimonies and about things working and so I just want to be an encouragement to you guys today that if you are struggling specifically with painful sex maybe try parabens maybe try and eliminate try them I’m sorry get rid of them maybe try eliminating arrogance and you know I just want to keep reiterating that the main crux of our story is that we decided to to love each other the way Christ has called us to love each other regardless if this got fixed now I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted this to us for the sake of our our sexual and our sexual health and overall health so whether or not you go and take the same route as us our goal in that telling you this story is not to change you and be like well it’s more Christian to be you know organic we don’t believe that no and there’s plenty of times that we go out to eat or we know that if there there’s plenty of food out there that we still eat that I’ve been in Jerry’s ice cream yeah I mean come on but the point is is are we gonna be are we gonna walk through our trials with biblical mindsets that’s the main point and then lastly is when it comes to things about our health and our bodies and what we put in and on them is are we gonna be wise are we gonna say okay Lord like am I just gonna use this just because it’s what I’ve always used and and I’m gonna spend my money on this thing over here because it’s what I like or are we gonna be like well let’s consider it let’s think about what what we’re doing and why we why we do that because it wasn’t just that you were like that was the only stuff that worked you believed it was the only stuff that work but you had this like nicely the actual physical attachment to your like I cannot I have to spend this money I know if I don’t have it so yeah denied anything wrapped up in it all so I really didn’t the funny thing is is after we shelved it I never broke out like she hasn’t broken out since the day she made on the Shelf so so I think it was making you break out it’s a perfect like business model no I don’t face watch that makes you break down you keep buying it no I don’t think but but I will say that I do feel like the Lord blessed me and being obedient to you and so that’s a really encouraging thing for a new wives listening or even husbands when you’re gone because I asked you to do something really hard and you said yes yeah so when your spouse brings something to the table a suggestion they don’t know if it’s gonna work but they’re like hey I’m willing to try this if you are be willing be willing don’t just you know throw out your justifications your excuses or your your your reasons for why you need to have that control because your spouse might be prompted by the Holy Spirit to encourage you in that area and yeah it might be hard but it can be done and I think that God’s looking for you know that that heart of willingness to go at your struggles as a team and and if you’re gonna be a team you got to do that communication thing where you’re both listening you’re both communicating your bills rock you were praying and in the Word of God and just asking the Lord to direct you yeah and guide you and listen listen to his direction listen whose guidance which usually comes through the word of god and the holy spirit bringing to remembrance the things that the Word of God says that’s how he speaks to us and so another thing that I wanted to mention as a part of our story is once we were able to enjoy sexual intimacy in our marriage it didn’t make things better completely there was there was a lot of hurdles that I had to overcome as far as you know suede spiritual and mental hurdles well I know for me I was still apprehensive to even go there with you and so it was a mental battle for me too to initiate or to say yes to or to you know be be inviting in that area I just it was really hard for me well and we worked through that it’s okay he actually took several years because we had like four and a half years of like pain to to heal from yeah and so we we both had to communicate about it and you and we got you got good at saying okay I know you won’t even I’d just not ready yet yeah or can we do tomorrow or be patient with me or there’d be times where it did work and it did work and it did work and then it didn’t work and I still would get so flared up like I would back then it would remind me all those all those painful memories of it not being able to work and I thought oh no is this where we’re going again so I just I wanted to bring that up because sometimes we do find a solution or we do find something that works and yet something sets us back and so if you’re listening right now and you’re in the midst of experiencing that setback don’t be discouraged like keep pressing forward and and communicating with each other on the topic yeah and you know even to this day we’re still learning how to be lovers yeah you know we’ve been married 11 years now and we missed four and a half years of eleven and you know what recognizing that you’re gonna we’re gonna learn how to be lovers for the rest of our lives and we should be like we should rush it excited and so not realizing like we’ve realized that if there’s no pinnacle there we’re gonna get to that point and they’re like oh now it’s like all you know hunky-dory yeah you know we have to recognize that there’s there’s like we have to learn we go this is weird but we go through seasons of forgetting about sex and just we’re busy and because we had went through so long of having that those issues we we don’t have the same natural sex drives that we would have had in the beginning so we actually have to like work harder to want to be together and to into really oh I we’ve been forgetting about this we need to prioritize this right now like putting it on the calendar and and and planning it and and talking about it more and so we’ve gone through weird seasons and you know so even today you know it’s been years later we’re still figuring it out and but we’re both okay with it we both talk about it often and we’re like hey where you at with this how are we doing and then especially going through all the pregnancies like this that definitely you know highs and lows and and just a balance and figuring you how to communicate about it and how to still you know be excited about each other so if you’re if you’re coming out of a season of hardship sexually recognize that it’s just not gonna be perfect forever yeah like it there’s your it’s it takes a lifetime to learn how to be a lover but to embrace that and to do it together of course you have that sex together but do the embracing together and the walking the journey out together so we just wanted to be an encouragement that you would just just do this journey together and you know seek the word of God seek after God’s face and and be patient with each other so we just wanted to kind of start back at the beginning and share a little bit more in depth of our struggle with intimacy just to encourage those who are listening who might be in that season you know you might for whatever reason be struggling with sexual intimacy in your marriage and we don’t want this to be the thing that breaks you guys we don’t want this to be the thing that hardens your heart or keeps you away from God because truthfully he’s the only one that walked us through this journey and made sure that our marriage came out stronger and better but it was only when we submitted everything to him and so we want to be an encouragement to you to submit your hearts to God to be in prayer over your marriage over finding a solution and never give up just persevere through it if you need to you know talk to someone or if you need to go see a doctor or if you need to change something you know in the pattern of your life to try and fix this make sure that you guys are doing it together as a team just like Aaron was saying like be on the same page communicate about where you’re at where your hearts are at what you’re struggling with what you’re going through maybe what your needs are and be willing to to help each other and to support each other and be that encouragement for one another so thanks for joining us for this week’s episode and we look forward to having you next week did you enjoy today’s show find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriage after God calm and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage [Music]

https://www.christiandatingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/hqdefault-8.jpghttps://www.christiandatingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/hqdefault-8-150x150.jpgcdmadminMarriageVideointimacy in marriage,intimacy issues,intimacy issues how to overcome,intimacy issues in marriage,marriage trials,physical intimacy,saving our selves,struggle with intimacy,struggles with intimacyhey we're in Jennifer Smith of marriage after God helping you call today an extraordinary marriage and today we're gonna share with you our struggle with intimacy hey thanks for joining us again this week as usual we want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so...