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The Gift Of Sex A Book Review Religion Essay

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Marriage is a covenant agreement ordain by God from the beginning between a man and a woman. It is a demanding relationship, yet the joy that is brings is like no other. There are many obstacles that are against marriage, for the devil hates harmony, therefore the husband and wife must renew their commitment to each other periodically. The marriage covenant is a prime example of true discipleship. [Strohl, J. (2008). Marriage as Discipleship:]

God has graciously given us skills to facilitate the redemption of intimacy between fallen man and fallen woman: Confession, bringing dark secrets to the light for the other partner to see and make the choice to still love; Repentance, which is having godly sorrow about the destructive thoughts and actions one has, thus taking full responsibility; Grieving, which is the healing grief over losses, stages of denial, anger and hurts each one of us will have to endure as human beings; and forgiveness, for the hurtful, immature, sinful behaviors and attitudes others have inflicted upon us [ Rosenau, D., & Sytsma, M. (2004). Ppg 265-266].

There are three approaches to a healthy sexual experience: taking responsibility for your own pleasure; integrating biblical, psychological and physical knowledge; and embracing individual differences. Taking responsibility for our own pleasure takes the pressure off of one partner ensuring the satisfaction of the other. One spouse cannot be responsible if the other one is battling sexual blocks. A person is able to experience more freedom to relax and enjoy pleasure when they do not have the weight of focusing on someone else's fulfillment. (Penner & Penner, 2003). Utilizing biblical, psychological and physical information allows for a more comprehensive understanding of sex. We need to embrace the various nuances of our partner, being sure to include all dimensions of the relationship as opposed to focusing on one or two (Penner & Penner, 2003).

There are various factors that affect the marital sexual relationship. Parents are the first examples of what a sexual relationship is through their relationship in the home. The mother communicates to her children about women and their sexuality by the way she handles herself and through her relationship with her husband, communicating that sex is either fun or a burden. The father models to his children how a man should interact with a woman, communicating sex is through a loving relationship or it's just genital (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Early sexual experiences shape a person's sexuality. Society teaches through the various social customs of the community. If a person is raised in a church community, that may have a primary affect on their sexual attitudes. If one was raped or molested, they may have developed various sexual blocks. If they grew up in a home with strong moral values, they may associate sex with guilt. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Early experiences within a marriage can affect to sexual attitudes. If early marital experiences were positive, one may have a good sexual self-image. If negative and disappointing, may have an unsatisfying sexual attitude. Also the addition of children in the home can affect sexual attitudes (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Biblical Perspective

Sexuality is a gift from God. It is part of His plan of creation. We were made male and female (Gen 1:27) and our sexuality reflects the image of God in two dimensions: Our sexual functioning- humanity was given the command to become one; and our functioning and relationship as a couple- humanity was given dominion and choice. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

God created sex to reveal Himself. God is love and sexuality gives us ways to understand this. Rosenau, D., & Sytsma, M. (2004). Pp 264]. Sex between a married woman and man symbolizes the relationship between God and His people. God designated sex within marriage, within the boundaries of a lifelong commitment. Marriage is one of the deepest commitments a human can make to another. Sex within marriage involves the total giving of one to another, so much so that they become one flesh (Gen 2:24). . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The sexual oneness between a married man and woman symbolizes the Man-God Relationship, God's bride, Christ's Bride and A Mystery. The husband-wife relationship symbolizes the God-man relationship. The fall interrupted both the communication between man and woman and communication between God and man. Both relationships were no longer open, pure and perfect. The concept that sexual union is an example of the way God would like to relate to mankind (Penner & Penner, 2003).

 Sex was created for unity, procreation and pleasure. Only animals have sex solely for procreation, for they do not make love for pleasure. The Song of Solomon in the bible gives explicit details of how a married couple is to fully enjoy each other's bodies. They are not to hold back, but are encouraged to be passionate. Sex is not evil; the misuse of sex is evil. The bible itself holds a pro-sex message. In fact, from a biblical standpoint, there is no reason to hold back from sex within marriage. The couple is free to enjoy sex as long as it is mutual and done in a spirit of love and respect for each other. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The Physical Dimension

Every person holds a body image, which are attitudes about pour bodily appearance. There are three factors that affect how we perceive ourselves" The sensory experience, the feedback we receive from significant others growing up and the models with which we compare ourselves. We distort our position as God's creation when are preoccupied with the dissatisfaction of our bodies. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

We can work to resolve inferior body image problems by examining our views and see if they reflect who we really are. We can also use various methods to change different aspects of our bodies (makeup, weight change, plastic surgery). One needs to reevaluate who and what they are comparing themselves to and make sure they are using realistic models. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

When God created our bodies, it was very good. This includes our sexual parts. Every human is sexual from birth; all sexual parts are present at birth. These are not accompanies by sexual feelings- this happens once puberty begins. Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for the sex drive in both men and women, as is the base for sexual desire, arousal and release. When people have issues with these three areas, it is important to have their levels of testosterone checked by a doctor (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Masters and Johnson first defined the sexual response pattern for specific phases: The excitement phase, the initial arousal which is evident by the man's erect penis and the woman's vaginal lubrication; the plateau phase, which is the longest phase, the love play in which arousal intensifies, preparing for sexual release; the orgasmic phase, the shortest phase, the release; and the resolution phase, the body returns to it prearousal state. Sexual intercourse is not necessary for a full sexual response, nor does sexual intercourse, and sure a full sexual release (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The Total Experience

Spending time with your spouse is important in developing and keeping sexual interest in each other. Time spent together that is planned and free of demands, stress, distractions and obligations are a part of the total experience. Conserving energy for the times of sexual contact is necessary for sexual desire. (Penner & Penner, 2003). Sexual desire is more than hormones- it is a yearning for spiritual intimacy [Rosenau, D., & Sytsma, M. (2004). pp 264]

 There is difference between sexual desire and sexual arousal. Arousal is your body's response to stimulation, a process of physical change. Sexual desire is a manifestation of our sex drive. (get pg # chpte 9). Addressing problems, clearing out distractions, identify what works for both partners and assuming responsibility for your own pleasure enhances sexual desires. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Having fun is affection without expectation, which is essential in the marital relationship. Cuddling, kissing and holding, caressing can be done without any demands or expectation. One partner may drawback when they think it will always lead to sexual intercourse. Having fun is a way to be creative and take advantage of the freedom God gave within marriage . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The stereotypes of male and female roles have to be broken down within marriage., especially when it comes to initiation. Finding new places will inspire the partner who tends to be rather passive otherwise. Initiating can either be done by symbolic message, consisting f kissing, fondling, or hugging; or direct invitation, in which one may say- let's go to bed and make love. Despite of the method used, initiation requires clear communication (Penner & Penner, 2003).

 Spending time together in part of the process of becoming one flesh, the husband and wife meshing their worlds together. This is a critical ingredient in a satisfying relationship. God did not make sex exclusively for physical release, but to unite tow spirits- emotionally and physically. There are various barriers that can be eliminated through verbal or nonverbal communication, like aesthetic or physical {bad breather, body odors} barriers. When discussing difficult subjects, empathy is critical which sold always be done away from the lovemaking event (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The Word of God expresses how bodily pleasure is expected. Some tend to tense up rather than relax, because of their rigid, moralistic upbringing. They have difficulty in receiving or giving pleasure. The couple has to also work on their barriers to giving and receiving pleasure, which either one or they both have. Both need to communicate to the other what they like and dislike, whether verbally and nonverbally (Penner & Penner, 2003).

There are few things a couple can do to add spice to a relationship. The book gives examples of setting the atmosphere by using the old marriage adage: something old, using something that has history for the couple; something new, using something or a place that is unfamiliar- repetition for a long period of time causes a loss of spark; something borrowed, outside exposure; and something blue, creating tradition for the couple, When this is done without demand and out of thoughtfulness and love, it brings new excitement to the marital bed (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Pleasuring may or may not be stimulating. Mechanical stimulation, if I do A then B will always happen, may lead to monotony and boredom. What was stimulating one night may nto be stimulating the next, especially with women. Each sexual encounter should be individual and unique. If each person take responsibility for their personal pleasure, both parties should be satisfied. This two ways system can utilize nonverbal communication signals, a flexible system, nondemanding, and one partner guides the other's hand in order to teach them what feels good. Some touch may be more irritating than stimulating. IF one partner likes firm touching, a light touch would be considered irritating (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Entry is by invitation only, usually by the woman, because it is her body that is being entered. Entry is what changes the sexual experiences into sexual intercourse. The invitation does not have to be forma;, nonverbal signals can be used. A woman should back off when her feelings are not ready for entry, even if her body is (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The involuntary nervous system controls one's sexual arousal and release. Arousal is when one gets sexually excited. This takes place when the person is relaxed and soaking in pleasure. Release is also controlled by the involuntary nervous system ,therefore we cannot will an orgasm, but we can encourage pr resist one. Men are usually limited to one release per experience -- they need to have a rest period of at least 20 to 30 minutes before they become free corrals. Women have the potential for many orgasms within one event -- may occur in rapid sequence without any relaxation of sexual excitement. Also repeated orgasms are a physical potential for women this should not be the goal -- when become a goal rather than it reflects responsibly unless likely to happen (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Affirmation is when one confirms another. The degree of physical release and the emotional needs of a person dictate if and when affirmation is needed. The idea that women need to be caressed after release is not true, if she is fully satisfied, she is likely to want to fall asleep. If a man is unsure of himself, he may be the one needing affirmation afterwards, nto the woman. Interferences with affirming one another may be: tension in the relationship, no communication one leaving the other unsatisfied and needy and pain (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Cleaning up after a sexual experience can mean different things to different people. Some do not have a problem with the bodily fluids and discharges. If one is having serious problem with bodily fluid during or after sex, they should seek professional help. Sexual organs, orifices and discharges are clean (Penner & Penner, 2003).

When Sex Isn't Working

On may encounter sexual problems within marriage. Although our bodies were designed for pleasure, arousal in response, one may still encounter sexual problems. One of the reasons for sexual problems is a lack of knowledge regarding what is normal and natural, how to enjoy the body will go after arousal for themselves, understanding the sexual process in response. This may lead to avoidance, but unconsciously or consciously. One may avoid due to guilt, authentic or inauthentic, keep being themselves from fully enjoying sexual activities; anger, may have been brought in their life experiences from the past or current anger from stress; lack of self for, not feeling good about themselves, therefore avoiding being sexual. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The fear failure is a major source of sexual difficulty. It can bring in sexual anxiety from a demand for performance or the need to please. This and past traumatic experience, like molestation, rape, can cause black erotic feelings. The person experiencing these problems must breakthrough pass trauma through counseling. Relationship problems can also call sexual discourse. Rejection, contempt or told disregard for the other partner, and a lack of respect can cause sexual problems. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Couples have to work out their difference in their marriage. Especially when it comes to sex drive. There may be imaged differences, especially when children are added to the home or when one or both is starting a business or career. There also emotional differences. When two people have different types of personalities, one of low intensity and the other high-intensity, causing difference of levels of sexual needs. Barriers to great sex and long-term anonymous relationships: Relationship fatigue, codependency, gender, dysphoria, trauma, history of abuse and cultural messages that say, good girls don't and Romans score [(2009). Untangling the web of low desire. ]. A couple can adjust to these differences through communication, openness, identifying the differences, and taking measures to reduce defensiveness. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Spending time together is very important and should be planned out and coordinated. Sometimes both people avoid sex, because they are not satisfied and have difficulty with intimacy. A couple needs to make planning time for sex a priority, without a demand for arousal, intercourse or release. Couples need to come together and decide on what is appropriate for them, emotionally acceptable sexual activities rather than morally or biblically correct. There are traditional approaches and experimental approaches in choosing different places, positions, accouterments, and stimulation. A free-flowing style and stimulation is the best approach. Three things to remember to reduce irritation and frustration and stimulation are: could I be in a hurry, domestic one spot be able to press Mr. each other without any specific sexual experience. (Penner & Penner, 2003). Stress, work, and children are commonly cites as reasons why couples don't pay enough attention each other in bedroom [(2009). Untangling the web of low desire. ]. God called his people to be pure, unlike the others who walked in sexual impurity, for sexual desire and behaviors have the potential for some of the most intimate or damaging interactions that man can imagine. [Rosenau, D., & Sytsma, M. (2004).]

Many couples experience a loss of love. Especially if they suffer pain as a result of their marriage, the feelings of love me just the way. They may encounter anger, whether they came into the marriage with it or because of marital conflict. It developed. The couple may have never been in love and married for the wrong reasons. Sexual rape training can help them fall back into love again. The love can also grow again when a change occurs within the relationship. Pregnancy is an important subject for many couples. Choosing the correct method of birth control is important. Sometimes the method or the lack of it can hinder the sexual experience. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

There many barriers that can block our desire in marriage. For women, a lack of pleasure can cause a lack of general interest in sex and she may not feel emotionally connected with her husband. One can also set in. It is mechanical or oriented search electricity. Also the wife considers sex a duty. She is not fully enjoying the experience. A man they have a black and their sexual desire if they are sexually naïve or uninformed. Also, the male who thought of his wife as a truly to be one in one's achieved, moved on to other projects. Also man was struggling with his gender identity may have brought sexual desire. (Penner & Penner, 2003). A lot of women do not have or may have never experienced spontaneous desire. It does not show up until moments before orgasm. People are looking for the desire to desire or the desire for design -- may be unrealistic. Desire is not going to be a spontaneous experience.[(2009). Untangling the web of low desire. ].

Both partners can have block desire. Medications including antidepressants, menopause, hysterectomies, and aging may also play a role [(2009). Untangling the web of low desire. ]. It may have been internal conflict about being sexual, therefore, they would have to make the conscious decision to be sexual. Also sexual trauma, abuse or violation, would have to be resolved through counseling before those beers would be unblocked. Emotional sexual blocks include a lack of bonding in infancy, rigid anti-sexual teachings as a child, and a controlling, dominant opposite sex parent who disempowered their same sex parent. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

A man may suffer from issues that hinder his sexual experience. Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, not sterility or inhibited ejaculation, but a man inability to get or keep an erection. 85% is caused by physical problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease. Although erectile dysfunction increased from 20%-52% with age, this is not the primary source. A man may have been battling premature ejaculation which has led to loss of erections, or the woman is suffering from Vaginismus, therefore he has trouble entering the vagina, losing his erection. Emotional factors can be the cause of erectile dysfunction, like anxiety in relationship or clinical depress. The latter has to be dealt with before the erectile dysfunction. Premature ejaculation is when a man does not have control over his ejaculation. This can leave him feeling insecure and the woman unsatisfied, and both frustrated. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

One problem that may affect a woman during sex is if she has trouble accepting her right to receive pleasure. She may have trouble letting go, fearing orgasm; does not expect pleasure for herself, focusing on pleasuring the man; her sex hormones may be affected by her poor diet. Physically, pelvic pain may be experienced during intercourse., in which 16% of women have complaints about. There are various types of pain in different location: in the vaginal barrel, the pelvic cavity or the eternal genitals. Despite of location, the women should get a medical checkup. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Sexual addiction and obsession with pornography can affect sex within the marriage. Sexual addiction may be views as primarily a disorder or intimacy that is rooted in early developmental attachment problems with primary caregivers. Children who grow up in this type of environment develop maladaptive core beliefs which cause emotional distress. [Pp 221 Hook, J., Hook, J., & Hines, S. (2008): ] Someone has a sexual addiction when they lack control over some sexual behavior , they are preoccupied with it. They have the strong urge to have repeated sex in a short period of time with different partners. A person that has a lot of sex may not have a sex addiction, the compulsive and obsessive components are what make it an addiction. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

The clinical characteristics of sexual addiction are very similar to the DSM-IVR criteria for substance use disorders. To accept the term sexual addiction, one must accept that the basis for addiction is nto the substance or behavior itself- but rather the changes on one's emotional state associated with the substance or behavior. Sexually addictive behaviors can be classicized into three levels: Level one behaviors are generally accepted and tolerated by culture [compulsive masturbation, compulsive relationships, viewing porn and strip shows, prostitution and anonymous sex]; Level two behaviors are not accepted by the culture, and participation may result in serious consequences [exhibitionism, voyeurism, and indecent phone calls and liberties; Level three behaviors are viewed as major boundary violations [child molestation, incest and rape] Both men and women struggle with sexual addiction- although less prevalent in women and symptoms may look different [Hook, J., Hook, J., & Hines, S. (2008): pp 218-219]

In order for one to come of a sexual addiction, the book suggests 5 ideas: The person must have a genuine change of heart, acknowledging their powerlessness and coming into repentance; they must change their life patterns; they must focus on themselves internally, because genuine repentance results in a lifestyle change; they must focus on the relationships that were broken (God, spouse); and they must remain accountable, no one can do it alone. . (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Enhancing the Sexual Pleasure

The book believes a couple should invite God into the bedroom. Separating God from their sexuality may impede their freedom to enjoy sexual pleasure. They can invite God through prayer before or after sexual experiences, or studying what the bible says about sex. The couple can thank God for their times of sexual connectedness, and ask Him to bless their intimate times. Pray is a way of acknowledging that the enjoyment of sex is ordained of God. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

A couple needs to make their sexual relationship intentional. The book suggests planning nonsexual and sexual time together. Enjoying sex, instead of making a chore or putting demands on each other, is gratifying in the long run of the relationship. When confronting sexual issues, do so outside of the bedroom. Both partners can accept responsibility for their sex life by keeping physically fit, staying well groomed, staying sexually attentive and keeping their sexual feeling turned toward home. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

 A couple can overcome their differences and make them work for their relationship, keeping sex fun while affair proofing the marriage. They can do this by investing time and energy, claiming biblical promises, keeping their mind and heart pure from infidelity and making quick exits when tempted, for God always makes a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). Always keep the lines of communication open, learning more about yourself and your partner, and engage in passionate kissing daily. (Penner & Penner, 2003).

Conclusion

Sex is a beautiful wonder experience within the boundaries of a marital covenant. God designed our bodies to be sexual and toe experience pleasure. Bringing God into the married sexual relationship will bring it to a higher level of freedom and intimacy. The world and its lust have defiled what God has reacted and abused and misused it. Once a couple has received the knowledge of the Truth about sex according to God's plan, they can be free, because once they know the truth it will set them free. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 


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