In today’s Deep Dive Interview, Mark and Jill sit down with Shaunti Feldhahn and Dr. Michael Sytsma to discuss their new book, Secrets of Sex and Marriage: 8 Surprises that Make all the Difference. Shaunti is a social researcher with an analytical background, while Dr. Sytsma is an ordained minister, professional counselor, and a sex therapist. Together, with their unique approaches, they have tackled the topic and written this book which gives straight forward, practical advice, delivered with biblical truth.
Talk About It:
Have we allowed the “Hollywood Version” to bring in any unrealistic expectations in our marriage or sex relationship?
What does it take to woo you (get you engaged) even when you’re not hungry for it?
Can we identify what our relationship challenges are that may be hindering sex from happening? i.e. communication issues, energy management, etc.
Think About It:
Jill mentioned the phrase “committing assumicide” (too many assumptions leading to negative results). In what areas do I need to stop committing assumicide in our marriage?
Am I the initiating desire or the receptive desire? What about my spouse? What can I do to better accommodate this?
Notes and Quotes:
Initiating Desire- Feel desire first and do something about it
Receptive Desire- Make a decision to get involved sexually and eventually feelings of desire follow
We offered this workshop to the general public January 2023 and made it available at no cost for our Date Night members. While it has a 2023 date, it is timeless and the principles can be started at anytime!
Have you felt powered over, degraded or shamed by me? If so, could you help me see how I have done this?
What do you consider comforting for you? How could I comfort you if you asked me to do so?
Are our conflicts healthy or unhealthy? Do we work together to resolve conflicts or do we fight?
Think About It
For wives: Am I frustrated that I want my husband to lead and yet I am personally frustrated that he doesn’t lead the way that I want him to lead?
For wives: Husbands wake up everyday with the unconscious and sometimes conscious thought, “Do you believe in me?”Husbands need respect. How am I giving or not giving respect to my husband?
For Husbands: Wives wake up everyday with the unconscious and sometimes conscious thought, “Do you still love me?” How am I loving or not loving my wife?
List your thoughts, both positive and negative of what you believe about your spouse.
Am I accepting my spouses differences or wanting them to be like me? Am I resentful towards them because of this?
Is the strong woman and silent man syndrome operating in my marriage?
Notes and Quotes
“I’m a strong woman. God didn’t want to take my strength away, but he wanted me to steward it differently in my marriage.” –Jill Savage
“The first step in finding the hero in your husband is confession to God and then to your husband.” –Juli Slattery
Women have the power in their marriage to build intimacy with their husband by 1) respecting their husband and 2) helping their husband to grow and mature.
Husbands have the power in their marriage to build intimacy with their wife by 1) being attentive, nurturing and seeing their wife and 2) protecting their wife.
Conflict isn’t the same thing as a fight. Conflict is “us together against a problem.”
Differences drive conflict, personal values drive conflict, perspectives and experiences drive conflict. A fight is when it is me against you!
Practical ways to navigate conflict:
1) Wait to resolve a conflict. Waiting can sometimes be the best decision.
2) Learn to slow down your conversation, reflect back and hear each other.
3) Grow in repairing and resetting the relationship.
4) Learn to pray together and ask for God’s help and guidance.
Sex: Every couple struggles with sexual frustrations and issues. Sexual conflict is driven by differing desires, deep seated past hurts, shame, and rejection.
Practical ways to begin repairing sexual conflict:
1) Invite God into your sex life. Pray, if possible together, about your sex life.
2) Get God’s perspective about sex.
3) Seek out wisdom and help from Dr. Juli Slattery’s website, books and podcasts and other author’s as well.
Books: God, Sex and Your Marriage, by Dr. Julie Slattery (out June 2022) Rethinking Sexuality, by Dr. Julie Slattery A Celebration of Sex, by Dr. Doug Rosenau The Gift of Sex: A Guide To Sexual Fulfillment, by Cliff and Joyce Penner (they have written many books on this topic) Is There Really Sex After Kids?, by Jill Savage. These books can all be found here.