The best television shows educate us on the realities of life through telling us a compelling story that we can relate to. Hillary and I love NBC’s Parenthood exactly for this reason. We invest ourselves in the characters and talk about what we might do in the situation taking place on the screen. Parenthood tells the story of four grown children who are adapting to parenting their own children and dealing with their spouses. They are each in dialogue with each other about the trials of parenting and what it means to be a family. Parenthood is a realistic look at parenting today in a variety of different family types.
Last night’s episode was a great example of why I love Parenthood. Haddie, the 16 year old daughter of Adam and Kristina Braverman (seen above), is dating Alex who is a recovering alcoholic. Alex’s story is one of redemption but the Bravermans are still unsure of the relationship and wonder if they are having sex. Through an awkward event involving an accidental phone call, the Bravermans find out that their daughter is having sex. It shatters Adam’s view of his daughter and our hearts ached as we watch Haddie thirsting for her dad’s attention. The writers of Parenthood don’t take sex lightly and just breeze over the fact that Haddie had sex, but they show the consequences of sex on relationships. The preview for next week’s episode even showed a clip of Adam finding a pregnancy test in the dumpster and looking up at Haddie’s window. A sign that Parenthood will dive even deeper into the consequences of sex.
If you are a parent or work with teenagers I would highly recommend this show. It is a great jumping off point for some productive conversations about parenting styles and how to relate to our children. I applaud the writers of Parenthood for accurately showing the realities of life without glamorizing parenting and teenage life.
Sex is a taboo subject in church. Sure there are pastors that encourage church members to have sex with their spouses every day for the month of February. The pastors giving these sermons are male which shouldn’t come as a surprise. I wonder how the wives in those congregations feel about the challenge. These sermons are the exception though.
We don’t talk about sex in church. The only message is to wait until you get married to have sex with your spouse. I would argue that we need to talk more about sex at church because it is an important part of marital intimacy (but not the only part, men). I have chosen the bedroom for obvious reasons as we talk about how men can take leadership in their marriage.
How can we experience sex in the pure, euphoric way that God intended it? How can we as men lead our wives sexually?
Sex is a taboo subject in too many Christian marriages. Honesty is the foundation of a healthy marriage and this means we need to be honest with our partner. It is hard to start conversations about sex with your spouse but the more you talk about it, the easier it gets. Men, we need to take the lead and start this conversation. Just start with the question, “How satisfied are you with our sex life?” Encourage your spouse to be brutally honest. Don’t defend yourself. Just listen.
It is sad to me that some women think their role is to submit to their husband whenever he wants it. This is not the biblical idea of submission. Husbands need to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25). This radical, selfless love is different than the male chauvinism that is present in some Christian circles. Men, how often do we serve our wives in the bedroom? Have we ever asked our wives what they liked and followed through on their desires? I dare you to serve your wife in the bedroom and see what happens.
All right men this is where it gets tough. Is your wife the sole object of your sexual desires or is she competing with others? In this oversexed culture, temptation is everywhere. Advertisers know what gets us going. Just watch ESPN and count how many of the commercials show off alluring women. It is said that 95% of Christian men struggle with pornography and the other 5% are lying. Pornography ruins the pure sexual experience that God created for us to enjoy.
We need to be honest with our wives if we struggle with pornography. If you thought it was hard to talk about sex with your wife, it is even harder to talk about our struggles with pornography. But we need to be honest with our wives. The love and grace that can come when your wife loves you in spite of your struggles can be transformational in your life. It will take time though. Find other men who can keep you accountable to your commitment to purity. Get an internet filter or accountability software like x3watch. Encourage your pastor to dedicate one Sunday as Porn Sunday (see video below). We have to work together to find freedom from the chains of pornography. The health of our marriages depends on it.
It is easier to talk about sex with our buddies than it is with our wives. We need to man up and lead our wives in the bedroom. The journey is tough and awkward at times, but a pure, honest sex life is worth the journey it took to get there. You will not have any regrets.