Monday, September 19, 2011

Sexy Habits (Part Two)

(If you haven't already read it, check out Part One of this post: "Sexy Habits to Develop While You're Single." The name says it all!)

I don't like to waste time, so let's get right down to it, shall we? :)

6. Chuck your granny panties

Forgive me if this is TMI, but I'm very proud to admit that I have not purchased (or been given, thank God!) a single pair of white, cotton underwear over the last ten years. Heck no!!!! And while it is certainly true that my personal preference is to wear pretty/colorful/flattering pieces of clothing (underwear notwithstanding), I submit that wearing cute lingerie is a healthy, sexy habit that all single girls should strive to embrace.

First of all, what we wear (even when no one else sees it), says a lot about how we feel about our bodies. While some may argue that frumpy, cotton undies say: "I like being comfortable. I don't need to impress anyone," am of the opinion that they are really communicating: "I'm uncomfortable with my beauty and the sexual parts of my body. In fact, I'm ashamed of my body."

It almost brings me to tears to write that because I know how deep those fears/insecurities can be. We worry that we are not attractive or somehow we don't deserve to feel sexy because of our past sexual brokennesss. I know, ladies, I've been there! But I'm bringing this up because we need to deal with that baggage NOW. Someday, you will be married and you will suddenly be faced with some very in-your-face realities. Like the fact that your husband will want to look at your naked body. A lot ;) If you feel ugly or ashamed, you will work hard to hide your body from your husband; you will feel gross and unworthy. If you struggle with insecurity, you will want to cover up, not just because it is what you've always done (if you've been in the habit of wearing granny panties/flannel/other unattractive things to bed...), but because of your deeper issues with fear and shame. Believe me, girls, marriage will not solve your body/sexual issues! Allow Jesus to re-new your thinking about who he has made you to be as a woman. Remember, when God created Eve, he said she was "Good!" And you, my sister, are a daugther of Eve. You have her genes! The Lord made all of us beautiful and sexy in our own unique ways. But don't take my word for it...let Him tell you!

"But Jen," you might say, "I don't wear sexy underwear because it makes me think about sex!" True, true. I've wrestled with that as well (no pun intended...until Like I said in my very first VV blog post, I do believe we can navigate our God-given sexual desires in a pure way. To be honest, you probably will struggle with greater temptation to lust when you start shopping at Victoria's Secret...not gonna lie to you there. Mind you, I'm NOT giving you an excuse to sin, but I am suggesting that you explore this possibility (seeing yourself as a sexual person) with creativity and...gasp!...with the help of the Spirit. Ask Him: "God, please show me how to be comfortable in, and even to love, the body you have given me. Show me how I can dress attractively, but not slutty." Hahahaha...God can take that!

Forgive me if this offends you (it shouldn't), but God knows what is under your underwear! He took time to make you specifically that way! And guess what? Perhaps the trippiest thought here is that someday, God is gonna watch you and your hubby gettin it on...and He's gonna be happy! :) One day, your sex will be holy! In your marriage, you will be naked and unashamed...freakin' worshipping Jesus by rolling around with your spouse in bed! Whew! Sorry to put that image in your mind prematurely, but we need to think about that because that is the reality of sex in marriage. And we best be preppin' now by investing in cute bras/panties...and...dare I say it...getting used to walking around our rooms in little to no clothing! (Again, hubby is gonna want that...make it a habit now!). Besides, if it's only Jesus seein' you naked while you're single (as it should be), trust me when I say that it is pure and it's not gonna freak Him out...

7. Get acquainted with the kitchen

So, I'm what theologians call a "complimentarian." Basically, that's a fancy way of saying that I believe feminism is BS :) I think that it is clear, not just from simply observing men and women (one of my favourite past-times), but throughout Scripture, that men and women are created with different (but beautiful and amazing) roles. These roles are meant to compliment each other (hence the name...). I think there are certain things that God has gifted men to do (be the protector/provider/spiritual leader, etc), and likewise, women have equally signficiant (albeit different) giftings (having babies/nurturing the kiddos/supporting and encouraging their husbands, etc). And while I do know and appreciate many men in my life who can cook (you've gotta admit that a guy in the kitchen is kinda sexy...), I think that this is a wonderful skill for single women to cultivate.

We all know the cliche: "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Well, if that's true (and I'm convinced it is...especially after living in YWAM! lol), then why do we insist on gettin all up in here and throw a little feminist hissy fit when someone suggests we learn to cook? No,your femininity is not defined by your culinary artistry or ability to make a cake from scratch. BUT, if you know that you can be a blessing to your husband by cooking for him, then why not do it? Again, remember the last post: Effort is hot! Men like food...and by you getting into the habit of being able to make some delicious food now, you are preparing yourself to be a selfless and wonderful blessing to him someday.

p.s. Give yourself some grace! Learning to cook doesn't always take right away. But keep experimenting and seeing what you're good at. Even if you can get 10 solid meals down now, that's a great start! :)

p.p.s. There's a Christian book title that says it all: "Sex Begins in the Kitchen" by Kevin Leman. Mmmmhmmm...that's right... :)

8. Know what you like

When it comes to whether or not people should get married young (which I would define as 25 or younger), I've heard decent arguments for both sides. One the one hand, people say it's good to marry young because you get to explore life, find out what you like and grow together. On the other hand, however, people who get married later in life have a greater chance of knowing themselves and knowing what they want/like/need, which can be a great help in choosing a spouse with similiar wants/needs/life goals. Truthfully, I think both sides are valid. But, while you are in the waiting...20 year old, 30 year taking some time to figure out who God made you to be. Take tests, even if you're not a fan of them, do it anyway :) You know, spiritual gifts, love languages, Myers Briggs, Strengthsfinder...all that. My suggestion? Go buy a notebook or keep a file on your computer that's solely about you. Give it a title that, if other people saw it, they would think you're completely vain. Call it something like: "Me and My Awesomeness" or "Ridiculously Amazing and Attractive Things about (Insert Your Name Here)." LOL

While you're writing, think about both the practical things you like/dislike (food, music, styles, etc), as well as the deeper things you want out of life (desires of your heart, goals for the future). Granted, all of those things will change/shift in different ways over the years (and you will no doubt add to those lists new things you discover more of the world), but generally, most things on that list would remain pretty stable. And that's cool...and super important to know. That way, when you do get into a new relationship, you'll be able to look at it more objectively. You can stop and think about your likes/dislikes and determine whether or not you and the other person are actually compatable (not just super swoony over each other). Also, when you know what you like (and you know who you are enough not to be swayed by someone else's opinion), you can be honest with a potential significant other without feeling the pressure to have to do/be/like something just because they do. Remember, to BE you, you first have to KNOW you. So, ask Jesus about it... :)

9. Move it, move it

Exercize is definitely sexy, in my book. Not only do I feel more attractive after a run, but I can't deny that seeing a group of guys all sweaty after a rugby match (harken back to Oz!) is hot! While I won't dwell on the latter, I will speak to YOU and ask you what your exercize habits are. Hmmmm??? Thank God for ORU: the fact that it was a requirement of our college education to get aerobics points (equates to working out 4x a week, for you non-ORUers) and to run/power walk a 3-mile race every semester was not so much a pain in the ass, as much as it was an excellent motivator! In college, I started to really get what the Bible means when it says "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit." Your physical health and wellness is completely intertwined with your spiritual life. No matter what you may believe, the truth is, you can't separate the two. We are called to be good stewards of our body because our physical health affects everything else in our lives!

And, let's just get real for a minute...When you workout, you're gonna start to look better. You might (and hopefully will) still have some curve on you. That's good: God designed us to be that way. Plus, you're a need a little fat, if not just to nurture your babies someday. All of that to say, while I think "2% body fat and curve-free" is gross and unhealthy, I do believe it is super important to give our future husbands the very best version of our ourselves that we can be. You might not be able to fit into the size you did when you were 16, but you should be dilligent about being the best you that your current age/body type will allow for. And when you consistently work out and eat healthy, you might actually surprise yourself.

True story: I went to get fitted for a bridesmaids dress recently and told the attendant the size that I guessed I might be (based on the last bridemaids dress I wore from the same store several years ago). The attendant brought me a few dresses in that size, but after she saw me in the first two (and she had to pin them in the back), she was like "That is NOT your size." She then got me a smaller size and I almost lost it (happy tears) because I fit perfectly into a size I never thought I could fit into. I had actually told myself years ago that I didn't think it was physically possible for my body to get down to a certain size. But I did! And through very healthy means, mind you! I still eat treats in moderation, but generally, I strive to be very balanced in my eating and exercize habits. And it pays off!

All of that to say, your very visual husband will definitely appreciate seeing his wife rocking a fit, healthy body. And, of course, there's that whole "Exercize gives you endorphins and energy" thing. You're gonna want a good energy level for doing certain things when you get married. Cliche excuses are lame! If you're tired or you have a headache, it's probably because you've been eating crappy foods, not getting enough exercize or you have an unhealthy lifestyle. All of which can be remedied before marriage, so as to be simply sustained during marriage. (p.s. I understand there are other factors here like someone having a major illness or having morning sickness while pregnant. I'm simply talking about doing the simple things you can do now. Usually those by themselves work wonders for our health!). Oh...and one last note...when you exercize, always take time to stretch afterwords. I don't need to tell you that flexibility is a good marital skill to invest in... ;)

10. Speak up

I guess this is easy for me to say because I'm communicator. After all, talking is fun for me and comes naturally. Even still, the ability to honestly and boldy communicate my feelings has been a skill that I have worked hard to cultivate throughout my twenties. And although I'm pretty outgoing and bold, there have been hundreds of times where it was much easier NOT to say what I needed to say or to give into fear of man and say something just to appease someone else. I have made many, many mistakes in the area of communication over the years. But praise Jesus for His redemption! As I've walked through the inner healing issues of my life (fear of man, fear of rejection, etc), I've realized that most of my communication mistakes stemmed from those deeper rooted struggles/strongholds. When I dealt with those (ongoing process, mind you, but having at least dug into the hardest parts already...), I felt the freedom to be able to communicate my emotions/opinions freely.

So YWAMers, remember what our good ole' friend Dean Sherman says? "Every problem is a relationship problem!" And that can go one logical step further still: "Every relationship problem is a communication problem." Isn't that true? So often, we live in ambiguity and assumption over a certain situation or the actions of a certain person simply because we haven't taken the time (or haven't been bold enough) to honestly share our perception and to hear theirs. And because we fail to even broach the topic, we don't even get around to talking through (and not dismissing) the issue.

Intimacy is cultivated through communication. If we learn how to honestly communicate our fears/expectations/desires while we are single (with your friends/family/Jesus), I would think it would be a heck of a lot less shock to do in a marriage. This is the reason why I blog about typically taboo topics (for the Christian anyway). I want to be able to honestly talk about issues of sexuality, insecurity and my past/present struggles so that it becomes a habit. I want to be honest because I know my honesty will be one of the greatest gifts I can give my spouse one day. None of this whole: "If you loved me, you would know (what I need/want/am thinking)!" Absolute BS! It would be a great service to your hubby to give him a break and LET HIM KNOW how he can bless you. When you get over your expectations and pride, I think in most cases, your husband will be MORE than happy to know (and give you!) what you want. So, know what you want and tell him!

p.s. And since I can't end any of these little tips without talking about sex ;), let me just say that the #1 thing every young adult pastor/pre-marital counselor/Christian marriage book will tell you is the key to an amazing sex life is to COMMUNICATE. So, if you can't even tell your friend that she hurt your feelings, your parents that you want to be treated like an adult, or your boyfriend that you wish he would stop playing Xbox and talk to you, how on earth are you gonna tell your husband someday what he needs to do to make you have an orgasm?

Think about it...

But I know you're not. You're just thinking about the fact that I just said "orgasm" on my blog. LOL!

I forgive you. And please forgive me. None of this is meant to be crude, or to make you stumble. I just want us all to make the connection about these things while we are still single. Because, Lord knows that marriage won't solve the struggles we have now. Marriage also won't magically awaken in us a new set of habits that we are just soooo thrilled to start incoroporating into our lifestyle (yeah, try shaving your legs every day after marriage if you haven't already been doing it for the past few years. That'll last about a month...).

Respect yourself, your future man and your Jesus, and be a good steward of your singleness. And don't forget to write me back in a couple of years and tell me how it's going. Like I said in my first post, when we put forth that super sexy effort and intention, I have no doubt that the harvest will be good... :)

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, great posts! I'm sure you weren't expecting a guy to comment (my apologies in advance), but what you've shared is so true about embracing the truth about our sexuality as God made us. In their right context, sensual things are not wrong. You obviously care about the details, which I know your husband will one day appreciate!