As I was buying a bag of apples the other day, I was struck at how many varieties there are. There were Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji, McIntosh and (my favorite) Gala, just to name a few. According to Wikipedia, over 7,500 varieties of apples are known. Apparently, it is not enough to have only one or two types, or even a few hundred. There is something in us that craves variety and we continue to create new and different kinds of apples.
I believe this is part of how we reflect the image of God. Our God is a creative God, so we also create, and part of this creativity is a desire for variety. Even when there is nothing particularly wrong with what we currently have, there are times when we simply want to spice it up, do it a little differently, and recreate it. Faithfully reflecting the creative goodness of God is part of how we praise and honor him.
When this desire for variety is brought into the bedroom, it is not always met with open arms. It seems many husbands have been made to feel guilty for wanting sexual variety, and many wives are suspect. (Note: These roles can be reversed. This is just how it has recently been presented in my office.) To be sure, many husbands have brought immature or distorted forms of variety into their marriage, picking up suggestions from pornography or the locker room, for example. And many wives fear this very thing, wondering if any new suggestion is actually from porn or somewhere else outside of the marriage.
The challenge for couples is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because a desire can be distorted doesn’t mean the desire itself is bad and needs to be eliminated. Faithful stewardship requires us to protect our desires from distortions, while still cultivating and growing it into its true potential. This is what is called for in the desire for sexual variety.
Husbands, embrace your God-given desire to spice things up and recreate the sexual experience with your wife. Ensure that these request bring life and beauty to your marriage bed, and are not shallow or demeaning. Wives, embrace your own creative desires and courageously risk letting your husbands see this vulnerable side of you. Instead of fear, let the light of your love gently restore any distorted desires.
As a couple, talk about what you want to see different in your lovemaking, including any new experiences you would like to try. Share what it would mean to you to try these experiences. This is not to “justify or defend” your desires, but rather to better understand and help you make a deeper connection with your spouse. A new suggestion does not mean your spouse is necessarily unhappy with you or your lovemaking. It may simply be a reflection of the divine image stamped deep on his or her heart, expressing itself in a desire for creative variety.
Be playful. Be curious. Be free. Discover all the rich varieties of your lovemaking as you reflect the creative goodness of our God.
If you need help sorting through your sexual desires and learning how they can bring life to your marriage, schedule your appointment today.