The Bible references sex dozens of times and even has an entire book devoted to the subject, yet many Christians struggle with the tension between wanting more (or at least better) sex and the taboo of even talking about it.
The world offers so many messages that conflict with a biblical perspective that it is hard to know how to feel, what to think and even what is acceptable when it comes to sex in a loving marriage.
The Essential Elements of Sex™ is a comprehensive, candid and tasteful course about sex within Christian marriage from renowned speaker, teacher and author, Eryn-Faye Frans, Canada’s Passion Coach®.
Widely praised by couples and church leaders, The Essential Elements of Sex is a thoughtful and humorous approach for men and women to learn the foundational principles of a healthy, thriving sex life.
Presentations, facilitated discussions, participant-driven interaction and ”Bedwork” provide the vehicles through which individuals can learn about themselves, and couples can get to know each other better.
Session 1: Myth Busting
So much of what we believe about sex is simply not true. If we are to have sexual intimacy with our spouse for a lifetime, we have to stop operating under faulty assumptions and unlearn most of what the world espouses as truth.
What does a “normal” sex life actually look like? Very few of us know the answer to that question. In this section of The Essential Elements of Sex, we explore what research is telling us about sex and how it impacts the way we relate to our spouse. In the process, we address eight common misconceptions about sex including the big three: You always feel desire before arousal, He is always the one who wants sex, and I have to feel emotionally connected before sex.
Session 2: Faith & Goal Setting
What does the Bible actually say about sex? Many Christians are terrified of being ungodly, sinful or “dirty” in this highly sensitive area of their relationships – so much so that they often allow their sex lives to atrophy. It is only when we move from a place of fear to one of faith that we can allow this area of our relationship to flourish.
In the Faith section of the course, we investigate why we believe what each of us individually believes regarding sexual intimacy, and then we explore what God actually designed for us. Course participants will each set a goal that they will work towards during the course so that they can make measurable change in their relationship over the duration of time.
Session 3: Communication
At the core of every great sex life is the ability to effectively communicate needs and desires. Most couples believe this means talking. While simple verbal communication is a skill that every couple should develop, active communication techniques are equally important to learn and just as necessary if we are going to be able to share intimacy in our marriage.
In this section of the course, we draw upon the most recent research on the differences in the genders to understand both verbal and active styles of communication. This enables couples to find common ground when addressing their sex lives so that they can use the differences between them as catalysts to intimacy rather than acrimony.
Session 4: Ritual & Mystery
So many couples want to connect sexually, but their desire is drowned out by the mundane details of life. Finding ways to connect consistently is essential to continually deepening sexual intimacy. Whether we realize it or not, each of us have rituals in our relationship. In many ways, ritual is how couples organize their lives around the known. Understanding mystery, on the other hand, requires us to recognize the importance of the unknown, and to acknowledge that there will always be unknowns about our marriage and our spouse.
In this session, couples identify and analyze the rituals that they already have in their sexual relationship – their paving, initiating, bedding and resolution rituals – with a view to deciding if they are effective for them or if changes need to take place. Afterwards, we discuss that when God leads us into seasons of the unknown, it is a personal invitation to intimacy. Learning contentment in uncertainty is an entry point into true intimacy.
Session 5: Pleasure & Respect
When couples are experiencing intense pleasure in their sexual relationship, there is incredible motivation to overcome life’s obstacles and find the time to connect. However, when one or both spouses are not enjoying pleasure, it is tremendously easy to feign a headache or be overwhelmed with other duties. That being said, cultivating pleasure in intimacy relies heavily upon a healthy amount of respect between husband and wife.
The section on pleasure not only highlights the importance of both spouses giving and receiving pleasure but also gives tasteful and practical education on how to do so. This is why the pleasure section must work in tandem with respect. When a lack of respect (real or perceived) creeps into a couple’s marriage, it inevitably manifests in the bedroom. Preference will not be given to each other’s needs, and a tit-for-tat cycle of withholding from each other can begin. This cycle needs to be identified and interrupted in order for sexual enjoyment to flourish. In this section, participants explore the various ways popular culture encourages a lack of respect to persist in relationships, and then determine very practical ways to make intentional changes so that both respect and pleasure can flourish.
Session 6: Creativity & Trust
If couples are intending to have a life-long sexual relationship with the each other, then creativity, variety and spontaneity need to be tools in their tool belts. However, in order for couples to be able to embrace the full freedom of creativity, they have to be deeply rooted in their trust of each other.
Couples whose sex lacks any creativity are at risk of succumbing to the most subtle but deadly threats: boredom. In this section of the course, we investigate various ways couples can inject new life into their sexual relationship in a manner that suits the personalities of the spouses.
But before creativity can thrive, it is essential to understand that broken trust and unforgiveness will impede growth in any sexual relationship if they are allowed to fester. Through this session couples learn about the importance of trust, what that looks like in day-to-day life, and participate in an intensive, personal forgiveness exercise.
Session 7: Passion & Attraction
When surveyed, 80% of divorcing couples said that they still loved each other but none of them had any passion for each other. If couples are not actively and consciously cultivating passion in their relationship, they run the risk of it becoming cold. However, spouses can be intentionally building their sense of passion all day long only to have it immediately extinguished when they come home to a spouse that they find unattractive.
In this session, couples are given tools and techniques to rebuild passion both for each other and in their personal lives. After a fuller understanding of passion is achieved, couples explore the importance of “being attractive” to their spouse in a manner that is specific to their spouse, as opposed to stereotypes of attractiveness as defined by pop culture.
Session 8: Making It Last
Throughout the course, participants have been working on ways to convert the intellectual knowledge contained in the teachings into applicable, active learnings in their relationship. But when they are no longer under the parameters of a regularly scheduled class, they often feel concerned that this progress will cease.
The purpose of this session is relapse prevention. It gives couples the tools to continue to build intimacy in the years to come and to get back on track if they find themselves in a rut. Couples graph their Personal Satisfaction Assessments to see visual representations of significant break-thorough in their relationship so that, should they find themselves in places of difficulty again, they can apply the solutions that they discovered during the course.
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