Your Health and Your Sex – Part 4

by Karl Leukert

We continue to be fascinated by the research that continues to be done that shows the link between your health and your sex. Truly they cannot be separated and in an Unashamed Marriage, regular sexual activity is part of the process of getting and remaining healthy. Here is PART FOUR of some of the reasons with links to the source material so you can read them for yourself. (Read part one HERE, part two HERE, and part three HERE.)

1) In an Unashamed Marriage, we believe that God intended husbands and wives to enjoy a wide variety of sexual enjoyment. However, we advise that it was God’s design that penile-vaginal intercourse be the main activity in marriage. His first command to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and 7ad2135189b73ea0cce17c70a53d90d3multiply and there was only one way for that to happen. Once again, science confirms the benefits of this original plan. In the linked study, it shows the results of research that correlated all of the studies done on the benefits of various types of sexual activities. What was shown was that of all activity, regular intercourse is the most health producing sexual activity you can engage in. Condom use reduces this somewhat. “Other sexual activities have weaker, no, or (in the cases of masturbation and anal intercourse) inverse associations with health indices.” This is one more reason why pornography and masturbation should not be part of an Unashamed Marriage.

2) Numerous scientific studies have shown that women tend to live longer than men do. For wives, there are a number of thing they can do to help their husbands “catch up” to them in longevity. Of course exercise, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest, etc., we all know. But, according to a study in South Wales, the greater the frequency of sex, the longer men tend to live, taking into account all other factors. Wives, you may not want your husbands to read this. Look at this response to the abstract posting from a doctor.

Dear Sirs:

Over the years I have found an effective method of educating my patients is to make a copy of the first page of selected journal articles regarding topics which I feel are important to their health.

This has proven to be a useful way to motivate patients to make changes in their lifestyle, or to accept new therapies. There is something about seeing a recommendation in writing with the title of the journal at the top of the page that seems to motivate patients better than just the doctor’s word.

I recently made a copy of Dr. George Smith’s article on “sex and death”, and presented a copy to several of my married female patients for their opinion as to it’s usefulness.

I was caught completely off guard by their response. I was informed in no uncertain terms that if their husbands were ever made aware of this article or given a copy, I would have a very unhappy patient on my hands.

I have since taken a random survey of several more married female patients and hospital employees, and have found almost unanimous agreement with the sentiments of my initial group of patients. Several individuals felt this information might even lead to a deterioration in their marital relationship.

Hence, although this article presents some very interesting statistical data, it may not have a lot of practical significance in the real world, at least in one area of rural USA.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Berger, M.D.

3) Every year in the United States, billions of dollars is spent trying to discover the fountain of youth. Many women think they have discovered it in a syringe filled with Botox. According to recent research in Scotland, instead of a fountain, it may actually be springs of youth, as in bed springs. Over 10 years, scientists have had 3,500 individuals from Europe and America ranging in age from 20 to 104 come into interview rooms where they asked them a series of questions about their lifestyles. While this was taking place they were being watched through a 2-way mirror by volunteer judges who were guessing their ages. When all the data was tabulated, it was discovered that the people watching guessed the ages on average 7 to 12 years younger than the participants actual ages. Of all the things that was a determining factor in the appearance of youth, regular sexual activity was the second most important behind overall health, with a 3 times a week being the optimum frequency. The research also indicated that casual sex doesn’t count in providing this benefit. It only occurs in a long-term committed relationship – LIKE MARRIAGE!

Your Health and Your Sex – Part 3

by Karl Leukert

How important is it to remain sexually active as we age? We have two sections on this in this. Read on to also find out how sex can actually make you smarter. (Read part one HERE and part two HERE.)

1) One of the unfortunate parts of aging is that certain activities – including sex – tend to go through change. Frequency, intensity and duration of all physical exertion will diminish.But, according to a Dutch research study reported on in an article by the Wall Street Journal, if couples will continue to be sexually active or at least keep a positive attitude about their desire for and pleasure received from OlderCouple-©iStockphoto.comSTEEXtheir sexual activity, it will have a significant impact on their cognitive function later in life. According to the abstract of the study itself, “general cognitive functioning (Mini–Mental State Examination), memory performance (Auditory Verbal Learning Test), processing speed (Coding Task), and fluid intelligence (Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices),” all showed significant positive correlation, particularly for women. As you age, do all you can to remain sexually active and keep enjoying what God created to the full!

2) We don’t know what it is about the Dutch and sex research, but another study done there shows yet another amazing benefit that the Creator designed from husbands and wives enjoying knowing each other – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. According to the results of this study, when individuals are sexually aroused, even just thinking about sex, they score higher on tests requiring critical thinking skills. In other words, sex itself can make you smarter!

3) One more effect of aging, this one for men, is prostate issues. According to research, God made provision for this in that wives can help their husbands avoid this by making sure they have frequent sex. In fact, according to the numbers, the minimum goal should be 4 times a week. Now that is something to put on your calendar and plan for!

 

Your Health and Your Sex – Part 2

by Karl Leukert

More fascinating links between health and sex. Does an apple a day have an impact on sexual pleasure? How can sex impact migraine headaches? Read on for answers to these questions and more. (Read part one HERE.)

1) One of the complaints that many women typically have about their husbands is that they just won’t talk to them about deep emotional things. This, can cause serious strains when it comes to time in the bedroom because, especially for the wife, sex is a very emotional experience. But according to research, it is for men too! This is because during orgasm there is a large release of oxytocin – the bonding chemical. Because of this men are more open to talk about deeply intimate issues AFTER SEX than at other times. So wives, if you want deeper conversation with your feet-224680husband, take him deep in the sheets first.

2) We’ve all heard the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. While there is ample scientific proof that eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds will make us healthier, there is actually a study that was conducted in Italy that showed that, talking all other factors into consideration, women who eat an apple a day report an overall better sexual experience. Maybe that’s a better slogan for the apple growers!

3) For those individuals (mostly females, but some males as well) who suffer from migraine headaches, a cure is something they would give just about everything they own on earth to have. Until science discovers this, they look to various coping mechanisms to live with the condition. In our marriage, Karl is the one who has the “joy” of these debilitating episodes. For those who suffer with this condition, they learn their triggers, seek out the right medications or more natural therapies. According to research conducted in Germany, about 1/3 of sufferers should add sex with their spouses to their treatment options. (Actually the spouse part was not part of the research, but this is Unashamed Marriage.) If you have migraines and have not tried sex for relief, what have you got to lose? Oh, Karl was really bummed that he is not part of the third that gets relief, but we enjoyed trying – multiple times.

Your Health and Your Sex – part 1

by Karl Leukert

We continue to be fascinated by the research that continues to be done that shows the link between your health and your sex. Truly they cannot be separated and in an Unashamed Marriage, regular sexual activity is part of the process of getting and remaining healthy. Here is PART ONE of some of the reasons with links to the source material so you can read them for yourself. As Christians, we start with a belief that God designed us as sexual creatures and that all of the research is just us discovering more of the the incredible gift of marital sex that He made.

1) God created men and women and He designed our sexual responses and benefits. He did this because He is a God of love and wants us to have an abundant life. The Bible describes Adam and Eve as being naked and unashamed and that as husbands leave their parents

and join with their wives they become one flesh—definitely sexual imagery. He inspired wise Solomon to write the sexually-charged Song of Solomon. And He showed His care for the sexual pleasure of women when He gave a command in the Old Testament 507959_70612257that upon marriage men should stay home for one year to learn how to please their wives. This injunction was not given to women for their husbands. Science backs up what God began!

2) Life, especially married life that includes some children, can be – scratch that – IS stressful. There is ample research to show the destructive nature of stress on our bodies and there is just as much ample advice on how to handle that stress in positive ways. The next time you and your spouse are stressed, head to the bed for some relief under the sheets. This article from Biological Psychology indicates that the greatest stress reducing sexual activity is penile-vaginal intercourse. If you are not sure of the impact this method of stress-relief might have in your own marriage, check out this true-life story.

3) In a 2012 article on Forbes, it states that there is roughly $227 billion a year in lost productivity in the US a year due to illness or workers who go to work not feeling well and unable to perform at peak performance. You and your spouse can help each other stay well by staying active sexually. Here is an article that outlines some of the ways that sex can boost your immune system.

Keep Your Bed Small

by Karl Leukert

Our first bed when we got married was a hand-me-down that used to be in a guest room at Karl’s grandmother’s house. It was a full-size frame and mattress that was just perfect for our two-bedroom apartment in the married student housing at the university we were attending. When the mattresses were first purchased, they were at the higher end of price and value and were still fairly comfortable. (As newlyweds, they served our active needs quite well. BIG SMILE!)

As the years went by and our bedroom activity continued (not too mention the addition of some weight), they began to deteriorate. When we got ready to purchase new ones, we decided it was time to upgrade both in quality and size. Karl had the idea that if we could we should go with king size. Bigger is always better, right? Due to constraints of the budget and the size of the room where we lived at that time, we had to settle for just a queen size.

While this did help us not be as crowded while sleeping, we still were near enough that during the night we were able to touch each other and to cuddle up to each other. Of course, an added benefit was that as we felt each other, it did lead to some great middle-of-the-night sexual activity. But, didn’t we need a bigger size?sexualcontact.feet_

The first time we went away for the weekend to a hotel with a king-size bed, we discovered our answer. While there was much more romping room, we found that if we felt the need to feel each other’s skin during the night, we nearly had to go on an expedition to a foreign country to find each other and it almost seemed like we were not even in the same bed. We have to say that aside from the additional room for sexual activity, we really did not like it. Now, when given the option, we will choose a room with two queen-size beds, rather than one king.

Without knowing it, we have realized what other couples have:  sleeping close together and having regular touch while sleeping is actually part of marital satisfaction. According to a recent British poll of 1,000 couples (links to articles below), those couples who claimed to sleep less than one inch apart from each other reported an 86% satisfaction with their relationship versus only 66% satisfaction when the reported sleeping distance was 30 inches or more.

Our recommendation for your Unashamed Marriage:  keep your bed small. Choose a size that keeps you touching as much as possible!

 

MAKE IT REAL

1)      See how many sexual positions you can utilize in the space of a twin-size mattress.

2)      Cuddle more often away from the bed. It releases health producing oxytocin.

————

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/10768902/Happiest-couples-sleep-an-inch-apart.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/what-does-the-way-you-sleep-say-about-your-relationship-9264867.html

Spiritual Abuse

Guest Post from Mad About Marriage

This is a guest post by our friends, Mike and Gayle Tucker, at Mad About Marriage

 

This might be uncomfortable but we need to bring it up because it’s so damaging to relationships.

Spiritual Abuse

What is it?

Would you recognize it if you saw it? 

Would you know it if you were doing it?

How can you know if you’re in a spiritually abusive relationship?

First of all, spiritual abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can be perpetrated by men or women.

All abuse (including emotional abuse), is based on power and control as opposed to love and respect.

*** That’s so important let’s read it again:

All abuse (including emotional abuse), is based on power and control not love and respect.

Spiritual abuse occurs when a leader, or a spouse, attempts to control, manipulate, or dominate another person.

Fear is used by the spiritually abusive because it’s one of the most effective ways to control people’s minds. If you control their mind you control their behavior.

Additionally, guilt and shame are effective weapons the abusive party uses to victimize and establish control.  

Spiritual abuse occurs in marriage when the husband or wife uses religion to “rule over” their spouse. 

Spiritual abuse makes its victims dependent upon the will of the perpetrator.

The abusive person may succeed in making the victim feel incapable of doing anything on his or her own without their help, permission or approval. 

Victims lose confidence in themselves.

They also lose confidence and assurance in their relationship with God apart from the perpetrator. 

They become emotionally enslaved to their abusive partner.

Spiritually abusive spouses are driven by the need to control.

They are jealous and try to isolate their partner from others.

They are disrespectful.

They shun privacy and personal boundaries, which is also a form of emotional abuse.

So, how do you know if you’re in a spiritually abusive marriage? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Does your spouse exhibit control-oriented leadership – do they “lord” over you?

2. Does your spouse demand submission and unquestioning loyalty?

3. Does your spouse demand obedience?

4. Are questions unwelcome or perceived as challenges to their “authority?”

5. Are guilt, fear, and intimidation used to control and manipulate you?

6. Does your spouse claim that questioning him/her is akin to questioning God?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s likely you’re suffering emotional abuse and are in a spiritually abusive relationship.

What can you do if you’re being spiritually abused?

1. Remember & accept that you are a child of God and that He wants you to be free. 

2. Realize that God, despite His power, doesn’t “lord” over you – and He doesn’t expect you to allow yourself to be “lorded over” by any human being. He hates any and all means of coercion.

3. Believe that God has freed you from your abuser – and gives you the right and power to stop listening to them! 

4. Accept the truth that you are being led by the Holy Spirit, and that through Bible study and prayer, you have the privilege to decide what is good, bad, wrong or right for yourself.

Please listen carefully to what I’m about to say next:

You do not require the guidance or approval of a third party to encounter God or know His will.

And, finally, remember this:

Healthy spirituality elevates people, freeing them from guilt, fear and shame. 

Healthy religion is based on love and respect and does not seek to control, but instead invites people to choose to connect with God willingly and become one with Him. 

Healthy spirituality and religion do not seek to create fear or shame in believers. 

Guilt and shame are done away with by a caring God who forgives and restores.  

There is absolutely no emotional or spiritual abusiveness within an authentic relationship with Him.

Nor should there be any in your relationship with your partner or community of faith.

Unashamed Health

by Karl Leukert

I admit it. I was a wimp. I made my wife take a day off of work. That’s what it took for her to get me to go to the doctor and see about some of the health issues I was dealing with. I had been struggling with extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and weight gain. This didn’t happen suddenly, but slowly, over many years. Of course, the dreaded blood test came. I HATE NEEDLES! I know my limitations and over the years lab techs have started to know to make things as easy as possible for me. They make me stay sitting until I’m no longer pale, sometimes sipping a soda.

What happened that day was that I learned I have a severely underactive thyroid. Once I began taking the proper medication, I was climbing up stairs again as if it was nothing and my outlook on life took a huge jump up. I just didn’t realize how bad things had gotten, until I saw how great things were getting once I found out what the problem was and got treatment.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause

My health was so important to Sharon that she was willing to use a vacation day just to be there for me, showing me how much she appreciated what I was doing for her and for our (at the time) one and only child. Knowing I was taking care of my health in order to be sure to be around for a long time was better than any life insurance policy I could have purchased. I was investing in our marriage because I was investing in my health.

One aspect of an Unashamed Marriage is the area of health. There are sometimes that things just happen that are not expected. Emergencies arise and we deal with those. But far too often, we bring the emergencies on ourselves (and thus our spouses) through our choices. Like my thyroid issues, they usually get worse and worse over time. This is not just physically. Be unashamed:  eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, learn how to build healthy boundaries in your life, get counseling if needed, etc.

Is peace of mind the only benefit this Unashamed Marriage key has to offer? Hardly. Focusing on health pays off in the bedroom too!

What one thing will you do this week to improve an aspect of your health?

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition

What Men Want (Other than sex)

by Sharon Leukert

Men seem to be driven by formulas: a+b=c. When they find a formula that gets good results, you can believe it will get burned on to their psyche and they will repeat it. Formulas such as: I go to work everyday + I do my job well = I get paid.

So what is one of the big results that men are looking for, something that they are willing to do a+b in order to achieve? It is simply this: to be appreciated.

Everyone likes to be appreciated, but men especially thrive on knowing that what they do and say is favorably acknowledged. Ladies – do you want the secret to appreciation for men? Everything needs to be appreciated. When he takes out the garbage, whether he remembers to put a new bag in or not; needs to be appreciated just as much as when he plans a week long getaway for your 25th wedding anniversary.

Perhaps the ladies are wondering how this works for them. Let’s put it into the favorite male vehicle of a formula. I take out the garbage + I remember to put a new bag in the can=I get a thank you from my wife. Make it a point to tell him you appreciate him remembering to put the new bag in the can and punctuate it with a kiss or a quick graze of his arm. Verbal appreciation + physical touch = a man who will do almost anything for you.

Take the time to appreciate your spouse. Ladies especially, acknowledge your husbands deeds, great or small. Show your appreciation.