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Hey re|engage community! We are Trey and Anna Tomlinson from West Monroe, LA. We have been married for 15 years and have 4 children and 1 grandbaby.

Our wedding took place on a riverboat, floating down the Ouachita River. That same riverboat sunk 2 years later at port. We joked about that being an indication of our marriage, and little did we know, it would be. Our marriage did sink, mostly due to sexual selfishness and not being wholeheartedly committed to Christ. But by the grace of God our souls were saved, our marriage was restored, and now we are directors of re|engage at our home church.

AND IT IS GOOD

CENTRAL TRUTH: Sexual intimacy is good and an opportunity to glorify God.

KEY VERSE: Philippians 2: 3-4
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

TREY:
Before Anna and I got married, I saw sex solely from a physical perspective and I over emphasized it way too much. God created sex to be good & Holy and I wrongly obsessed over it, making it the ultimate thing. I brought this mentality into our marriage and I selfishly influenced Anna with it. I took my own selfish desires and cast them on her. This led to a lot of frustration, hurt, and bitterness. But through God’s truth, He began to expose my selfishness and heal the wounds that I had caused. The sexual intimacy lesson in re|engage gave me a godly perspective of sex. Ultimately physical oneness is good, holy and an opportunity to Glorify Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  
ANNA:
I over emphasized and found my worth in sex. I did not seek to connect emotionally with Trey or think of his needs. Instead, I would emotionally disconnect for fear of being hurt. I was selfishly trying to impress Trey and only wanting to build myself up. I allowed sexual immorality into our marriage, which progressed until I had an affair. I was broken in sin, but God, through Christ, restored me. The re|engage ministry helped me view sex God’s way. I now see sex as good by His design and a way to glorify God by serving Trey. With God living in me and trusting in His perfect love, I can emotionally connect with Trey and expel fear. 1 John 4:16,18… “we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them… Such love has not fear because perfect love expels all fear.”

BOTH:
Because of our drastic sexual sins we knew we needed to make drastic changes in the way we approached and thought about sex. (Matt 5:27-30). To be honest, completely changing one's thought process about anything can be very intimidating and overwhelming. Praise God that He makes us new and creates pure hearts.

The sexual intimacy lesson not only helped us to see sex as good and not just physical but it provided space for a conversation to be had. We needed to discuss all aspects of our sexual intimacy. Through this conversation we realized that serving each other, showing respect and love towards one another are great investments in our sex life. It never crossed our mind that sex could glorify God until the sexual intimacy lesson in re|engage. God is glorified when we think of the other’s needs and rely on His perfect love, He took our broken and damaged sex life and is making it new. We are still learning and growing in this area. The way we communicate, serve one another, pray for each other & pursue the other in physical oneness are all connected and are ultimately ways to live out Philippians 2:3-4. 

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE:
Psalm 51
Colossians 3:13
Colossians 3:9-10
1 Thessalonians 5:11

CHALLENGE:
Continue to be purposeful and set aside a time to have conversations about sex. Ask your spouse what you can do to better serve them in this area and how you can bring glory to God through sexual intimacy. Review the sexual intimacy lesson questions in the work book and find a few questions to ask your spouse or even come up with your own i.e. What fears or insecurities are you dealing with right now? Are there any sexual intimacy needs that are not being met? The point is to have an on-going conversation with your spouse. Don’t be offended or take personal their answers, rather look at the feedback as ways to grow your intimacy and to show thankfulness for God’s good gift of sex.

CREATIVE CONNECTION:
Plan a date night at home, with no kids and the intention of pursuing one another in sexual intimacy. Maybe cook dinner together and watch a movie wearing something revealing or nothing at all. In that moment take time to enjoy each other, (and the view) before being intimate. Additionally, have an intimate moment of prayer, asking Him to bless your time together and that it would bring Him glory.

For those who are not yet in a place in your marriage where sex is a possibility, prayer can definitely get you headed on the right path to healing.

For more resources on MarriageHelp.org regarding SEXUAL INTIMACY, click on this link
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