This series of blogs comes from FAQ’s from the guys in Summit’s “Preparing for Marriage” ministry. They represent a conglomeration of questions from many different husbands-to-be during the Engaged Discovery Weekend. If you are interested in serving as a marriage mentor or are engaged, click here to learn more about Summit’s “Preparing for Marriage” ministry.

If sex is painful for my wife, how do I help her through it? How can I practically serve, respect and honor my wife on the first night?

This is a great question from a husband-to-be who gets what sex is about. I would go so far as to say, if you do not naturally ask this question (pre-martially about the first night or martially about each encounter thereafter), you need to pause here. Instead of reading further for an answer for a good question, pray that God would give you the heart of a servant-leader who would seek to serve his wife even in the midst of your own most intense pleasure.

To state the same thing a different way, the first way that you serve, respect, and honor your wife is to let her know that you are concerned about these kinds of questions. Foreplay and sex can be an intense time. You might get a “crazy look in your eye” as you get closer to enjoying your wife. It is important for her to know that you have mentally prepared for her comfort and enjoyment in that moment.

While the advice that I give below will be tailored to the first night and honeymoon, the ideas do not cease to be relevant once you get home and go back to work.

First, in the words of C.J. Mahaney, “We [husbands] must touch the hearts and minds of our wives before we touch their bodies (p. 53 in Sex Romance, and the Glory of God).” On your wedding night you are setting the stage for what your wife can expect of you before and during sex. I would suggest that you take a moment to take out a towel and wash her feet before you begin to consummate the marriage. Tell her, “I want you to feel safe with me in every way, including sex, and know my emphasis upon being a servant-leader is paramount in cultivating your trust.”

Second, always make sure that you allow appropriate time for foreplay so that your wife can physically prepare for sex. Men are physically prepared for sex as soon as they become erect. Women are not physically ready for sex until their intimate region is lubricated. This is why foreplay is more than “being romantic” to woo the heart of your wife. Foreplay is a time of protection when you protect the body of your wife from experiencing pain during intercourse.

Third, (this advice is more exclusively for the early days of marriage) you may only want to partially enter your wife when intercourse begins and ask when she is prepared for you to enter further. This may be frustrating and will require self-control, but remember, you are setting an expectation of safety and other-mindedness in these early days that will allow for a greater experience of freedom and pleasure as the marriage matures.

Fourth, (this advice too is more exclusively for the early days of marriage) to the degree that you are able to express control of it, you may want to climax early during intercourse. This allows whatever stretching or pain that occurs to be briefer. After you climax, you may want to remain inside your wife as the erection fades to allow for the stretching to continue but less intensely. This can also be a time when you learn the pleasure that comes from being together and verbally affirm one another in the midst of an experience that is new to both of you.

Fifth, as you progress through the honeymoon and life, the two of you will learn what frequency of sex is mutually desired and allows for the optimal enjoyment. You can provide protection by openly talking about this with your wife without defensiveness or imposing certain numerical expectations. On the honeymoon, your wife may not be able to withstand the same frequency of sex she will enjoy later in marriage. However, if you set the pattern of demanding or pouting about frequency, the tone will be set that you care more about your pleasure than the marriage or her personally.

Sixth, talk about things you enjoy with your wife other than sex. It is easy for sex, because it is new, to dominate your conversation and thoughts. The danger is that you begin to give the impression that you loved your wife as a person during the courtship and now love her as a body during marriage. Always make sure that you delight in the full character and activity of your bride and not just her body.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Sex and Sexuality” post which address other facets of this subject.