Francie Winslow’s January 19th Kindred Message
Francie Winslow returned to Kindred to share a message on how to have “More for your Marriage” by weaving God’s truth throughout the sharing of her personal testimony. Here is an overview of her message.
Biblical Sexuality, Marriage, and Motherhood
Our God is about the work of healing to wholeness, as He is the Great Physician, and He wants to “realign the core of who you are” in what Francie calls “inner healing.” Akin to spinal misalignment requiring chiropractic care, our inner selves get out of whack and require “spiritual chiropractic care.” When something hard comes up, see it as an opportunity to invite the Lord into it. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
In the Garden of Eden, God repeatedly called His creation good. But when He created humans, He called us “very good.” Appreciate and love the body God has made. He made us male and female in His image. He is “an invisible God who wants to make Himself visible, so He stamped His very image on our bodies” so that we are “an echo of an eternal love story.” A woman’s body speaks of nourishment, comfort, nurturing, and is receptive to life. A man’s body testifies to the fatherhood of God as He is a life-giver. Our bodies tell a story in what Francie calls the “theology of sex.” One man and one woman becoming one flesh in the intimacy of marriage reflect the eternal marriage of Christ and the Church, the Bride of Christ. Marriage is a signpost pointing to the final destination. Sex is a temporary signpost pointing to the eternal love song where we will be one with our Maker forever. We will be fully consumed with love and fully alive and fruitful. Francie goes on to say that therefore “sex is a theophany: a physical manifestation of what God is like.” Francie shared a brief overview of the “science behind sex” which is all “by design.” Oxytocin is the cuddle hormone, vasopressin: the monogamy hormone, dopamine: feeds energy off of one another. Studies show the health benefits of sex as it renews energy, increases affection, helps fight infection, decreases blood pressure, and other positive effects.
When we look at the world’s knowledge and experience with sex, we see the ugly fruit that results in pain, disease, and dysfunction with its widespread and long-term effects. When we separate God from sexuality, it’s painful. We can say to God, “What You said is very good in the Garden, isn’t very good in my life.” What stays in the dark has a stronghold on us; we have to let the Light in. (Jesus is the Light of the World). When we invite God in, He’s a Restorer and Healer. Francie says, “intimacy is a revealer; your heart gets exposed.” God gently brings our shame and darkness into the Light. He’s inviting us into more abundance and more healing. Jesus says, “I’ll pay the highest price for your freedom” (His death on the cross as payment for our sins) so that we can trade our shame and guilt for His beauty and holiness. We can say to Him, “Would You fill and satisfy me, God?” because He’s the only One who can fill the ache in our hearts that no-thing and no one else can.
Back in the Garden of Eden, God gave the first job to mankind: “Be fruitful and multiply.” God blessed Adam and Eve’s oneness, sending them on a mission to be connected, be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. It’s a way of living so that everything around us starts flourishing because we are fulfilling our mission. Francie says, “Great sex leads to the great commission”: an abundant life is directly related to the health and fruitfulness of marriage. She goes on to describe “the ripple effect of sex” since at the heart of a marriage is sex, marriage is the heart of a family, and a family is the heart of a society. Therefore a connected marriage brings health and wellness to children, careers, churches, communities, and cultures. So we must fight for connection, resist the urge to “lean-out” as mere roommates, and instead “lean-in” and invest in our marriages. Schedule regular date nights, and even consider scheduling sex. Francie says that since we schedule soccer practice, check-ups, and other important appointments, so we should prioritize connectedness even more. In her home, it looks like “mommy-daddy time” from 8-9pm where she and her husband put away chores, work, and technology and focus on each other. Even hand-holding, cuddling, and lingering kisses increase oxytocin!
A word for us as wives: build up your husbands. Encouraging words and gratitude go a long way. Be thoughtful about what you say. Try not to speak the first thing that comes into your head, especially in the middle of conflict. Since we are image-bearers of an invisible God, our words have power. Think of how God spoke and creation happened; Jesus spoke and the dead were raised. Jesus Himself is called The Word. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 14:1).
A word for us as moms: talk to your kids about sex. It’s not just one “talk” it’s a growing, on-going discussion. Be comfortable with what is true about our bodies. If you won’t name something, it says you’re afraid and ashamed of it. Tell your children what their bodies are for: glorifying God and testifying to His nature and character to a watching world. We must invest in the generations behind us so that they may have the wholeness and healing intended for us in the Garden. Children are an inheritance, reward, and gift, not burdens. “The Lord gently leads those with young” (Isaiah 40:11) — a promise to us as moms. Our great God has established strength out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes (Ps. 18) and we are invited to be a part of that.