When I saw that my friend Jill Savage had written a book titled Is There Really Sex After Kids, (Zondervan) I burst out laughing...then nearly cried! Why, oh why, wasn't Jill typing out this advice 20-plus years ago, I wondered, when I was balancing both heart and hubby? When I saw the book's description (Your 10-year-old is late for piano lessons, your teenager wants a tattoo, and your toddler just dropped his sippy cup in the dog's water bowl. . . . Who's got time for romance?) I knew I had to read it and then chat with Jill about it. Wanna listen in on our "saucy" conversation?

Eva: Tell me a little about yourself, your husband Mark and your children.

Jill: Mark and I have been married 20 years and we have five children ranging from age 7 to 18.  Mark is a church-planting pastor and I am a mother at home. 

Eva: Jill, with five children I don't suppose I have to ask you what inspired you to write this book...but what inspired you to write this book? A single event? A collection of events?

Jill:
When Mark and I introduce ourselves at our marriage seminars we begin by stating that we have been married 20 years--10 of them happily. Our first 10 years were very difficult for us and we hit crisis between years seven and nine. We both truly felt no love for one another and considered calling it quits. However, we also felt that God created marriage and that it was "doable." This conclusion then led us to admit that we didn't know what we were doing when it came to marriage. This realization launched us into learning about God's plan for marriage and making changes in our relationship to reflect God's plan. As our marriage began to get back on track, we wanted to share our discoveries with others so we created our own marriage seminar and began speaking at conferences about marriage. This eventually led to sharing our discoveries in book form.

Eva: And what a book! You've hit some very hard--yet tender--topics. But what I loved was how open and frank you were! How'd you manage to be so real without offending?

Jill: When Mark and I hit rock bottom, I was honest about my hurts and struggles with a "moms group" I attended. It was a risk to be so honest, but I found that my honesty opened the door for others to be honest as well. Honesty breeds honesty. As we became more healthy in our marriage relationship, Mark and I committed to be open and frank when discussing marriage issues, because this helps other couples not feel so alone. It also helps couples move from discouragement to hope.

Eva:  One of your first points is that God created sex. What are some of the issues that get in the way of couples being able to embrace this?

Jill: Because sex has become so tainted by the world that we live in, we often associate sex with shame, guilt, or even something that is "dirty." We even have trouble believing that sexual pleasure is something good. However, God created sex to be a special gift shared in marriage. It's something very beautiful and very pleasurable when shared in a trusting, loving marriage.

Eva: Amen, Sister. What is "Into Me See?"

Jill: "Into Me See" is a definition I use for describing intimacy in marriage. Intimacy is knowing someone in their nakedness, but it doesn't start with a nakedness of body, it begins with a nakedness of soul. In marriage, a spouse is privileged to know their partner's hopes, dreams, struggles, strengths and weaknesses. It is truly seeing "into" the other person. That emotional intimacy then sets the stage for feeling comfortable with physical nakedness in the sexual relationship.

Eva: Jill, you compare inhibitors of sexual intimacy to luggage. What are some of the inhibitors of sexual intimacy and how can they be unpacked?