RELATE with Helen: Let’s Talk About Sex!


“Can you honestly say that you believe that your gift of sexuality is a good gift from God?”

By Helen Burns | Twitter: @helenburns

It’s February … So Let’s talk about SEX!

I am not exactly sure why, how or when it happened, but one day I realized that I was standing on an awful lot of platforms, talking on a lot of radio and television shows, and throughout many nations about the often taboo subject of sex.  Perhaps it is because I was blessed to grow up in a home where my parents were open and honest with me regarding sex and very openly loving and affectionate toward each other. So, today I find myself really comfortable around this topic though I think my daughters and my older grandchildren still squirm more than a little when John and I are teaching about sex.

February is a month that is synonymous with romance, love and passion, so I thought I would bring this spicy little topic up once again.

Sex is God’s brilliant idea.

He created it as a gift and blessing for husbands and wives to enjoy in the safety and sanctity of their marriages. But sadly, we live in a world of immense sexual brokenness and shame and on every continent I have ministered in I’ve encountered the painful reality that something so perfect and beautiful has gone horribly wrong. Genesis 2:25 describes a picture of perfection: “Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” (NLT). How stunning is that!!!

One of the questions I often ask women–young and old, married and unmarried, as I am teaching them is,  “Can you honestly say that you believe that your gift of sexuality is a good gift from God?” The reactions are quite varied, but I think most women sadly feel like it’s a burden, not a gift to be treasured. This creates huge relationship challenges not only within marriage, but also in how we relate to the other sex and lead the generations in their view of sex, marriage and men.

This year my “one word” is RECLAIM. So I am standing with a fiery passion to reclaim what belongs to God and there are few things I feel more passionate about than reclaiming healthy sexuality. I believe that in many ways it has become the battleground of our society. In a world riddled with sexual exploitation in so many arenas–from pornography and infidelity to sex trafficking–I am convinced one of the ways to win the war is to let TRUTH speak into this matter and bring beautiful, healthy sexuality back into marriage, where it belongs.

Sex In Marriage

Sex as it was intended is holy and can create health and wholeness in a marriage. While sex is not the foundation for a healthy marriage, it is a beautiful expression in which couples can feel supported and comforted by each other.

There are certain questions I am often asked often regarding married sex … Questions like:

“What is normal?”

– “How often should a married couple be having sex?”

– “What is permissible in the marriage bed?”

I like to tell them there is no such thing as “normal.” Normal is nothing more than a setting on your clothes dryer and there is not a “one-size-fits-all” in this department. But here are a few thoughts I hope can help you:

  • A healthy sexual relationship starts with a healthy YOU. I know I say that a lot, but if your heart/soul isn’t healthy, nothing works in the world of relationships. Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”
  • A healthy sexual relationship is one that is gratifying and fulfilling for both husband and wife. It’s all about meeting each other’s needs. Couples should be discussing their needs openly in order to negotiate a relationship that meets BOTH of their needs. Ladies, God meant for you to really enjoy sex too!
  • A great sexual relationship will come from an overall great relationship with your spouse. It can only truly be enjoyed when there is mental, emotional and physical trust. Sexual frustration can be an indicator of a relationship that is lacking trust.
  • Great sex will require giving. Love gives, lust demands.
  • Great sex will require understanding: being aware and sensitive to each other’s needs. Do you really know what your spouse wants?
  • You were created to enjoy sex, not endure sex.

Sex and the Single Woman

We, as women are not made with an ON/OFF switch when it comes to our sexuality. It’s not like when we say “I do” that suddenly our sexual thoughts, feelings and appetites unexpectedly surface. No, by then, we’ve been dealing with them for a while and navigating this sexual part of our lives is important whether we are married or single. Once again, having a healthy heart and attitude is critical for every woman. The best time to take care of your heart in this regard is before you ever enter into a relationship with a guy.

Our attitude toward sexual passion says something important about the state of our hearts. Sex is a porthole into our hearts, and our heart is a difficult place for us to hide from our hurts, disappointments, wrong attitudes, emotions and feelings toward sex. So many women have been stolen from–some have been sexually violated; others have been lied to and told that sex is dirty and horrible by their own mothers; others gave up sex when they longed for physical intimacy, because of a massive Daddy- hole in their hearts.

Whatever the reason may be, I feel it is imperative that we pay attention to our hearts, get truth into our hearts, and then learn to discover and walk in the freedom of an open and ready heart.

Every woman at the core of her heart longs to be loved, known, cherished and pursued. That is the picture of true romance, which is the cry of every feminine heart. Whether your heart is free, or battered and broken, there is hope, healing, strength and beauty for your gorgeous, perfect, God-shaped heart.


My dear SheLoves friends,

  • Can you honestly say that you believe that your gift of sexuality is a good gift from God? (Try to at least be honest with yourself here – no need to answer out loud, though perhaps your thoughts could help others?
  • How can we become a part of the answer to the sexual brokenness in our world?
  • Any other thoughts or feelings on this topic?
About Helen:

Helen Burns and her husband, John, speak around the world on the topic of relationships. They host the popular TV show “Relate with John and Helen.”






Photo credit:  Fathia Qadreza via Pininterest


Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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  • Sarah Bessey

    Beautiful and so refreshing.

  • Urmila

    I loved this piece – well written and I love how the author has been so sensitive 🙂

    • Urmi!!!

      Thanks for coming back and reading more of SheLoves, babe! 🙂 Pastor Helen Burns is one my faves as well! Hope you are doing well!


  • Helen, I must say I really enjoyed this post, a lot! I grew up in a Christian household and attended church like it was an extension of my being, but when I got married I realized I was dealing with having said no to sex most of my life I was suddenly allowed to say yes, and actually enjoy it. It’s been a long journey. And then I fell into boudoir photography, where I help bring out sensual feelings and allow women to feel sexy and beautiful before themselves, their husbands, and the world. And as a Christian woman I am proud to extend God’s gift to them! 🙂

  • Njoki

    Thank you Pastor Helen for speaking about sex with such sensitivity and beauty! I really enjoyed this piece!

    I also bought and watched your DVD series “Sexuality and the Feminine Heart” — I LOVED it! So thankful for your teaching… always empowering!

  • Thank you for sharing this Helen! It is so wonderful and freeing to read about sexuality from a healthy, Godly, moral position. There isn’t enough discussion about these issues within Christian circles. I greatly appreciate you talking about it here! 🙂

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  • alie

    so beautifully said! thank you for this real and refreshing perspective on sex!
    i really appreciate your insight on thoughts that are on many women’s minds.

  • LOVE this!! thank you for being so open and willing to “tackle” the topic that so many people shy away from.

  • “So I am standing with a fiery passion to reclaim what belongs to God.” I love that. Thank you for this post, Ps. Helen and for speaking truth into this matter.

  • Hi Helen, this is my first time on your website, but I absolutely love this post. Thank you so much for sharing such a positive and constructive view of sex. I especially appreciated what you said about there not being a “normal” and that healthy sexuality starts with being a healthy person. I totally agree and have often found self-help books, Christian and non, to be so prescriptive and unhelpful. Before I was married, my other single women friends and I would get together and try to figure out what it means to be a single, sexual, Christian woman in the world today and what to do with our sexual urges in a healthy way that honors God. I’m so glad to find other people who are discussing these issues. Even though I’m married now, I still remember what it was like to be a single Christian woman. In fact, I actually started a blog on holistic body theology to give me a forum to work out what it means to have a healthy approach to sexuality, in addition to other related issues like body image, community, media literacy, and service. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know your thoughts.

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