Video Interview: Joyous Sex – A Blessed Sex Life!
This session will explore how joyous sex in marriage is a gift from God. Did you ever ask the Lord to bless your sex life? Watch this video to see what can happen when you do!
MICHELE: Well, welcome everyone to our fourth session on joyous sex here at Explicit Movement. And for those of you who are not familiar with Explicit Movement, we care about really empowering youth, young adults, parents and singles, you know, to really navigate sexuality in a healthy, Godly way. And I’m so honored to just host Lori and Barry Byrne from Redding, California. And I’m just going to let them share because they have a fabulous ministry called Nothing Hidden Ministries that actually my husband and I have benefited from. We went to the five-day workshop for married [couples], and our married life – just learned so many helpful tools, and [it] really impacted our marriage. As well as Explicit Movement hosted the Singles Workshop as well for our singles here in Honolulu, Hawaii that really transformed so many lives. So, without further ado, Barry and Lori, share about yourself and your ministry.
BARRY: Okay. Thank you, Michele.
LORI: Thank you. It’s nice to be with you.
BARRY: And you know, before we talk about our ministry, I just want to say I am so thankful for what you’re doing – and we are and other people are doing – to just help take back the area of sexuality where God wanted it to be, and take it out of the area of kind of – well, all the different perverse ways it’s promoted and exploited now. Because God has something so much better; He really does. It’s not just about doing what God wants to do. It really is the very best thing for us sexually His way. So, anyway.
LORI: Why don’t you start?
BARRY: Okay. Our ministry, Nothing Hidden Ministries – well, the name itself is important. Nothing Hidden – we got that out of the Greek word for truth, living in truth – actually truth and love with each other is one of the keys to it. I’m a marriage and family therapist; I did that for thirty years. Lori’s been ministering in churches and stuff for all of her life – all of her adult life. And this came about out of needs, an awareness of needs in our church – seeing all kinds of supernatural, but still people struggling in the area of their marriages. And so, God gave us a dream that really launched the ministry. And I think I’ll just tell the dream real quick,
BARRY: because I can do it –
LORI: Yeah. That’s why we did it. We wouldn’t have – we weren’t even thinking of doing marriage ministry. But we were talking to one of our pastors, saying, “What are we going to do about the marriages in the Body of Christ? They’re horrible!” And so, we went home, and I had this dream. And I woke up, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, what is this?” And then he had the interpretation. So, you tell it.
BARRY: So, the dream she had was, we were in the back of a flatbed truck – so without any sides on the back, on the bed – and it was parked on the street in front of her parents’ church.
LORI: No, it was my parents’ house.
BARRY: Oh, I’m sorry – parents’ house, yes. Her father was a pastor, but it was in front of their house. And we were naked, making love in the back of this truck out on the street.
LORI: Something we do not do.
BARRY: That’s right. And this is a dream. And then Lori looked down the street, and she saw that there were people working on the trees. And some of them, they were trimming the trees. Some of them, they were cutting off branches. Some of them, they literally had uprooted and [were] cutting roots off. And then she looked and saw the people coming, and she goes, “Hurry up! We need to finish this because people are coming,” you know.
LORI: They were coming towards us, and I didn’t want them to see us.
BARRY: So that was the dream. And when she told me the dream, God just gave me a – I mean, the thought just came in my mind, “This is our marriage ministry.” The truck represents the ministry, and it’s big enough to carry us and other people. Being naked and making love is the idea of truthfulness, nothing hidden. That’s really the meaning of the Greek word for truth, aletheia; it’s to not hide, not conceal – nothing hidden in love, in the act of love, the physical act of love. It was in front of her parents’ house, I think, because as pastors, they really focused a lot on marriage, on connection and relationship and stuff; we have that heritage. And then the trees are literally what happens in the small groups in the workshops – people working on different things – trimming,
LORI: Of their marriage.
BARRY: pruning, digging out roots, helping each other get clean and whole. And the idea of her saying, “Hurry up! Hurry up!” – we feel like the Lord was saying there’s an urgency on this.
BARRY: It’s really important right now to Him, and we’re seeing that in that He is bringing about dramatic results for people, for marriages, that have had a lot of trouble, long-term trouble; He’s turning them around quickly and giving them tools to sustain it.
LORI: And little did we know that the transparency and the vulnerability – you know, the whole thing of making love out in the open – little did we know that God was going to require of us to be very vulnerable in every area of our relationship – in our emotional connection, in our spiritual connection and even in our sexual connection. And you know, during this time, the Lord gave us more revelation and spiritual experiences and dreams and encounters and all kinds of things around the sexual area of marriage. And it’s not because the sexual area is the most important; it’s equally as important as the relational and the spiritual. But the sexual part of marriage has been not talked about.
BARRY: It’s been neglected.
LORI: It’s been neglected, especially by the Church, because they’ve been afraid. And there’s been so much perversion; it’s just kind of like, “Oh, we don’t want to talk about that.” So, one of the – this kind of leads into the next question.
BARRY: Just a couple of things, though, before we move into that.
BARRY: Just about the ministry. So, you went through Love After Marriage? Alright. We also have Single Life Workshop for singles, and we deal very explicitly with sex there as well. As a matter of fact –
LORI: We don’t say the same things that we say in the married [workshops], though. We go deeper in the married workshop than we do in this single workshop.
BARRY: And just last weekend, two of our sons – they started doing this when they were single; they’re now married – and one of their wives did a Single Life Workshop online. And one of the testimonies at the end – this young lady says, “You know, I was freed from my bondage to homosexuality during this workshop.” And she went on and on, but she ended up saying, “For the first time in so many years, I feel innocent, pure and clean before God.” So, He not only helped her get rid of that, but [helped her] understand that she is fully forgiven. So the whole area of sexuality is really huge for singles as well; they’re so confused right now.
A couple other areas I’d say is a major focus in our ministry is to help people learn what the real battle is. The real battle is against spiritual forces, not each other, and we have to stand with each other, not against each other in the marriage, and fight against spiritual forces, not fight each other. And the more that we deal with ourselves – how we walk things out with God, how we get ourselves clean before God – the less we bring into our relationships. And so, it’s really kind of like inner healing, how we walk life out with God in freedom, wrapped around a marriage context or wrapped around the single life context.
MICHELE: Yes. I just love that workshop. And the last two days and nights, I believe, we devoted to – out of the five days, was on sex.
MICHELE: And it was so powerful, and I just learned so much.
MICHELE: But – yeah. So, Lori, you were going to say something.
LORI: Well, I just wanted to say that – I think I already said that sex isn’t the most important thing, but it is the most overlooked. And so, I think that’s why the Lord has given us so much revelatory information through dreams and visions and spiritual experiences about sex, because it is something that God really wants the Church to begin talking about. He wants families being able to be open and honest and vulnerable and not afraid. And He’s given us so many spiritual experiences and dreams that we share in the workshop. But I’ll just tell – I won’t tell the encounters, but He’s probably given me two significant encounters now – one around the beginning of the time when we first started the workshops, and He just did some miraculous things to help me be able to fully be free to give myself to my husband. Because you know, all of us have baggage, and all of us have ways, healthy and unhealthy ways, that we look at sexuality and we look at body image and all those things play into a part. And the enemy really loves to steal intimacy – sexual, emotional intimacy from us because we’ve been wounded. And so, the Lord gave me this whole encounter –
BARRY: You know, let me – hold that right there; He gave you an encounter. Just a little bit of background, and I share this in both of our workshops, that I had a sexual relationship before we met, when I was single. But in our marriage, there’s been no pornography, no masturbation, no adultery, nothing like that. And neither of us have sexual abuse in our past. And we were really – we felt really good about our sexual relationship before this encounter that Lori’s going to talk about. And so –
LORI: We enjoyed each other. We feel like we satisfied one another. We probably had sex three or four times a week on an average, you know, just because that’s how we felt led.
BARRY: And it actually happened during a time when we were in a time of renewal in our life and a reconnection with the Holy Spirit. It was a really exciting time with the Lord. But it was God’s idea to bring this encounter to Lori and say, “I still have some more for you.” Anyway.
LORI: Yeah, that’s really good. Because I really think He brought it to me first for my own healing; I never knew I was going to be going all over the world telling this story in our workshop. I mean, it’s so personal. But I think it was really something that he was bringing to me that was helping me get rid of just a wrong body image that didn’t allow me to be totally free. You know, we thought we had great sex, but you know, God always wants more. I mean, He wants more for us in every area of our lives, and He certainly wants more for us in the area of sex. And so, I had this encounter one time. I was just – it was during my quiet time. I was spending my time in the Bible, praying and talking to the Lord as I [did] every day after I dropped the boys off at [school]. And all of a sudden, I just saw this whole – and I won’t go into all of it, but I saw this whole image in front of my eyes. And you know how you kind of think you’re getting rid of distractions, you know, and you’re going to have your quiet time? Pretty soon, this was a major thing. And the Lord was showing me Barry and I naked, and we were making love. And we were doing things to one another that were not immoral, were not dirty, but some of the things were a little bit uncomfortable to me. And I was going, “Oh, my gosh!” You know, and pretty soon I am totally in the middle of this. It’s now – it’s a trance, and when it was done, I had been there for an hour looking at this.
And by the end, I realized that the things that the Lord was showing me that I was doing to him, and he was doing to me, were pure and holy and okay. And even though they were uncomfortable to me, the Lord was inviting me to come in, and I knew He wanted me to do this that night. And the Lord did some supernatural things because later on that day as I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do this, because when God invites us to do something, that means He has more for us.” And we don’t want to lose out on that, because it’s always so good. And even though I was nervous and everything, I thought, “I’m going to do this.” And then all of a sudden, I start my period. And I’m going, “Lord, I thought this was You.” And so, this next part I thought, “Oh, good, maybe I don’t have to do this,” because I was a little nervous. And I said, “Well, if You want to see anything happen tonight between me and him, You’re going to have to stop my period.” And he stopped my period supernaturally. I had been the most regular in my period for my whole life.
BARRY: That’s true. That never happened.
LORI: It had never stopped before, and I thought, “Oh! He just did a creative miracle in my body. He really wants me to do this.” And so, there was so much about that, and I tell the whole story in the workshop. But it was the Lord bringing healing to me. But I have had so many women as they have come to the workshop, and they’ve listened to me tell this whole story, that they have gotten healed in their sexuality. Actually, we tell the whole sexual part; there’s – because Barry’s had dreams, and He shares those. And you know, God is speaking to us about sex because He wants Christians – He wants His children having the best, most beautiful, safe, exciting, ecstatic sex in the world.
MICHELE: I believe that. I totally believe that. And I think what you were saying earlier is that in the general church communities, we don’t talk about that positive, you know, benefits of sex in marriage and what it can be like. And we just mainly say to the young people, “Don’t do it ‘til you get married.”
MICHELE: And because oftentimes that’s all they hear, they don’t hear the positive side, you know? And I think it’s important to share about the positive side, too, so that they know what to look forward to, you know?
BARRY: Yeah, and why it’s worth doing it God’s way. At the same time, everybody is bombarded with sexuality, sexual images, selling things with sex, with women’s bodies, with – you know. I was just talking to a young girl who went through college. In a Christian college, there was nineteen out of twenty young men in the dorms who are struggling with pornography. And so, we fill ourselves with that kind of sexual perversion I’ll call it, because it’s not God’s way, and it brings a lot of shame. And then people hear something like a dream, like we say, “Well, we had this dream. We were naked and making love.” And they go, “Oh, that couldn’t be God.” But it’s because of the shame.
BARRY: It’s because of – already sex has been presented and experienced in ways that are not clean, in ways that are not pure. And yet, I go back to that testimony of that young lady who had been actively homosexual. And God not only changed that for her, which people in the world and – you know, I’m a therapist; I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling. People in these fields will say it cannot be changed, and you’re damaging them if you try to change them. And it’s not based on science; it’s – anyway, I won’t get into all that. But here is just one example of what God can do – not only change a person’s desires, but also leave them feeling innocent, pure and clean.
MICHELE: Wow. That’s wonderful.
BARRY: Yeah. We’ve had a number of people who have just heard the dream and said, “This can’t be God.” And they wouldn’t listen any further.
BARRY: And yet people will watch movies with sexual content on it. They’ll watch commercials. They’ll watch the Super Bowl with the – you know, the sexually explicit commercials and stuff. And yet to think that God, Who created sex, Who is not surprised by it at all and blessed it in marriage, would never talk about it – so that’s a big thing.
LORI: You know, as the Lord has just – He keeps teaching us about sex. This has been thirteen – we’re going on our fourteenth year of doing this ministry, and he continues to give us dreams and visions and understanding and all kinds of things that He wants us to know, so that we are sharing this in these workshops, because this is so important to God. And one of the things that we’ve learned in marriage – sex has really become an offensive weapon to keep us connected. And the enemy – he will do everything he can to bless illicit sex and sex out of marriage, but once you make that covenant, and you are committed to your husband or your wife, the enemy will try to come and undermine the beauty and the power of this. Really, it’s a tool in our lives. And the older we get, the more we realize it’s not just about doing something to feel good or, you know, just out of pure sexual desire. There’s another whole spiritual component in it that we’re realizing. And now even as we’re older, and Barry has had trouble with his heart, and so, he’s on heart medication. And one of the things that the medication does, it just removes your sex drive, and it removes your ability to function as much as you used to. And so, we are in a time in our lives where we are standing against that, and the Lord is doing miracles in our sexual relationship. And we are still having – not as often, but we are still having incredible, amazing times with God. And you know what? We invite Him into the bedroom. We invite Holy Spirit to be a part of us. And He even comes – when this first started happening, He would – I don’t know if you want to speak to that.
LORI: He would even cause our – we could feel Him in our bodies as we were making love, almost like He’s saying, “I’m here!”
MICHELE: I’m so excited you’re going to talk about this, because when I first heard about it at the workshop, you know, you had kind of mentioned that, you know, the Holy Spirit is not like, “Oh, no, they’re doing it again. I’d better not look.” I mean He’s the One that created it to be pleasurable and all of this. And so, He wants to bless it. And so, invite Him into every part of our life, every part of our relationship with our spouse. You know, there’s a blessing, right? And so, go on; it’s just such a powerful truth.
BARRY: So, we’re in a Charismatic church, and we’re used to really inviting Holy Spirit into our lives. And He comes in power. And many times when He comes in power, our bodies respond with shaking, or I get these involuntary stomach contractions where my stomach crunches like that. And that would happen. Actually, to tell you the truth, that has happened every single time we make love for the past – I don’t know, twenty years or so since this began. And anyway, so that would happen, and we both knew that. One morning during the time when we were teaching this for the first time – the Love After Marriage course in the area about sexuality – one morning we woke up, and we were both still in bed. I rolled over to kiss Lori good morning, and [a] thought went through my mind. And the thought was this, “Sexuality is sacred, and God is in it.” And when that thought went through my mind, my stomach crunched like that. And so, I just thought, “Hmm. Okay, God, You’re trying to say something here. This isn’t just a thought.” And when my stomach crunched, Lori asked, “What are you thinking?” Because she thought I was thinking about sex.
LORI: Because I knew that whenever his stomach would crunch like that, that he was thinking about sex, so I’m going, “What are you thinking about?”
BARRY: Yeah. And so, I spoke out loud and said, “This thought went through my mind. Sex is sacred, and God is in it.” And my stomach crunched again. And I just feel like that was a little thing where God’s saying – you know, I wouldn’t have that thought on my own. And if God hadn’t crunched my stomach, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But I thought, “What is God saying here? Sex is sacred. It’s holy. It’s set apart by God. It’s set apart by God for marriage.” And we want to make it anything but what – the world wants to make it anything but what God says it is.
This is a little digression, but it was so sad. Last night, we watched a YouTube video of a man that we know personally, that used to be in church with us. And he has come to the conclusion that God told him – that God gave him his homosexuality, and God wants him to be gay. And he is now fully embracing, a hundred percent, LGBTQ+ as though this is God’s way. And there’s a lot of deception. But anyway –
LORI: It wasn’t God’s way. It was demonic.
BARRY: Yeah. And he just denies a lot of what the Bible says about sexuality. So, sexuality is sacred, set apart by God for a purpose by God, and He’s in it. And that’s one of the reasons why we invite Holy Spirit in. We can pretend He’s not there, but He’s there.
BARRY: You know, and we have to get past our own shame in order to say, “God, we want You in this part of our life as well. We want You in this part of our marriage as well. We want what You have for us sexually as well.” It’s a sacred thing; it’s a holy thing. It’s one of the ways He allows us to join with Him in creation – creating babies that He will love and He will treat as His own.
LORI: You know, we are blown away; at the end of our workshops, we have people stand up and tell testimonies. And we have something we call a Sex Challenge that we set up with – you, your spouse and Holy Spirit decide what this is going to be, and we prepare for it all week. And many, many times, the testimonies that are coming out – every time we do this, people are getting healed physically.
LORI: You know, in the last one we were in, we had a couple where the wife had such horrible endometriosis in all her female organs, all the parts of her down there, that when she has sex, it is just excruciating. And bless their hearts, they kept saying, “We want pure, Godly sex, and we’re going to keep going after it.” Well, they came to the workshop, and the Lord showed them some things He wanted them to do. That night, they had the beginning of their Sex Challenge, the first night, and she came the next morning, and she was completely healed. There was no pain. The endometriosis was gone. And then we saw her like a month or so – maybe a couple months later; we saw her in church. We turned around, and we go, “Are you still healed?” And she goes, “Yes, I’m still healed!” So –
BARRY: It’s pretty crazy. Last Sunday after the service, we were up on the prayer line praying for people, and there was a couple that waited for us, to talk to us. And they had gone through – well, actually the story is, ten years ago someone told them about coming to our marriage workshop, Love After Marriage, and they couldn’t do it – the time, the money, everything; they had to travel to get here, and they couldn’t do it. But they bought our book. And going through our book – the other thing is that the wife had had an autoimmune disorder for fourteen years; it almost killed her.
LORI: And they couldn’t be sexual,
BARRY: They hadn’t been sexual for years.
LORI: because it just took energy away. They just really hadn’t had sex.
BARRY: Yeah. And anyway, when they went through the book, during the part – during the Sex Challenge, they agreed to do it. And during the Sex Challenge, she was healed, and she’s been healed for years of that autoimmune disorder.
LORI: We’ve had people that have been involved in satanic ritual abuse or horrendous sexual abuse.
MICHELE: Like trauma.
LORI: Horrible trauma and crisis that it takes people years to go through counseling to get through that, and sometimes they’re not even free. We’re watching the Lord heal people during the workshop. Many times, it happens – not always; they’ll get freedom throughout the workshop. But sometimes, there is just something so powerful about the sex act that the Lord uses that, and many people – we’ve had several women who couldn’t even have sex because of being so violated that they had what is called vaginismus, where you tighten down, and you can’t open your vagina, and it’s very painful to have sex. And there’s tools that we teach. And there’s a tool that we teach; it’s called Blessing Your Spirit. And during this one Sex Challenge – this actually happened to several couples. But the husband, the Lord showed him, “You need to bless your wife’s spirit as you are having sex. Look her in the eyes.” And it’s a whole tool of – I can’t teach that tool right now, but it’s something – we have so many tools that we teach that are very useful for things like this. And the husband would bless the wife’s spirit all through the sex act, and many times – most of the time, these women not only had pain, but they were dissociating, and they were not even there. They were not even present to enjoy their sexual relationship in making love with their husband. And many, many, many have been healed of this. And during the sex act, they could feel it. They could look into their husband’s eyes, and they were present. And I remember one husband just getting up the next day and just saying, “I can’t believe it. My wife was present, and it wasn’t painful.” Or if there’s pain, even on the husband’s part, you know, where there’s been pain in having intercourse, or wives have pain or can’t have an orgasm or – all these things, we’ve seen the Lord heal.
We had a lady one time; she’d never had an orgasm in her life, and she’d been married eighteen years. And on the Sex Challenge, I don’t know what the Lord told them to do, but she ended up having her first orgasm. And immediately after she had the orgasm, she was slain in the spirit. She was like out under the power of the Holy Spirit, and there was no shame. She got up the next morning; she and her husband came in. She was this short little lady, and her husband was really tall. And she says, “I have a testimony!” She couldn’t even wait ‘til the end. And she got up, and she says, “I had an orgasm last night!” And then she tells us, you know, that she was slain in the Spirit. And her husband – it was so precious; he was standing right behind her. You know, his head’s like up here, and you know, her head’s down here. And he’s sitting there as she’s telling this story to everyone with no pain, no shame, and he’s sitting there, you know, like he has this huge smile on his face. He is just so – and there’s so many testimonies like this, that people are not only physically healed, but they’re emotionally healed; they’re spiritually healed.
We had a pastor in Germany that was healed of severe pain in his upper vertebrae. And he’d been going to doctors and been taking medication and been getting treatment for months. And right in the middle of the Sex Challenge, right at the point of orgasm, his neck cracks, and all of his discs – and the pain in his upper neck all goes away. And he was so thrilled that the next morning in church, he shares this with the whole congregation. Like, there was no shame. And you know, that’s what happens. There’s no barriers about, “Oh, no, you’re talking about sex. Oh, oh, no!” It’s like something happens in this workshop, and people are so free we can even joke about it in a joyful – you know, it’s not dirty, but it’s just like, “Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful!” And it happens with people of every culture.
BARRY: Yeah, that’s true.
LORI: You know, it’s like we go all over the world, and we think, “Oh, surely they’re not going to be open here.” Holy Spirit opens up – I mean, it’s kingdom. We’re teaching kingdom culture, you know, in this area. And the Holy Spirit opens up people from every tongue, every tribe, every nation.
MICHELE: Well, I can testify to that because I come from a Japanese family, Asian family in Hawaii, and, you know, to talk about sex even with my husband was uncomfortable. And so, you just don’t do it. But then when I went to the workshop, and you create such a powerfully safe environment over the days and nights that you’re there, and you get to really love the people that you’re with, you know. By the time we got to the Sex Talk and the Sex Challenge, you know, initially when I started talking about it in the small group, I felt a little uncomfortable because I wasn’t used to talking about sex life. But then after a while, it’s like you just become free, and it’s just part of wanting to support each other, you know, like – and encouraging other couples in their Sex Challenge and just being able to just celebrate when the testimonies like you’re sharing come. It’s like you celebrate with these couples genuinely from your heart, and there’s no shame about it. And I thought, “This is a kingdom culture where the body of Christ can be the safest place on earth to talk about anything and find the answers and encourage people and get the healing.” And you just really care, genuinely care about your spouse and other couples and their healing and breakthroughs, right? And I just loved it; it made me more free for sure.
BARRY: Yeah. Well, look at this. Japanese MICHELE has a ministry dealing with sexuality.
MICHELE: I know!
LORI: That was preparation.
MICHELE: Oh my gosh, that’s right. And honestly, just a side note – one person joked that, “Michele Okimura is leading this Explicit Movement, and they talk about sex. Don’t Japanese women not like to talk about it?”
BARRY: Yep, yep. It’s cultural.
MICHELE: It’s so funny, you know? And here I am; God has called me to this.
LORI: I love that; that’s a miracle.
BARRY: We’ve been to Asia a number of times, to China and Taiwan and Singapore and Thailand. And it’s interesting because some missionaries at one point went through the workshop, Love After Marriage workshop, and they said, “We would love to bring this to China,” before we had been there. And he said, “But we want to change it to fit the culture.” And we said, “No, we don’t want to do that. We will be respectful of them, but we’re not going to change this to fit their culture.” Every culture needs to fit into God’s culture. Because every culture shuts down to sexuality in one way or another. And it just – the Asians do it in their own way, and maybe a little better than some other people, but everybody does it. And so, as Lori said, we want to represent God’s attitudes and God’s kingdom and not diminish it by putting man’s culture above it.
Speaking of that, there’s just a lot of things in our culture that people accept that really work against Godly sexuality in marriage, and it’s some of the attitudes of men towards women and women towards men. And we’re called to become one flesh, and sexuality is only one part of that becoming one flesh. But when men or women take a sense of entitlement – men, “I’m entitled. I’m the man. You’re supposed to – ” Like, I was born in 1953. I come out of that culture and time when even in the Church, the man was the leader meant, like, he just got to tell what he wanted, and it’s not all God’s – he got to do and tell people to do what he wanted, and that’s not the idea of spiritual headship. The idea of spiritual headship is, “I lead my family to make sure we do what God wants.” And so that – we’ve come out of that, and then now, a lot of women are reacting to that. Now they feel entitled and that, you know, “All men are not safe. All men are, you know, abusers. All men are – you know, and I have the right to tell you whether I want it and take control.” And a lot of that – those kind of attitudes create separation and work against the oneness that God wants – any way we judge or criticize or tear down the opposite sex, we are working against Godly relationship and against Godly sexuality.
LORI: Yeah. Yeah. I just wanted to say one other thing about inviting Holy Spirit into the bedroom. Because, you know, we invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of every area of our life. And when couples do this, just the overwhelming response – there’s a lot of testimonies that come out, but just almost everyone that has gone through the Sex Challenge has said, “I have never felt so loved,” or, “I’ve always felt dirty during sex; I don’t feel dirty anymore.” Or they say, “That was the most incredible, beautiful, powerful sex that we’ve ever had in our lives.” And you know, it’s still hard for people because they think, “Oh, you’re talking about orgasms, and you’re talking about sex. Why are you doing all that?” And yet God gave this gift to us. And so, when we invite Holy Spirit in, we are inviting the most incredible life coach, sexual therapist – I mean, to have Him right there inside of us, operating through us, through one another, is just – it is a spiritual experience; it’s an emotional experience. It’s just an incredible, relational, bonding experience, and that’s how God wants sex to be all the time.
MICHELE: Yes. And you create and are painting such a beautiful picture of that. I mean, Adam and Eve enjoyed that in the Garden of Eden without shame.
BARRY & LORI: Yes. Right, that’s right.
MICHELE: Yeah. And it’s a – yeah. And He wants us to have pleasure in Him, you know, and loving at a deeper level. And like you said, it’s a spiritual experience. It’s something – in a way, it’s a mystery. But it’s not just making two into one in that union.
BARRY: That’s true. True, it is a mystery.
LORI: You know, I just have to say this. We have a little dance that the Lord helped us – we’re not dancers, so it’s kind of funny we did this. But when He gave us the dream, He gave us all this download, and we knew we needed to do a dance. And so, we do this little dance. And so many people, during the night of the Sex Challenge, the Lord has told them to do this dance naked, and they get healed of whatever is going on – emotionally or physically or spiritually. And so, it’s just like, I think the Lord is having fun with this, you know?
LORI: When we come, and we open ourselves up, He wants to give us more of Him in this area.
MICHELE: Amen. And you know, when you go to the workshop – like when I attended, it’s so rich with so much teaching, but there’s so much application. There’s so much activation. There’s so much small group. It’s so dynamic, and it’s also fun! There’s a fun element to your workshop, too.
MICHELE: So, there’s a lot of laughter and fun, and, you know, you bond with your spouse when you’re having fun together, you know? And so, it’s just an amazing experience; I just love your workshop so much. And I tell all married couples that I know, “Go! You need to go.”
BARRY: Thank you. Thank you. You know, I wanted to say one more thing about sexuality and actually address singles a little bit here. One of the problems is, like you said, in the Church, we didn’t know how to talk about sexuality in a good, wholesome, Godly way, and we become afraid of it. And so, the fear is communicated either verbally or non-verbally. But also, it’s all about, “Don’t do this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this.” And that is right. And we encourage singles not to be sexual, to wait for God’s way. We tell them, you know, that that’s still God’s plan. But a lot of times what people do when they’re single is they – in order to try to control their sexual urges, they devalue sexuality, and they accuse the sexual feelings that they have. And they consider even having sexual thoughts or feelings or desires to be wrong, when in reality that is because their body is healthy, and they have hormones going on. I mean, it could be from other things; it could be because they were introduced to pornography or some type of sexuality before their time that awakened those thoughts and desires in an impure way. But even without that, God gives us desires, hormones that awaken those desires. And one of the problems comes in when Christians think they are controlling their sexual desires by calling them wrong.
LORI: Or just ignoring them.
BARRY: Yeah. And then they get married, and they can’t turn it back on because they’ve accused it and condemned it instead of – the challenge is still to be thankful for what God has given you. Be thankful that you’re attracted – a man is attracted to women; a woman is attracted to men – and that you have desire for them, and you want relationship with them. But still to say, “I’m going to do this God’s way. I’m going to wait until marriage and make that extra connection, that physical connection – ” He says, “This is one thing I want you to wait for marriage for.” And so, there’s some ways that Christians sometimes think that they are helping themselves, and it’s actually harming by – I’m trying to think of the right word, but it’s somehow like kind of judging and criticizing the gift that God has given them in their body and their desire for the opposite sex.
MICHELE: Yeah. I’d like to tagtail on that because I know of couples, well, singles, youth even – I know you’ve talked to youth, growing up in the church a pastor’s child, you know, as well as young adults who have grown up in the church and have done that. Or maybe because they’re only told not to do it that it kind of gave them that perception that sex is bad and shameful even in marriage; there’s something bad about it. You know, and so when they got married, I’ve heard stories firsthand from pastors who work with them, that there’s young people who have that – maybe some of them have that perception when they get married, they cannot enjoy sex in marriage because they have this tainted view that it’s bad, and it’s painful, you know?
BARRY: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
LORI: I think, you know, sometimes that comes from even how their parents, you know – like kids can tell when their parents aren’t being intimate. You know, they can tell when – they’re aware when they don’t touch and –
BARRY: They’re not comfortable.
LORI: It’s not – you don’t think it’s a big thing growing up, but it ends up really stealing from you. Or if a mother talks to a daughter and says, “Oh, it’s just for men, you know, and it’s so dirty. And women don’t really like it, and you just have to do it.” I mean, I’ve had so many women I’ve had to counsel out of that because that has put a whole negative perception of what sex is. And so, you know, you grow up with that, or if there was sexual abuse, of course all of these things come into play. But the Lord wants to heal people of all things that would steal their sexual and their emotional intimacy away, because God has given that to us as a gift when we get married. And we have watched it over and over be restored, and so we have a lot of hope, you know? And God cares about that. So…
BARRY: Yeah. You know, one other thought I’d – I don’t want to talk about this and bring confusion because it may take some explanation, but the whole idea of nothing hidden, of not hiding things. We talked about singles sometimes kind of criticizing their sexuality to deal with it. I think even with men or women struggling with pornography, with lust of different types, sexual desires even outside of the marriage and things, people are told by the Church, “Don’t think about it. You know, don’t do it; just don’t think about this and that.” In my counseling, I would tell people, “No, actually you need to think about it more, but you need to think about it the way God thinks about it. You need to invite God into that. Let Him talk to you about, what is this really doing? What is it bringing to you? And invite the Spirit of Truth into that and say, ‘What is really happening to me?’” If I can’t think about it, if I can’t allow myself to even be aware of it, I’m stuck with this thing that all I can do is just push away, push away, push away. But if I can really invite the Spirit of Truth in, to think about it with the Lord and say, “What’s it doing to me?” I can find His perspective on it. And not only the fact that I shouldn’t be doing it, but why is it damaging? Why is it destructive? Why is it harmful to me to go down these paths of sexual impurity? And so anyway, that needs quite a bit more maybe talking and explaining, but it’s along the same lines of opening things up to the Spirit of Truth rather than just shutting them down.
MICHELE: I love that because it’s all again going back to your relationship with the Lord and allowing that relationship with the Lord – for Him to talk, like you said, speak into that for you, to give you revelation and more truth. And you know what? At our youth conferences for Explicit, one of the things that we often do – these are high school youth – we start off oftentimes with, “Okay, everybody stand up. We’re going to scream out three times this phrase, ‘God gave me a sex drive.’” And of course, there’s laughter and giggling and [feeling] uncomfortable, but they end up shouting it out. But, you know, we say, “God gave this to you; He made you. You know, so we celebrate that. However, we want to help you manage that sex drive, you know, in a Godly way ‘til marriage for those of you who are going to get married.” And so – but taking off that lie, right, that it’s something that should be ignored or pushed down, or, you know – yeah, to just be able to think about it with God. That’s great.
BARRY: That’s right.
BARRY: That’s right. Yeah. It scares people when I first say, “You know, you need to think about it more.” You know, it’s like – but then when you talk about thinking about it with God, it’s just like singles.
LORI: Invite Him in.
BARRY: They need to invite God into their sexual desires and drives.
MICHELE: Yes, yes.
BARRY: And let Him teach them how to manage those and keep them holy.
MICHELE: Oh, I just love it. Well, this – hey folks, you know, those of you listening, this is just a little taste, just a little drop of what the ministry has to offer all of you. So, you know, in closing, Lori and Barry, can you just tell us again like your website? You know, I know on the website you have some upcoming workshops that people can sign up for and register. Can you just say briefly just a little bit of that so people know where to go?
BARRY: Sure. Yeah, our website is nothinghidden.com. We didn’t think about this ‘til after we got it, but I thought, “It could have been a name of a site that a porn site would want,” but nothing hidden –
LORI: Or a nudist colony.
BARRY: But nothing hidden is really about being in the truth. And so, they can find our itinerary there, workshops that are going on. There’s one going on right now – well, in a number of places around the world, but one right now in
LORI: Urbana, Illinois.
BARRY: Next week we’re doing a Love After Marriage workshop here in Redding.
LORI: We just got finished doing a Single Life Workshop last week.
BARRY: Yeah. And so, they can find the itinerary there. They can find our book, a lot of our materials. We have eCourses that are available. The actual big workshops, we don’t just sell that unless people have gone through it and really get the culture behind it and the whole attitudes behind it. But there’s a lot of other materials that they can get on our website, nothinghidden.com.
MICHELE: That’s great.
BARRY: You know, we’re pretty bad at this, but we do have a Facebook page called Nothing Hidden Ministries and an Instagram [account].
LORI: And it’s good to go on that because you can see a lot of testimonies. You can see a lot of testimonies on our website; they’re archived. And sometimes people get a better idea – because sometimes we don’t know how to explain what goes on [at a workshop] because we’ve only talked like just a little tiny bit of what it is, but when you go and you hear the testimonies of people that have come – and you can listen to that on the website – it gives you a better idea what you’re going to have.
MICHELE: Wow. Thank you so much. Everyone needs to check it out. And also just wanted to note, like if a church let’s say wants to bring you as speakers to do a greater workshop in their area, they can explore that, too, right?
BARRY: Absolutely. If you look at the menu, you’ll find that there’s a drop-down menu for bringing LAM or bringing a [Single Life] workshop to your church, and they can find that information about all that. Thank you for mentioning it.
MICHELE: Oh, yeah, thank you so much. Well, this has been such an incredible honor to have both of you, and you’re such a gift, again like I said, to the body of Christ. Can you close us in prayer and just pray for the married couples and even singles who are listening and joining us?
BARRY: Sure, yeah.
BARRY: Well, I’ll start. You can continue if you want. Lord, I just want to thank You that sexuality is Your idea. It’s a gift to us, and as Michele said, it’s also a mystery in what all it is. And Lord, it’s pretty obvious to me that Satan is really attacking this area which is sacred and holy to You, wanting to ruin it, wanting to take us away from Your thoughts and ideas about it. And Lord, I pray for those who are listening and those who will listen to this, that Lord, you will raise up an army of Christians
LORI: Yes, Jesus.
BARRY: who understand You and Your ways and who really are committed to trusting You with their sexuality, honoring you with their sexuality in their marriage and before marriage, and being able to show the world there’s something much better than the license and the perversion which is resulting in more shame and more guilt. And so, I pray Lord, You would raise up this army of people that would show the world a different way and that would attract people into Your ways, Lord.
LORI: And Lord, we just also ask that those listening to this right now, that You would just supernaturally impart hope for a healthy, Godly, sexual, meaningful, emotional, relational marriage even as they’re dating and preparing for that. Lord, You just want to be a part of all of this. And so, we just bless you listening to know that all you have to do is just invite God in, just tell Him – you know, maybe your parents didn’t have a good relationship. Maybe there’s been a lot of – maybe you’ve been through a lot of horrible things, but invite God in and say, “Lord, would You come and heal me? Would You set me on a spiritual conveyor belt that leads me to the path that You want me to be on regarding my sexuality and just who I am as an individual?” And I just pray, Lord, that You would just give lots of opportunity, that those that we’re praying for would be aware of the opportunities and the answers that You are bringing, because we’re asking this right now. And we thank You so much, Father, that You care about this; You care about every single person listening. And we pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
<LAM Sex Challenge Testimonies>
<Testimony 1: Endometriosis Healed!>
WIFE 1: When we had the challenge – we did the challenge last night. And so we were praying for all parts of our bodies and blessing it. And I put my hands on my stomach saying, “From this day on, you will have no more pain.” Yesterday Lori shared a testimony about a woman who had been healed from endometriosis, and I had that. So, nine out of ten days I would be in very much pain each morning, waking up and during the day as well. But then I did that last night; I didn’t think much more of it. But this morning I woke up at 4:30. I was like, “Oh, there’s no pain.” I was really tired, so I went to the bathroom, and usually when I come back, it’s even worse. And I come back to bed, and there’s no pain. Even when I went back to sleep, and I got up around seven, and there was still no pain. So, I turned to him, and I was like, “Honey!” Because yesterday was my last day of pain.
<Testimony 2: First Time In A Year”>
HUSBAND 2: We hadn’t had sex in almost a year, and we had sex last night for the first time – twice!
<Testimony 3: Something Shifted>
WIFE 3: I was really angry because my libido was just so low, and we’ve been married for like a year and a half. And I just felt like it immediately kind of like died off when we got married. It was really frustrating. But after yesterday, it’s just like something shifted. And we went home, and we did some homework and kind of digging around. And the Lord was just bringing up memories of trauma that I had suppressed. And it was just so radical because it was like little, like, memories during the session yesterday and then even towards the, like, evening we were 1-2-3 Skidooing and soul ties and generational things, just breaking off. And God was showing me pictures, but then He would bring me back to this, like, traumatic memory. I was like, “God, like, why do You keep me bringing me back here?” And we were laying naked in bed because we had just blessed each other’s bodies, and I all of a sudden just felt like I had to cover up. And I was telling [my husband] – I’m like, “I want to – I want to hide. I want to put, like, clothes on. I want to go under the sheets. And it was totally – it was a spirit still attached of shame around my vagina, and I had no idea until that moment. And it was just so freeing to just call that out and just to have such a supportive husband to like pray through and encourage me to just keep going and pushing through that fear, pushing through that shame. And so, we did our homework that evening, and it was the best sex I can say we’ve had in, like, a really long time. And just the power of, like, just pushing through – like, a word that the Lord has spoken to me this week was like, “Grace to persevere,” like, yeah, there is grace to just keep pushing through. And it’s not going to keep – it’s not going to be really hard. But yeah, so I’m just really excited for like the future and our sex life. And it’s important; God cares so much about pleasure.
<Testimony 4: New Intimacy>
WIFE 4: Right. The Lord spoke to me deeply about body image and repenting of self-hate of my body and not bringing new intimacy into our sexual relationship, bringing us to a place of allowing Holy Spirit into our sexual union, giving us back different things in our sexual relationship that used to be there, but we had lost along the way with the self-hatred and allowing that to transfer to my spouse’s feelings about me. And I just really believe this week, we have a brand new connection, especially regarding sexual union. Wow, it’s amazing!
HUSBAND 4: And we had a great sex life at the beginning of our marriage, and our sex life – because of my dysfunction, really, went from kind of once a month to once every three months. And you know, we started talking about this, saying, “Hey, come on, this is not good.” So we thought, “Well, let’s do a date night once a week, and we’ll have sex.” And yeah, okay, but anyway. We came here. And so, we made love on Monday night. We made love on Tuesday night. We made love on Wednesday evening and then Thursday morning and then Thursday evening and Friday morning. So, I mean, it’s like… And I have a bad hip as well, so – I need a hip replacement. We just have such a renewed intimacy together, and the Holy Spirit is in the center of that. And I didn’t ever think I’d say that – the Holy Spirit is in the center of our union. Amen.
<Testimony 5: Prolapse Healed!>
HUSBAND 5: So [my wife] saw this light and food and a meal, which was really positive. And then we just spent some time reconciling, which is really good. So we used the tool, and that was a real blessing. And then we actually spent some time just speaking to each other, laying in bed and speaking to each other’s spirits, and that was really precious, too. So, by that point, it was a lovely time, wasn’t it? And then we blessed each other’s bodies. So, that was great as well, and then we finished in the way it should be finished. So, it was a really good night. But then this morning –
WIFE 5: It’s a testimony, as well as emotional healing that we’ve had. I normally need to use a pessary because I have a prolapse. And this morning I went to put my pessary in as normal and realized that my organs had actually all moved up. Thank You, Jesus. I actually was going to have surgery, and I kept putting it off and saying, “No, no, I don’t want to. God will heal me.” And seriously, everything’s supported.
<Testimony 6: The Wedding Night We Never Had>
HUSBAND 6: The thing I dreaded most was being face to face with testimonies of multiple orgasms and amazing sex lives because ours hasn’t been like that. And you know, we weren’t even able to have sex on our wedding night or for a few nights following. I tell you this testimony because I want you to know what God has done. And as I sat there – I can’t describe it any other way, but I felt this heat just, like, enter into, like, the lower part of my body and just start rising. And my head went fuzzy, and at one point, I felt like, “I’m dying.” I felt like my life was leaving. I felt like I was dying, and I just felt this heat just rising all through my body and just this fuzziness and this dizziness. And I have no idea what Holy Spirit was doing. I have no idea. But all I know is after that encounter, I was able to fully reconcile with my wife. I was able to ask for forgiveness and mean it, and I was able to commit [to] moving forward. And we reconciled, and then to seal it, we jumped into the exercise. And for me last night, it was like the wedding night we had never had. We just had, like, the best sex I’ve ever had.
<Testimony 7: Freer and Freer>
WIFE 7: And we just got freer and freer and freer as the days went by. And then last night with the mirror activity, that was difficult for me. And then it was a little bit like the dead man walking to be in front of him, exposed like that, but then it became the absolute most beautiful part of the whole night. And we have not had sex like that ever. So…high five to everyone. I don’t know what to say, but thank you. It was good.
<Testimony 8: No More Shame>
WIFE 8: So, my last sexual experience as I was coming to the Lord was an experience of sexual abuse; I was raped. And I was just coming to the Lord, and I really just didn’t know where – what box to put it in and everything. And we had the experience where, like, when we were dating, like, the arousal was very high, and it was hard at times to say no. And then once we got married, it just like dropped off. And the Lord had taken me through some healing process, like for the sexual abuse before we got married, and there was so much more that He wanted to do this trip. And so, I didn’t realize that I was carrying trauma in my body – in my body – from the last sexual experience that carried into my marriage. And I didn’t know why sex was kind of like really intimidating for me, because I just felt like my body wasn’t going to work, and it wasn’t going to do what it needed to do. And the Lord totally healed that. We forgot [lubricant], and it was an accidental act of faith. So, praise God.
HUSBAND 8: Yeah. So, I’ll go into a little bit of detail. So, yeah. So then last night when we started the Seven Day [Sex] Challenge, [my wife] went through and stepped in front of the mirror, you know, and began just praying and blessing over her body, and that changed and activated something. And then when we decided to bless each other’s bodies and proceeded to have sex, there was just this unlocking where there was no more shame. It was all gone – her hatred and fear, you know, of her body was just gone. And it was like – it was the first time in our marriage that I felt like she’d wholly given herself to me, and I was able to fully express my love for her and give myself wholly to her because there was no more restrictions. And that just caused us to, like, break down and cry afterwards, and it was really good.
WIFE 8: Our entire marriage, [my husband] would ask me about sex and how it was afterwards, and my answer was always fine – like, it didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t particularly exciting. And without hesitation, I said, “It was really great.”