This week, Kait got a chance to exchange conversations with creators of The Naked Marriage podcast, Dave and Ashley Willis. Dave and Ashley share a beautiful marriage and have 4 boys together. They are also involved in a marriage ministry titled Marriage Today and have done work with the XO Marriage Conference. Together they are a couple pursuing Jesus passionately and they love to encourage married and dating couples to seek out God first in their relationships
In this episode Kait, Dave, and Ashley talk about the importance of physical attraction and chemistry. They discuss the role it plays in relationships as well as how important it really is. The conversations also touch on physical attraction, intimacy, and lust. This episode is filled with so much wisdom and answering questions we know SO many of you are thinking, so you don’t want to miss out!
Can you give us some insight on why you chose the name “The Naked Marriage” for your podcast?
- Ashley tells us that it’s inspired by the original married couple, Adam & Eve from the Garden of Eden
- She continues to explain that Genesis 2 tells us that Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed:
- Adam and Eve being Naked had to do with more than just a sexual aspect. They were naked emotionally and spiritually as well all while connecting in every way with God and one another
- Ashley explains that her and Dave chose the name The Naked Marriage because they believe that this type of “naked” marriage is still possible
How would you define chemistry and is it important?
- Dave says that chemistry is important, but that it is NOT everything.
- We live in a world where everything is about that physical attraction making the relationship superficial like we’re merely instinctive beings
- Sometimes, however Christians can have the tendency to go to the other extreme and not consider chemistry being an important factor in dating.
- Dave also tells us that having an original attraction to someone is one aspect that God uses to draw people together
- If there is no chemistry or physical attraction, it’s going to be hard to connect to the other person.
- Ashley brings insight that while chemistry is an initial way of drawing people together, what will keep a couple together is the attraction to each other’s spirits and personalities.
- Ashley says that communication is key to what brings a marriage together
- Ashley tells us that physical attraction is actually biblical as it is talked about in the Song of Solomon which depicts a husband and a wife being attracted to one another on ALL levels
- It’s a good thing to be attracted to one another!
Should you date someone simply because you have chemistry with them?
- Dave says that just like the chemistry we studied in high school, chemistry can sometimes cause explosions… but in a bad way. 😉
- There are going to be many times when you are drawn to someone, but you cannot rely on pheromones alone.
- Dave tells us that a good test is to ask yourself “Not only am I attracted to this person, but does this person bring out the most attractive version of me?”.
- Dave says we must also ask, “Do they bring out the very best in me? Do they bring out the part of me that wants to seek out God the most? Do they bring out the part of me that brings out the most authenticity in me?”.
- Dave says that if it just solely based on chemistry and physical attraction then eventually they can bring out the worst in you.
- Ashley tells us that at times we can have chemistry with people that are not necessarily the best for us, so we have to make sure the values are there.
- Ashley says that it is a HUGE red flag if you are making excuses for the other person in a dating season.
Can I have a platonic chemistry with a friend of the opposite sex and not have it be a romantic chemistry?
- Dave tells us that your life can be enriched by having relationships and bonds with different types of people.
- It’s dangerous to have close relationships with someone of the opposite sex once you’re married simply because you’re investing emotional capital that you should use for your spouse.
- Dave says that ”You may have a platonic connection with that person, but they may have a romantic connection with you”.
- Ashley and Dave talk about how women and men are different in approaching platonic friendships.
- While a girl can have a platonic friendship with a guy, it’s a much more rare occasion for a guy to have a platonic relationship with a girl without having any sort of romantic interest in her.
- If you’re going to have a friend of the opposite sex, you have to have clear communication at various times to clarify what the friendship is.
- On an emotional level, men and women approach things differently.
Do you think that not having initial attraction to someone is a good enough reason to not go out on a date with them?
- Ashley tells us that ”The more you get to know someone the more attractive they become to you and vice versa”
- Ashley encourages that if you see any good, and any component you like then go ahead and give that person a chance.
- You may be missing out on an amazing person simply because a first impression of their physical appearance when we don’t even know them yet.
- Dave says that “We’re living in a swipe left swipe right culture where we’re so dismissive of anybody we don’t feel this instant passionate connection with”.
- Dave also says that we can miss out on a deep soul connection if we don’t get to know someone for who they truly are.
- Be careful of misguided spiritual disciple and do NOT force something.
There’s a cliche that guys in the church are looking for a perfect Christian woman with a perfect body and image. What is your male perspective on this?
- Dave points out that scientifically, men, in comparison to women, are more wired to be more visual.
- Be careful of any guy who only wants to date a specific body type. This is a guy who has gone down a dark path of objectifying women.
- Dave discussed how pornography is an issue that has sabotaged the minds of young men.
- Dave tells the ladies listening, “Don’t feel like you have to compete with these airbrushed supermodel images that aren’t even real people. You are beautiful the way you are and there is a godly man out there that’s going to see that and appreciate that!”.
- Dave: “Guys with superficial standards aren’t looking for a wife, they’re looking for a woman like ordering off a menu”.
Is having a physical type too limiting?
- Ashley says that sometimes we can’t help what we’re attracted to. It’s not bad to be drawn to a certain type, but we shouldn’t not go on a date with someone just because they don’t fall into your type category.
- We need to look deeper and not put ourselves in a box. When we do that we miss out on the deeper poor important things a person.
- We need to be OPEN.
- Dave: “That mindset of only going to have someone in my life that looks like this and ticks all these certain boxes a single, we can potentially miss out on that that perfect match that God has for you”.
- Never let a type be a non-negotiable factor, instead focus on what their values are!
What encouragement do you have for people who have experienced shame against physical attraction or physical intimacy?
- Ashley talks about how growing up, sex was talked about in a negative manner
- Ashley says that we don’t have to be ashamed of sex in its context as ”Sex is a beautiful gift from God that is specifically for marriage”.
- God doesn’t want us to live in shame, Ashley tells us, “The enemy brings shame on us, God brings freedom” .
- Dave and Ashley talk about how God didn’t make Adam and Eve for shame
What potential consequences may happen if you suppress intimacy too much in a dating relationship, what might happen in marriage?
- Ashley talks about the unrealistic expectations on the wedding night and struggling to enjoy it at first.
- A negative outlook on sex can actually harm physical intimacy in a marriage.
- Sex Is a way for husband and wife to connect in a deeper way.
- Discussed how especially Engaged couples need to be able to communicate and talk about this topic more openly.
- If you are waiting, keep on waiting, because it’s a beautiful thing.
How do you navigate physical attraction and chemistry as a healthy part of a relationship while staying away from lusting/crossing physical boundaries?
- Dave talks about how this is a more complicated topic today than in previous years
- Dave says that sometimes Christians have self-imposed timelines that create unnecessary complications.
- Dave says that we need to stop putting pressure on ourselves, “Take the pressure off yourself that you have to have your whole life in order before you marry somebody”.
- Dave: “We have to free ourselves from these timelines that aren’t practical and these fantasies that aren’t real” .
- Being cautious is smart but it is possible to be overly cautious.
- Dave and Ashley talked about being open to God’s timeline even if it doesn’t match your own.
- Ashley tells us that God will never try to call you to be with someone that forces you to compromise your boundaries.
- If God has given you the desire to be married, He is going to fulfill it. He just doesn’t always fulfill it in our timing… but it is worth the wait!
What is your final nugget of dating advice?
- Ashley- ”When you’re dating if theres not a lot of laughter, I don’t know if that’s the right person for you!” “Laughter should be the soundtrack of your marriage!”.
- Dave reminds us that Jesus completes us and tell us to not believe the myth that you’re not a whole person if you aren’t married or dating someone else.
Visit Dave and Ashley at Marriage today HERE
Take a listen to The Naked Marriage Podcast HERE
Find and connect with them on Instagram HERE.