Welcome to Awaken-Love!

The mission of the Awaken-Love ministry is to encourage men and women to claim God’s design for intimacy and equip them to share that truth with others.

Our desire is that your marriage will be transformed as you gain a true understanding of what God intends for your sex life and that God compels you to share this truth with others. For so many people, sex is a very painful area of their life and they may never attend a class on sex, but they may be willing to have a one-on-one conversation with a friend. When you take an Awaken-Love class, it is not just for your marriage and relationship with God, it is for all the doors that God opens up for you to minister to others as well.

We invite you to be part of the revolution of Christians speaking God’s truth about sex and encouraging Christians to embrace a lifelong journey of growing in intimacy with their spouse and with God.

Our Foundation

Everything taught in Awaken-Love classes is grounded in God’s Word. When the Bible is not black and white, we encourage men and women to seek discernment from the Holy Spirit to determine what is best for them and their individual marriage. We measure everything that is shared against God’s perfect design for marriage. We believe…

  1. God can transform you and your marriage.
  2. God created sex for wives as much as for husbands.
  3. Sex is a powerful gift from God that connects us in ways that are unexplainable.
  4. Sex must be measured against God’s design – oneness, knowing, pleasure, etc.
  5. God desires freedom in our marriage bed, but we must deal with the lies, baggage and body image issues that hold us back.
  6. God wants us to experience so much more – marriage is not supposed to get boring.
  7. Sex is much more than intercourse – it is seeing each other naked and unashamed, it is joining two into one and it is a holy communion with God.
  8. The best thing we can do for our kids is have a lifelong love affair with our spouse.
  9. We can learn to talk about sex in good and healthy ways that equip and encourage others.
  10. Intimacy is always about our relationship with God – it is a mirror.

Our Team

Ruth
awaken_love_photos-026For 28 years I have been blessed to be married to my wonderful husband Jim and we have 4 amazing daughters. For the first 23 years, we had a good marriage, and sex was good, but it didn’t happen very often. Honestly, my hormones determined whether we had sex. Years ago, we figured out what worked and then stuck with the tried and true. We had a safe relationship, avoiding hard conversations, like sex or our struggles. We actively participated in church ministry, but neither prayed together nor had intimate conversations about God.

A few years ago, our marriage went from good to amazing! awaken_love_photos-071After spending eight weeks immersed in a study of Song of Songs, I began to crave intimacy. No longer did I want to hide, but I wanted to be fully known – by both God and my husband. The study revealed how much more God wanted in my marriage and in my relationship with Him. He wants us to experience amazing freedom with our spouse, where we can be completely vulnerable. He wants us to be completely enraptured with each other – emotionally, spiritually and physically. God wants our marriage bed to restore us, refresh us, comfort us, make us one, and to be a picture of the intimacy that He wants with us.

My transformation truly began with the realization of how beautiful I am to God – not because of anything that I did. It created a freedom to worship Him, to pray over others and to crave His Word and time with Him. My husband and I began praying together and sharing our hearts about God. We also began talking about hard things – including sex. I spent time researching Christian resources on intimacy, learned about my body and was amazed by God’s design. God began revealing past experiences that still affected me. As He did, I began sharing them with my husband and praying over them. I began to recognize lies that I believed about sex and men, and replaced them with God’s truth. I also began to crave my husband and the connection with him as we became more and more present during sex. It wasn’t always easy but it was so worth it.

awaken_love_photos-076In 2012, God called me to share how my life and marriage had been transformed when I taught my first class to eight close friends. My lip was trembling, and my mouth parched, as I wrestled to put words to this amazing thing called sex. Within a couple of weeks, women were sharing what a difference the class was making in their marriage.

The curriculum has changed very little since that first class. I have had the amazing privilege to walk along side of over 400 women as they strengthened their marriage and talked about something as holy and intimate as sex.

This study came out of my experiences and transformation. Many of the ideas came from my own struggles for growth and intimacy. It is a part of me. But the only power for change comes from God Himself. Be prayerful and don’t be afraid because God wants so much more for you than you can even imagine. My hope for you is that your life is turned upside down and that you begin to crave more intimacy, with God and your husband – so that you are fully known and unashamed.

You can read a recommendation from my pastor. You can email me at ruth@awaken-love.net.

 

Melanie
awaken_love_photos-003I grew up being told not to have sex before marriage. I believed my value was based on my purity rather than being made in the image of God. When a nonconsensual encounter stole my purity, I felt I had lost value.

Since I was already “stained,” I took consolation by using my body as a powerful tool. Sex became a commodity to trade for attention and to keep someone around. My body was a possession to offer someone in exchange for their protection. It was completely counter to God’s design. Over the years, I was in and out of relationships, often really unhealthy ones, and frequently carried on simultaneous relationships…just in case. I didn’t understand God’s design or healthy relational boundaries. I didn’t know – truly internalize – that He made me unique, for a purpose and that He was completely head over heels in love with me.

The funny thing is, I didn’t enjoy sex. Feelings of arousal made me feel insecure, I didn’t have any expectation of pleasure and I was emotionally disconnected. Truly, I wasn’t seeking sex itself. I was seeking security, acceptance and companionship – all things that God desired to provide for me. After pursuing an active personal relationship with Christ, not just the promise of salvation, He filled these voids and my relationship with boys started to change. I eventually grew in my contentment with Christ alone.

Wawaken_love_photos-156hen my husband Brian came along, I desired to keep God first because He, not Brian, was the source of my everything. After we got married, sex was for Brian. I obliged but didn’t get emotionally involved. Yet at the same time I yearned for connection and intimacy with my husband. I also struggled to free myself from ties to past relationships. For years, I prayed for intimacy and freedom, but at the same time thought the distance between our reality and God’s best was a consequence of my past. I wasn’t allowed the full blessing because of what I had done.

Now, I can look back and see God working on me for years. He desired my freedom, too. Eventually, through a Bible study on forgiveness, I acknowledged the lie that I was marked by my past and replaced it with His Truth that I have been washed clean. When I realized that I was indeed forgiven and needed to let go of the shame and fear of judgement, everything changed. I began pursuing Brian, discovering what I enjoy so that sex is for both of us and a time of connecting. I read about God’s design and techniques from Christian sources for confidence. It was a total overhaul and sex became holy, emotional, enjoyable, refreshing and something that I craved. Yet, I still didn’t feel 100% free.

awaken_love_photos-125I received more of God’s healing and truth through a Bible study on healing from sexual abuse and sexual sin. Placing the totality of my sexual past at the foot of the Cross led to complete healing. I was made new. Surrender and truth replaced control, fear and lies. Brian and I have grown even more connected, joyful, and encouraged. Life seems less daunting. We are truly each other’s safe place to be transparent and vulnerable. Our marriage went from good to great to amazing! My relationship with God continues to deepen even more.

Brian and I don’t want to stop growing closer to each other and to God. We’ll be on this journey for a lifetime. The blessings that we have received, and continue to receive, motivate me to share God’s design with you so that you can fully experience the gift of intimacy with your spouse and God as well. I have a special passion for reminding men and women that their past doesn’t limit how God can use them in His Kingdom’s service.

Brian and I married 13 years ago, have two elementary aged sons and live in Austin, TX. You can email me at melanie@awaken-love.net.

Our History

In 2012, I began teaching Awaken-Love classes. Two years later, I started the Christian Sex Class blog to share how to build intimate marriages God’s way. In the spring of 2015, Melanie contacted me from Texas to see if she could skype into an Awaken-Love class. I remember thinking from our discussions after class, “she really gets it.” I knew God was drawing her to teach and I was excited.

My first class was skyping from a hotel room in Lubbock, TX, because I was on a road trip with my family. I expected to enjoy the class, but had no idea how much it would impact my marriage and my life. My husband and I were already on a journey to claim God’s full freedom in our marriage bed, but Awaken-Love gave us an extra push. Ruth and I talked after each class and she poured into me and encouraged me to consider teaching Awaken-Love classes in Texas.

After Melanie decided to teach in Austin, TX, we ended up reformatting the curriculum to change it from a rough outline to a presentable Bible study for her church. Taking the class a second time allowed Melanie to really understand the structure of the class and how everything pointed back to God’s design.  We loved working together and our writing styles complimented each other.

In May 2015, Ruth was in Dallas the same weekend that I was there to help family move and God’s divine timing allowed us to meet for three hours. We talked non-stop and I shared my story with more transparency than I’ve ever done even with my closest friends. It felt like we were somehow connected and would see each other again.

As we continued working together, we began sharing how God was speaking to us and it was not long before I knew that Melanie was supposed to be my partner in ministry. She had the same passion that I had to share God’s truth about sex. The first time I asked Melanie to partner with me, I don’t think she quite got it, and she replied that God had brought her alongside me to support me. But I knew she was not supposed to just support me, we were to be ministry partners.

As we continued to email and skype each week, I felt more and more drawn to the Awaken-Love ministry. God was showing me how the puzzle pieces of my life were to prepare me to share truth about intimacy with Him and our spouse. I hesitated to commit to partner with Ruth because I didn’t want to offer more than I could do well. I was just going to help package the study to let its beauty shine and then teach Awaken-Love classes.

Melanie and I continued to work together seamlessly on one project after another. A few weeks later, I again asked her to partner with me and I made it very clear that I did not just want her helping me with the Awaken-Love ministry, I wanted her to be my ministry partner. We would work side by side for as long as she had a passion to serve. She was on board! Melanie and I have very different families of origin and past baggage, but God has brought us on very similar paths of awakening. We have both experienced the emptiness of knowing that there was more and crying out to God. We have both felt the frustration of a husband that could not meet all of our needs and the realization that God was the only one that could. We have both opened ourselves up to living more and feeling more and translating that freedom into our marriage bed. We have both been incredibly blessed to have husbands that love us, even in our muck, and that are willing to stretch.

Ruth came to Austin, TX, in July 2015, and I was so excited to pick her up at the airport.  Her whirlwind visit included spending time with my family, speaking at my church, teaching the women from the summer class that I taught and sharing our journeys with each other by reading journal entries to each other late into the night. I’ve never read my journal to someone, yet I didn’t have an inkling of hesitation or discomfort when we shared. She affirmed me again and again, pointing out where God had clearly moved me, changed me and prepared me. 

Melanie is an answer to prayer. Even though I have a supportive husband and friends, for over 3 years I had been walking this walk alone. At times, the loneliness was unbearable and I had been praying for a ministry partner. I never imagined that my ministry partner would be in Texas, a woman that I met only months prior over skype, but that I had such an instant connection with. As we shared our journals, we realized that the verse she had clung to while teaching her first class was the same verse in my journal from the first class that I taught:

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 – I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

There’s been no doubt, no looking back, no question of our path forward since that visit. God has brought Ruth and I together and we are committed to clinging to Him and His plan for the Awaken-Love ministry. God has given us a passion for people to be set free through Christ and to understand the far reaching implications of a growing, life-long journey of deeper intimacy with God and their spouse. He has also given me an amazing ministry partner to share this mission with. While together in Texas, we joked about the future, as if testing the waters, half knowing that it is likely to be realized. I think we both are growing in confidence of embracing whatever God has prepared for us.

Our partnership in the Awaken-Love ministry has been confirmed over and over by God and we are giddy with excitement to see what He is going to do through us. We are both humbled beyond comprehension that God is using us to point to Him!

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