Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home.

The image of happily ever after is one that the world is hungry to believe really exists. But life has many different seasons, and the sexual flame must adapt to each one by overcoming various challenges, in order to stay burning. In Song of Solomon 2:15, the Shulamite calls these challenges, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.  Foxes can pop up at any time through the four seasons of married life …. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.

This article addresses the Spring Season and will help especially the newly wed to identify the little foxes and keep them from harming the foundation of their marital relationship.

 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15

The goal for spring in one’s marriage is to develop a oneness and a transparency so that a couple feels totally safe with each other ….during sex and throughout the day. In this first season of marriage, a couple develops sexual habits that set the tone of one’s sexual relationship for many years. Therefore, it should be a time to build growing expertise in pleasing a spouse sexually and, if privacy allows, in enjoying frequent and lengthy lovemaking.

This season has a few foxes. Some of the ones you may need to stop from spoiling your vineyard are the following:

Fox #1: Fear of Pain…One common fox is a bride‘s fear that her first intercourse will be painful. Catching the fox here is to realize that even when first intercourse may be uncomfortable, the second one and beyond should be much better. If it continues to be painful beyond the first few days, seek medical help.

Fox #2: The Poorly Planned Honeymoon…Did you know that the honeymoon is a biblical concept? In the Old Testament Law, it lasted for a whole year.  Please read about it in Deuteronomy 24:5.  Here you can see that the purpose of a honeymoon is not to have an expensive vacation or to visit other people, but to bring happiness to one another alone. In other words, it is to have a private and relaxed relationship. The way to catch this fox is to plan your honeymoon with the same attention to detail as you plan your wedding. Keep your objective in mind—time alone with each other.

Fox #3: Influence of Past Sexual Experiences…This is a fox that in a perfect world wouldn‘t exist. But reality is that some of you may have had illicit partners, may have masturbated while viewing pornography, or may have suffered sexual abuse. These experiences have given you images and habits that may harm your sexual experience with your new spouse. For instance, a man who has masturbated, or engaged in sex when it was important to be quick before being discovered, may climax too quickly. One who has viewed pornography or been with a prostitute may be turned on only by activities that are extreme or debasing. One friend of ours who had recently come to Christ admitted that he had always smoked marijuana before engaging in sex with his wife. When he came to Christ, he had to learn how to appreciate sex without the enhancing effects of the drug. A woman who was subjected to incest may automatically dissociate and feel nothing, rather than being mentally present and loving her husband.

Sometimes it is difficult to sort out the cause of the sexual problems that you are having with your spouse because you don‘t realize how your past experiences are affecting your marriage. Many problems can be solved by confession and forgiveness, tender and patient lovemaking, and by systematically identifying and replacing the falsehoods that you believe with the truth.  Even though Christ has cleansed you, it may take time and help to heal the patterns that were caused by sins done by or against you sexually.

Fox #4: The Fear of Pregnancy…This is a legitimate concern for many couples. Conceiving, growing, and delivering a baby is one of the most wonderful experiences of life, but pregnancy can affect the woman‘s life greatly. The wife may be easily nauseated, end up having to rest in bed for weeks to prevent miscarriage, have little energy, have extreme mood swings, and experience many permanent physical changes. Or she may go through pregnancy easily and feel well throughout. Taking care of a baby adequately is also a big adjustment.

Generally, a young couple needs time to feather their nest, not only to prepare financially; but also to work out the rough places in the way that they relate to each other.   Your relationship is the firm foundation that must support the weight of children. Babies are much heavier on the relationship than they appear! It is a pervasive lie that having a child will shore up a tottering relationship. Adding a child to a flawed marriage foundation is like bringing an elephant into a home founded on sticks. It is unfair and unreasonable to expect a child to somehow repair his parents‘ problems. Instead, the weight of the child‘s needs will further stress, and sometimes break, a poor foundation, which also takes the child‘s security in its collapse. No form of reducing fertility, except sterilization, such as tubal ligation or a vasectomy, is completely foolproof, so only marry if your relationship is stable enough to support a child.