FamilyLife Today® Podcast

The Dance of Intimacy

with Ann Wilson, Dave Wilson | September 14, 2015
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Pastor Dave Wilson and his wife, Ann, explore the complex and wonderful dance of marital intimacy as they share their own unique dance experience.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Pastor Dave Wilson and his wife, Ann, explore the complex and wonderful dance of marital intimacy as they share their own unique dance experience.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Pastor Dave Wilson and his wife, Ann, explore the complex and wonderful dance of marital intimacy as they share their own unique dance experience.

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The Dance of Intimacy

With Ann Wilson, Dave Wilson
September 14, 2015
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Bob: You may have experienced this paradox about intimacy in marriage—here’s Ann Wilson.

Ann: Before we’re married, Satan will do everything in his power to try to get us to have sex; and after we’re married, Satan—who wants to destroy our marriages—tries to do everything in his power for us not to have sex. Isn’t that true? [Applause] Yet, here’s what the promise is—that I think God is saying for us to come together—it unites us.

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, September 14th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey. I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll hear a very challenging message today from Dave and Ann Wilson about the joys and the struggles of intimacy in marriage. Stay tuned.



And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Monday edition.

Dennis: Bob, I’ve got a question for you: “When is the last time you had more fun than you can imagine?”

Bob: The last time I had more fun than I could imagine? I can imagine—I can imagine a lot of fun—so it’d be hard to have more fun. [Laughter]

Dennis: I’m shocked! I’m shocked! Well, I want our listeners to know that, today on the broadcast, they’re about to hear a couple talk about a very intimate subject.

Bob: Yes.

Dennis: You’re about to have more fun while learning what the Bible teaches about sex. I don’t know if you should tell your kids to listen in on this or not, Bob. What do you think?

Bob: I guess that depends on the age of the kids and how much they know and how much they don’t know; right?

Dennis: Dave and Ann Wilson speak at our Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways. They give leadership to a church in Detroit, Michigan, that has over 15, 000 people attending.


So you got to believe he is a pretty fun guy—if he can keep that many people’s attention, Sunday after Sunday, in church.

This message you’re about to hear occurred on the Love Like You Mean It® cruise last Valentine’s. I’m sorry if you were hoping to join us on this year’s Love Like You Mean It cruise, over Valentine’s, because it’s sold out. It’s gone—they’re all gone. In fact, I even had a family member call us at the last minute—and he’s like, “Uh oh!” [Laughter]

Bob: There’s a waiting list.

Dennis: There is.

Bob: And there have been occasions where folks on the waiting list have been cleared to sail because something comes up.

Dennis: We have 2,600 people that are going to have a whole lot of fun on the Love Like You Mean It cruise. You’ll hear, in this message, why they have a lot of fun.

[Previously Recorded Message]

Dave: Ten years ago, we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We wanted to do something special.


I prayed to God for a miracle trip—free. I’m a real cheapskate—I wanted something free. God answered that prayer. A couple asked us to do their wedding in Mexico; and flew us down there, for free, at an all-inclusive resort—anybody done that? It’s awesome; right? So, they’re like—you have to go to their dinner banquet. There’s always dancing and music. You love that kind of stuff—so we go to this dinner banquet one night—

Ann: —a theater.

Dave: —a theater—sort of like this—big stage / tables all over.

They rope us into volunteering—to go backstage. We don’t know what we volunteered for—there are eight couples. We go backstage. Somebody mentions they think it’s The Newlywed Game. We’re backstage, cheating—actually cheating—like: “What was our first date?”—all that kind of stuff—because I’m really competitive / I want to win.

We walk out on stage—the curtain’s closed. We’re all like, “Do you guys know what we’re doing?” Nobody knew. The curtain opens. Emcee walks out and says, “Tonight is dance competition night.” [Applause]

Ann: I know. We’re like, “Oh no!” because we’re terrible dancers.

Dave: We can’t dance. I love to dance, but we’re not any good.


Basically, he says: “We’re going to play music from different cultures. You’re going to dance that style, and the crowd is going to vote you off until we end up with a final winner, who wins a grand prize,”—alright? First dance was Caribbean or something—

Ann: It was a waltz—Austrian.

Dave: Okay it was a waltz—one, two, three / one, two, three—Austrian—that’s what it was. See how bad we are?—I don’t even know. We get voted off—first one, which is exactly what should’ve happened—we’re terrible.

We go to our table. As we’re sitting down, the crowd that just voted us off starts booing. The emcee is like, “Do you want them back?” “Yes!” He’s like, “You guys are back.” We are like: “Nope we’re done. We’re done.” No—they wanted us back—we think because—all they said was: “What are your names?”—“Dave and Ann.” “Where are you from?”—“Michigan,”—“You’re off,” when they heard “Michigan.” Maybe there were a lot of people from Michigan—we don’t know—we got back on. Long story short, we end up on the final three. Don’t ask me how—they’re blind or something.

Ann: And now, we have to dance individually, by ourselves, on the stage with the spotlight—it’s so humiliating

Dave: He says, “Dave and Ann from Michigan—you’re the first couple up.” We walk up; and he goes: “Okay; the last category music—60’s music—acrobatic.” [Laughter]


Ann: And we’re like, “What?”

Dave: I look at him like, “What do you mean ‘acrobatic’?” “The more acrobatic you are, the better chance you have of winning the finals.” Here’s the deal—now, that we’re in the final three, I’m all in. [Laughter] You know what I mean? It’s like: “I don’t care if we can’t dance or not. We—somehow, got to the final three.”

Ann: All he heard was the prize—like: “We’re going to get a prize,”—maybe.

Dave: And I knew that the prize would be another free trip, maybe—that’s what I figured; right? The other thing that nobody knows there, but me, when he said, “acrobatic,”— Ann was a gymnast her whole life. She can still do aerial flip things and one-arm pushups more than any guy I know. Literally, under my breath, I say to her—I say: “You end this with a one-arm pushup, we win!” You know?

Ann: Now, my competitive juices are going too. We’re like: “We’re doing this! We are all in!”

Dave: She goes, “Got it!” She goes to the end of the stage, and I literally go to the other side of the stage—I back up. I get out of the way because I can’t dance—I just do my own little [makes dance-like movements].

Ann: And this is exactly what he did the whole time.

Dave: The little Q-tip move here—that’s what I did / that’s all I got! [Laughter] See—that’s how bad I am.


But while I’m doing it, she is literally running across stage and jumping like [makes flipping noises] boom! The crowd’s like [going wild]. Then she goes [makes more flipping noises]. I don’t know what she’s doing, but it was really cool. Boom! The crowd’s like [going wild]. I’m like: “You go girl—Baby. Go girl! Go girl!” That’s all I did.

Ann: So we can tell that the music is coming to an end. It was pretty much like this; isn’t it?—the stage was about this big.

Dave: It was this size.

Ann: We’re on opposite ends of the stage. We’re thinking, “How are we going to end this?” I look at Dave. We look at each other—like: “What are we doing?”

Dave: “A grand finale, and just go…” [Makes more dance movements.] I make this big hula hoop. It’s very clear that is/was a hula hoop. There’s no question—a hula hoop.

Ann: And I’m thinking: “What does that mean? [Laughter] What does he think I’m going to do with that?”

Dave: So, “Keep doing it!—like: “Come on! Come on!”

Ann: I didn’t see it like that—I saw it like this. [Makes dance movements.]

Dave: It was definitely this. [Makes dance movements.] [Laughter]

Ann: Right! I’m thinking: “Oh! It’s like that old movie, Dirty Dancing.

Dave: No, no—I was thinking—



Ann: “She dives into his arms, and he catches her; and we’ll do a little spin.”

Dave: That’s what she was thinking. I didn’t know anything she was thinking. All I was thinking was, “Sea World.” Remember Sea World? [Laughter] The porpoise jumps in and takes a little swim. “One-arm pushup,—I’ll give you something.” That was all in my big plan—right there.

Ann: So, we look at each other and we go, “Got it!” I run as hard as I can because, you know, in gymnastics if you go halfway you could get hurt. So I am sprinting as fast as I can—

Dave: Mary Lou Retton, right here.

Ann: —down the floor. I hit, plant, go up,—

Dave: I get out of the way because I’m like: “I don’t want to be there.” [Laughter] I turn around, and I just start dancing.

Ann: —I smashed to the ground. I barely catch my face from hitting the ground.

Dave: I actually never saw it—I literally turned—but I heard it. [Laughter] It was like, “Thud!” I’m like, “Oh-oh.”

Ann: The whole crowd is like [screams]. [Laughter]


Dave: I turn around and she is face-planted. Guys from backstage are running out to help her. They’re all looking at me like, “What an idiot!” [Laughter] It looked like I did it on purpose / I didn’t, but that’s what it looked like it.

Ann: I am in so much pain; but I am laughing because I think, “We are the dumbest people on the planet.” [Laughter] First of all, we’re old. It’s just—it was terrible.

Dave: Here’s what you’ve got to know—we won first prize! “Baby, we won! Yes!” [Applause] And here’s the next thing you’ve got to know—the grand-prize—not kidding—two free t-shirts! [Laughter] T-shirts—that’s what we got.

Ann: You also need to know this—

Dave: You’re not going to tell them—don’t tell them. Seriously, don’t tell them!

Ann: I’m so bruised—my arms are so bruised and swollen—we go to bed.

Dave: Alright—I’m not talking to you tonight.

Ann: It was so bad—I broke both wrists. [Laughter] And we’re the marriage experts! [Laughter] But honestly—


Dave: You don’t believe her? She really did. We went back to Michigan.

Ann: I didn’t go to the hospital right away, but I knew something was wrong. Point is this—

Dave: What is the point?

Ann: We’re going to make a point out of this. First of all, in a marriage relationship—in the great relationships and in the relationships that are struggling—no matter what—there’s a time / and many times that we drop one another; don’t we?

In some—one way or another—but I will say this—that in our 35 years, Dave has dropped me more than that; and I’ve dropped him many times too. But Jesus has always been there to hold us, to pick us up, and to never let us totally fall. He’s always there no matter what we’ve gone through.

Dave: I’ll just add this—for what we’re talking about tonight—if there’s an area that you and I need to know that Christ will hold us, will catch us, will embrace us—it’s in the area of our sexual relationship because this area of a marriage relationship is a wonderful and beautiful thing.


We can laugh; and hopefully, we will laugh a little bit about it tonight. There’s an incredible joy; but, as you even saw in the drama sketches, there’s also confusion and hurt and—

Ann: —struggle.

Dave: —struggle—yes. We’re going to try and talk honestly about both sides of that. If there was a theme for God’s design for sex, it would be this—we’re going to challenge you to: “Be all in / all in with God’s design for sex,” as we talk about it tonight. The way we package it—is this way: “What is no one telling you about sex?” There are just going to be three of them.

The first one is this: “God smiles when a married couple makes love.” I think we just need to start here—and just remind ourselves or, maybe, for the first time understand God invented sex—that’s a good thing. Man didn’t invent this / God invented this—when a married couple in the covenant of marriage makes love / has sex, that is a really, really good thing. God isn’t covering His eyes.



Some of us have this view of God that He hates sex, and it’s dirty and wrong. If you ever heard a sermon about it at church, that’s what you heard—that’s what I heard. In church—never had a pastor say, when I was growing up—that sex is a beautiful thing in the covenant of marriage. God smiles when a married couple makes love—never heard that—I always heard it was dirty. It was wrong if you do it: “You’re going to go bald,”—you know?—that kind of stuff; right? [Laughter] That’s what I heard.

But the truth is—[Laughter]—and I’m balder than anybody in this room, by the way, and getting balder; okay?—whatever—but the truth is—I think some of us have this perspective that, even when a married couple makes love, it’s like God is almost like: “Ah you’ve got to do that again? You know, I never thought when I gave them this gift that they’d do it so often,”—like He’s covering His eyes and going, “That’s disgusting.” That is not who God is. I think a lot of Christians even sort of have that view because we’ve been hurt / we’ve seen the negative side of sex. There is a beauty to sex, and it is God’s design for sex—He invented it!


Ann: And to help our marriage—it solidifies it and brings security. Yet, it’s so complicated too. It’s exactly—I thought the discussion on the drama was beautiful because of just the complicated beauty of discussing it.

Dave: So, there’s this beauty on God’s side, first of all—that He created it. He created it for what? Have you ever looked at the Word of God and said, “Okay what was His design?” Well, obviously, several purposes are. One—reproduction—I mean, obviously, it’s so we can make children. He says in Genesis 1, the first book in the Bible: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”

Ann: —with a godly legacy.

Dave: Yes, with a godly legacy. How did he give us—what was the process he gave for us to be fruitful and multiply?—sex. And think about this / I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this—we say this at the Weekend to Remember—but it is like: “Okay; if I’m God, and I want my human beings to reproduce, I could create any process I want for that. Doesn’t have to be sex—it would be cross-pollination.”


You know what I mean? You are in Aisle 7 at Kroger. Someone walks by and sneezes on you. You’re like: “Aw, I’m pregnant again. I hate it when that happens!”’ [Laughter] He didn’t do that! Aren’t you glad He didn’t do that? I mean, you could get pregnant that way; but we don’t!

It’s this beautiful thing called sexuality and intercourse, and that’s enough; but you get it. It’s like: “Wow! God designed it that way and that very process of intercourse between a man and a woman / a husband and a wife reveals”—doesn’t it?—“who God is. It gives you a view into the heart of God / what kind of person He is: ‘What kind of being would create this?’”

I’ve often thought: “If you want to lead your neighbor to Christ, or your boss to Christ, or somebody that doesn’t believe in God—especially, for a man—say: ‘Hey, you don’t believe in God? Let me tell you something. The God you don’t believe in is the God who invented sex. Do you like sex?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘That’s the God that made it. You ought to find out who He is.’”

They might come to church next week if they knew that because it does—it tells you a little bit about who He is. But it isn’t just reproduction—it is intimacy, it is oneness, it is pleasure.


Often, this is never talked about in church; but God designed sexual union between a husband and wife to be one of the most pleasurable things we ever do.

Ann: I’m going to say this: “I think, if you’ve been married a while, we get lazy in this area; don’t we?” I think that everything pulls at us, and everything calls to us. The demands of life are so busy and so demanding that I, and I know Dave too—it just gets hard. You’re tired, and there are so many things, and we get lazy.

Dave: It’s interesting—even when you think of the pleasure aspect of it—which I think is not talked about enough in the church / it just really isn’t—that it’s okay to celebrate the pleasure part of sex / to actually believe God smiles, God applauds, God is encouraging a husband and wife to make love and to make love frequently.

Now, I know, as I say that, that some of you are like [inhales sharply]: “We are really struggling in this area.” I know—we have too. We will be very honest—we have struggled, for decades, to work through this.


We had years we couldn’t even talk about it. I’ve had so many married couples say, “We don’t really talk about this area.”

Ann: And we can talk about every other area so easily; but this one is like—we’re so tied to it, emotionally, in respect and love.

Dave: It’s interesting—in the book of Proverbs, the writer writes this about pleasure—he writes: “May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer, may her breasts satisfy you always. May you ever be captivated by her love.” It’s actually a very interesting passage—Proverbs 5. I’ve just preached on this in my church.

Most of the passage is about being very careful—sex can take you to very dangerous places—the adulterous woman: “Stay away from this road,”—and then he says: “May your fountain be blessed with your wife. May her breasts satisfy you.” What’s that about? It’s about pleasure. I do remember that—not going to share a story about that by the way—[Laughter]

Ann: Thank you.


Dave: —but I do remember—when Ann and I got married / on our wedding night—first thing we did, before we crawled into our marriage bed—you tell them—was what?

Ann: We got on our knees, and we prayed. We asked God: “God, we give you our marriage—we give you like our whole lives—our marriage, our sex life, and everything. And God will you use us to impact the world for You / for You, Jesus, in this area of marriage even?”

Dave: So it was like—it was the first time in our life because we’d never been married before—that we were now in a right relationship, before God, to experience the pleasure that He had designed sex to be in the marriage bed / not outside the marriage bed.

The second thing nobody’s telling you is this: “God’s design for sex will rock your marriage.” If you and I take God’s design for sex into our married bedroom, it can enhance and bring beauty into a place that often has not had beauty in years or decades.


It’s a real issue, as you read the Word of God. I think a lot of non-Christian men have no idea this kind of stuff’s in the Bible. You go to 1 Corinthians 7—and you read what God says about married love and married sex—and it’s really pretty interesting.

Ann: Here’s what it says in 1 Corinthians 7: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.” You used to use that against me a little bit too: “It’s not just your body; it’s mine.” Do you remember that?

Dave: I never did that.

Ann: Yes, you did.

Dave: Hey, you’re supposed to just read the Word of God. [Laughter]

Ann: “In the same way the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer and then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

You know, I read that and here’s what I think: “Before we’re married, Satan will do everything in his power to try to get us to have sex; and after we’re married, Satan—


—who wants to destroy our marriages—tries to do everything in his power for us not to have sex. Isn’t that true? Yes!  Here’s what the promise is—that I think that God is saying for us to come together—it unites us, spiritually/emotionally. It’s what makes it so special and, yet, it’s so hard; but I love that the Scripture talks about this.

Dave: Yes; and the Scripture isn’t giving you a number of how many times a week that you’ve got to make love—it doesn’t do that—but it does give us a pattern that says it should be somewhat regular.

Ann: But honestly, the world portrays that it’s just going to happen—and you just fall into bed—and you’re so passionate. Here’s Dave and I—like: “Should we put it on the calendar?” That sounds so terrible; but sometimes, that’s what we have to do to keep it a priority.

Dave: That is true—we have done that—it’s true. The priorities in your life are shown in two areas—what you spend money on / where you spend time on. So, if this is a priority, there’s nothing wrong in saying: “We need to put this on the calendar. We need to block out times.”


We‘ve learned—at the FamilyLife Conference, Weekend to Remember, as an engaged couple—from Dennis Rainey in the Chicago ballroom in 1979 that married couples should date every week. We sat there; and we’re like: “What? Married couples date? That sounds stupid.” But then we got married. We were like: “Oh, yes. If we don’t carve that out, your relationship gets stale. You really need to do it.”

Ann: And on our dates, I’d say to Dave, “How do you think we’re doing?” And he’d be like, “What?” He hated that question, but I wanted to talk about our relationship.

Dave: And I wanted to just go have sex. [Laughter]


Dennis: I told you—you’d have more fun today. [Laughter] I mean, where else can you get this on public radio?—a wholesome view of love, sex, and marriage—huh?

Bob: We’ve been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson—Part One of a message that they shared on our Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, back in February.


I think you’re right—I think this is an area of marriage that a lot of people—it’s got to be talked about appropriately.

Dennis: It does.

Bob: It’s got to be talked about with a biblical understanding, but it’s got to be talked about.

Dennis: It does. I just want to turn to our Legacy Partners—the monthly donors—who make this broadcast possible on stations across the country. This is the kind of programming you’re making available to what I believe is a sexually-illiterate—especially, when it comes to the Bible—culture of young people, who are getting married, who do not know what the plumb line is—who do not understand God created this. He’s not against it / He’s for it—He created it / He blessed it.

And I just want to say, “Thank you for giving because you keep broadcasts like this on the air.”


I’m not going to mention the other broadcast—they’re not on this station / but they are on other stations—that they’re tragically wrong because they’re giving people the wrong viewpoint about sex, about God, and about His design for love and marriage.

Bob: I think it’s interesting that you would talk about this being a sexually-illiterate culture because it’s a more sexually-experienced culture / it’s a more sexually-saturated culture.

Dennis: You left out one phrase that I had in there.

Bob: That’s right—“when it comes to God’s design for sexuality.”

Dennis: There you go. There you go.

Bob: People really don’t understand what the Bible has to teach on this subject. It’s one of the reasons why, at the Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, we take an hour on Saturday afternoon and dive into this subject deeply so that we can help husbands and wives in this area.

I’d encourage our listeners: “If you’ve never been to one of our getaways, we’ve got a few dozen of them happening this fall, in cities across the country, where this kind of practical biblical help for your marriage is at the center of what we provide over the course of the weekend together.


“If you’d like to find out more about when a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway is happening in a city near where you live, go to Click the link in the upper left-hand corner that says, ‘GO DEEPER.’ There’s information available there about the Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.”

There’s also information about a new book from our friend, Dr. Dan Allender, and his colleague, Tremper Longman. They have written a—well, it’s not really a commentary on the book, Song of Solomon—but they have looked at what that book has to tell us about marital love and intimacy. The book is called God Loves Sex. We’ve got that in our Family Life Recourse Center as well. You may want to get a copy of that book when you go to Click the link that says, “GO DEEPER”; or call 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY,” to request your copy of that book.


Now, I remember talking to somebody, one time, who said: “I just appreciate the fact that FamilyLife Today will tackle some of these hard subjects and subjects that other people shy away from. We need to hear God’s view on all kinds of issues related to marriage and family.” I want you to know we appreciate those of you who partner with us in making this possible—those of you who are either Legacy Partners, giving to this ministry each month, or those of you who will, from time to time, make a contribution in support of this ministry. We couldn’t do what we do without you, and we are grateful for your support.

If you can make a donation today, we’d like to express our thanks by sending you the FamilyLife 2016 calendar. It’s a calendar that focuses on prayer. It’s our thank-you gift to you when you go to and click the link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says, “I Care,”—make an online donation—


—or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and make a donation over the phone. You can also mail your donation to us at FamilyLife Today at PO Box 7111, Little Rock, AR; and our zip code is 72223.

Now, tomorrow, we’ll hear more from our friends, Dave and Ann Wilson, about love, and intimacy, and sex in marriage. Hope you can tune in for Part Two of their message.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We’ll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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