Just Say Yes

Husband: Hey Babe, I had a hard day at work and I was wondering if we could . . .

Wife: I can’t, I have a headache.

Somewhere along the way in history, a headache became the kryptonite that renders women inoperative and deflates husbands faster than a pin pops a balloon. The irony about the infamous headache excuse is that intimacy is the perfect cure. And if a wife is willing to sacrifice she may be surprised to find there is something significant in it for her too. The late Dr. Marvin Gaye called it, “Sexual Healing.” And there is science to back up his research.

Baby, I’m hot just like an oven
I need some lovin’
And baby, I can’t hold it much longer
It’s getting stronger and stronger
And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing, oh baby
Makes me feel so fine
Helps to relieve my mind
Sexual healing baby, is good for me
Sexual healing is something that’s good for me

Sexual Healing Lyrics by Marvin Gaye / David Ritz / Odell Brown

Have you ever heard of oxytocin? It’s also referred to as the bonding, cuddle, life, or love hormone. It’s a hormone that is excreted when a mother has a baby, it makes her feel connected to her child. Mothers generally don’t look at their babies and see them as alien creatures. (Even though infants often look alien.) Something inside of a mother causes her to look beyond blood, mucus, and her own physical exhaustion and immediately begin taking care of someone else. Oxytocin is the super glue that fosters mother-baby bonding. Everything from uterine contractions during labor to helping expel the placenta following labor is influenced by oxytocin. It helps a mom’s milk to let-down and helps close blood vessels after birth.

Through nipple stimulation, exercise, rhythmic movement, prayers, relaxation, warm baths, feeling grateful, loving words, laughter, and humor, moms and midwives have been able to stimulate the body to produce oxytocin during labor to lessen the pain of delivery. Imagine that? All of the above sound very similar to things that take place during foreplay between couples prior to having sex. Could it be that God designed this bonding hormone to wire men to feel one with and care for their wives in the same way that He designed it for moms to care for and connect with their babies?

Baby, I got sick this mornin’
A sea was stormin’ inside of me
Baby, I think I’m capsizin’
The waves are risin’ and risin’
And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us

Marvin Gaye had a point. Sexual healing helps to relieve the mind and is good for us. Sex is deeply therapeutic both emotionally and physically. It is biblically encouraged and I’m sure many husbands with a headache-prone wife will attest to Mr. Gaye’s noted symptoms of feeling like he was capsizing. The seasickness he described is something the release of oxytocin could thwart. In fact, the only time men release this supernatural super glue is when they climax during the sex. Attention all wives who suffer from frequent “headaches” the fact that the only time your husband releases oxytocin is during sex should be enough to cure you for life if you care about the longevity of your love life.

You can outsource just about every other aspect of being a wife. You can hire someone to clean your home, cook your food, do your husband’s laundry, but the last thing you want is to outsource intimacy. Similar to the way that oxytocin causes a mom to connect with her baby it serves as a bonding agent between a husband and wife. This is not a hormone that you ever want your husband to release with someone else.

Oxytocin evokes feelings of:

  • security
  • contentment
  • love
  • trust
  • empathy

Oxytocin helps to reduce cortisol. People with high levels of cortisol may experience:

  • depression
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • emotional irregularities

Wives, I know it sounds counterintuitive to give yourselves to your husband if you are not feeling well, but could it be that you’re not feeling well because you are withholding good from him that’s really good for you? Is there a lack of security, contentment, love, trust, and empathy in your marriage? You might think that the lack of the aforementioned attributes is the cause of your headaches but maybe it’s the other way around. Of all the things you can get away with not doing for your husband doing “it” should not be one of them.

Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it;
if it is within your power to give it, do it.
Do not send your neighbor away, saying, “Get back with me tomorrow.
I can give it to you then,”
when what he needs is already in your hand.
Make no plans that could result in injury to your neighbor;
after all, he should be more secure because he lives near you.
Avoid fighting with anyone without good reason,
especially when no one has hurt you; you have nothing to fight about.

Proverbs 3:27-35 The Voice (VOICE)

I implemented the “Just Say Yes” policy years ago when my husband and I were walking through the stress of adoption. We had three biological children and adopted three more. Our younger three were ages one, two, and three. Needless to say, life was hard and my headaches were frequent until my doctor looked at me and said, Mrs. Poplar, “You are a walking heart attack.” I wasn’t breathing properly because I was stuck in fight mode. I was living with the chronic pain of inflammation and the frustration of memory loss. One day while studying scriptures on intimacy I began to see parallels between the structure of a females’ body and the temple. I also noticed that the Bible had much to say about how husbands and wives should give themselves to each other.

Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.

Proverbs 5:15-19 ESV


I could share several scriptures with you that pertain to intimacy between husband and wife, (a different blog for a different day) but I selected this Proverb because it points to things that promote the release of God’s super glue that causes you to be stuck together with your spouse-oxytocin. Rejoice with your wife, let her breasts fill you with delight, and be intoxicated in her love. Things that can hinder the release of oxytocin in women during labor are fear, stress, feeling like they are being watched, tension, distrust, discomfort, and anxiety. These are also things that can hinder a woman in the bedroom. Husbands I just wanted to add that in there because if you want your wife to join the “Just Say Yes” tribe then you must be ready to love her as yourself and per Dr. Marvin Gaye’s orders, tell her that she’s great!”

You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate
You’re my medicine, open up and let me in
Darling, you’re so great, I can’t wait for you to operate

My husband is a great patient. And he’s also very patient. Over our 19 years of being married, I’ve faced various medical issues like recovery after surgery and the loss of libido that can happen during breastfeeding, after having a baby, or after taking a prescription medication. Those highs and lows are normal parts of being beautifully bound. If there is a couple that is reading this and you are facing some intimate issues don’t be afraid to do some research (both biblically and medically), read a book, seek counseling, or have a heartfelt conversation with your spouse or your doctor. It would be a tragedy for you to abandon ship on your relationship the moment you hit choppy waters.

Even during seasons in which physical obstacles hinder physical sex, there are still ways to make love. The mysterious thing about marital intimacy is that it is appropriate during milestones, mistakes, mishaps, and mourning. Sex is sacred and God designed this ritual to help helpmates help and heal each other. Many times when I walked through medical issues and was unaware of what was taking place with my body or libido my husband was the one to figure out what was happening. Through research, prayer, and patience we were able to implement noninvasive natural remedies that resulted in a balance in my body and restored beauty in our marriage bed.

If you would like to build your marriage on a solid foundation, nurture lasting love, and connect with other couples follow our Solid Marriage Support Facebook page today.


Bound - Sepia
Gracie Clark of Graced Lettering Co.

Melvin & Toya Poplar Revisit Their Vows

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To Have

Though he is a rapper and an alpha male, Toya sees her husband Melvin as a nerdy guy who talks to himself. He is always “dadgineering” some brilliant new idea. He has a particular way that he prefers things to be done. She is well aware that his idiosyncrasies would drive most women crazy but she thinks they’re cute and finds herself more attracted to him because of he of his uniqueness. His quirks confirm that Melvin Poplar Jr. is the perfect guy for her.


To Hold

These high school and college sweethearts have been married now for 18 years.  When Melvin holds Toya in his arms she says she experiences healing from life’s hurts, safety from life’s harms, and comfort from life’s crazy. Toya considers herself to be a good wife but is always seeking to be a better helpmeet. One area she would like to “do better in” is to not take any phone calls when he is home. Life is short and time is precious. The Poplars want their home to be a sacred space for them to reconnect, recalibrate, and renew their love for one another, daily.


For Better or for Worse

“2011 was the worst year of our marriage, but the best year for our family. It was the year we opened our home and heart to adoption,” said Toya. Their boys are a blessing, but meeting their needs the first year was the heaviest burden they had ever carried. Imagine adopting a 1, 2, and 3, year old, when you already have 3 children ages 9, 11, and 13. Melvin started working a second job to offset adoption expenses. So his wife recalls that even when he was present, he was a “sleep-deprived” version of himself. Additionally, he was renovating their kitchen and if you’ve ever renovated a kitchen, you can only imagine how stressful that must’ve been for a family of 8. Their boys came to live with them in September. By November 11, Toya’s doctor told her she was a “walking heart attack.”


For Richer

The Poplars admit that their marriage is rich in laughter, long-suffering, friendship, understanding, faith, intimacy, and forgiveness. Some of the ways they maintain the health of their marriage is through having a date night every Tuesday. One of their favorite marriage maintenance routines is attending monthly marriage workshops with a local group called, Marriage More Abundantly. They try their best to both staycation (local hotel stays) and vacation often. They believe that communication is essential to maintaining the health of a marriage. The Poplars are aware that health is wealth so they try to eat pretty clean, workout often, play in the yard with their kids, go hiking, dance, reminisce, occasionally watch TV, and pray together daily.

For Poorer

When there is poor communication between this couple before they do anything they pray first and ask God to keep the enemy from twisting their words. Then they revisit everything that led up to the communication breakdown… Thoroughly discussing how and when things went awry so they can reconcile and reconnect.


Through Sickness and In Health

The Poplars have been through a lot. Toya has had some surgeries and had to overcome a few health concerns over the years. In 2010 she had double foot surgery. Her husband literally and figuratively carried her for 6 weeks. Imagine being totally dependent on someone for all your basic needs. He did everything from going to the bathroom to assisting her with bathing. The way he cared for her was unlike anything she had ever witnessed. She saw the perfect picture of what it looks like for a husband to love his wife like Christ loves His bride.


To Love

Before they were married Toya had fanciful ideas of love and marriage. In high school and college, they had a long distance relationship so much of their time spent together was over vacations and holidays. In Toya’s mind, she thought marriage would consist of constant surprises, continual romance, and perpetual fun. In hindsight, she sees that as a conditional perception of love. She now knows that love is far more in-depth than that. She says, “Love is more like everything around you is going wrong but you know somehow, someway that everything is going to be all right.”


To Cherish

The word “cherish” means to build up. Melvin builds his wife up by telling her she’s smart when she feels stupid, convincing her that she is strong when the enemy amplifies her weakness and seeing her as lovely when she feels like a hot mess. When doubt fills her heart and she is drowning in darkness, her husband sees her light and reminds her that she is enough. Each day he sends their family text messages that contain scripture and an encouraging word. Each album he has recorded contains a song that he has dedicated to his wife. Every morning he prays for her and each night he holds her close. She says, “His love lifts me. Daily he works hard to support our family so I don’t have to.”


Til Death Do Us Part

“The thought of death makes me appreciate how Melvin pours out his life for our family. Our oldest son recently made the statement, “Dad is the glue that holds us all together. If something happened to him, I don’t know what we would do.”” Toya shares, the same sentiments as their 19-year-old son. The thought of death motivates her to savor every second in her husband’s presence and honor him so strongly that he would love her long after she is gone.

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Something Old Something New

Mr. Poplar’s old-school advice to husbands is, “If mommy is happy, everyone is happy.” And likewise the inverse… “If mommy is unhappy everyone is unhappy.” When asked to share some new school advice on marriage Melvin simply states, “happy wife, happy life.” One of the most endearing aspects of The Poplar’s relationship is that they met so young (16 & 17 years old)  they have shared many first time experiences. Melvin advises young couples is to enjoy their “firsts” together.


Something Borrowed Something Blue

A marriage quote that has greatly impacted Melvin over the years is “try to out serve one another.” His primary love language is acts of service so this advice is something he practices daily. When asked, “What is a question you would like for your husband to answer?” Toya’s response was, “What do you think of when you see me, from across the room?” When Melvin was asked, “What question would you like for your wife to answer?” He declined to answer because he said his response was too X-rated. After 18 years the Poplars are still going strong. If they had the chance to do it all over again Melvin says, he wouldn’t change a thing. Toya shares that she would want to, “Watch more sunrises and sunsets together.”


For the reader: If you have a comment, compliment, or question for us please share in the comment section below.

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Willie & Patricia Moore Revisit Their Vows

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To Have

The trait that Willie Moore Jr. has that makes his wife know he is the one is his genuine love for her. Patricia explains, “I don’t have to be all dolled up, or made up perfect, or look a certain way. He just loves Tricia!”

To Hold

When asked to share what it’s like to be in her husband’s arms Patricia shares, “I finally feel like I can release and I go to sleep, I’m protected and warm.” Warmth is important to this bride because she is by nature always cold.


For Better or Worse

Something the Moore’s admit they would benefit from doing better in their marriage is, “Listening to understand what we really mean vs. what we say.” The worst year of their marriage was 2012.


For Richer or Poorer

Mr. & Mrs. Moore consider their marriage rich in long-suffering. If there is poor communication between them, they have noticed that it affects their kids. Their kids are perceptive and can tell when something is wrong. As a result, their behavior changes and they start to act out. “It also creates tension and frustration between us; we carry on sometimes as if we are just roommates instead of helpmates.”


Through Sickness and in Health

The only sickness the Moores have experienced was one time when Patricia severed her Achilles tendon.  At the time Willie was planning to travel to California and take on some work. Instead of leaving he made a sacrifice and stayed home to care for Patricia and their son. “It was a huge sacrifice for him because he’s an entrepreneur and if you don’t work, you don’t eat.” Patricia was down for about a month and shares, “I’m not sure if that created resentment towards me, but it definitely was a trial we both had to learn from. Ultimately, God knew better; Willie really wasn’t called to California, God had a different destination for him.” God called Willie to plant his family in Atlanta. 

The way the Moores maintain the health of their marriage is through weekly meetings. During their meetings, they discuss everything from, bills, budgets, to groceries, the kid’s extra-curricular activities, doctor appointments, travel arrangements, and additional meetings. “We find it easier to be on one accord if we know what to expect; we pull out the calendar and look at every day of the month and discuss it.”


To Love and To Cherish

Patricia’s perception of love before marriage was a fairytale perspective. She explains, “I just thought that love was supposed to just flow, like how I saw it in the movies.” What she discovered is that love is something you have to work on every day. “It changes over time and you have to be creative. You may be in love with a person but how you love them is something totally different. Over time, you may fall out of love and have to get that back.” Patricia believes that as a couple it is imperative to learn what Agape love is.  She also sees the importance of knowing your love language. “Not just loving each other based on how we want to be loved, but loving each other based on what we respond to.” The Moores have discovered through understanding each other’s love language that what works for one may not work for the other.

The way Willie cherishes his wife is through observing when she is second-guessing herself. In doing so, he will speak words that affirm her to help her in her decisions. He tells her “Go with your gut, if God gave it to you don’t ever apologize.” He is good at boosting her self-confidence and making her stick to her decisions, no matter what others may say.


Til Death Do Us Part

When asked to talk about how death makes her appreciate her spouse Patricia shares, “It makes you cherish them and appreciate them. Everyday I try and give him a kiss or hug before he leaves. Whenever I think about him, I send a love note via text.” Patricia lives her life knowing nothing is promised, so she does the same thing with her kids. She is intentional about telling her family that she loves them and showing them affection. 

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Something Old Something New

When asked to share some old school advice Willie shares, It doesn’t matter what they call you, only what you answer to.” Willie’s new school advice is, “Social media is not the total truth, don’t compare yourself to someone else; social media is only a highlight reel.”

Something Borrowed Something Blue

Willie’s borrowed advice is, “Marriage is development so don’t forfeit your development.” When asked to share new school advice you can count on Willie to keep it 100. His advice to couples is, “Have sex often.” FLAT OUT.

A question Willie has for his wife of 12 years is, “How does a strong-willed woman become submissive?” A question Patricia would like to ask her husband is, “How does a husband become the bridegroom and support his wife?”

When asked if the Moores could do it all over again what would they do differently Willie replies, “Yes, I would have had a better direction of where my life would go before I invited someone else into confusion; I was a kid when I got married.” Patricia says, “Yes, I would have spent more time learning and being amongst married women who were willing to teach. Furthermore, learn more about what it means to be a wife, what are the ups and downs of marriage, what does it mean to submit and be the neck of the family?”

The Moores are the Authors of the ‘Happily After All,’ a relationship book that helps couples discover how to keep their relationship going when they are tired of trying. Willie is a nationally syndicated Gospel radio host and television personality. He and his lovely wife Patricia use personal stories, wisdom, and humor to share keys on shaping healthy couples, and building foundations for strong families.

If you would like to glean more from the Moores, follow them on Facebook or Instagram and watch them as they stream LIVE on Relationship Wednesdays.


For the reader: What question would you like to ask this couple?

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Be sure to share, comment, and subscribe for an opportunity to win a free copy of Patricia & Willie’s book, Happily After All.

Holiday Babies

Happy Unbirthday

Anyone born around the holidays knows what it is like to not really have a birthday. The resurrection of a Savior, independence of a nation and birth of Jesus, are tough acts to follow. Most of the people who I know that have holiday birthdays, spend all year celebrating others… Not just on their birthdays, but in wonderful ways for no reason at all. Maybe we are secretly compensating for what we rarely receive, or simply realize that it is not hard to make someone feel special.


The Gift of Being Remembered

Lack of finances is always the excuse as to why holiday babies don’t have real birthdays, but we all know that it is the thought that counts, never the cost. Being remembered is one of the most extravagant gifts. There is no need to be rich to enrich someone’s life. This year, I won’t make any promises that I will remember all the people in my life who have holiday birthdays. As a mom of six, I’m doing good to remember the birthdays of my own children. I am going to give my best effort to remember myself, and hopefully, in doing so, I will encourage someone else to do the same.


Overrated or Understated?

My favorite birthday memory from childhood is when my dad gave me a handkerchief, lemon drops and a comb from the five and dime store. I was so happy that someone acknowledged my birthday it did not matter how odd the gifts were. The gesture of being remembered had me head over heels. I have always thought to myself, “birthdays are overrated,” but I wonder if that is the storyline I told myself to cope with feeling forgotten and unseen. This is not intended to be a “woe is me”plea for attention. I am sharing because this is a part of my journey. As I approach Forty, I am not afraid to tell my truth.

The Gift That Kept On Giving

I have never had a birthday party, and I can only recall a handful of truly “happy” birthdays. My husband makes a big deal about celebrating me, but it always feels like too much. Rarely do I desire material things. I always long for things with meaning. One year I gave each one of my friends a self-addressed stamped envelope as a gift to myself. I asked them to send me letters throughout the year. This may sound narcissistic, but lovers of words will understand. I am willing to be misunderstood if it allows me to articulate something other holiday babies have been longing to express. Random letters in my mailbox throughout the year felt like I won a sweepstake every month.


Give People Their Flowers

This may sound cliche, but I have always thought we should give people their flowers while they are alive to enjoy them. I have never understood why we send flowers after people die. I have every single letter that was mailed to me until this very day. I have been asked repeatedly, “What do you want for your birthday?” My consistent reply has been, “to feel special and be seen.” Your subscription to my blog and companionship on this journey has really caused my little love tank to overflow. Thank you for reading my words and listening to my heart. I am a middle-aged, middle child who appreciates your attention more than mere words can ever convey.

Pay It Forward (To Yourself)

Here is my disclaimer, please don’t read this post and get the bright idea to do something in honor of me. Your comments, emails, and encouragement to keep writing has been more than enough. 40 days until 40 is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. What would bless me more than anything is to know that you are willing to give yourself permission to do something you really love. What is something that has been a desire hidden deep within your heart? Don’t you think it is time you started living life from the inside out?



Think about your friends, is there someone who makes a big deal about celebrating you? Are they a holiday baby? What are some creative ways that you can let them know that you care? If there is a unique way in which you plan to celebrate life this year, feel free to share in the comments below. Someone is bound to be inspired or encouraged by your idea.