The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I Corinthians 7:4-5
FIRST, I KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT SCENARIOS REPRESENTED HERE – BELOW THESE SITUATIONS IS THE MAIN PART OF THE POST (YOU CAN SKIP THESE BULLET POINTS IF YOU ARE NOT HAVING ISSUES. IF YOU ARE HAVING SEXUAL ISSUES IN YOUR MARRIAGE, I THINK YOU WILL PROBABLY FIND AT LEAST ONE BULLET POINT THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO AND SOME RESOURCES TO HELP):
- Some of you are so exhausted and stressed, you can barely even think about physical intimacy with your husbands. – This can definitely be a “season of life” issue when you have young children. But your marriage and intimacy with your husband still needs to be more important than the children. Try to get child care or make creative plans during nap times. Make sure your man knows HE is first in your heart!!! Ask your husband what you can take off your plate so that you can have more energy for him! Or, respectfully ask him for some help. Or, very purposely carve out time for him to show him that HE is your first human priority in this world. You won’t regret it!
- About 10% of you have never been able to experience an orgasm at all – ever. There is a Web MD article for help about this issue here. You (and your husband) may not realize that only about 30% of women orgasm during intercourse – and those who do usually have to be in a certain position (ie: on top, where it is easier for the wife to get the right leverage). So, if you are having difficulties climaxing, you are not alone, precious wife! It is very normal not to be able to climax during sex – and couples almost never climax simultaneously. Sometimes we have such idealistic and unrealistic expectations, that we can think something is wrong – when we are actually pretty normal. Check out “Intended for Pleasure” or other reputable Christian resources about sexual issues.
- Some of you have serious pain during intercourse and dread physical intimacy – feeling like you are letting your husband down. You may even be full of fear about your husband even touching you. What should be a time of great joy has become a source of unspeakable pain for you and for your husband. The WebMD directory for Pain during sex is here. If you can, try to meet your husband’s needs in other ways if possible so that you can still connect, even when you cannot tolerate vaginal intercourse. Talk to your OB/GYN if this is a serious problem for you – possibly also a Christian female therapist who specializes in sexual issues. Be committed to finding a solution. It may be that something like acupuncture could help, or a special kind of massage if you have spasms in your pelvic rotator muscles. Certain exercises may be helpful. Or some medications might work for you. It may be that you have nerve damage or scoliosis or that penetration is too deep for the way you are built. (There are actually devices sold online that can help with that issue to keep penetration from being so deep!)
- Some of you have almost no libido. – Please commit to talking to your OB/GYN about this and getting some tests done to figure out what the problem is. It could be something as simple as the birth control pills you are taking, or the anti-depressant you are on. Or it may be that you have body image issues, fear or anxiety that keep you too tense and unable to relax. Or you may be resentful or bitter towards your husband and full of disrespect. Disrespect is a serious libido killer! (Check out Respect and Sexual Attraction) Or you may have learned that sex is dirty and you may need your thoughts and understanding about sex and marriage to be “reprogrammed” with God’s truth about how GOOD, holy and beautiful sex is supposed to be in marriage. (Check out “Intended for Pleasure” by Dr. Ed Wheat and Gaye Wheat) But there is almost always something that can be done to help. Please be proactive in researching solutions so that you can do everything you can to enjoy sex with your husband.
- Some of you are pursuing your husbands sexually and are devastated because you are rejected by your own husband over and over again – maybe every single day. Sexual rejection by your own husband is an intense level of emotional pain that you probably never imagined could be possible in marriage. To make matters worse, most marriage books talk a lot about how much husbands want sex. So when you read those books, you end up feeling even worse! “Something must be wrong with me? What doesn’t my husband want me like he is ‘supposed to’?” Let me assure you – there are a large number of wives who are the higher drive spouse in their marriages – I have heard numbers up to 30%. You are not alone. And there is a wide range of what is a “normal and healthy sex drive” in men. Maybe your husband is ok with once a week or once every other week. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. He may have a naturally lower drive. First, check your motives. Are you trying to initiate sex so that he won’t be so tempted to use pornography or to lust after other women? If your motive to have sex with him is to try to control him or keep him from sinning – he is probably going to feel smothered and controlled. If your motive is to find reassurance of his love for you and to measure “how much” he loves you – that can also come across as desperate instead of loving. Check to see if it could be possible that you use sex as a tangible scale to reassure you that he really does love you and to help you not feel so insecure. If you are feeling insecure – make sure that you are finding your identity, purpose, being accepted, being loved, strength and all of your contentment in Christ alone. Make sure that your husband is not an idol to you – or that sex is not an idol to you. What is an idol? Something you think you MUST have in order to be content. If that thing or person that you think you have GOT to have is not Christ – you may be dealing with an idol. If you realize your husband or sex is an idol – confess it to God, repent of it – and put Christ alone squarely as LORD in your life – the one you HAVE to have to be content. Then you can be content in Him alone, even when your husband is not interested in sex. (Submitting Sexual Desire to the Lord and Desiring Jesus More Than Sex are posts by a Christian single guy that may be very helpful.)
- Some of you feel like a piece of meat to your husband. He desires you, but you feel totally disconnected emotionally and spiritually from him and you feel used and maybe even cheap if you do say yes to his advances. Another resource – “5 Things Your ‘High Drive Spouse’ May Never Tell You” by Mission: Husband – (PS – this is the only post of his I have read, I cannot vouch for all the other posts on the site.)
- Some of you have purposely been withholding sex to punish your husband because you are so hurt or to try to make him change and teach him a lesson. But there is a deepening wedge between you and he has shut you out of his heart because he feels so frustrated and hurt by being rejected so many times. Check out www.forgivenwife.com – (I have read several posts, not all of them, it is up to you to use your discretion about whether it may be helpful for you.)
- Some of you feel very pressured to have physical intimacy with your husbands but then you feel that every move you make is harshly criticized, your body is “not good enough” for him and you feel like a total failure in this area because your husband complains and critiques your sexual abilities and never seems to be sexually satisfied with you. You start to panic when he touches you because you know that he will just be disappointed again even if you give all that you have sexually to him. – please pray for God’s wisdom and healing. It may be that you can offer him what he needs if he can give you some of what you need, “Babe, I really want our sex life to be amazing for both of us. I want to be joyful, involved and full of desire for you. I want you to feel very fulfilled, too. I need your help, please. For the next month – I promise to be completely sexually available to you unless I am very sick. I need to hear what I do that you like and positive things. For this one month – let’s both commit to no negativity or criticism – just enjoyment. Do we have a deal? 😉 wink, wink!
- Some of you or your husbands were sexually abused/molested as children or in a past relationship and sexual intimacy is not the safe, comforting, beautiful, holy experience God designed it to be in marriage – you are deeply scarred. You may need experienced, godly counseling most likely if this is your situation – and much prayer, allowing God to heal you and replace the lies you have learned to tell yourself with the life-giving truth of God’s Word. Nina Roesner has a book she recommends for women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse here.
- Some of you have had many sexual partners in the past and you are horrified and overwhelmed with guilt that you have flash backs to those past experiences when you are trying to concentrate on your husband during intimacy.
- Maybe your husband had many sexual partners before your marriage and he constantly compares you to all the other women he has been with and tells you how deficient you are. For wives who need healing from their husband’s sexual sin – Nina Roesner recommends this resource.
- Maybe your husband deeply desires you sexually but you believe that your body cannot be appealing to him anymore. So your own perception of what you think he must think cripples the sexual intimacy that you could be sharing in your marriage – even though your husband truly believes you are very attractive to him.
- Some of you have husbands who have been involved in pornography in the past or who are addicted to it now. You feel completely betrayed and hopeless – and you have shut down to the idea of sexual intimacy with a man who seems to care more about looking lustfully at other women than honoring you. Another possible resource to check out www.xxxchurch.com (I have read a few posts but not all of them, read at your own risk and compare everything anyone says to scripture! This site is supposed to be about godly help for sex addiction, pornography and lust.)
- Some of you have husbands who have been involved in infidelity in the past or are still unfaithful now, or you have had an affair – the pain is so intense, how do you begin to heal? I would STRONGLY recommend that you and your husband see a godly counselor who is experienced in walking couples through healing after an affair. Nina Roesner also recommends this resource
- Some of you have husbands who are trying to get you to look at porn, to go to a strip club with him, to be involved in a threesome or to go to a prostitute. Remember that our submission is first to Christ. If our husbands ask us to sin, we must not cooperate with sin. “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 It may be necessary to involve a Christian counselor or godly pastor if your husband refuses to stop this kind of sin and tries to get you to follow him on this path of sex addiction. This may be too much to try to handle on your own! Please do not have sex with your husband if he is actively involved in an affair or using prostitutes.
- Some of you or your husbands are struggling with bisexuality or homosexuality. Please see a godly, experienced Christian counselor about this and seek God’s healing. There is nothing beyond the reach of God’s ability to heal. If you were abused as a child, please check out the resource I mentioned earlier that Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare, mentioned.
- Some of your husbands have medical issues that keep them from being able to respond sexually or that negatively impact their libido. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about this. I have a list of possible causes of a husband’s low sexual desire on this post. You can also check out the mens’ libido directory on www.webmd.com
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SITUATION IS IN REGARDS TO THIS SUBJECT OF SEXUAL INTIMACY – I BELIEVE GOD CAN BRING HEALING AND HOPE TO YOU AND YOUR MARRIAGE!
God’s design for sex in marriage is GOOD!
I love Gary Thomas’ quote from Sacred Marriage, “Sex is the glue that holds a marriage together.” So true. No other relationship has this strong physical/emotional/spiritual adhesive. God designed sex to promote unity in our marriages. Sex outside of marriage is extremely destructive – that is why God has boundaries for the sexual relationship to be fulfilled only in the healthy confines of marriage.
Doesn’t it seem that the enemy and our own sinful nature do all they can to get us involved in sex before marriage or outside of marriage – and then seem to do all they can do to get us NOT to engage in sex after marriage? This is the enemy’s plan! NOT God’s plan! Let’s be willing to honor Christ as LORD in EVERY area of our lives – including our sex lives in our marriage.
Did you realize that God commands husbands and wives NOT to withhold their bodies from each other??? We don’t hear about that in church much – that it is actually a sin to refuse our spouse sexually when we are able to unite with them physically. Our withholding deeply wounds our husbands and deeply grieves God’s heart. How I pray that we might decide to greatly bless our husbands sexually as godly wives! I pray that God will tear down every stronghold of sin and of the enemy and that He might heal and restore what was lost and broken and scarred. I pray for Him to bring beauty from ashes in the sexual intimacy of every marriage represented here.
Our sinful nature distorts and misuses God’s beautiful design.
The one flesh relationship is supposed to be a tangible and powerful picture of the ONE SPIRIT relationship Christ desires to have with His bride, the church. This is a holy and beautiful thing! Let’s cherish sex and use it to build up our husbands and to bring strength and unity to our marriages on every level!
*** If there are SERIOUS problems in your sex life – I believe there are resources that can help you find hope and healing. If you have a history of abuse, or there is a major substance addiction, major pornography addiction, infidelity, uncontrolled mental disorder or medical problems going on – please talk with your medical doctor, your OB/GYN, your pastor (or his wife), a Christian marriage counselor, a godly mentoring wife – look up reputable resources online for believers. ***
A DARE TO DO A SEXUAL-HEALTH CHECK-UP FOR YOUR MARRIAGE – DARE 28 OF THE RESPECT DARE
- Are both of you happy with the level and frequency of sexual intimacy in your marriage?
- If you are having trouble climaxing, would you consider looking into resources to help you?
- Are you aware how often your husband would prefer to have physical intimacy with you? If you don’t know, will you please make it your mission to pleasantly ask him, with a smile and a friendly tone of voice what he would like for this important area of the marriage?
- HAVE FUN in your marriage! Flirt with your man if he is open to it! ENJOY HIM!
- What might God be speaking to you about in the verse today? What can you do to make yourself more available if your husband desires more sexual intimacy?
- What can you do to lay off the pressure if you are pushing for more intimacy and he is running away from you or rejecting you? There are MANY reasons why a husband might sexually reject his wife. I talk about it in this post “The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.”
- If your husband feels disrespected and controlled by you, that can be a HUGE sexual turn off. If you feel disrespectful towards your husband, that can also be a turn off for you, as well. Try reading “Respect and Sexual Attraction” to get 8 wives’ personal stories of how respect and biblical submission greatly improved the sexual chemistry in their marriages.
- If your husband would like you to initiate sex more, how might you begin to work on that?
- Do you tend to reject your husband, even for good reasons? What might you be able to do that could make a huge difference for your husband and your marriage? Check out “A Precious Example” or www.forgivenwife.com.
- If you have a serious problem going on in your marriage, or you have never healed from abuse in the past, commit to finding help and resources today to help you “move forward” as Nina Roesner talks about in today’s dare in The Respect Dare.
- Please pray for God’s greatest glory and His will to be done in your marriage and in your sexual relationship with your husband. Ask Him to show you how you can help to make physical intimacy a greater priority (if it has been too low on the priority list) and how to bless your husband sexually.
We will walk this road together. 🙂