The Respect Dare, Day 38 – Taking Initiative Sexually in Marriage


You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. I Peter 2:2-3 MSG

Today, Nina Roesner – author of The Respect Dare – talks about how God truly knows best for us and is kind to us. When He gives us guidelines or commands – it is for our ultimate good. Even if we can’t see it at the time.

Let’s get ready to really trust Him – in EVERYTHING.

The topic for Dare 38 is about wives initiating physical intimacy more with our husbands.

  • If you are dealing with infidelity, this post is not about that kind of situation, please seek godly help!  Trust must be re-established before sexual relations can be re-established, in my view.  And it would be wise to be tested for STDs if there is or was infidelity going on in the marriage.  Keep in mind that HIV doesn’t show up until 6 months after the sexual contact that could cause the infection.
  • If you have SERIOUS problems in your marriage – physical abuse, active drug/alcohol addictions, uncontrolled mental health problems… those things go beyond the scope of this blog or this post.  Please seek godly, experienced, professional help ASAP!
  • For the sake of wives who need very practical suggestions and examples, I am going to go into some detail – more than usual – about things to avoid saying and things that may be productive to say.  If you prefer not to read about details on this topic, this may be a post to skip.

While I am very passionate about this topic – I also cringe inside – because I know that there are many of you who DO initiate – or try to initiate love making with your husband – and you are rejected often. The last thing I want to do is make those of you who are being sexually rejected by your own husbands feel even worse. So, I am going to speak to you for a minute – and then redirect you to some other posts that I think might be helpful for you. You are NOT alone if your husband rejects your sexual advances. There is a very sizable minority of women for whom this is reality. It is extremely PAINFUL to desire your husband and to be turned away.  So, I am going to write two posts today.  One for wives who are being sexually rejected by their husbands, and one for wives whose husbands desire them to initiate more and participate in sexual intimacy more often.


If you have been trying to initiate intimacy with your husband, and he is turning you down, or just not very responsive, here are a few ideas to consider and pray about for your particular and unique situation

1. Many women try to initiate sex with their husbands verbally.

Here is a very important piece of information – men aren’t really into words as much as we are. Not only that, sometimes our words can actually be a turn-off  ESPECIALLY if we are not very tuned in to respect.

If you have been attempting to initiate intimacy by saying things like,

  • “I want to have sex now.”
  • “Let’s have sex.”
  • “We need to have sex!”
  • “When are we ever going to make love again?”
  • “Goodness, it’s been TWO WEEKS!  How long do I have to wait?”

Words like that are not the way to get your husband’s blood pumping.  Flirty words or telling him what you want to do with him may work with some husbands. But a verbal demand for sex, especially if your man tends to reject you,  is WAY too much pressure and feels controlling to many men.

There are some men who don’t like for their wives to pursue them.   They like to be the one to pursue.

2.  Even worse, sometimes wives try to initiate sex by saying disrespectful, blaming things.

  • “Why won’t you ever have sex with me?”
  • “Turn off the stupid TV, I want you to make love to me.”
  • “If you were a real man, you would want to have sex with me X times a week.”
  • “You must be cheating on me if you don’t want to have sex with me!”

These approaches are a sure ticket to his refusing you today, and probably many times in the future.

Disrespect is a HUGE sexual turnoff for many men!

3. Or, if you are being controlling about it and trying to force or guilt him into making love with you – it is probably not going to work – particularly if your husband is feeling very disrespected and controlled in general in the marriage.

So, approaches like…

  • “This book says that men want sex more than women. You hardly ever want sex. Something must be wrong with you! You need to see a doctor or something because I am dying over here.”
  • “I need to have sex 4 times a week. You aren’t holding up your end of the bargain. What am I not good enough for you? Am I not enough for you? You think I’m too fat, don’t you? That’s it! That’s why you never want me anymore. You don’t love me at all!”
  • “I need sex and you aren’t giving it to me. What kind of man are you? Any other man would be GLAD to have me.”
  • “I should have never married you, you are terrible in bed. And you never do X, Y and Z for me like I want.”
  • “If you really loved me, you would want to have sex with me right now.  You better show me that you truly love me or it’s over!”
  • “After ALL I’ve done for you this week/month/year!  You won’t even make love to me!”

…are NOT going to work!

You can’t label your husband the bad guy and expect him to be full of wonderful sexual feelings for you.

You can’t try to manipulate and guilt and shame him into physical intimacy.  This is not only going to make it improbable that you would be able to be intimate that night, but you may hurt and wound him so much that he permanently shuts down sexually with you.


2. If you have been critical of your man’s sexual performance lately (or even a long time ago, depending on the severity of his wounds) – he will probably reject you.

That is a very deep pain for a man, a verbal emasculation. It will take time for him to heal and feel safe enough to trust you.

Sexual criticism of him HAS TO GO.

If you have been disparaging in the past – only say positive things about any affection or touching he gives you from this point on. Try to heal the damage that has been done by your words.

If your man feels you disrespect his sexuality, or you imply he doesn’t satisfy you or that he is inadequate sexually – expect him to shut down on you sexually. There is almost nothing more destructive to a husband’s sexual desire for his wife than her complaints or disrespect of his sexuality. I cannot possibly emphasize this enough!

Make sure that you are respecting your husband and not inadvertently treating him with disrespect. Disrespect is a huge turn off for many men. Check out these posts if you haven’t because many times wives come across disrespectfully towards their husbands without ever knowing it or intending to.

3. I would suggest attempting to initiate WITHOUT words if you are going to try anything.

  • If your husband is very visual – lingerie may be a great idea
  • But, if your husband feels pressured by you when you wear lingerie, then skip that and just wear short shorts and a tight t-shirt or something fairly casual. Let him get a glimpse of you changing but be non-chalant about it. It has got to be no-pressure if you have a man who resists if he feels pressured sexually.
  • Offer him a massage if he likes that. Go slowly. See if he is interested in more touching after the massage.
  • Spoon up to him and press yourself against him and just relax and inhale his masculine presence and enjoy touching him if he is ok with that.
  • Kiss him passionately.
  • Hug him passionately.
  • If your husband likes to flirt, flirting with him is a good idea. If he hates it, don’t do that!

Some husbands will feel too pressured even by the things I have mentioned in this section.  In that case, you may have to back away and wait and be receptive for him to come to you.

4. Whatever you do – if he tends to reject your advances – be prepared that he may reject you and be prepared to take “no” gracefully.

Assume it is not personal, unless he tells you it is, just assume the best – that he is not up for intimacy right then. Then be available and receptive to him if he begins to come closer to you. Take your pain to Jesus and pray for His will.

I have a story one wife shared about her husband who prayed for her as his wife for 9 years for her to have a sexual desire for him. She had almost no desire at all that whole time. He prayed in faith. One day, God changed his wife. Now she is the one initiating all the time. The prayer of someone who is in right standing with God is powerful and effective. This is an AWESOME subject to pray about for God’s glory and for the unity and strength and health of the marriage.

Some other related posts:

The Devastation of Sexual Rejection

Making the One-Flesh Relationship a Huge Priority in Your Marriage

Respect and Sexual Attraction


If you have experienced sexual rejection from your husband – and God has brought healing and you would like to share what God has done with other wives, you may leave a comment anonymously.


I know that there are a myriad of issues that can be going on with this side of the coin, as well. Some of you are afraid to trust your husband. Some of you feel like a piece of meat to your man. Some of you don’t feel emotionally/spiritually connected and feel cheap and used when you have sex without the rest of the connection going on.  (Remember, if there are SERIOUS issues like drug addiction, alcoholism, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health issues… please get help ASAP!  I am not speaking to wives in these extreme situations in this post.)

Quoting Nina Roesner here:

“Initiating sex communicates respect in a unique and special way to our husbands. When our husbands feel desired by us, their esteem is built, thus enabling them to fully and confidently engage in their roles as men.”

For a much deeper understanding of just how critical our sexual desire, availability, receptivity and willingness to initiate sex can be to our men, check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, “For Women Only.” It will help you really get inside the minds of men to see that:

For our husbands, sex IS a very emotional and spiritual connection.  It is FAR MORE than a physical release or physical connection.

I’d like to see it be a very emotional, spiritual and physical connection for all of us in our marriages, too!

For them, it empowers them to be confident in every aspect of their lives – ready to go “slay the dragons” for you. It makes them feel like our heroes. It gives them strength and energy in ways that we may not be able to fully understand. And in marriage, sex bonds them to us in a powerful way. It is possibly the ultimate way that we can allow our men to feel our love, acceptance and respect – it is how they most feel loved for many men.

Here is an important note –

For your husband, it is not just about having sex – it is knowing you desire him and experience pleasure with him that is key here! He desires you to enjoy him sexually, not just tolerate him as a chore or duty. He needs to know you are excited to be with him.


This is a picture of what God desires with us in our one Spirit relationship with Him!  He wants us to be EXCITED to be with Him, to be passionate for His Spirit to fill us up.  He wants our hearts to be completely captivated with Him – not just worshipping Him and praying out of duty.  NO!  He wants our hearts to be on fire with longing for Him – to be One with Him in Spirit.

That is what sex is!  It is a picture of the unity Christ desires to have with His church.  The one flesh picture between the husband (who represents Christ) and the wife (who represents the church) is ALL ABOUT us worshipping God, inviting His Spirit to live in our hearts and in our bodies.  We become the temple of God’s Spirit.  Much like the wife, temporarily houses part of her husband’s body in the one flesh relationship.

This is a sacred and holy act.


Well, you can see a few ideas in the section above for wives who are feeling rejected. There are some basic do’s and don’ts there that may be helpful. But if your husband is feeling sexually starved for you, or he is asking or begging you to initiate. It’s time to just jump in! ASAP!

  • If he likes lingerie, wear some special lingerie and maybe let him get a little peek in private before you go out for the evening.
  • ENJOY his attention.  Be THANKFUL for the fact that he desires you.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BLESSING AND GIFT!  Many wives never experience that joy.
  • Send him sexy text messages (IF he won’t get in trouble at work and won’t be too distracted and IF you are REALLY, REALLY sure that you are texting the right person! Careful here, ladies!)
  • Flirt with him if he enjoys that!
  • Ask him to slow dance with you (if that doesn’t embarrass him).
  • Boldly take him by the hand and take him to the bedroom and lock the door.  Begin to undress him.
  • Start with a massage. Use oil if you want to. (Put a towel down on the bedding first!) Just enjoy touching him.
  • Kiss him with passion and genuine desire.
  • Tell him what you want to do with him.
  • Tell him what he does to you – how he makes you feel – this makes him feel so powerful! ie:
  1. you give me chills when you touch me here!!
  2. you make my heart race when you do that!
  3. that feels so good!
  4. I really like that!
  5. mmmmm
  6. please don’t stop!
  7. your hands feel so warm, you just make me melt.
  8. I like it when you hold me close like this.
  • SMILE at him a lot!
  • Be verbal about saying when things feel good.
  • Savor this gift that God has given you to be able to enjoy this holy and sacred moment of being one flesh together!
  • HAVE FUN!!!! ENJOY HIM!!!!!!
  • Talk about what first attracted you to him.
  • Talk about what you find attractive in him now.
  • Ask him what attracted him to you.
  • Tell him any little fantasies you have.
  • Ask him about any fantasies he has and what he might like for you to do with him/for him.

Ok, hopefully these ideas will get you started. A big key is for you to:

Focus on sensual thoughts and ideas about what you want to do with him all throughout the day. Using your imagination often to purposely think about sex and about how intoxicating your husband is to you helps get your motor primed and simmering so it will be easier be “on” later.


Pray that God will help you overcome any embarrassment, fear, concerns, medical issues, anxiety, privacy issues, body image issues and that God might help you embrace the idea of initiating physical intimacy with your husband. Be confident in your body. Stand tall. Enjoy this gift God has given you to share with your husband.  Pray for healing of any past issues or wounds. Pray that God might tear down any strongholds of resentment or bitterness in your heart or unforgiveness. Pray for Him to help you take your physical intimacy with your husband to new heights. Pray for the resources you need if you have physical issues or emotional issues – that you might begin to take steps this week to seek how to overcome those issues.

  • I’d like to dare you to plan to attempt to initiate intimacy 2 times (or more) this week if at all possible.


  • I would also like to dare you to have a willing and receptive spirit towards your husband sexually this week. If at all possible, if he attempts to initiate intimacy, please warmly receive him with joy and delight. (Unless he is actively involved in infidelity or there are extremely serious issues going on) Please think about the verses in I Corinthians 7

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 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. 5 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 youbecause of your lack of self-control.

So, if your husband asks about having sex or pulls you in close  or even if he grabs you in a way that doesn’t seem super romantic to you – melt in his arms and say, “yes!” with a smile on your face.

Eventually – pray about this becoming a life-long habit. 🙂

***  God does not endorse spousal rape.  He desires husbands and wives to be available to each other willingly and voluntarily.  There is nothing in Scripture about demanding or forcing a spouse to have sex.  Christ is a gentleman to us.  He desires us to be one with Him in Spirit every day, but He does not force Himself on us.  He waits for us to come willingly and voluntarily to Him to have spiritual intimacy with Him.