Whether you are feeling deprived of attention, love, affection, sex (and yes, a lot of women desire sex more than their husbands do), or anything else – I believe there are some steps godly wives can take to move forward in a productive direction. (If there are severe issues in your marriage, please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the post.)
The power to overcome feelings of disappointment in our husbands is in our thought lives as we choose to align ourselves with God’s wisdom and His ways.
We have two main choices.
- We can focus on how unfulfilled, how deprived, how upset, how victimized, and how empty we are feeling at the moment in our marriages. We can focus on all that is wrong and on what we don’t have. We can blame our husbands, expect them to fix all of the problems, and change to meet our needs. We can nurture our bitterness/resentment and dwell on how much our husbands have failed us. We can be irritable, angry, cold, and harsh. We can choose to lash out at our husbands and punish them for disappointing us. That will teach them!
- We can focus on Christ and how in Him, we possess every spiritual blessing from heaven that exists in the universe (Ephesians 1:3). We can focus on all that we DO have in Him. We can change the channel from our desire/disappointment to Christ. We can take up our cross daily, placing all of ourselves on the altar before God, living as though we are dead to self and to our own will, following Jesus and finding true, abundant Life in Him. We can choose to see that He is more than sufficient to meet our needs. We can choose to shoot down sinful thoughts immediately and nurture our faith in Christ, our love for Christ, and our desire to bless our husbands. We can choose to be loving, warm, accepting, gracious, joyful, peaceful, and content.
Each of these paths has a very different outcome – spiritual death or spiritual life.
We do have legitimate needs and desires. It is important for us to respectfully share our feelings, needs, goals, desires, concerns, and perspectives with our husbands. That is part of our responsibility as believing wives. Husbands and wives should all seek to meet their spouse’s needs selflessly, lovingly, and with respect.
But if our husbands cannot or will not meet our needs or do what we believe is best – then where does that leave us? Are we going to try to force our men (or anyone else) to do what we want even if we have to sin to do it? Or will we respect their God-given free will and choose to turn to God in faith with our needs?
Sometimes there will be trials and times of testing in our Christian faith.
God gives us tests to help us see where we are weak in our faith, to bring sin to the surface of our lives as He refines us, and so that sin can be skimmed off. He uses tests, trials, and suffering to cause us to grow in spiritual maturity to completion (verses about suffering). Many times that painful trial of us feeling rejected, abandoned, or alone in our marriage will be the very thing that God will use to draw us to Himself in ways we have never experienced before. Sometimes He will help us see that our husbands are only human and can’t meet our deepest spiritual and emotional needs. Only God can do that! If we are willing, God will use the pain in our lives to chisel and shape us, to teach us treasures and wonderful things about Himself, and to grow and prune us.
How we respond is the key.
Instead of meditating on resentment, bitterness, or disappointment all day long, let’s focus on Philippians 4:8 things:
- My husband has a lot of traits that I really admire. I’m going to start a list and really think about his good qualities today.
- My husband likely has good intentions toward me.
- God has good intentions toward me.
- God is sovereign over my husband, over my life, and over this frustrating, painful situation. What good might God desire to do through this? What might He have for me to learn? What an adventure it will be to find out His plans!
- I can lay my needs and concerns at the feet of Christ and trust Him with them. I don’t have to freak out even if I don’t get what I want or need. If He wants me to have my desires and needs met, He will provide a way for this to happen that brings honor to Himself. If my needs are not met right now in the ways that I want them to be, I will use this experience to practice living for God’s will far above my own. “Not my will but Yours be done, Lord!”
- By God’s power, I will contribute to unity, harmony, healing, respect, honor, and agape love in our marriage.
- I have so many gifts from God – I’m going to start a list of all of the things God has done for me and meditate on being thankful for each of these blessings.
- I am going to focus on allowing God to change me to become the wife and woman God desires me to be.
- I am going to sing praises to God for His goodness!
- I am going to meditate on Scripture and the promises of God.
- I am going to put my energy to use in fervent prayer to know God more deeply and to grow in my faith.
- I can focus on NOT feeding my desires for sexual intimacy for this time – by avoiding suggestive books, music, movies, and also by redirecting my thoughts to God and other things when I begin to feel overwhelmed. I can choose to fill my mind with thoughts of things I do have and things I am thankful for rather than ruminating on what I don’t have right now. That is a way that I can “turn down” my libido to some degree if necessary for a time.
If my husband does not meet my needs – I will be okay. If I have Jesus, I have everything that matters!
If I only have Him, His Spirit, and His Word, I have the greatest Treasures of the universe. I will find all of my personhood, worth, acceptance, love, peace, security, safety, hope, faith, joy, strength, and contentment in Christ alone – no matter what my husband does or does not do. My hope is ultimately in Christ Jesus alone, not in my husband. My husband may fail me at times, but God never will fail me or forsake me! Jesus is my Rock, my Strong Tower, my Refuge, my Mighty Fortress, my Comforter, my Great Physician, and my Prince of Peace. He has made me right with God.
I give all of myself to Him and He gives me all of Himself in return! I am a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords. I have all of the spiritual treasures of heaven at my disposal to accomplish God’s will. I am not deprived at all. I possess all of the promises of God’s Word, all of His love, all of His support, all of His power, care, and provision. My God can change my husband’s heart. But even if he does not, I will trust in Him completely!
This is how we take our thoughts captive for Christ, my dear sisters!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13
If either your husband or yourself is involved in serious unrepentant sin, infidelity, abuse, active drug/alcohol addictions, or have uncontrolled mental health problems – please seek appropriate, trustworthy, qualified help for yourself and your marriage. I am not addressing serious issues in this post, although, some things about our walk with Christ will still apply. But you may need outside help in severe situations. If you or your children are not safe, please try to get out and get somewhere safe! Or if you are a danger to your husband or children, please get yourself some help and separate yourself from your family until you can be together safely. I don’t condone abuse or sin against anyone!
PS – a Note about Mutuality:
It is not wrong for a wife to desire for her husband to truly love her. It is not wrong for a husband to long for his wife to truly respect him. There is an expectation for reciprocity in the marriage covenant. Marriage should be a mutual effort and a beautiful interchange between two people who love and respect one another.
I don’t intend to say that wives should not want their husbands to love them. We should want this! Mutuality is a good thing.
My concern is that – it is easy for us to desire our husband’s love so much that we can desire it more than we desire Christ or we can desire it to the point that we are willing to sin to try to get what we want from our husbands. That is where I want us to be very cautious. It’s not that we don’t or shouldn’t want our husband’s love, but that we need to be careful where this desire is in our priorities. I hope that makes sense.
God designed marriage to involve two people who are both contributing to the marriage and both seeking Him. That is the goal!
If you feel that your husband does not love you as he should, that is a very painful place to be.
My prayer for my hurting sisters in this situation is that they might continue on being faithful to God, to their marriage covenant, and to their husband – allowing God to empower them, seeking to please Him, and seeking to bless their husband. We will trust God together to work in your husband’s heart to draw Him to Himself first, and also back to the marriage.
But no matter what our husbands ultimately do, my prayer is that we might walk in holiness, obedience, faithfulness, and by the power of God’s Spirit working in us – that Christ might be greatly pleased with us.