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"Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite under God’s Control" – a guest post

I appreciate both wives today sharing their stories about this difficult topic. So thankful for all that God is doing in our midst! Whether I am the higher drive spouse or the lower drive spouse at the time – God calls me to learn to be more selfless, giving, patient, respectful, and understanding. He can use the variations in libido in a marriage to help each spouse learn to be content in Him alone and to learn to seek to please Him far above anything or anyone else. This is an area where we must all learn to die to self. When we do, there are great blessings in store for us spiritually, and maybe even healing sexually for the marriage. 

(Note – this post is not written for wives who are being sexually abused or physically abused. If that is your situation, or if you are dealing with active drug/alcohol addictions or unrepentant adultery, please seek godly, experienced, trusted help one-on-one. If you or your husband are struggling with porn, please check out the links to resources at the bottom of the post.)

FROM A SISTER IN CHRIST WHO IS BEGINNING TO TAKE SERIOUS STEPS ON THIS JOURNEY:

So the other day I wrote a really long comment about part of my journey, but it was lost along the way. The funny thing is, writing about it helped me to work through some of my feelings. I am going to try to remember the jist of what I wrote, because I think it was definitely a lightbulb moment for me.

Of course, my journey has been a little different, but we all have different journeys.

A LIGHT BULB MOMENT

I get a devotional in my inbox each day from Dr. Charles Stanley. This one was about controlling our appetites. And what he said really jumped out at me. Now, I don’t have too much trouble controlling my appetite for food (says the girl who is sitting here eating jellybeans as she types this!) 🙂 But I do have trouble with my appetite for intimacy with my husband. See, I am in the awkward position of having the higher sex drive in our relationship, and that has tortured me for a long time.

(Note from Peacefulwife – this is actually pretty common for a wife to be higher drive, especially as couples enter into their 30s/40s and beyond. It isn’t that unusual at all, especially, it seems, if the wife is the stronger personality and the husband is more passive.)

As you know, I have struggled greatly with his lower libido. I have allowed our situation to make me feel uglier, unappreciated, and completely worthless as a wife and a woman. Finally, recently, I have begun to see and understand my worth in Christ, and that helps a great deal. So often I need to refocus. Like, daily. But here is what jumped out at me from the devotion:

“Human appetites, in themselves, are not sinful. In fact, they’re God-given. However, because of our fleshly weaknesses, they need to be controlled. When our appetites rule us, we’re in trouble.”

You see, my appetite for intimacy with my husband has been ruling me.

I’ve been allowing my desire for my husband and the imbalance in our libidos to consume me, and to control my thoughts and waste my time. For so long, I prayed that God would take away my desires for my husband, but He has not. I think He may be using our situation to grow me. To grow us. Granted, our situation isn’t the typical one, but so what?

For me, it’s not about the “release” (I really hate that word). It’s about the connection with my husband, and my husband only. He is happy to connect once a week, which is far, far, far too little for my taste. As anyone who has struggled with this issue knows, the spouse with the lower libido has all the control and that can be incredibly frustrating and can feel demeaning.

I have allowed my frustrations to control my thoughts and emotions, and for my thoughts to control me. I have allowed my fretting over this to monopolize my time. I think me being stuck here has been pleasing to Satan, because it has seriously limited my time with God.

A NEW PERSPECTIVE

So I finally realized, my desire for my husband is not a bad thing. It is not the curse I was beginning to think it was. It is a God-given appetite and it is good. However, I need to learn to control my appetite. The problem here isn’t my husband’s lower desire, but perhaps it is my out-of-control appetite. (From Peacefulwife – most couples do not have the exact same level of desire all of the time. One is not wrong, necessarily. The most important thing is how we handle the difference in desire levels.)

So just this week I’ve begun working on things I’ve been procrastinating about, like cleaning the storage room. I have been neglecting my duties because I have been wallowing in self-pity. I’ve been wasting so much time being hyper-focused on this issue.

I’ve decided to stop praying for God to take away my desire for my husband. I am going to try to squash my appetite when it gets too intense, just like I have learned to squash cravings for junk food. I need to redirect myself.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this is totally what I’m supposed to be learning about this, but it sure feels like a step in the right direction. And it sure beats feeling ugly and worthless all of the time. And my husband has been much more relaxed and happier the past couple days. I guess he can sense my more pleasant demeanor.

I know he doesn’t like it when I feel so badly about myself, and he has even shared that he feels really badly that he makes me feel so badly. He doesn’t actually make me feel badly on purpose, it’s like a side effect. But in order to bless him, I need to learn to control my feelings, and my thoughts especially when they head in a negative direction. I might make this sound easy, but trust me – for me it is not easy! But I’m going to try. And I’ll fail. And I’ll try again. 🙂

FROM ANOTHER WIFE WHO HAD A HIGHER DRIVE:

I was the more dominant personality and my husband was more passive earlier in our marriage. My attempts to control extended to our physical intimacy, too, unfortunately.  My husband was working extremely long hours at a very physically demanding job and was completely exhausted most evenings, not even getting to bed until midnight or 1am – which didn’t help matters, of course. (He was not addicted to porn.)

I’m so thankful for what God has shown me about being a more peaceful wife. What eventually worked for my own sanity and to bless my husband was for me to back off, give him more space, grace, and time instead of expecting intimacy every night. I learned to be patient and to be content in Christ no matter what my husband was or was not doing – to stop using the number of times per week/month we had intimacy as a measure of my husband’s love for me or as a measure of my security like this blog talks about.

I learned to really respect him, to accept that his libido was lower than mine in this season (rather than assume “he must not love me” as I had done earlier), to honor him, and to be more selfless. I stopped verbally pressuring him (which I had been doing just about every day) and began to enjoy whatever attention and affection he did give to me. I sought to be joyfully receptive to any advances by him but God also helped me see I needed to not to hold any bitterness or resentment against my husband on the days or even weeks when he was too tired.

I learned to focus on good things and to set down my expectations and stop focusing on self, but rather focus on allowing Christ to change me. I learned that I had been really selfish in so many ways (not just in this area) and that my particular husband was emotionally wounded from my approach in the marriage and needed time to heal. He also needed a break from his extremely demanding work schedule.

Now I can be content with lots of intimacy with my husband or with no intimacy. In the power of Christ, I can be content in all circumstances through Him who gives me strength! (Phil. 4:12-13)

For us, over the course of several months, as I gave my husband more space and time and as I learned to respect and honor him – his libido began to increase again. His work schedule also improved dramatically which has been a great help and now we both enjoy intimacy often and it is a blessing to both of us again.

FOR THOSE WIVES WITH A HIGHER DRIVE:

The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage

Thriving in Marriage without Sex If Necessary

When You Feel Deprived in Marriage

Fully Trusting God with My Husband 

Respect, Attraction, and Biblical Submission

When Your Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to You

Measuring Intimacy

When Your Husband Rejects You

What Is Attractive to Husbands?

She Has the Stronger Sex Drive – Shaunti Feldhahn’s site

25 Ways to Respect Myself

Oneness in Marriage-  Not Too Close, but Not Too Far Away (not being enmeshed or codependent or having husband as an idol)

I Was Sure I Would NEVER Make My Husband into an Idol

 

FOR THOSE WIVES WITH A LOWER LIBIDO:

Book Review – Unlock Your Libido by Bonny Burns

I Feel Like Just a Piece of Meat to My Husband Sometimes

The Respect Dare – Taking Initiative Sexually 

 

FOR WIVES WHOSE HUSBANDS ARE INVOLVED IN PORN OR WHO ARE INVOLVED IN PORN THEMSELVES:

Posts about porn

www.xxxchurch.org

Missing Each Other’s Signals

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Sometimes, a wife may feel rejected by her husband sexually, when in reality, her husband just didn’t pick up on her signals and had no idea she even felt rejected, or that she was trying to initiate intimacy.  This can also happen in reverse, as well.

Maybe, it could be a wise idea to have a pleasant, respectful, polite talk together (during a non-stressful time) about signals.

  • What are your signals that you give to me that you are interested in physical intimacy?  (then listen to him very carefully – maybe take notes!)
  • Here are my signals that I try to use to tell you that I am interested in physical intimacy with you.

Were there some signals that either of you were missing?

Sometimes, a wife’s signals are too subtle.  But, there can also be the opposite problem, that if a wife comes on too strongly, for some husbands, that can be a turn off.  This will require us to each learn our own husbands and learn what they prefer. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all.  That’s ok!

I kind of like the idea of agreeing on a signal together (or several signals), and then each spouse will (hopefully) know what the other intends.

One couple I read about used a nightlight.  If one of them turned on the nightlight, it meant that he/she was interested in physical intimacy that evening.

Some ideas of signals that might be helpful to agree upon ahead of time:

  • “Let’s take a bath together tonight”
  • wearing certain clothing/lingerie
  • lighting a candle in the bedroom
  • “Let’s give each other massages tonight”
  • a certain touch
  • a specific phrase
  • flirting earlier in the day about what to do later that evening
  • for some couples, just coming out and saying, “I want to make love tonight,” works well

Some husbands do better with non-verbal signals.

Some husbands prefer to initiate intimacy.

Some husbands prefer for their wives to initiate intimacy – at least some of the time.

This is an area where signals and wires can easily get crossed – which leads to great frustration, resentment and feelings of rejection that are unnecessary and painful.  I pray that we might be able to talk with our husbands about this issue and straighten out the communication so we are on the same page with them from this point forward. 🙂

When He Starts to Miss You

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This post is for wives who were being controlling and trying to force their husbands to be with them, say certain things to them and who were trying to initiate physical intimacy and were getting rejected a good bit – and have tried to correct these things by backing away some and giving their husbands more space.  Not in an upset kind of way, but in a healthy, respectful way.  Please keep in mind – I am not the Holy Spirit.  I don’t know your husband personally.  God’s voice always needs to trump my voice! :). These are not rules, they are ideas to think about.

Some suggestions that could be helpful:

  • Continue to smile at him when you walk into the room where he is.
  • Give him compliments and tell him things you are proud of him about and things you admire about him a few times per week – a sentence or two.
  • Be warm and friendly.
  • Allow him to make his own choices and don’t force yourself on him.
  • Say what you do or do not want (usually once is enough).
  • Be affectionate sometimes  but don’t expect a specific response back.
  • Be kind.
  • Be flexible.
  • Do things you know he’ll appreciate – i.e.: make his favorite meals.
  • Talk in a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.
  • Spend plenty of time in God’s Word.
  • Be full of God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
  • Check your motives often, seek only to honor Christ and bless your husband.
  • Be content in Christ alone.
  • Tell him about your emotions briefly, the good and bad ones – “I’m so happy to be here with you!”  “I feel really thankful today.”  “I’m feeling sad about X.”  “I feel nervous about Y.”
  • Maybe don’t initiate intimacy – or at least, not nearly as often, if he has been rejecting you a lot.
  • Accept anything he gives you – his time, attention, affection – as a wonderful gift.
  • Lay down expectations and ultimatums.

This will be a time of dying to self.  For believers in Christ-  that is a daily practice God desires all of us to do all throughout every single day.  We lay down our rights, our desires, our dreams, our plans, our lives, our expectations, our goals, our wisdom, everything we have, our future – and we pick up Jesus’ desires, His goals, His dreams, His plans, His wisdom, His power, His holiness, His will and we seek His greatest glory in all things.

————————————-

So – maybe you backed off and stopped smothering and pursuing your husband so much.  Maybe you stopped texting him so much at work during the day, particularly if he didn’t respond or said he didn’t like that.  Maybe you only send a few brief texts/emails now per week telling him things you appreciate – but you don’t expect him to send a response – you just do it to bless him now. Maybe you learned to give him a bit of space to breathe.  Maybe you can allow him to watch TV without feeling jealous of the TV – but you can now allow him to relax and unwind however he likes to do that. Maybe you stopped trying to make him tell you he loves you and you stopped trying to demand his time, attention and affection like my friend talked about in “I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband.”  Maybe you stopped initiating physical intimacy- and just waited for him to begin to initiate on his own.  Or maybe you cut down to only initiating once per week or once every 2 weeks instead of every night – if he was receptive to that.

Eventually – your husband may begin to MISS you and how you were initiating intimacy. That is a GOOD thing!

It will probably take some time – maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months? (If it takes more than a few months – something more serious may be going on – it may be time to seek godly, wise help and/or medical help depending on the situation.  See The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.)

When you are not constantly pursuing or pressuring him, it gives him the chance to begin to feel his desire for you. (I am talking about husbands who were rejecting their wives sexually because they felt too pressured and disrespected – if there are other issues going on like low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, pornography addiction or infidelity, those are entirely different situations that would need very different approaches, in my view.)

If your husband starts to say things like:

  • I miss you
  • I wish you would cuddle with me
  • What are you doing ALL THE WAY OVER THERE?
  • I want you to come sit with me.
  • I wish you would chase me again.
  • I can’t stop thinking about you
  • I want you to drop X activity so we can be together more (maybe hours at work, maybe some volunteer position, maybe even Wednesday night church)
  • I don’t feel like I am a priority to you
  • I wish you would kiss me more/hug me more/initiate sex again

What is a wife to do?

Here are my suggestions to prayerfully consider (there are other ways to respond, too – you are welcome to share your ideas!)…

PRAISE GOD and BE RECEPTIVE!!!!!!!! 🙂

I vote to close the gap a good bit.  Don’t continue to maintain as much space/distance if he says he misses you and wants you back.  Please don’t reject him! Come closer to him.  This will be a time of finding a new balance.

  • He realizes he doesn’t want to be far away from you.
  • He realizes he loves having you in his life.
  • He is beginning to move toward you.   THAT IS AWESOME!  This is a huge answer to prayer!

I suggest that you show him that he is welcome into your space, into your arms, into your life.

  • Smile!
  • Flirt with him.
  • Move toward him.
  • ENJOY him!
  • RELAX.
  • Savor each moment and interaction.
  • Be friendly.
  • Feel confident and free to initiate intimacy if he seems receptive (if he turns you down, be as gracious as you can).

It’s ok.  This is the fun part!!!!!

You don’t have to be “hard to get” when he is pursuing you now – he is your husband, after all!

Time to shift modes.

THE GIVING HIM MORE SPACE MODE is for times when he is rejecting you and feeling smothered.  It’s also a good idea if you have been controlling – in order to establish a new kind of healthier relationship.  It is not a permanent stage most of the time – thankfully!  There will be a bit of learning to do to figure out what the right amount of space and right amount of closeness is.

Once he begins to come closer to you – it’s GOOD to draw nearer to him, too!  Show him you desire him.

IF YOU ARE FEELING A BIT RUSTY – Ok – Here are some lines you can steal if you need to!

If he says, “I miss  you.”  How about…

  • Aww!!! (Come close to him, give him a serious hug and a sensuous kiss)  I miss you, too, Babe!
  • Hmmm…. what is it that you miss, exactly? (in a flirty voice)
  • Would should we do about that? 😉

If he says, “I want you to chase me!”  Some ideas…

  • You do?!?  (flirty voice and a flirty smile)  –  Whatever do you mean?
  • I’m right here – and I’m all yours.
  • I am enjoying you chasing ME!

If he says, “Why are you sitting ALL THE WAY OVER THERE?”

  • You miss me?   I can definitely fix that. (go sit with him)
  • I know – it IS hard being that far away from me. (smile, flirty voice with all of these responses!)
  • What if I were to sit in your lap for a little bit?  Would that be better?

“I miss you cuddling with me at night.”

  • I miss cuddling with you, too.  That is one of my very favorite things to do in the whole world.  (then cuddle with him)

“I want you to stop X activity so we can have more time together.”

  • You do!??!  I had no idea.  Well… I will drop it.  I would much rather be with you!

“I don’t feel like I am a priority to you.”

  • What?!?  Honey!  I want you to always feel like my biggest priority after God.  What can I do to make things right?
  • Do you need more of my attention?  (Listen carefully to his concerns.  Sit in his lap or right beside him.  Touch him.  Smile.  Flirt.  Maybe even take him by the hand to the bedroom if you think he may feel better after physical intimacy with you.  Some wives actually do this if their husband walks into the house and is in a bad mood after work and it’s been awhile since they have had a time of physical intimacy together.  Might not be a bad idea!)

WATCH YOUR FOCUS

Keep Christ in His proper place.  Keep your motives pure by only desiring to please Jesus and honor Him.  Trash any motives that are to change  your husband or to feel more loved.  Enjoy what your husband offers and let him know how much you enjoy his attention, time, affection, touch and his pursuing you. 🙂

RELATED:

Respect, Biblical Submission and Sexual Attraction

Wives Taking Initiative with Physical Intimacy

The Respect Dare, Day 28 – Making the One-Flesh Relationship a Huge Priority in Your Marriage

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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 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.
  • 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. 🙂

RELATED:

Keeping the Marriage Bed Pure

A Precious Example

Here is an email from a husband who has had an amazing marriage with his wife that spans many decades (40+ years, I believe).  He and his wife got the love and respect stuff right from the beginning.  This is how marriage is supposed to be.  They are such a beautiful example for us to emulate.  Thank you to this husband for sharing this story of a healthy, vibrant marriage!
April — Your article on keeping the marriage bed pure is sooooo very on target. 
I wanted to just share with you personally that after the words “I love you,” spoken to me by my wife, one other statement stands out as supremely important. 
On one occasion after we had been married a couple of months I asked her if she might be available that night.  Then the wonderful words: 
“I’m always available for you.” 
What a joy to my soul! 
(And she has always, always been true to those words!)
Now, that works perfectly for us because I try to be very sensitive to her, to her emotional and physical state, etc., and to avoid “wearing out my welcome.”  Yet the confidence, and I took it as a matter of respect also, that those words instilled in me have been a solid and much appreciated rock in my relationship with my dear wife.  Just wanted you to know.
PS — I don’t believe that most wives have a clue as to how much their willing availability to their husbands would mean to the quality of their relationship.  It is HUGE.
From PEACEFULWIFE:
I believe that this attitude is what God expects from husbands AND wives towards each other!!!  If you look at I Corinthians 7:2-6 – husbands and wives are commanded to fulfill their marital duty to one another (sexually).  If one partner wants physical intimacy, the other needs to be as open, available and as receptive as possible unless there is sin going on (like infidelity or extreme circumstances like severe illness) OR unless they both agree to abstain for a time to pray.  
Gentlemen,
Please notice the husband’s Christlike love and tender care for his wife.  That is what speaks to a wife’s feminine soul!  She never felt used, cheap, or treated like an object.  
Ladies, 
Please notice the wife’s willing spirit and that she always followed through on her promise.  That is what our husbands need from us, too!  I am not sure that most women understand the profound spiritual impact that sexual intimacy has to bond husbands to their wives.  This is just as important to them as talking and connecting emotionally and spiritually is to us.  I believe God designed things that way so that all the priorities would be represented and both husband and wife would be motivated to act selflessly to benefit the other. This husband and wife were BOTH fulfilling their duty to each other and loving and respecting one another and THAT IS HOW MARRIAGE WORKS!
We are SINNING against our spouses when we withhold sex from them.  We are to be one flesh.  You don’t hear many sermons on this topic.  But it is critical!  I will reiterate again, Gary Thomas’ point from “Sacred Marriage” and “Sacred Influence” – sex is the glue that holds a husband and wife together.  This is not just a physical/sexual thing.  There are all kinds of neurotransmitters released during the sacred act of being one flesh in marriage that emotionally and spiritually tie and bond us to one another.
God designed sex to be an act of the body, soul and heart.  This is a holy act.  Sex joins two people as one in all three of these ways even when people are not married.  That is why sleeping around outside of marriage is SO destructive on every level.  That is why so many people have such devastating baggage that they can hardly function in a relationship today.  Sex is only for marriage.  It is designed by God to build the bond and unity in marriage.  We benefit when we apply God’s wisdom and design.
For our marriages to glorify God – we must be ONE.  One with God (individually and ideally, as a couple),  one flesh with each other (often), one mind and one spirit with each other.  We must be willing to obey God’s Word even when it is hard, even when it isn’t popular, even when it is not politically correct, even when we don’t feel like it, even when we think we know better than God, even when we think we know better than our spouse, even when it is the last thing we want to do.
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