8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal

How should you as a husband handle it when your wife directly refuses to have sex without a valid reason? Is there anything a Christian husband can do about this?

Christian Husbands – let me be crystal clear here. The situation I am addressing in this post is not your wife occasionally turning you down for sex (even with a bad attitude, as opposed to for health or other legitimate reasons). What I am addressing here is the wife who consistently and routinely denies her husband sexually simply because she does not need sex as much or she thinks she should not have to do it except when she is in the mood or she thinks her husband should have to earn sex with her by “putting her in the mood” by doing various things she expects or likes.

Let me also be clear to all the haters(this includes liberal Christians who reject the Biblical view of male headship in marriage, as well as the Biblical teaching of the right of sex, and responsibility of sex in marriage):

Update 1/25/2018

Biblically speaking the modern concept of “marital rape” is an oxymoron.  It is impossible from a Biblical perspective for a man to rape his wife.  The Bible defines unlawful forced sex or what we would call rape as when a man forces a woman who is not married to him to have sex with him see Deuteronomy 22:23-29 for more on this. God condones forced sex in marriage in Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and he symbolizes himself as a husband who “humbles” his wife Israel in Deuteronomy 8:2-3.  For more on this subject see my article “Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage“.

For all of the “Rape Accusers” out there, especially the ones that are hurling applications of domestic violence laws at me – I have written a special post just for you.  It is entitled “The Frustrated Feminist Wife“.

In two previous posts in this series I addressed these key issues:

In “Christian Husbands – You don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow!” we established this Biblical principle:

Neither the husband, nor the wife have to earn sex in marriage.

A wife cannot flatly refuse her husband, she may only ask for a delay (a raincheck) and then she needs to make good on that raincheck as soon as possible.

A husband has the right to confront his wife’s sexual refusal as a sin not only against him, but also against God.

In “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” I elaborated further on this subject of sexual refusal in marriage with these principles:

A husband ought not to feel guilty for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood if she yields, even grudgingly.

A husband needs to use prayerful discernment to discover if her reasons for “not being in the mood” are for legitimate physical or mental health reasons or if the problem is wrong thinking and wrong attitude on the part of his wife. If her reasons are legitimate, then she needs to seek medical or psychological help as soon as possible.

Now in this post we will talk about how to handle the sexual refusal of a wife when it is because she has a wrong attitude and wrong thinking about marriage and sex.

But what about the husband refusing to have sex with his wife?

I have received several comments from people asking why I have not addressed the issue of a husband’s refusal to have sex – yes it is equally clear in these passages that he cannot refuse her.   Since originally post this article I have written a companion piece to this article entitled “4 Steps to Confronting Your Husband’s Sexual Refusal“.  Check out that article for more detail on this from a wife’s perspective.

What about Paul’s “concession” in I Corinthians 7:6?

Some Christians have tried to take the entire power out of this passage in I Corinthians 7 because of verse 6 where Paul writes “I say the following as a concession, not as a command.“ So did Paul just get done telling husbands and wives not to deprive one another sexually, only to say – “Well this is my opinion on how sex should be, but if you want to deny one another – go ahead”?

“Now in response to the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say the following as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.” – I Corinthians 7:1-7(HCSB)

When we look at Paul’s statement in context, his concession is not about husbands and wives not denying one another sexually.

His concession(or opinion) is about celibacy. He is prefacing the statement he is about to make as his opinion – that he wished everyone could be celibate like he was as there are many advantages to serving God as single person. But he realizes that celibacy is a gift God has only given to a chosen few, while the rest of men and women ought to marry.

What he is stating in this passage is, if you don’t have the gift of celibacy and you do get married, you have a solemn obligation to have sex with your spouse, you cannot deny them unless it is mutually agreed by both of you for a short period of time.

There is another way that people attempt to disarm the thrust of Paul’s words on sex in marriage in I Corinthians chapter seven. Some have tried to say “well if the wife has power over his body too, then she can decide to use that power to say she does not want his body having sex with her”. This is an absolutely ridiculous notion as it goes against the entire context of the passage. The entire point the Apostle Paul was making is that husbands and wives may NOT deprive one another of sex, unless they both mutually agree to a cessation of sex for a limited time.

Know the battle you face, before you get into it

The advice I am about to give you Christian husband will require courage. The advice I am about to give you will require you to show your wife tough love.

Let me be clear on something, even if you do follow the steps below I give, this does not automatically mean you will get a change from your wife, or her repentance for her sexual immorality. And yes my friend it is sexually immoral for a wife (or husband for that matter) to deny their spouse sexually unless they have a legitimate physical or mental health grounds for doing so. Most people think of sexual immorality as only someone having sex outside marriage (pre-marital sex, adultery, incest, homosexual sex). But remember that when something is immoral, that means it is sin, and we know that sexual denial in marriage is sin, therefore it is accurate to call willful sexual denial in marriage an act of sexual immorality.

I had a Christian man email me once asking if he should tolerate an affair his wife was having for the sake of saving his marriage. He had confronted his wife about it, but she told him she could not give up her lover, and she told him she loved both he (her husband) and her lover and she needed time to consider both relationships.

This man was actually counseled by a Christian counselor to continue to tolerate his wife’s affair in order to win her back. The counselor invoked the story of the prophet Hosea whom God told to marry a promiscuous woman and then left him and he had to go and get her back. What this counselor misses is – this was not God’s pattern for marriage that men tolerate sexual immorality, it was simply done to illustrate the idolatry of Israel and that God was trying to bring her back to him. Israel never did come back and later God said he gave her a letter of divorce.

In the same way men are often counseled by Christian counselors, Pastors and marriage books to simply tolerate their wives sexual denial – which is just as immoral as if she were to commit adultery. They told to talk to their wives and pray for their wives – which is good advice. But then if their wife does not repent they are told they must simply learn to cope with their wife’s sexual immorality and there is nothing else they can or should do.

I am here to tell you there is something more you can and should do. You need to call out your wife’s sin for exactly what it is – sexual immorality.

Now that you know what you are fighting against you need to know what this fight might cost you. It may end with her walking out and possibly divorcing you. You must be prepared to do what is right, no matter what the cost.

First understand this – sacrificing yourself for your wife, as Christ sacrificed himself for the church does not mean toleration of this kind of sin on the part of your wife. Many counselors throw out the “husbands you just need to sacrifice yourself for your wife like Christ did the church” but they don’t tell you WHY Christ sacrificed himself for the Church.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.  He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (HCSB)

Christ sacrificed himself for the Church, for us, not so we could just live any way we wanted to. He sacrificed himself to make us holy, to conform us to his likeness, and his Word.

As I said in previous posts – God wants sex in your marriage, your desire for sex in your marriage is not a sin, but rather it is a gift from God. My Pastor often says God put a desire in men and a command toward men that they be “intoxicated” or “ravished” by their wife’s body.

“Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:19 (KJV)

Your desire for your wife is not the sin, but instead it is your wife’s sinful sexual refusal that must be confronted.

Before you take any steps to confront your wife’s sin of sexual refusal

Before you embark on this difficult journey, you need to first address any un-repented sin in your own life. You need to pray very hard and make sure you are doing the right thing. You need to confess any bitterness you have toward your wife over this issue before you can confront it. Perhaps there are some other wrong ways you handled it, things you have said or done that need to be confessed to God, and perhaps even to your wife if it directly affects her.

8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal

UPDATE: 1/23/2016 – I have reordered what I believe the Biblical steps are to confront your wife’s sexual refusal based on my understanding of when a man should seek out a marriage counselor and bring the issue to his Pastor.

Biblically speaking the husband is the spiritual authority in his home and he has the Biblical obligation to FIRST attempt to discipline his wife as she is his responsibility.  Only when he has exhausted all forms of discipline and she remains defiant and divorce is looming should he approach a counselor to act as a witness to her sin.

Christ said this about confronting a brother(or sister) that has sinned against you:

“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.” – Matthew 18:15-17 (HCSB)

Matthew 18 gives us the first two steps a Christian husband must take to confront his wife’s sexual refusal.

Step 1 – Rebuke her privately

Rebuke your wife’s sin to her in private. This assumes you have already on several occasions tried to speaking gently to her about this issue. You have tried time and time again to find out if there is anything you can help her with, and anything you can do different. This assumes you have ruled out health problems, and or other mental problems and she simply has a stubborn and willful attitude toward sex in marriage and she does not think she needs to change.

Step 2 – Stop taking her on dates or trips

If the brother or sister in Christ who sins against you is outside the authority of your home then you would go to witnesses next.  But since your wife, like your children, is under your direct authority – you have a Biblical obligation to discipline her first before taking this outside of your home. These next 4 steps use the two types of discipline that a husband has at his disposal.  Time and Money. For some women money means nothing, but almost all women highly value their husband’s time.

Stop taking your wife to her favorite restaurants. Stop taking her out to those movies she wants to see. Don’t take her on those weekend getaways she wants to go on. I am not saying to stop talking to your wife, or ignore your wife, as that is not an option for a Christian husband. But your wife does not have the RIGHT for you to take her on dates or trips – these things are a privilege that you may remove at any time.

Step 3 – No unnecessary household upgrades

Ordinarily, I am all for a husband funding things like new furniture for the house, or new paint for the walls. Wives will come to their husband’s for these and many other household things. What you need to do as a husband is, unless it is a true family need, and not just an upgrade to something – Do not allow it.

Step 4 – Stop doing the little extra things

You know those dinners you cook, or that vacuuming you do, or those things that really she should be doing for herself, but you have simply been trying to be nice and doing for her – STOP doing them. Stop giving her those nice back and shoulder massages she loves so much.

Step 5 – Remove her funding

This step may only work if you wife does not have her own income. Stop giving her pocket money. Change your bank account so her ATM card becomes worthless. Cancel your credit cards. If she does have a job, stop paying for anything in her name and make her pay for any credit that is in her name. The Bible only requires that you provide her with food, clothing and shelter. It does not say that food and clothing has to be the fancy kind she likes to get.

If your wife has not repented and changed her ways after you these first five steps, you are sure to have a very angry and defiant wife. The little bit of sex there was in your marriage is most likely completely gone.

At any one of these points, your wife could have threatened to leave, or has already already left. You may be separated or in divorce proceedings.

But I want you to understand something, it is not your responsibility to keep your wife in the marriage by any means necessary, and certainly not by giving in to her willful, rebellious and sinful behavior. The Apostle Paul writes:

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases.” – I Corinthians 7:15

Remember that in Matthew, Christ told us to regard an unrepentant professed believer as an unbeliever. There is no sin here for you as a Christian husband to simply let her go, you are no longer bound and are free to marry another woman. My pastor told us that he had to deal with some rebellious times with his own wife, and his translation of “let him (or her) leave” was “there is the door” when she would threaten to leave.

But your wife may have stuck around betting that she can “wait you out” and thinking that eventually you will go back to leaving her alone about “all this sex stuff” and things can get back to the normal life she has come to love.

This is where we begin the final phase of confronting your wife’s sexual refusal.

Step 6 – Rebuke her before witnesses

If she is still defiant after you have tried all forms of Biblical discipline with her take her to a Christian marriage counselor so they can serve as a witness to her sinful defiance. But make it clear as you seek a counselor what your beliefs are to that counselor and that this is not about changing your beliefs – it is about having a witness to your wife’s sin.

Step 7 – Bring her before the Church

If bringing her to a counselor does not shake her defiance after you have tried all other forms of discipline then bring her to your Pastor and his wife to have her sin confronted by church authority.  If she is defiant to them then she needs to be expelled from the church.

What if none of these 7 steps work?

If your wife remains willfully defiant, yet she has not left you, it could be for a variety of reasons. She may not want to lose how she lives with you and she knows that after a divorce her lifestyle will be severely affected, and she does not want to deal with the consequences of divorce. Perhaps she may have some genuine care for you left as well as your children but she simply cannot see the error of her ways and will hold out indefinitely with the hope that one day you will fold and give her back the money, the dates, the trips, the house hold upgrades and she will not have been forced to change her ways.

But you have a final step you may take, one that you need to pray long and hard about before you do.

You have the option to divorce her for her sexual immorality.

“But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32(HCSB)

Why bother with the first 7 steps if divorce is an option for sexual denial?

Many Christians would ask “If I have the right to divorce my wife for willful and chronic sexual denial, why bother with all these other steps?” The answer my friend, is that God wants us to fight for our wives and our marriage the way he fought for his marriage to Israel as a nation. Eventually he had to divorce Israel as nation, but he fought long and hard to bring her back to him, and we owe our wives and our marriages this fight.

But aren’t these steps a form of manipulation?

Those who oppose this type of confrontation will accuse me of advocating that men manipulate their wives into having sex with them more. But what these same people would fail to understand is, there is a big difference between manipulation, and discipline.

Manipulation is when someone who is an equal (like a friend, a coworker, a fellow student…etc.) or someone in a lower position (like a child, or employee, someone of lower rank) tries to make life difficult for their fellow equal or for their authority figure by doing certain actions in order to get them to do something they want. A union strike is a form of manipulation. A child throwing a temper tantrum or giving their parent the “silent treatment” is a form of manipulation. A wife withholding sex when she is angry at her husband, or giving him the “silent treatment” is also a form of manipulation. Sometimes manipulation is just pure retaliation.

Discipline, on the other hand is very different from manipulation. Discipline is performed by one who is in authority over one who is under their authority. It is action taken by an authority to attempt to modify the bad behavior of the subject of that authority so that they will behave correctly in the future. True Biblical discipline should never be done out of a spirit of retaliation or revenge.

And just to be clear – I am NOT advocating for husbands to beat their wives,smack them around, or physically abuse them in any way.  There are forms of discipline that are not physical.

Blatant willful sexual denial by a wife toward her husband is an act of rebellion against God’s authority first, and then the authority he has given her husband second. If a man denies his wife sexually, it is also an act of rebellion against God, because God has commanded him to give his body to his wife as she needs it (and I will address this in a separate post).

But a husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the Church

I have had many responses since originally posting this article, that these 8 steps are not the acts of a loving husband. Previously in this post I mentioned that God had to divorce the nation of Israel, picture as an adulterous and rebellious wife.  If it were true that a loving husband would never discipline his wife, then God was not a loving husband to Israel. When Israel, who is pictured as the wife of God, rebelled against God – he disciplined Israel and as he disciplined her he told her he was doing it out of love for her to bring her back to him.

Some might respond that in the end God had to eventually divorce Israel, and his discipline did not work – so maybe Christian husbands should not discipline their wives.

But God shows by his example that he would not and could not compromise his holiness even for the nation he loved. In the same way God does not want a Christian husband to sacrifice his faith to enable his wife’s sinful behavior, even if it results in divorce.  See this post that I wrote separately on this issue entitled “10 Ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife“.


Christian husband, you are not powerless to act against your wife’s sexual refusal. Also you need to remember that this about a lot more than sexual refusal. This is about your wife’s rebellion against a central tenet of marriage and her rebellion against the order God has established in marriage. But you must realize that this may be a long and costly battle. Your confrontation of your wife’s willful, sinful behavior may result in your marriage ending.

In our next post “10 Ways to know your wife” We will move out of this sexual arena and into getting to know your wife better.

Some might wonder why I addressed sexuality from a husband’s point of view first before I talk about “knowing your wife” and “honoring your wife” in following posts. The reason is because Biblically speaking “knowing your wife” on an intellectual, spiritual and emotional level was never a prerequisite to marriage in the Bible, it was something that often times came after the consummation (sex) in marriage.

Some have mistakenly compared the “Betrothal period” of the Bible to modern dating. The fact is betrothal and dating have nothing in common. In dating, the man and woman both choose to come together mutually and decide between themselves based on a physical, emotional and intellectual level if they want to get married (and often times they even have sex during this dating period).

Betrothal in Biblical times was nothing like dating today. Men did not convince a woman by romancing her to marry them as is the typical model of relationships and marriage in modern western culture. Either the parents of both the man and the woman would arrange their marriage, or the man would approach a woman’s father and ask for his daughter in marriage, and they would agree on a bride price (like Jacob asking Rachel’s father for her hand and he worked 7 years to buy her).

They were officially considered married at the Betrothal, and it took an actual bill of divorce to break a betrothal. But during the betrothal period the man was primarily concerned with being able to setup a house and be prepared to support his wife in marriage. When he was ready, he would come to claim his wife and they would consummate the marriage with sex. Many couples saw very little of each other if at all during this betrothal period.

A man really did not know his wife emotionally and intellectually until he “knew” her sexually.

That is why we will talk about “10 Ways to know your wife” and then “12 Ways to honor your wife” now that we have concluded our discussion of sexuality as it relates to being a godly husband.

227 thoughts on “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal

  1. Rich,

    I agree it much more difficult for a woman to naturally desire sex with her husband when he is not trying to emotionally connect with her. However many wives are happy to receive the flowers and special things a man does for around them around the house, or taking her special places and buying her things – even talking to her on a regular basis – yet she simply does not need sex very much and she thinks that should be OK and he should be fine with it.

    Thank God that you have a wife with a strong libido, because there are many women that do not.

    I agree that marriage takes work -that is absolutely true. But it takes work from BOTH the husband and the wife. In our society we have made marriage female centric, instead of God centric. If it is God centric, then both the husband and wife will respect each other’s natures. That means the husband will attempt to emotionally connect with his wife and talk with her on a regular basis. It means sometimes a husband will be able to get his wife in the mood and desiring him, but it also means that a woman will have sex with her wife even with she is not in the mood.

  2. “some women simply are happy not to have sex that often and would prefer that there husbands would be the same, and these see no moral dilemma in simply training their husbands to have less sex.” This is a perfect description of my wife for 40 of the 40 years we have been married. No sex before marriage and on our wedding night she was too tired and it was too late. During the first 5 years nine months of our marriage I tallied up the time from just 4 events and came up with no sex for 2.5 years! Within a few months of our marriage she was pregnant. She claimed it was an accident but a few years later, after the second pregnancy, I found out she and her meddling, controlling mother planned the entire thing. Her mother did some bragging after the second pregnancy and it got back to me. As soon as she verified she was pregnant the first time she cut off everything for a little over 9.5 months. She then “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 4.5 months. The second pregnancy was more of the same but worse. This time as soon as she determined she was pregnant she cut off everything for one week short of 11 months; “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 6 months. Even when she allowed anything it was never better than 3 times a month. Within a couple of months of our marriage I said something to her about her apparent lack of interest. She put on a great act telling me she didn’t realize sex was that infrequent and then immediately cut things to twice a month. After the first pregnancy I made the mistake of again confronting her with the facts of her lack of interest. Same act as before and this time she cut things to once a month or less. With her this is how things have been for our entire marriage: Sunday through Thursday nights were out because she had to get up for work the next day. Friday night she was just too tired after working all week. Saturday night was out because she had to get up early for Church on Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon was out because she had to study for what ever she volunteered to teach Sunday night or what ever she needed to have ready for work on Monday morning. Saturday morning before 9:00am it was too early: after 9:30 am it was too late. Almost as regular as clockwork, meddling MIL would call on Saturday morning at 9:00 am and she would yap on the phone for 30 minutes to an hour. Those Saturday am phone calls were after a 30 minute to an hour call on Friday night and calls at least 4 or 5 other nights of the week. What was always nice about all the phone calls from “mommy dearest” is that they almost always came within 10 to 15 minutes after I had been given the cold shoulder because my “loving?” wife was “too tired”. When it came to sex, for 40 years my wife has always been “too”: too busy, too tired, too involved, it was too early or too late. We attended a “marriage enrichment” seminar one time early in our marriage. They had us write down all the time commitments we had on a sheet of paper. Two pages or so later my wife had about listed everything. The facilitator went around the room looking at the papers form different couples and making a few rather generic comments. Every one of these papers listed their spouse. When he got to my wife’s paper the first thing out of his mouth was “mam, there is no way you can be involved in all of this”. Oh contraire, my wife proceeded to list in great detail times and dates for every last item; she had it all planned out. At this he turned to me and asked “how do you feel about all of this?” My only comment was “isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t really matter how I feel about it”! You see, in all of the junk she listed on over 2 pages, I did not even make the list and no doubt he saw that as well. Nice thing about that seminar, she went out of her way to start a fight so she would have an excuse for no sex that night as well. Another nice thing she liked to do for the first 30 years was to grab at me throughout the day in a sexually suggestive way. If I did anything to try and make good on it she would pull away and say “down boy down, we don’t have time for that right now”! If awards could be given for sexually abusive women I think my wife would win hands down. A little over 10 years ago I completely gave up and quit even trying. I no longer initiate anything so it is not unusual to go 1 to three, four months or more without so much as even a kiss from her. After a lifetime of this miserable existence my advice to anyone dating or married to someone like this would be, cut your losses and run as far and as fast from them as you can possibly get. No matter how much you love them they can’t be fixed and they absolutely will not change. If you think they will change if only you are patient and continue to love them you are living in a dream world; it won’t happen.

  3. Nathan,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did with your wife, it is truly sad anytime a wife treats her husband in this fashion. But let me tell you something, God can take tragedy and still use it for his glory. My divorce was sad, yet God used it to bring a man to Christ(when I was in divorce support group).

    Your story can serve as a warning to young Christian men to first be careful when seeking wife, that she is not selfishly ambitious. But also do realize that maybe a wife might read this story and see herself in it? And you might be responsible for turning a young couples marriage around. God can still work in your marriage as well as others even if this behavior has gone for years or decades(as is the case with yours).

    Please read this post that I dedicated to your story. https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/07/30/stories-of-sexual-denial-in-marriage-episode-3/

    May God be with you.

  4. I agree that a sexless marriage is not God’s plan and that both parties should do everything in their power to maintain their physical union and covenant. However, I do not believe it is appropriate to give a blanket statement that denying sex in a marriage is sin. Sometimes, refusing sex becomes necessary as an effort to PRESERVE THE MARRIAGE when the husband repeatedly shrugs off spiritual leadership in the home, ignores the wife’s emotional needs, treats the wife as a roommate, does NOT consistently do the steps you outlined above (going on dates, upgrading around the house, show any type of affection, etc.) leaves ALL THE PARENTING TO THE WIFE, and then just expects to get laid! Continuing to engage in intercourse under those circumstances is submitting to sexual abuse, even though there is no force or violence involved. Continuing to engage in intercourse for the wife leaves the door open for bitterness and resentment to fester. NO! The wife does NOT want to live in a sexless marriage, but neither does she want to be devalued and violated, either.
    Yes, private communication was sought out to correct these issues… as was counseling that went on for 18 months… communication among godly, loving friends. To make matters worse, this person is an elder and a counselor in the church! Is all this grounds for divorce? Most say no. Does one uproot the children because one spouse is spiritually lazy and hypocritical? Difficult call. Should the pleading spouse continue to allow the husband to treat her this way? Or should she stand her ground that she needs to be valued and cherished? The sexless part is actually the decision of the husband for refusing to correct his behavior out of pride.
    So before you heap on condemnation, perhaps you should spend more time encouraging the husbands (or the wives, for that matter) to deeply investigate WHY there is no interest in sex in the first place.

  5. Thank you for this very Biblical article. I agree entirely. Putting up with unrepentant sin in any form for a long period of time is itself unbiblical, actually rebellion to God,and not loving to the other person.

  6. By “emotional excuse” I am assuming you are including when a husband is consistently and persistently being emotionally or physically abusive? In your opinion, if a man is not only NOT meeting his wife’s emotional needs but is in fact being emotionally abusive (yelling, name-calling, belittling, etc) is she still required to fulfill her sexual obligations? It seems very one sided. As if his sexual needs are somehow more important than her emotional needs. God mentions the man’s responsibility to “love his wife as christ loved the church” BEFORE he ever talks about her “submitting” I know this article was not addressing abuse, but before I give any more time or effort to being open to your ideas, I need to know where you stand on abuse. Are you saying these steps can be used for a woman whose husband is being abusive (sinning against her)? Or does just HE get to “use them” to solve this particular problem?

  7. Debby,

    Actually God always FIRST exhorts the ones under authority to submit to their authority. THEN he exhorts the one’s in authority as to how they are to treat those under their authority. Submission to authority ALWAYS comes FIRST. The only exemption from obeying one’s authority is if they ask us to do something sinful, or go beyond their rightful sphere of authority(I will be doing a post later on “Biblical spheres of authority”).

    Notice this principle illustrated in these passages:

    “18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

    22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
    Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” – Colossians 3:18-25 & 4:1 (NASB)

    Notice the pattern here in Colossians. God commands Wives to submit to husbands before he tells Husbands to love their wives. God commands children to obey their parents before he tells fathers not to exasperate their children. God tells slaves to obey their masters before he tells masters to treat their slaves fairly.

    In Ephesians 5 we see this same principle:

    “22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.” Ephesians 5:22-29 (NASB)

    So God talks about a wife submitting in EVERYTHING before he talks about a man’s responsibility to love his wife as Christ love the Church.

    Now do I think that a husband can wait till his wive submits to him before loving her as Christ loves his church? Of course not. Husband’s are to love their wives as God would have them to, regardless of their wives submission to them. But part of a husband’s loving his wife as Christ loves his church is for him to discipline his wife and rebuke sinful behavior in his wife as Christ does in his Church.

    Should a husband try his best to meet his wife’s emotional needs – certainly. Should a man call his wife names and yell and scream at her? No he should not. But a husband’s bad behavior does not justify a wife’s bad behavior. God tells us in I Peter:

    “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” – I Peter 3:8-9 (NASB)

    So what should a wife do when her husband is not meeting her emotional needs or yells at her or insults her? God wants her to bless her husband with her body and be kind to him in spite of his sinful actions. She needs to give her husband to God. Now can she respectfully let him know that she does not like how he talks to her? Of course she can and she should. A wife has the right to respectfully bring grievance before her husband. But she does not have the right to use sex as weapon against her husband for his inconsiderate behavior. Biblically speaking this is strictly forbidden.

    The Bible does command a man to “know his” wife(I Peter 3:7), in other words to talk with her and listen to her and God even tells men that if they do not know and honor their wives – he will not hear their prayers. This is very important to God. However – God does not connect a man “knowing his wife”(talking with her, connecting with her) and him honoring her(praising her) with her giving them having sex as a couple. God looks at these two issues as separate and distinct issues, and that is why we as Christians treat them as separate and distinct issues.

    I said in my post that a man needs to first examine himself, and confess any sin to his wife before he implements these steps. So do I think a husband ought to confess to his wife that he was wrong for calling her names or other things like this – yes. But from the perspective of the wife, even if her husband does not do the right thing and confess and change his ways in these areas – she must continue to do what is right and yield her body to him as God commands. Sex is not a reward for good behavior in marriage. It is a right and a responsibility.

  8. I think you clearly have no concept of the abuse cycle. Both spouses promise to love honor and cherish but when it comes down to it, your patriarchal viewpoint only holds HER accountable to do the things she promised. I encourage you to read some of the biblical studies on cryingoutforjustice.com as well as Martin De Hahn’s article “God’s Protection of Women” from Radio Bible Class. Perhaps when you start to get an idea of exactly WHAT makes an abuser tick and the manipulative tactics they use to get their own way, all the while spouting bible verses, leading bible studies and parading their beautiful wife and children around to make themselves look good and righteous while all along, behind closed doors, treating them worse than dogs, you will show more compassion for those who are trapped in abuse. A marriage should never have the words “enemy” in them. That’s not a marriage. That is a person who has all the power using it in ungodly ways to keep a person he has promised to love honor and cherish at is disposal, to meet all of his needs without question. If you will take the time to replace all the places in your article where you mention “withholding sex” with “emotionally and physically abusing” then your “advice” should work both ways. Jesus says our ROLES are different but he sees NO difference in a male believer and a female believer. We are completley equal to him. Jesus broke all the rules of his day when it applied to women and yet, 2000 years later, we still teach that somehow, women are on this earth, not to spread the gospel, but to fill the needs of men. It is only false church teaching with a patriarchal slant that continues to place women in a subserviant role that makes them vulnerable to the whims of men who claim to be “christian” but are anything but. I have taken my grievances to my church (after following the exact advice/ideology that you are advocating here in your reply to me, for 27 years, kindly telling him how he is hurting us, and for 27 years he would take no accountability for) and they gave me the same “advice” you are giving me. God loves me just as much as he loves my husband. He is no respecter of persons. He made the sabbath for man not man for the sabbath. He made marriage for man not man for marriage (ie: each person is more important to him than the institution that is being twisted and misused) You might do well to read all the verses that talk about what to do with an “angry person” and the one who “causes these little ones to stumble.”

  9. I know this wasn’t your purpose, but you’ve given clear and convincing proof that my marriage is hopeless. We are both in refusal, and there is absolutely no way I could begin to take steps like those you list. From experience, I know I’d have a breakdown if I tried. Yes, I know that “I can do all things through God who gives me strength”, but my personal history shows that I lack the physical and emotional resilience needed for Him to work in me on such a sensitive topic. I know that’s a disgrace, but I’ve had to face and accept this harsh reality in my life.

  10. Enpassant,

    Can you answer a couple questions if you don’t mind?

    Are you the husband or the wife?

    How long have you been married?

    Are you both Christians?

    Do you regularly attend Church?

    Why would you not try to initiate sex with your spouse? Did they turn you down every time in the past?

    It is truly rare that there is mutual sexual refusal. What usually happens is one person starts turning the other down so much, that perhaps eventually the other starts turning them down the rare times they want. I wonder if this was your case.

    I realize you are discouraged. But God work in your marriage if you will lean on his strength and not your own. You also have to come to the point where you realize this is about a whole lot more than sex – lack of sex is usually just the tip of the iceberg in wrong thinking and behavior in a marriage.

  11. When abuse is present, you must take steps to deal with the abuse (like not allowing it or getting away from it) before you can begin to deal with “the roles of a healthy husband and wife” in a relationship. Talking about sex as a “requirement” without looking at particular circumstances is slavery and is NOT condoned by God. Cryingoutforjustice.com has biblical answers/responses to abuse.

  12. In response:

    Are you the husband or the wife? Husband
    How long have you been married? 27 years
    Are you both Christians? Yes
    Do you regularly attend Church? Yes
    Why would you not try to initiate sex with your spouse? Did they turn you down every time in the past? It’s no fun whatsoever. Too much pressure for minimal pleasure.

    Also, “lack of sex is usually just the tip of the iceberg in wrong thinking and behavior in a marriage.” Fully agree. But the process of getting to the root cause(s) would be absolutely brutal and unbearable for both of us. If you think deeper levels of detail would be helpful, it will have to be through private messages.

  13. Men needs their physical needs met as women needs their emotional needs met. Men and women are not wired the same and are different. A wife denying her husband sex for a week is the same as he not talking to her for a week. I don’t know why women withhold sex maybe it’s to exercise power or to just rebel. But she is hurting the relationship by doing so. The same thing with the husbands, he should be available to talk to his wife or whatever emotional needs she has and if he doesn’t then he also hurting the relationship. And honestly what does both men and women have to lose by giving each other what they need for their needs to be met.

  14. I just had a talk with my wife today. It did not go very well. I wanted to make an appointment with a gynecologist to see if her having sex with me would be dangerous to her health. I asked what she would do if the gynecologist said that there would be no danger to her health if she had sex with me. She reminded me of what another gynecologist said to us last year, that her sex drive was gone. My wife interpreted that to mean that I should have been prepared to live in a celibate marriage with her for the rest of my life. She said that because she is 68 years old, I should understand why she doesn’t want sex. (I am 76.)

    I told my wife that just as it is a sin to have sex outside of marriage, it is also a sin to reject the other spouse when he or she wants sex in the marriage. That the one who is refusing sex is the one who is being selfish, not the other way around. I told her that God put the desire in me to have sex in the marriage. I also told her that I have been communicating with people on the internet who have the same problem as I have, men and women alike. I told her that all of us who have the problem with a spouse who refuses to have sex with us feel rejected and that the one who refuses to have sex is destroying the marriage. I also mentioned about the women (in other blogs) who refused to have sex with their husbands but repented because they knew it was wrong. I told her that these women have come to the point to where they now enjoy having sex with their husbands. She still doesn’t understand.

    She also believes that she has to be in love with me to have sex with me, which she said she has never been, that she married me because she felt pressured to do so. I told her that I could not live in a celibate marriage the rest of my life. I explained that refusal by one spouse leads the other into a lot of temptation.

    She plans on going to Colombia in December. When I saw some signs of hope a few weeks ago, l told her then that I would like to go to Colombia with her. However, today I told her that until we solve our marital problems I would not be going with her. Furthermore, I told her that if we could not solve them by December, that not only would she have to go there alone, but would have to stay there until we could solve them. I told her that if she wanted me only as a friend, she could call me via Skype from Colombia.

    My wife receives two pensions, so she doesn’t have to depend on me to support her. Right now I am paying for all the expenses of the house, the car, and buy all the food. I don’t make a lot more money than she does.

    Just a few minutes ago (after our conversation), she told me that she needed to get an exam for her kidneys. Although we have social security health coverage in Mexico, she told me she would get a much more complete exam via a private company. One of those that she really trusts would charge 800 pesos for the exam. I asked her if she had the money to pay for it and she said no. I told her that I would pay for it.

    So, I really love my wife and have tried hard to be a good husband. Unfortunately, it does not look like this love is mutual. Please pray for our marriage! Fortunately, neither one of us want a divorce. I am hoping that if we separate, that both of us will come to the conclusion that God wants us to have a good marriage to each other and that both of us will be willing to do what it takes to have one.

  15. It seems that this statement: “She also believes that she has to be in love with me to have sex with me, which she said she has never been, that she married me because she felt pressured to do so” would need to be addressed before implementing the steps that are being advocated here. To “get her to have sex” before digging to the root of her lack of love, is putting the cart before the horse. It doesnt sound to me like you are a person who is only interested in “getting her to have sex” or simply getting your physical needs met, but that you want the whole package. I am saying as a woman, sex is all you MAY get if the root cause of her lack of affection for you is not addressed. Perhaps you have done all you can in that area. Perhaps a counselor could give you some guidance. She may be unwilling to go to counseling to address her lack of affection, but for any of these instances, the steps being advocated will not get you what you are looking for: true intimacy. There may be NOTHING you can do to help her, but these steps will only get you to the sex part, maybe, and certainly half-heartedly. It sounds like you want more. She is telling you why she is uninterested in sex. You will not make that better by giving her ultimatums having to do with sex. You can certainly give her ultimatums as far as her getting professional help for her lack of affection. A gyn can only help deal with actual physical body issues. It sounds like her heart is the issue.

  16. Debby,

    I would have to respectfully disagree with your advice. There are two types of love within marriage – there is a love that is based on the will, commitment and duty and there is the love that is based in romantic feelings of attraction toward one another. Biblical marriage is NOT built on the foundation of romantic and attraction type love, but rather it is built on the love that is of the will, of duty and commitment. This is the kind of love that is unconditional and it is the strongest type of love(because it is not based on feelings, emotions or the actions of the other person).

    You can’t make someone have romantic feelings for you or be attracted to you – that is up to them. And let’s face it, there are been billions of marriage over thousands of years were a man did not find his wife attractive or he was not romantically attached to her, and or his wife toward him yet they realized that marriage was not based on such feelings. It was based on duty, honor and commitment.

    Now certainly you can make it easier for someone to at least like you and not mind being around you by being kind and attentive to them. But just because you are kind and attentive to someone, even your wife – does not mean – “presto” she is going to find you handsome and have all kinds of romantic feelings toward you.

    I have emailed privately with this man and if what he says is true, he has been doing the best he can as a husband to love his wife. She simply believes that because of pressure from her family and others that she married a man she never “loved” in the romantic sense. She realized that after she was married and now thinks that she should be able to be “just friends” with her husband and you don’t have sex with someone unless your romantic feelings want you to do it. Again a utterly and completely unbiblical philosophy of marriage.

    I have believe this rings true for him(and I have said it to him in other correspondence) as well as his wife. When you as a husband or wife find yourself “wanting more” our your relationship that can be a good or bad thing.

    If you as a husband mean by “wanting more” that you want to want to provide better for your wife, that you want to know her better(talk to her more, understand her more) and honor her more as your help meet – than praise God those are great things to want more of. If as a husband you mean by “wanting more” that you would like to have more sex with your wife – again this is a great thing to want, and sex with your wife is a gift God has given you in marriage. If by “wanting more” you want you wife to start showing more respect and to stop disrespecting you, if you would like her to submit to your leadership of your home instead of bucking you at every turn, if you want her stop fighting for control – these are honorable things to want. All of these things are honorable things to “want more”, because they are the duties and rights of a husband according to God’s Word.

    However if by wanting more as husband – you want your wife to romantically love you, to be attracted to you then that is not necessarily something you can expect. It may or may never come. Now there is a difference between romantic love, and affectionate tender caring love. A wife along with respecting and submitting to her husband, is commanded to show her husband an affectionate and caring love. In Titus 2:4 women are commanded to “love their husbands”.

    This is the only time in the Bible when this kind of love is mentioned in relation to marriage, in fact it the only time in the Bible a woman is commanded to love her husband. In all other places a woman is told to submit to, obey and respect her husband. But the love of Titus 2:4 that is commanded of wives is literally and affectionate love(the word is philandros – which literally means “a lover of her man”). So even if a woman does not feel romantically in love with her husband, or a physical attraction to him – she is to show him an affectionate love.

    The same goes for a wife – if by “wanting more” from her marriage she wants to be better and serving the needs of her husband, her children and her home this an admirable thing to desire. If by “wanting more” she wants to be a better lover to her husband and to better meet his sexual needs and find ways to help herself enjoy and desire sex with him more – great this also honorable. If by “wanting more” she would like her husband to know her better – to talk with her more and to understand her concerns – this is honorable as well. If by “wanting more” she wants her husband to stop disrepecting her and to honor her position as his wife and helpmeet this is a honorable thing to desire from your marriage. If by “wanting more” she would like her husband to actually desire to have sex with her – this is a honorable thing to “want more” from you marriage.

    If however by “wanting more” she wants her husband to let her spend more money, or she wants a bigger house or a bigger car then this is not honorable. If by “wanting more” she wants he wants him to cede his God given leadership to her and follow her wherever she wants to go this is not honorable.

    However if by “wanting more”, she means she wants more than her husband providing for her, knowing her(talking with her) and honoring her as his helpmeet then she may have a problem. If she means by “wanting more” that she wants her husband to have a passionate and romantic love her and be attracted to her – this may or may not ever happen. There have been plenty of marriages over the history of mankind where a man for various reasons had to marry a woman he was not physically attracted to. Or perhaps she was attractive for various reasons but lost that attractiveness. Can a woman work at trying to get her husband to be more physically and romantically attracted to her? Of course – she can work on her physical appearance as well as her attitude toward her husbands need for respect and sex. But even then he may never be as romantically attracted to her as she would like.

    I know I said a whole lot here – and maybe I will do a dedicated post on this issue of husbands and wives “wanting more” in the future.

  17. Thanks, Debbie. You’re right, I do want the whole package.

    I believe what needs to be addressed is the American idea that you have to be “in love” with the person in a romantic way before you can marry the person. I used to believe that way too, until the author of this web site straightened me out.

    As I mentioned in previous posts, the Greek word “eros”, which is the Greek word for romantic love, is not found anywhere in the New Testament. The words “phileo” for brotherly love is found in the New Testament. However, the word “agape” is found in the New Testament far more than any other word that is translated “love” in English.

    We are not Baptists, we are Charismatic or neo-Pentecostal. Many of us get our feelings mixed up with being led of the Holy Spirit. On top of that is the false prosperity teaching, which my wife listens to on ENLACE (the TBN Spanish language affiliate), that says that God exists to make us happy. From what I know, there is not very much teaching on TV about holiness and denying oneself. So, in her mind, if she never feels like having sex, she shouldn’t have to have sex with me. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

    There is another webiste called “The Forgiven Wife”, which has testimonies by the author and other women about how they withheld sex from their husbands and how God convicted them of that. They repented, decided to have sex with their husbands even when they didn’t feel like it and came to enjoy having sex with their husbands. Naturally, their marriages also improved a lot. I mentioned this to my wife, but it didn’t register with her since she believes that she doesn’t have to do something she does not feel like doing.

    Probably the only things I will do concerning steps 4-7 is put a cap on how much we spend when I take her out to eat, not take her to see any secular movies, and not buy anything that we don’t really need between now and December. I am doing my best to listen to her when she talks to me, do a better job around the house, and am very compasionate with her when she gets sick. So, between now and December I will do my best to be a friend to her and communicate with her better. Unfortunately, her Spanish is from the coast of Colombia, which is harder for me to understand (I understand the people from Bogota a lot better). When I don’t understand her, she thinks it is because I am not listening to her. Please pray that we can communicate better!

    Before marrying her, I spent 27 years living a celibate life. It wasn’t easy, but with God’s help I did it, even though I never have had the gift of celibacy. For anyone to expect me to live a celibate life with a wife living with me is very unreasonable and very dangerous according to 1st Corinthians 7. So, with God’s guidance, I have to put a limit as to how much longer I can do this. As i stated before, my wife has always wanted to go back to Colombia to be close to her family there. (This is typical of Latin American culture.) She knew that God called me to Mexico before we were engaged. Since she plans on going to Colombia in December, after prayer, this is the limit that I gave her that I can live in a sexless marriage. I realize that I cannot force her to have sex with me. But, should I be forced to live in a sexless marriage for the rest of my life? (I discussed this with her too before we got married.) I explained to her that the only way I can be celibate is to live by myself.

    By the way, she does not want any counciling, saying that we can go directly to God. I told her that the real reason that she does not want to go to counciling is that she knows she is wrong. Some may think that me telling her this was unloving, but as the author of this website has said, we husbands have the obligation to confront our wives when they behave in an ungodly manner. Wives also have the right to confront their husbands when they behave in an ungodly manner, but with respect.

  18. In June of last year, my wife and I left the church we were attending to launch home groups. Our desire is to have a church like the Book of Acts, based in home groups. I also believe that this system will work better for ex-prisoners, since they will get more personal attention. (I am in prison minstry.)

    Before leaving this church (which I attended for almost 12 years and was a board member), I told my pastor and his wife about my marriage problems. My wife has steadfastly refused to go to anyone with me for marriage counseling, so I really haven’t been able to put steps 2 and 3 in practice.

    However, I am prayfully considering the following: My wife has some close women friends from the ministerial alliance here. One of them is pastoring a church with her husband. Both of them are in their sixties. They appear to have a good marriage and she is a very affectionate person. I believe that they could help us in our marriage, if only my wife will listen to their godly advice. I am considering something like an intervention, where my wife is confronted by them with me in a loving way about her sexual refusal of me and other problems we are having. Since my wife doesn’t want anyone to know about our marriage problems, she might get very angry with me. However, if she gets so mad that she leaves me, I won’t feel any worse than I feel right now, since her very presence here in the house reminds me constantly of her rejection of me in conjugal relations. My question is this: Would this intervention be a good idea?

  19. Missionary,

    I can understand the position you are in. It is very draining spiritually and physically. I have traveled this same path with my wife. I was faced with argument after argument, which did not edify me or her in Christ. The thing is we married 02/20/15, no more than 2 months went by before the whole sexual refusal occurred. Bib gave excellent advice, which in my personal opinion, was unbiased and spirit led.

    I will make a suggestion that God instructed me to do by the spirit. He instructed me to wash her feet, as Jesus washed his Disciple’s feet (His Bride). It improved the marriage and relationship 100% just by obeying his simple command and example that Jesus left of true servant hood. All the Glory belongs to God.

    I have made this suggestion to several brothers in my men’s group and church men’s groups. I only made this suggestion because I personally applied it and seen God at work in me and her. I have heard wonderful testimonies from those who have applied it in there marriage too. Again, All the Glory belongs to God. He is the healer and transformer of hearts if we let him be.

    The first and foremost thing I suggest is:
    1. Pray about it to see if the Lord directs you to wash her feet.
    2. Pray for his perfect will and time.
    3. Pray a spiritual anointing over the water you will use to wash her feet.
    4. Pray with her, ask for the Lord to heal and restore your marriage and relationship, to break any yokes of bondage in the relationship past or present, make it known during the prayer that your actions will revolve around God, to do things according to the Spirit, not the flesh, man or the way of the world.
    5. With love, humility and a serving heart; wash her feet.
    6. End in prayer, giving Thanks to God.

    May we always glorify him in all things because his ways are better then our ways. Amen.

    The truth is Jesus gave us many examples in the new testament on how to serve our wives and others. As New Age Christians, we don’t operate out of the spirit, which means we operate out of the flesh. I’m just being real. The answer to our problem is normally in front of us, we just have to humble ourselves, submit to God and obey his commands and ways. Look at the story in the Old Testament about Elisha and Naaman in 2 Kings 5. He sought the prophet of the Lord to be cured of his leprosy. Naaman was given a simple task to do in order to be cured. How many times is the answer to our problem so simple, but we avoid obeying preventing the miracle of God from happening. That is truly a pride issue, relating to selfishness, when we seek to have things our way or done a specific way according to our expectation. Another scripture we can learn a lot from is Joshua 9. Israelite’s made a treaty with out seeking God’s approval. Point is, how many times do we do things when we are not led by the spirit? What typically happens? Short and sweet is, we hurt ourselves or others, because when we operate in the flesh, there is a motive or an expectation. The bible is for us to reflect and grow spiritually, not to deflect and attempt to change another. Understand, I write this out of the love and I pray who ever reads this will see, hear and receive God’s truth, grace, mercy and love. Listen and obey the Spirit of God.

    Our job is to be the light of the world by knowing, praising and worshiping God, and how can we do that if we have darkness in us? God expressed one day to me that many issues we deal with is not an issue of sin, but rather an issue of our heart. Our heart will lead us into Sin if we are not walking in Spirit. Be blessed and Glory to God.

    God bless, Brother.

  20. Hi Justin,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m glad that the foot washing ceremony with your wife worked for you!

    However, since evereyone is different, what worked for you may not work for me. Foot washing was practiced in the New Testament because people wore sandals and not regular shoes like we do most of the time today. It was to get the dust of the desert off of people’s feet and was a real act of hospitality. Jesus did it to the disciples to show them that they should do this for one another. They gladly received it from him because they really respected him. So, if a woman respects her husband, foot washing would be a great way for him to show his love and humility towards her.

    But, I’m not so sure that it would work for a woman who basically does not respect her husband. That is, a woman who wants to wear the pants of the family and sees her husband as her helpmate rather than being his helpmate. It could cause the rebellious woman to be even more rebellious, since she thinks that her husband must wash her feet.

    However, that does not mean that I cannot do nice things for my wife. At night she asks me sometimes to put Bengay on her back where it hurts. I could start asking her each night when we go to bed together if she wants me to put some of this cream or gel on her back. In a sense, this could be called the modern day equivalent of foot washing.

  21. I just remembered a scripture which could be used about washing the feet of a woman who willfully disrespects her husband and wants to be the head of the family and lead the husband, which is wicked and rebellious according to he BIble:
    “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring” (Proverbs 25:26). You need to, in effect, bow down before the person in order to wash their feet. So, it looks to me like we should be careful whose feet we wash.

  22. Justin,

    I think it is a beautiful act of love and humility and service to wash the feet of any believer, especially your spouse – just as our Lord did his disciples. Husbands should be looking for ways to serve their wives and their children. I am glad to see that this transformed your marriage and that your wife now has regular relations with you and does not turn you down whenever you ask – except for legitimate times of health or other issues that are for a short period as the Scriptures state. If this is the case in your marriage now then praise God for what he has done.

    I agree also that we should always bathe whatever actions we are going to take – either with our wives or our children in prayer before we take them and have peace about it before we do.

    But a husband does have the responsibility for those under his leadership including his wife and children, just as a mother has responsibility as well for the children God has placed in her care. While we cannot change someone’s heart(only God can do that), we are responsible to discipline and train those under our care and authority.

    So for instance when my child leaves their room a mess – it is not simply because it bothers me that they must clean their room. It is because as their father I am tasked with making sure they fulfilling their duties as children, and one of those duties is to clean their room along with obedience to whatever I or their mother tell them to do.

    In the same way if a man approaches his wife’s sexual denial from stance of “hey I am horny and I need this woman!” this is not going to accomplish the will of God in her life that she should submit her body to her husband in the act of sex. Rather if a husband approaches this from the perspective that this his duty and responsibility, and her duty and responsibility in marriage and God expects this to be occurring regularly between couples then God’s power will be present with this husband. The wife will then realize that the submission of her body is not just to some selfish desire of her husband, but rather her sexual submission is her submission to the design and will of God in her life.

    Now if sexual denial has not been going on long – or this is happening in a new marriage then a husband should take as gentle an approach as possible. He could do as you say and wash her feet. He can show her from the Scriptures what God expects of BOTH a husband and wife in the area of sexuality. But when a wife has been repeatedly approach by her husband about this issue and she refuses to change her attitude, then I believe a more assertive rebuke and other measures(such as the 8 steps) may become necessary.

    You talked about bondage. What I have heard from talking to may Christian women is that when a woman is in bondage to sexual things that happened her past(whether it was sexual abuse committed against her, or her own promiscuous history) it can really inhibit and can cause problems in her sex life with her husband. Basically he ends up paying for what others did to her, or what she did to herself and this should not be. In these cases where a woman is frigid because she is in bondage to her past – I don’t think washing her feet is going to necessarily release her from that bondage. She has to first recognize it, and then give it to God. But some times this requires a husband to exercise tough love – discipline to force his wife to confront her own demons when it comes to her views toward sex.

  23. Missionary to Mexico,

    I believe an intervention may be what God would have you to do. This is basically what what I am talking about in steps 2 or 3.
    Sin festers in the darkness. The Bible says:

    “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13 (KJV)

    Only by revealing sin to the light is there any chance of purging it. Two things can happen when you reveal sin to the light – either the person will realize their error, confess and the sin is removed or the person will take their sin and run for the nearest darkest hole. So in your marriage – you wife will repent, or she will run. But either way her sin must be confronted and I think you have the a great idea in bringing in witnesses to confront her.

    Let me tell you – my first wife wanted me to keep her affairs secret. She told me that only if I kept them secret would we have a chance of working things out. At first I considered that approach. Then I realized that I could not conceal her sin and I took it to our Pastor. He tried to confront her, she refused to listen and he had to discipline her and excommunicate her from the church. I filed for divorce shortly thereafter and still to this day she remains in defiant sin against God.

    Do not cover you wife’s sin, but rather expose it to the light.

  24. Missionary to Mexico,

    You are right – Jesus did not wash the feet of Disciples who were in open rebellion against him. He washed the feet of men who loved and respected him. In fact Peter respected him so much that he could not bare for him to wash his feet, yet he submitted to Christ when he revealed the spiritual principle that Christ was trying to demonstrate.

    Yes we need to love even a rebellious wife as you are doing, but we should not take any action that would seem to validate or enable or rebellious behavior.

  25. My name is Owessco from Liberia, I read your article and it is so interesting and would like to share my own experience for your advise.
    My wife and I have been married for the past almost ten years, but with no child to consumate our bond. She thinks I am the one with the problem and so she has resulted to constantly refusing me in be for sex whenever I needed to. Her last instance in quite these few days is walking out on me from the room to the extend of even sleeping in the living room.

    In response to her action, I am forced to allow her have her will. So as it stands, I am playing the “ok go ahead and stay by yourself role”. And we are not talking to each other and I moved out of our room to the quest room. This way, I feel I am doing the right thing to avoid confrontations by forcing myself on her. Seeing her go to the bathroom and creaming infront of me definitely puts me off and I am trying as hard as possible to avoid such lawful temptation.

  26. Owessco,

    I am sorry to hear about the situation with your wife. Are you and your wife Christians?

    It sounds as if you wife has some bitterness towards you for not giving her a child. Have you two been to a doctor to see which of you or if both of you are infertile or perhaps there is something they could do with it?

    Even if you can’t have a child naturally – have you considered adoption?

    I am not saying that your inability to have a child with your wife is an excuse for your wife’s actions toward you – but I do understand the natural yearning that God has placed in women to bare children. In the Bible a woman named Hannah faced a similar dilemma as your wife is now:

    “1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

    3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. 4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

    5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.

    6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.

    7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

    8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

    I Samuel 1:1- 8 (KJV)

    While God ultimately gave Hannah a son, he does not always provide women with a child. What this story illustrates for us both the frustration of a wife at being childless and the frustration of a husband for feeling like he is not enough for her. I am sure that is how you feel and perhaps your wife feels like Hannah in this story.

    The pain that women feel from being childless is something we as men can barely comprehend. Yes men want kids too, but being childless does not affect us the way it does a woman. But what your wife needs to realize is in many ways the pain she feels of being childless is the way you feel of being emotionally and sexually shut out by her. In the same way that men cannot fully grasp how being childless can cause a woman pain to the her core, women often cannot grasp the pain they cause their husbands by sexually shutting them out.

    This is what I would suggest.

    Make sure you have tried every way you can – seeing doctors to try and have a child. If you already have then look into adoption. Tell your wife how much you love her and want to provide her with a child.

    But the most important truth you need to share with your wife is that true contentment and joy does not come from things or even people. She cannot hinge her joy and contentment on having a child, or even on your. Your bodies may fail to give you a child, but God is always there. He is the one true constant. She needs to find contentment in God, and then realize the sinful way she has been treating you.

    God commands a wife to give her body to her husband for sex. You cannot condone an attitude from her “until you provide me with a child, I will not provide you with sex” – this is a sinful attitude and must be confronted.

    Seek out Godly counseling for you and your wife. Perhaps God will change her heart.
    If after a long time of counseling she continues to act in rebellious ways you may have to take further actions.

    But I would start there.

  27. Married38 years no sex in last 24 years did all those steps to no avail. I use cell phone porn for my sex

  28. Joseph – a whore(or prostitute) is paid to have sex with a man that has not made the made the commitment of a husband to her, there is not marriage involved. In marriage, a man makes the pledge of a husband to love his wife by feeding her, clothing her and have sex with her.(Exodus 21:10-11). She in return pledges her submission to him, to care for his home, bare his children and have sex with him.

    When a man removes the credit cards and pocket money – he is not breaking his pledge to care for her, because he is only required to feed her and cloth her – he does not have to give her spending money or let her have the fancier food she wants or the fancier clothes she wants. But by removing her “spending money”, he reminds her of the covenant of marriage she made that she is now breaking. He also is giving her just a taste of what it will be like if he has to ultimately divorce her for her willful sexual denial.

    Here is another way to put it. A lot of parents give their kids an allowance for weekly chores that they are expected to do. If the child fails to do their chores and the parent removes the allowance does that make the parent treating their kid like a slave? No. In the same way when a man removes the “extras” from his wife like spending money when she chronically and willfully sexually denies him he is not treating her like a whore, he is treating her like a wife who is violating her marriage vows.

  29. My wife and I have been married 27 years. I’m a minister.
    We have been sexual only 7 times. (when she wants to be) This is the middle of September.
    She tells me that sex is the farthest thing from her mind. I exercise often and am in athletic condition and well groomed. I do the things that most women complain about their husband NOT doing. I do most of the chores and cook almost all of the meals. My wife says that she’s attracted to me and we are very nice to each other. We hold hands often. I give her back rubs which seems to help her chronic pain that she’s had for a number of years. She comes in from work every day totally exhausted and wanting no affection from me, unless it’s just a small kiss. I’ve lovingly told her how rejected I feel for her not wanting to have sex with me. Oh, every time in our married life when we make love I always help her to achieve an orgasm. At our last counseling appointment the counselor reiterated scripture that you mentioned above. The thing is…I don’t want her to make love to me out of a “duty”. I want her to do it because SHE wants to. I want to be desired her but she’s not interested.
    I’m feeling resentful and very angry. I feel unloved. I recently just read Kevin Leman’s book “Sheet Music” and it made me angry cause I know that my wife will never do the things that Leman mentioned.
    From what I’ve read in other articles if you have sex less than 8 times in a year that’s considered a “sexless” marriage.
    I never thought I would only be 53 and be in a sexless marriage. If I were 85 or 90 I could understand but I’m so frustrated right now and honestly do not see an end to this. For me to “divorce” her over this could put an end to me being a pastor. I doubt seriously I could convince others that she’s committed sexual immorality against me over not wanting to have sex with me. I’ve tried to woo her, wanting to take her on a date, just me and her. Nope, she’s too tired and wants to veg out on Netflix. I’ve suggested a weekend away somewhere or a cruise, just me and her. Not interested. I married “in sickess and in health, richer or poorer” but I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS. I’ve shed a bucket of tears over this and just don’t know how much more rejection I can handle. I’m ready to leave.

  30. Joe,

    I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Do you mind clarifying a few things before I offer advice?

    Do you mean you have only had sex 7 times in 27 years or just 7 times in the last year?

    Can you tell me what your sex life has been like over the whole 27 years? Like did you have sex a lot in the beginning and it just gradually went down?

    How many times have you seen a counselor and when was your last counseling appointment?(I know you mentioned seeing a counselor, just wanted a little more info if you don’t mind).

    If you could answer these questions I can give you better advice.

  31. Hi Joe,

    I’m also in a sexless marriage. I am a missionary in prison ministry in Mexico. People call me “pastor”. However, I do not have a traditional congregation. Most of my congregation is behind bars. The rest of my congregation meets in homes.

    This makes my situation easier for me to handle than your situation as a pastor of an institutional church. Pastors of institutional churrches are put up on a pedestal. So, when a typical pastor has family problems that the congregation is aware of, the congregation loses confidence in him and some leave to find a church where the pastor has “the perfect family” (which does not exist).

    There is a great wave of persecution coming soon against the true church in the United States. The traditional structure of the Evangelical church today will not hold up under great persecution, unless the pastor and the congregation want to sell out to the world and become a government church 100%. I recommend that all pastors begin to train their people to have groups in their homes and base their services there instead of in a church building. Therefore, if you and your wife separate it will have less of an impact on the church than if you always have to be up on a pedestal in a church building.

    Most pastors would consider this advice almost heresy, but I believe that it is the Lord’s will that we return to the stucture of the New Testament church and leave behind the reformed Roman Catholic corporate structure that we have in most Evangelical churches in the free world today. In other words, instead of us who are leaders in the Body of Christ having to put up a front of being great ministers we can be more real with people in home groups.

    I’m praying for you!

  32. Sorry for the confusion. I meant to say we’ve had sex 7 times this year. ..which is way better than 7 times in 27 years. We’ve been seeing a wonderful Christian counselor…for other other issues but Only 2 times now for this particular “no sex” issue. Sex in our marriage started out great..like most couples but then when children came along it basically came to a screeching halt. With child #2 my wife seemed to be sick the entire pregnancy which meant no sex for me…but i felt sorry for her. She also seemed to develope an invisible desease called fibromyalgia which causes pain all over her body. Its hard to diagnose. It was pretty bad for a number of years. We would only have sex a handful of times a year (whenever SHE was in the mood) . Now things are somewhat better with her physically but we still seldom have any sex or any other physical touch. The issue now is she works full time, comes home and collapses and has nothing left. She says she loves me but just has no interest in sex. I’ve told her how i feel. The counselor (a woman) has used the same scripture you mentioned.
    There is however, a ray of hope. Today she left me a note saying that she wants to pursue passion and for me not to despair. She does realize that she’s not normal. But it’s very upsetting to me that regardless of her non existent libido that she would not care about my desires and needs. I don’t feel desired at all. Ive noticed that as a result of my situation i am now being tempted to do some immoral things. Have not given in yet but i feel very vulnerable right now. At this point i have resentment that’s built up. I lay awake at night wanting to be touched…and honestly it all just ticks me off. I want to sleep somewhere else.

  33. Thanks Joe for that clarification. I have a few more questions to get big picture though, thanks for bearing with me.

    You say you have sex around 7 times a year when she is in the mood – is that because she initiates it during those times?

    In other words have you given up trying to initiate after being turned down so often that you wait for her to approach you and to tell you it is ok?

    Or are you initiating it a lot more throughout the year and she just says “no” most of the time and 7 times a year she says “yes”? And when she turns you down how does she typically do it?

    On the issue of touch do you try and touch her and she turns you down or have you give up because of her past rejection? Does she smack your hand away or how does reject you?

  34. First let me say i am very grateful for your time…
    In response to your last questions:
    She initiates. And yes, i gave up initiating long ago because of the rejection. She lets me know when. When she IS in the mood i will ask “is there something i did that put you in the mood? If so what was it so i can try that again.” As far as touch she does not smack my hand but just move it away and then tell me she’s too tired or she’s hurting (with her pain issue). At the moment she feels like i am pressuring her and all i am doing is trying to have conversation about it. “Speak the truth in love”. Im trying real hard to get the “in love” part. I’ve read both books our counselor suggested in three days. She’s struggling to read them cause she doesn’t want to and said it makes her angry. Im all alone here.

  35. Joe,

    While I have been sent many many stories of sexual denial since I first published this article – I don’t think one has connected with me the way that yours has because it so closely mirrors what I went through with my wife. Tonight I wrote the longest post I have ever written(I think) and if you are the only one that reads it that is ok with me.

    I share my own story(and that is why it longer than most) but I really think it might be an encouragement to you. Then I talk about what I think the Lord would have you do, but obviously I am not the Holy Spirit and you will really need to think it over and pray about it.

    You can find it here https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/09/11/stories-of-sexual-denial-in-marriage-episode-6/

    May God be with you.

  36. I’ve read it all and I am very grateful you would take that amount of time to use me and an example in your blog. Since I am in a sexual desert at the moment I’ve decided to enter a time of fasting and prayer to seek next steps, along with out counselor. I’m normally a private person in these matters but I took a risk to share all of this with you and am again grateful for your suggestions and guidance. Hopefully things will turn around soon. She knows she has a problem, and she knows she has control issues that are not God-honoring. I think that God is working in her life. I’ve made mistakes too. Because of my laid back happy-go-lucky personality I have not led properly otherwise things would have not gotten to this.
    Again, thank you for your time.

  37. Joe,

    You and and I have a LOT in common. I have actually been told by many in those exact terms that I have a “happy-go-lucky personality” and I am a very easy going guy. God had to truly work in me to give me the spine I needed. I always believed in Biblical gender roles and Biblical marriage since I was a young man, but I had not put into practice many things I believed because of my easy going personality.

    We “easy going” guys typically are people pleasers. We just want to make our wives and children happy. But God calls us to lead and to sometimes discipline our wives and kids. They won’t always be happy with what we have to do, but marriage and family are not bout happiness – it is about holiness. It is about honoring God and modeling our families the way God would have them to be. We have a very grave responsibility that our wives and children do not as the head of our homes.

    It’s never too late to turn to God’s ways and do what is right. Hopefully as God grants you the courage to lead your family as your ought to, God will at the same time change your wife’s heart to follow you and submit herself totally to you(and that includes sexually) and God can use all this for his honor and glory.

    I will be praying for you brother – please keep me updated, even if just privately by email if you don’t want me to share with others. You can send private emails to biblicalgenderroles@gmail.com

  38. I don’t deny my husband sex, I don’t enjoy it very often but I try not to say no when he asks. I suffer from Vaginismus which makes sex painful. I have the ability to treat it and tried but it can take several months and he could only last a couple of weeks before asking for sex again, which meant starting over with the treatment. He’s not big into foreplay “the lovey dovey stuff” which is about the only part I like and the only thing that helps dull the pain of penetration. I feel selfish for wanting it to stop hurting and maybe feel good a little bit. How can I ask that, to ask to recieve pleasure in return? That’s not a giving attitude. I’ve had a couple of times where I was in tears because intercource hurt so bad, I asked for him to stop I couldn’t take it. I was told to relax, I was too tense, and he was being gentle. I was in pain for days and refuse sex during that time, it hurt to even use the bathroom. Like I said, I try not to refuse, but I can’t see myself ever liking sex.

  39. Victoria,

    I recently had another woman write me that also had Vaginismus. I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from this condition as well. You might want to check out this post https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/09/03/how-much-pain-would-you-endure-to-have-sex-with-your-husband/

    In the case of the post I just mentioned – while the woman was getting treatment for her vaginismus her and her husband both did the right thing. He waited for vaginal intercourse during her treatment and she helped him sexually with using oral and manual methods. It would not be right for you to make your husband go without any sexual release as sex for a man is somewhat based on physical release so you have to find some way to help him.

    So did you offer him other means of release or did you say not any kind of sexual release during your treatment time?

    Also on the issue of foreplay have you spoken to him directly about this or in indirect ways? If you have not you need to let him know that you need that. Also be clear by what you think foreplay is – men don’t like to have to guess, they find it frustrating. Talk to him outside the bedroom about very specific ways he can do foreplay with you.

    There is nothing selfish in your wanting to try and enjoy sex better with your husband and if you enjoy it better it will make it better for him as well. If he refuses to do that then tell him you would like to seek counseling about this – perhaps your Pastor and his wife could help or another counselor could help. In fact this could contribute to some of your painful intercourse because if you are not aroused by foreplay than you vagina will not grow and lengthen as it should for intercourse. As you said yourself when he does do some foreplay it helps to lessen then pain. This can be frustrating to any man, but your need to lovingly and respectfully show your husband that this will be better for him if you can work through this because if you enjoy sex more, he will enjoy sex more.

    As you will see in that post I linked to above about painful sex – most cases of Vaginismus are in fact psychological rather than physical:

    “In most cases, this is not due to a physical deformity or disorder. Instead, it is an emotional condition that occurs because of psychological reasons but manifests itself in a physical response. The majority of women with vaginismus believe that intercourse will be very painful; often thinking that their vagina is too small to accommodate the penis and therefore, their vagina will be ripped or stretched too far. Consequently, they develop a phobic response to the penis; associating it with pain.”


    However its not as easy as what you your husband is saying to just “relax, stop being tense”. You need counseling and perhaps to use some vaginal dilators like the woman in that post did to help yourself to mentally condition yourself to allow and enjoy penetration. If you have not already you need to see a gynecologist to rule out any physical abnormalities that might be causing your vaginismus. But if you are like most women that have this condition, it is more of a psychological issue than a physical one. There is something in your mind that causes you to fear penetration. You body ceases up as a defense mechanism and this in turn is what causes you the pain from intercourse. So yes you need to learn to relax – but that is not something you can just flip a switch and do – it will take some counseling and perhaps you exploring your body on your own as this other woman had to do.

  40. I did use other forms to satisfy his need, he says its not the same. I have explained bluntly what I like and how I like to be touched but he’s told me he’s ADHD and can’t physically do the same things over and over again. I have the dialator set that I started on, but I keep having to restart because of intercourse and im becoming discouraged. Talking to our pastor and his wife would be awkward since they are his parents. I do have to admit that I really don’t feel comfortable touching myself, stuff like that was discouraged while I was growing up. I can’t say a switch flipped after I got married.

  41. Victoria,

    While it may be awkward to speak to his parents about it – they may actually be the best ones to speak to because he would probably respect a rebuke from them. If you can’t bring yourself to talk to them, or if you think they would not be objective and would just take his side in this then perhaps you could seek out another Pastor or counselor in the area.

    I think there are always two sides in these things – obviously men ought to do foreplay with their wives – no question there. But I have heard from some men who have told me that foreplay with their wives can sometimes be a grueling task where they feel like an utter failure or they are just doing it wrong every time. I think it requires patience and understanding on the part of both the man and the woman.

    I will say that sometimes it does come down to a man “being too rough” or “not doing it right”. However there are many times where a woman simply does not know her own body. She does not truly understand how her own arousal process works and if she does not understand her own body – then how can she just expect her husband to figure out what she has not been able to do?

    I will give you and example. I know of a man whose wife rarely was able to climax from vaginal intercourse(not unlike many women). So after some foreplay, then intercourse with him climaxing he would have to manually stimulate her. Occasionally she would let him use oral, but she was less comfortable with that than manual. Sometimes he would have to manually stimulate her for 20 to 30 minutes and he said it felt like his hand was going to fall off! Even then she would be frustrated and sometimes just have him stop. This type of thing utterly destroys a man’s enjoyment of sex.

    His wife came from a home where sex was a taboo subject and it was not to be spoken of – to say she was frigid was an understatement. I believe many cases of these sexual issues come down to women having faulty views of sexuality and especially the “m” word(masturbation). You can’t expect your husband to do for you, what you cannot do for yourself. If you don’t understand your own body, you can’t expect him to.

    I say all that not to say I am attacking you – or that you even fall into this category at all. Perhaps you know exactly what arouses you and what makes you climax. Perhaps it is all selfishness on your husbands part – but often we find that there is a little blame to go around on both sides of these issues.

    I do think that your husband should give you some space on the vaginal intercourse at least for a few months. I know as a man that will be extremely hard for him to do as manual and oral methods can be great for variety but they are not the same thing as vaginal intercourse. But you need to realize that there is a clock here and you need to overcome your inhibitions and figure out what mental blocks in your mind may be causing your Vaginismus and use the dialator set to help you overcome those mental blocks. Otherwise the longer this goes on the more damage this will cause to your marriage.

  42. This may be random but, my husband has been very insistent about trying anal throughout our marriage. Im terrified of the thought, I mean, if vaginal intercourse is already painful how much worse would it be to have stuff crammed up my butt. He’s always frustrated when I tell him no. I’ve always been open to trying other positions (I feel like a pretzel :-/) and I’ve even retried positions that I already knew i didn’t like but stuff in my butt?? What do I do, just cave the next time he asks? Maybe I’ll wind up in the ER and never have to do it again, the whole idea is revolting to me. (I did ask him if he was willing to shove something up his butt and he gave me a look like I was crazy. He told me no but still didnt get why I wouldn’t and held that verse over my head about the wife not withholding herself from her husband.)

  43. This article does not even address the fact that the Christian husband may ignore his wife by watching TV all evening then expect her to hop in bed joyfully. He does not hold the door even when her hands are full. Does not share financial decisions. Does not buy gifts for Christmas, anniversary, birthday in years. Only praises for cooking. Now is suggesting sexual positions that are uncomfortable.

  44. Victoria, while sex is an important and necessary part of the marriage covenant, you are equally as human and have needs, druthers, and decision-making power over this aspect of marriage, just as much as your husband. He sounds very much like this is a one-man show. He seems oblivious to your efforts, desire to please him and sacrifices. This is not part of the marraige covenant that you are being looked upon as an object. He doesnt just want his needs met, but exactly WHEN and exactly HOW must be in place as well in his mind. This is tyrrany, selfishness and not what God has intended at all. When you make a statement such as “maybe I will end up in the hospital and never have to do that again.” listen to your own heart! You are buying the lie that God’s mandate for sex in marriage INCLUDES you becoming physically incapacitated before you can say NO to a certain act?! That you don’t count? That ONLY HIM and HIS needs/desires count. When he RECOILS at the thought of his anus being invaded and would never be willing to make THAT “sacrifice”, but expects YOU to WANT that or even consider that when you feel the SAME WAY? Marriage is supposed to be the closest reflection of our intimacy with God. Does that sound like the loving, merciful God we serve? What you describe sounds more like a twisted version (complete with misuse of scripture used to invoke false guilt in you to get an expected outcome, which God calls witchcraft) more akin to what Satan would celebrate.

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