After almost a half a million views of my post, “8 Steps on how to handle your wife’s sexual refusal”, I have received thousands of emails, Facebook messages or comments to my blog. Many of these are not just comments, but stories of sexual difficulties between Christian married couples.
As I have time, I will sift through the mountain of emails and comments and try to apply the Biblical principles I have espoused to these situations. Let me be clear that I will only use a story in one of two situations. If you post a comment publically to my site, then I believe it is fair game to address it publically. I will also reveal stories that come via email – if the person gives me permission (which is rare).
This first story comes to me from an anonymous commenter and he begins with this:
“I’m a married man of 11 years struggling with the same issues. While my wife pretends to be a Christian, she has become an immoral woman and lives two lives. While I am not perfect, I’m a 100% faithful man who has given my all to the love and care of my wife and daughter. I love my wife with all my heart and find myself pleading for her affection, love, and compassion towards me. Nothing is given freely, or lately – given at all. While the mother of our 2-year old daughter, she’s placed her job and friendship with a lesbian over time with my daughter and I, and continually leaves me to do all the bidding (chores, “honey do,” etc). Given a good marriage working in partnership with one another, I would abide with gladness and do even more than she asks (which up until this minute, I have been – at least…doing all she asks). I am at the point now where I will give no further. We share few words, as we have for the past two, sexless years. I don’t know many men in their early 30’s who would tolerate such a thing. I find myself in a persistent state of acute jealously of all my friends whose wives love and respect them. I stay because I love my daughter immeasurably and I cannot bare the thought of her calling another man “daddy.” I have become the heel of the family – and while I’ve vocalized my disdain for the current situation – I’ve chosen sacrifice for the sake of my child and for what I now realize as the only reason.”
I wish I could say this is the first story I have heard of a Christian husband who has given his all to save his marriage, but it is not.
The first thing to realize is, these issues do not usually arrive overnight. They usually take time to reveal themselves and it appears that over his 11 year marriage he began to tolerate sinful behavior from his wife.
He tolerated her putting her job outside the home before her duties to him and their home. He even claims that if he was receiving the love he needed from his wife he would have continued to cover for her in the home. But I believe that would have been a mistake as well.
The Bible is clear what the duties of his wife are toward her husband:
To respect him
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)
To submit to him and obey him
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:24(KJV)
To be his lover
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4 (KJV)
The phrase above “to love their husbands” – literally means to be “lovers of their husbands”
“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)
To give her body to him for sex whenever he needs it
“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband” – I Corinthians 7:4 (KJV)
To care for her home and her children
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” – I Timothy 5:14(KJV)
As you can see when you compare what the Word of God says a wife’s duties are in marriage, and compare this to the behavior of this man’s wife – godly discipline by this husband toward his wife is woefully overdue and needed in this situation. His wife has come to condone the sinful behavior of her lesbian friend and he as her husband would be well within his rights to tell his wife that she must break off this unhealthy relationship.
He continues with how he feels about this situation with his wife…
“I view my wife as an immoral woman, who has sold her being to her work and acceptance of others sins over her family and particularly the love of her husband. As a Soldier of 14 years, I know a bad deal when I see one but my marriage by no means compares to sleeping under the stars or the stresses of combat. My own resilience has become my greatest enemy in evaluating my current circumstances.”
This Christian husband uses the terms “sacrifice” and “resilience” to describe his toleration of his wife’s sinful behavior. Many good Christian men like this man have mistakenly thought that what they are doing in this situation is “sacrificing themselves for the greater good”. But the truth is they have actually been sacrificing their faith for their wife. You can read more about this in my post “10 ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife”.
He shows the decision he has come to…
“After two years, I’ve reached the point where I have to leave – where I have to get away – from the abuse inflicted on me by having my face rubbed in such wicked confidence and endless self righteousness, based on a worldly view and by no means God’s Holy Word. My wife challenges my views on homosexuality as it relates to her best friend, my service to my country as a Soldier, and as someone who believes in doing the right thing even when nobody is looking (my integrity). I may lose every worldly thing, but I cannot go on, hurting the best thing going on in my life and that is Christ alone.”
This Christian husband has finally realized he can no longer tolerate his wife’s sin. Even if confronting her means risking divorce and losing “every worldly thing” – he ready to do what is right. This man needs to surround himself with other Christian men that will encourage him and strengthen him for the spiritual battle to come. He needs to come to the Lord daily in prayer. God will work this out as he wills it.
He talks about false hope…
“Every so often, I get a glimpse of hope. A kind smile, my wife doing something completely out of the ordinary to gain my approval and maybe push the ball (the oven timer on our marriage) just a little further down the field. If all of my effort and love only gets me “D” effort from the woman who is supposed to protect my heart, I’m not leading the team and I certainly question my leadership in my family, outside of the military.”
I can’t tell you how many letters I received accusing me of advocating that men manipulate their wives into doing what is right in marriage. What I am advocating for is not manipulation, but the confronting of sin with discipline. Again as I have said repeatedly, I am not referring to a man physically abusing his wife. There are many non-physical forms of discipline. Christian men need to lead their homes and discipline their children AND wives when needed. Sometimes a man confronting his wife’s sin with godly discipline will result in divorce – and he must be ready for that very real possibility.
But in this case there is true manipulation going on by his wife. This is very common in these situations as well. Occasionally the sinful and rebellious wife realizes that she needs her husband so she will give him some false hope, some kindness in order to make him think that perhaps he is overreacting to her sin.
Maybe things will get better or so she wants him to think, so he will doubt his intentions to confront her sinful behavior.
He reveals his plan…
“Your proposed solution is my last ditch resort, and I’m going to take it. No matter how it ends, I won’t look back on my marriage and say I didn’t give it my very best. Thanks for sharing and allowing me to share.”
The proposed solution he refers to is my post “8 steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal”. I believe after reading this, as well as some more detailed information he sent to me privately, that this man’s wife is well overdue for some Biblical discipline from her husband.
I pray that God blesses this Christian husband’s efforts to confront the sin that has infested his home in the form of his wife’s behavior.
I also pray that if you as Christian husband see your marriage in this story, that you will have the courage to confront your wife’s sin and that you will no longer sacrifice your faith in order to appease your wife.
If you have a story of sexual denial that you would like to share – feel free to comment on this post or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and just let me know if I can share part of or all of your story. Your name does not need to be mentioned or we can just make a fake name for you.
Many people in this situation feel alone as they have the Church on one side that seems to ignore this issue entirely, and on the other side they have non-Christians telling them there is no right to sex in marriage and they are being selfish for wanting sex more than their spouse. When you share your story, you show others that they are not alone.