Biblical Advice For Caregiver Husbands

How should a Christian husband who fully believes in what the Bible says about Biblical gender roles handle his disabled wife? Does God exempt such wives from his command in Titus 2:5 for them to be “keepers at home”? What about God’s command in Proverbs 5:19 to husbands regarding their wives to “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times”?  How should a Christian husband manage his sexual needs while also being considerate of his wife’s disabilities that might impact their having sexual relations?

These are some of the difficult questions that Christian husbands who want to follow God’s Word regarding Biblical gender roles and marriage must answer when they have a disabled wife.

Recently I received an email from a husband calling himself Bob who is struggling with how God would have him to handle his disabled wife.   Below is his story.

Bob’s Struggles With His Disabled Wife

“I’m 35 and my wife is 32. I have been married for 12 years and have three boys aged 10, 8 and almost 5. My wife has had health issues since she was 16 when she had her first cardiac arrest. She had another one at 19 but hasn’t had another since taking medication. I met her a year later and we married within six months.

My wife was keen to take on the role as homemaker but at times due to health issues would need taking care of herself by me and in turn I would need to take care of the household. After a year of working full time as a teacher, running a youth ministry two nights a week, running a Sunday night church service and taking care of my wife and now new baby I broke. I had to pull back from my passions through work and ministry. I was on antidepressants for a couple of years to repair my brain from living off adrenaline constantly. All that was left was looking after my family which made me feel miserable.

My wife injured her sacroiliac joints in her back when pregnant with our second child and was having injections every few months to help keep on top of the pain. After our third child I had a vasectomy as I did not have the capacity to take care of any more people in my life. This made my wife very sad. For three years she would get quite emotional as she longed for more children. Every time we had sex she would end up in tears.

She did get through this. I had to be strong with her about it. The problem after this was that her back issues increasing got worse. This means to ever have sex, which she would do sacrificially once or twice a month meant she went through a lot of pain.

I believe in male headship in a marriage. I feel lines get blurred when I’m required to serve my wife and kids day to day.  Sometimes I feel my wife has a sense of entitlement for me to do things for her because of her needs and pain. When I confront this there is the same old argument about respect, genuine pain and the gap between both our needs comes up.  I’m also incredibly frustrated being the homemaker and raising my boys. I believe these roles belong to a wife and mother. I feel caged as I grit my teeth waiting for life to progress whilst giving my boys the best chance possible to do well in life and love God.

We have hired a cleaner once a week and have recently hired someone to pick the kids up from school from time to time to try and help the situation.

I’m frustrated sexually as I fight to stay pure, I’m frustrated as a man, I’m frustrated because I want to be the best husband and dad God has designed me to be but feel the health issues in my wife have stolen the ability to follow the biblical pattern to achieve it. I know it’s not her fault, she sometimes feels guilty and says it would be better if I didn’t marry her or that she died at her first cardiac arrest.

Six years ago I planted a church and have been encouraging men to lead their wives and family and not to be influenced by toxic feminism that is destroying society.

If you have any wisdom or advise that would be helpful.”

My Story Is Very Similar Bob’s

I have spoke about my wife in various articles and struggles we have had.  But for a long time, I have been wanting to focus in on the aspect of my being a caregiver husband. Bob’s email was just the push I needed to do this and I hope this will be a blessing to other husbands out there who are caregivers to their disabled wives.

My wife was a nurse’s aide and then became a nurse and worked for the same hospital system for almost 20 years before she had her car accident at the end of 2012.  She struggled with her weight for years and had a gastric bypass in 2011 a little over a year after we were married in 2010 she was my second wife – I had to divorce my first wife in 2009 for adultery.  See my article “If We Treated Divorce Like Killing” for my exhaustive study and conclusions on divorce from a Biblical perspective.

The gastric bypass actually caused her to have cardiac issues (yes, it is strange and I did not know gastric bypasses could do that but they sometimes do).  She had what appeared to be a mild heart attack as a result of complications from the gastric bypass in early 2011. After this she would have times where she experienced light headedness.  She had to get on heart medication to regulate her heart.  Eventually she had to step down from her nurse manager position on a surgical floor to just being a regular floor nurse again on a contingent basis.   This let her work less hours and set her own schedule.

We thought she was doing better but it appeared that she had a black out, most likely caused by her heart condition, on her way driving to work one day on a highway.   She hit a free way barrier doing about 60 miles an hour (according to witnesses) and the car flew up in the air.  She could have died but thankfully the Lord saved her.  She did however suffer a traumatic brain injury and neck, shoulder and back issues because of the accident.  She has been in chronic pain ever since.

Also, the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) caused changes in her personality.  Before the accident she was a strong and independent woman who liked to go to work and go shopping and visit friends and family.  After the accident she was a fearful woman and woman with great anxiety and depression.  Some of the depression was as a result of her losing her career as a nurse.   She really saw her whole value in her education (her nursing degree) and her job as a nurse.  She could not see her life not doing nursing.  It has taken years of counseling to get her to the acceptance of the new life she is in now. She has to have a rhizotomy done on each side of her neck for her neck pain (and she has done this for six years now). She has these two surgeries done within 2 weeks of one each other every six months.

I have to manage her pain medication for her and keep it locked up because when she had access to it she would abuse it because of her chronic pain.

So, I am in a similar boat to you – I cook a lot, I help with laundry and also with my children.  I have five children from a previous marriage and my wife has none. She was not able to have children with her previous husband.   My wife has hinted about adoption – but I told her after the accident I do not think that is wise because she cannot even care completely for herself let alone a child full time.  She loves babysitting my 2-year-old our 7-month-old nephews. But she can only do that for a few hours at time before being completely physically and mentally exhausted where she needs to retreat to our bedroom to recoup.  I call our bedroom her “Fortress of Solitude”.

God’s Ideal for Man, Woman and Marriage

The Scriptures clearly tell us the following regarding why he created men and women:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God created man to be his image bearer and thereby bring him glory.  In order for man to fully image God he had to have “a weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) for him to lead, provide for and protect just as God leads, provides for and protects his people.  Man needed children so he could play out God’s attributes as a father to his children. In order to help man fulfill his purpose he created woman as his helper and the institution of marriage to bind man and woman together.

Ephesians chapter five verses 22-33 paints this beautiful picture that he intended for man and woman to paint with marriage:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Proverbs 31:11 tells us of the virtuous wife that “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”.  As we can see by looking at the rest of the chapter that means that her husband does not have to worry about any of the domestic affairs of the home.  He can safely trust in the fact that as he goes about his work she has everything in order at home from food, to clothing and the care of his children.  The Scriptures tell us verse 27 of Proverbs 31 that “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness”.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful if that is what all Christian husbands could have in a Christian wife? But for myself, Bob and many other men we must come to accept that reality that sometimes husbands and wives don’t get to play out this beautiful picture.  The reason we do not is because of the corruption of sin in this world.

People get hurt, they get diseases, they have chronic pain and many other issues, both mental and physical, because of the presence of sin.  And please do not misunderstand me – I am not saying people have physical problems or defects because they sinned – but rather because of the general presence of sin in the world.   This brings me to my first piece of advice for Christian husbands who are caregivers to their wives.

Acceptance is Crucial

My first piece of advice to men like Bob who are trying to cope with being a caregiver husband is that we must come to a place of acceptance.  Really both we and our wife must accept that it is God who has brought this trial into our lives.  The Bible tells us the following regarding trials that God allows to come into our lives:

“2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:2-4 (KJV)

Bob – you stated that “All that was left was looking after my family which made me feel miserable.” Now someone who does not know or embrace what the Bible says about the roles of men and women would call you selfish and mean for saying what you just said.  They would say that you should consider being a caregiver husband to be a privilege and not some burden you must carry.

But people who would call you selfish are ignorant of how God made man and woman.  God made a woman to look after the needs of her husband, her children and her home.  So, a woman who makes a statement like yours longing to make her impact on the world outside the home and feels like she is not doing everything she could is actually selfish.  Her ambition is not in line with God’s design for her as the keeper of the home.   But you as a man were meant to go out and work in the world and make your mark on it.

For a woman the home is her mission, but for a man his home is only a part of his larger mission that God has given him. 

So, your feelings in this regard are completely normal and part of God’s masculine design in you.

You said “I was on antidepressants for a couple of years to repair my brain from living off adrenaline constantly”.   Feeling moments of great stress as caretaker husband is completely normal.  It will happen and it will happen more than once.

Trust me I know from experience that “joy” is not exactly what I have felt over the years in dealing with my wife’s health’s issues or the impact they have had on our marriage and family. But we can find joy in our trials when we step back and accept that nothing that happens to us that does not first go through the throne of God.

Yes, you had passions and ambitious plans.  So, did and I so did other Christian husbands who find themselves in our position as caregiver husbands.  But God asks us to step back and do what he has for us to do.  In our case a lot of our time and energy will go to caring for our wife and also to caring for the affairs of the home when she cannot.  It wills sometimes compel us to sacrifice our sexual needs for physical needs of our wife.

And here is a very important point that we as caregiver husbands should not miss.  While our marriage may not be able to fully paint the picture of Christ and his Church because our wife cannot fully serve our home and us as the Church is to serve Christ we as husbands can beautifully portray the sacrificial love of Christ by laying down our lives in our caregiving duties toward our wives.

Acceptance Is Not The Same as Apathy

I have just laid out the case for the fact that we as caregiver husbands must first come to a place of acceptance of the fact that we have a disabled wife whom God has given us the solemn duty and responsibility to care for.

But we must never mistake acceptance for apathy.  What I mean by this is that God has given us as husbands the solemn duty to lead our wives and part of leading them is to spiritually wash them as Christ does his Church in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

I find it sad how many Pastors and teachers today skip right over verses 26-27 and go straight to verses 28-29.  Many Christian teachers today dismiss verses 26 and 27 of Ephesians chapter 5 as “descriptive of Christ’s work in the Church but not prescriptive for husband’s in regard to their wives”.  Really? I don’t know how they make such statements with a straight face.  When it comes to marriage modeling the relationship of Christ and the Church we must accept the complete model and not just the parts that we like in our culture today.

Verses 26 to 27 reveal a critical truth about marriage.  The purpose of a husband giving himself up for his wife as Christ gave himself up for the Church as seen in verse 25 is not for the happiness of his wife.  Today we hear the phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and that our wife’s happiness should be our central goal in marriage.  But this is utterly unbiblical! The purpose of marriage is not to make a husband or wife happy, but rather it is to make us holy and conform us to God’s will.

Happiness can be a wonderful byproduct of doing marriage God’s way.  But it should never be the focus or goal of marriage. Some Christian teachers will admit that holiness rather than happiness is God’s goal for marriage.  But then they miss the target of that holiness – which is for man to model Christ and woman to model the church.  A husband and wife might be kind and loving toward one another and even sacrifice for one another. But if a husband and wife are not modeling the relationship of Christ and the Church as it is defined here in Ephesians chapter 5 they are not striving for the holiness God desires.  They are inventing their own target and their own mark.

So now let me return to what I said about not mistaking acceptance for apathy.  Yes, I must accept that my wife is disabled and so must you if your wife is disabled.  However, that does not mean I cease to care about her holiness.  My job as her husband is to teach her the Word of God and to wash her spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God.

Part of my job as her husband is to push my disabled wife to be the best she can be.  It is to push her outside her comfort zone to be the best wife she can be despite her disability.  Years ago, after my wife’s accident for a long time I did not push her to do anything around the house.  But after speaking with both her medical doctors and her therapists I was told that was not a good thing for me to do.  I needed to push her.  She needed to learn to push through the pain and do some things around the house.  She need to get out and get fresh air and not lay on the couch or in bed most of the day.   This was not good for her body or her mind.

Would she experience chronic pain for the rest of her life? Yes.  But she needed to learn to cope with that pain and still function.  We both needed to learn to cope with our situation.

So yes, that means my wife might experience a certain amount of pain just doing the dishes.  In fact, she often has to sit and rest after doing an hour or so of house work and that is ok. I help with lifting heavy things but my wife does cooking, cleaning and laundry all while suffering from chronic pain. She may only be able to do so much and then I have to step in but I make sure she is doing what she can depending on the week.

Another thing to remember when we are caregiver husbands.  Our wives are going to have good weeks and bad weeks.  I certainly am not going to push my wife and have her do house work right after a surgery.  But there are weeks when I can tell she is having a better week and I will push her to do more.

It is very common for people who deal with chronic pain to get lazy as a result of their chronic pain and depression that accompanies it.  We as their husbands have to help our wives push through these times.

What About Sex With A Disabled Wife?

In my case, my wife already had a bad attitude about sex long before she had the car accident.  She had the attitude that it was her body and I had to earn it and even then, she did not have to give it.  I was aggressively working on that sinful attitude she had and then she had her car accident.  I let it go for a while after the car accident and then I realized she was using the accident as an excuse to become entrenched in her position that she did not have to meet my sexual needs.

That was when I took her to task and made it very clear I would end our marriage based on the fact that sexual faithfulness in marriage is a two-sided coin.  On the one side if she were to go and have sex with another man that would be one form of unfaithfulness.  But how could she claim to be being sexually faithful to me while denying me sex? Such a claim is a contradiction.

Again, this comes back to the ideal way God meant things to be verses the way things actually are as a result of us living in a sin cursed world.  God’s ideal is that your wife would willing give you her body and joyfully have sex with you and experience pleasure and delight each time you have sex.  But in this sin curse world both men and women have physical and mental issues that make our sexual experiences in marriage less than ideal.  That means sometimes you might have to have sex with your wife knowing she is in pain.

But as you alluded to – not having sex with your wife puts you in a position to be tempted to fall into fornication.  Remember what the Scriptures say in I Corinthians 7:2 – “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

If you don’t use your wife’s body to meet your sexual needs eventually you will fall into true sexual sin.   And yes, the Bible refers to sex as “the natural use of the woman” in Romans 1:27. It might come down to you not looking at her face while having sex.  A lot of people take offense at me saying that as I have on many occasions.  But sometimes that is what we must do.  Sometimes while we are having sex we have to imagine a better scenario than the one we are actually in and that is ok.  That is one of the reasons God gave us as human beings the wonderful gift of imagination.

At the same time, I would highly recommend that you talk to your wife about “faking it”.  Again, this is a piece of advice many people disagree with me on.  But it is not a sin to fake it and I would argue that in some cases it might just be a sin if you don’t.

How many people go to work as a sales person or in some other customer facing job where it is required that they smile and put on a good front with their customers despite their pain or other personal problems?

I find it fascinating that a woman with back problems can go to work all day as a waitress smiling for each of her customers and hiding the pain for 8 hours and then she can’t come home and hide the pain for 20 minutes while she has sex with her husband? Are you kidding me? Do we not see the utter absurdity of this?

Your Children Need to Know Men Should Not be Homemakers

Bob, you said “I’m also incredibly frustrated being the homemaker and raising my boys. I believe these roles belong to a wife and mother”.  You need to make clear to your children where that frustration comes from because this is not God’s design, this is not God’s ideal.  You are only having to go outside God’s norm and his design due to your wife’s physical issues.

But again, they should see you pushing your wife to do her best – whatever that may be.  Unless your wife is paralyzed in a wheel chair she can do some things around house.  It may be painful for her – but none of us gets to live a life devoid of pain.

The same would go for women who have to work to provide for their families because their husbands become disabled.  The Children need to be told this is not God’s norm or design for the family.

The Entitlement Mentality of the Disabled Wife

Bob, you said “Sometimes I feel my wife has a sense of entitlement for me to do things for her because of her needs and pain. When I confront this there is the same old argument about respect, genuine pain and the gap between both our needs comes up”.  This all too common in disabled wives and my wife struggles with this from time to time.  One day she expresses her gratitude for all I do for her and the next day she will have a sense of entitlement and get mad because I forgot to pick up some medicine of hers.  This is a sinful flaw that we must diligently correct in the lives of our wives.  This is no different than when God had to remind Israel constantly of all he had done for her in the face ofs her ingratitude toward him.


Sometimes because we live in a sin cursed world we as men and women will not be able to fully play out the gender roles God has designed for us.  But each of us must do our best with what God has given us.  Specifically, as caregiver husbands to disabled wives we must first come to the acceptance of the situation God has placed us in.  That might mean we can’t pursue certain career or even ministerial ambitions because of our duties to be a caregiver to our disabled wife. It might mean we have to sometimes sacrifice our sexual needs because of the health issues of our wives.

But at the same time, we should never allow our acceptance of our wife’s condition to turn into apathy towards her spiritual condition.  We should not have the attitude as caregiver husbands that it does not matter what our wife does and that anything she does should be considered a bonus.  We have a God given duty to lead our disabled wives spiritually and that means pushing them to do their best whatever that might be depending on their condition.

It might even mean pushing our wives to work through the pain.  To wash the dishes even though it hurts.  To dust the furniture even though it hurts.  To put away clothes even though it hurts.  And yes, they have to learn to engage in sexual relations even if it hurts.  Yes, sometimes we as men need to forgo sexual relations for a small period if medically necessary – but it should not be allowed to become a long term or permanent thing.

Does God Exempt Asexual People From His Marriage Mandate?

In Genesis 1:28 God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to “Be fruitful and multiply”. Is God’s allowance for celibacy in the New Testament a cancelation of his marriage mandate or is celibacy only a limited exception to his mandate? Specifically in regard to people who are asexual, does God exempt such persons from his marriage mandate and thus allow them to live celibate lives simply because they do not want to have to have sex with someone?

These are a summary of the questions being raised by a young woman that I have been calling Jill.  Recently I wrote an article entitled “Can a Christian Woman Have Children Without a Husband?” that was a response to Jill’s first set of questions to me about Christian women being able to pursue having children through adoption without having to be married. After that article Jill sent me some follow up questions and also clarifications of her intentions.

In my last article I made the following statement to Jill:

“Celibacy is an exception that God makes to his first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply” (to marry, have sex and have children).  God’s normative design was for man to image him by being a husband to a wife and father to children and going out in the world about his work.  He created woman to help man to fulfill his mission to image God by her dependence upon her husband for his leadership, provision and protection and by her serving him and submitting to him. In this way the husband and wife relationship pictures the relation of God to his people with man modeling God and woman modeling the people of God.

Celibacy should only be sought after either because a person has NO desire for a spouse and NO desire for children or their zeal and dedication to serve God is so strong that it makes any thought they would have of having a family seem like nothing. This kind of person wants to dedicate their life in a undivided way in service to God.  Now that does not mean celibate women have to be nuns.  They could be missionary nurses or doctors, they could be school teachers or a host other occupations in undivided service to God.”

Clarifications from Jill

Below is are some excerpts from follow up emails I received from Jill after she read my first article responding to her concerns.

“Thank you again for your very detailed response. I just have a few more questions. I really appreciate your answers.

–Is asexuality in itself a sin?

–The reason I am not interested in marriage is because I know I would not be good for a husband. I do not want to have sex. I love the idea of companionship and growing old together, but I don’t want sex. Therefore it would be selfish of me to enter a marriage. I cannot provide sex for a marriage.

–Because I cannot get married, my only option is to support myself. I want to be educated so that I can support myself well. Do you agree this is my only option?

–Much, much later in life, if it is evident my asexuality is never going away, I would adopt a child with no chance of getting adopted otherwise. I desire to make a difference in the life of a child. Only in that instance would I adopt–if the child had no chance of a better life otherwise. I still thinks kids need both a mom and a dad, but it’s better to have one than none.

–If I change in life, and am no longer asexual, I would love to get married and have a traditional family. I would stay home with my children. I would like to homeschool them.

What are your responses to each of these points?

Oh, and forgot to add–this is almost completely off topic but I was just wondering what you think. What about women doctors? I thank God for women doctors because I have anxiety over male doctors. I do not like males who are strangers touching me (nor females, really, but it is better than males). I think it links to the asexuality. If a women is unmarried and childless, can she be a doctor or even a surgeon?

By the way, I have experienced NO trauma in my life whatsoever, sexual or otherwise. I have an awesome family and enjoy close friendships with males. I just find myself asexual.”

Is Asexuality In And Of Itself A Sin?

No Jill, asexuality itself is not a sin.  In fact asexuality can be part, and I stress part, of the gift of celibacy that God gives to some people.  But if a Christian is asexual, they should not automatically equate this to having the gift of celibacy.  I talk about asexuality in my updated article “For what reasons does God allow celibacy” where I state the following:

“Asexuality is when a man or a woman has no desire to have sexual relations.  But is asexuality the same as the gift of celibacy that Paul alludes to in I Corinthians 7:7? The answer is no.  Asexuality may be one component of the gift of celibacy but this gift has more to it than that.  Remember that Christ said that men became eunuchs “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” and the Apostle Paul said the gift of celibacy was given so that one could “attend upon the Lord” without distraction.

So if you have no desire for sexual relations this by itself does not give you an exemption from God’s command to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” in Genesis 1:28 or in other words marry, have sex and have children.”

Is It Selfish To Marry If You Know You Are Asexual?

Jill you stated:

“The reason I am not interested in marriage is because I know I would not be good for a husband. I do not want to have sex. I love the idea of companionship and growing old together, but I don’t want sex. Therefore it would be selfish of me to enter a marriage. I cannot provide sex for a marriage.”

Jill, let me correct your misunderstanding when it comes to sex.  Our culture teaches that sex is based on desire. We are told that if you desire sex than you should have sex or if you do not desire sex than you should not have sex.  This is why in our culture people have sex outside of marriage and then in marriage they refuse their spouses sex.  Because today we have made sex based on feelings and desire.  The truth is that the Bible calls sex a kindness, a duty and right within marriage:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

The term “render” has with it the idea of giving what is owed and benevolence literally means “kindness”.  Sex is a duty and kindness we owe in marriage and it is also our right.

So if you were to marry you could absolutely provide sexual relations to a future husband.  The only reason you would not is if you chose not to.

Do I think you should be honest with any future husband about your asexuality?  Absolutely.  But believe it or not some men would find this a challenge they wish to pursue.

Here is the answer to your question about selfishness, marriage and asexuality. Is it selfish to marry knowing you are asexual? In and of itself no it is not.  It is only selfish if you hide this from a potential husband in premarital counseling or if you sought to have the companionship of marriage without sex as some women do.

Genophobia Is Not a Reason God Allows For Celibacy

You said in one of your emails that “I have experienced NO trauma in my life whatsoever, sexual or otherwise” but you previously admitted that you “have anxiety over male doctors”.  Now it is possible that both statements could be absolutely true.  You may have never experienced any kind of trauma in your life sexual or otherwise and yet you still have anxiety with male doctors.  You also admitted that this anxiety you feel with male doctors may actually be linked to your asexuality.

I believe you have a condition called Genophobia which is a fear of sexual touch or sex relations of any kind. You mask it in “I just don’t want too” but the reality is you are afraid of sexual touch.  Let me stop here though to give you some comfort.  Genophobia is now and has always been more common in women than in men.  Many a bride while be excited for marriage and having children has had great anxiety about what her wedding night holds for her.  This is normal for many women.

There is a big difference in asexuality that is based in choice and asexuality that is based in fear.  If a person is choosing to serve God in celibacy, not because they fear sex, but because they genuinely have such a strong desire to serve him in an undivided manner that they have no desire for it then this is honorable before God.  But when a person uses celibacy as a cover for their fear of sex this does not honor God.

I believe you should seek counseling to help you overcome your genophobia.  Talk to other women about this – you would be surprised to find that many Christian women were anxious about having sex with their husbands.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love”. Your love for God and your love for your future husband can cast out your genophobia if you allow it to.

God Does Not Allow A “Buffet” Approach To The Family

There is an old English proverb that states “You can’t eat your cake and have it too”.  In modern English this would be restated as “you cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it”.  It speaks of wanting two things that are contradictory to one another.

You admit that you “love the idea of companionship and growing old together” and you also admit that you “desire to make a difference in the life of a child”.   So based on your words I would summarize your position as follows:

“I want both the companionship and raising children aspects of marriage.  However I don’t want the sexual aspect of marriage.  Therefore since I don’t want the sexual part of marriage I realize I can’t have the companionship aspect of marriage as they are intertwined.  However I still want the raising children aspect of marriage.”

Here is the problem with your thinking. God designed having children and raising children to flow from marriage.  So in the same way you can’t have the companionship aspect of marriage without the sexual aspect of marriage, so too you cannot have the raising children aspect of marriage without the companionship and sexual aspects of marriage.

Again as I said in my previous response to you – because we live in a sin cursed world divorce happens and death happens.  This results in single parents having to raise children on their own.  This results in grandparents having to raise their grandchildren.  But we should never seek to go around God’s ideal and his plan for the family because we don’t like or are afraid of certain aspects of marriage.

Our culture today takes a “buffet” approach to relationships.  Men want sex from women without the responsibilities of marriage and children.  Women want romance from their husbands without having to give sex.  Some women actually want marriage and sex without having to have children. Other women want the companionship, sexual aspects of marriage and even having children but they don’t want to stay home and raise those children.  They want their husband or a nanny to take care of the children so they can pursue a career outside the home.

All of these groups have one thing in common – they all want to have their cake and eat it too.  They want some aspects of marriage or family but they don’t want to accept others.  That is not how marriage and the family work.  Marriage and family in God’s design is a “take it all” or “leave it all” proposition, it is not a buffet where we can choose things we want that only marriage was meant to give us but not accept the things we don’t want.

Asexuality Is Not A Valid Reason For Celibacy

After what I just said you might say – “Ok then I will leave it all and forgo even seeking to adopt a child later in life”.  But you still have a problem.

Jill please hear me. You are revolving your entire life around your asexuality and more specifically your genophobia.  Your reasons for seeking to live a celibate life are not the reasons that God allows celibacy.  You are not seeking celibacy in undivided service to God.  You are seeking it because you don’t want to have sex which you have admitted is a requirement of marriage.

But what you are failing to see is that not only is sex a requirement of marriage, but marriage itself is a requirement. Each and everyone one of us are required to actively seek out marriage in obedience to God’s first command to mankind.  Only if we are physically barred from marriage or if we are called by God to devote our life in undivided service to God are we exempt from God’s marriage command.

Careers And The Celibate Life

In another email to me, you asked about fields outside of teaching, nursing and medicine for women and you alluded to many other fields women might work in:

“However, there are countless fields outside teaching, caregiving, and nursing. What about a history degree to work in a museum? What about a Bible degree to work in ministry? What about culinary school? What about a journalism degree, an English degree, a theater degree, a degree in art or filmmaking or news broadcasting? Degrees to work in dentistry or physical therapy? Sports-related fields? Architecture and design? Road-planning and surveying?

And outside of college: Becoming an EMT or dispatcher? Working in shipping? Working at a vet’s office? Training animals? A tour guide or travel agent? There are hundreds of options. How are you supposed to weigh which ones are allowed and which ones are restricted to women? Is a woman allowed to broadcast on the news? Lead museum tour groups? Act in the theater? Write for the newspaper? Edit novels? Work in a church? Become a photographer or videographer? I truly want answers to all of these.”

When we understand that God only exempts women from his Genesis 1:28 command to “Be fruitful and multiply” so that we “may attend upon the Lord without distraction” (I Corinthians 7:35) “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” this makes the answer to your questions here very clear.

God does not allow women to be celibate so they can pursue careers in journalism, literature, science, broadcasting, dentistry, architecture or these other fields you mention.  He exempts them from his marriage rule if he has given them the gift of celibacy for undivided service for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.  So that means a celibate woman’s education must directly relate to some type of ministerial effort for God otherwise she is abusing God’s exemption for celibacy.

Also as a point of clarification.  As a celibate woman if you don’t have a father to support you then you may need to have some way of supporting yourself while pursuing your ultimate ministry for God.  There is no problem with doing things like being a secretary or working as a waitress or other such jobs simply to put food on the table as you pursue your service to God.

Now does this mean women can’t pursue some education while also pursuing marriage? No it does not.  But a woman’s primary focus may only be one of these two things.  Dedicated service to God by full pursuit of marriage and dedication to her husband, children and home OR dedicated service to God in celibacy.  There are no in-betweens and no other options in God’s design for woman.

And just a side note for men who pursue celibacy.  Men also should not use celibacy as cover for fear of sex or fear that women may hurt them in marriage or divorce them.  They should not use celibacy as cover for greed and ambition where they want to pursue money and power and not be saddled with a wife and children.


Asexuality in and of itself is not a sin but being asexual does not automatically mean you are called to a life of celibacy.  Asexuality which is based in the fear of sex or fear of having to follow gender roles in marriage is not a proper basis for a Christian to seek a celibate life.  Only asexuality that comes not from fear, but from the gift of God to do work in an undivided manner for the kingdom of God is honored before God.

Those who have an asexuality that is based in fear are not exempt from God’s command in Genesis 1:28 to seek out marriage and to have children.  Rather these Christians have a moral responsibility based on their love for God to cast out this fear and replace it with a desire for what God would have them to desire.

In this matter of celibacy and marriage God only gives us two desires. One is to serve him in an undivided manner with our entire being for the entirety of our lives and the other is a desire to serve him by following his marriage mandate.  We all need to pray that God will give us one of these sets of desires because anything in between is not from God.

King David asked God in Psalm 51:10 to Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Our culture often jokes or even seriously says sex is dirty thing.  They say a person who has sexual desires or longings in their heart is thinking on dirty things.  But this could not be further from the truth of what God’s Word teaches about sex in marriage.  The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:4 that Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.  The Bible calls sex in marriage “undefiled” which means it is pure and CLEAN.  That means someone who is desiring and looking forward to sex in marriage in their heart does in fact have a clean heart before God.

The irony is that people who are afraid of sex and afraid of thoughts of sex are actually the ones who have unclean hearts as far as God is concerned. This fear will inhibit a person from serving God as fully as they were meant to do.

Jill, I pray that you and others like you will seek help from God as well as those he has placed in your path so that he can renew a right spirit within you in regard to your asexuality.     

For more on the topic of Celibacy from a Biblical perspective see my article “For What Reasons Does God Allow Celibacy”.