Is wanting sex with your wife when she is not in the mood childish?

“Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more…I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

This is an excerpt from a comment I received today from a Christian wife who calls herself ‘ketutar’. She was commenting on my post “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood?”.

This comment  is just another textbook example of the problem with the poisonous feminization of marriage that we see today throughout America and the Western world.

Here is her full comment.

Ketutar’s philosophy of sex in Marriage

“I’m OK with this, except for two things.

1) Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong. Due to my health, we have not had sex for several years now. Our marriage is not suffering in any way. We are very intimate, kissing, hugging, holding each other, petting each other – we give each other compliments and express our love in all kinds of manners, like doing small favors to each other, giving each other tokens of love, thinking about the other, sending each other messages and kisses and hugs. Marriage needs intimacy, not sex.

2) Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more. We don’t use diapers, we wait until we can use the toilet. We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times. We don’t need a bedtime story, teddy and a glass of water before we can sleep. We get up in the morning even when it would be so nice to stay in bed. We don’t have a 2 mile present wish list, nor do we go and buy whatever we might want just because we could – no, we are adults, so we see if the thing fits our economy, home, family and plan. If it doesn’t, we forget the whim, not the family and plan. I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

My response to Ketutar and other Christian wives who may think like this

You said – “Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong.”

No I am sorry Ketutar, but if your marriage does not need sex – you are in fact doing something wrong. The Bible shows sex as a need in marriage.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”  – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

God compares sex with food and clothing which are both needs as well. In a marriage – sex is a need.  While it is true that no person has ever died from not having sex, it is equally true that plenty of marriages have died from lack of sex.

Your husband is commanded by God to seek sexual pleasure in your body, and for you to give it to him.

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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 5:18-19 (KJV)

A man wanting sex when his wife is not in the mood is NOT childish.

In fact I would argue that women are often the ones who are acting childish for the reasons they often turn down their husbands for sex.

A big part of what it means to be an adult and growing up is doing things when you don’t feel like it. It is getting up for work when you don’t feel like it.  It is talking to your spouse when you don’t feel like it.  And yes it is having sex with your spouse when you don’t feel like it.

That is what it means to be a Christian spouse and an adult in God’s eyes.

Sex is what separates marriage from friendship

It is one thing for a married couple to not be able to have sex for brief periods of time due to health issues, surgeries or being physically separated(like because of job situations). But if a couple simply chooses not to have sex anymore that is no longer marriage as God intended it.

Even if it is due to health reasons.  I am going to be frank here.  Unless it becomes a physical impossibly for a man to achieve an erection or for a woman to have vaginal penetration a couple ought to be having sex.  This goes to the core of marriage.  Even with ED issues or women having issues with vaginal penetration there are other ways for a couple to have physical sexual intimacy.

Ketutar – you and your husband have allowed the “one flesh” aspect of marriage to be neglected or basically removed.  You no longer have a fully functioning marriage as God designed it to be – instead you have at best a close friendship.

In fact I would take a guess and say that you have successfully converted your husband into your girlfriend.

The only way your husband is not suffering is because of one of these possibilities:

  1. He was and has always has been an asexual man. So when your health problems came along he was like “Yeah – I don’t have to have sex anymore”.
  2. He has homosexual tendencies. So when you were first married he had sex with you but he really did not like it – he just did it to please you. Then when your health problems came that burden was lifted off his shoulders. Now he just has to suppress his desires toward other men.
  3. He is simply doing a very good job of hiding his displeasure and frustration about not having sex with you. If this is the case he is probably relieving his sexual tension by looking at porn and masturbating. But this in no way can completely replace that physical sexual connection that he needs with you. He may also be hiding affairs or seeing prostitutes.

Adults don’t need snacks?

You said “We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times.”

Well I don’t know about you – but as an adult I still need a granola bar or other snacks in between meals.  In fact many studies have shown that eating 4 or 5 small meals a day is better than eating three big meals a day the way many of us do.

And yes as adults we need “sexual snacks” as well as “sexual meals”.

Sexual snacks are quickies. That is when you don’t have a lot of time and maybe only one of you is in the mood but the other needs it so you go have a quickie.  Every healthy marriage should have quickies as part of its sexual diet.

Sexual meals are the full treatment.  This is when both people are in the mood (or get themselves in the mood if one is not) and they take their time with foreplay and just enjoying one another’s bodies until they get to the actual act of intercourse. This is the kind of sex where you hold each other afterwards and just cuddle.

A Christian marriage needs both sexual snacks and sexual meals. Without sexual snacks and meals the marriage will starve to death and at best become a close friendship and nothing more – as your marriage has apparently become. At worst it will lead to sexual immorality and the marriage may end.

Is a woman going against God’s will if she has sex with her husband when she is not in the mood?

You said “Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

Ketutar – do you honestly tell yourself that you are going against God’s will if you have sex with your husband when you are not in the mood?

It is ABSOLUTELY God’s will that you give your body to your husband whenever he needs it!

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I realize you may have some health problems.  But health problems are not an excuse to end sex in a marriage. They may be cause for brief delays and rainchecks, but they should never eradicate sex from the marriage.

Ketutar – you have defrauded your husband (I Corinthians 7:5) and he has sinned by not finding sexual satisfaction in your body (Proverbs 5:19).  It appears he has abandoned his leadership position at least in this sexual arena, if not others.  He has enabled your sin now for “years”.

I pray that you will both repent of this mockery you have made of marriage and that you will indeed become “one flesh” as God designed you to be.

Sometimes “Sexual Interventions” are needed in a Christian marriage

“Been married two years and we are both Christian. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. We have no children. My wife consented to sex once in the last year and that was six months ago. She refuses any kind of counseling. We abstained prior to marriage and from the first day of our marriage, she has always avoided sex and never enjoyed it.”  – this came in as a comment from a Christian husband on my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

The man identifies himself as “M’s Husband”. This story actually is not technically a story of physical sexual denial, but one of emotional sexual denial. As I have said in some other posts – there are really two sins when it comes to sexual denial. The first sin is to physically deny your spouse sex. The second sin is when you give sex, but you give it grudgingly (with a bad attitude).

M’s Husband’s Story

“Been married two years and we are both Christian. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. We have no children. My wife consented to sex once in the last year and that was six months ago. She refuses any kind of counseling. We abstained prior to marriage and from the first day of our marriage, she has always avoided sex and never enjoyed it.

I came to the “end of my rope” this morning and after trying to be affectionate, asked her how long I need to wait. Her reply was that she never wants to have sex, ever. I told her, that was not an acceptable answer and something would have to be done. She then removed her clothes and lay on the bed, stiff as a board. She told me that it was her duty to submit and that I should make it quick and get it over fast. I backed off but after she got dressed, she kept telling me how I had my chance and I should not complain. She then gave me another chance and I took the offer. She was in a rage for the next two hours but the release felt good to me and it was something that I needed. I expect this to emerge as a pattern in our future.

I will always look to please her in and out of the bedroom, but if she refuses pleasure, I see no alternative. I will not engage in porn, adultery or anything sinful. I will not divorce her. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. I expect this to persist until, Lord willing, someday she may soften and accept the sexual pleasure and fulfillment that I will always offer.”

My Response to M’s Husband

I am so sorry to hear about the sexual dysfunction in your marriage.

You say that your “marriage is good, outside the bedroom”. But is it really?

When you have sexual frustration building up in the back of your mind how is that not going to bleed into your relationship “outside the bedroom”?

Sir – with all due respect you are only lying to yourself if you think your marriage is good outside the bedroom. At best you are simply suppressing your sexual needs to keep the peace and the illusion of a good relationship outside the bedroom.

A good marriage should be good inside the bedroom as well as outside the bedroom.

If a couple has great sex but has no relationship outside the bedroom that is not marriage as God intended it. But in the same way if a couple talks and seems to have a good relationship outside the bedroom but what happens inside the bedroom is ugly or dysfunctional then it cannot be said that this is a “good marriage” as God intended it to be.

When I wrote that post about “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife” I made it very clear that this is not how God intends marriage to be. But because of sin this situation occurs where a husband has to sometimes accept grudgingly given sex by this wife.

I made the point there that we as husbands need to be making sure we are doing our part outside the bedroom to help cultivate that desire in our wives so things can be good inside the bedroom. But we cannot do our wives part. She must also do her part in cultivating her own desire toward you, you can’t do it all for her. She must be willing to go to counseling and explore why she has such a negative view of sex.

However some women have deep psychological and sin issues that have hardened their hearts where they do not have a healthy and right view of sex as God intended it.

Some Pastors and other Christian’s will tell you if you tried to get her to counseling and she refuses, then perhaps you will just have to accept a celibate life. They will tell you this is sacrificing yourself for your wife as Christ did his Church. This is “your cross to bear”.

Perhaps a few will even tell you that you need to just accept this grudgingly given sex by your wife as miserable as she is making it in order to avoid temptation, but beyond that there is nothing else you can do.

Many will tell you that “All you can do is pray for your wife that God will change her heart.”

By all means pray for your wife every day! Pray without ceasing! Pray for her and pray for yourself that God will protect you from temptation and from your heart becoming bitter toward your wife.

You said “I see no alternative”. Let me tell you my brother, there is an alternative. There is more that you can do.

A Sexual intervention is needed

You did the right thing, you suggested counseling to your wife but she has refused. When someone has a problem like this and they refuse counseling, that is when a sexual intervention is called for.

You need to have a sexual intervention for you wife with your Pastor and his wife. Go to your Pastor and explain the situation. If he is willing (and he should be), have him and his wife come out to your home one night. Do not tell your wife they are coming (that defeats the point of an intervention).

Explain to your Pastor and his wife in front of your wife the issues you are having with your wife’s attitude toward sex. Maybe your Pastor will ask you to leave your wife alone with him and his wife so they can speak privately with her and give her a chance to open up without you there.   Maybe your Pastor’s wife may need to take your wife alone to another room so they can talk woman to woman. Women sometimes respond to women much better than to men on these issues. This may simply be a wrong attitude toward sex, but it may be a result of some much deeper issues. Perhaps she was sexually abused as a child. Maybe her parents or her church made her feel that sex was dirty and evil.

Now if your Pastor and his wife are not able to break through to your wife and she stubbornly resists this intervention you need to take additional steps.

For the time being while your wife is still resisting any help you will have to accept the grudgingly given (but still consensual) sex that she gives you. Look away from her face as she displays her sinful attitude.

Do not let her sin cause you to sin. You may think you are strong, but if you allow yourself to go too long without at least physically connecting with your wife (even though she is emotionally still rejecting you) you will leave yourself open to dangerous temptation.

The Bible tells us one of the reasons we are to marry is to avoid sexual temptation:

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

But you also need to look at what you are doing outside the bedroom. You said your marriage is good outside the bedroom. Do you spend a lot of time with your wife doing things together? Do you talk a lot? Does your wife work? Does your wife have expensive habits?

If you are meeting all your wife’s wants outside the bedroom, as opposed to her needs you may well be enabling your wife’s sinful attitude and behavior toward sex in your marriage.

As the leader of your home, and as a Christian husband God does not call you to sacrifice yourself to enable your wife’s sinful behavior, but rather he calls on you to sacrifice yourself for her holiness.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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.” – Ephesians 5:25-27(NASB)

As a husband God wants you to unconditionally love your wife by providing for her needs, but he does not require you to unconditionally provide for her wants.

So if after an intervention attempt you see no change and no progress but a continued willful and defiant rebellion from your wife you have to stop meeting some of her wants (as opposed to her needs). Some will tell you this is you acting “petty” or “vindictive” toward your wife.

But it is not being petty or vindictive. It is called discipline. Your wife is not responsible for your behavior before God, but to a certain extent you are responsible to help shape and mold your wife’s behavior to the best of your ability.

Ultimately all you can do is start to remove some of her wants and see if she will make the right choice. Will she go and explore what has hardened her heart with a counselor or your Pastor’s wife? Or will she continue in rebellion in this area of sexuality in marriage? You cannot force her, she has to make the choice. All you can do is bring discipline into her life to attempt to persuade her to change course.

Once you have done all you can, then it is in God’s hands. But God wants you to do your part as the leader in your marriage.

I pray that God will give you the courage to “rock the boat” and confront this sin in your marriage. Do you realize that if your wife figures out what her road blocks are to sex it will benefit not just you but her as well? God designed sex to be a core part of marriage and a pleasurable part of marriage that should draw a couple closer. This is what you are fighting for.

When your wife finally does open up in counseling once she stops fighting it, there may be some issues revealed in that counseling that you as her husband need to work on. But you will never know until she finally breaks down the wall and opens her heart to God and to you.

May God be with you as you seek his will in this situation.

Reverencing, Ravishing and Rollo

Rollo Tomassi runs “The Rational Male” blog and his “Red Pill” teachings have become very popular in the manosphere (He also has a couple of books).  He attacks the falsehoods of feminism primarily from a sociological and psychological perspective as opposed to the way I attack feminism on this blog primarily from a theological perspective and only secondarily from a psychological and sociological perspective.

He recently sent in a comment on my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”. Rather than just post a comment to him there, I felt my response to Rollo warranted its own post because I think it would be beneficial for my readers to see where Rollo and I agree and disagree on how men can tackle feminism in their marriages.

Rollo’s Statement

“While I might not endorse overt Dread for Christian men… http://therationalmale.com/2012/03/27/dread-games/

I would advise they become more aware of the opportunities that passive Dread represents in their marriages: http://therationalmale.com/2013/05/13/soft-dread/

Most Beta Christian men (which is to say 90%+) will proactively try to diffuse the sexual anxiety and tension necessary to inspire the ‘desired’ sex you describe here. They believe the pro-feminine lie that rapport, comfort and familiarity is what leads to sexual desire so they make every attempt to convince their wives that they have no need to worry or feel insecure that any other woman would want them sexually, much less appreciate them for being ‘good christian men’.

What they fail to grasp is that passionate sex inspired by genuine desire is the result of insecurity, anxiety and sexual tension. Most Christian men are conditioned to bypass this phase in seducing their wives, thinking that comfort and security are what will prompt her to being more sexual, but in doing so they kill the vibe before it can build. Comfort and rapport are post-orgasm, oxytocin effects, but Christian men believe they are prerequisites for sex. For the most part they are deathly afraid to embrace and exaggerate the uncertainty, spontaneity, anxiety and tension women need to feel sexual urgency.

You make sex another chore for a woman when you negotiate for her desire. Genuine desire cannot be negotiated. If you find yourself in a sexless (or passionless sex) relationship with your wife you need to embrace using soft dread situations to prompt her imagination. A woman’s imaginings are the best tool in you seduction toolbox, learn how to inspire them.

Make your wife unintentionally uncomfortable. Sexuality is spontaneous chemical reaction between two parties, not a process of negotiation. By its very nature passionate, desired sex is a result of being uncomfortable, uncertain and urgent. It might be an uncomfortable truth to most Christian men, but the best, most memorable, married sex you have won’t be the result of a pre-planned “Date Night” where you stage manage every event and nuance in advance; it will be the rough, hard-core, make-up sex you never thought you’d have after a near breakup inspired by the anxiety of the thought of never having you around anymore. “

My Response to Rollo

I have read many articles on your blog and I do find some truth about male/female interactions in what you say there.  You and I would agree there are many lies propagated by feminism, some of them psychological and others sociological.  Your blog is proof that that you need not be a Christian or even crack open a Bible to see feminism is a poisonous ideology.

The Biblical purposes of Marriage

But for me as a Christian, I have to look at marriage from a Biblical point of view.  If I truly believe the Bible is the Word of God, then I embrace him as my creator and designer.  He designed man, he designed woman and he designed marriage.

The spiritual purpose of marriage in God’s design (from a Biblical point of view) was for it to be a symbol of the relationship of God to his people. The temporal (earthly) reasons for marriage would include companionship, procreation, provision, protection and pleasure.

In this design he made man to be a symbol of himself and man plays out this symbol by leading her, protecting her, providing for her, teaching her and disciplining her. In this same design woman plays the part of humanity in how we are to depend on God for his leadership, his protection, his provision, his teaching and his discipline.   This is why a woman’s submission to her husband is so emphasized throughout Scripture, because it is symbolic of the submission that humanity is to have toward God.

Should Christian wives fear their husbands?

You talk about “dread” and I read your posts on that subject. In the Christian faith we have a similar concept when it comes to God that we are to “fear” him. This is not some sort of scary fear (like God is a monster), but it is a reverent fear.

This is why the Bible tells women to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) – literally a wife is to submit to her husband as she would unto God himself. She is commanded by God to “see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).  The English word “reverence” in that passage is a translation of the Greek word “Phobeo” which literally means “to fear or be afraid” or “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”.  In fact most of the time that Greek word “Phobeo” is translated as “fear” throughout the New Testament.

So should a wife Biblically speaking have a little healthy fear or dread of her husband?

Absolutely!

Today most Christian wives have ZERO fear or dread of their husbands even though the Bible commands them to. In fact I would argue that in most Christian marriages men are the ones who fear their wives.  

Men show their wives they are either afraid to lose them (be alone) or afraid of the prospect of divorce and the financial or child custody repercussions that it may bring.

Should men flirt with other women to invoke dread in their wives?

From a Christian perspective, I don’t agree with a man flirting with other women in order to invoke fear (or dread) in his wife. I actually believe that is dangerous because when men flirt or talk inappropriately to other women it leaves open a doorway to possible affairs.

However I think there is a grave difference between a man casually talking to a woman and flirting with her.  Some wives are so jealously possessive of their husbands that if they say two words to another women they get “the look”.  This ought not to be the case .

Also as I have stated many times on this blog a man should never be made to feel ashamed of his God given wiring to desire to look at beautiful women around him(whether in person, on TV or online).

The rules I teach to my teenage sons and the advice I give to other men is “glance, don’t gawk”. To gawk is to be rude not only to the women you are with, but also to the woman you are gawking at. To glance is to do what God wired every man’s brain to do and there is no shame in taking pleasure from tasteful glances of beautiful women.

The “there’s the door” method of invoking fear in one’s wife

I do think there are other ways to invoke a healthy or “soft dread” in a woman from a Biblical perspective.  One of these methods is the “there’s the door” method. If a wife feels her husband is afraid to lose her or that he is afraid of what she would do to him in a divorce (financial and child custody repercussions) then she will never have that reverence (fear) for her husband that God commands women to have in Ephesians 5:33.

So when a woman acts out in rebellion toward her husband and tries to act as if she does not need her husband or that other men would treat her better the Christian husband should tell his wife “there’s the door”.  Will some women be foolish enough to walk out that door? Yes.  But the moment a man allows his wife to put him in a position of fearing her, rather than her fearing him the relationship has just changed from the design God intended it to be.

Meeting your wife’s needs versus her wants

From the perspective of sexuality and getting your wife to desire sex with you I advise Christian men to demonstrate to their wives by their actions that there is a direct correlation between a wife reverencing and ravishing her husband and her getting some of her wants met. And I emphasize “some”.

As Christian husbands we are required by God to provide our women with food, clothing, shelter and sex. These provisions along with our leadership, protection, teaching and discipline of our wives is what the love of a Christian husband looks like. We are also required to know our wives (talk with them) and give them proper honor as our helpmeet.

The only Biblical ways a husband is released from these requirements and may put his wife away (divorce her) is if she abandons him, physically abuses him, physically denies him the act of sex or if she has sex with another man.

But while we are required to know our wives and talk to them, that does not mean we need to spend every bit of our free time in conversation with them. We do not need to hang on every word our wife says. While we are required to give them food, clothing and shelter – that food does not have be the fancy food she wants, that clothing does not have to be the fancy clothing she wants and that house does not have to be the fancy house she wants.

Connect reverencing and ravishing with her wants being met

Reverencing was a concept we already talked about from Ephesians 5:33.  A wife ravishing her husband has to do with her being sexually intoxicating to her husband based on Proverbs 5:19 “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” and Christian wives have the wife in the Song of Songs as an excellent example of how a woman can show physical love to her husband.

So rather than a man pursing his wife by buying her flowers, taking her on dates and weekend getaways, buying her jewelry or just giving her more of his time he shows his wife that after and only after she does the right things – then these things come. 

And I don’t just mean she just rocks his world one night, and then he lavishes her with all these things.  No – she sees that in order to get “some” of her wants met she must FIRST reverence her husband outside the bedroom and she must ravish him inside the bedroom and this becomes the pattern of her behavior toward her husband.  If either the reverence or ravishing goes down, he pulls back on these other things so she understands the correlation.

But even if a woman does reverence and ravish her husband as she should the husband must make his wife realize that this is never a way to control him.  Some women are devious and they actually reverence and ravish their husbands in a manipulative way to get what they want or control all his time.  This is something a Christian husband cannot allow his wife to do.

Grace and Mercy in Christian marriage

I wanted to say something about the Christian concepts of grace and mercy and how they apply to us as Christian husbands. For us as Christian husbands in our representation of God in his relationship with his people we also need to show grace and mercy toward our wives.  This means sometimes we show them grace by giving them things they have not earned by their behavior and other times we show them mercy by not bringing the discipline on them that their behavior merits.

Conclusion

So Rollo – I think you and I agree on many of the problems, we just differ a bit on the solutions to those problems.  But I do think where you and I agree is that a man must not run around trying to earn his wife’s reference and ravishing but rather he should constantly be showing her through various actions that her having her wants met(as opposed to needs) is directly related to how well she serves him as her husband.

From a Christian perspective a wife ought to be reverencing and ravishing her husband simply because God commands it.  But it also helps to show that there is a correlation in the here and now when she does.

How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife

“You said we shouldn’t feel guilty to have sex even if it’s grudgingly but how can you? I would probably just cry and try to sleep.” – This was a question I got this week from a young husband who has been married a few years and is now experiencing a lack of sexual desire from his wife. He also needed me to help clarify the differences between sexual refusal, sexual rain-checks and sexual desire.

As I started to respond to his email I thought it would be good if I included this for my readers.

Sexual Refusal

This is when a wife just comes out and says “NO!” or pushes your hands away. As I said in my post on “8 steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” you as a husband should not tolerate refusal.  If your wife says “NO” and slaps your hand away that is a disrespectful and unloving response by your wife to your sexual initiation and there is no sin in you trying to initiate sex with your wife.

Sexual Rain-check

This is when you go to initiate sex with your wife and she responds kindly and gently.  Perhaps she says something like “Honey, I know you really need it, but I am just really sick tonight, can I make it up to you tomorrow?” There are other reasons of course that a woman might legitimately ask for a rain-check of course like after the birth of a child, or surgeries, chronic pain flare-ups, deaths in the family and other reasons like these.

Sexual Desire

This is her actually wanting to have sex with you and obviously this is what every man who loves his wife would prefer from his wife at every sexual encounter. But women are not like men are when it comes to sexual arousal. They just don’t instantly get horny and want to have sex.  In most cases a woman’s desire for sex must be cultivated either by her husband, herself or a combination of the two.

“But I want my wife to desire and enjoy sex with me!”

We as men are programmed by God to want our wives to have pleasure when we are having sex with her. When your wife looks (or sounds) like what you are doing is giving her pleasure that is what makes sex the best! That is what makes it the most fulfilling in not just a physical manner, but also a psychological manner.

But then we have the conundrum, women don’t always feel like having sex. Even women that have a healthy view of sex don’t always feel like having sex as much as their husbands do. Then we have the women who do not have a healthy view of sex and see it as “dirty” or just something you do to have babies.

So how do we solve this conundrum? He wants her to desire and enjoy sex and she may desire sex far less frequently or not at all.

Those who reject the Biblical concept that sex is both a gift and a duty in marriage solve this problem by saying “They should only have sex when they BOTH desire to have sex”. But that is not God’s answer.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The only time sex should not occur is when both the husband and wife give mutual consent not to for a short period of time.

As a husband you can attempt to cultivate desire for sex in your wife by doing what God has commanded you to do outside the bedroom – and that is to know your wife(I Peter 3:7).  That means talking to her and hearing about her day and her concerns. It might also mean giving her a foot massage or a back massage after a rough day. Every woman is different and as husbands we need to get to know what makes our wife’s tick and not just for sexual purposes but to know her as God would have us to know her.

But a husband is NOT 100% responsible for cultivating all of his wife’s sexual desire.  A woman bears some responsibility for cultivating her own sexual desire.  The Bible says this about women:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

That phrase “to love their husbands” is based on the Greek word philandros and it is the only time that word is used in the Bible.  Unlike Agape love which is the most common word for love in the New Testament, philandros love speaks of an affectionate love that a wife is to have toward her husband. Some have wrongly tried to suggest that this is exactly the same as the love women are told to have for their children because the roots are the same.  But in Greek usage this word took on the context of a woman being “a lover of her husband” and yes it meant in the sexual context, not just simple affection.

Women are commanded by God to be their husband’s lovers (in every sexual and affectionate sense of that word).

We need only look to the Song of Solomon to see a woman giving us an example of how a wife can be a lover to her husband.

But in the end – your wife has to realize that the greatest impediment to her own enjoyment of sex may be her own mind! A woman’s mind can literally put her body in lock down mode and she may not enjoy any touch from you in that mindset. She must let go and focus on her body and understand how it works before she can truly enjoy sex.

But until your wife truly overcomes her impediments to sex should she fake it? I believe the answer is yes. I think as a husband you can let her know it is ok to “fake it until she makes it”. I have written a companion post to this post for wives entitled “Should Christian wives fake it?” that talks to women about this.

You need to stop pressuring your wife for “the truth”

But if your wife agrees to “fake it till she makes it” then you need to let her do that.

“Was it really good or were you just faking for me” – those words need to be erased from your vocabulary as a husband. If your wife appeared to have a good time leave it there.

I realize you might think you are just trying to figure out what works. Also I am not saying it always wrong to talk about sex with your wife, but few women want to do a post-game analysis.

Women don’t always want to talk to you about specific technique in most cases, they just want to show you what they want and you need to watch for her nonverbal guidance during sex. If your wife actually expresses a desire to talk about some specifics when it comes to foreplay and the act itself than by all means have that conversation with her.

You need to talk to your wife about helping her with her desire, but I am talking about things outside the act of sex itself. I mean ways you can help her relax BEFORE sex so she will have an easier time mentally preparing herself for sex.

But what you don’t want to do is constantly annoy your wife for “scorecards”.

Things like “So what was my rating for that time babe? Or “Did you like that special thing I did?” or any of these types of things will annoy and bother most wives.

Should your wife complement your sexual performance? Absolutely! But if you have to ask for a compliment then it’s not really a compliment is it?

Your wife knows you love her. She knows you want to please her. If she has accepted the truth that she has to understand her own body and then show you the way she will do it. You just need to do your best to watch for her signals and simply enjoy that your wife is trying to please you and make you feel loved!

Stop prying. Just enjoy. Even if your wife is in touch with her body will there still be times when she fakes it? Sure. But rest assured that for women sex is not considered a complete failure if she does not have an orgasm every time.

“So HOW do I have sex with my wife knowing she is not in the mood?”

But what if you have tried everything you can as husband but your wife refuses to do her part and look inward at things she can change in herself to help herself enjoy sex more and cultivate a desire?

What if she agrees to sex grudgingly and refuses to “fake it” but instead displays her displeasure the entire time?

First of all, your reaction of being upset at the displeasure on your wife’s face during sex that she has grudgingly agreed to is completely normal.

You need to realize that this is a physical need that you have as a man. You also need to realize that whether your wife knows it or not she needs to have sex too. Your marriage needs sex at regular intervals. If you don’t have sex with your wife at regular intervals, even sometimes when she is not in the mood but consents anyway, you will open yourself to temptation. You will find yourself becoming distant from your wife, because this is the primary way that you as man feel closeness with your wife.

But even if you realize and accept this truth that you need sex and it needs to happen even if your wife refuses to “fake it” and bury her wrong attitude then what?

The secret of enjoying grudgingly given sex from your wife

Focus your eyes on her body, not her face. Focus on the visual pleasure you receive from looking at her body and physical pleasure you receive from being inside your wife.

I know you love your wife, most of us as men love our wives. You want to connect with her physically AND emotionally during sex. But your wife is the one refusing to connect with you emotionally, so you have to concentrate 100% on the physical side.

Let me try and explain this in another way. In Greek mythology there was a monster woman named Medusa. She was a cursed and hideous creature and if men looked upon her face they were turned to stone.

I know you love your wife, most men love their wives. But sin is ugly. Your beautiful bride’s face becomes ugly during this sinful time that she is grudgingly giving you sex as she grimaces wanting you to “just hurry up and get it over with”.

So like the men who could not look at Medusa’s face otherwise they would be killed, realize that if you look on your wife’s face when she is displaying a sinful attitude toward sex it will kill your sexual pleasure and may actually make it much more difficult for you to achieve the physical connection and release that you need. Again you know you want that emotional connection too, but your wife is the one who is in sinful rebellion against God’s design for sex in your marriage and is refusing to emotionally connect with you.

Conclusion

It is sad that any husband ever has to do this. This is not what God intended sex to be. But we live in a sin cursed world – we are sinners and so are our wives. Sometimes we have to work around the sinful behavior of our wives and this will be one of those times.

Yes this a way to cope with and deal with your wife’s sin but at the same time keep sex happening in your marriage. But don’t stop trying to work with your wife outside the bedroom, and remember to pray for your wife every day that God will work in her heart and change her wrong attitude toward his wonderful gift of sex.

Martin Luther on divorce for sexual denial

“Only first the husband should admonish and warn his wife two or three times, and let the situation be known to others so that her stubbornness becomes a matter of common knowledge and is rebuked before the congregation. If she still refuses, get rid of her; take an Esther and let Vashti go, as King Ahasuerus did [Esther 1:12‑2:17]”.  This was a statement by Martin Luther “Living as Husband and Wife” (1523) on the subject of sexual denial and abandonment in marriage.

I had one of my readers(thanks Dash) bring this quote to my attention today.  I have attended a Baptist Church for most of my life, but I studied many of the writing of reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin in my youth and I don’t remember coming across this quote. After verifying it in several sources I thought I would bring Martin Luther’s words on this subject to your attention.

Let me first say, that unlike the Catholics, we as Protestants do not believe that our church leaders are inerrant in their utterances on doctrinal interpretation. So while I agree with the sentiment here of Martin Luther on the subject of sexual denial, there are many other areas where I would not agree with him.  But where we as Christians agree (whether we be Protestant or Catholic), we should stand together.

I think Luther’s words stand in stark contrast to a Pastor who emailed a man scolding him for considering discipline against his wife for her chronic sexual denial:

“I do not think it right to pursue discipline toward your wife for not having sex with you as you have previously suggested. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy that is to exist in a marriage relationship where the two are one – not just physically. I have never heard of or read of anyone being disciplined by a church for such a reason. And, I am not alone in that position. I have sought counsel from other pastors and elders on it without divulging your identities to those outside our church.”

So again I am not advocating for the inerrancy of Luther’s application and interpretations of the Scripture.  But whether you agree that the Scriptures allow divorce for sexual denial or not what this does provide is historical evidence for Pastors that the Christian belief in discipline for sexual denial is not a new teaching.

With all that said – here is the full quote from Luther on this subject of divorce for sexual denial:

 “The third case for divorce is that in which one of the parties deprives and avoids the other, refusing to fulfill the conjugal duty or to live with the other person. For example, one finds many a stubborn wife like that who will not give in, and who cares not a whit whether her husband falls into the sin of unchastity ten times over. Here it is time for the husband to say, “If you will not, another will; the maid will come if the wife will not.” Only first the husband should admonish and warn his wife two or three times, and let the situation be known to others so that her stubbornness becomes a matter of common knowledge and is rebuked before the congregation. If she still refuses, get rid of her; take an Esther and let Vashti go, as King Ahasuerus did [Esther 1:12‑2:17].

Here you should be guided by the words of St. Paul, I Corinthians 7 [:4‑5], “The husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does; likewise the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does. Do not deprive each other, except by agreement,” etc. Notice that St. Paul forbids either party to deprive the other, for by the marriage vow each submits his body to the other in conjugal duty. When one resists the other and refuses the conjugal duty she is robbing the other of the body she had bestowed upon him. This is really contrary to marriage, and dissolves the marriage. For this reason the civil government must compel the wife, or put her to death. If the government fails to act, the husband must reason that his wife has been stolen away and slain by robbers; he must seek another. We would certainly have to accept it if someone’s life were taken from him. Why then should we not also accept it if a wife steals herself away from her husband, or is stolen away by others?”

Martin Luther, “Living as Husband and Wife” (1523)

http://www.lutherdansk.dk/Web-Living%20as%20husband%20and%20wife/Living%20as%20husband%20and%20wife.htm

By the way I am not advocating for the death penalty by civil government for a wife denying her husband.  Martin Luther was a product of his time and his day there were a lot more crimes that people thought were punishable by death.

But I do think we make divorce far too painless today, especially as it relates to women. Today a woman can deny her husband sexually or have affairs with men and then when they divorce she gets either joint custody or primary custody of the children, his house and half of his assets. It is almost as if the government(which has been thoroughly infected by feminism) rewards the rebellion of modern women today.

If it can be proven that a woman was purposefully and willfully denying her husband or that she was committing adultery then I do think it should affect property settlements and child custody in divorce. There must be a price to pay.

On the issue of proving sexual denial, I think Martin Luther actually had a great idea.  Let others know. Make sure for some time that other members of the Church as well as family and friends know about her denial if she will not repent privately.  I agree that a husband should not make this public if his wife admits her wrong privately and changes her ways.  But if she is continues in her ways, it is time to drag her sin into the light.  Sin wants to hide in the dark, it wants to remain in secret.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 7

Imagine if your Christian wife did not want to have sex on your wedding night? What if for the next 20 years she only let you have sex with her 8 times a year? This next story of sexual denial in marriage comes to us from a man named Mark. He has been married for 22 years. He sent me several emails detailing different aspects of his story. I am including relevant parts of his emails to show a picture of what was happening and he very much wanted me to share his story to help other men who are facing this situation know they are not alone.

Mark’s Story

“I am so thankful for your advice regarding how a Christian man can biblically handle a situation where his wife is perpetually sinning against God and the husband, by refusing sex to her husband.  I have that situation and am about to file for divorce.  I have lived with it for 22 years and never knew how to handle it.  Once I did finally follow the same advice that you have given, my problem was that when I got to the step of taking my wife to the pastor, the pastor, like our society, was afraid of my wife.  He got on me pretty hard about being a Christian husband, but never held her accountable to being a Christian wife.  In other words, he never said that she needed to have sex with me.  So, I have now gone a year without sex.

I have done everything that I know of to provide a loving peaceful home environment, but she will not repent.  I say this because I believe that there are many pastors, and churches that have embraced feminism.  So, they always see the man as the villain and the wife as basically sinless, and always right.  I am not claiming innocence in some of my marital problems because I am a sinner, but my wife is convinced that she is justified in her behavior and I received absolutely no help from the church.

I ended up going to a different church by myself.  I met with the pastor there and he referred me/us to a trained marriage counselor.  That marriage counselor is, at least, non-biased in evaluating our marital situation.  This feminism problem IN THE CHURCH is something that you might want to make your readers aware of.  It is a sad thing that is destroying homes.  Sadly, it looks like my home is one of the victims….”

In another email Mark supplied some more background and context to his situation:

“My wife has only had sex with me approximately 8 times per year. This is absolutely horrible. I’m getting older (47), but would still like to have sex at least twice per week. It also makes it difficult to want to stay faithful to her when all she does is turn me down.

Whenever I have confronted my wife about this, she clams up. She just won’t talk about it and usually walks away to avoid addressing it. She knows the scriptural command because I’ve shown it to her several times, but doesn’t really seem to care, and she faithfully attends church once or twice per week.

My wife has had a history of being unsubmissive toward me. She was raised in a home from age 5 until adulthood without a dad or brothers. Her dad left her mom when she was 5 (I strongly suspect because her mom did the same thing to her dad as my wife has done to me.). So, she was very independent growing up and never had a model for a Christian home life.

My wife has been a stay-at-home home school mother. By the way, tell any of your readers to not home school if the parents do not have a solid marriage. It is sad to say, but as a friend told me, it seems like many home school mothers have an entitlement attitude. I think that he is right.

I have six kids. Two of those six are daughters. I am most concerned about their future marriages as they have not had a good example in my wife…

The church needs to be the final step in the process of discipline, but if the church is not there to give support, we’re kind of out there on our own. That has been my case. The church that my wife now attends by herself but with my 2 youngest kids seems to be a very doctrinally solid church with plural elders and wise men leading. However, the lead/teaching pastor, the one that counseled us, does not even see that he is blind to the feminism that he has embraced…

Here is an excerpt from an email that I received from my wife’s pastor:

I do not think it right to pursue discipline toward your wife for not having sex with you as you have previously suggested. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy that is to exist in a marriage relationship where the two are one – not just physically. I have never heard of or read of anyone being disciplined by a church for such a reason. And, I am not alone in that position. I have sought counsel from other pastors and elders on it without divulging your identities to those outside our church.”

Mark gives more detail on the sexual denial and its impact on their marriage

“The entire 22 years has been a perpetual rejection sexually on my wife’s part….

I would say that I did try to do whatever it took to make/keep her happy so that she would be willing to have sex. But a majority of the time, it still resulted in rejection. We have only had sex, on average, 8 times per year for the past 10 years. Recently, she has withheld sex from me for a year as I stated in my first email. I moved out of the bedroom 12 months ago. I could not take the continual, perpetual rejection. At least I have not had to see her walking around the bedroom in her underwear knowing that I wasn’t getting any of that.

I would say that she pretty much has always been rejecting of me. She didn’t even want to have sex our wedding night. Not only that, we probably only had sex, maybe 3 times, our entire honeymoon week and I remember being upset about that.

For the most part, sex rejection on her part has always been a problem. I wish I would have had this advice years ago. Some people might wrongly think “Wow, you have 6 kids. Your marriage’s sex life must be great.” Not true. It has been horrible. What is sad is that she was much more affectionate before marriage. I assumed that I was marrying someone that would enjoy sex. That has not been the case.

She wanted all of the kids and was more willing to have sex when she wanted to get pregnant. But, as stated before, it never has been good as far as a willingness on her part – mostly rejection. And that has been another problem where she has elevated the kids way above the marriage. I love my kids, but not more than my wife.

I really want a companion that is a friend and lover and have never had that…

Mark’s experience with marriage counselors

“I put up with it (the perpetual sexual rejection), just praying away and hoping that God would intervene. But after 17 years, I threw in the towel. I was extremely frustrated. I said hurtful things to my wife and began to just do my own thing. I was never unfaithful but did not care about hurting her feelings. After about 2 years of that, realizing that that was not the way to go, I sought marriage counseling for us. The pastor (now her pastor, not mine) stated something like “Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

I now realize how bad this advice was/is. This was just what my wife wanted to hear. This really angered me, because my wife has never wanted a relationship. She is just so different from probably most women. I actually have been the one that has wanted a relationship (even outside of sex). Over the past 5 years we have been through 5 different marriage counselors. We are about to have another session tonight with our 5th counselor. However, at our last session with the marriage counselor (who has been good at seeing both sides, not just the woman’s) I stated that this is it. I am drawing a line in the sand. If my wife (with her present to hear me) wasn’t willing to make any effort at reconciliation, that I was through and would be looking for a lawyer. I finally manned up…

By the way, we were sent to an expensive 3 day weekend ($1500) “Counseling Ministry” in Brown County, Indiana called Twelve Stones. It was absolutely terrible. Again, I tried to explain that my reaction to my frustrations of not getting any sex with my wife had caused my bad behavior toward my wife. I explained to them that the root problem was my wife’s perpetual rejection of sex. Well, they basically swept it under the rug and wanted to almost exclusively focus on me and my sinful reactions, etc. Upon my return home, I talked with 3 other men that had been to Twelve Stones and they all stated basically the same thing of how the focus was on the man, and very little on the woman. Tell your readers to avoid that place if their church, pastor, or elders recommends it…

My wife has stated that she clams up and does not want a relationship (of any kind) because she thinks that I am overly controlling (this was true some times in the past). I have repented of that. She also stated that is “isn’t safe” to talk to me about anything. She does see me as a male chauvinist, even though my view of husband leadership is based upon the scriptures, which she should certainly know because we have been in bible teaching churches our entire married life.

However, she does not like me to be a strong leader. I have really become a subdued wimp over the past couple of years in order to appease her. My oldest son, who does not live at home any longer and is well aware of the marital problems stated that he could not believe how subdued and wimpy I am these days. He said that one of the things that made him proud of me is how I was a good leader and strong in my convictions and how I taught him how to be a man’s man…

Mark recently sent me this update to what was previously stated:

“Last night’s counseling session was our last. Even the counselor sees the futility in continuing when my wife wants nothing to do with reconciliation or repentance. It is really hurtful to me that she does not see any need on her part to repent of such deep seated bitterness and also disobedience regarding the sexual rejection – in particular. I have gone to every possible effort to demonstrate my repentance and desire to save our marriage. It is really sad…

I believe that most, if not all, of this has happened because of feminism which has infected my wife’s thinking. She struggled for years with submission, but then the wrongful counseling is what cemented the wrong thinking. It is sad…

Thank you very much. I just don’t think most people, even Christians, realize what good you are doing. You will have the feminists after you for sure…

I do want my story out there though. Maybe it can help someone else and save their marriage or prevent some marriages for men that are planning to marry the wrong woman.”

My response to Mark and other men who face similar situations

Mark sent me this in as a response to my post “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” which I am thankful to say is making an impact for Christ against the scourge of feminism that has infected our culture over the last century.

While I have seen many emails and stories from men about long term sexual denial from their wives I think Mark’s story highlights the problem of feminism in the church.

Thankfully the Pastor of the church I attend would not have such a cavalier attitude toward sexual denial and there are still Bible practicing churches that will call women to account for this. But Mark raises a great point which leads us to this question – “What if your Church is infected with feminism and false modern views of marriage as opposed the Biblical model of marriage?”

As I pointed out in a previous post, our Church leaders do not always follow the Scriptures and often times they will bow to cultural pressures and not preach and teach the entire counsel of God. This is why we need to be as the Bereans were when they received the Word of God from the Apostle Paul and they compared it to the Old Testament Scriptures to verify it was true before they accepted it.

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

Mark did the right thing and searched the Scriptures and found in fact that what his Pastor was saying and how his Pastor was advising his wife was in fact “not so” from a Biblical perspective. His Pastor was flat wrong on this issue and was blinded to his own feminist view of marriage.

The husband is always the villain in modern marriage counseling

This is one of the biggest problems with marital counseling in modern times. It all about feelings and nothing about sacred duties to one another. The man is not making his wife “feel such and such” therefore she cannot be blamed for her actions.

You can see the complete and utter deafness to his concerns in his first Pastor’s response to their marital issues. Mark explains that after 17 years of denial, he threw in the towel and said some things toward his wife that were not right. Then after 2 years of just being angry and speaking wrongly to her he realized they needed counseling. So he goes to their Pastor and after explaining that his wife had been sexually denying him for 17 years before he threw in the towel for the last 2 years this is what his Pastor came away with:

“Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

If I were Mark – my head would have exploded. He admits he was wrong for his behavior for the past two years, but the Pastor completely failed to see how he had put in all the effort of praying for his wife and trying to please her for the previous 17 years while she continued to deny him sexually!

“The Quiet Man” (1952) has always been one of my favorite movies since I was a child. In that movie a newlywed wife (played by Maureen O’Hara) goes to talk to her local town priest about her marriage troubles to her new husband (played by John Wayne). The priest’s reaction is the complete opposite of what most Christian Pastors and counselors would have toward sexual denial. She whispers in his ear that she has been denying her husband because she was upset at him for some things he was not doing and the priest went NUTS! He was yelling and screaming at this young wife.

The point is there was a time in our culture before the last 70 years or so that if a man and woman came into a priest or pastor and he heard sexual denial was going on he would hear nothing more and tell that woman to go home and do her duty with her husband.

Today unfortunately we have a lot of Pastors who may be brave in speaking out against many social wrongs but are cowards when it comes to preaching on the duties of husbands and wives toward each other in the bedroom and also confronting women in counseling for lack of submission in the bedroom.

The roots of Mark’s wife’s problems

Mark has admitted here as well as in other emails to me that he was not the perfect husband nor would he claim to be. I always ask men who email me when their wife’s sexual issues began and if it was from the very beginning of their marriage. I often ask “how was sex on your honeymoon?” as this can indicate where issues began.

In some marriages the sex is great in the beginning, including the honeymoon and into the first few years of marriage. Then after those first few years is when issues sometimes arise. Now sometimes the man does have some blame in the sense that he becomes neglectful of his wife and never wants to talk with her (know her) and spend time with her outside the bedroom.

Now this is not to say that a wife is justified in withholding sex from her husband, even under those conditions. Two wrongs never make a right. A husband must know his wife (talk to her) and a wife must have sex with her husband. Neither are prerequisites for the other – they stand independently from each other.

But in our sinful natures as men we will often clam up and not talk to our wives when they deny us sexually. And in the same way wives in their sinful natures will often deny their husband’s sexually when their husbands don’t make an effort to talk with them or spend time with them outside the bedroom.

But from what we can see in Mark’s account – his wife had problems in the sexual arena on day one of their marriage. She didn’t want to have sex on their wedding night! Now I know I will hear from some people and I have in the past heard of couples who did not have sex on their wedding night because she was too stressed out and tired from the wedding. But the next day and the following days she made it up to her groom.

I am not saying your marriage is cursed if your wife says no on your wedding night, but that is certainly never a good start to a marriage. There are going to be a lot more tiring and stressful days throughout the rest of your marriage and if she starts the trend on your wedding night – watch out! You might be in for some trouble.

And from a Biblical perspective, the marriage is not consummated until the husband and wife have sex. So technically speaking you were not husband and wife on your wedding night – vows don’t mean squat without the act of marriage sealing the deal.

It seems from Mark’s account the only time his wife wanted to have sex was when she wanted to get pregnant. How many men have heard this tune before? And she wanted all six kids!

It appears unfortunately for Mark, that like so many men (Christian and non-Christian alike) he was simply an accessory she needed to complete her life’s dream of having a big family and home schooling them.

Mark’s wife needed the man to bring home a paycheck for her and make sure she had everything she needed for her home. He was the sperm donor to supply her with the raw material for having the six kids she wanted. He was the father to pose for family pictures, help take care of the kids and fix things around the house and supply whatever the family needed.

In return for his services to her causes, she determined that she would gracious supply him with her body 8 times a year for sexual relief that had nothing to do with producing children.

But what she did not need was a husband. What she did not need was lover. She did not need someone trying to lead her or tell her what to do. Oh no, she would have none of that. And if Mark did not appease his wife and do what she said, he would get sex even less than the eight times a year!

The common thread in this story with every other story I have received from men facing sexual denial is a lack of submission on the wife’s part. It started on day one of their marriage. Yes Mark did act sinfully at some points down the road by his own admission, and he repented of it and tried to restore the marriage.

If a wife is truly submitted to God’s design for marriage then she will submit to her husband “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). The first act of submission a wife makes to her husband in accordance with her submission to God is to submit her body in the act of marriage (sex). This forms the foundation for all other types of submission in marriage.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I pray that if you are husband reading this you will have the courage to do as Mark did and search the Scriptures on this issue. I pray that you will see that this is about so much more than sexual denial, but rather it is about confronting sin and rebellion against God’s design and model in marriage. Do not be lead astray even to capitulate to this sinful behavior even by well-meaning Pastors, counselors and even relatives.

Counseling can be good, but only if it is Biblically based. When you see out counseling go and vet the counselor first to see they believe in the Biblical model of marriage. If you do not, then a counselor who rejects the Biblical models of love and marriage could actually do more harm than good.

If you are a wife reading this and you recognize any part of yourself here in denying your husband sexually you need to repent and ask God and then your husband to forgive you. You need to humble yourself before God, and then accept that God has placed husband over you as your head just as Christ is the head of the Church. God wants you to submit to your husband in “every thing”.

“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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:23-34(KJV)

One you have repented and humbled yourself before God as well as your husband make every effort to be as the wife of Proverbs 5:18-19 and ravish your husband with your body. This will transform your marriage and give it a new life like you have never experienced.

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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 5:18-19 (KJV)

4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

How should a Christian woman handle her husband’s sexual refusal? Many Christian women are embarrassed to even bring this subject up – let alone actually look for help.

Since the explosive popularity of my post “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” I have had many requests by Christian wives to write “sister” article of sorts to that article since that was specifically targeted toward Christian husbands who experience sexual refusal from their wives.

Christian Wives – I want to be as clear here as I was when addressing this subject with Christian husbands. The situation I am addressing in this article is not your husband 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 husband who consistently and routinely denies his wife sexually simply because he does not need sex as much or he thinks he should not have to do it except when he is in the mood or he thinks his wife should have to earn sex with him by “putting him in the mood” by doing various things he expects or likes. You prayed about it for years but nothing has changed and your husband refuses to meet the obligations of his marital covenant.

Again this is about sexual denial on the husband’s part – not lack of sexual initiation. For reasons your husband may not be pursing you sexually see my post “12 Reasons your husband may NOT want to have sex with you”.  For many women they interpret their husband’s lack of sexual pursuit as sexual denial but this is not the case. In fact it is very common in many marriages where the couple is older that the man may not pursue sex as much and the woman actually pursues it more – so they switch roles (as in who is doing the chasing). To this I would say that a man still needs to pursue his wife sexually even as he ages, just as a woman should pursue her husband even when her desire is not there. Now the percentage of who pursues who more might change – but neither spouse should feel like they are the only ones that ever want sex.

So now that we have established what scenario these steps are addressing – let’s now establish the right of a woman to have sex with her husband.

A woman has the right to have sex with her husband, and the husband has a duty to have sex with his wife

Let me say that first and foremost God give a woman the right to initiate and have sex with her husband.

“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

This passage when taken in context was talking about if a man decided to take another wife (exercise his right to polygamy) he must still provide food, clothing (shelter is implied as well) and sex (this is conjugal rights). If a man took another wife and neglected his first wife sexually her family members or other town elders could approach the man and tell him to release this neglected wife (give her a bill of divorce). But it provides though a general moral principle – that a wife has the right to have sexual relations with her husband in marriage.

God reiterates this command that a wife has the right to initiate sex and have sex with her husband in his first letter to the Corinthian church:

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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)

Throughout the Bible the husband is consistently seen as the head of the wife, as the owner of the wife and we see here that even though he is her head and owner – she has certain rights as his wife that he may not deny and sex is one them.

So if a wife has the right to have sex with her husband – why don’t women (or men for that matter) want to talk about issue? We will discuss this next.

Why don’t women want to talk about sexual denial from their husbands?

There are two common reasons why Christian wives won’t are embarrassed to bring up this subject – either with their husbands or women from their churches, or even to their pastors.

The first reason is that sadly many Christian women were raised by their parents, or taught in the churches growing up that “only dirty women want sex”. Unfortunately the Church over its history has been complicit in this teaching as the Church fathers quickly fell into the error that sex was “dirty” and “fleshly” not long after the Apostles died.

The second reason is that many women feel to bring up this subject would be a bad reflection on them. “What husband would not want to have sex with wife? Men always want sex right?” They think it reflects badly on their appearance. “Perhaps he no longer finds me attractive” – a Christian wife might reason.

But the truth is neither one of these reasons should stop a woman bringing this issue up and confronting it when it occurs in her marriage.

On the issue of appearance and hygiene – these things are important for both a man and a woman. Both a husband and a wife should do their best to keep their bodies healthy and clean and available for sexual relations on a regular basis. If the man has problems with weight or ED (erectile dysfunction) it is his job to seek medical help so that he can sexually please his wife.

So once a Christian wife understands that sex with her husband is a right in marriage, and she overcomes her inhibitions to talking about this issue – how should she confront this issue in her marriage?

Before you can confront you husband’s sexual refusal you must know and accept your position

The Bible is not a “unisex” book. Yes God loves men and women equally – and a woman is no less human being than a man is. But God created men and women with different purposes and roles and this is seen throughout the Scriptures. So when we come to how a wife confronts sexual refusal from her husband and how a man confronts sexual refusal from his wife the steps will look different.

The biggest reason the steps are different is because a wife is not her husband’s authority. She is not spiritually responsible for him as he is for her. While his role is to love her by leading her, providing for her, protecting her and knowing her – her role is to submit to him, to serve him and to gently and respectfully share her wisdom with him(as the Proverbs 31 wife does).

I have written on this previously that Christian marriage is a type of Master/Servant relationship – but it is not a typical Master/Servant relationship in that a wife has many more rights than a servant, and this is a much more intimate Master/Servant relationship in that a husband is commanded to “know” his wife.

But in the context of a master servant relationship – the Bible tells us that servants have the right to bring grievances to their masters:

“If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” – Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

Job tells us that his servants made in the womb – i.e. just as human as he was. You as a human being, and even more so as your husband’s wife have certain rights and when you believe he has violated those rights you have a right bring those grievances before him.

But you must always be respectful of your husband’s position and his authority over you when you bring your grievances before him.

Before you take any steps to confront your husband’s sin of sexual refusal check yourself first

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 husband 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 husband if it directly affects him.

A common issue that women who are experiencing sexual refusal face is – they were the ones refusing their husbands earlier in their marriage. What happens is because of many years of sexual refusal on the part of his wife, a man simply stops pursing his wife sexually. Then one day the wife wakes up and realizes they have not had sex in months or even a year or more and she pursues him at which point he turns her down. Now is the husband right to do this? Absolutely not. But the wife must realize her part in this and confess her sin of sexual refusal before she can confront her husband’s sin of sexual refusal.

4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

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 wife must take to confront his husband’s sexual refusal.

Step 1 – Rebuke him privately

Rebuke your husband’s sin to him in private. A wife’s rebuke will look slightly different than a husband’s rebuke of his wife’s sinful behavior. A husband can speak “with authority” to his wife, as one under his authority. But a wife must remember her husband is her authority. You as a wife can bring your grievance to your husband in a respectful manner, you can plead with him to change his sinful pattern of sexual denial. This assumes you have already on several occasions tried to speaking gently to him about this issue. You have tried time and time again to find out if there is anything you can help him with, and anything you can do different. This assumes you have ruled out health problems, and or other mental problems and he simply has a stubborn and willful attitude toward sex in marriage and he does not think he needs to change.

Step 2 – Rebuke him before witnesses

If he is still defiant after rebuking him, privately ask him to go to a Christian marriage counselor, or maybe even a sex therapist if he is willing to go.

Step 3 – Bring him before the Church

If he will not listen to counselors, or refuses to go to counseling then bring him to your Pastor and his wife. If he will not listen even to them then he has chosen to act like an unbeliever, and now he will be treated as such.

Step 4 – Divorce your husband for the sin of sexual denial

Unlike a husband who has authority over his wife, a wife does not have authority over her husband. So unlike a husband in the same situation with his wife – a wife cannot stop going out with her husband on dates or stop doing her house hold duties or following his wishes. Your only option as a wife after confronting him with the Church is divorce.

But according to Exodus 21:10-11 you have the right to be freed from this marriage(and thus his authority) for his willful sexual denial.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10 (KJV)

Under the theocracy of Israel – a husband was pressured by male relatives or elders of the town to give his wife a bill of divorce if he was neglecting her in any of these areas. Our government allows women to file this bill of divorce for themselves and there is no problem with this scripturally as the woman is divorcing her wife on Biblical grounds.