Silly Simple Foolish Women

In 2019 America, the only people you can call foolish, stupid or any other host of “negative labels” is white men.  If you call a woman “foolish” you are a misogynist and if you call an immigrant “illegal” you are a racist and xenophobe.

But the fact is labeling someone based on their behavior is not hatred of an entire class of people.  It is simply calling out wrong behavior.

Just about every time I hear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speak on television the following Scripture passage comes to mind:

 “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.”

Proverbs 9:13 (KJV)

And I am willing to bet that even many of AOC’s fellow democrats are having a very similar thought every time she speaks.

But Christians Should Not Call People Fools!

Some Christians may challenge me and say something like “We should  never call anyone foolish.”  Some might even point to the following statement by Jesus Christ to condemn me for calling anyone foolish:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Matthew 5:22 (KJV)

Christ seems to be saying if we calling anyone a fool, we are in danger of going to hell.  But when we study the Bible, we must look at the entirety of the Bible to fully understand the truth of God’s Word.

In the same Gospel of Matthew Jesus called the Pharisees “fools”:

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?”

Matthew 23:15-17 (KJV)

And now lets look at what Job said to his wife in the Old Testament:

“9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Job 2:9-10 (KJV)

Job told his wife she was acting as a foolish woman. And the Scriptures tell us he did not sin with his lips in saying this or anything he said before this.

So, when we tie these passages together with what Christ said what was he actually saying? He was saying that we should never call someone a fool unjustly.  There are certain things that are necessary because we live in a sin cursed world.  One of those things is killing.  Sometimes when we kill it is justified because it is self-defense.   Other times when it is not justified it can be man-slaughter or murder.  And in the same way because of sin, we have sinful foolishness in this world exhibited by both men and women.  And when people act foolish by God’s standards – we are right in calling them out as such.

A Silly Simple Foolish Wife

In a recent podcast I made for BGRLearning.com that goes by this same title “Silly Simple Foolish Women” I take on another foolish woman much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But unlike AOC this woman is not a politician and the foolishness she is spouting is not about the political realm, but rather about what she believes is important and not so important in marriage.  You can listen to the first part of this podcast for free here.

The title of the article is “I Didn’t Have Sex With My Husband for Five Months and He Had an Affair”.

The summary of the article is basically this – she continued to push her husband away for months due to stress and just not feeling like having sex.  And then SHOCKER! Her husband admits he had an affair after this denial by his wife because in his words “you hadn’t touched me for almost six months”.

This woman, much like the simpleton OCR, was perplexed by this.  How could the man that loved her do this to her? And she saw no wrong in her denying her husband sex for almost 6 months.

She then makes the following keen observations about her husband:

“If we were having sex, he didn’t give me a hard time about buying myself a new shirt.

If we were having sex, he did things around the house willingly.

If we were having sex, he acted like he liked me more.

If we were having sex, he complimented me, the way I looked and how I mothered.

If we weren’t having sex, that all went away. He said it was because he felt neglected, unhappy and ignored.

It didn’t matter that I did his laundry, put it away for him, made him dinner every night and baked his favorite pie or cookies.

It didn’t matter that I kept the house clean, and took care of all the kids’ appointments and schedules, so he didn’t have to worry about it.

He once told me that he’d rather have the house a mess and no food in the house and a disorganized life, if we were having more sex. Twice a month wasn’t enough for him.

He’d told me that I’d “tricked” him, since I was more sexual when we first started dating and falling in love.

I realized after some time, having sex made him feel more like a man. My “withholding” made him feel less like a man, so he had to go get it from someone else…

He just wanted to feel like a man. But it wasn’t my job to make him feel like a man.

If he couldn’t look at me and see a wife who loved him, birthed his three kids, cared for him, and felt fulfilled and thankful, but who just needed to not feel pressured to give him an orgasm every other night, then I couldn’t make him see all he had.

A woman’s worth goes way beyond how much sex she’s having with her husband. Whether he sees that or not is up to him.”

Can you not feel the condescension toward her husband’s sexual needs dripping from her statements? If you read the entire article you can see that this woman placed very little value on sex in marriage and specifically meeting her husband’s sexual needs.

In fact, it is very clear from her statements that she like many other women does not see sex as a need in marriage.  To her sex is just something you do once in a while when she, the wife, feels like it.

You can very much see that this woman like many women today saw her marriage as revolving around her in direct contradiction to the what the Bible says is the wife’s position in regard to her husband:

 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

She was the one who set what made her valuable as a wife, not her husband and not any other man.

Oh, what a foolish woman.

I can just imagine the next relationship she went into.   Did she tell the guy up front “We will just have sex when I feel like it.  Most of the time I will feel like it once or twice a month and sometimes I may not feel like it for several months.”  Wow I am sure she had a line of men waiting to marry her after divorcing her husband! Now that is a valuable wife!

While it is true that a woman’s worth goes beyond how much sex she is having with husband – how much sex she has with her husband is absolutely a critical factor in in her worth to him.

It is great that she birthed and cared for his three children and cooked and care for the needs of his home.  The Bible tells us that this is something God wants women to do and we as men should value our wives for these things:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.”

Psalm 128:3 (KJV)

So yes, dear woman, giving birth to your children, caring for them, cooking for your husband and doing his laundry all have value in God’s eyes and these things should have value in your husband’s eyes.   But these things do not represent all that gives you value to him as a wife. God created you to meet these needs of your husband but he needs these things and something else as well.  He needs sex with you.

But Sex Is NOT a Need!

I can’t tell you how many emails and comments I receive from mostly women (and a few men) with them claiming that sex is not a need for a man and it is just a want.  Their logic usually goes like this “A need is something that you will die from if you don’t get”.   So, in their view, only things like water, food, clothing and shelter are true needs while sex is just a fun thing to do for man.

But the truth is that while no man ever died from not having sex, many marriages have in fact died from lack of regular sexual relations.   This woman’s story with her ex-husband is a perfect illustration of this truth.

And speaking of human needs like food and water, the Bible compares a man’s need for sex to the human desire for water:

 “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.”

Proverbs 5:15 (KJV)

Ladies – would you want to wait to have a drink only once or twice a month?

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

We can see from the above passage that God meant for man to drink his fill of his wife’s body.  This is not a “nice to have” once or twice a month thing, but rather a husband is to have full access to wife’s body “at all times”.

Conclusion

From a Christian perspective both this husband and wife were wrong.  The wife’s sin occurred first.  The Scriptures tells us that sex in marriage is a duty that is owed by both the husband and wife toward one another as seen in the following passage:

“2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

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.

5 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 7:2-5 (KJV)

This passage from I Corinthians tells us that sex is both a right and responsibility in marriage and that the only thing “mutual” about when you have sex is when you DO NOT have sex.  You as a couple must agree to short times for prayer and fasting or other such things.  Or perhaps one of you is having surgery or the wife is having a child.  These are all reasonable reasons that couples can mutually agree to forgo relations for a short period. But even then, there are many ways besides vaginal intercourse that a wife can help her husband during these times.

So, the wife in this story sinned against God and her husband by denying him her body.  She acted foolishly and she did not heed God’s warning that regular sexual relations should occur to avoid the temptation to fall into the sin of fornication.

And that is exactly what her husband did.  Her sin placed him in a very tempting position and he gave into that temptation and sinned.  I am not justifying his sin any more than I am justifying her sin.  But the fact is that often one sin can directly lead to another as is seen in this story.

This woman, like many wives today ignorantly saw sex for her husband as just giving her husband “an orgasm every other night”.  But the truth was right in front of her in her own observations of her husband’s behavior toward her when she was giving him regular sexual relations:

“If we were having sex, he didn’t give me a hard time about buying myself a new shirt.

If we were having sex, he did things around the house willingly.

If we were having sex, he acted like he liked me more.

If we were having sex, he complimented me, the way I looked and how I mothered.”

Wow – so you as a wife notice that when you do a certain thing that this certain thing results in your husband letting you buy nice things you want, him helping around the house more, him acting like he likes you more and him complimenting you more.

So instead of doing this certain thing which you saw evoked all these positive behaviors in your husband, you instead held it back.  And you foolishly thought to yourself that you if you denied him this certain thing but baked him his favorite cookies that you should still get the same result?

This behavior on the part of this wife and so many women is well summed up in a famous quote from the movie “As Good as it Gets” staring Jack Nicholson.  In the movie Nicholson’s character is a writer and a woman comes up to him and asks him how he writes women so well.  His response is not only golden but it is utterly true of the vast majority of women today:

“I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.”

And this is exactly what the wife in this story has demonstrated about herself.   She has taken zero accountability for her actions in sexually denying her husband and has placed all the blame at his feet.  And she fails to show any ability to reason that in order to have her husband’s affection regular sexual relations would be required.  Instead she irrationally thought to herself that he should have done all these things for her and valued her apart from her giving him regular sexual relations.

What a SILLY, SIMPLE FOOLISH WOMAN.

So, wives here is your challenge from the Word of God:

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)

Will you be the wise woman who actually sees the importance of regularly giving your body to your husband whenever he desires it and thus reap the rewards that this woman saw when she did? Or will you foolishly and naively think you should be able to have all those things and also never worry about your husband being sexually tempted all the while you are sexually denying him?

Will you be a wise woman or a foolish woman? The choice is yours.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage – Episode 3

Our next story of sexual denial comes from a man named Nathan.  He sent in this story about his sexless marriage in response to my post “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal”.

Nathan begins his story by quoting something I said in my post and comparing it to his situation with his wife:

““some women simply are happy not to have sex that often and would prefer that their husbands would be the same, and these see no moral dilemma in simply training their husbands to have less sex.” This is a perfect description of my wife for 40 of the 40 years we have been married.

No sex before marriage and on our wedding night she was too tired and it was too late. During the first 5 years nine months of our marriage I tallied up the time from just 4 events and came up with no sex for 2.5 years! Within a few months of our marriage she was pregnant. She claimed it was an accident but a few years later, after the second pregnancy, I found out she and her meddling, controlling mother planned the entire thing. Her mother did some bragging after the second pregnancy and it got back to me.

As soon as she verified she was pregnant the first time she cut off everything for a little over 9.5 months. She then “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 4.5 months. The second pregnancy was more of the same but worse. This time as soon as she determined she was pregnant she cut off everything for one week short of 11 months; “allowed” sex once and then nothing for over 6 months. Even when she allowed anything it was never better than 3 times a month.”

What Nathan is describing here is the type of woman that looks at her husband simply as one part in her “master plan”. Many women, whether they are Christian or non-Christian do not see themselves as God designed them to be.  They do not see themselves as a helpmeet to their husband, but rather they see their husband’s as a helpmeet to them.

They have it all planned out – “I am going to get married, have X number of kids, have the house with the picket fence, have my career and my other activities.” The husband, and to some extent the children are simply seen as accessories to this woman’s life. I am willing to bet based on the story, that she learned this from her mother doing the exact same thing with her father.

So it makes sense in this woman’s mind that her husband’s needs and wishes are secondary to hers – since he is just a cog in the machine of a world that resolves around her.

At this point we will have all the apologists for this woman coming out of the wood work. “Maybe he was not romancing her enough, maybe he was not buying her flowers, dating her and getting her in the mood more”.

First and foremost – romance is not a prerequisite of sex in marriage.  Biblically speaking sex is restricted outside of marriage, but REQUIRED within marriage.  It is both a RIGHT and a RESPONSIBILITY with 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.

5 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 don’t know if this man tried to romance his wife or not, but it sounds like even if he did it would not have changed her view of sex, and even more importantly her role in marriage.  She simply saw him as an accessory to her life – he was the paycheck, the person to do the heavy lifting and a sperm donor to produce offspring to add as other accessories to her perfect life.

Nathan confronts his wife’s lack of interest in sex

“Within a couple of months of our marriage I said something to her about her apparent lack of interest. She put on a great act telling me she didn’t realize sex was that infrequent and then immediately cut things to twice a month. After the first pregnancy I made the mistake of again confronting her with the facts of her lack of interest. Same act as before and this time she cut things to once a month or less.”

As you can see from this story – Nathan’s wife began training him early in their marriage to simply be grateful for whenever she decided to grace him with her body in the act of sex. Any complaint, any grievance on his part would be met with less sex to reinforce this training.

While Nathan can’t go back in time to change this, this is a teachable scenario for many young Christian husbands. What you tolerate at the beginning of your marriage – will set the tone for the rest of your marriage.  Can you change things later on? Maybe. But it will be much more difficult once a pattern of behavior have been established.

What Nathan should have done, and what any young Christian husband in this situation should do is to turn this “training” attempt around. Instead he should make if clear to her that if she continues to refuse him sexually there will be disciplinary consequences.

The Word of God needs be the foundation for every Christian household. Whether it be with his wife or children, a husband and father should always be sitting down and sharing God’s design for the family.  For instance if a child disobeys or disrespects his mother or father, I think it is good and wise for a Father to take his children to the Scriptures to show them God’s commands that exhort children to obedience and respect toward parents.

It is no different with a wife, when a wife acts in rebellious or sinful way her husband has a duty as the head of his wife to rebuke her sin and to show her God’s Word in the hope that she will repent. Job should be the model for every Christian husband in rebuking his wife:

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” – Job 2:9-10 (KJV)

Now there are gentle rebukes and there are more assertive rebukes.  I believe as Christian husband’s we should for the most part start off with gentle rebukes to our wives, in the hope that they will repent. But there are times when a wife’s behavior calls for a more assertive and aggressive rebuke.  A Christian husband needs to listen to the Holy Spirit to know what each situation calls for.

Nathan in this case should have rebuked his wife’s sin in regard to her sexual denial. If his verbal rebukes and Scriptural exhortations did not work then he should have moved on to other disciplinary measures. I have had a lot of Christians ask me if I think there could be a different order to 8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal and I think the answer is yes.

For some Christian husbands, they may be lead to move from Step 1(rebuke) down to steps 4-7(removing privileges) and then back to steps 2(counselor) and 3(church).  I see no problem with that approach.

So in this case Nathan could have moved from rebuking his wife’s behavior, and if he saw no change or just rebellion on her part and moved to stopping dates and trips. He could then move to removing any unnecessary household upgrades and also remove her funding. But as he took each of these disciplinary steps with his wife – he needed to make it clear that this was discipline – not some form of revenge. It was action taken to correct sinful behavior in her life.   See “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” for more detail on this process.

Nathan’s wife’s schedule

“With her this is how things have been for our entire marriage: Sunday through Thursday nights were out because she had to get up for work the next day. Friday night she was just too tired after working all week. Saturday night was out because she had to get up early for Church on Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon was out because she had to study for whatever she volunteered to teach Sunday night or whatever she needed to have ready for work on Monday morning. Saturday morning before 9:00am it was too early: after 9:30 am it was too late.

Almost as regular as clockwork, meddling MIL would call on Saturday morning at 9:00 am and she would yap on the phone for 30 minutes to an hour. Those Saturday am phone calls were after a 30 minute to an hour call on Friday night and calls at least 4 or 5 other nights of the week. What was always nice about all the phone calls from “mommy dearest” is that they almost always came within 10 to 15 minutes after I had been given the cold shoulder because my “loving?” wife was “too tired”.”

Here I would give a gentle correction to Nathan. I don’t think his wife did all this volunteer work in addition to her career during the week only to avoid Nathan and avoid sex with him.  She did it for her own fulfillment.  I have no doubt she had little need for sex, but I think the avoidance of sex was secondary to her other interests.

This woman is a prime example of how so many modern day women see their fulfillment in life in every other place BUT where God intended them to have their primary fulfillment in life.

They look at being as wife and mom as simply one of their many life attributes – being a wife and mom gives them a photo to put on a desk.  It gives them something to talk about around the water cooler at work or at Church activities. But they don’t see those roles as the central focus of their life or as the primary reason for which God created them as women.

I think we also have to ask a question that I would really be curious as to the answer from Nathan. Did he know his wife was this busy of a person before he met her? Often times we are blinded as men by a woman’s beauty to major flaws that will make a Christian marriage very difficult.

There is nothing wrong with a woman being ambitious and intelligent. The Bible says this of the virtuous wife:

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27 (KJV)

So as we can see – the excellent wife is one who is a wise and a busy person (she is never idle). One could argue that the excellent wife, is in fact an ambitious wife.

The Bible commends ambition for the things that God wants us to do, but it condemns selfish ambition. The virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 is a very busy woman and the Scriptures tell us that she “eateth not the bread of idleness”. Contrary to teachings of our feminist culture, the excellent wife’s ambition is centered on her God, her husband, her children, her home and how she can best serve them.  It is not centered on her own selfish ambitions.  The Bible says this about selfish ambition:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” – Philippians 2:3(NIV)

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” – James 3:16 (NIV)

Let me remind the reader that the first sin woman ever committed was in her envy and selfish ambition in the Garden of Eden in seeking after the forbidden fruit and the knowledge of God. Eve was ambitious for something that God did intend for her.  And then we have man’s first sin “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree” (Genesis 3:17). Adam not only failed to confront his wife’s sin, he listened to her and condoned it! Far too many Christian husbands are condoning and enabling the sin of their wives today in many areas (not just sex) and this is as displeasing to God as Adam’s condoning of Eve’s sin.

But let’s go back to my question of whether he knew or not that his wife was a selfishly ambitious person before he met her.  This is a teachable experience for young men seeking wives to check and see “Is this woman ambitious in a godly way, or is she ambitious in selfish way?”

But after marriage, even if you discover that you were blinded to your wife’s selfish ambitions – God still calls you to love your wife by leading her, providing for her and protecting her.  You are also still called to teach her the ways of God and to rebuke sinful behavior in her life, especially as it relates to her respect for you and her submission in all areas (including the area of sex).

Nathan takes his wife to a Marriage Seminar

“When it came to sex, for 40 years my wife has always been “too”: too busy, too tired, too involved, it was too early or too late. We attended a “marriage enrichment” seminar one time early in our marriage. They had us write down all the time commitments we had on a sheet of paper. Two pages or so later my wife had about listed everything.

The facilitator went around the room looking at the papers form different couples and making a few rather generic comments. Every one of these papers listed their spouse. When he got to my wife’s paper the first thing out of his mouth was “mam, there is no way you can be involved in all of this”. Oh contraire, my wife proceeded to list in great detail times and dates for every last item; she had it all planned out. At this he turned to me and asked “how do you feel about all of this?” My only comment was “isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t really matter how I feel about it”!

You see, in all of the junk she listed on over 2 pages, I did not even make the list and no doubt he saw that as well. Nice thing about that seminar, she went out of her way to start a fight so she would have an excuse for no sex that night as well.”

This marriage seminar just reinforced how blind Nathan’s wife was to her own selfish ambitions. Instead of her centering her life on God and her husband – her life was centered her own selfish pursuits.

Another key truth to point out here is that sexual denial in marriage is often just the tip of the iceberg.  Sometimes women deny their husband’s out of feelings of hurt or neglect, and while this is still sinful we can understand the source of this better.  But sometimes women neglect their husband’s from a position of pure and utter selfishness, and this wife seems to be demonstrating textbook selfish ambition.

This also shows whether Nathan realizes it or not that sex is more than a physical activity to us as men. It’s more than some pleasurable thing we do with our wives. Sex with our wife makes us feel connected and loved by her in a way no other activity can compare to.

When wives neglect or minimize the sexual needs of their husbands, they are in fact rejecting their husbands, you cannot separate a man’s sexuality from his person.  

Far too many men, even Christian men have surrendered to the false notion that man’s desire for sex is selfish and base, and this must be combated in every arena that it appears.

God created sex to be an outward symbol, a tangible symbol of the union between a man and woman in marriage. In many ways sex in marriage is similar to communion at Church in that communion is a constant tangible and physical reminder of the Churches relationship with Christ.  This is why God commands sex in marriage and it is to be often and regular. God gave man a strong physical and emotional desire for sex to make sure that it happens regularly in marriage. Of course there are other reasons God created sex and you can read about them in my post “The 7 reasons God made sex”.

Nathan tells us about his wife’s sexual teasing

“Another nice thing she liked to do for the first 30 years was to grab at me throughout the day in a sexually suggestive way. If I did anything to try and make good on it she would pull away and say “down boy down, we don’t have time for that right now”! If awards could be given for sexually abusive women I think my wife would win hands down.”

I am all for a wife sexually teasing her husband (both by touching him, and “visually romancing” him with her body), but then she needs to make good on that foreplay. It almost seems here that she was mocking his sexuality, knowing how much he needed to sexually connect with her. This is just a truly sad story.

Nathan gives up

“A little over 10 years ago I completely gave up and quit even trying. I no longer initiate anything so it is not unusual to go 1 to three, four months or more without so much as even a kiss from her. After a lifetime of this miserable existence my advice to anyone dating or married to someone like this would be, cut your losses and run as far and as fast from them as you can possibly get. No matter how much you love them they can’t be fixed and they absolutely will not change. If you think they will change if only you are patient and continue to love them you are living in a dream world; it won’t happen.”

So it sounds as if Nathan tried for the first 30 years, and then gave up for the last 10 years of his marriage. I am guessing this puts Nathan somewhere in his 60s now.  He has given up on women and marriage and I can understand why.

But to Nathan and those other men that have experienced this type of “miserable existence” in marriage – let me offer you some hope. You don’t have to give up. You can fight for what is right, in fact it is your duty to confront sin in your marriage. If you’re taking the leadership in your home and confrontation of sin in your wife’s life leads to divorce, then so be it.

God hates divorce, but he created divorce for a reason – because he knows men and women are sinful creatures.

God knew that there would be abusive husbands. He knew there would be lazy husbands who would not provide for their wives. He knew husbands would abandon their wives, and wives would abandon their husbands. He knew there would be adultery. He knew there would be husbands and wives that deny a central part of marriage to their spouse – sex.  This is the reason God created divorce.

So in a case like this if Nathan confronts his wife after all these years – she might leave and divorce him.  Even if she does not divorce him, he may divorce her for the sin of sexual denial in marriage – which is by definition sexual immorality. Regardless of if she divorces him, or he divorces her over her sexual denial – the sin rests on her head.

Another interesting phrase from Nathan was this “If you think they will change if only you are patient and continue to love them you are living in a dream world; it won’t happen.”

I am all for a husband being patient with his wife in regard to her faults, just as wives should be patient with their husband’s in regard to their faults.  But with God some faults in marriage are more serious than others, and some faults when left unchecked can break the marriage covenant and destroy the marriage.

I never recommend divorce lightly, and I get many people who write me about these kinds of issues and I tell them they need to wait, be patient and give it more time.  But I tell them that while they are waiting, that does not mean they need to tolerate the sin in these areas from their spouses.  They need to continue to confront the sin as it occurs, while at the same time continually praying that God will change the heart of their spouse.

But Biblical teachings like “patience” and “sacrificial love” in marriage can be abused to the point where these are used to excuse and enable sinful behavior on the part of a spouse.

If a woman is being beaten by her husband, should she exercise “patience” and just wait for God to work on her husband as he beats her week after week? I believe the Biblical answer is NO.

In the same way if a man is continually being denied sex for weeks, that turn into months, and then years should he just be “patient” and show “sacrificial love” to his wife by tolerating her sinful sexual denial? Again I believe the Biblical answer is NO.

One other thing I want to close with on this sad tale.  This story is about a whole lot more than sexual denial by this wife as most of these stories are. This is about a woman, like so many women today, who does not see herself as God sees her.  This is a woman who is in open and defiant rebellion against God’s design for her life. God wanted her life to center on him, her husband and her children – not her own selfish ambition.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage – Episode 2

Our next story of sexual denial is from a man named Mike.   He sent me this comment in response to a follow up post I did called “The Frustrated Feminist wife”. As you will see from his post, he disagreed with what I wrote.

Before Mike begins his story he makes a comment about my posts about sexual refusal:

“There is no need to tell your wife “it is written in the Bible, you owe me”. If you are reduced to referring to Holy texts, your couple is in great communication trouble. I am married under God’s law and I will never consider that my wife owes me sex whenever I feel like it. Like many couples, we faced some challenges on the matter. Let me share two of them…”

A Christian husband should routinely be teaching his wife the Word of God. Why did Christ give himself up for his Church? To make her holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27). He did this to conform her to his will and his Word.

Mike admits he was “married under God’s law” yet he says he would “never consider that my wife owes me sex whenever I feel like it”. But the same “God’s law” that calls marriage good and honorable, states this:

“The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (NASB)

The Bible says you owe your wife sex, and your wife owes you sex. God calls sex “a duty” in marriage, as opposed to a “privilege” which is how many modern marriage counselors falsely refer to it. I realize that Mike’s motives may have been pure, in thinking that it would be selfish for him to consider that his wife actually owed sex to him as a marital duty. But God defines what selfishness is, we don’t. It is not selfish for us to desire something that God designed us to desire, or to ask our spouse (husband or wife) to fulfill their marital duty.

I agree that couples need to communicate, and I have written on how the Scriptures say a husband has a Biblical duty to “know his wife”, and part of knowing his wife is him having regular and open dialog with her. But open dialog does not solve all issues. If a husband or wife has in their heart, an attitude or belief that directly contradicts God’s design and will for the roles of a husband and wife in marriage, all the dialog in the world will not solve such a problem.

Mike now begins the story of him and his wife:

“Three years ago, she had experienced lot of stress (deaths of relatives, job difficulties, etc.) which made her so tired and so sad that I could not even touch her. I was getting very frustrated. So I told her. I did NOT demand. I just explained that this situation was not ok for me, that I loved her and consequently I desired her. And that she could not expect me to say nothing after a whole month of frustration. So we talked about it. No bargain, no manipulation, no coercion. We just talked and we were equals in this discussion, both our needs were equals. She told me that she understood my feelings, that she wished she could do something about it, but that her body and her mind were dealing with pain and sorrow, so she could not give me what I wanted. So we discussed about what WE could do to make her feel better. What worked was not to offer her things and please her. What worked was to accept she was not me, to listen and to assist her in this difficult period of time. Eventually, she recovered from this. It took 3 months during which we had sex 2 or 3 times. Very very frustrating for me. But we came out of this stronger: I proved that I was far stronger than my flesh and that I valued her more than my personal needs. And she valued my efforts very deeply, she told me that she was thankful for what I did for her and that she felt even more in love with me (all this with big hearts in her eyes… I just melt!)”

First and foremost let me say that I understand when a wife loses loved ones, or perhaps has job difficulties that these things could cause her great emotional pain to the point that she may have ZERO desire for sex. As I have stated on many occasions in this series, if a man sees that his wife is experiencing psychological issues due to temporary things (like the loss of loved ones, or job issues) he ought to be graceful towards her. Her emotional hurt and needs may temporarily outweigh his need to sexually connect with his wife.

This might last for a month, or several months, and I think Mike was right in bringing his frustrations to his wife but I would not have suggested in this situation that he use the disciplinary steps that I outlined in my previous post, at least not at this early juncture.

But what about if his story had been different. What if his wife continued to use the emotional stresses in her life to deny sex to him not for months? But for years? For decades? What if after the death of some relatives his wife decided he and she were only going to have a sex 5 times a year? I have received several emails from men who have experienced such things.

If his wife had continued having emotional problems to the point that it continued to be a detriment to his sex life, then it would have been right for him to seek counseling for her. If his wife refused counseling, or said she felt he did not need to have sex as much anymore then it would not just be his right, but his Biblical duty to confront her sinful attitude.

Now I want to zoom in on a particular statement he said that really caught my eye and I think it will be very helpful for the many Christian men and women who visit this site to see why this statement is wrong:

“But we came out of this stronger: I proved that I was far stronger than my flesh and that I valued her more than my personal needs.”

Even though he said that he and his wife regarded their needs as “equal”, in the end he came to believe their needs were unequal. His wife caused him to believe that his need to sexually connect with her was a fleshly desire, and her inhibitions towards sex were more noble and worthy of respect.

In fact I believe based on the rest of his story as we will see below, that his marriage actually became weaker after this crisis his wife faced. Why? Because he setup the pattern that it is was OK for her to deny him. Mike fell hook line and sinker for what our world teaches today – that sex is NOT about duty (contrary to God’s law) and that sex is all about feelings. “If you feel like doing it, then do it, if you don’t feel like it then you don’t have to”.   This is not God’s will or design for marriage or for sex.

Mike dives deeper into his wife’s thought process

“From a general perspective, my wife is not very fond of intercourse. She is completely fine with 3 or 4 times a month, I am completely NOT fine with this. 3 or 4 times a week, yes. A month, no. Don’t misunderstand me (or her): she likes it. But, as she explained to me, if she were the only one to start the game, she would come to me only 3 or 4 times a month. At the beginning of our marriage, I would get angry, even sometimes yell at her. She would get mad, and reply: “Am I supposed to force myself? Am I supposed to pretend? Because I can, but then, each time we will make love, you will never know if it was a true shared love or a fake love to contempt your own selfishness”

So here Mike reveals some deeper issues in his wife’s thinking. I don’t know what Mike’s “getting angry” looked like and perhaps he sinned and needed to confess his behavior to his wife. But as believers, we can get angry at sin, even the sinful behavior of our spouse, and it is not wrong for us to do so. Ephesians 4:26 says “Be ye angry, and sin not”.

The answer to his wife’s questions about “Am I supposed to force myself?” is YES Biblically speaking, she should have forced herself. God tells women to submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING. He tells both men and women they do not have the power or right to sexually deny their spouse.

There are many times we don’t “feel” like doing things.

As parents we may not feel like getting up in the middle of the night to take care of a sick child, but we must “force ourselves” to do so.

As employees, we may not want to go to work some days, but each day we must “force ourselves” to go to work.

While we are at work, our boss may ask us to do jobs that we do not like, but unless that job is morally wrong, we must “force ourselves” to do whatever our boss asks us to do.

In school, we may have classes we like, and classes we hate. But we must “force ourselves” to do the work for even the classes we hate.

Here Mike’s wife was mentally training her husband to see his sexual needs as “selfishness”, while her refusal to submit herself sexually to him was out of a noble desire for them to only have sex when it was a “true shared love”.  According to God’s Word “The wife does not have authority over her own body” and therefore it was his wife actions of sexual denial toward her husband that were truly selfish, not his being upset when she turned him down.

Mike’s wife convinces him that she is not the one in sin

“As we both consider that sex is a way to be one flesh [“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”. (Genesis 2:21-24)], I hated the idea that we could not be together in this. Even worst: I hated the idea that she could pretend to have great time with me when she was not. So I refused this option. But I was very very angry and frustrated: I wanted her to be like me, to want sex as much as I did. I realized she was right about being selfish. She was only telling me the truth, I was resenting her for this.”

Yes sex is a beautiful way to become “one flesh”, and in its most literal sense when the Bible says “they become one flesh” it means “they shall have sex”. This is why God commands that sex is to be a regular part of marriage, and never denied – because it the symbol of the union of a man and woman, very much in the same way that communion is symbol of our union with Christ and the Church.

This raises another important issue. What Mike points out here is what every man wants from his wife. He wanted her to desire him and to want sex as much as he did. But the truth is that women are very different than men. Some women may want sex as much or more than their husbands, but most women want sex less often like Mike’s wife.

As men we must accept that our wife may not always want sex as much as us, and that needs to be OK.

But here is a truth that every Christian wife needs to hear and take to heart:

You as a wife are capable of taking the right action, with the right attitude, even if you don’t have the same desire. You are capable of having sex with your husband, and not showing him “contempt” while meeting his sexual needs – you have only to choose to do what is right.

Mikes wife goes in for the kill

“She realized that she could not shut me out like this, that I was right to be frustrated. So we talked. A lot. We discussed about what was really important for each one of us, what would be fine, what would be great, what would be not acceptable, etc. I asked her to never force herself, so that it would always be true love between us. Though, I asked her what she would be willing to do to lower my frustration. She asked me to accept she did not want as much as me and not get mad about this. Though, she asked me if I would be willing to keep asking her, even if “no” was a probable answer (getting a “no” is hard! So keep asking? Harsh! ) We tried several “recipe” and finally found out a suitable compromise for both of us. The key? Always let room for a “no”. Always let our beloved one feel secure. And never blame her (him) for being honest. This is, from my humble point of view, what a genuine marriage relation should be.”

This conversion Mike had with wife shows her final transformation of his thinking. He states his wife knew it was wrong for her to shut him out and he was right to be frustrated. But by the end of their conversation she had convinced him that he was wrong for being frustrated by her “no’s”.

Mike’s wife might be unselfish in many ways. Perhaps she gives her time to her church to help feed the poor, or maybe she does other charitable work. She might be the most giving and caring mom. Maybe she does a great job of caring for the needs of Mike’s home and his children. But it is possible for a person to giving in many of areas of their life, and still utterly selfish in their marriage. Mike’s wife seems to be very selfish when it comes to her marriage and her husband’s needs.

Remember, Biblically speaking a person is not selfish for wanting sex when their spouse does not. A person is selfish for denying their spouse sex when they don’t feel like having sex.

So here is what Mike’s wife was really saying:

“I actually do want sex a few times a month. But during those few times when I want sex, I don’t want to have to come to you and ask for it. I want to be pursued. So what I want you to do is ask me for sex every time you want it and eventually you will ask for it on a day when I want it and I will say yes. But all those other times you ask and I don’t want it – I will say no. I want you to be ok with that, and not be frustrated or upset.”

THIS IS UTTER SEXUAL SELFISHNESS!

I wish I could say this is the first time I have heard of this scenario of sexual denial but it is not the first time. I have received many emails from men in a very similar scenario, and I even faced this with my own wife until I was willing to confront her sinful behavior in this area of sexual selfishness on her part. I use to experience this in my second marriage not long after we were married. I then confronted my wife’s sinful attitude about sexual denial and it got better. But it is a continual process as my wife’s thinking is highly steeped in feminist thinking (since her mother and grandmother are feminists).

Mike’s confusion over “The Frustrated feminist wife”

“I don’t understand the title of your article “the frustrated feminist wife”. You are dealing with wives refusing to have sex with their husband. When these wives tell you that there is no way they will force themselves into sex interaction, you call them “frustrated feminist”. I really don’t get it but this is a common place I often read from males (sorry, I really cannot say “husbands” here) that are the ones frustrated. I do agree though with the term “feminist” : feminist are people (and not only women…) that consider that men and women are equal in rights (i insist: “in rights”, not physically, strength, etc.). I am a man, I believe in God and I believe men and women are equal in rights. If you are teaching men that their wives owed them sex and their body because they are married, then I don’t think we understand God’s message the same way.”

Mike did not understand why I entitled my article “The frustrated feminist wife”.   He is thinking of men being frustrated sexually as he was (until his wife trained him that his frustration was selfishness on his part).   What I was showing in “The frustrated feminist wife” was how a feminist who sexually denies her husband (as Mike’s wife does him) can experience her own frustration when her husband stands against her sinful behavior. Her frustration is in the fact that when a man leads his home, and confronts his wife’s sin she may lose the things she cares about. She can’t have her sin without consequences from her husband. This is her frustration.

Mike also demonstrates the typical beliefs of a Christian egalitarian, that marriage is a partnership rather than a patriarchy and that sex is not a duty in marriage. But unfortunately for Mike, the Bible does not support his feelings in this matter. “God’s message” could not be clearer – “The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”(I Corinthians 7:3)

Conclusion

I believe Christian husbands can learn from Mike’s mistake. Mike allowed his wife to convince him that her sexual denial was not sin – in spite of what God’s Word says. She even convinced him that his sexual frustration was actually based in selfishness on his part and she trained him to pursue her on a regular basis in which she would say no often – so on the few times she wants sex in a month she can say yes.

Christian husband, if you see yourself in this scenario – you have to accept the fact that you have been enabling you wife’s sinful behavior of sexual denial.

An important truth to understand is that this is about a lot more than sex, this is about rebellion on your wife’s part toward God and toward you.

God wants you confront sin in your home, whether it be with your children or with your wife. You cannot be afraid of her threats, or even of divorce. You must do what is right.

If you as a Christian husband see yourself in this post, I suggest that you read my post “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal”. I also suggest that you read my post “10 ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife”.

If you have a story of sexual denial that you would like to share – feel free to comment on this post or send me an email at biblicalgenderroles@gmail.com and just let me know if I can share part of or all of your story. Your name does not need to be mentioned or we can just make a fake name for you.

Many people in this situation feel alone as they have the Church on one side that seems to ignore this issue entirely, and on the other side they have non-Christians telling them there is no right to sex in marriage and they are being selfish for wanting sex more than their spouse.  When you share your story, you show others that they are not alone.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage – Episode 1

After almost a half a million views of my post, “8 Steps on how to handle your wife’s sexual refusal”, I have received thousands of emails, Facebook messages or comments to my blog. Many of these are not just comments, but stories of sexual difficulties between Christian married couples.

As I have time, I will sift through the mountain of emails and comments and try to apply the Biblical principles I have espoused to these situations. Let me be clear that I will only use a story in one of two situations. If you post a comment publically to my site, then I believe it is fair game to address it publically. I will also reveal stories that come via email – if the person gives me permission (which is rare).

This first story comes to me from an anonymous commenter and he begins with this:

“I’m a married man of 11 years struggling with the same issues. While my wife pretends to be a Christian, she has become an immoral woman and lives two lives. While I am not perfect, I’m a 100% faithful man who has given my all to the love and care of my wife and daughter. I love my wife with all my heart and find myself pleading for her affection, love, and compassion towards me. Nothing is given freely, or lately – given at all. While the mother of our 2-year old daughter, she’s placed her job and friendship with a lesbian over time with my daughter and I, and continually leaves me to do all the bidding (chores, “honey do,” etc). Given a good marriage working in partnership with one another, I would abide with gladness and do even more than she asks (which up until this minute, I have been – at least…doing all she asks). I am at the point now where I will give no further. We share few words, as we have for the past two, sexless years. I don’t know many men in their early 30’s who would tolerate such a thing. I find myself in a persistent state of acute jealously of all my friends whose wives love and respect them. I stay because I love my daughter immeasurably and I cannot bare the thought of her calling another man “daddy.” I have become the heel of the family – and while I’ve vocalized my disdain for the current situation – I’ve chosen sacrifice for the sake of my child and for what I now realize as the only reason.”

I wish I could say this is the first story I have heard of a Christian husband who has given his all to save his marriage, but it is not.

The first thing to realize is, these issues do not usually arrive overnight. They usually take time to reveal themselves and it appears that over his 11 year marriage he began to tolerate sinful behavior from his wife.

He tolerated her putting her job outside the home before her duties to him and their home. He even claims that if he was receiving the love he needed from his wife he would have continued to cover for her in the home. But I believe that would have been a mistake as well.

The Bible is clear what the duties of his wife are toward her husband:

To respect him

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)

To submit to him and obey him

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:24(KJV)

To be his lover

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4 (KJV)

The phrase above “to love their husbands” – literally means to be “lovers of their husbands”

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

To give her body to him for sex whenever he needs it

“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband” – I Corinthians 7:4 (KJV)

To care for her home and her children

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” – I Timothy 5:14(KJV)

As you can see when you compare what the Word of God says a wife’s duties are in marriage, and compare this to the behavior of this man’s wife – godly discipline by this husband toward his wife is woefully overdue and needed in this situation. His wife has come to condone the sinful behavior of her lesbian friend and he as her husband would be well within his rights to tell his wife that she must break off this unhealthy relationship.

He continues with how he feels about this situation with his wife…

“I view my wife as an immoral woman, who has sold her being to her work and acceptance of others sins over her family and particularly the love of her husband. As a Soldier of 14 years, I know a bad deal when I see one but my marriage by no means compares to sleeping under the stars or the stresses of combat. My own resilience has become my greatest enemy in evaluating my current circumstances.”

This Christian husband uses the terms “sacrifice” and “resilience” to describe his toleration of his wife’s sinful behavior. Many good Christian men like this man have mistakenly thought that what they are doing in this situation is “sacrificing themselves for the greater good”. But the truth is they have actually been sacrificing their faith for their wife. You can read more about this in my post “10 ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife”.

He shows the decision he has come to…

“After two years, I’ve reached the point where I have to leave – where I have to get away – from the abuse inflicted on me by having my face rubbed in such wicked confidence and endless self righteousness, based on a worldly view and by no means God’s Holy Word. My wife challenges my views on homosexuality as it relates to her best friend, my service to my country as a Soldier, and as someone who believes in doing the right thing even when nobody is looking (my integrity). I may lose every worldly thing, but I cannot go on, hurting the best thing going on in my life and that is Christ alone.”

This Christian husband has finally realized he can no longer tolerate his wife’s sin. Even if confronting her means risking divorce and losing “every worldly thing” – he ready to do what is right. This man needs to surround himself with other Christian men that will encourage him and strengthen him for the spiritual battle to come. He needs to come to the Lord daily in prayer. God will work this out as he wills it.

He talks about false hope…

“Every so often, I get a glimpse of hope. A kind smile, my wife doing something completely out of the ordinary to gain my approval and maybe push the ball (the oven timer on our marriage) just a little further down the field. If all of my effort and love only gets me “D” effort from the woman who is supposed to protect my heart, I’m not leading the team and I certainly question my leadership in my family, outside of the military.”

I can’t tell you how many letters I received accusing me of advocating that men manipulate their wives into doing what is right in marriage. What I am advocating for is not manipulation, but the confronting of sin with discipline. Again as I have said repeatedly, I am not referring to a man physically abusing his wife. There are many non-physical forms of discipline. Christian men need to lead their homes and discipline their children AND wives when needed. Sometimes a man confronting his wife’s sin with godly discipline will result in divorce – and he must be ready for that very real possibility.

But in this case there is true manipulation going on by his wife. This is very common in these situations as well. Occasionally the sinful and rebellious wife realizes that she needs her husband so she will give him some false hope, some kindness in order to make him think that perhaps he is overreacting to her sin.

Maybe things will get better or so she wants him to think, so he will doubt his intentions to confront her sinful behavior.

He reveals his plan…

“Your proposed solution is my last ditch resort, and I’m going to take it. No matter how it ends, I won’t look back on my marriage and say I didn’t give it my very best. Thanks for sharing and allowing me to share.”

The proposed solution he refers to is my post “8 steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal”. I believe after reading this, as well as some more detailed information he sent to me privately, that this man’s wife is well overdue for some Biblical discipline from her husband.

I pray that God blesses this Christian husband’s efforts to confront the sin that has infested his home in the form of his wife’s behavior.

I also pray that if you as Christian husband see your marriage in this story, that you will have the courage to confront your wife’s sin and that you will no longer sacrifice your faith in order to appease your wife.

If you have a story of sexual denial that you would like to share – feel free to comment on this post or send me an email at biblicalgenderroles@gmail.com and just let me know if I can share part of or all of your story. Your name does not need to be mentioned or we can just make a fake name for you.

Many people in this situation feel alone as they have the Church on one side that seems to ignore this issue entirely, and on the other side they have non-Christians telling them there is no right to sex in marriage and they are being selfish for wanting sex more than their spouse.  When you share your story, you show others that they are not alone.

Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?

Couple With Problems Having Disagreement In Bed

Feminists and even some women who would not consider themselves feminists believe it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife, knowing she is not in the mood. In fact some claim if a man has sex with his wife when she is not the mood this is rape.  This is a question that many Christian men are afraid to ask. Here we will try to answer this very important question, from a Biblical perspective.

I have several “disclaimers” on this hot topic throughout the post but I will put this most important one at the top in red so one thing is crystal clear since I have been falsely accused of promoting rape and physical abuse to women:

I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion.  The issue being discussed here is about whether a man should take sex from his wife IF and ONLY IF she yields to his request for sex, even though she does so grudgingly and is not really in the mood, or does not feel he has earned it.

In our last post in this series on “How to be a godly husband”, we established the fact that as a Christian husband you do not have earn sex with your wife, any more than your wife has to earn sex with you. I took a beating from several people, even from some Christians who might 95% agree with me, because they thought I was not adding enough disclaimers about this right of sex in marriage.

But I stand by what I wrote, I feel that today we make far too many excuses for the sin of sexual denial in marriage, and as men of God we must address this issue without pulling punches.

In my last post “Christian Husbands – You don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow!” I did add some disclaimers at the end that some people missed about this issue of sexual denial:

“The answer to this question is a Christian wife should never give her husband a flat no, BUT she can humbly and gently ask for a delay. There may be legitimate physical or mental issues that might prompt your wife to ask you for a delay.  But this must be done humbly and respectfully, and always with the attitude in mind that her body does belong to her husband.”

There are also “disclaimers” sections here you will see as you read on reasons a wife might not be in the mood.

Now we need to establish the key Biblical teachings about sex.

Sex is both a Right and a Responsibility in marriage

Moses, speaking under the direct inspiration of God was the first to speak of the importance of sex in marriage:

“If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. And if he does not do these three things for her, she may leave free of charge, without any exchange of money.” – Exodus 21:10-11(HCSB)

The phrase translated in English as “marital rights”, literally refers to conjugal rights – Sex.

In this passage, Moses establishes sex as the right of a wife, and the responsibility of a husband.

The Apostle Paul later in the New Testament, elaborates on this right and responsibility of sex in marriage making it clear that both husbands and wives have the right TO and responsibility FOR sex in marriage:

“A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does.  Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – I Corinthians 7:4-5(HCSB)

The phrase “A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does.” could not be clearer. A wife does not have the right to stand and deny her husband access to her body. As I said in the previous post, a wife can humbly ask for a “delay”, or “raincheck”, but only for legitimate physical or psychological reasons and the judge of what is legitimate or not is her husband.

Not only does the Apostle Paul start out with the sexual rights and responsibility of both men and women in marriage, he then tells us that if we disobey God by denying the sexual rights of our spouse, we open our marriage to temptation and danger.

The Apostle Paul pulls no punches here, Christian couples should only abstain from sex for short, mutually agreed upon periods of time. Christian husbands and wives should regularly be having sex. Not having sex for a long length of time, should be the exception, and not the norm in a Christian marriage.

But sex is supposed to be about feelings not duty right?

I understand to people who have not read the Scriptures, everything I have stated up to this point and in previous posts in these series seems cold, and unfeeling.  But you need to understand that our modern western culture has the idea of marriage and sex backwards from God’s design.

This the Modern Western formula regarding sex:

Feelings of fondness between a man and a woman leads to sex

This is God’s formula regarding sex:

Sex leads to feelings of fondness between a man and a woman

Some people might respond to this saying “it is not always true that sex leads to fondness between a man and a woman” and they would be right.  But let’s consider why it would not. I have one word for you – its called pride. A wife may actually be more annoyed at her husband after sex, then she was before if she does not release her feelings of pride during sex and give herself fully, both mind and body to her husband.

Exercising the right and responsibility of sex in marriage results in feelings of fondness between a man and a woman ONLY when both the man and the woman humble themselves first before God, and then before each other, realizing he has given their bodies to one another.

I am not saying it’s wrong that married couples have sex when they have feelings of fondness toward each other.  This is a good thing and what we want to see in our marriages.  But we must be careful that we don’t over time come to think that this is a prerequisite of sex, but rather we see it as a benefit of sex in marriage.

You as a husband are NOT being selfish for initiating sex with your wife

Young, naked couple in bed, the man leaning over the woman

You are not being selfish when you act on your God given sexual urges and initiate sex with your wife. Even if your wife is not in the mood, but she yields to your advance anyway, you ought to take it.

It is not selfish for you as husband to do what God commands you to do in his Word:

18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 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)

God commands men to find sexual satisfaction in their wife’s body “at all times”.

You should NEVER, EVER feel guilty for initiating sex with your wife.

Remember this principle when it comes to sex in your marriage. It is not just you, or your wife that need sex as individuals, but your marriage needs sex. While sex levels may go up and down from time to time, when sex completely ceases in a marriage the marriage will die. Sure you may still live together, but the connection between the two of you will be gone, and you both will expose yourselves to dangerous and sinful temptations by doing so.

Let me also be clear, that much of this advice I am giving to you is for Christian couples, where both the husband and wife profess faith in Christ, and believe the Bible is the Word of God. See my next post 8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal where some of the steps could also apply to an unbelieving wife.

What I mean by “not in the mood” and by “you ought to take it”

The haters of the fact that God says sex is to occur if either the husband or wife want it will immediately scream “Rape” when I tell you as a Christian husband, that you ought to take the sex from your wife even if she is not in the mood.

The little phrase they neglect that I have stated is “if she yields”.

I am NOT advocating for a husband to physically force his wife to have sex with him.

I will address the situation if she does not yield in my next post.

But I will say this, despite American laws to the contrary, Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape”. In the Scriptures, the only way rape occurs is if a man forces himself on a woman who is not his property (not his wife, or concubine). A man’s wives, his concubines (slave wives taken as captives of war or bought) could be made to have sex with him, no questions asked.

Now the Bible states that if a man did take one of his female slaves, he had to make her at least a slave wife (a concubine), which gave her a certain status above a normal slave. She had the right to be fed, clothed and the right to regular relations with him even he had other wives. She also had to be given the full rights of a daughter, if her father-in-law had purchased her for his son. I realize this entire scenario is appalling to our modern western notions, but I choose to not challenge God’s wisdom in the laws he gave. If you want to argue with God about this at the judgement, be my guest.

Two types of “not in the mood”

Really there are two classes of “not in the mood”, one is because of legitimate health reasons, perhaps she is experiencing painful intercourse or perhaps psychological issues and you should encourage your wife to seek medical assistance in these cases. But the other reason women are often not in the mood is because of “attitude issues”, basically adding up to “what has he done to earn this?” – This second reason is the “not in the mood” that I am primarily aiming at.

Reactions a wife might make to her husband’s sexual advances

The reaction every man wants to hear when he approaches his wife for sex

InMood

“Sure babe, let’s get it on.”

This is the way it should be the vast majority of the time.

The First type of “not in the mood”

WeHaveNotTalked

“We have not spent any time talking lately and you want to have sex?”

“I am really not feeling up to it babe, I am really sorry can I give you a raincheck for tomorrow?”

How you should react to “not in the mood” type 1

If your wife expresses a need to talk, then by all means sit down and talk with your wife. Perhaps she has had a rough day, and just needs to vent, or perhaps there is an unresolved conflict between the two of you that she would like to discuss. I think there needs to be a compromise here between husbands and wives, that sometimes we as guys can cool our testosterone jets just for a little bit and connect verbally with our wives when they need that prior to sex.

But wives need also to understand that sometimes a man has a rough day, and all he wants to do is have sex and forget his troubles, he does not want to talk about it. Your wife needs to respect this, and should not ALWAYS insist that you have to first connect verbally, she also should try to see sex from your perspective too – that sometimes you won’t be ready to talk until after you have had sex.

If you see that your wife is genuinely not feeling well(and not the classic “I have a headache” excuse), and she politely asks for a rain check, then by all means as a Christian husband be gracious and allow her that. Now if she is asking for a rain check every other day, then you may need to explore what is happening, and if there is a deeper issue.

The Second type of “not in the mood”

NotFeelingWellMood

“I am not really in the mood, but let’s just get this over with”

WhatHaveYoudoneForMe

Then we have the classic “What have you done for me lately?” reasons for not being in the mood:

“When was the last time you took me out?”

“Did you buy me anything at the jewelry store this week?”

“How are those dishes looking?”

Then we have the – “how often do i have to do this” not in the mood reactions:

HowOftenNotInMood

“Really? We just did it a week ago?”

NotInMoodHeadache

“I have a headache”

How you should react to “not in the mood” type 2

Many of us husbands, but not all, will take the grudging acceptance, where she yes, but with a bad attitude.

Believe it or not, I have seen bloggers and others online say that a man is raping his wife if he has sex with her, knowing she is not in the mood, even if she grudgingly yields. Anything short of her happy consent in their view, is rape. I have asked several good Christian women about this, including my wife and sister-in-law and they just laughed at such a ridiculous notion.

But if your wife’s reaction is anything but a happy or grudging yield to your sexual advance, you need only follow up her response with “is that a no?”

And perhaps throw in “do we need to sit down and refresh our minds with what God’s Word says about sex in marriage?” If your wife is not a Christian, a reference to the Scriptures may fall on deaf ears so you may just want to leave it with the first question “is that a no”, and then see my next post that will deal with how to handle unbelieving wives.

Your wife has two choices

Her first choice is to react to your “is that a no” question by grudgingly giving in. This is what I mean by, if she is not in the mood, but yields anyway, then just take it, knowing that both you and your marriage need the sex.

Her second choice is to react to your “is that a no” with a “Yep, it’s a no”. In that case you have to move to a different strategy that with I will address in my next post, “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”.

But a woman can’t physically have sex when she is not in the mood

I added this section to the original post to address the emails and comments I got claiming a woman can’t physically have sex unless she is in the mood.  Basically the argument goes like this.  When a woman desires to have sex with a man, her vagina will start to lubricate itself in anticipation of intercourse. If there is no desire, then there is no lubrication and therefore if she is not in the mood she will automatically have dry and painful intercourse.

Just because I am saying it is OK if a woman grudgingly yields to her husband for sex he should take it, this does NOT give him the right to just “go for it”.  He ought to use foreplay and touch various parts of her body and massage her in an attempt to relax her.  He could also use oral sex as a way to help her get lubricated, and if that is not working use an artificial lubricant to help.  There are ways to make sure a woman is sufficiently lubricated, even if she is not in the mood for sex.

Christian husbands the ball is in your court

So as a Christian husband you have quite the task on your shoulders. God wants sex to be a regular part of your marriage. Unless you are one those rare guys with little to no sex drive, you want sex in your marriage. Your wife may or may not want sex, or she may want it far less frequently than you do. But regardless of either of your sex drives, sex is to be a regular occurrence when you are married.

You need to pray and ask for God’s guidance in trying to truly discern if your wife’s “not in the mood” problem is a true mental or physical health issue (and if so seek help), or is it an attitude issue in which case as I said previously – if she yields (even grudgingly), you ought to take it.  Do not feel bad and don’t let her make you think you being selfish for wanting sex with her, when the truth from God’s perspective is that she is the one being both rebellious and selfish.

The next post in this series will address “How to handle it when your wife refuses to have sex”. After that we will tackle what it means to “live with your wife according to knowledge”, “what it means to honor your wife” and many other topics related to being a godly husband.

Before you send your comments, I suggest you read my comments policy if you want a chance of your comment going through.

Does a husband have to earn sex with his wife?

husband asks wife for sex

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary published an article on Crosswalk.com in 2005 called “The Meaning of Sex”. In this article he states that “a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed”.

The full article “The Meaning of Sex”, can be found at here.

Here is the larger context of how Dr. Mohler builds his foundation for the belief that God wants men to “earn access to the marriage bed”.

Dr. Mohler states:

“A biblical worldview understands that God has demonstrated His glory in both the sameness and the differences that mark men and women, male and female. Alike made in the image of God, men and women are literally made for each other. The physicality of the male and female bodies cries out for fulfillment in the other. The sex drive calls both men and women out of themselves and toward a covenantal relationship which is consummated in a one-flesh union.

By definition, sex within marriage is not merely the accomplishment of sexual fulfillment on the part of two individuals who happen to share the same bed. Rather, it is the mutual self-giving that reaches pleasures both physical and spiritual. The emotional aspect of sex cannot be divorced from the physical dimension of the sex act. Though men are often tempted to forget this, women possess more and less gentle means of making that need clear.

Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed. As the Apostle Paul states, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other. At the same time, Paul instructed men to love their wives even as Christ has loved the church. Even as wives are commanded to submit to the authority of their husbands, the husband is called to a far higher standard of Christ-like love and devotion toward the wife.

Therefore, when I say that a husband must regularly “earn” privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.”

Dr. Mohler is alluding to I Corinthians 7:4-6 when he states “, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other”. He then alludes to Ephesians 5 where God commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.

What part of I Corinthians 7 or Ephesians 5 state that men must “earn access to marriage bed”? The answer is NO part does. I invite the reader to study these passages closely. In fact that only “mutuality” about sex that Paul mentions is that married couples need to only cease having sex when they “mutually” agree to short time to stop for prayer and fasting.

Sex is to occur regularly, and anytime that either the wife needs it, or the husband needs it. The reality is that in most relationships the husband will need it far more often than the wife (but there are some exceptions to this).

The husband’s sex drive is much more physically based than the wife’s need as he has hormones that drive him to have a sexual release at least every 72 hours.

Dr. Mohler incorrectly paints the male sex drive as shallow and he paints the women’s view of sex (both emotional and physical) as the true intent God had for each sexual encounter between a husband and wife. This is why he sees that husbands must earn sex with their wives, because any sex that is only physically based, and not also emotionally based, is less than the sex God intends for marriage in his view.

The Biblical facts are these – NEVER once in all of Scripture is a husband commanded to “earn” sex in the marital bed by showing his wife affection and emotional support. Men are commanded to Agape love their wives – this is love of the will and of the mind, not an emotionally based affectionate love.

Dr. Mohler’s advice may sound great from a woman’s point of view, but it is far from a Biblical point of a view and it is teachings like these that are leading to the great divorce epidemic we have faced in this country for decades. Almost 70 percent of divorces today are filed by women, and the vast majority of them are filed because they believe their husbands are not “emotionally connecting” with them enough.

Dr. Mohler states “Alike made in the image of God, men and women are literally made for each other.” This statement could not be further from the truth. Read the passages below and tell me if Dr. Mohler’s belief lines up with God’s Holy Word:

“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…

 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 & 9(KJV)

Man is the image and glory of God, and woman is the glory of man. Man was not made for woman, but woman for man. This guiding principle of the roles of men and women in God’s creation, and in marriage has been all but lost in our modern society over the last 50 years. Even conservative Bible preachers have left God’s teachings behind because of pressure from Christian feminists within our churches.

No husband has to “earn access” to his wife’s body any more than a wife has to earn access to her husband’s body.

Often time’s sex is in fact purely physical for a man in that it helps him to relieve stress and it helps him to build fondness for his wife. So many times sex, even in a loving marriage, will be no more than two people getting physical relief.

But what Christian wives often discover is, when you do what God commands and offer your body freely to your husband, with no pre-conditions, your husband will often do what God does not command – and act affectionate toward you and give you some of the emotional support you crave. But you also have to realize your husband is not girlfriend. Some men can over time emotionally connect on a very deep level with their wives, perhaps as deep as their girlfriends. But what many women discover over decades of marriage is, most men simply are not wired by God to give a woman all the emotional support she needs, that is what good Christian lady friends are for.

If a woman makes full emotional support and connection a precondition for every sexual encounter with her husband, this will quickly cause friction in many marriages, and often leads to the destruction of the marriage.

Consider this historical fact. For thousands of years, before the last two centuries, many, if not most marriages were arranged. Either parents would arrange them, or a man would approach a woman’s father and ask for her to be his wife, he would offer her father something in trade and she would be made to marry that man.

The love they pledged in marriage was not an emotional love, but one of duty – based upon the Agape love defined in the Bible. It was not a friendship or romantic love, but it might grow into that over some time. But for a while, this new bride was having sex with a man she barely knew, and may or may not be physically attracted to. There was no emotional or affection preconditions to their having sex, it happened whenever the husband needed it. Society embraced the Biblical concept that man was not created woman, but woman was created for man.

But the smart women, those who accepted their role and position in society as God designed it, found that they could in fact earn their husband’s affection and emotional connection by freely offering their bodies and affections to their husbands. They looked for any way they could to please their husbands, both inside and outside the bedroom and they honored and respected their husband.

In time – they planted the seeds of passion and romance in their husband’s hearts which lead their husbands to give them the affection and emotional connection they craved.

So this leaves us with some questions and admonitions to Christian husbands and wives.

Wives – will you submit to God’s design and role for your life? Will you see yourself as beautiful gift that God created for your husband? If you have been taught these false teachings that your husband “must earn” access to your body in the marriage bed – will you repent of this false belief and give yourself fully, freely, and without condition to your husband?

Husbands, do you realize that when you follow the unbiblical advice given by many Christians teachers today (including Dr. Mohler), that you must earn sexual access to your wife, that you are in fact giving up the leadership of your home when it comes to sexuality? God commands you to lead your home in all areas, and that includes sexuality.

While in generations past Misogyny(hatred toward women), was the more prevalent problem, today the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction.  Dr. Mohler and many other Christian leaders, with their negative views toward male sexuality, are contributing to the growing Misandry (hatred of all things male) that has become so prevalent in our modern society. As Christian leaders in our homes, we as men have a duty to fight Misandry wherever we find it. No man ought to be made to feel that his God given “maleness” is some sort of liability, anymore than a woman should be made to feel that her God given “femininity” is a liability.

While it is true that a man’s God given sexual nature has the capacity to lead to sin if it is unbalanced and unchecked, it is also equally true that a woman’s God given emotional nature has the same capacity to lead her into sinful behavior as well.

God commands that sex is to happen regularly (I Corinthians 7) and the only “mutuality” that is commanded in the sexual arena is in ceasing to have sex for a short time of prayer and fasting and only if both mutually agree. If you need sex, you should initiate it with your wife. If your wife needs sex and initiates it with you, you are commanded to have sex with her. The emotions may or may not be there each time. Even if you don’t need sex, sex should happen regularly as a part of marriage. You as the husband, must take the lead in this area to make sure it happens often and regularly.

What should a Christian husband do if his wife refuses to submit to his leadership in this very important area of sex?

This is a part of a much larger discussion of how Christian husbands should handle unsubmissive wives.  When I complete that post, I will link it back to this post.  For now I will leave you with what God’s Word says about the need for regularly occurring sex within 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)