The Bible is full of thoughts and advice on sex. It’s clear God wants us to have it and enjoy it – an entire book of the Bible is dedicated to the pursuit of two lovers (and in case you didn’t know, the book of Song of Songs was off limits to Jews until they were of marrying age). Where Song of Songs is pretty erotic and sensual, 1 Corinthians 7 goes into more explicit practical advice and even commandments about not refusing one another or abstaining unless it’s mutual and for a short period of time that was only set apart for prayer. Many Christian marriages are abstaining currently, but it’s not by mutual consent and the time isn’t being spent solely in prayer nor is it a short period – when’s the last time YOU’VE had sex?So why are way too many of my friends NOT having more frequent GOOD sex with their husbands?
Besides being a wife, I am a mom to two very active kids, one entering the teens soon and full of that wonderful drama. I volunteer a LOT and end most days feeling like life has been drained out of me. On top of all that, I was a victim of sexual abuse for most of my childhood. There are a lot more reasons we tend to put off our husbands and if you have more to add then you certainly have a bigger challenge. I want to acknowledge that our problems and the stress caused by them can contribute to our sex (or lack of) life. I don’t want to discount our issues or tell you (as more than one well meaning person has said to me while I was in a pile of tears) that you need to “just get over it.”
As a Christian women, one thing I’ve been very convicted of lately though is something I’d love to get into your mind. Underneath all our issues, underneath all our busyness and lack of desire for our husbands I really want you to really get this – not having sex with your husband is a sin.
Unless your husband has physically cheated on you and there is concern of STD’s – or your husband has some other issue where he should be in the justice system (like sexual attempts or actions on children, physical abuse of you or someone else, you get the idea) there isn’t a reason you can say that is justifiable for your lack of a good sex life.*
I know we get busy. I know our minds can wander (and yes I mean during sex). And hell, there is nothing much more disturbing than seeing your perpetrator’s face in the middle of getting it on with your husband… we have all kinds of reasons to avoid sex. All kinds of hurts. All kinds of wrong thoughts from our upbringing. Maybe sex was such a taboo topic in your house that even though you didn’t suffer from any traditional kind of sexual abuse you still carry the stigma that ‘sex is bad.’ Maybe you just don’t like your husband all that much these days and the thought of him touching you skeeves you out. These are ALL very real reasons women suffer and tell their husbands no night after night. And if your husband hasn’t even asked you in a while that’s an even worse sign of where your sex life is currently and where your marriage is headed.
I don’t say all this to make you feel bad. I just want to say that I get it. I understand that sex isn’t the top of your list most days. And all the road blocks to making it happen can be crazy insurmountable at times. But until we get it in our hearts that we are sinning in this area we cannot begin to heal and overcome.
Sometimes I think we can get real proud of all we do. I made a homemade dinner for my family. I drive my kids to school so they don’t have to take the bus. I keep the house spic and span for my husband. I volunteer in a hundred places. I’m part of the PTA. I go to church and sing on the worship team. I’m always there for my friends. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I didn’t have sex before marriage (ironic NOW isn’t it?).
It’s like we’re saying, “Look how good I am God! All for you!” And God whispers back, “Great, now go have sex with your Husband!”
Maybe you believe the lie that God isn’t relevant to your sex life. Or that it’s not applicable to a Christian life or our spirituality. But know that the Christian life is about surrender and trust in God. I’m sure you do it already in a lot of areas. Sex is something God created just like His other creations. I’m willing to bet and want to challenge you on this thought: if you’re not having sex with your husband you are not surrendered to and trusting God fully.
Reasons. I know I touched some nerves. Your mind is flooded right now with reasons YOU are exempt from that truth. Please stay with me here. Would you accept any reason to stay in sin from someone who is doing a sin you detest? Think about the sin you hate the most (we all have that ONE that rubs us the wrong way) and ask yourself – is there ANY reason that person could give you where you’d say, “Ok you’re right, no one else but YOU is exempt. Feel free to indulge.”
Now understand that you wouldn’t expect someone sinning to drop everything and change in a day. Of course there is a process. Let me be very transparent here for the sake of gaining your heart. Thanks largely in part to a life of sexual abuse as a child, for a long time sex for me was terrible as a married woman. That did NOT change in a day. There were times I’d start crying in the middle, put things on hold, make myself say my husband’s name over and over in my head or even out loud (discreetly of course to avoid ruining the mood for him), times I’d run to the bathroom and throw up when we were done and many nights I cried myself to sleep when it was all said and done. To be clear in case it isn’t already, my husband was not pushing me into things (and for his sake I kept him as ignorant as possible to many of my struggles). This was at a point where I so desperately wanted to overcome this issue and would not back down. However, in all fairness to the reader my past wasn’t my only issue, my husband added to the problem with his own issues and sins. But boy did I get through that – and let me tell you if you’re struggling, you CAN overcome a past, you can overcome any issue your husband may be bringing to the table and you CAN have a healthy sex life that you ENJOY.
No matter your issue, how big or how small, can you be brave? Can you surrender your sex life to God? Scripture says we are to deal violently with sin. If your hand offends you cut it off, if your eye offends you gouge it out! This exaggerated talk is to make a point that you don’t coddle sin and make excuses for it, you DEAL with it and OVERCOME the issues. It’s hard. So what. It’s scary. So what. It’s not something you desire. So what. So what. So what. Sin robs, sin steals, sin is terrible, horrible, and from an enemy that hates your guts. DECIDE that you won’t play around with it anymore, no matter what it takes. Cut if off, gouge it out.
To be blunt, if your answer is “well you just don’t know what he did to me…” or “you can’t possibly know how I feel…” then I guess you’d better go get the divorce papers now. Many people are quick to say that divorce is a sin then they trap their spouse in a loveless, sexless marriage instead. In all reality, they are both sins. At least with divorce you aren’t being fake and putting an image out into the community of a perfectly fine marriage. Or another thing we do, blast our sexless marriage details out there or admit to everyone we can’t stand our spouse and make a mockery of the power of God in our marriage and in our lives.
As hard as it can be, the better answer is surrender. Give into God, trust HIM. You think things are bad now, no matter how bad they are they can be exponentially GREATER when God gets involved. You can love your husband again. You can want him again. You can have everything God wants for you. What are you waiting for?
I want to challenge you to take a HUGE step of faith. Grab the phone and call a friend or family member – ask them to watch the kids tonight at their place. Text your husband something naughty and tell him how you desire him and can’t wait for him to be home… then spend the rest of the day thinking about him. Think about how you felt when you were young and in love – how handsome he is to you, how the curve of his body fits right into yours… think anything and everything that is true and noble, lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phillippians 4:8).
And when you hit those bumps in the road, don’t give up. Don’t let one bad moment ruin a potentially awesome thing. Hang in there. Try again. You can do this.
*If you have a valid reason like ones I stated or one I missed then staying with your husband but not having sex with him is not the answer and won’t fix anything. Alternatively, a marriage involving a sex addict situation is a lot more complicated and simply having more sex will not only not fix your marriage but will put more undue pressure and stress on you as a wife. If you need help please get it for yourself and others and either get out of your marriage or get into therapy with your husband. Don’t just settle for what you have currently if it’s broken, get help! My opinion and advice does not presuppose I know everything about your personal situation. If you feel my advice is off the mark for you then please seek wise counsel for the safety of your family. This post was written for the average married woman who has average normal issues in her marriage and I am not attempting to give advice to anyone whose spouse is involved in illegal activity.