Many men spend years wishing their wives would be more responsive. Why doesn’t she show more interest in, or desire for me in bed? (She has her reasons, guaranteed) but your frustration builds. Not only is a sense of deprivation gnawing away – emotional distance between you grows. And then there’s the anger . . . like molten lava, bubbling up to the surface.
You know you’re being short-changed. She might not be cheating on you but you still feel cheated, don’t you? And it makes you mad when you think about it – no sex for weeks! (and for many, months).
And yet, a simple, profound, and exceedingly powerful truth is needlessly missed by so many men.
. . . And, what is that truth?
If you’re not giving at all, giving little, or giving to get, your wife will continue to withhold herself to some degree.
She wants to be your Lady but she doesn’t want to be taken for granted and she certainly doesn’t want to be used. Used? Yes, used! That’s how she feels when you expect regular sex but don’t take care to consider what her heart needs and desires.
Yes, she desires to be with you but that desire doesn’t begin in bed. Before you get frustrated . . . again . . . because your wife doesn’t want to have sex the first, second or third time this week, ask yourself, “Have I truly sought to meet her needs?
Don’t give to get. Give to love. Let love, not self-consideration, be the driving force behind your care of her. That loving consideration of her needs is what she needs, in her soul, to feel loved and to offer herself with dignity and joy to you.
What are her needs? (Sounds like a conversation for Date Night, doesn’t it? (Oh . . . right . . . you haven’t taken her on a date in . . . forever!).
For the wise husband who seeks to know her needs, she’ll love you for wanting to know and for seeking her out on the matter. She’ll love you better for following through on what you learn from her – not to get what you want, but for truly wanting her to feel known and cherished by you.
Rhino horn, oysters, Elk antlers in the velvet, pheromones, styling Italian clothes – In this world, there are many competing claims for “best aphrodisiac” but, wise men know casting about for the latest new idea to make her want you is as easy as a walk in the park, holding hands, being truly interested in her, as a person, and communicating to her that you care about her needs and desires – that you truly want her.
In most marriages*, if you lovingly meet her needs and she’ll make sure you don’t have any.
Meeting her needs might include making sure she has had an uninterrupted afternoon nap; dealing with that easy-to-ignore household task she’s asked you about a zillion times; ensuring she has some “me” time; taking the kids for 6 hours straight on a Saturday so she can go somewhere and breath.
The “what” depends on “who”.
To Whom are you married?
Every woman is different in what says “Love” to her – remember that Date Night conversation? – but there is an important way in which every wife is the same. She is a person who needs to feel the love that says, I am here to nurture you, to care for your needs, not just to get what I want.
The Good Book says, don’t just look out for your own interests but look out for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
Marriage . . . there’s no better place to apply this wisdom.
Pray and ask the Father to help you consider your wife’s needs and the desires of her heart, in a way that communicates “love” to her. Pray and ask God to help you speak and interact with your wife in a manner that demonstrates how much you love and value her as a unique person. And ask for endurance and perseverance if she doesn’t respond immediately in the way that you desire her to. Unconditional love is what God has given you. Ask Him to help you to give the same to your wife.
. . . and, a Word to the Wives . . .
*Above, I said, “In most marriages”. Many men write me to share their frustration that, though they are doing all the things suggested in this article and have remained faithful to their wives even still, their wives are withholding themselves in bed.
If you are not a Christian and regularly saying “no” to your husband, then you are being very unwise, straining the bonds of your marriage – a pattern that will, for most, one day lead to divorce.
If you are a Christian wife, then you are being completely sinful, acting in a manner directly contrary to what the Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 7. (read it!) You may have your reasons for withholding your body from your husband but if they don’t square with what the Bible has said on the matter, it’s time to repent and make a change . . . unless you want your husband cheating on you.
Wait a minute! Are you justifying my husband cheating on me??
Uh . . . no. I’m just repeating the warning given in (1 Corinthians 7:5) to all spouses who think they have the right to say “no” to their spouse when it comes to sex . . . and, it’s hardly rocket science. The spouse who regularly says “no” is regularly placing sexual temptation directly in the other’s path.
. . . and One Last Word . . .
Everything in this article applies to both husbands and wives . . . for both the negative and positive points being made. It was written as it was because, percentage-wise, the issue tends to be (but is by no means exclusively) an issue with men.
If you desire more teaching on building a strong and deeply satisfying marriage, click this link and get Marriage Wisdom for Him and Marriage Wisdom for Her from our store (on sale, 20% off!)
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).