The Mistake Christian Husbands and Wives Should Avoid in the Bedroom

The Mistake Christian Husbands and Wives Should Avoid in the Bedroom
April 27, 2016 Matthew L. Jacobson

It’s natural to think that your body belongs to you. After all, you’re the one living in it, right? But natural and biblical thinking often conflict. According to the Bible, your body (if you’re a married Christian) has two other owners. 

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost . . . and that you are not your own? You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.

Not being your own is doubly so for those married.  According to God, your spouse has access rights to your physical body. Your body isn’t yours because Jesus bought it at the cross. And, it isn’t yours because it belongs to your spouse.

As God said, “The two will become one flesh.” This isn’t a nice sentiment designed to make grandmothers cry at weddings. It is a declaration from God that constitutes a fundamental change of spiritual and physical status: Where two were, there is now one. This is why in 1 Corinthians 7:5 the Scripture says, Don’t defraud one another . . . (don’t cheat each other by coming up with excuses for saying “no” to sex when your spouse wants it). And, an important side note, here – in this matter, Scriptures teach men and women are on absolutely equal ground. The wife’s rights to her husband’s body are the same as his.

Question – Do you ever withhold physical intimacy from your spouse? You may have a list of reasons a mile long (and yes, there are some legitimate reasons (a very few!) but, apart from those, withholding sex from your spouse is not defensible behavior for the Christian. It’s sin, plain and simple but, it’s worse than that. The Word also says if you choose that path, you’re inviting more sin into your marriage. In the normal Christian marriage (there are marriages with extenuating circumstances) no sex, or even infrequent sex leads to more sin.

Anyone who ignores his/her spouse’s needs for physical touch and sexual intimacy is walking in sin.

Put so starkly, this may sound harsh but the Bible isn’t an ice-cream shop where Christians can pick and choose what flavor (verse) they like best. So, what does the Bible say, specifically?

If married men and women do not remain physically intimate with each other on a regular basis, they are setting themselves up for sin. If they withhold sex from each other, they are setting up their spouse for sin – the point made by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5

“. . . to avoid engaging in illicit sex of any kind, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. The husband should ensure his wife’s sexual needs are met and the wife should make sure her husband’s sexual needs are met. The wife does not have power (exclusive authority/the right to deny her husband) over her own body and neither does the husband. And, don’t defraud each other (withhold sex from each other), unless you both agree for a time so you can fast and pray about a particular issue. Then, be sure to commence having sex so Satan doesn’t have an opportunity to tempt you to have sex with someone else.”  (MLJparaphrase) 

Loads of sex – it’s the Christian couples burden to bear! Who knew obedience was so much fun! 

Seriously, though, we will all stand before God one day, to give an account of our (sex) lives. Many husbands and wives will have to answer the question, “I told you to have sex often, why did you withhold yourself from your spouse? Why didn’t you meet the sexual needs of the wife/husband I gave you? Why did you live as if your body belonged to you?”

When a wife or husband desires sex she/he should never be made to feel like an intruder. Yes, we must consider where each other may be at, emotionally, physically. Yes, we must not be thoughtless, selfish, and inconsiderate (and it must be said, here, that many men are very unloving in seeking sex only rather than seeking the intimacy of communication she craves, non-sexual touch, and insuring that their wives feel cared for) but, the basic mindset of a biblically informed spouse should be: Your body is right here waiting for you. Come and enjoy it whenever you desire. Don’t withhold from your spouse what is rightfully hers/his. If you need to make a change then find the right moment to acknowledge to your spouse you’ve been walking in sin in this area and, going forward, you are aligning your thinking with what the Bible teaches.

In a happy, fulfilling, God-honoring marriage, you won’t find two perfect people. But, you will find two people who seek to be obedient to God’s instructions for marriage.

Are you a married Christian? Then glorify God in your body by not withholding what God says is rightfully your spouse’s.

************

P.S. Nothing in this article should be construed to advocate or defend control or abuse of any kind, which are nothing less than willful sin.

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91 Comments

  1. Jj 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for not writing this article from the perspective of it always being the woman who withholds sex in marriage. I have suffered a sexless marriage since the day we wed three years ago. I cannot adequately express how much undue pressure has come upon me as a woman to solve what I have already tried to, and simply cannot. Until now, Christian articles on this subject have been like salt in an open wound, immediately assuming blame based on gender statistics. I keep in good shape, dress attractively, compliment and flirt with my husband, and accept his lead in our marriage. I left a loving, active church family, beautiful country and government job to live in my spouse’s town. He speaks to me disrespectfully to the point where friends and family make comments about it. He used to be physically aggressive with me until I made it clear that I would leave if he ever laid a hand on me again. I have tried couples counseling, a marriage retreat and faithful, Scripture infused prayer. He disregarded the wise words of a pastor who was able to hone in on some problems, despite us not having mentioned them. I have theology and ministry training, yet somehow did not consider this a matter of sin until I read the article. Realizing that sets me free from feeling solely responsible to solve a problem that has been somehow pushed onto me. I have lived like an animal in a trap, trying to please my master, and am depressed. Today I made an appointment for a massage, and will call Christian counselor to make an appointment because I need help, regardless of whether my husband decides to join me. I know that he will be upset because this involves money, but it’s about basic health. I want my life back- walking in the newness of life in Christ.

  2. Scott 3 weeks ago

    My wife and I have been married for 23 years and we have had many many heated conversations about sex throughout our marriage. To be totally honest about it, I read this article because my wife turned me down this morning and I was looking for “ammunition” to let her know that I have the right to make love to her when I want to (so I thought!).
    Then I ask myself “Have you met all of her needs?” The honest answer, as bad as I don’t want to admit it, is no! I have fallen short on my duties of some of the things she needs. How can I expect her to satisfy my every desire when I have not met her emotional needs? But It is so hard for me to look at her without wanting her though. (I hope this is not inappropriate but Believe me ladies and gentlemen, my wife is not only Beautiful with the capital B but she is also best Christian Wife a man could ask for so Beautiful is a huge understatement!) Since I have read this article and several comments, I realize that I have some work to do before I ask anything of her. So thank you for writing this and know that God has used you to teach me.
    It is so cool how God has a way of putting the right thing in front of my face at the right time. If I have the mindset of seeking the Truth and the willingness to conform to His Will, He always provides the answer I need.

    • Author

      Scott, thank you for the kind words. An honest look at ourselves takes courage and is the first step in moving forward. God bless you as you seek to love your wife in all the ways God intended (before you get to the bedroom!) I wrote two books for men who desire to love their wives well. You can check them out here – They’re entitled Marriage Wisdom for Him . . . and 100 Ways To Love Your Wife https://shop.faithfulman.com

    • DougK 2 days ago

      ” How can I expect her to satisfy my every desire when I have not met her emotional needs?”

      You have desires and she has needs. Really? I would ask the question a little differently. How can she expect me to meet ALL of her emotional needs when she won’t even try to partially meet a tiny fraction of my sexual needs? Once you put the qualifiers in, it does change the perspective. I am all for self-examination. But I am not asking for “my every desire” to be met. I would settle for her not acting put out and annoyed when I approach her about sex. Or maybe I would even settle for her being annoyed but then be nice after it is over and done with. I have learned to set my expectations as low as I’m prepared to go. Does that mean I won’t try to improve myself? NO! But what it does mean is that I am wondering just how perfect I have to be before I can get a sex life already?

  3. Kat 1 month ago

    Hello, I am seeking advice.

    I love your article, I read from both your wife Lisa (she is beautiful!) And your blog too. I admire the love you share.

    I enjoyed your article and I feel this way. I love where you said the sentiment about “your body is here waiting for you”. I feel in agreement with what you’ve said here.

    Question…. What do you do when the husband is the one withholding, has a lower drive, and one reason for avoiding being because he dislikes normal sex? He says the thought of normal sex is just about enough to make him lose libido.. He says he prefers kinky. I’m no prude and I think I’m fun. But he wants chains, whips, submissive/dominant, role-playing, lots of toys, a blend of all of this. This is the way to get him interested. Normal sex is a turn off to him. Which in turn makes me feel rejected. Honestly I’d probably try to put more of an act on every time but I’m a homeschool mom of many and it feels like too much work. I want the intimacy. We tried bdsm for a year and he was very happy. But I had convictions and ultimately feel it’s not intimate. Please help with some feedback. I’m lost on these issues.

  4. Author

    Please seek a third party for godly, biblical wisdom/advice – someone local who can work through these issues with you.

  5. Darryl 3 months ago

    Wonderful article. Thank you for writing this. Just read this out loud to my wife and we both agree this is going to help. God bless you.

  6. Karen 4 months ago

    Matthew, I know my Bible & what it teaches; however there are medical problems the wifes & husbands face that are out of their control. To me this what JESUS meant when teaching us to Love our mates as we Love Jesus. Love covers a multitude of sin.
    This is where true Christian Love, Compassion & Agape come in. We’ve become one, there’s
    respect to our mates & vice verse. We totally understand each other as Christ understands us.

    • Author

      Of course, there are exceptions to the general teaching on marriage. Thanks for commenting!

  7. DeCaf 4 months ago

    We’ve been married almost 50 years and for my husband sex was never o his radar! He just had no interest in sex at all. I never brought up the subject because I didn’t want to up set him. He just has no interest in me, he lives his life in the basement where he has built himself an apartment. We do our own thing I go my way and he goes his way, we never talk. He hasn’t any friends goes nowhere except work on hs car or do wood projects in the garage.
    He has been retired for years. For me it has been a sad life, but I stay busy and work at a day care down the street. I never understood what his problems were, because he never talked to me.

  8. Joel 4 months ago

    My wife doesn’t mind not having sex (physical reason). I’m 74 what do i do, masturbate?

    • Author

      There are many different views on this topic. Your statement that your wife “doesn’t mind not having sex” for “physical reasons” is a bit confusing but, leaving that aside . . . Interestingly, the Bible, while talking about every subject under the sun, doesn’t directly and openly address the issue of masturbation – a near universal among men and increasingly common among women. There are many reasons that sex between married couples is inhibited or stopped, outright: physical problems, late-term pregnancy when one’s wife is extremely uncomfortable, etc. but, there are also ways to enjoy each other that circumvent these inhibitors. If a man has E.D. is it wrong for him to stimulate his wife with his hands? Of course not. Read the Song of Solomon, leave off the euphemistic references to fruit and you have a solid “R” rating. Conversely, if there is a reason a wife cannot have sex, is it wrong to masturbate with your wife? No. What is wrong it to sneak around, avoiding sex with one’s wife and then having sex with yourself – completely sinful and all too common among husbands.

      I’m not interested in theological prognosticators who turn the “M” discussion into a pretzel. For those who are inclined to disagree with what has been said here, you’ll have to provide chapter and verse that directly addresses this teaching. Please spare us all references to “onanism” – a doctrine built on a Scripture that has nothing whatever to do with the subject at hand (a married man masturbating with a wife who can’t have sex).

  9. Robert Grosser 7 months ago

    I am a Christian man who was married for 35 years until my wife left me 5 years ago. The Bible says that “The two shall be married & become one flesh”. I do NOT believe this statement because the thinking & emotions of men and women are completely different to each other.

  10. Dave 7 months ago

    What if the man has Ed troubles and cannot get them straightened out. I’m not withholding on purpose just can’t perform. Sad situation.

    • Author

      The article doesn’t cover every situation but what is generally the case in Christian marriage. Each of us has a different path, ordered of the Lord, to walk and, as we get older, the ways we love each other necessarily vary and change. Regarding Ed, it is important for her to understand that she is not the cause or the reason that you are having the present challenges. Most wives will first find themselves at fault, feeling that they aren’t interesting/sexy/stimulating/beautiful enough for their man. Cherish her and make sure she doesn’t feel this way. Assure her that she is not the issue. There are many other ways to be “with” your spouse and to fulfill her needs for intimacy, romance, sexual arousal, and emotional closeness. Don’t hold back on those because of the Ed issue.

    • Author

      There are many ways to cherish and love one’s wife, even with Ed. Most women will blame themselves. Make sure your wife isn’t telling herself that she isn’t pretty enough, sexy enough, alluring enough to arouse you. Cherish her and assure her that this has nothing to do with her. And then, be open and fully engaged with her physically using the other means God blesses for married couples.

  11. E 8 months ago

    Thank you for your article, it did convict me in my relationship with my husband. There are far too many extenuating circumstances to discuss, but I am confused about a couple. As background, I have been sick, in one way or another, for our whole marriage. I didn’t cause any of these illnesses, but my husband does blame me. I am ashamed to say I have been withholding sex from my husband. Not maliciously, but I felt due to some issues. One thing is that I have an illness that equals 24 hr pain. And sex makes it worse. I also have a history of sexual abuse, not with my husband. The other issue I’d like to discuss is that my husband has a porn addiction. I knew he was heavily into porn before he was saved, but when the first stress, being pregnant, came into our lives, and I had stopped having sex, he began again. And I have lived with it for our 10 yrs of marriage. I’ve tried to address it, discuss it, ignore it, try to avoid the subject, etc. There have been several time periods in our marriage where i withheld sex. Truly just not knowing how to handle so many things. Eventually, as we’d have sex, which I didn’t enjoy, I would feel such hate and disgust toward him as we were together. And all I could picture was the images he may have seen (I have only seen a couple) . Whenever he wants to try something in bed, I wonder if he saw it on porn. My husband says there is a direct correlation btwn how much sex we have, and how much he uses porn. After faking my way through sex like this for quite some time, I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I stopped. It’s been probably 9 months. I recognize that that is wrong, but I honestly don’t know what to do. How do you forgive someone for something that happens nearly daily. I have plenty of faults, too many to describe, and I don’t want my marriage to end. I want to, and feel convicted to be intimate again, but the truth is, I just don’t know how-to do it. He tells me he doesn’t blame me for his porn use, but then in the same breath will tell me if we had sex he wouldnt use it as much. Im trying to accept my part in it, as his wife. But it hurts so bad. I’m pretty sure by this point he’s going to strip clubs and is least contemplating an affair. I want to do what is right, but I am so very hurt. I try to talk, but he really won’t. When we do he says very hurtful things. To give him credit, I think sometimes he won’t talk bc he knows he’ll hurt me. We are more like acquaintances. I know neither one of us is happy or even feeling loved in our marriage. He doesn’t think he needs help regarding porn and doesn’t see it as an addiction. There are so many things wrong, I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice on this? Thank you for listening.

    • Author

      Friend, this is completely out of control and multi-layered but, the bottom line is, sinning because someone else isn’t doing what you desire isn’t defensible behavior. I see that you accept that you are both wrong – that’s a good first step. Lisa and I suggest finding a godly, biblically knowledgable couple/counselor and make yourselves accountable to them. The fact is that, even as convoluted as your situation is, if you both are willing to change and do things God’s way, you can still enjoy a great marriage. Please seek biblical help, locally.

  12. Robert 8 months ago

    This article keeps popping up in my feed…so I decided to read it. I am the spouse with the higher drive. I would love it if my partner was on my level or closer but they are not. Myself and my spouse were actually talking about this exact thing just a week ago, but we could not get past the fact that it sounds like forced sex. When one person just is not interested. I see what you are saying, and I don’t think the Bible is advacating that. But what if the spouse just has little to no interest in sex. How does this sound like it’s fair. They would be sinning constantly. I could be with my spouse 3 to 4 times a week, And my spouse is more like once every two months. Our current fix is once a week. I understand that this is a compromise and that’s what makes a marriage work…but how do you follow the Bible when we are so vastly different in this area?

  13. Andrew 8 months ago

    The commandment also goes for NOT having sex when the other spouse doesn’t want it. It’s built on mutual respect for the other’s body. Using sex as leverage is wrong, not talking about your problems then withholding sex because you’re mad is wrong; but not being in the mood is not wrong and should be respected by both parties, also.

    Not having frequent sex isn’t an automatic sin sentence either – both parties are responsible to be faithful in the relationship sex-filled or not. I would consider a careful re-writing of this article as it’s causing a lot of confusion.

    • Author

      Appreciate the thoughts, Andrew. It’s true that when one’s spouse doesn’t want sex, one should not not demand or require him/her to comply. This is why I said in the article,

      “. . . we must consider where each other may be at, emotionally, physically. Yes, we must not be thoughtless, selfish, and inconsiderate (and it must be said, here, that many men are very unloving in seeking sex only rather than seeking the intimacy of communication she craves, non-sexual touch, and insuring that their wives feel cared for)”

      Hopefully you saw the admonition against “thoughtless, selfish, and inconsiderate” behavior as not treating your spouse with mutual respect and love.

      The article (any short article!) isn’t intended to be a complete treatment of a topic but, rather, as in this case, an address of a particular issue or idea.

    • DougK 2 days ago

      “Doesn’t want to” should apply only to select situations and must be limited in scope. A raincheck policy should be set up during premarital counseling. The rule should always be that either spouse gets a raincheck but whoever asks for it required to initiate within 24 to 48 hours. A constant state of “doesn’t want to” is a sin and must be taken as seriously as adultery.

  14. Jane 8 months ago

    So what happens if you’re having “loads of sex” and your spouse still cheats on you repeatedly, systematically destroying your trust and knowingly exposing you to sexually transmitted diseases?

    • Author

      He has broken his vows before God. The choices going forward are in your hands.

  15. Jeff 1 year ago

    ok I’m new to your website and now it is saved to my computer at home and at work now, I’m finding it very interesting and learning a lot of stuff, so here it go’s, I’m 50 yr old male (have always been very sexually active) been married 32.5 yrs to the love of my life she is also 50. we have 3 grow children 4 grandchildren 4th is on the way any day. so I have read ALL the comments on this subject now (and wow), so my questions for both of you, yes as a male I want it quit often and no she don’t, and yes it hurts(yea males are not big men showing feelings) well it does and I get mad we argue about it and talked about it from the bible also, but it don’t change. I do not ever force myself on her that’s no fun anyway, no she was not always like this though she says she has been, yes she gives in every so often , not much. but its not fun, there is no romance to it, we don’t kiss no more no hugging, cuddling ect. we love each other and we do things together, we takes trips to see our kids that are not close to home, ect ect. yes we fight and argue and bicker at each other, I believe that’s just part of it, I don’t feel like that is our road block. I printed this article but once I did and read it again I don’t think I can give it to her to read, once I read it again I feel like it is something we have been over and over and got no where, and I know her she will feel like I’m saying HA here it is in black and white and in the Bible, so I ask you both, what do you think? Am I missing something? I believe we could stay the way it is the rest of our life’s but I don’t want to, I long for her affection, touch and all.

    • Author

      Limited time makes counseling on individual situations impossible. Please seek a local, godly, biblical counselor who will challenge both of you to love each other in ways meaningful to each other.

      Some thoughts . . .

      Unwillingness to have sex with your spouse is sinful – plain and simple. But, I’ve learned there are always at least 2 sides to the story. Maybe it’s all you. Maybe it’s all her. Most likely, it’s both of you! You’re frustrated. She’s unwilling . . . so your challenge is to ensure you truly know and are loving your wife. Of course, wanting to have sex is where many men start for for the woman, sex is the result of having been loved throughout the day, not the beginning of being loved. Do you truly understand this truth . . . and live by it?

      When was the last time you took your wife on a date that she had no part in arranging and after which you had no expectation for sex at the end of the evening?
      Can you name the top 5 things your wife appreciates and that say, “Love” to her?
      If you can’t – if they don’t roll off your tongue – you’ve not taken the time to know her. Step #1 in her opening her heart and giving her body freely to you.
      If you can, have you done them? Do you do them on an ongoing basis . . . every day/week/month?

      When it comes to the kind, loving things you do for her, never give to get sex.
      Give to inspire and fill your wife with the understanding that she is a thoroughly cherished woman. Do those things because you truly love her, not because you love yourself (trying to get her to be willing to have sex with you).
      Romance her because you love to delight her heart, not because you want to get her in bed.
      This is a mindset and a lifestyle to embrace, not a one-time effort.

      Your statement about bickering and arguing suggests you are comfortable with destructive, sinful behavior. Please read: https://faithfulman.com/couple-can-kiss-fighting-goodbye/

      Thank you for being a regular reader of this website.

    • Jason 7 months ago

      Wish Jeff and I were neighbors so that we could sympathize with each other in our marriage dilemna. My wife chose over a year ago to not sleep in the same bed with me. We still have sex but it is getting less and less. In recent weeks, I have told her that I can’t continue to accept this arrangement because it is creating a “whirlwind” of bitterness in my heart. I’ve pleaded that we go see a marriage counselor. She refuses and says it my problem. We are both confessing Christians and attend a Bible church but she will not yield to the Bible in this area. She even teaches Christian literature with some very respected authors and that’s why it is so bizarre that she is able to block out one area of her life out from any biblical teaching. As a man, I never thought this would turn into such difficult trial. I have my hobby and my work but now I feel like I’m functioning at half capacity. Meanwhile, my wife seems to be quite fine with the arrangement she has chosen. I can’t but agree that the author is quite sound on this subject but what bothers me about the author’s comments and others like him is that they began to “crawfish” on their points and then, it always goes back to the fault of the husbands.

      • Jessica 4 weeks ago

        I’m sorry to say this, but she may be having an affair. The facts are she has physically separated from you, having less sex with you, doesn’t see these intimate issues as problems and refuses to see a therapist. I may be wrong, but my husband displayed very similar patterns of behavior and later I discovered his infidelity. Pray first that God may soften her heart and help you find the truth so you deal with the real issues at hand. Then you will have to try to have a heart to heart talk. I will pray that God will help you get through this. And don’t lose hope if you discover infidelity. Keep praying and seek Godly counselors and support. Only God knows of his plans for us. Don’t loose faith.

  16. Christopher 1 year ago

    One of the parts of this article showed me that i should nt feel like an intruder to my wife, but i do feel that way, especially after going through a seperation, her knowing i slept with someone and her seeing someone else, i feel that every time i hug her she thinks of him.

    • Author

      Don’t walk this path alone. You need godly, biblical discipleship (both of you!). Seek help locally with someone who knows you both well.

  17. Regina 1 year ago

    I love this!

  18. Sierra 1 year ago

    Thank you for this article. I am a woman who can be very selfish and who often times needs her needs met before providing intimacy for my husband in that way. I needed to hear this so that I can be a better wife and understand how God calls me to act in the marriage bed. Abuse is never ok, and this article was not meant to impugn those who are in rough emotional and physical situations. But for those of us, like myself, who can be selfish and tired and know theres too much to do in our homes and lives that sexuality takes a back burner, this was a wakeup call. I have been striving to say YES more without all of the considerations without all of the hangups that us girls tend to have. And it has proved to be the most beneficial thing in my marriage.

  19. Maeggie 2 years ago

    I have a question: How much should you actually depend on your husband? God is the only one who can actually supply all of our needs so should I as a wife depend on my husband for love, support and understanding? Should I dump my concerns or burdens on him or should I just save that for prayer? This has been plaguing me for sometime and I was hoping that you could shed some light on it. It says that man and wife should be “one flesh” but lets be honest, my husband doesn’t actually want to hear about my fears, how sad I am, what I’m struggling through– so should I really force that upon him? Or do I just give it to God and keep it from my husband? That way I can be a source of positivity for him and support but he doesn’t have to deal with my baggage and I don’t have to worry about having my heart broken again.

    • Marisa 1 year ago

      I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this in your marriage–I felt sad reading your post. I can certainly relate to all you’re saying, and I most certainly believe that marriage should be a safe place for sharing life-which includes our hopes, dreams, sadness, fears, and joys. We ought to be able to lean on and depend upon our spouses. God above all, but partnership in this earthly life is his gift to us. ❤️

  20. Yvette Wynne 2 years ago

    brave words! Good on you! vetti x

  21. Angela 2 years ago

    This is Absolute Truth! Thank You!!

  22. Annie 2 years ago

    I am sorry tosome of the others but I think this article is spot on in my marriage. We have consider divorce because my husband uses sex as a weapon. If I do not speak perfectly elequantly, and not follow the perfect guidelines… neglect starts. I am so pleased this is addressed! I cannot do enough in my marriage, I carry most of the burdens over the years and a complete soul mate would have been a wonderful pat on the back. Thank you!

  23. YoungWife1234 2 years ago

    I really would like to see more literature on this subject for couples experiencing medical issues. I don’t understand how this theology applies when one or both of the spouses are in pain during sex. Many women suffer from infertility issues, sometimes at a young age, and quite often these issues come with pain. It’s frustrating when other sides to this aren’t often openly discussed in the Christian community.

    • Michelle 2 years ago

      It was lightly touched on. There are certain instances where you can’t always. Maybe try to see a doctor to make it better. It took lots of trips to the doctor to try to make it not hurt and me feeling guilty. It opened up a lot of dialog and he was there with me praying and keep trying different remedies to make it better. I wanted to please him. He wanted to please me and now we can.

    • delaney 2 years ago

      Agree with you completely

    • CR 1 year ago

      I agree that I wish this was addressed more. I would encourage you to check out womenstc.com if you are dealing with this issue. The doctors there have an almost 100% success rate at curing vaginismus (painful sex). They also have a private FB support group.

    • BrotherInChrist 8 months ago

      If a wife or husband is not having sex with the other because it causes physical pain, then that wife or husband must be willing to satisfy their spouse’s sexual needs by other means… oral sex, stimulating them, etc. Just because one cannot have intercourse does not mean that they completely withhold sexual intimacy. Sexual needs within marriage must be met so that, “Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Cor 7:5

  24. Jennifer 2 years ago

    As a Christian I think you are doing a great service to people who live only in the world of social media when they need to be reading the Bible. Keep on being a fisherman of men, by spreading the word.
    Peace in Christ.

  25. Sheila 2 years ago

    Normally I agree with your post and really take them to heart. But I can not fully agree with this post.
    First it leads many women to believe that if they give in or have sex with their husbands that then their husbands will not cheat. That is a lie.
    Second if a man is not loving his wife like Christ loves the church he has no reason to think that she would want to have sex with him.
    Often in the course of a “good Christian Marriage” women start to view sex as another thing to mark off their to-do list. I hope the next article leads into searching for the answers if the sexual desire is not there. Most of the women I know, have talked to , and are friends with are so emotionally starved by their husbands and exhausted from the unfair work load in the home, and eat up with guilt because they even try to express their needs. Trust me BOYS if she ain’t wanting you anymore…she is either exhausted physically so do a dish, put the kids to bed, pick up your own dirty underwear, cook dinner every once in a while, she is emotionally starved, try holding her hand without making hanky-panky eyes, try giving her a complement without any sexual overtones, try asking her about her day and actually listening to what she has to say, or try finding a babysitter and surprising her with a real date, and lastly those same bedroom moves you have used for the past 20 years…well they get old. Try meeting her needs FIRST every once in a while.
    Just my thoughts.

    • Author

      I agree (heartily!) with what you are saying, here. Good advice for the thoughtless, selfish husband!

      • standingonarock 1 year ago

        so, assuming some women married to selfish, thoughtless men….maybe even some levels of abuse, verbal, and emotional….also emotional neglect, maybe even personality disorders such as malignant narcissism or borderline. The husband defines themselves as Christian, but the reality is, there is only rotten fruit showing. The wife has pushed for many years to get help – all the while meeting her husbands sexual needs – as “unto the Lord”. She is meeting his need, but he never meets hers. He takes and takes. Never ever agreeing to help. Never ever making any attempt at meeting her emotional needs.
        What does the Bible say about that? Is the wife still responsible for meeting his needs when all he knows to do is take and take and use scripture to guilt her into meeting his sexual needs?
        May God deal with me ever so mercifully if cutting off sex in these circumstance is wrong.
        Those verses do not stand alone.
        Until you are living out the reality of abuse in marriage with someone who takes advantage at every turn unless you set firm boundaries, you can’t speak to those situations the same you would to “normal” marriages.
        Just my two cents.

        • Author

          The article was not intended to address every situation – certainly not abuse.

    • Audrianne Skipper 2 years ago

      Thank you, thats my life. Its sex with no intimacy. If there is a moment of emotional connection, within 5 seconds here comes the sex comments. Women are so complex but if you take care of the mind and emotional tank, the physical will be more than amazing. We in general give so much more than what we receive.
      I do think its hard for some men to get the fact that we are slow cookers they are microwaves.

    • Jason 7 months ago

      …Trust me BOYS if she ain’t wanting you anymore…she is either exhausted physically so do a dish, put the kids to bed, pick up your own dirty underwear, cook dinner every once in a while, she is emotionally starved, try holding her hand without making hanky-panky eyes, try giving her a complement without any sexual overtones, try asking her about her day and actually listening to what she has to say, or try finding a babysitter and surprising her with a real date, and lastly those same bedroom moves you have used for the past 20 years…well they get old. Try meeting her needs FIRST every once in a while…

      What makes this so painful is that I have talk to other men and when they do these things for their wives is really does change things, I have done them and very little changes.

      • H 3 weeks ago

        I’m with you Jason. I’m insulted by that attitude because I have spent my whole marriage jumping through these hoops until now. I cook every meal in our house, do all the laundry, and wash most of the dishes. As I took on each new chore, my wife used her new free time on Facebook and watching TV and still continued to ignore my needs. Nothing I do is ever going to be enough for her and none of it will ever make her want me. She never desired me at any time in our marriage. She lied to me and led me on, and suckered me into signing my life away to her for nothing in return.

        • Author

          Please involve godly, wise, biblical counselors, locally, who can speak truth and accountability into your marriage.

          • RickyB 2 days ago

            I understand the constant reference to godly, wise biblical counselors. Specific marital problems can’t be solved on blog postings. But counseling is not a panacea. We went to a godly but unwise counselor who had all the credentials and had a degree from a Christian seminary. He casually brushed off my complaints about our sexless marriage by saying “You don’t need sex. It is a desire not a need.” The wife nodded in approval. Ever since she has treated sex as optional on her timetable only and never connects my actions of love with a responsibility to take care of the marriage bed. Sex three times a year at best. So tell me to go back to counseling now!

          • Author

            The “biblical” “godly” part is missing from this “Christian” counselors advice.

  26. Charles 2 years ago

    Enjoyed the article. Also, I’m disappointed (and not surprised) that so many in the comments are excusing themselves out of this one. I’d encourage everyone to check out a great resource- the Sexy Marriage Radio podcast. You were meant to have a great physical relationship with your spouse, and I hate to see so many people giving up on that possibility.

  27. Kay 2 years ago

    Can’t pick and choose verses? How many men and women do you know that have cross or verse tattoos on their body? They certainly chose to ignore the bible when it says not to tattoo your body.

    • Author

      I’m not a fan of tattoos, Kay, but this is a matter of some controversy. The argument in favor usually includes references to earrings and nose rings, both of which are mentioned positively in the Word. But then there are references to, “learn not the way of the heathen”, (tattoos were never an Israelite practice during periods of national obedience) and that admonition to Israel stands (I believe) for the Church, today. Those against tattoos are quick to reference Leviticus 19:28 which says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” But those in favor respond saying that this is mentioned in the Law, the same place the Jews were told not to eat pork, along with a whole host of other things that Christians pay absolutely no attention to, today. “We’re not under the Law” any more,” which is absolutely true.

      No Jew would have thought he had the freedom to take a bucket of paint and “enhance” the interest/beauty/message of the Temple by painting/drawing pictures on the columns and walls. The Temple (the dwelling place of God on Earth) was destroyed and is no more but it has been replaced – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (your physical body, inside & out), and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Do we have a biblical view of the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is our body?

      Personally, the arguments against tattoos are compelling to me but, I have many close Christian friends who have elected to get tattoos/plugs, etc. I love them regardless of these choices and, what’s more, they know I do – it’s not just words between us, which is of far greater importance – 1 Corinthians 13.

  28. Allie 2 years ago

    Although I agree with 99% of most everything you write, I have to take great offense at this post. As a wife who has been sexually assaulted by her husband repeatedly over the years, I cannot understand how someone of your education could miss the implications of this message and not put a huge disclaimer. Or better yet, just call it out for what it is, acknowledge the issue marital rape, and confront it head on. After all, you are great at that. This post is very dangerous theology. It is meant for a marriage where both the partners have the same mindset. This is not so in abusive marriages. I have heard ‘your body is not yours, it’s mine’ numerous times before being sexually assaulted by my husband. I think it is enormously ignorant and irresponsible to write an article like this without presenting the other side and warning about using these scriptures or anything else to perpetrate abuse in marriage. You say you speak out against patriarchy, but sadly this article is saturated with it. I am sure this is not how you meant it. But educate yourself please about the issue of sexual abuse in marriage and put yourself in the woman’s shoes before you present just one side. Thank you.

    • Author

      Allie, my heart goes out to you and to any woman who is not loved and cherished in her marriage. In the article, I did mention that I was speaking of “normal Christian marriage” – in other words, biblically normal, a marriage that reflects biblical teaching. The article also expressly stated that what was being taught 100 percent applied to husbands as to wives. I also specifically said that there were exceptions. And this was said purposefully because of abuse. This is an important issue and a grave sin against God and another human being but teaching what the Bible does say to those who would walk in obedience to God is not advocating, condoning, or encouraging sin.

      • Alllie 2 years ago

        My point is that many abusers are under the deception that they, and their marriages ARE normal. And if they were to read your article, it would only provide justification and fuel for their heinous sin. As I said before, I know this would not be your intention, but in the day we live in these things have to be considered. Please educate yourself (I’m not trying to be insulting here) on this issue. If you are not that type of man, (and I know you are not), you don’t understand the mindset of an abuser nor the dynamics of abuse. Read Lundy Bancroft, Dan Allender, Leslie Vernick, and A Cry For Justice ministries has a wealth of information on their Facebook page as well. Imagine if this was your daughter writing this post. Thank you.

        • Author

          I do appreciate your concern and placed a disclaimer at the bottom of the post. And thank you, too, for your respectful approach in the midst of a discussion on a topic so personal to you.

          • Chrissy 7 months ago

            I came across this article after researching what to do when your husband sexually assaults you and this was the second article in line. I read this and it made me feel total hurt and abandoned. I have a wonderful marriage of 18 years with a wonderful husband who adores me until it’s time to have sex. It’s like a horrible monster takes over him and there is no love in the act. He hurts me so he can have more pleasure. It all started with him constantly wanting sex and me not so much then I would catch him on the computer looking at porn. Fast forward to present time and I give him sex pretty much when he wants but he does some horrible things to me. I hurt for days after. Articles like this discourage me from trying to get help and reassures me that I may deserve what is going on because I withheld sex in the past. I don’t understand why God gave us a sexual desire when so much evil comes from it. BTW my husband is very remorseful after he does these things to me so how can I not feel as though I caused part of it.

          • Author
            Matthew L. Jacobson 7 months ago

            Please don’t read anything in this article or anything else you find on my website as condoning a spouse physically hurting (or hurting in any other way) his/her spouse. It sounds as if it would be helpful for the two of you to seek the input of a godly, biblical counselor in your local area, which I strongly recommend.

        • Linda 6 months ago

          Allie,
          Thank you for your thoughtful and challenging reply to this article. I believe there are many women who are in such marriages as you describe.

      • Alyssa 2 years ago

        I do agree with Allie that I did not get the impression of considering the other side very strongly, and that this article gave me the creepy-crawlies, so to speak, with lots of patriarchy-inflaming.

    • Lee 5 months ago

      I think this author is addressing a true christian living. If your husband is abusing you surely he isn’t a true christian and this teaching is not for him unless if he repents and come back to the feet of Jesus. She can’t please everyone , if this article does not relate to your situation do not get offended. I absolutely understood what she is saying but, some here just want to discredit her for speaking the biblical truth. If you can’t perform sex because of medical reasons, it is not your fault and l believe that if you and your spouse go to God in prayer you will receive a healing. However, to the one who starve their spouse off sex for selfish reasons such as l am no longer attracted to her/him, withdrawing sex to revenge your spouse’s wrong doing then ofcourse you are sinning. If you do these things you are still an immature christian and living in sin. Author this article is true to those who want to live a godly life.

      • Lee 5 months ago

        Sorry for addressing the author as if he is a lady. I forgot the author is a man. My first time here so, I thought the lady/wife he is with in the picture is the one who wrote the article.

    • Jay 3 months ago

      Chill out Allie. There are a ton of women and men who neglect their spouse physically. Sometimes out of punishment for the other. Sometimes they just don’t know.

      Multiple women have replied that their husbands weren’t into them. It works both ways.

      You being sexually abused is a whole other issue and not part of what the author is talking about a healthy marriage.

      Sounds like to me that instead of talking about sexual abuse, you need to go out and talk to a counselor or the authorities to handle that situation in your marriage.

  29. Lura 2 years ago

    I’m in the same place Audrianne. It all sounds exactly the same except the end where you said you’re a good team and do activities together. I have a roommate that demands sex constantly no matter how sick or in pain I may be. I can be I’ll with the stomach flu and still have to do it. I feel totally dead inside in that area. But he also doesn’t have a godly perspective on anything really. I know it’s my fault because I married him so I do my best to bare it. My kids are my fulfillment and blessing and best friends outside of Christ. I keep praying but so far nothing has changed. He refuses couseling and it’s all in my head according to him. It’s so suffocating and lonely.

    • Audrianne Skipper 2 years ago

      Lura, you are not alone trust me there are many having this same issue. I pour my self over articles, movies, order books, highlight my Bible and Journal ALOT. A good team for everyone else but to each other. My girls are my Joy. I also realize one day they will be gone and then What? Do you pray for your husband? For the longest time, I didnt. Was too angry and resentful with a capital P. Tired of crying sighlently till i had no more tears. That is slowly changing. I had to learn (the hard way- im very stubborn) to step aside and let God do the rest. As in the War Room movie line, “pray and then get out of the way”. It hard and a long journey, one i just started but I am beginning to be more peaceful. Send me a request on FB ( Audri Bridges Skipper) if you are on so we may lift each other up.
      God bless you

  30. Aholl 2 years ago

    A guy definitely wrote this;)

  31. ROBYN JOHNSON 2 years ago

    During my eight years working in a Christian counseling center, I heard a lot of funny stuff when couples’ counseling turned down this inevitable road. The most memorable was a middle aged wife who seized on the idea that – if she had authority over her husband’s body – she would use that authority to gently request that he take his body to bed and straight to sleep on occasion. She figured that, if she indeed had authority over it, she could ask for (and expect to be granted) a ‘ night off’ once in awhile with impunity. 🙂

    • Angela 2 years ago

      Amen

    • H 3 weeks ago

      Asking for a night off once in a while isn’t the same as refusing for weeks, months, or years at a time. Forcing your spouse into near celibacy is emotionally abusive.

  32. Audrianne Skipper 2 years ago

    I am having the hardest time with this. My husband and i have been to counseling and focused on our intamacy issues. His way of addressing sex with me turns me off. Yes he is aware that it does and aware of what actually does work for me in our sessions. We are never alone children are coming in and out of our room constantly. Every sound they make turns on my already overdrive mom mode. We cannot afford a room nor sitter. I het pregnant easily with him and he refuses the idea of a vasectomy. We cant cuddle ( which is what i need ) without him going into wanting more. I get that its his right but now its to the point i feel thats all i am there for is sex. We have talked about investing in my enotional state and communication which is also lacking. Him on the phone or watching tv while i am talking. To the point i stopped talking. Waited till the show was over and tried again. Still no sign he even listened especially when he asks a question 5 min later on the topic i was talking and explaining in detail as if he didnt even know what we had just talked about.
    I watched my mom nag my dad to infinity. Was raped in 4th grade. Turned it inside out and necame sexually active in college because the guys wanted a hot body ( im a dancer by the way– ballerina).
    I feel like thats all i am good for in a relationship.
    I love my husband but cant get turned on by his advances so i just lay and take it or just orally do him. He seems fine with it because he doesnt or maybe is incapable of being intimate without sex. I feel used and resentful at times.
    I order books join webnars on marriage and blame myself
    Constantly bouncing between saying i have no right to feel this way and being ticked off.
    I geel its ironic that we are such a good team when it comes to our children and the many projects and volumteer things we do but not when it comes to. Our relationship. We are respectful to each other, dont fight rarely quarrel but it stays the same. Over years.
    Married 20yrs
    HELP

    • Author

      Pray that God will do whatever it takes to cause your spouse to gain a biblical perspective on marriage and your needs.

      • Audrianne Skipper 2 years ago

        Thank you. On another note, the books I ordered, would it take 2-4 weeks to recieve?

        • Author

          They ship May 2nd (it’s a pre-order special at 27% discount. After that the price goes up!

    • Lisa 2 years ago

      Audrianne, I am very sorry for what you are going through, and I want to say one thing, actually, a bunch of things, but this is the main one: Do. Not. Blame. Yourself. His actions are his responsibility, not yours. He sounds to be severely emotionally abusive and just puts on a good show when he has to. My dad is the same way. Again, Don’t Blame Yourself. HIS actions are HIS responsibility, no one else’s. You definitely have a right to feel the way you do. You do not have to live with a husband like that. I’m coming from a perspective of experience. I’m not married, but my dad is the one with issues. I will pray that God gives you the strength you need, because with a man like that, it sounds like if God is convicting him, he’s doing a mighty fine job of resisting. You are in my prayers.

    • TruthSeeker 1 year ago

      Hi Audrianne, I hope that my words will not at all seem improper or out of place, but was so moved by your story and the incredible pain it evokes that I wanted to try to help however I could. I am a man, who has been married for 16 years, and thought maybe a man’s perspective could possibly with the greatest humility be of some service. I know that in the early years of our marriage when the kids were little our intimacy was often interrupted. It was easier for me, as a man, to get right back to business, as you know. My wife would often remain preoccupied, or be going over some task in her mind, and to me as a male this was a huge problem. The truth is, and it is a nasty one, that men see sex as intimacy. Sex as love, and our culture does nothing to help this. So in my mind I just wanted her to want to do me really badly, to get down to business, for it to be light and fun and athletic and free from all the worries I could see in her forehead. The poor angel just couldn’t separate herself from her worries. So I started to see sex as intimacy with a preoccupied person and this made me “use” her physically even more, it worked against intimacy. Not saying this is your trouble at all, just that with men we really do need to see the wild young girl again from time to time. We need to be wanted, just like you do, but it’s in a different way. We need to feel like we are the big lion in the pride, I guess? Ego, hahahaha. Also, I know from experience that a lot of Christian women have been trained to avoid conflict at all costs. Like being upset is evil or something. But WHAT IF Audrianne, WHAT IF it turned out that PROGRESS WAS ONLY MADE THROUGH CONFLICT. Look at the Bible!!!! So many joke preachers preaching gummed up psycho-babble and happy-dippy garbage these days! What if you just gave your husband the TRUTH and gave it with the fullest of your emotion, because the truth is what sets us free, not passing the buck and sitting off somewhere “praying” when action is right in front of us. I know the few times my wife has really laid it out, from the heart, from her soul with tears, I have often heard her and it has convicted me in my awfulness. Just tell him what you have told us. I wonder if you ever have, in the same way I mean? Tell him how horrible it makes you feel. There will be conflict, but as I said, so often it is a starting point for truth. The Lord needs you to hide nothing. He wants you to hide nothing. He wants your husband to be a better man, like you do. I have been a jerk to my wife many times – how I yearn for her to break me from time to time, because the horror of sin is that we so often cannot see it! Ladies, do not fear breaking your man – what do male best friends do for one another??? And you are his best friend of all!!! Tell the truth – do not run from conflict, you were made to be lionesses!!! An equal partner! Conflict is so often the beginning of something wonderful.

      • Irisha 9 months ago

        Absolutely loved your comment! Great advice. Complacency kills the marriage.

      • Sara 8 months ago

        I could not agree more. O was in her exact place for 15 years before I had a true heart to heart and confessed how I really felt to my husband. I was so afraid of conflict. But without tilling the soil, deep roots can never grow. I pray her husband responds lovingly. Mine had hurt pride and took it as I was rejecting him….and sought sexual fulfillment elsewhere. But as painful as that is, I still can hold my head up for speaking truth in love and I know my intentions and heart were to make my marriage stronger. What good is a facade where one person is hurting anyway?

  33. BrokenbutStanding 2 years ago

    Thanks for your articles and your passion for strengthening marriages. I really enjoy everything you write. This one is such a difficult subject. I believe in this principle and have tried to live it, but having a spouse who does not acknowledge my emotional needs as “real” and who refuses to takes any steps toward emotional intimacy, makes it a continual struggle. I am still working on healing from his affair, which he blamed me for. I go to counseling alone, read articles, pray and work on myself, choosing to love him through all of this. He refuses to get help or do anything to work on the marriage. I believe in the principle you’ve described in this article, yet despite my best efforts, I never seem to measure up. There is always a complaint – its not frequent enough, or its not exciting enough, or I’m not interested enough. I would really love to know what else a Christian wife can do. For now I’m doing the best I can and trusting God.

    • Author

      Pray that God will do whatever it takes to cause your spouse to have a biblical perspective on marriage.

  34. Deb 2 years ago

    Why is this article so one-dimensional, as far as sex being the only thing you can defraud each other with.? What about other forms of love, such as communication, kindness, and showing you care outside the bedroom?

    • Author

      This is a common criticism of various articles. Here’s how the writer hears it, “Why didn’t you write about every aspect of relationship between men and women.” It’s a short article about one aspect of marriage, spoken directly of in Scripture. If you take the time to check out http://www.matthewljacobson.com you will discover your concerns addressed. I write about a lot of things, just not all of them in the same article.

  35. Elizabeth 2 years ago

    Then what should a wife do when her husband has cheated in some way for the entire relationship of 14 years?

    • Author

      The Bible isn’t unclear on the rights of an aggrieved spouse. It’s your call. But, for those who will persevere, get into a close-knit Christian Church where godly, biblical leadership will not tolerate sinful behavior in the community, and where you both can be held accountable.

  36. Jennifer 2 years ago

    Nicely put!

    I would like to know when the entire MLJV of the Bible will be published! ; )

    • Author

      Haha! There’s a money-maker . . . but, then there’s that matter of standing before God and explaining . . . I think I’ll pass!

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