“Girl, I would have cut him off.” “If I have to ask my husband a million times to do something, I cut him off.” “If my hubby misbehaves, I just cut him off.” “My husband knows better than to do that, girl, I’d cut him off so fast.” “I’ve asked him time after time to help out around the house, I’m cutting him off.” “He only seems to listen when I cut him off.” “If I don’t feel appreciated, I just cut him off.” “When he acts like that, I cut him off.” “Cut him off, he doesn’t deserve it.”
If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “cut him off,” it simply means to withhold affection and/or sexual intercourse from your husband for a period of time determined by the wife. I’ve heard this advice given to wives by wives. I’ve even heard wives confess aloud that they regularly withhold sex in order to get their way or alert their husband’s attention concerning a specific matter. Cutting your husband off is probably one of the worst pieces of advice you could ever follow. And it’s definitely a terrible piece of advice to give to your married girlfriends. In fact, following this advice can be detrimental to your spiritual walk and your marriage. Although a person may have good intentions, their recommendation of this advice may cause them to inevitably, although maybe not intentionally, put asunder what God has brought together (Mark 10:9).
So where did the attitude or idea of withholding sex from a spouse even come from? I’ll tell you…the World, because is certainly didn’t come from the Word. Society and media tell us that it’s okay to use sex and to withhold sex as a means of getting what we want. You can’t deny it, it’s all around you. Just turn on the television and if you’re willing to take the challenge, take a look inside your own household at some of your own ideals. Unfortunately, some wives are guilty of using sex as a deal maker in order to place a negotiable price on getting their own needs met. The problems is, you have to keep making deals. “If I cut him off for a week, he’ll do what I say.” “If I put it on him really good tonight, maybe he’ll do it then.” God did not intend for you to take the gift of sex and turn it into a transaction for your husband’s services or getting your emotional needs met.
God created sex for the purpose of marriage. His intentions were: (1) to create/enhance oneness and pleasure between husband and wife, (2) to provide a means for us to bear fruit, multiply or simply procreate and (3) to be glorified as couples engage in this act of worship. Sadly, many Christian wives have taken sex and completely destroyed it’s meaning simply because they do not understand or refuse to view sex as sacred. Worst of all they are continually perpetuating this act as acceptable behavior. Some have either knowingly or unknowingly thrown this precious gift back into the face of God with their actions. They’ve taken His gift and His purpose and used it to incite fear, shame, guilt and many use it to control their husbands. This is not what God intended.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “The husband is to fulfill his marital duty to the wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to the wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”
When we committed ourselves as Christian singles to the covenant of marriage we automatically subjected ourselves to the authority of the verse above, whether we knew it or not. God did not give husbands and wives a magical power of authority between their legs, but a mechanism that is used for pleasure, worship and service. The pleasure comes from the act of sexual intercourse itself. The worship comes from engaging in regular sexual intercourse with your spouse as a means of appreciation and honor of God’s gift. The service comes from the fact that we are told, NOT to deprive one another of sex and also NOT to think of our bodies as your own. We serve God by being obedient to His instruction regarding sex. Denial of affection and sex can be spiritually dangerous for you and your spouse. Even the Word says that deprivation of sex can lead to temptation and a lack of self control. In fact, the only time a couple should abstain from sex is so that the two can devote themselves to strengthening their personal relationships with God through prayer and even this needs to be mutually agreed upon. Ephesians 5:21 tells married couples to submit themselves to one another out of reverence to Christ. Sexual intercourse is just one way of submitting to one another and since the bible gives instruction about it…the act of sexual submission is viewed as obedience and reverence to our God.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the behavior of a spouse that drives a person to the point of wanting to withhold sex in the first place. It’s not okay for your husband or wife to disregard your requests or your needs. However, every couple needs to do their best to develop or enhance open communication that causes you both to become more responsive to the other’s needs. This can’t be done overnight. It has to be a work in progress and there may even be lots of trial and error until you find what works. Be advised that while you’re looking for the tools to become more responsive to one another, all advice isn’t good advice…like “cutting him off.” Some people may think they are giving you good advice and may even come from a place of sincerity and love, however; when you arm yourself with the Word you can determine for yourself whether that advice is directly or indirectly aligned with your spiritual walk. Remember, love, especially Christ-like love, isn’t about how much you can receive, but how much you give.
Let’s have a heart to heart ladies and gents. Are you guilty of withholding or using sex to get what you want in your marriage? How has this served you? Do you find that it works or that it brings tension and marital discord? How you do feel about relinquishing control of your body to your spouse? What do you find difficult about being obedient to God’s will for sex in marriage? What tools and or suggestions do you have for couples that struggle with meeting God’s will for sexual intercourse? Do you think its dangerous or wise to withhold sex from your spouse? Why? Are husbands guilty of cutting off their wives?