Struggles With Obedience: Turning Your Spouse Down for Sex

Recently I wrote a post encouraging women not to use lack of sex as a form of punishment for their husband’s bad behavior. I encouraged wives to think of sex as a gift from God. I enlightened some and reminded others of  God’s plan to enhance oneness, allow us a way to procreate and to provide us with a form of worship when He created sex. I asked  the wives to hold themselves accountable to the Lord for misuse of His gift and lastly directed them to Scripture which would help them to understand why they shouldn’t misuse the gift, but also teaches them how to get back in right standing with God.

The comments and emails that followed inspired me to write this post because so many Christian wives desire to be obedient to what the Word says about marital sex (1 Corinthians 7:3), but they express some valid concerns about various situations that could cause them to be disobedient to God’s instruction. After reading the comments and emails I felt the need to ask husbands to hold themselves accountable for their misuse of the gift of sex. Obviously there are some very fundamental things about being a Christian husband and having authority over your wife that many husbands need to hear.

These comments and emails run the gamut of things like: “I can’t say no when I’m tired?” “What if I have a physical ailment that prevents me from having sex?” “What if my spouse is saying no to me without a mutual agreement of prayer?” Possibly the comments that for a lack of a better word, “bother” me the most were these:

One reader says: “Ok. I have to disagree slightly. Not the part on using it as a tool to ‘reward or punish’ but the fact that you don’t suggest another alternate method. Truth is, you end up cutting him off, not because you really want to ‘punish’ him, but because you can’t make a mental connection with someone who has hurt you. You just can’t get into ‘it’. and if your hubby can’t pick up on the fact that you’re not into ‘it’ because of whatever fight you’ve just had, but he still insists on getting his ‘way’ then that makes it tantamount to him forcing himself on you. Surely you don’t think the bible advocates forcing yourself on your spouse? Yes, the instant reaction to a fight shouldnt be to ‘cut him off’. It should be to communicate until the issue is resolved. But telling women to still do what the man wants when they’re just not into it mentally (because of whatever fight they’ve had) will lead to women ‘faking it’ and letting the man just have his way on her. That doesn’t strike me as biblical.”

Another reader says: “I’ve never “cut him off.” I have thought about it. We’re going through a low time in our marriage right now (though honestly, all four years of our marriage have been tough) and I just don’t feel like it. He wants it. Lots. And I struggle with it. He’ll want sex after we’ve had a big fight and I feel like I still need some time to recover emotionally from the fight. I’m not allowed to say “no” ever. If he wants sex, he pushes until he gets it, and sometimes I’ve ended up feeling raped. It doesn’t matter how I feel – even if I’m absolutely exhausted because I’m sick and the baby has been up multiple times, he’s gotta get it. So sure, I know what the Bible teaches about sex. That doesn’t make it any easier.”

The reason I am bothered by these comments is because I know there are tons of wives, Christian and not, in the world going though similar if not the same experience. I am bothered because there are women in the world who want to be obedient to God, they want to submit themselves to the Lord as well as their husbands, but their husbands do not always make it easy for them to do so. I am bothered because some husbands are taking God’s precious gift and treating it as if it is something owed to them and not something given to be treated with tenderness and care. My prayers are with these women each and every day that they find peace in their marriages and in their lives. The feelings they are experiencing are absolutely NOT God’s intention for their marriages. Trust that God wants us to do things in a manner that involves decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40); not with confusion, but in a way that involves peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

My response to my readers who left comments on my blog, those who have sent me emails and to husbands who need to hear this is as follows:

A man can rape his wife and  in no way is this is biblical or okay. While the Bible says we have authority over our spouse’s body, God is NOT okay with a spouse’s decision to abuse this authority. There are very serious consequences to misuse of a husband’s authority. 1 Peter 3:7 says that husbands should (not try, but just should!) live with their wives in understanding (New American Standard Version), consideration (New International Version),  knowledge and honor (King James Version). These various interpretations call a husband to understand his wife’s needs and to be be considerate of them. They also require that once a husband is knowledgeable of his wife’s needs he is to honor and respect them. Husbands who do not live up to this expectation are at risk of having their prayers hindered. In that same verse husbands are called to look at their wives as equal partners, especially with respect to them being co-heirs to God’s grace. This means that a Christian husband should try his best to view his wife in the same way that God views her in terms of her worth. God would never misuse her, he would never abuse her and he would never call her to come under the authority of husband who belittles or devalues her. Even she, in the eyes of God, is worthy of His grace. When a man decides he wants to become a husband he is ultimately bringing himself under the authority of that Word. Any mistreatment of his wife has ramifications that put potentially put him in a state of Hell. Hell being a place where there is no God; where he doesn’t hear your call. When God stops listening to you because of the treatment of your wife, I guarantee you that the only feelings you will experience are confusion, loneliness, sadness and chaos…until you get yourself back into right standing with God and your spouse.

That being said God does not want a wife to have to ‘fake it’ with their spouse. A husband, Christian or not, should be able to sense his wife is upset, sick in her body, tired and/or is having an unresolved issue with a past argument. A husband who truly loves his wife wouldn’t even approach her for sex when he knows she is having difficulty emotionally connecting. His goal should be to try to be so connected, so “one” with his wife, that every feeling of unrest that she has literally bother him (in a way that shows compassion and concern) to no end. Forcing yourself or guilting your wife into sex is not love! His concerns as the husband should be to love his wive as he loves himself, because no man ever hates his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:29). It the same way wives need to feel nourished and cherished by their husbands in order to feel loved. So what exactly does love mean? Love simply means that you are putting someone else’s needs before your own. If you need an example of how to put your wife’s needs about your own simply be reminded of Jesus, who hung on a cross and died for our sins. This was the ultimate show of love or putting our needs above His own. Of course He didn’t like being beaten, of course He didn’t like being stretch wide and having nails placed though His hands and feet, but He did it because He knew we needed to be rescued from sin. Christian husband in the same way, you have to become Savior to your wife, sacrificing yourself so that she might be able to be obedient not only to you (in all things, but especially with respect to sex), but to her Lord and Savior.

Because I know that not every husband is saved, because I know that not every Christian husband is aware of the love he must demonstrate for his bride, and because I know that there are Christians husbands who want to aspire to be what God I encourage you. I urge you to develop  a set of communication skills so that you can acknowledge, accept, respect and reconcile those situations when a husband wants sex, but a wife cannot connect. Ultimately your wife does want to connect with you on a sexual level and she wants to be obedient to the authority you have over her body. But you are to be respectful of the authority you have been given over her body. You have to remember that God wants you to display “loving authority” over your wife, not simply “authority.” No way, no how, should a Christian husband ever feel okay with the fact that his wife feels raped, misused or abused.

Spouses, I want you to know that it is okay to say no and still be obedient to God’s word. Three things need to happen in order for this to be true. First, you both have to open up the lines of communication. Begin praying that God opens your spouse’s ears in a way that they can be receptive to the concerns of your heart. Both of you need to begin praying that God gives you understanding and compassion for your spouse’s emotional, physical and spiritual needs. Second, you both need to come to a place where you are in mutual agreement to abstain from sex. Third, you both need to use that time to ask God to work on that aspect of your marriage. Ask him to help you look at sex the way he intended. Husbands ask God to help you develop a more compassionate heart towards your wife. Ask him to help you see the worth of your wife the way God see it. Ask him to help you not to do anything that would be dishonor your wife and cause you to sin against Him.

Basically, I am encouraging you both to be in constant communication with God. This mutual agreement is not a time to simply break or walk away from sex with a feeling of relief. It is a time where some serious work and reconciliation has to happen, not only with your spouse, but with God. I encourage you in all things to keep God first in your marriage and I’m not just telling you that as a saying you always hear from people. I am asking you to be intentional about keeping God first in your marriage. It all starts with you getting on your knees and having an honest and open conversation with God. He knows we all have sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), but he wants to work in your heart, in your marriage and in your lives.

So is it ever okay to say no to your spouse for sex…the answer is yes, but… I implore you to communicates, make sure the decision is mutually agree upon and that you both are using that time to pray about the situation.

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365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 127-133)

The reason I married my husband is…

127. …he knows when to order pizza. There are days when work is tough, hours are long, gradification is nothing close to instant and because of it I am spent. On these days hubby does not expect a home cooked meal. He does not expect that I’ll feel like doing anything other than whining about my crappy day and running to the safety of his arms. He listens to me and because he listens to me he knows what he has to do to take a little bit of the stress out of my day. Thank you Babe for thinking of me.

128. …he’s not easily intimidated. My husband can stand in a room full of PhDs and hold an intellectual and stimulating conversation. Now don’t get me wrong, my husband is no scrub. He has a degree in electrical engineering, but you know how people with terminal degrees can be sometimes (stuck up, dry and just plain boring). Everyone who talks to him usually falls in love with him. I admire how he’s able to find some common ground with most anyone.

128. …he has confidence in himself. This is surely one of the sexiest things about my hubby. Enough said.

129. …because I’m selfish. There are parts of my husband that I don’t have to share with anybody else. Not just the obvious parts like the physical, but emotional and spiritual parts as well. No one knows him better than I do. No one knows his struggles better than I (well definitely God does).  Our bond is in the opportunity for us to endure those struggles together by praying for one another and praying with one another. It is this part of our bond, our friendship and our marriage that is just for us. We don’t have to share and we don’t have to let anyone else in. It’s a purely intimate relationship between God, my husband and myself.

130. …he’s irreplaceable. Okay, Beyonce, I don’t know about your husband, but mine is irreplaceable. Let’s be honest, maybe there is another man out there that could do all of the superficial things better than my husband, like wine and dine me, provide romantic surprises, etc… But, he’d always compete for that spot in my heart that is held by my husband. No one could ever replace him because the impact that he has had on my life has help shape the person that I am today.

131. …because he makes me confront the truth about myself. Whenever I am stressed about work, I go though the same tiresome progression of events, treating my stressful situation as if this is the first time I’ve ever been confronted with this sort of thing. My husband can see it a mile away and he’s always there to remind me that there are things about me that are true and that I shouldn’t take for granted. For instance, he knows I always give my best effort. He knows I push myself. He knows I challenge myself. He knows I stand up for what I believe. He knows I like to be prepared. So when those times come that I become my worst critic he forces me to confront those truths. He refuses to let me beat myself up. It’s nice to have someone remind you of the things you know, but often refuse to see as “good enough.” I know we walk down this road over and over again, but I hope he never gets tired of showing me the way to the place we’ve been 10,000 times.

132. …because he was that person that made me wonder “what if?” During one of our breakups in college I spent a little over a year dating a really wonderful person. Things only ended because despite the fact that he was an amazing person, my heart was elsewhere. My mind was elsewhere. My love was elsewhere. Something was always pulling me back to my husband making me ask, “What if…?” I’ve never regretted going with my “what if” because my “what if” forced me to be honest with myself about my feelings.

133. …he can admit there are things I can do better. I can negotiate cost of most anything and get a lower rate. I can assemble furniture in a matter of minutes. I can take an idea and make it come to life. There are a ton of things I can do better than my husband and a ton of things he can do better than me, but what I love about him is that there is no man-pride associated with any of this. He doesn’t associated certain things with gender and therefore doesn’t have the belief that just because he is a man he should be able to do certain things better than me. He’s not afraid to ask me for help because he knows I was placed in his life to be his help meet.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and you want to check out all of the other reasons I married my husband simply click below. Enjoy!

Reasons 1-7

Reasons 7-14

Reasons 15-21

Reasons 22-28

Reasons 29-35

Reasons 36-42

Reasons 43-49

Reasons 50-56

Reasons 57-63

Reasons 64-70

Reasons 71-77

Reasons 78-84

Reasons 85-91

Reasons 92-98

Reasons 99-105

Reasons 106-112

Reasons 113-119

Reasons 120-126

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Dedicating This One to My Favorite Guy

A super duper long time ago, Charli, over at Man Wife and Dog Blog asked us wives to dedicate a song to our hubbies. Well, I know that she assigned this homework way back in April of 2011 and it’s not September 2011, but I hope she’ll accept late homework. In order to make up for the late homework I’ll include two songs. So here are my songs:


I chose this song because it perfectly describes the love I have for my husband. We know that God brought us together and because of that we can’t leave him out of the equation.


I chose this song because he’s heard it before and we both agree with each and and every word in this song. It’s beautiful!!!

Now, as far as his reaction goes…he will be very touched by the words, but as a general rule he doesn’t really like country music (I’m not sure the first one is really country though) so they won’t go on his favorite list. But, jut the same he’ll appreciate the dedication. Chante and Kenny Lattimore as well as Boyz to Men have remade the second song, but nothing tops this version. Love you hubster.

Sorry for the late homework Charli!!! :)

 

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365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 120-126)

The reason I married my husband is…

120. …he reads books. I’m a nerd so I’m attracted to nerd qualities in men. Now, by no means should man or any person who reads books be considered a nerd, but that’s just how society labels us so, let’s play ball! Currently my hubby is in the process of reading some books that I am totally NOT interested in (stuff about the economy, investing, commercial real estate, golf, business and the education/conditioning of black people), but I still think a man who reads is SEXY!!!

121. …he’s not lazy. My hubby is so NOT lazy that he makes me exhausted just watching him go through his daily routine. This man never sits down and when he does it’s never for long. I feel sorry for hubby though because on Sunday afternoons when I completely crash out after post-worship brunch he usually does laundry, cooks or cleans something because he can’t take naps. He’s never been able to take naps. He says it makes him feel lazy. Poor baby. I sleep for hours on Sundays after church…ah…the Sabbath. I love it!

122. …we discuss the sermon after church and throughout the week. Back when we were just dating and even when we were engaged, hubby and I went to church as regularly as our crazy schedules would permit. Afterwards we’d always find ourselves in deep discussion regarding the sermon and reminding one another to draw on the words of that sermon as we went through our week. This was the being of that feeling of spiritual intimacy I’ve blogged in a thank you letter to my husband. I knew he was concerned about my spiritual walk just as much as I was concerned for his. I wanted nothing more than to be with a man who would not have a problem with us holding each other accountable for our faith based commitments.

123. …he knows that God loves him. Without a doubt my hubby knows that God loves him and I’ll tell you how he came to that conclusion. No, it wasn’t Sunday school as a kid singing, “Jesus Love Me.” It is a real and continuous experience where hubby has to learn things the hard way (sometimes we all do). Proverbs 3:12 tells us that God disciplines those he loves. I won’t go into grand detail, but let’s just say that in high school, college and even as an adult hubby has come under the discipline and correction of the Lord. While I’m sure these times are painful, he understands that God is working in/on him and he appreciates that God loves him enough to make him a wiser man. I love watching him become the man that I am continuously praying God is molding him to be! Just remember hubby that sometimes in order for God to “make you” he has to “break you.”

124. …he teaches me the value of true friendship. My hubby has called me out on several occasions for not being a good friend (not to him, but to others). He might say something like, “If you were really his/her friend you’d be honest about…” or “If that were my friend I wouldn’t have let him or her do…” The problem used to be that I didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but what I’ve learned from hubby is that friendship is honest, kind, doesn’t boast, it rejoices with others, it weeps with others, it uplifts, it is patient, it is not rude, it is not proud, it does not envy and it trusts. Come to think of it…friendship is a lot like love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Hubby is great at love; maybe that explains why hubby is so good at friendships. Hmmm…

125. …he has a go to bible verse when situations get overwhelming. Whenever something is happening and hubby can’t understand it or he’s spending a lot of time thinking about the whys or the why nots or the hows, he forces himself to snap out of it with his go to bible verse (Proverbs 3:5-6). He reminds me that sometimes we have to get out of God’s way. He reminds me that our ways are not God’s ways and that we simply need to trust what it is he is doing even when we don’t understand what he’s doing. He reminds me to let go and let God. He reminds me that we are simply His servants with a job to do….submit to His Will. He reminds me that we are everything God says we are. He reminds me that sometimes the battle is not mine to fight. He reminds me that God keeps his promises. He reminds me that faith is about trust. Thank you hubby for reminding me by the example of your faith.

126. …he credits me for the favor he receives from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor for the Lord.” He tells me that it was only because of God’s favor that he even has a wife (imagine that :) ).  Hubby feels that because of my daily attempt to honor and be obedient to both God and himself, he reaps the benefits of the Lord’s favor.  Think about it…if God shows me favor, and my hubby and I are one, doesn’t that mean that ultimately my husband receives favor as well?

Be sure to catch up on all of the other reasons I knew it was only because of God’s favor that he sent this man just for me.

Reasons 1-7

Reasons 7-14

Reasons 15-21

Reasons 22-28

Reasons 29-35

Reasons 36-42

Reasons 43-49

Reasons 50-56

Reasons 57-63

Reasons 64-70

Reasons 71-77

Reasons 78-84

Reasons 85-91

Reasons 92-98

Reasons 99-105

Reasons 106-112

Reasons 113-119

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365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 113-119)

The reason I married my husband is…

113. …there is no such thing as awkward silence between us. Yesterday my husband and I went out to dinner. On the car ride there we didn’t say a word to one another. About 20 minutes into dinner we actually started talking. We weren’t angry with one another and there was no tension. We were simply enjoying each other’s company without words. I love that we can feel comfortable enough to just be silent around one another and the other doesn’t automatically think that something wrong. Sometimes I feel like we best understand each other when their are no words between us.

114. …I can’t lie to him. Let me first say that I have tried to lie to my husband once since being married, but I failed miserably. I just told him the truth. It was so pitiful. The reasons I wanted to lie to him was because I felt that telling him the truth about the question that he asked me would result in him secretly thinking I was lazy. I couldn’t lie because the guilt get to me and I always feel like he can see right through me. Plus, lying is wrong people! Don’t do it!

115. …he has an awesome family. I have known my husband’s family since we were 12 years old so this might have a lot to do with it, but his family has always been sweet, welcoming and warm towards me. They are also pretty close knit and seem to really value each of the members. I thought it was funny that long before we were ever engaged some of my husband’s family members would introduce me as Jheremy’s wife. LOL! They knew we weren’t married, but maybe they saw something we didn’t. Nevertheless, I am honored to be a part of this family.

116. …he doesn’t procrastinate. Thank goodness…someone in this union has to get something done! LOL! My hubby is very good at doing what he says he will do when he says he will do it. His “just get it over with” attitude has really inspired me to try not to procrastinate as much as I do. Thanks hubby for being a good influence on your wife.

117. …we have a mutual understanding of the biblical purpose marriage. My husband and I often speak at length about the true purpose of marriage, which we know is to be of service to God. That is the long and short of it. We know that everything we do, the way we speak, the way we serve one another is all out of reverence for God. I married him because we both love the Lord and we have a mutual desire for God to use our lives and our marriage for His glory. A life of servitude to our Lord with my hubby is what I call true happiness.

118. …he is okay with the possibility of a life without children. When I was 19 years old I found out that I had a large mass on my left ovary which ended up being the size of a small grapefruit. That was 10 years ago and since I have been in great health, but my family history of fibroids and endometriosis (I’m not claiming this) do put me at risk for additional problems. My husband could have decided that he wanted to be with a woman who will have no problems with conception, but he chose a life with me over the possibility of not having children. I desperately want children and I am claiming in the name of Jesus that I will be able to give my husband children. Still am thankful to have found a man that loves me, biological flaws and all.

119. …he makes a conscious effort not to get me sick. On those very, very rare occasions when my hubby has a 2-day cold or something, he is very careful not to spread his illness. He knows when I get sick I completely crash for like 2 weeks so he’s very thoughtful about tossing dirty tissues, washing his hands often and reminding me that I can’t eat or drink behind him. He really has to remind me about the eating and drinking thing because I am really very bad about that.

If you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on all the other reasons I married my husband below:

Reasons 1-7

Reasons 7-14

Reasons 15-21

Reasons 22-28

Reasons 29-35

Reasons 36-42

Reasons 43-49

Reasons 50-56

Reasons 57-63

Reasons 64-70

Reasons 71-77

Reasons 78-84

Reasons 85-91

Reasons 92-98

Reasons 99-105

Reasons 106-112

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