This is primarily a mothering blog, right? So why in the world am I talking about marriage?
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to have a good marriage. I’ve considered writing about marriage before, because I’ve studied extensively what wise older women have to say about it (in addition to what God’s Word says), but I didn’t intend to start a marriage series now.
Until yesterday, when I ran across this: Call to Action: Pastor Issuing 7-day Sex Challenge. At first I laughed (haha, call to action), and then I paused, truly disheartened that this kind of challenge is even necessary. (By the way, Ed Young Jr., the pastor in the article, is a solid, balanced teacher of God’s Word—not a flaky publicity stunt kind of guy.) So without further ado, I’M WADING IN WHERE GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRLS ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD and talking about sex. I’ll admit, I err on the side of prudery. But in a sex-saturated culture, it’s essential that Christians counter the continuous assault of promiscuity and immorality with God’s wisdom.
I’ve been absolutely amazed over the years at how many women tell me that they aren’t having sex with their husbands. Years ago, a young lady told me how she and her husband didn’t have sex for a year after the birth of their baby “because I didn’t feel like it.” These kids separated and got back together during the course of that year, and they still didn’t have sex. Are you surprised to learn that they ended up divorced? I’m not!
We all know that women typically don’t have male sex drives. But ladies, this is such an important part of loving our husbands. Do you know that God has a lot to say about sex? (He invented it, you know.) The Song of Solomon is an entire Bible book that gives us an intimate snapshot of a couple’s love life. Here’s what Paul tells us in the I Corinthians 7:
But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
In other words, just do it. Don’t turn him down, except in the rare instance that you’re sick or otherwise absolutely unable to. We’re not going to talk about all the things he should be doing, because we’ve all learned by now that we can’t change the other person, right? I think it’s far more productive to focus on what we can do to make a better marriage, and pray that God will work on our husbands. I’ve often seen that girls like to wait till things are better in their marriages (particularly in struggling marriages) before they’ll agree to have sex with their husbands. Often, if they’d just have regular, healthy sex, things would get better. I’m not saying that we’ll all be perfect in this area, but I am saying that it should be our goal.
I’ll close with some wise words from a sermon by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle:
“How many of you would think that a couple that doesn’t have enough sex is experiencing demonic spiritual warfare? It’s true. How many Christian marriages divorce? Well, statistically, more than those that are not Christian. When non-Christians can work it out at a rate that is more successful than Christians, that would indicate to me that Satan really has found a way to climb into bed between a husband and a wife and, in one way or another, cause devastation.
“When I’m meeting with a couple, and the husband says, “my wife’s not been very nice to me, so I’m gonna deny her sex. And until she’s nice to me, I’m gonna withhold it.”, that’s demonic. The wife who says, “ya know, I’m just never in the mood, and I know you love me and we have a decent marriage, and there’s no reason… , but I don’t feel like giving it to you”,… that’s demonic.
“To be sure, there are sex addicts in marriage who are unreasonable in their expectations of their spouse. But what I’m talking about is the common situation where one person in the marriage wants to be intimate more often than the other, and they’re rejected. They become bitter. Satan comes in and feeds that bitterness, baits the hook of their flesh with the temptation of the world. And all of a sudden, Satan puts in front of them images, people, and opportunities to lead them astray. It doesn’t make anyone a victim, because we all of our own choosing sin. But it does mean that you’re giving Satan an opportunity to literally sleep between you and your spouse.
“…Are you having enough sex? …I rarely have had a counseling appointment where they both say, “I’m satisfied with the frequency and freedom of our sexual relationship.” One says, “yeah, I think we’re fine”, and the other person says, “I’m totally frustrated. It’s not very often; it’s not very fun; it’s very predictable; it’s hard for me to rejoice in the wife of my youth.” Sometimes it’s the wife saying, “He doesn’t pursue me, he doesn’t touch me, he doesn’t desire me, he doesn’t compliment me. I’ve got other men who compliment me, pursue me emotionally, and are desirous of me.” And I say, ‘Wow, Satan is here. He is at work.’
“I want you to have that image– that a couple that’s not having free, frequent intimacy– when they go to bed, just think of Satan lying in the bed between the two of them. That’s what Paul’s talking about in 1 Corinthians 7:5. It really is a big issue. It’s not just, ‘I’m more amorous than you are’… this is demonic. It’s demonic. “
Extreme? Hmmm, I don’t think so.