What we are talking about today is using sex (or lack thereof) as a way to manipulate or punish your spouse.
"He didn't do this right, so there's no way I'm having sex with him tonight!"
"I'll show him!"
"I'm just not sexually attracted to my spouse anymore."
When you take sex away for reasons like that, what you're saying is, "My love for you is based on your actions and what you can do for me. It's not based on the fact that I love you, just because."
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 tells us this, "3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 5 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."
This is not an issue of one spouse being in control of the other or forcing one to have sex. That's just wrong. This is an issue of deciding to not be self-centered. It's an issue of coming together intimately to strengthen the marriage bond.
I understand that medical issues and exhaustion come in to play. I also know that a loving spouse should be sensitive to how their mate feels physically. I'm not talking about those times. I'm talking about the times when sex is just down-right denied for no-good reason. It's dangerous to do that.
We talked yesterday about foreplay, and I really believe that if foreplay is brought into the equation, sex will be more pleasurable for both parties and there won't be a desire to deny a spouse of it.
If sex has not been pleasurable for you, there are some practical ways to make it better.
Husbands: If your wife denies you sex because it's not pleasurable for her, take some advice. Ask your wife what she likes, and really focus on pleasing her during the sexual experience and not just "getting yours." There are physical ways for men to 'hold out' so the wife can get the most pleasure. Make the sexual experience less focused on you and more focused on the awesome intimacy with your wife. If you're denying your wife sex, you're crushing her self-esteem. Show her love this way, and she'll be able to show you love and respect in the ways you need.
Wives: If you're denying your husband sex, stop. Get to the root issue and resolve it, but don't deny your husband sex. Maybe even be the one to initiate sex. Shock him! If you're being denied sex by your husband, consider a few things....how's his stress level? Ask him if there's something you can do to help him relax. Are you really respecting him? If you're not, you could be turning him off.
In our culture, sex has become about "ME, ME, ME!" and what's the most pleasure *I* can get from it. Sex in a marriage should be more about 'us' and less about 'me'. When we take the time to be intimate and pleasure our spouse, we're strengthening our marriage bonds. Have sex! Have lots of sex! Enjoy that time with your spouse!
I'm so grateful you've joined me on this 31 Days series. There were times I wasn't sure I'd make it, and your encouragement and reading made all the difference. God really does want us to have a happy marriage. We're blessed to get to be married. I hope you've enjoyed this series! Thank you for reading!
The giveaway ends tonight! If you haven't signed-up, there's still time!
Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*