Author’s note: Before you read or listen to this article, please keep in mind that this is written for people that are not currently experiencing spousal abuse, or going through counseling for sexual abuse. There are times when it is reasonable for people healing from abuse to go through an agreed time of breaks from sexual activity with their spouse. Please understand that this article is written for women that feel emotionally neglected by their husbands, and are seeking to solve this problem by withholding sex. That is not a biblical approach to this problem. However, anytime a woman feels she has been forced to have sex, even with her husband, that qualifies as abuse. For more information on what qualifies as sexual abuse within marriage please see this article by Leslie Vernick.
This is the first post in a series titled, “Becoming a Better Wife.” Before you get too deep into this post, if you are single, it is God’s will for your to abstain from sex. Why? Go read my personal testimony and you can learn from my mistakes.
This post has been on my heart to write for a while now. I counsel married women on a regular basis, and lately my husband and I have even been doing marriage counseling. It’s not something we were looking to do, but I guess God thought we were qualified because He brought people to us. I really hate to say this, but it seems like there are several issues we hear over and over and over again. It seems to me like satan has convinced quite a few Christian women that certain behaviors towards their husbands are ok, even though what the bible says is clearly opposite. I’m not saying that women are the only ones to blame for painful marriage relationships, but I’m a woman so I am going to speak to other women. Before we start talking about this very sensitive subject, I want to say that I’m not the perfect wife, by any means. I’m a sinner just like everyone on this planet. However, as a wife, I feel like there are some things God has shown me in the last few years so that I can be a better helper against (that is what the Hebrew says) for my husband. I want to honestly and openly share them with you. In fact, let’s start this conversation out with prayer. It’s that important.
Thank you for creating marriage. Please help us to be better wives to our husbands. Help us to follow Your word and Your will for our lives, especially when it will cost us something. Heal our broken hearts and help us to follow Your model for marriage, instead of whatever culturally acceptable picture the world gives us. Help us to be selfless, just like You are.
In Your holy name,
We Withhold Intimacy From Our Husbands
Yes, I am going to talk about sex. Please don’t stop reading. This is so important. I feel like if we could just become aware of the impact of this one area in our marriages, we would be so much more effective as children of God! When women come to me in marital distress there is always one question I ask first. It helps me understand how much damage has been done in the relationship.
“How often are you having sex?”
I usually get some puzzled look from the woman I’m talking to. In her mind this is not the first thing we should be talking about. The first thing women want to talk about in relation to marital distress is emotional neglect. I want to talk about emotional neglect as well, but first I need to know where things are on the husband’s end. For men, emotional care is linked with physical intimacy. I hate to give the devil so much credit, but to me it seems like he has figured out the beautiful circle that maintains marital relationships, and found a way to break the chain. I am a visual person, so I feel like a few images will help illustrate how this whole things works. Let’s take a look.
You can see that for women, emotional care and stimulation lead to sexual desire. But you already knew that. However, I would like to introduce a piece of information that may be news to you (it was to me!). Sexual satisfaction in men is the main connecting factor. It is the glue that holds you together in their minds and hearts. If you are physically intimate with your husband you will unlock his emotions towards you! Sexual satisfaction and fulfillment lead to the emotional response and intimacy you are looking for. That is why I ask this question first. I want to know if withholding physical intimacy is a factor in the emotional neglect a wife might be feeling.
You can see in the next illustration that God has perfectly balanced these two desires which are mutually fulfilled when sexual intimacy happens. By taking away physical intimacy from our husbands, we are making the situation worse, not getting the emotional intimacy that we so desire. Read more