How important is sex to a man? Since the fall of Adam, wars were fought, kingdoms united and torn asunder, vast wealth transferred, and families forsaken, all for sex. The wisest man in the bible, King Solomon, fell victim to taking hundreds of wives and worshipping their gods, all for sex. God’s first command to Noah and his wife after they stepped off the Ark was to be fruitful and multiply, basically have sex.
If you ever tried to quit cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, you can appreciate the urge that a sexually active man has to contend with. The difference is the sex drive must be managed as part of our nature, not purged like a chemical dependency. Husbands cannot just turn it on when their wife walks into the bedroom in a teddy and turn it off when the appealing secretary walks by in a mini-skirt. By the same token, husbands have to consistently guard all five of our senses from society’s sex-crazed bombardment. No, we cannot completely block out all enticements, but it does call us to check our motivations for going to lunch with that flirtatious co-worker. Is it to feed our stomach or our ego?
God commands married couples to lay with each other often and proverbs 5:18 reads, rejoice in the wife of your youth. Sex within the holy context of marriage is God’s mandate. Spouses need to express that part of their nature to bring their whole being into balance.
In marriage meetings, many men confessed that fornicating was how they felt validated. There is a spiritual and biological truth that is being perverted here. Wives, you validate your husband when you make love to him. You’re affirming his virility and self-esteem as someone who is capable and desired. If you think about it, this is one time in the Bible where God specifically encourages us to act on our natural urge.
By withholding sex, wives set a snare for their husbands in plain view of the harlot. She is merely the enticement, like a piece of cheese in a mouse trap. The snare is the climate of pent up sexual frustration created by the lack of intimacy.
If a man who is use to having sex goes without it long enough, almost anything can distract him. The smell of perfume, revealing hem of a skirt; the very act of his jeans brushing against his loins as he walks can be a distraction. Going without it removes an element of protection from the man and his marriage. So a wife who withholds sex can expect to watch her man slowly weaken until finally he cracks. When he does, with masturbation, pornography or even adultery, bombarding him with emotional condemnation will not work.
Wives, I know sex begins in the kitchen (title of a popular marriage book). You can go but so long fulfilling your husbands’ needs without yours getting met. A husband can be so emotionally stunted that he makes his wife feel like nothing more than a receptacle for his release. But hold on for just one second before you focus too deeply on your needs not getting met. If you play the, when he does this, than I will do that game, you will waste priceless years in misery and deprivation. All of us have some expectation beyond what our spouse is willing to meet. God does not want you to mete out sex as you feel like it. Sex is not a reward to train your husband to behave according to your wishes like a circus animal. It is God’s design for a marriage as a vital aspect of intimacy that builds and protects, yes, even repairs it. Sex is a lot like paying tithes. You don’t stop doing it when things are not going well. A raging fire is not the time to turn off the water.
Finally, a word about adultery because I know that there are some women who absolutely will not have sex with their cheating, unrepentant husband no matter how much they pray or read the Bible. Far be it for me to tell you what to do in your situation. I just know that God will tell you what to do if you listen. Jesus says in Matthew 19:8, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” His affair is not your fault, but a heart that is hard is. You are not listening for God when your heart is hardened against anyone, including your spouse.
Hebrews 11:1 reads, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Your emotions act contrary to faith because they are designed to respond to external circumstances, the evidence of things seen. But if you are hoping for a restored marriage than your actions will eventually have to reflect a faith in God that transcends how you feel at the moment.