Intimacy in the Christian marriage, part 4 is as important as the first three posts in this series. Quite often, women ask me, “What do I do when I don’t feel like being intimate, and he does?”
You’ve battled toddlers with tummy bugs, cleaned up the bathroom floor more times than you can count, had unexpected tasks that demanded your attention, not to mention, the laundry baskets that are overflowing and the sink is somewhere under a pile of dishes.
You’re still in the fight. You’ve determined that you’re going to accomplish the primary survival tasks for the day and go to bed with a clean house and happy family!
You plop yourself down in bed exhausted. Then it happens, you hear your husband’s request for intimacy. (Let’s be honest, you know what is on his mind before he even said a word.)
You’re at a crossroad.
How will you respond?
What do we do when we don’t feel like being intimate?
First, know this, chances are we’ve all been there at least once before. It’s not just exhaustion that gets us; it’s hormones, stress, medical issues, and the list could go on. Here are my three best tips to help you navigate those situations of intimacy.
Don’t let your marriage bed be the last thing on your mind. Instead, start the day with intimacy in mind. Make sure your commitments won’t interrupt this time with your spouse.
If there are areas of concern that keep you from feeling connected to your husband. Commit those to prayer and talk with others who can join you in prayer and support.
Communication is a HUGE component of intimacy. It’s essential that you communicate your needs to your husband and that he can communicate his needs with you. If you know you won’t be available for sexual intimacy, share that information with your spouse before the lights go off, so he’s aware of how you’re feeling.
What Does God Have to Say About Intimacy?
These tips don’t guarantee you won’t ever have this experience. Hopefully, what they do is help you navigate them successfully. As with so many other areas of marriage, intimacy is about each party esteeming the other person more than themselves. It’s about both parties remembering the sacredness of intimacy shared in marriage.
With that said, it’s vital that we don’t deny our spouse of this time of intimacy without careful consideration. In fact, the Scriptures say
1.Corinthians 7:4 “Defraud ye not one the other, except it, be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
What’s interesting to me about this passage is that it uses the word, ‘defraud”. This word comes from the Greek word, apostero, which means to defraud, spoil, or rob. Oh, how many marriages we see in this state of spoilage!
Defrauding Our Spouses
Take a moment to think on this.
When we consider the actual meaning of this word, defraud, we can see the danger in not being honest with one another through intimacy. Maybe you’ve never done this. Perhaps you have and you’ve just never thought of it as defrauding your spouse. Here are some examples to consider.
- Pretending you’re asleep.
- Spoiling Intimacy by participating with a poor attitude.
- Robbing our spouse in intimacy because He didn’t do something we wanted him to do.
Chances are we can see dangers of defrauding our spouse through intimacy. Some of these dangers come as obvious and substantial issues; others are small and subtle yet just as destructive.
We can not deny the fact that healthy marriages include two individuals who cheerfully make themselves available to the other person.
We also know that we can’t do anything good on our own. Our marriages are a result of God’s goodness through us, not ours. Let’s not be deceived into thinking that we are the ones that create a delightful marriage bed. That is only a work that the Lord can do.
Keep your eyes on the Lord, seek His protection for your marriage bed, so that, Satan tempts us not for our inconsistency.
Remember, walk in patience and unity in Intimacy. There is much instruction for couples about being in agreement about finances, child training, or other life situations yet they fail to discuss the importance of unity in intimacy. If you didn’t have this conversation before marriage, it’s not too late to have it now.
I’m praying for our marriages. May God be glorified through them!
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
So as someone who was sexually abused. How do we get past the feeling pregame and being dirty to satisfying my husband and the ability to open up to him and fulfill his requests. What acts are pleasing to God? That is an area I have never been informed in and it already hard to open up. What is proper and what is not?
Mary, that is a question that I am often asked. I am going to address it in Part 5 that will be posted first thing in the morning. I want to praise God for being the One who restores what the locus has eaten. He can make this time beautiful, and God glorifying, for your husband and yourself despite the past pain that you’ve experienced. I am confident in His abilities!
I cannot recommend wwww.livinginlove.org enough! It is another piece of our journey over the past 4yrs that healed and made our marriage into the true image of Christ. We went on one of their marriage retreats and started to work through past pains in & out of our relationship that affect our hearts and make it hard to open up… so much healing happened that weekend. What a gift it was. And then followed up with a weekly series of sessions to delve deeper and reunite in mind, body, and spirit as God intended. It’s a great program for married couples as well as engaged couples. Our only regret is that our marriage prep program wasn’t this profound. I think we would have had a easier journey to this point but then again, that’s all in His plan too. And because of our struggles and want for other engaged couples to be better equipped for this sacred work of Marriage, we became Living in Love mentors to engaged couples. It’s changing the world one couple at a time! Check it out. *It is a Catholic program and I don’t know if there are enough mentors to step outside of that faith but… it would be awesome to see it take off in all faiths and even non-denominational as the founders do a beautiful job of equating God=love. It speaks to everyone. It spoke to my “fallen away” husband that weekend and slowly transformed him into one of the most Godly men I know. His Grace is ENOUGH! <3 Another resource I have found has similar principles is the book: Love & Respect. God Bless all engaged & married persons!
Hi! I just happened on your blog after seeing it on Darlene Schacht’s post. My question is – what to do to interest your husband when you’re the one interested in intimacy & he takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get around to it? I’m talking weeks between times. Yes, he often stays up late & sleeps late, yes, he’s had a porn problem, yes, he says he has a normal male drive, and yes, I often have bad attitudes when disappointed. I try to stay up with him as late as I can, & then I crash out by 10 or 11, overtired & disappointed. We’re relatively early in marriage, have one child, & he is afraid of having another anytime soon – he openly tells me its a lack of faith. I’ve tried coaxing, cuddling, & asking, and then the flip side of anger, helplessness, disappointment & resentment that builds when he continually rejects my advances. I got married having read & heard SO MANY articles about the woman giving herself to her husband… where are the articles saying the husband has a duty to his wife too?
That’s a question that others have as well. I currently have some extra questions/answers we’re adding to this series. I will make sure to include this one. As for where all the article are about husband’s duty to their husband…. they are out there! I am happy to share those here on the blog too. I guess my only thought is this: We can’t change other people. We can only change ourselves. So how are we going to respond when our husband’s don’t see the need or have the desire to be with us physically?
Aw, thanks for that. I’ll look forward to hearing additional Q&A about it. I realize I came off strongly, asking about articles on the other side – I’m sorry for that & didn’t mean offense. You’re absolutely right: I can only change me – and that with God’s help! I guess I need to learn to deal with frustration gracefully. I know in my head that Jesus must be enough and that I can’t expect my husband to fill all my needs – that’s a burden only God can bear… I just forget. Need to quiet my heart & remember.
You didn’t come of too strong at all. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. They are so important. <3