Attitude Check

My friend Mary Ann jokes that her husband Dan’s all-time favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 7:4—”The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.” It sure isn’t politically correct, I’ll give it that. But then again, PC isn’t exactly the apostle Paul’s middle name (or his initials). The Message paraphrase puts a neat little twist on it.

“The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to ‘stand up for your rights.’ Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.”

According to Paul, sex is more than something you do or don’t do as you feel like it. It’s an explicit command from our Creator.

You may wonder what credibility a single guy like Paul has when it comes to marital sex. Well, at least we know he wasn’t writing this stuff just to guilt-trip his wife into bed with him. And he’s as credible as they come, because Paul’s “book contracts” came straight from God Himself.

If God commands me to have sex with my husband and I don’t want to, does that mean I have a rebellious—a sinful—attitude? I’m not fond of that idea.

If I have low sexual desire, I’d rather just blame it on my personality or my femininity or something. “You know, that’s just the way God made me.”

Or better yet, I could blame it on my husband. “He certainly doesn’t help matters. If he’d actually make an effort at showing he cares about me, I might want to have sex more often.”

Okay, girls, I’m going to get right to the heart of the matter, cut straight to the gut of this book. I have a proposition. Are you sitting down?

Here it goes: I propose that you and I take a great big step and commit to no more blame-shifting. No more excuses. No more pointing fingers. It’s high time we took responsibility for something that has been entrusted to us by God. Making love to our husbands. Often. With a good attitude. Are you up to the challenge? And ready for some fun?

I am a woman just like you. I don’t need sex all that often. And because of that, I have a hard time understanding how my husband’s requests for sex stem from a deep physical and emotional need, not just a selfish desire.

According to God, whether we want to or not is not the issue. Sex isn’t optional. It’s not debatable. It’s not an elective. It’s a required course.

“The frequency of sex depends on the other person’s need, not ours alone,” Stormie Omartian says in The Power of a Praying Wife. “If your attitude about having sex comes down to only what you need or what you don’t want, then you don’t have God’s perspective.”

Oh, there are plenty of “good” reasons. I’m too busy. My children are a full-time job. I’m overwhelmed by life. My husband has hurt me emotionally. He has a terrible habit he just won’t give up. I’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’…

Lots of reasons why we don’t want to have sex, but the Bible says that spending time in prayer is the only valid reason for abstinence. And I don’t know about you, but my extensive prayer life isn’t usually on my list of excuses.

You’re His Only Hope

“Why should I have to have sex when I don’t feel like it?” asks my friend Claire. “If I’m not in the mood, I think it’s selfish of him to ask.”

The problem for Claire’s husband is that Claire is never in the mood. And Claire is not abnormal, as I’m sure many of you would attest to. “I think I need to take some kind of pill or something,” she told me, “because I just don’t care if I ever have sex.”But it’s not all about “What can I do to want sex more?” That’s only part of it.

The bigger issue is this-feelings or no, do it with a good attitude. God will let the desire follow. Maybe not right away, but it will come. God says, “Obey me when you don’t feel like it-when you can’t see the final outcome-and I’ll make it worth your while.”

My friend Arin recently shared that she was completely uninterested in sex.

“So, what do you love?” I asked her. “And be honest. You don’t have to tell me you love reading your Bible and being a mom.”

“Scrapbooking, shopping, and eating at nice restaurants,” she said without hesitation.

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“What if you could only do those things if Jeff were willing to do them with you?” I asked her.

“So, let me ask you this-since your husband doesn’t enjoy scrapbooking, shopping, or eating out at nice restaurants on a frequent basis, do you go without these things?”

“Of course not. That’s what my girlfriends are for.”

“Hmm…okay. Let me get this straight. You like scrapbooking, but not sex. He likes sex, but not scrapbooking. Correct?”

“Uh, yes.”

“When you refuse to have sex with him, who does he call to satisfy that craving?”

“He better not be calling anybody!”

“Why not? You do.”

“Not for sex!”

“Right, but sex is not your deepest need. So, while you’re your deepest needs and desires met, your husband is going without. It’s perfectly acceptable for other people to meet these needs for you, but you are the only person on the face of this earth he is allowed to go to for sex.”

“You can’t tell me that sex is a need. I don’t need it.”

“Oh, boy-if I had a ‘wrong answer’ buzzer, you’d so be getting buzzed right now, girl. But I don’t. So let’s not even discuss whether sex is a real need for a man or not. Let’s talk about scrapbooking. Need or want?”

“Okay, so it’s not a need, but I think the real solution here is for my husband to find a hobby he can do without me. Maybe that would take his mind off sex.”

“Is that how you visualize your ideal marriage-you going off and doing your thing, him going off and doing his? Two separate people going in two separate directions? Why even bother getting married? We can’t use our differences as an excuse to avoid doing something our husbands want to do. And besides, sex is not just a hobby for your husband. Taking his mind off it isn’t the answer.”

Our conversation continued…round and round, going absolutely nowhere. My powers of persuasion seemed to have no effect. So I did the wise thing. I stopped talking and asked God to help her see the light. (The verdict is still out.)

Your husband agreed to marry you with his sex drive intact, fully aware he would be entirely dependent on you to meet all his sexual needs. If, for some reason, you were unable or unwilling to meet those needs, he understood they would go unmet. Saying “I do” to you included placing his sexual needs and identity out on the table-naked and vulnerable-for you to do with as you please.

According to God, I am the only one allowed to meet my husband’s sexual desires. An awesome responsibility, yes, but what a privilege.

Adapted from Is That All He Thinks About? How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband

Copyright © by Marla Taviano, Used with Permission, Published by Harvest House.