Submitting in the bedroom – now we’re talkin’, right? I’ve got good news and bad news on this; the good news is yes, she is supposed to take care of you sexually, the bad news is you are supposed to take care of her sexually.
Maybe that still sounds like a great deal, but taking care of her sexually does not mean having all the sex you want, how you want it, and when you want it. In fact, sex is the one place in marriage where husband and wife have identical responsibilities, authority, and rights. First Cor 7:3-4 clearly says you are not allowed to say no to her sexually.
Are you thinking, “I’ve never said no to sex, and I never will?” Okay, but have you ever said no to what your bride needs to want and enjoy sex? She needs to feel loved and connected in order to be sexual. Without that, it is for her an empty physical act which is boring at best, and often feels like being used. There are times when half an hour of talk and a back rub are the difference between her servicing you and the two of you making love in a deep way that you both enjoy. Some will argue with me, but in that situation, I think refusing to give her the half hour is actually refusing her sex.
This idea goes well beyond the bedroom and the end of the day. If a man argues with his wife all day, or ignores her all evening, she probably does not want and almost certainly can’t enjoy sex. Again, I would say these things amount to sexual refusal because they make it impossible for her to be sexual as God intended. The man who fails to give his wife what she needs to want sex and to enjoy sex is failing to do what Paul commands in 1 Cor.
A third way this plays out is what you do sexually. If all your wife ever wanted was to hug and kiss, fully clothed, while you each masturbated, would you find that acceptable? In the same way, if what you want is unacceptable to her, you are failing to take care of her sexually. You each need to be reasonable, and there may need to be a good deal of give and take. If either of you is unhappy about what is done a majority of the time, things need to change.
What if she does not want sex? I am well aware there are plenty of women who have said “I could live the rest of my life without sex and be perfectly happy.” I know the women who say this believe it, and I know in many cases there is nothing their husband could change that would make any different to her in terms of wanting sex. However, I do not believe these women are without sexual needs. I believe they don’t feel those needs because sex has been too hurtful for them for way too long. The bad has consistently outweighed the good, and it’s understandable such a woman would stop feeling any desire to have sex.
While a woman may feel no desire or need for sex, I do not believe that means she had no need. God made her to be a sexual being, to want and enjoy sex. The world has beating her to where she no longer feels a need does not mean it’s gone. If this describes your wife, odds are most of the damage done to her happened before you met her. You may have contributed to that before you married, and almost certainly to some degree after marriage, but you did not create the problem and that means you can’t solve it by changing things. Solutions to this are beyond the scope of this post, but I will address it over the next weeks and months.
This is a seven part series:
Headship? Me? Maybe not … Why men shy away from being the head.
Submit to each other? Wait, how does that work? Does it work?
Submit! But only if you want to? It’s a choice?
Who submits to whom, and why? God has a plan here, really.
Being the head What it means, and how it’s to be done.
Sexual submission New we’re talking … or not.
How we do headship and submission How it works in our message.