Did God Make Women to Want Sex… A LOT?

July 13, 2013

in Sexuality, Understanding Her

Over at Sex Within Marriage, Jay Dee and I have had a nice bunny trail discussion in the comments of What about sex for the surviving spouse? He said, “what did we do to women that makes the current stereotype that they almost need to be tricked into sex? Because it sounds like they were quite voracious in Biblical times.”

Woman who wants sex! © Stephen Orsillo | Dreamstime.com

The Jews of old did indeed think that women had strong sex drives. The Bible seems to agree – if a man took a slave as a wife, then later married another woman, he was prohibited from giving the first wife less food, less clothing, or less sex (Exodus 21:10)! In talking to Timothy, Paul assumed that widows under sixty would be so driven to have sex they would be unable to keep a vow of chastity. (1 Tim 5:11) What’s more, the Jewish civil law said a man could be forced to divorce his wife if he was not giving her enough sex – the only way a woman could get a divorce.

This is not the only evidence of women with a healthy sex drive. In medieval Europe, women were believed to have a stronger drive than men did. In some simpler cultures, women are much more sexual – maybe not more so than men, but every bit as interested.

Okay, but why?

In 2005, the BBC did a cross-cultural Internet survey of more than 200,000 people from 53 countries. Men reported fairly consistent attitudes about sex across culture, while women showed great variation. Basically, women in societies that repress women were less sexual. This strongly suggests that culture affects women’s sexuality far more than it does men’s sexuality. Men driven are primarily biology, while women are driven by biology but also driven or inhibited by the sexual expectations of their culture. It seems society has made it difficult for women to express and enjoy their God given sexuality.

Am I saying there is a lusty woman inside your wife trying to get out? More or less, yes. The question is how much that part of her has been beat down. What kind of fear does she have about wanting or liking sex? Could she live with herself if she started to want sex?

Can you help your wife change? If you do not push too much you might be able to nudge her in the right direction. She has many things she needs to unlearn, and she is likely still getting messages that re-enforce her wrong ideas. Do what you can to put better ideas in her path, and to reduce the bad messages she gets. You should also change how you think about her. Stop seeing her as trying to limit you sexually, and understand that she is trying to fit into a very wrong understanding of sex. The frustration she causes you is a side effect of the struggle she has between the desire God gave her and the messages society give her.

A great resource for this is a fairly new blog called The Forgiven Wife: Learning to Dance with Desire. The author’s “about me” says “After 20 years of being a sexual gatekeeper and refuser, I am now learning to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with the husband God provided for me.” She is currently working through The Respect Dare, but most of her posts are about moving from resisting sex to wanting and enjoying it. Check out Naked and Broken for example. If you can get your wife to follow this blog that would be good, but regardless I suggest you read it to gain a better understanding of the struggle going on inside your wife.

Enough from me – let’s hear from you in the comments! 

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77 comments
Upwithmarriage
Upwithmarriage

What if - the way to love your wife is by being in authority?  What if - THAT is loving her?

I don't believe that a man can help with increasing the sex drive of his wife; my husband couldn't with mine.  I firmly believed that I had a low sex drive and that's just the way it was.  Any effort from my husband just seemed to be him trying to change me into something that I wasn't - for his benefit.  That was then.

This is now.  A wife has to want to change to adapt to her husband.  I can't find anywhere in Scripture where a husband is told to adapt to his wife - sexually or otherwise.  She has to want to put her husband ahead of herself - to be others oriented - to be selfless.  My flaw in the past (which just revealed more selfishness) was, "But what about his unselfishness." 

I always, ALWAYS go back to the beauty and power of Christ's gift - His selfless demonstration in putting Himself under God's authority to die to Himself for us.  Unless a wife is prepared to follow this example, die to herself for the sake of another (her husband) she will sit where she is.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

I agree with everything, except "it's cultures that oppress women that have a lower drive".  I big NO!  It's Europe and the US where women have lower drives...where they have as much or more rights then men.  As you point out, it's the third world countries (that still hold to traditional gender roles) where women's drives aren't hindered as much.  There's something sexy about having a man, a real man, and one that you have to...wait for it...submit to.  Okay, let the yelling begin.

walterak
walterak

Great post!  But I'm wondering how you arrived at your interpretation of "widows under 60" for the text  "younger widows"?

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

Wow. Thank you, Paul. "Naked and Broken" seems to have struck a chord with both refusing and refused spouses. After years of gate-keeping and refusal, both spouses develop patterns that have to be unlearned so new, healthy patterns can be built. Changing patterns that had built over such a long time was the hardest thing I've done, but it has been worth every step of the way.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

I agree, The Forgiven Wife is a great blog, my wife and I read all her posts.  She's an excellent example of breaking out of her social/cultural bondage and moving to sexual freedom in her marriage, as God intended.  

I'm so proud of her, because it's not easy, but she sticks with it.  Some people seem to have these immediate sexual awakenings, but others (like TFW's author, my own wife, and countless others) need time to process, to work through it, to take off all the layers of damage their upbringing has put on.

But I think there is something we can do, as husbands, to help the process in more than a "nudging" way.  I don't have it all fleshed out yet, but I hope to be writing a post on it soon.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494  First I don't think multiple wives was ever God's will - I suspect like divorce it was allowed because of hard hearts. Laws such as the one I mentioned were there to help minimise the harm done to women by multiple wives.

If a man followed this law, he would be unable to have many wives. He marries the first, and they have sex about as often as he wants. Then he marries a second, and he is required to keep having sex with the first wife just as often. The second wife get's whatever more he can manage. 

I agree with you about how unhealthy we are, in so many ways. This affects some more than others, but I agree it must be understood as a significant part of the problem.

And yes, selfishness and sin are always a problem. Both the selfishness of the one who says no, and the selfishness of many in her life who have help her see sex in ways other than God intended.

Oysterbed7
Oysterbed7

@AnYa494 I agree that we should consider the fact that multiple wives were allowed.  (However, I'm not sure how many men of old could afford multiple wives.)  You raised another point, ovulation.  Which led me to remember a jewish law regarding unclean status, the Law of Niddah.  A husband could not touch his wife from the time she started her menstrual cycle until the 7th clean day.  Which would be a minimum of 12 days of separation.  This would leave 16 days for sexual intimacy before the next cycle.

In my personal experience, drive is heightened with ovulation and separation.

This is not to refute the cultural findings of your post, Paul.  Because I totally agree that repression of sexual desire has been prevalent in Christian communities due to false beliefs regarding sexuality within marriage.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband I'm confused, because I can't see what you quoted in the post.  But, I'll discuss anyways.

I think there is a duality in our culture that is causing issues.  On the one had, there is this huge sexual revolution for women, giving them freedom to explore their sexuality, but apparently only unmarried women.  You see this constantly in sitcoms, movies, etc.  

The other stereotype is of married women.  They never want sex, they don't like sex, they are uninterested in sex, and married men aren't any good at it anyways.  When they have sex, it's like the man won the lottery, and the only time they have consistent sex is while trying to conceive, or the wife is having some sort of emotional affair, or a crush and is using her husband to "get off" as it were, of course, she can't be actually interested in her husband sexually.

Add these together, and you get many single women who are ready and willing to go have sex, and then get married and immediately turn into frigid wives.  Sadly, this is a story we see all too often in the Christian community as well.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband Arab countries hold to "traditional;" roles, but the women there don't usually have healthy sex drives. Women in Europe and the US were repressed significantly until fairly recently, and are still sexually repressed more than men. Women in Europe are more sexual than women in the US, and this tracks with changes in how women are seen sexually.

Granted most of the changes are at a societal level, and are not in line with God's Word. We have obtained "equality" by giving women the same "right" to sin that men had. Had we given them the same right to want and enjoy sex in marriage, imagine where we would be now.

I did not mention it, but religious views plays a big part in repression of women's drives. This is getting better, and some are more sexually healthy than non-religious women because they understand what God intended, but many are still messed up by unbiblical repression from those who claim to speak for God..

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@walterak As Jay Dee said - verse 9 "Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age..."

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@ForgivenWife Love what you are doing, and you do it so well. I am sure God is using you to set many women free and make many men much happier!

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@SexWithinMarriage

Thank you for writing this -

"Some people seem to have these immediate sexual awakenings, but others need time to process, to work through it, to take off all the layers of damage their upbringing has put on."

Last week I was so frustrated and disappointed by a post and its comments at The Generous Wife which insinuated that moving into sexual freedom is easy, and that if a wife is saying no to sex it's merely because her husband isn't a priority.

http://www.the-generous-wife.com/2013/07/05/move-him-up-the-priority-list/

A resounding YES! there is "a lusty woman inside" EVERY wife "trying to get out".  And, husbands can help their wives change!  In my own marriage I am blessed when my husband lives in understanding, gives me the benefit of the doubt, and assumes love - when he chooses not to turn inward and interpret my refusal as a sign of rejection or see me "as trying to limit him sexually", but instead knows that "of course I want to be with him sexually, why would I not want to be?!"  It's then that he becomes my hero, a safe place to work through things, and the hurdle I'm facing becomes a hurdle we jump together.  And isn't that true intimacy?!  (As a side note, it lays the foundation for great sex.)

All those lusty women out there are dying to be set free from the chains that bind.  They're dying to be intimately known, and they're looking for a hero.

Jay Dee, please do write on what husbands can do to help the process!  And perhaps your wife has some words of wisdom for wives as well?  I am also thankful for the writings of The Forgiven Wife because she is an encourager who understands that our sexuality runs deeps - so much more than just a task.

Chris

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband

I quoted it directly from Paul's blog post and it says nothing about sexual oppression.  It says women in societies that repress women were less sexual.  Fifth paragraph, third sentence.  Then he says that third world countries women usually have a stronger sex drive.  Very contradictory.  I would say that the middle east goes beyond traditional gender roles.  I don't believe Arab men have traditional gender roles, say he points out the victorian era did, they truly abuse women and treat them as property...that's much different than traditional gender roles.


Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@TheGenerousHusband @Thankful Husband 

Paul, I like you...a lot. I admire you and yet you drive me completely nuts also.  Your message never takes into account women's downfalls (see below comment  I will yet type to a Heart to Know). You are a brother who is trying to help both men and women be better servants and child of our Lord Jesus.  But also trying to get each other to love one another.  However, you consistently preach the message the church has been giving men for the last thirty years and that message has failed miserably and not due to men trying to apply it.  That message has very little to do with men being men and women being women.  The reason women don't find christian men attractive is because they are in control of the marriage and in the drivers seat.  You told me yesterday you talk about these things all the time...yet I don't see it. AT. ALL.  I'm all for loving, generousity, and definetly trying to love your wife as Christ loves the church but a women can't respect and she is definetly going to get turned on by a man who is constantly kissing her a**.   There's a difference between loving her as Christ loves the church and that.  


You and I see both history and the present thru such different lenses it is scary.  You seem to toe the current church line...but it's a message that is failing both women and men.  We are no longer leaders in our families and marriages.  We are no longer the leader in our churches and it's because of messages like this.  Your message about third world countries and oppressive are in direct opposotion.  Because we are no longer leaders...women no longer find many of us attractive.  Trust me those fellows in touch with their feelings are not the ones getting laid, as once again your comments point out the contradiction for every christlike man as defined by today's church I can find 10 worldly men having much more sex.  Women still like men and have sex drives (although not nearly the drive of men).  I'm so tired of this christo-feminist line.  


Sex is important to me.  I think it is for most men.  My wife is my world.  I'd die for her happily and gladly but what you describe as a christlike man and what turns women on are completely different and my problem is this...they are not mutually exclusive.  One can be christlike and yet still be a man but it doesn't start by saying the reason wives in america aren't having sex with their husbands is because they are oppressed. That's insane (the idea they are oppressed)!  Your post contradicts itself so many times but you can't see it.  You're so deep in the christo-feminist theology and have bought hook line and sinker. Again, I love you.  I'm not trying to be hard on you to be hard on you.  But honestly, men of 150 years ago would have called this what it is and what it's message is...and they would have laughed at us.

treeman
treeman

@A Heart to Know @SexWithinMarriage  It is never easy to accept a spouses's refusal.  Even if I know (in my head, at least) her refusal is about her and not about me it still hurts deeply.  And it still limits me sexually even if that is not her intent.  It does help if you can show your husband that you are working on your own issues and trying to improve your sex life.  But some wives are perfectly happy with a sex life that their husband sees as 'needing improvement'.  They see no reason to work on their sex life as long as they are OK with it.  Or they may acknowledge that their sex life stinks but never take any action.  It will probably be hard or painful or scary for her to confront her issues, and sex isn't that important to her, so she does nothing.  The way I interpret that Generous Wife post about 'priorities', it's not that facing these issues is easy or simple.  But if having a good sex life or pleasing her husband sexually is a high priority for the wife, she will begin to face the difficult problems so they can eventually be overcome.  If it isn't a high priority, she won't address her issues, and nothing will change.

I think my wife would deny that there is a lusty woman inside her trying to get out.  If there is, she is buried so deep my wife doesn't even know she is there.   Why would she go digging for something she doesn't believe exists?  I agree with you that husbands can help their wives confront themselves by not taking rejection personally.   I try to do this, and I think I am getting better at it.  But it takes two to tango, and not every spouse wants to work for something better.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@A Heart to Know @SexWithinMarriage 

It is a huge mistake for a great many men to assume love and give the benefit of the doubt.  No doubt this needs to be done in many cases but to say this is the rule is nuts.  Again, this is this theology that women are by and large no sinners, selfish and either just don't get it or are in a tough place.  It's a theology that is destroying the church, families and marriages.  Not to mention women and men.  Just like men 100% of women are sinners and selfish and their behavior as such is incredibly destructive to God's kingdom and marriages as men's behavior.  There are women that just don't get it or have to get past something...but even then there is often selfishness and sin involved.  But they are the minority.  This is not an I'm innocent and sweet and just give me love kind of thing.   There is no doubt we need to love, we need to understand, we need to encourage, we need to be safe.  BUT we need to call sin, sin.  We need to call selfishness, selfishness.  We need to call brokenness, brokenness.  We need to call destruction, destruction. 


Women are destroying marriages at just a fast of rate as men and sex is one of their main tools at doing so.  Please, most are meaning well.  


SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@A Heart to Know Thank you for this reply.  I showed my wife and she highlighted this:

In my own marriage I am blessed when my husband lives in understanding, gives me the benefit of the doubt, and assumes love - when he chooses not to turn inward and interpret my refusal as a sign of rejection or see me "as trying to limit him sexually", but instead knows that "of course I want to be with him sexually, why would I not want to be?!" 

That's an area I struggle in, I tend to assume a rejection of sex is a rejection of me, instead of being the hero who supports her when she's trying but can't (for valid reasons).    Thank for giving her the words to teach me a lesson I need to pay more attention to. 

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@AnYa494 Yes, we are all sinful, but I think knowledge or conviction of that sin does play a role.

See Acts 17:30.  In context, this seems to say that God sort of closes his eyes to our sins when we are ignorant of them.  

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494

I've never argued the fact that we are all sinful!

We are all sinful, and we all do things that hurt others - this is not news! Now that we agree on that, maybe we can discuss how to go about dealing with that.

I think most men and women go into marriage intending the best for their spouse. We all fall shot of that because we are all selfish. Add in our baggage, poor choices, and overrating to our spouse's sin, and it can get ugly fast.

A wise man is proactive. When there are problems he looks first to see what he might have done wrong, rather than looking for what his wife has done wrong. A wise woman does the same. If either husband or wife does this, they are likely to get past the problems, but this is more true if just the husband does it than if just the wife does it. 

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494 I knew a fellow who was ministering in another country and did some marriage ministry one night. Afterwards several men said to him they hated beating their wives, and wanted to know how often the had to do it. When he questioned them, he learned that they have been taught that they had been taught if you love our wife you beat her. They were convinced it was necessary, but hated to do it. They were very glad to hear that they were not supposed to do it!

This is not a perfect analogy, but neither is it very far off. If you don't KNOW your POV is wrong/unhealthy, you have no reason to seek other POVs.

I agree that most women have a very wrong POV on sex. So do most men for that matter. Both need to get rid of the junk and do what's right, but first they need to be convinced they are wrong. That is not shifting blame, it is teaching truth. Without a teacher, how will they learn? 


TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@THusband "You either don't understand what you are communicating or you do and don't want to admit to it."

So you saying that you know better than I what I am saying? I correct you, and you keep accusing me of saying what I have denied. 

BTW, we had a similar argument here four months ago. Back then I clarified some of the things you are saying now. see "For what it’s worth, I think she is selfish too

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@THusband

I did some searching, and the first few I found said something like “I’d find it problematic to extend the ‘treat them as a pagan or tax collector’ guideline to your spouse”. The first one I found that advocated seperation then went on to say that after she was put out by the church, the man would be free to remarry based on 1 Cor 7:15! So force her to leave, then divorce her for leaving – what a deal! I think Jay Dee has a much better melding of these Scriptures – if she is to be treated as a non-believer, then you are expected to live with her if she is willing!

To me the whole argument is invalid because it trashes the idea of covenant. We treat marriage like a contract, but that is not what it is in God’s eyes. A covenant can only be broken by very specific things, and disobedience is not one of those things in marriage. I realise you are making a distinction between divorce and forced separation, but I don’t think that distinction holds up Biblically. The Greek is “to put away” or “send away” and a forced separation would be exactly that. It seems to me the man who separates is divorcing his wife in his heart.

I notice you did not comment on the two-year-old post I mentioned. I assume you agree with much of that one?

I’m dropping out of most of the rest of this because you have stacked the deck against me. I state hard facts on church attendance, and you accuse me of saying women are more spiritual. If you want to dispute my fact, do so. If you want to ask me what conclusion I draw, do so. I clarify what I mean, and you try to use the dictionary to prove I mean something else. You say things like, “Paul believes women are superior human beings” after I have denied that is the case more than once. Why should I deal with someone who is so openly disrespectful?

You apparently think I am lying about what I think, so nothing I say matters anyway. It seems to me  you are more concerned with “winning” than with knowing what I actually think. Of course, this is a difficult way to express ideas. Maybe if you and I sat down over coffee we would find we have much more in common than it seems, and maybe if I said “No, I do not” to your face you might believe me.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@THusband Can I offer a different angle:

Matthew 18 says that if you go through the process, and they are unrepentant, then treat them as a sinner/tax collected/one not in the church (unbeliever).

Marry that with 1 Corinthians 7:13-15, and those cases (believer married to unbeliever), the spouse is counselled not to leave because you may win them over.

Thus, even those who are unrepentant should still be shown grace, so that we may show them the love of God.

This is the pattern I've seen work in my life.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494 I am not debating how one applies Matt 18, I am debating that it should be applied to marriage. Would you apply it to your minor children? Would you expect your wife to apply it to you? We are commanded to love our wives as Jesus loved the church, and we all know we fail at that. By your reasoning every wife could run the Matt 18 process and then separate!

I see a great many Scriptures and commands that prohibit us from applying Matt 18 to our marriages. Jesus does not send the church away when we sin, and His relation with the church is to be our guide for our marriages.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband Separation for not submitting? WRONG!!!

Sorry, you have gone beyond the Bible with that one! If we should continue to live with a non-believing spouse if they are willing, how can you justify separation for "not being obedient."

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

I am okay with the same (mat 18), but leading is not just about serving.  Serving is part of it.  Sacrificing is part of it.  So is being firm.  So is many things that aren't warm and fuzzy on the surface....and would be called "unloving" in today's church culture.

I'm okay with a man being the ultimate in love and lying down his life daily for his wife...but it's not all warm fuzzies either.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

Jay Dee,

By "have to" I mean we get back to a marriage that if a wife doesn't submit, there are consquences.   Yes we continue to love but we also enact Mat 18.  If she is still not willing to then she can live on her own.  Seperation.  She can care for yourself and all her worldly needs.  Women are not allowed to have the benefits of marriage without the responsblities.  I'm not talking about beating her.  Nor emotionally abusing her. But I am talking about setting up a framework where she is either doing what she needs to biblically or she is treated like a tax collector or gentile as scripture teaches us. She would also need to forfeit the kids (except for obvious visitation rights because for many women they got into the marriage for kids and if you give them to her and show her the door you are giving her what she wants) Of course once repentence takes place then she is welcomed home and loved, cherished, protected, cared for, etc.


This takes a a couple things to make this happen.  1) men to step up and live biblically and do this  2) the church to stand behind men 

Of course this is not a wife who is not submitting now and again but an outright unsubmissive wife (including refuser).


SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband but your quote said "oppress"... very different. Anyways...

I take exception to your phrasing of "have to...submit to".  Forcing a woman to submit is not biblical.  But I would agree that headship/submission plays a role here.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband Actually I said simpler cultures, not third world. Another word would be "primitive" but that is not as accurate. Many of these are simple because it is fairly easy to live off the land. They have less structured society far fewer rules and regulations. They also tend to be far less concerned about keeping female sexuality in a box.

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@treeman

I can only imagine how hard it would be to accept a spouse's refusal.  It makes me sad that God created the most amazing gift to be shared between husband and wife and it has become such a struggle for so many couples.  Sounds like you are working hard to be the best husband you can be.  Your wife is blessed to have you.

One of my favorite Bible passages is Ephesians 3:20-21:

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

To Him who is able and to Him be glory, I will be praying for your marriage, especially for your wife, that she does discover that there's a lusty woman inside...  keep on loving her.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@treeman "I think my wife would deny that there is a lusty woman inside her trying to get out.  If there is, she is buried so deep my wife doesn't even know she is there.   Why would she go digging for something she doesn't believe exists?"

Exactly right. Most women don't know "she" is there. I think what you said about the TGW post is accurate - anything that moves a woman in that direction is a good thing.

There are those who want to slap women and tell them to do what's right. If that worked we could debate if it would be right. Since it does not work, it seems like a bad plan all around.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@aChristianWoman @AnYa494 @A Heart to Know @ForgivenWife @THusband @TheGenerousHusband "Christian woman and men do not have ill intentions toward their spouse."

This certainly should be the case, and for most I think it is. I do see some of what @AnYa494 talks about, but I don't think most of it is intended to hurt. It is done out of ignorance and selfishness, not malice. 


The danger in assigning motive is that if you are wrong you lose the right to speak into that person's life. Better to just call it wrong and let the individual deal with the motive themselves.

Blessings,

Paul

aChristianWoman
aChristianWoman

@AnYa494 @A Heart to Know @ForgivenWife @THusband @TheGenerousHusband Also I would like to ask for your forgiveness because i talked about your husband in an unrespectful way in my first post...I'm sorry.I souldn't have said things the way i did to get my point across.

It was not ok ,and i am really sorry especialy because i said that to you.

But i regret it and hope it will not happen again.

aChristianWoman
aChristianWoman

@AnYa494 @A Heart to Know @ForgivenWife @THusband @TheGenerousHusband I am a christian woman.I am married.I live in Romania.I have very good christian women friends(i also have american women who are my friends)

.I realy don't know what kind of church you go to or what is Christianity suppose to meen to you.I'm sorry for being upset,i don't want to be harsh,but your posts and those of you husband are deeply disturbing and they make christianity dirty.It makes christianity like the world.exactly like it.Women who cheat ,are all in for the money or kids(???),hate and beat their husbands(??sorry..),have a perverse joy in torturing their husbands with lack of sex.Do you even realise what you are saying?Yes there are woman like this,yes very evil woman just like there are men.If in your church people are like this...then please tell me what has Christ done for the people in your church?A church is not a social golf club.It is a community of changed born-again people(Before and after stories).

Christians do still sin i know but to willfuly do evil to the one you married just for the pure fun of it is demonic ...unchristian.Christianity is not like that.Christ is powerfull and His life changed our life.

Christian woman and men do not have ill intentions toward their spouse.

I can honestly say i have talked heart to heart with my christian  friends ,married women,and none had ill intentions.none wants to torture or refuse sex for the pleasure of it!!!

They don't laugh at their husbands but want to make things better.While all my friend's marriages(and mine)  have problems,while one of my friends told me and her husband that she does not enjoy sex,she does not refuse him but rarely when she is sick! All talk to their husbands and do leave them and while they are so wrong many times,they do have good intentions toward them...because they love their husbands(even if the "in love phase" has gone away).

I haven't met a single couple that divorced!!(i know it happens i'm not here to say it doesn't but do not make it normative for christian couples like you did and gave them as examples...please!those are not edifying examples....just some mean women saying and doing mean things for the pleasure of it).What?a women's Bible study where they laugh at how they torture their husbands?It turns my stomach!I'm sorry...is that your christianity?sure it's not God's christianity....

And you make it the norm....

So that you know...me and my friends do sin against our husbands and they against us.But be sure we're not happy about it and for me it's torture after that!

Usualy for me in the area of sexuality i do it when i'm hurt not ,for the fun of it and not to punish him...but just i feel so distant when he hurts me that it's very painfull(yes physicaly  and emotionaly) to have sex.Do you think that a woman who is enjoying sex would refuse her husband just to torture him?That is...sick.

Some of my friends..do not enjoy sex.And for me it just..i have pain almost everytime.Adding to this a situation when i'm emotionaly hurt...you expect me to say a happy yes....or else i refuse to torture him?Happy for me i'm married to a wonderful man!He does understands...and so you know despite my physical pain...i do not refuse him often.And never to torture him...even if sometimes i am hurt and say no....i end making love to him.Because i guess thaeat's why we marry....to love our spuse even if we sin and hurt eachother.

I repeat i'm no saint and i did hurt him,sometimps...i wanted to punish him(not with sex) i see in me evil things...but it's a torture for me as much as it is for him...

And again...honestly i have talked to my friends(christians...real christians not just nominal) and NOT ONE  has ill intentions toward her husband.A....and i don't know of any divorce or affair in my church!Or the churches of my friends.Again we're not perfect!!It takes to long to explain this but in real christians i have seen real love and real marriages!!

Except for that....the way "The Thankful Husband" argues always....it makes me think of me when i'm acting like a child arguing with my husband that i am wright, that he said that, and in the they "X" he said something else,...and just blinded by...me.

It did not edify me...

Besides,the way you picture christian(CHRISTIAN!) women and men....it's...not helping anyone(to put it mildly).

Sorry for the spelling mistakes(English is not my native language and i do't have time to correct everything now...i have a 3 year old next to me).

May God make us see!

ChuckFisher
ChuckFisher

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband Actually, you are wrong about "intentions." You "intend" to eat well and stay in shape? No, not true. You think it's probably a good idea, you may even wish you were in shape, but you don't intend to do so. Because you do what you intend.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@THusband @ForgivenWife @AnYa494 @TheGenerousHusband I've been on the road much of today and couldn't follow along on my phone. I've been thinking, though, about what "nice" means. To me, "nice" means "not mean." Calling out sin by name calling, making judgmental comments, and using angry or mocking tone of voice--those things are mean. One can speak firmly while being gentle in approach.

For instance, you say that Paul's opinion and mine would have been a joke. Do you honestly believe that is the way to persuade anyone of the correctness of your views? If so, you are mistaken. Or, if I were to write like you, I would say this: "If so, you're a fool.. It persuades me of several things about you and your views, and not a single one of those things is about you being correct.

Why did societal and church changes happen with the rise of feminism? That's a good question. Have you considered the possibility that both those changes and feminism have grown from the same root cause rather than feminism causing the other? For instance, what role does the industrial revolution play? The urbanization of the United States? Ease of global travel? Two world wars that resulted in great loss of lfe? There are many things that have taken place at the same time as feminism. Blaming marriage problems on feminism without viewing the other things critically as well is going to result in foregone conclusions and a narrow understanding.

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@THusband @A Heart to Know @AnYa494 @ForgivenWife @TheGenerousHusband

I think you have some good perspectives to share but I do have a recommendation (which is just my opinion so take it what it's worth!)...

Like I mentioned earlier, since no one can read your facial expressions or body language, or hear your tone of voice, and we only have your words to go on, you come across on the internet as very critical and accusatory.

For example, you stated "I cannot disagree more firmly with your thoughts on submission... You are putting your obedience to God on the scale of your emotions...you really don't know what submission means in it's true meaning.  You truly have not died to yourself, nor are you truly putting your husband first."

I haven't even shared my thoughts on submission with you - you didn't ask.  And you know close to nothing about me or my relationship with my husband.  You jumped right to assuming the worst about me and then made an accusation.

If you ever want to have any positive affect on anyone for the kingdom of God - as you believe you have been called to keep the CMBA bloggers on the straight and narrow - it would do you well to change your approach.  Here's a thought... give the benefit of the doubt first, ask some questions, and THEN draw your conclusions.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@THusband I'd be interested to see that 54% stat documentation.  The highest I've seen for sexless marriages (10 or less encounters a year) is 12%

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@THusband @A Heart to Know @AnYa494 @ForgivenWife @TheGenerousHusband

I agree with your above response completely.

The following statement, though, is why I believe it's so important to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

"if I believed subconsciously because of all the lies I'd listened to that my husband didn't care as much as me, didn't work as hard as me, was more selfish than me I'd not want to submit nor sleep with him."

You just described a wife who hasn't given her husband the benefit of the doubt, who hasn't assumed love - and you can see where that leads. Nowhere good!  It's awfully hard for a wife to submit to a husband who she doesn't believe loves her and has her best interest at heart.  Submission comes from a heart that chooses to "believe all things" and "think no evil" about her husband.

From my perspective, the act of giving your wife the benefit of the doubt starts with first assuming she doesn't have evil intentions but is struggling for some reason.  A loving husband would then ask as many probing questions as necessary to fairly determine where her heart is (just as I started by giving you the benefit of the doubt, and then continued to ask questions until I could better understand where you're coming from and why…)

In a case where the wife says "I hate having sex with you & I don't ever want to have sex again", I still think you have to ask some probing questions to fairly determine where such a strong statement is coming from.  But, you're right, if she's claims to be a Christian and really means what she says, it is time for some Matthew 18.

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@THusband @A Heart to Know @AnYa494 @ForgivenWife @TheGenerousHusband

It sounds like you have had a lot of exposure to marriages falling apart - very disheartening!   I can tell that your marriage is very important to you.  It also sounds like you are doing your best to do what you consider to be the the duties of the spiritual head of the household - seemingly to point out selfishness in your wife, call everything you consider to be sin, "sin", and make your wife obey the commands of Scripture by giving her ultimatums.  It seems you believe this is what makes a man "manly".

Also, if I'm understanding correctly, you believe the demise of most marriages is the fault of a wife's selfishness - her refusal to be with her husband sexually whenever he wants.

Am I close?

I have a couple more questions:

I'm wondering if you're at all fearful that your own marriage would fall apart if you didn't "control" your wife's behavior by using your spiritual headship, including the use of ultimatums?

Also, why do you read The Generous Husband or any other marriage blog?  What are you hoping to gain?

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@ForgivenWife @THusband @AnYa494 @TheGenerousHusband

Luke 6:45  "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

We all speak out of what we intimately know, what our own heart is overflowing with.  The responses we leave, our "comments", are attempts to rationalize - to explain or justify our own behaviors or attitudes with logical, plausible reasons (even if they are not true or appropriate.)

I feel passionately about giving others the benefit of the doubt because it's what I personally desire.  I see what goes on in my own heart...  It is my heart's desire to live a life that honors and glorifies the Lord.  And my mission in life is to "bless the socks off my husband".  I'm praying that when the death-do-us-part time comes, that he feels like he was the luckiest man that ever lived.  That said, MANY, MANY, MANY times I have had the best of intentions, but like Paul shares in Romans 7:15-25, I fall short.

I can share a practical example that I think is relevant to the original post… there have been times when I have prepared all day - shaved according to my husband's preference, chosen undergarments that are favorites of his, dressed up especially pretty, and planned to initiate sex.  And then unfortunately when the time comes to take action, I freeze up due to wrong beliefs about myself and/or sex formed through bad experiences in my past that still like to creep up, or sometimes the "stresses of life" just overwhelm.  Lying in bed I pray, asking God to help me jump over that day's hurdle and focus on being a blessing to my husband, and as the original post referred to above, letting that "lusty woman inside" out.  Much of the time there is victory.  But sometimes there is defeat.  All the while, my husband cannot see my thoughts and intentions - he can only see my behavior.  I am so thankful that he chooses not to interpret my behavior as rejection of him, but rather sees it as an indication that I am struggling somehow.  He now comes along side to help me jump those hurdles.  It wasn't always that way.  Once upon a time, my refusal would become a source of conflict.  We would spend our time battling each other, accusations would be made, and we would wastefully spend our time arguing about the sex that wasn't happening instead of working together to create a safe place to figure out what were REALLY battling.  Although there was more refusal back then, the root cause was the same - it wasn't coming from a place of evil intent or rejecting him, it was coming from my inability to jump all of the hurdles I was facing alone. 

As it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Galatians 6:1-2 gives us a little further insight:  "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

The word "overtaken"  in the Greek translation means "before he can flee" - which hardy indicates evil intent.  It tells of a man or woman who got caught, trapped, tricked by the lies of the enemy. Every one of us battles an invisible enemy - every day - the lies and accusations of the enemy.  I couldn't be more grateful to have a friend in my husband, gently helping me peel back the layers in the process of sanctification, helping me recognize the lies of the enemy vs. shaking his finger at me and calling me a sinner and threatening me that if I don't put out, I'll have to move out.

I choose to give others the benefit of the doubt because I believe it's commanded in the Bible and because it's the only way anyone will ever be strengthened to make positive changes in their life.  Judgement, condemnation, and accusations of evil intent don't bring much of anything but discouragement.  It's useless to focus on all of our failures rather than focusing on the goal - which ultimately is to be more Christlike. (Furthermore, I can't wrap my brain around the idea that there could be Christian wives out there with flat out evil intent toward their husbands (maybe that's an idea that was planted from watching soap operas or primetime tv or something...) Perhaps I live a sheltered life... the women I know also desire to be a blessing to their husbands but often don't know how to get there.)

ForgivenWife, I know I'm not telling you anything new, just agreeing with you completely!  I read your blog and am thankful for your heart to shed some insight on a complex topic in hopes of helping other couples.  Sex certainly is complex!  Not just a task that you "do" like washing the dishes, but sharing intimately…. exposure all of who we are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@THusband @ForgivenWife @AnYa494 @TheGenerousHusband I never said that men in the church and in marriage don't feel disenfranchised. I've seen quite a few men and women write about this. As for how most women view love and discern love, there's a lot more complexity in this for some women than you seem to understand. I think I probably have a better pulse on women's hearts than you do--just as you have a better take on the hearts of men.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@AnYa494 @ForgivenWife @TheGenerousHusband

:So what you are saying is there is nothing a husband can do except be nice..: I didn't say anything about being nice--but why do you keep seeing everything in dichotomies? Nice vs. not nice. Wretched sinner vs. put on a pedestal.

Doing something in a particular way because it is the most loving way for ones' own spouse has nothing to do with whether it is nice or not. When I talk about what is the most effective discourse for men and women, it is about rhetorical impact on a collective audience. Calling someone out on his or her sin certainly can be done in many ways--but the most loving thing is going to be to do in a way that will reach that person where he or she is.

It seems to be that the church should do a better job of talking about the importance of sex in a healthy and Godly marriage. What truly changed my heart was this.

1. I realized I had been hurting my husband. I wasn't thinking of it as sin, just as having created pain in his life.

2. I began to stop gate-keeping and refusing, more as an experiment to see if it made a difference.

3. After I began to settle into that new normal, I looked around at other positive models of healthy married sexuality and saw the sheer joy. I wanted that--and that was when I realized that what I had been doing was sin. My actions had separated me from God and what God wanted for me.

Why should there be only one route to end refusal and heal marriages? Why not explore all the things that might work so refused spouses can have an entire toolkit of strategies to help guide their refusing spouses to where God wants them to be?

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@AnYa494 @ForgivenWife @TheGenerousHusband Sin needs to be called sin--but I think it matters how the sin is called out and what will be effective with a specific woman. I don't think anyone else can sit and judge whose heart is hard and whose isn't. My heart was hard--but it wasn't always that way. The hardness was a wall that I built over time to protect my heart. If there is something that could be done to heal a woman's heart and you choose not to do so, is that loving?

Telling me I was sinning resulted in me wanting to dig my heels in even more. It wasn't until my heart softened and I realized how much I'd hurt my husband that I began to recognize that what I'd been doing was sin.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494 Each day I run a two year old post on Twitter. You might find the one I am running Tuesday of interest - it says a lot of things you claim I never say. http://bit.ly/n6pOQX

You are right, I did not say I accepted your numbers, I thought I had. I asked if they came from a certain study, and pointed out that the study was not of at home mothers. I then said "Regardless of how much work she and her husband are doing..." I realise this was not explicitly accepting your numbers, but my point was your numbers, even if right, were not the real issue.

I give you a statistical fact that there are more women in church than men, and you accuse me of saying women are more spiritual. It is also a fact that women, as a whole, do read the Bible more. 

I'd like to have a discussion with you,  but you keep twisting my words, rewording what I say, and make assumptions that are incorrect. It seems what I think is not relevant to you, only what you think I think.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@TheGenerousHusband @ForgivenWife Because your primary audience is men, talking about their wives' sinfulness in this space serves only to promote an "us vs. them" mentality.

Interestingly, while you were writing this reply, I was replying to a comment on my "Naked and Broken" article. Someone commented that you were much more hard-hitting than The Generous Wife--which makes perfect sense to me.

"The Generous Husband is addressed to men.Typically, men need firm and direct (aka, hard-hitting) discourse. They want information and clear instructions. He [meaning you, Paul] is hard-hitting because it is the most effective way to address men and help them understand the need and process of moving forward.

The Generous Wife, on the other hand, is addressed to women. Women respond better to discourse that is relational and demonstrates understanding and a sense of community. The Generous Wife is gentle because it is the most effective way to address women and help them understand the need and process of moving forward.

 The fact that you think something needs to be hard-hitting in order to be effective is no different than a woman saying it should be kind in order to be effective."

I'm pasting it in here because it explains part of why I think calling women out on their sin can be effectively done in ways that may not be perceived as sufficiently harsh by some men. 

If you are gentler when you address women, it is because that will be the most powerful and effective way of communicating with them.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@AnYa494 @ForgivenWife

So far Paul has taught us that:

1) women care more about their marriages

2) work harder

3) are more spiritual

Just to set the record straight:

1) I don't think that, so I doubt I have said it. I have said women are more concerned and often more motivated to work on their marriages. There are plenty of folks with more experaince and training that myself who agree - Dr Gottman for one.

2) I accepted your numbers, why are you still arguing this?

3) I don't believe this one either.

4) I'm not putting anyone on a pedestal.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@ForgivenWife"What matters isn't who started it. Either one of you could choose to stop it."

Bingo! I speak to men, so I try to give men ways to "stop it". If their wife is wrong, and I can tell them something that results in a change to that, I think I've done something worth doing.

I could no doubt have quite a following by griping to men about how horrible women are, but there is plenty of that out there already, and I doubt they do much good.

BTW, when I address women, I reverse the roles: I explain why men do what they do, and what woman can do to bring about change. Yes much of what I discuss is sin on the part of the husband, but just pointing that out does not help. I also tell women what women most often do wrong, both sin and error, when I talk to them. 

Oddly I get less backlash from women. Maybe they are just as unhappy, but less willing to express it, I don't know.

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

@Thankful Husband

Men and women are sinners. Husband and wives both hurt each other--sometimes intentionally, but even then, it is often out of their own hurt. We often don't even realize that we are withholding something (sex, emotional connection, etc.) until it's become a habit and we don't know how to stop. When we are so busy hurting, it's hard to be able to see our own sins in the mirror. This goes for both men and women.

I can look back at my own period of refusal and be able to say it grew out of sinful selfishness. That is true. It is also true that the actions of my husband that led me to feel hurt also grew out of sinful selfishness. We were both sinful and selfish. We're human, so that shouldn't come as a surprise. It is not a result of feminism or changes in the church. It is the result of the Fall. And did Eve start that? Or did Satan?

As I've read your comments here over the past few days, one thing in particular puzzles me: why does it even matter whose fault it is? When my siblings and I were young and would get into a squabble, one of us would inevitably say, "But she/he started it!" My mother, in her calm wisdom, would say, "What matters isn't who started it. Either one of you could choose to stop it."

So, go ahead and assume that a wife is ill-intentioned. Assume that she is proud of the fact that she hurts her husband. (Assume that she actually realizes she is hurting her husband.) Assume that she married only to have children and a money train. Assume that most refusal is on the shoulders of the woman. Assume that she has never had her heart hurt by her husband as well.

Assume what you will. It doesn't matter. 

Once the cycle of refusal starts, it no longer matters who started it. Both spouses are escalating it, often out of their own hurt. Either one of the spouses can choose to be more mature in Christian faith an be the more giving. Either spouse can choose to own his or her own role in the escalation and stop that part of the cycle. Both should ultimately own their own sins, but one person has to be the one to go first. I could easily sit here and say it should be the man, since he's the leader. But that just leads back into a "who started it" kind of cycle.

Your determination to get people here to agree to blame women serves no purpose other than creating division. Is that what God wants from us?  We need to spend more time working to help our spouses grow in their own Christian faith and less time worrying about who started it. 


A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@Thankful Husband @A Heart to Know

"do not assume good when at best impartiality is present and at worst evil is meant"

First, HOW can you know that impartiality is present or evil is meant?

WHY do you think a wife would ever desire to do evil to her own husband and not have the best intentions in mind?

Lastly, how do you reconcile the command in 1 Corinthians 13 to "think no evil" and "believe all things" with your choice to 'not assume good'?

I'm trying so hard to understand where you are coming from...

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband

"YOU NEVER SAY IT'S THEM. It's never their fault."

Okay, I'm done. You clearly see what you want, not what is actually there. If you do this to me, I assume you do it in general, and it explains much of what you have said.

As to pending, that is automatic based on key words and spam check filters. It may also be because several of your posts have been "reported" by multiple users. I have approved every post you made as soon as I saw it.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband "Women run church's nowaday's" Maybe that is because they make up the majority of active members. Men abdicate, women step up. Who is that on

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@A Heart to Know @Thankful Husband 

I want to thank you for your reply.  I think you misunderstand me.  I am not saying to not love your spouse, I am saying to if they are sinning against you not assume love on their end.  There is a huge difference there.  We are required to love our spouse and I'm not saying to not do that in the least.  What I am saying is you do not assume good when at best impartiality is present and at worst evil is meant.

I know I come across strong, however, please understand I come across just as strong on men loving their wives and being christlike.  I've only posted on two manosphere websites, and have been kicked off both for being a "painsy" in their words because I talk about the need and the greater responsiblity for a husband to love his wife.  I agree with only about 30% of the general manosphere teaching, but it is something very much lacking here but that 30% is something that is very much missing here, on most "christian" blogs and in our churchs.  Your reply back to me also.  You assume I am bad intentions towards women.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  All I want is for women's sin, to be called that sin. And for it to be dealt with as such.  I don't know you or your story so I'm not going to interject but of the few men here talking you can add up decades of absolute misery our wives put upon us because of their sin...but we talk about it like it's lace and flowers and no big deal in the least.  If it's the reverse, say porn use, the hell fire and brimstone begins.  

Maam, my wife is the most loved woman in the world.  She will gladly tell you.  The gal at the top of the post is my wife.  I've risked my life, years of abuse, years of rejection for her.  For years now our marriage has been as close to perfect as I could ever hope for, but it took a dozen years of hell on my end to get there.  I do not hate women nor marriage. I think they are God's two best ideas ever in m opinion.  I must tell my wife I love her a dozen times a day and she's beautiful half a dozen times a day.  She is my world and she know's it. I do want a proper balance on how women are effecting marriage for the worse in modern day america.  Because quite honestly many are destroying it.  They do not have "best intentions in mind".  Are women worse than men, a resound NO.  But you'd think following most christian teaching that they are angels that float around and even if they are doing something bad it's only because they don't understand the hurt they are causing.  It's a lie straight from hell and it's destroying marriages.  I've personally been told on this website, that women work harder, do less damage to their marriages, care more about their marriages, and in general are better creatures...can you not see the damage that can do and does?  I encourage you to stomach a week of reading over at Dalrock, Sunshine Mary, or secularly Dr. Helen...this is what a huge percentage of christian men think.  Then please come back and tell me I'm being hard on women..maam I'm going quite easy.  Feminism is a cancer that is eating marriages and the church from the inside out.

God bless you-

A Heart to Know
A Heart to Know

@Thankful Husband

You stated "It is a huge mistake for a great many men to assume love and give the benefit of the doubt.... It's a theology that is destroying the church, families and marriages."  I'm sincerely curious as to how you arrived at your conclusion?

My understanding of the Bible commands us to love one another which, as stated in 1 Corinthians 13:5 and 13:7, includes giving each other the benefit of the doubt:

v. 5, "love thinks no evil"

"thinks" = "to pass to one's account, to impute" from the Greek word λογίζομαι.

"evil" = "what is contrary to law, either divine or human; wrong, crime" from the Greek word κακός.

v. 7, love also "believes all things"

"believes" = "in an ethical sense of confidence in the goodness of men" from the Greek word πιστεύω.

"all things" = in all things

Unfortunately, the principles in Matthew 18 are sometimes necessary to put into practice, but they aren't the trump verses of the Bible.  As 1 Peter 4:8 says,

"Above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins.'"

"above" =  "the fact surpassing all others" from the Greek word πρό.

"all things" = "in an absolute sense 'ALL things'" from the Greek word πᾶς.

God graciously gives us His definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13.  Love doesn't assume the worst in people and interpret every action as an offense.  In fact, without love, we are told that we are "nothing" but a "sounding brass or a clanging cymbal".

We are also commanded not to accuse one another of evil in James 4:11:

"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge."

"speak evil" = "to criminate, bring an accusation against, level a charge against; traduce (speak badly of)" from the Greek word καταλαλέω.

"judges" = "to find fault with 'this or that' in others; to condemn" from the Greek word κρίνω. 

Paul tells us his struggle, having the best of intentions and being good-willed, but still falling short in Romans 7:15-25. Paul, who delighted in the law of God, didn't always hit the mark, but he willed to do good.

v. 18, "...for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find."

v. 21, "I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good."

"to will" = "to be resolved or determined, to purpose" from the Greek word θέλω.

No man has any right to presume he knows anyone else's thoughts, intentions, or motives, "For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11).  No one can know the heart of a man but God.

I want to leave you with a practical example as to why we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt:

In this very situation, unless I give you the benefit of the doubt, choosing to believe that the reason you have displayed so much *passion* in your comments is because you love God's Word and want to see strong marriages that honor and glorify the Lord, and unless I assume love, choosing to believe that you have *good* intentions of encouraging others, my only other option - based upon how your words come across on the internet (I can't see your facial expressions or hear your tone of voice...) - is to believe that you are very prideful, and angry, and mean-spirited, and are attempting to cause division - that you are ill intentioned.  In this situation, I'm choosing to believe that you are just very passionate about God's Word and marriage and have a different understanding of the central message of the gospel.

I'm sorry you have such a negative view of women, and of people in general - I would find it depressing to believe that everyone around me almost always had ill intentions.  I'm glad to hear that you share all your posts with your wife and are having what I hope are open conversations about your opinions.  Out of concern for your wife, I wonder if she feels she has any other option than to tell you you're "spot on"...

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

Paul,
Jesus was very gentle with those who showed repentence and sorrow, not with those who were brazenly hurting others or sinning.  The sample size of Jesus talking to women is very, very small.  I wouldn't hang my hat on that on by a long shot.  
Are MOST refusers wounded and scared, no.  Yes some of them are.  Some are just plain selfish. Some are both. I have spoken to way to many women and also their husbands to convince me otherwise.  Either way, they made a promise and it's their responsibility as a child of God and a spouse to do what they need to do to heal and come to peace.  If they are not doing that, not making an attempt...then it becomes their responsiblity even more so.  My problem with how you  "speak against often"...always kid gloves and it's always somebody elses fault.  It's the churches fault.  It's societies fault.  It's the way they were raised. It's because of their sexual history...it goes on and on and on.   YOUNEVERSAYIT'STHEM.  It'snever their fault.  It's only if you only understand.  Do you really think women don't understand?  You've got to be kidding?  We've got women wearing nothing everywhere to get men's attention. We've got sex articles on and in every magazine on every store shelf.  Romance books fly off the shelves.  We've got blogs, books, videos, Oprah, Dr. Oz, THE BIBLE, on and on and on.
Yes some women don't understand, but it's because they are so wrapped up in themselves.   Not because they are actively trying to love and serve their spouse.  They way you glorify women and their intentions does as much harm as it does good.  I wish you had half the cynicism you had towards their sex as you do your own, it would go a long way in helping the men and women you are trying to help...because you are not dealing with reality.
This post will seem harsh with out my post in pending mode that's been there a day. Can you please post that.  I truly do love you Paul.  I truly do pray for you.  I truly do think you mean well.  I just can't believe you are this naive about women.  It does not do well to teach men something that would only work in an alternate universe where women are truly morally good.  They are not, just as men are not.
Just to be clear my wife has read every post and I have asked if I am off base with both her past and what her friends share with her.  She says I'm spot on....

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband I think most refuser are wounded and scared. Yes what they do hurts and destroys marriages, and I've spoken against it often, However, understanding the why of something can help us deal with it.

Jesus was very gentle with sinner, and in particular to women. He saved his anger for the religious folks who told everyone who was wrong and how to live life.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband Jay Dee, I've pastored in three.  Attended maybe a dozen since becoming a christian.  Toured and visited with the leadership in a dozen more across all denominations, from black pentecostal to Quaker.

You may be right, that your church is different...but if it is it the 2 in a 100 and hence it's your perspective that is off, not mine.  If there is one thing I'm current on, it's church culture.

This is American churches.  Not churches in third world that still more or less take the Bible like it is written and have not been infested with feminism.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

Jay Dee,

You are right that I did not go over step by step Mat 18, but I did say enact it.  You enact something without going thru it's steps.  I'm not saying to skip to the end at all, my hope would be that with each progressive step the sinning spouse would repent and there would be healing and restoration.  What I am saying is everytime on any blog outside of the manosphere you speak of applying Mat 18 to a woman it stops after the first step...men and the church cannot swallow the next three...especially the last one in today's culture.  Women know this.  That is why you see the behavior you do.  That is why women can refuse for a lifetime and the options for the husband are 1) give up on his promise to God and his wife and go seek another wife putting his spiritual life in great peril, saying goodbye to his kids for the most part and 2/3 of all assets along with 1/2 of all future assets or 2) live in misery and pray a lot.  Some wives come around, most do not.  The church does not have our back...but make no mistake they will hold you accountable if you are cheating & in 50% of the church's if you are watching porn.  Women run church's nowaday's Jay Dee.  

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband I think you have a different Matthew 18 than I do... I see none of your recommendations in there, but I do see a lot of steps before any sort of disciplinary action taken, which you have skipped by with barely a pause.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

I'm glad your marriage is in a good place.  I disagree with almost everything else you said however.  Mostly that you believe biblical principals like Mat 18 are "heavy handed discipline."  

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband I think there is a large discrepancy between having well intention-ed in principle and being well intention-ed in deed.

In principle, I intend to eat nothing unhealthy, to lose weight, to exercise more, to spend more time in prayer and devotional time, to spend more time with my kids, to save more money, to never spend a dime more than a thing is worth, to never open my mouth without thinking and praying first, and on and on it goes.

In deed, I'll be lucky if I manage 1 of those in a day. 

I doubt many refusing wives (or refusing husbands, don't forget about them!) wake up in the morning thinking "how am I going to make my husband miserable today?"  I believe, in principle, their intentions are correct.  I believe in many cases, they don't realize what their doing is wrong, my wife certainly didn't.  I mean, she knew I wanted more sex, and she knew she wanted almost none.  So, common sense dictate a compromise in the middle (rarely).  She wasn't thinking "I'm going to make him pay for marrying me!"  When she found out how integral sex is to marriage, how much it affects me, she immediately started to change, granted, it took a while (and so her deeds didn't immediately change), but her intention was always to be a good spouse.

Likewise, when I was addicted to porn, I resolved nearly every day to quit.  Didn't work.  Intention was not enough.  I was very intentional when I became a church leader "I cannot be doing this while helping to lead a church!", and each time I became a father "I cannot be doing this, I'm a father now!"  So, I can say, from experience, intention does not equal action.  I never wanted to be that spouse, I wasn't intentionally hurting my wife.  I was hurting, and I didn't know how to deal or process it.  After 15 years, it was such a part of me that it took a long time to dig it out and turn my back on it.  But don't think for a second that I was thinking "this will teach my wife".  In fact, I believe my addiction sprang from a desire to be loved and accepted (good intention gone wrong).

Anyways, that's my opinion.  Thank God we didn't separate, we may never have resolved our issues.  Today, I'm porn free, and my wife is not a refuser.  That happened because we were both intentional about building a marriage together (even if we were unsuccessful in heading in that direction for the first 7 years or so, and in fact were heading in the opposite direction).  But we understood the principle of unconditional love, and we applied it, and I think that's how we made it through.  Not through rebuking, or heavy handed discipline.  But by working as a team (with God's help) on OUR issues, because in a marriage, there is no such thing as a sinful spouse and a sinfree spouse.  We are both sinful.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

Then your and my primary difference is that most are well intentioned.  If you think most refusers are well intentioned...that's where I disagree.  If you think most abusive or cheating spouses are well intentioned...that's where I disagree.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband Ahh, Hi.

I was speaking of the author of The Forgiven Wife and @A Heart To Know, whom seem well intentioned based on their comments, posts and personal communications.

I think most people (men and women) are well intentioned, yes.  I also believe we are all sinners, need forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love, as God shows us.

I do think we need to be clear, but I don't think chasing them out of the church and their marriages yelling "sinner!" is the answer.  I would rather follow the example of God in Hosea.  That is what worked for me in my marriage (not that I'm blameless, far from it).

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@SexWithinMarriage @Thankful Husband 

Jay Dee. 

You know me.  We've shared our stories.  I am very, very happily married and have sex whenever I desire.  I'm not speaking this from a hurtful heart.

Your own comment says it, you automatically assume women are well meaning.  IT IS NOT TRUE!  IT IS NOT BIBLICAL!  IT IS THE MESSAGE YOU HEAR EVERYDAY IN MODERN CHURCH AND HERE THOUGH!

Women are sinners. Every bit as much as men.  They have just as much evil hiding within them.  They can do serious harm.  They can destroy marriages.


Most women who refuse do not have the husbands best interest at heart.  That would be like saying most husbands who cheat or watch porn have their wives best interests at heart.  



SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@Thankful Husband It seems to me you are hurting and have wronged in the past, but I don't think railing against well intentioned women is the way to go.

I agree, women and men have equal share in sin.  I don't know anyone who preaches otherwise, but this is a blog for men (from my understanding), and it is useless to try to change  someone outside of your target audience.  So, Paul is trying to teach men how to be more generous.  That doesn't mean women don't need to be as well, its just not his target market.

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