Did God Make Women to Want Sex… A LOT?

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 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 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 healthy sex drives. 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 culture affects women’s sexuality far more than it does men’s sexuality. Men are driven primarily by biology. Women are driven by biology, but are 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 don’t push too much you might be able to nudge her in the right direction. She may have 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 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 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 gives 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. Getting 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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120 Comments on “Did God Make Women to Want Sex… A LOT?

  1. 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.

    • 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.
      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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • A Heart to Know SexWithinMarriage 
          Last line should say: Please, most refusers are not meaning well.

        • 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

        • 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.

        • 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).

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.”

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • Thankful Husband I think you are in a very different church than I am.

        • 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 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 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.

        • TheGenerousHusband Thankful Husband 
          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.   YOU NEVER SAY IT’S THEM.  It’s never 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….

        • 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” =  “of superiority, higher in rank, 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, accuse, 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.  I have to honestly wonder though, if your wife feels she has any other option than to tell you you’re “spot on”…

        • 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 Thankful Husband
          Paul has
          put my husband in “pending” so I have copied his reply to you and am posting

          No, Paul did not put it in pending, the automated system did that because it triggered some filter. ~ Paul

        • 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 “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
          “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.

        • 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…

        • A Heart to Know Thankful Husband 
          This is Thankful Husband, posting on my wife’s account because I can’t get into my account due to lost passwords.
          Please understand I’m not mad at you and I’m using a gentle tone and not accusory. I find it hard for me to believe that you think wives always mean good for their husbands.  Do you believe husbands always mean good for their wives?  The ones that hit them?  The ones that cheat on them?  The ones that gamble away the rent money?  The ones that watch porn three hours a night.  My guess is no, you do not believe all husbands mean their wives well.  If that is the case how to reconcile that against what you think of wives vs. their husbands.  Do you have a double standard of who is a sinner?  
          Maam, please understand I was a minister for several years and am still a “go to guy in the community”.  I’ve seen women hit, beat, try to murder. turn their husbands down for sex and then go give it away to some stranger at a bar.  I’ve seen women beat kids.  I’ve seen women literally talk to their girlfriends in women’s bible study about turning down their husbands for sex (mean spiritedly, not in a funny kind of way) and then all the gals laugh about it and joke how fun it is to torture their husbands that way.  If you have not seen this kind of behavior, both in and out of your church membership you do not get out very much.  If you have seen this kind of behavior and think you should always assume love when you wife is trying to beat you over the head with a skillet, HOW do you reconcile that?  How do you reconcile the fact that women actually enjoy turning down their husbands, not by my observation but by their own words?  I’m talking about christian women.  Many who serve on leadership positions.
          I did not say you don’t love your wife.  You continue to love your wife, but not all love is warm fuzzies either.   Men are called to be the leader and spiritual leaders of their home. Leadership is not just being nice.  I love Paul’s teaching us men to be nice, but that is only 75% of the picture and if you do not have the other 25% you have modern day christianity where “nice” is the new religion and to be honest women are worshipped.
          So my questions for you are:
          Do you acknowledge that women are sinners?
          Do you acknowledge that women hurt their husbands, even on purpose?  If not, why?
          Do you believe women work harder?  care more about their marriage?  Are more spiritual?
          If you answer those questions as I do, then why do you not have a problem with teaching that goes against that?

        • 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.

        • ForgivenWife Thankful Husband 
          Thankful Husband here again.  Thank you for your reply.  I think you misunderstand me.  First, I’m not trying to blame women per say.  I’m trying for the one who sins to take that responsiblity.  Second, you assume their has been a hurt by the other party that started it. That is not always the case.  In your very own “let’s say” you admit that.  Third you assume, that if you are just nice enough the other person will change.  The last thing in the world I’m trying to do is make women out as the bad guy.  But I am trying to not make them out as the good guy either.  So far Paul has taught us that:
          1) women care more about their marriages
          2) work harder
          3) are more spiritual
          I can go on…but if I was a woman I wouldn’t even want to sleep with a man now.  Who wants to be married to, submit to, let alone sleep with someone who is so obviously less than me?  Who cares for me less than I do for him?
          Why is it important to put women’s sin’s in the proper light just as we do man’s sins, because you can’t have repentence, forgiveness and healing…if we don’t admit it is sin. This is christianity 101, yet we’ve lost it because we don’t want to hurt woman’s feelings.
          You can’t put women on a pedestal and have a proper marriage.  Do I believe my wife more valuable than myself?  Yes, I’d die for her and she knows this without a doubt.  But she also knows it’s not because she is better than me.  It’s because I love her that much.

          You can’t put women on a pedestal and have submission.  You can’t put women on a pedestal and have sexual attraction (for the most part).
          Our wives need to be on the pedestal of our hearts, knowing we love them more than anything besides Christ.  But they aren’t better than us.  They are wretched, wretched sinners just like us.  But if we don’t call wretchedness what it is, we have wives gone wild.  Welcome to America 2013 in christian churches.

        • 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.

        • 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 AnYa494 ForgivenWife 
          1) “I have said women are more concerned”  Okay, looked up care in the dictionary. Concerned is one of the first words that pops up.  What do you think it means when you say this?  Only people WHO CARE are concerned and put effort into something.
          2) You never argreed to my numbers- EVER.  You argued with about it and never said. I agree men and women work the same amount or men work more…that is a flat out lie that you agreed.
          3)You just got done explaining to me that women attend church more.  You’ve told me in private emails women now study the bible more and are usually more spiritually mature than men.
          4)What do you think you are doing when you talk about ones sin being their individual sin and the others being a community sin.  You’ve told me women do less damage to their marriages then men.  You’ve stated they are more concerned, work harder, etc, etc.  HOW DO YOU NOT GET THIS IS PUTTING THEM ON A PEDESTAL?  Everything about it says men are below women…I’m flabbergasted.

          Listen, I’m going to keep praying for you but I honestly feel like you are lying straight to my face and for the first time ever I’m actually angry and I need to let this go.  I don’t mind speaking to the other people (Forgiven Wife, etc) but I can’t speak to you about this anymore.  I’m goign to blow a gasket. I just can’t believe you can’t see what you are doing. But I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s the church culture of the day and you are steeped in it so badly you can’t see your way out of it.  

          For the record, women are not evil.  They are great.  I’m not against women.  I just want women to not be idolized and their sin to be called SIN.

        • 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.

        • ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          Maam, I completely agree if we are talking about women who are trying to do right and have a repentent heart and are trying to learn how to better to love their husbands (the kind of women found on a marriage blog).  I disagree very much for those whose hearts are hard and unrepentent.  But I do agree that they should still be talked to softer then men…but sin still needs to be called sin.

        • 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.

        • 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 AnYa494 
          You did not address #1, which by the english language I am correct
          #2 You admit that you did not agree to the numbers nor admit you were wrong
          #3 So you double down on the women are more spiritually mature
          How am I twisting your words?  I took you at the direct dictionary meaning on #1. You admit on #2 and you are admitting that on #3 you believe that.
          So how am I twisting anything?  I’m absolutely stumped.  
          If you believe those three things and are teaching them, do you not see how that undermines marriage, headship & sexual attraction?

        • ForgivenWife AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband 
          I will agree that it needs to be on a case by case basis.  But assuming love is not a case by case basis theology, is it?  So what you are saying is there is nothing a husband can do except be nice…I don’t see it in scripture.  I am told to love my wife as christ loved the church, much of that (80%?) is niceness and gentleness and tenderness and all those things women love, but it is not 100%.  I can tell you from personal experience and I can line up thousands of men behind me that did not see a change until sin was called sin and quite bluntly at that.  It was not tender, it was not gentle, etc.  I had practiced those things for quite a while, but no, Christ calls us to call out our brothers and sisters in their sin.  I am the spiritual leader of my household, would I not be doing my job if I did not do that?  Are church’s spiritual leadership not suppose to do that?  Are parents not suppose to do that?  Is loving them part of that?  Yes, without a doubt…but I think you are discounting quite strongly what firmness from a godly husband can do.  It puts up the hackles, I know, but that does not mean it is wrong.  What is wrong is saying women aren’t wretched sinners and blaming the sin they do on everyone else.  Forgiveness and healing only come with repentence.  You keep coming back to kindness and love and yet you miss so much of Christ and Paul’s teaching on the tough aspects of the christian walk.  Women have a tendency to read the warm fuzzies in the bible and skip over the rest…I understand it, I admire the softness of my wife, but that does not make it right.  It’s not the complete picture or story or gospel.

        • 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 AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband 
          I used the word nice because that is how most women view love and guage whether their husband is loving them, are they being nice and that is how there love is graded in women’s eyes.
          I’m going to agree to disagree on this.  I would encourage you to do some reading on some of the blogs I recommended.  If you think my views are way off, you’d be surprised to learn I’m much more of centrist on this than you’d think.  If you don’t think men in the church and in marriage feel disinfranchised it might be eye opening and thought provoking.
          God bless.

        • 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 THusband AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband 
          Maam, maybe you do…probably do. But I’m going off what my wife and other women have told me and yes 90% of it boils down to “niceness”.  If that is not the case please explain because everytime I suggest something that doesn’t sound nice that when you and everyone else throws up their arms.  
          I’m not here fighting against women, once again I will repeat they are God’s finest idea in my opinion!  However, both Paul’s and your opinion’s would have been a joke 100 years ago in the church.  Even fifty years ago.  Your views do not hold up to the test of history in the church.  And what have those last fifty years given us, except sky high divorce rates, most folks not even choosing to get married and men fleeing the church in droves (and those that go, many go very reluctantly).  You stand by your views, but please explain this to me, why then do we see this happening?  And why did it happen with the rise of feminism?

        • ForgivenWife THusband AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband
          I’m right there with you ForgivenWife!
          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.
          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.

        • A Heart to Know ForgivenWife THusband AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband
          [b]”(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…)”[/b]
          Have you spoken with women candidly?  With their guard down?  I’ve had multiple multiple conversations with female friends, when the guard is down and the truth comes out.  I’m not saying that men always have pure intentions, but I think you are widely mistaken about women being so consistently well intentioned.  My “christian” sister had an affair and  then divorced her husband.  How can we say that is well intentioned?  As I said above, I can name 7 couples who have divorced in the last two years, all of which were initiated by the women, all but one claiming to be Christian.  How does this line up?  How can you say that Christian women would have no ill intentions towards their husbands when they are the ones initiating the divorces?  And if this many peole actually follow through, how many people wish they could but just don’t because they are afraid of being a single mom?  
          While I don’t believe that as you say focusing on the negative is productive, if we don’t call out sin for what it is, we will never get the results you want either.  Jesus repeatedly called people out for their sin.
          I think as women we want to make sure no ones feelings are ever hurt.  We can’t say anything hurtful because it’s not kind, and by not being kind we are obviously being not loving.  The phrase “tough love” exists for a reason.  Love isn’t always about the warm fuzzy feeling.  Sometimes love is hard and painful.  Sometimes it means identifying sin.  Doesn’t mean we can be mean, belittle or abusive.  But it does mean addressing sin for what it is, SIN.  
          I think it’s naive to think that all Christian women  have good intentions toward their husbands.  Can the person I spoke with who has refused sex with her husband for two years have his best intentions??   Can the friend of mine who told me flat out “he forgot he was scheduled to go on the field trip today with our special needs son and he scheduled a work meeting, so I’m going to “have a headache” this weekend and make sure to not have sex” have the best intentions?
          Perhaps I’ve just been burned by too many Christian friends which has made me too skeptical of trusting people, but I have learned that the ONLY one who always has my best intentions at heart is Jesus.  And I’m thinking that would be pretty true for everyone else as well…The only place I place my trust is in God, and Him alone.

        • AnYa494 A Heart to Know ForgivenWife THusband TheGenerousHusband 
          Thankful Husband, what are your intentions in saying all that you have said?  What are you hoping to accomplish?

        • AnYa494 A Heart to Know ForgivenWife THusband TheGenerousHusband 
          I ask because I’m trying to understand and I don’t want to miss the point.  Just a one or two-sentence answer would be most helpful…

        • A Heart to Know AnYa494 ForgivenWife THusband TheGenerousHusband 
          I want marriages to be healed.  You can’t have wholeness without repentence. You can’t have repentence without proper acknowledgement of sin.  You can’t have proper acknowledgement of sin if it’s always somebody else’s fault or the church and it’s teachers teach that women are basically moral and superior.  It’s a chain reaction.  You can’t have women believe they are superior or they do not claim their role within marriage and neither do they find their husbands attractive.  My intentions are to point to how dangerous this teaching is because it undermines marriage if it is the whole of the message.  It’s good as part of the message, but not as the whole.  Sorry I hope one paragraph will do.

        • A Heart to Know AnYa494 ForgivenWife THusband TheGenerousHusband 
          By “this teaching” as part of the message I mean being generous, assume love, be nice.  There is absolutely no place for women being superior.  They are of equal value.  They are of equal importance.  They do not care more, work harder, have the same sex drive….I hope I’m being clear

        • 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 THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          Maam, I’m going to tackle your reply point by point.
          If you don’t have a lot of experience with marriages falling apart around you then you are the exception.  The divorce rate is sky high, in and out of the church.
          My wife is Anya494.  You can ask her whether I love her.  Whether I lay down my life daily for her.  Whether I’m generous.  Whether I’m truly loving. Whether I serve her. I beg you, please ask her.  Just because one takes spiritual headship seriously and because one is willing to act like a trure leader which doesn’t mean just being nice does not take away from any of these other things.  Please ask my wife if ANY of her friends have husbands that love them more.  PLEASE!
          I do not believe women are worse sinners or more selfish in general.  I do believe the general attitude and environment of the church right now gives women 500% more grace, 300% more power, and no longer honors men for the most part.  I think that leads to marriage being out of whack.   And it’s my goal/intention to help put it back in alignment if the Lord would use me is such a way.
          So no you are not close.  There are way to many lazy, selfish men out there right now.  Way to much porn.  Way to much lack of leadership.  While i don’t condone it and I get on them harder than I’ve gotten on any of you when I see it, I do understand that most of them feel they cannot win in the current environment and they’ve for the most part given up.  Why show up for father’s day service when all you are going to be told is how bad of job you are doing?  Why show up on a men’s blog when you are going to be told how much better your wife is than you.  They are defeated.  They have their own sinful nature against them for sure, but also the church, feminism and the government.
          Maam, ask my wife if I “control” her.  Her friends would say I do I’m sure…but they would have been considered harlots and bum wives fifty years ago.  My wife has her own car, controls our finiances because I’ve delegated this to her, raises our kids and does an amazing job of everything she puts her mind to.  But to answer your question, I started out my marriage believe pretty much as Paul believes and lived that way for many years and was my marriage a mess because of it (at least partly), yes.  Almost every single time wives are mentioned in the New Testament they are told to submit to their husbands.  If it was so important to God to keep repeating it and repeating it, why should it not be important to me.   So despite health problems, my wife is the happiest of all her friends and believe me she knows I’d fight hell with a bucket of water for her.  Please ask her what I’ve done on her behalf…email her if you doubt my “love”.  
          Why do I read Genorous Husband and other blogs?  Threefold.  One, I’m a sinner just like everyone else and need reminders.  Pauls message, while totally incomplete, is great & fantastic in parts if applied correctly.  He reminds me to slow down, listen to my wife, be gentle, etc.  I appreciate that very much.  I’ve told that to Paul.  I also feel a bit of a calling to keep him and others on the straight and narrow.  The CMBA blogs while they say they keep each other accountable, do not.  For example, Sheila Gregoire does not believe in submission but egalitarian marriages.  Jay Dee does not believe in hell.  Paul believes women are superior human beings.  None of it lines up with scripture and yet people swallow it hook line and sinker because they’ve been feed the lies for the last fifty years in church and don’t know any better.  Nor do they know the damage it does to their marriage, their families or the church (and that means to the spreading of the gospel).
          I hope I answered your questions. Please feel free to email my wife if you need to verify that love, headhship, and structure are not mutually exclusive.

        • THusband A Heart to Know AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          Thanks for your reply.  Can you explain in more detail what you believe are specific duties of a husband as the spiritual head of the house?

        • A Heart to Know THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          You’ll have to forgive me, but it’s a never ending list:  Here’s a short synopsis:
          Be a christian that walks with Jesus.  Who practices his faith in word and deed.  Who practices forgivness, love and prayer.  Who does not the world influence him as much as humanly possible but stands his ground because he knows what he believes.  He has tested himself against the world, knows the world and it’s pitfalls but does not regularly fall to them because he knows himself and trusts in Christ.  He regularly tells those in his family he loves them and talks (although this will be very limited with some men) and lives his faith before them.  And yes, when those in his family choose to not walk in the faith, he brings that to their attention and besides prayers takes action (this will vary depending on who it is and the choices they are making) to try and bring this to their attention and foster an environment where repentence can take place.  This is the part that isn’t warm and fuzzy, but any man not practicing it is not doing his full job.  No person in authority who just overlooks and is more generous to those in his charge when they against what God & he ask of them…well you have anarchy on your hands real quick.  Whether that be the military, government, the work place, parents, and yes marriage.

        • THusband A Heart to Know AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          So specifically what should a husband do to “foster an environment where repentance can take place” when the sin committed is his wife’s sexual refusal?

        • A Heart to Know THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          First, you do what Paul suggests.  Kindness, talking, prayer.  Much of what happens next would totally depend on her response.  Counseling would be an option. Medical tests for sure. But how you describe yourself, shaving, putting on lingerie, just not being able to get over the mental block is going to be approached much more differently than, “I hate having sex with you & I don’t ever want to have sex again”…if you don’t think those  words are said everynight in a christian home you are sadly mistaken.  In fact one study I was reading the other night in a mom’s magazine puts the number at 54% of marriages where the husband is on a barely or no sex diet due to the woman’s refusal (this was a woman’s magazine, polled by women to be clear).  In your case, I’d continue in Paul’s direction. In the later, Matthew 18.  For what it is worth, I believe much of refusal in the latter half if due to lack of biblical roles, the entitlement & privelage in females brought about by feminism, and the lack of submission.  Those do tricky things to a woman’s mind/heart/ and libido.  That’s why this pedestal thing doesn’t work.  As I explained 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.  I’m argueing so passionately because it screws up the whole framework of marriage.  The boundaries, the expectations and the outcome.  But to be clear this is handled way differently depending on the wife and her attitude.

        • A Heart to Know THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          The basic rule, whether the action is more love or something more drastic is to let it be known that short term & even long term you will continue to love but that it is absolutely not an option for this to continue.  You cannot even leave a shadow of a doubt.

        • 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 THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          Two things.  The quote you used, that’s the whole reason I’m hear talking for hours on end.  That’s what Paul is teaching!  Do you get that?  Have you read all of my posts.  A woman is thinking those thing because that is what she is taught today, seriously!    That’s my whole problem!  Start reading everything you read and watch with the lenses of putting down men and not respecting them and idolizing women…come back in a month and report.  If you are honest with yourself you’ll be shaking your head.  Go over to PeacefulWife’s blog, her and to a somewhat lesser extent Warriorwife get it.  It’s so thick you can cut it with a knife in every church and most marriages. 
           Also, if you honestly don’t know what your wife is thinking then obviously you should assume love but again you are starting every race at the finish line and ending it at the finish line.  I started in the same place as you, assume love and I said talk, prayer, counsel, medical tests….but you start with assume love.  You can not stay there when their actions, words and attitude are in complete conflict with that…once you can no longer assume love you cannot contiinue to approach the situation the same.  You cannot do the same thing the same way and expect different results. That’s not only stupidly, it’s plain unloving.  Do you discipline your children because you hate them and are being selfish?  Or do you do it because you love them and want what is best for them?  Does not God discipline us?  I get you are rounding the corner here in your thinking and you are starting to get it but the old I’ve got to protect myself hackles come up…I get it, trust me.  But understand God is love, but he disciplines us.  I am asked to treat and love my wife like Christ, I would be in error if I was just “nice”.  My job is to love, but also to lead

        • 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 THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          I’m chiming in here because I’m a woman, who has been on both sides of the fence here with a horrible marriage and now a fantastic marriage (to the SAME man).  
          What you just stated is the lie that our culture wants us to believe.  <b>”Submission comes from a heart that chooses to “believe all things” and “think no evil” about her husband.”</b>.  No, submission comes from just plain being obedient to the command to submit.  Submission are respect are not earned.  They are just plain to be given.  Simply put.  
          In my marriage, I thought my husband was the biggest dick ever.  Really.  Why should I respect him?  Really?  He’s a jerk!!  Then I saw the sin in MY OWN life and realized that it wasn’t him.  It was ME.  He stuck with me when I’m sure 99.9% men would have been gone and rightfully so.  But a miracle occured when *I* chose to submit because I was commanded to.  Immense change happened in our life.  IMMENSE.  I will HONESTLY say that the change that occured, I believe was only 5% him and 95% me and my attitude.  I chose to SUBMIT to him, and to respect him.  I chose to quit making snippy comments about him to my friends.  I chose to quit the mentatility of “I’ll get my way by suggesting the idea and letting him think it’s his idea.”  
          I acted the role of the submissive wife I’m called to be, and to respect my husband and our world has changed night & day.  My complete mentality of submission and respect has changed.  And what I find ironic is that now that I’m no longer fighting submission, it’s incredibly easy to submit to him.  While I said previously, I don’t think he has changed much at all, I now KNOW that he loves me and has his best intentions for me.  He HAD that before, but I was chosing to view that with my own selfishness and idolize my own feelings.  It’s very easy to submit now because I have seen in my own life the damage not submitting has done.  
          It simply comes to doing what we’re supposed to do, not because it’s earned, deserved, or felt like anything we wanted was given.

        • A Heart to Know THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          On another note, I cannot disagree more firmly with your thoughts on submission.  You are commanded by God to submit to your husband. If you do not you are in sin.  Unless your husband asks you to sin, then you are in the clear.
          You are putting your obedience to God on the scale of your emotions.  That would be like me saying I won’t love my wife unless she has sex with me…your in a circle you can’t get out of.  Women’s emotions are sifting sand (and men’s to a lesser extent).  If you only submit when you feel like it or agree with him because he’s making you feel loved, 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 will agree 100% that it makes a wife’s job to submit so much easier when she knows he has her best intentions at heart, but you can’t decide whether you are going to submit or not based on what you feel.  It’s a commandment from God.

        • SexWithinMarriage THusband Jay Dee,
          I don’t know have the link.  I googled “Do wives enjoy having sex with their husband?” after reading a Sunshine Mary article.  Read thru those results, but please hide all guns, rope, and pills because you’ll want to end it all after reading that and women’s responses… a real pick me up if you know what I’m talking about.

        • 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.   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.

        • A Heart to Know THusband AnYa494 ForgivenWife TheGenerousHusband 
          Thank you for your advice.  In real life I’m a teddy bear.  Voted most likeable.  While I thought I was quoting you, I missed two words on your submission quote and you are right I did not completely understand it in it’s entirity.  My bad on that.  Still didn’t completely agree with your paragraph there, but it made an 80% difference.  I’m not afraid to say, I’m wrong & I’m sorry.  
          Most of my accusations have been made at Paul and to a lesser extent Jay Dee.  Men I have a history with and have read there work and already asked the questions of them you think I should…you didn’t see that or know that (although I mentioned and also hinted to it at times) so I understand your understanding of me.  They are both men teaching others about marriage and eternal life…when teaching really is harmful and they are not willing to cop to it, yes I get very passionate.  But I do believe Christ and Paul did.  So while I understand what you are saying and will try to tone it down a bit, what i don’t find is christians standing up passionately…they are more interested in not hurting people’s feelings.  I’d rather have my feelings hurt and know the truth and be able to change then to have everybody feel good.  So I will work on it, but it will be a slight change and probably not as dramatic as you think.  I can only have Sheila Gregoire tell me I have all the responsiblity and down side of being a husband and not having the authority or upside so many times before I blow a gasket.  I can only take Paul telling me so many times that women are better, I mean not better…they just work harder, love harder, and are more concerned with their marriages.
          I appreciate you taking the time and I’l try to work on being all things to all people so that my message might be accepted..but I won’t sacrifice the truth.

        • SexWithinMarriage I’ve seen people I trust say it might be as high at 20%, and 15% – 20% is now a fairly common educated guess. The best data seems to be http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/FAQ.html#frequency which does not break it down at the most used ten times a year. Still, you have to go to age 60-69 to find a group where more than half are having sex no more than once a month.

        • 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.

        • TheGenerousHusband SexWithinMarriage 
          It wasn’t no sex, but it was I don’t enjoy having with sex with my husband at all and I do it on occassion so he will leave me alone.  54% some mom’s magazine.

        • ForgivenWife THusband AnYa494 TheGenerousHusband 
          If saying what you said would have been considered a joke 100 years ago is mean, you have such a low threshold for mean you and I’d never be able to discuss anything.  I consider it less mean  than saying women work harder, or women care more, or most wives mean well.
          We just aren’t going to agree maam.  God bless you-

        • 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.

        • ChuckFisher I hope one day to do as I intend, but I’m afraid I’m not there yet.  Congratulations on reaching that strength of will!

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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, 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.

    • 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.
      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.

  2. 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.

    • 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Great post!  But I’m wondering how you arrived at your interpretation of “widows under 60” for the text  “younger widows”?

  5. 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.

    • 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 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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).

        • Thankful Husband And what of men who are not leading in a servant like manner?

        • 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 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.”

        • TheGenerousHusband Thankful Husband I did not say divorce.  I said seperation.  What does treat them like a gentile or tax collector mean to you?  What then is the final step when then when the unrepentant spouse and told you to go jump off a bridge when you confronted them individually, then with 2 or 3, & then in front of the elders and at each step has told you to take a short walk off a short bridge?  What then is the last step?

        • 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 AnYa494 
          Every minister, counselor, christian author and blogger I know says you can apply Matthew 18 to marriage.  Even those who are all about LOVE here, have said you can apply Mat 18 to marriage.  A wife could not run the matt 18 process and seperate, unless, one her husband were willingly and outright sinning against her and he refused to repent not once, not with her, not with 2 or 3 from the church and not in front of the elders.  If he’s sinning, whether that be not providing for the family thru sure laziness, watching porn everynight, abusing or cheating on her…hey, I’m all for Mat 18 being brought on him.

          As to parents vs. children, obviously not when they are young you do not bring Mat 18 but as they age, sure if need be.  I pray that would not be the case and either the pastor, elder, spouse, friend, etc would do it but parenting is tough and you might just have to in certain situations.

        • TheGenerousHusband AnYa494 
          And in either case, if the wife or husband married them why unbelievers and one of them became a believer or in the case of children the child is not a believer, then you cannot bring Mat 18 to bear.  Only applies to believers.   But if a husband and wife married as christians in the church, you bet Mat 18 can be applied.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • TheGenerousHusband THusband 
          First I did not read the link.  I will do so tonight and get back to you. 
          Why is looking up concerned in the dictionary and finding it’s meaning means care stacking the decks?  I want to know what you mean when you disagree with me that you say women care more about their marriages and you tell me, no they are just more concerned.  They are 99% the same in my mind so I went to the dictionary to make sure i was not alone.  Why is this so hard to understand?
          I have not argued that females attend church more.  I’ve stated as much.  Why have you not replied to my assertion that it is because we’ve feminized church?  Do you think men are just leaving church for no reason other than selfishness or could there be a reason for the mass exodus?
          I agree that you did not state word for word they are superior beings.  I’m putting the whole of your ideas together in that statement and putting the whole of your readings together both my wife and I believe it to be accurate.  It’s like you say, of course we are all sinners!, and then go on to state that much of women’s sin is because of our culture and give them excuses and then go on to say men do much more harm to their marriages…Paul, I’m a logical guy that communicates with the best and brightest everyday and make a living seperating myself from the competition by communicating and interuprting my customers words and meanings…and I’m dang good at it.  You either don’t understand what you are communicating or you do and don’t want to admit to it.
          The only time I said you lied is when you blatantly said you had said you agreed to my numbers when you had not, nor did you apolagize.  It’s not like you said, hey, think about it, SAHM do a lot of work.  Add up her work there’s a chance that even if you are working hard she might be working as hard or harder.  No you stated that women work FAR, FAR harder.
          My wife comes out to the shop every time you post and shakes her head at me and says does he actually believe these things and what he’s saying?  I’m not going into to confirm with her and puting preconceived notions in her head.  We are both hearing you and I think anyone who has swallowed the red pill would.  It’s thick Paul, Real thick…that is the feminism and pedestalling.  And you also have not come back and defended yourself on how damaging this is, this pedestalling women.

        • 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. 

        • Paul,
          I’m quoting you.  One of us is either crazy or a liar…I’m literally quoting you on most of this stuff.  I’m at a loss for words my brother in Christ.  I’m going to chalk this up to a very different belief in scripture and perspective and some miscommunication, because the alternative is so unpleasant I do not want to think about it.

        • TheGenerousHusband Agreed, but you already brought forward, saw no point in repeating it.

  6. Being a female with a history of low drive I have a different perspective here.  
    First of all, I’d argue the point that in relation to Biblical history, are we taking into account the frequency of multiple wives and concubines?  If a man has multiple wives, his frequency of being with that one wife in particular is probably not going to be as frequent as it is in our current monogomous society.  That being the case, it would be easier for a wife to feel “deprived” and to give the appearance of a higher drive.  Speaking with my friends, they all have a drive while they’re ovulating, (as God probably designed our bodies) however the rest of the month they have little drive.  That being the case, it’s easy to see how a man with multiple wives could give the presentation of having a wife who is not being fulfilled, especially if he’s not with her while she is ovulating.
    That being said, I don’t think it’s an accurate comparison to say that women (based soley on this arguement) have historically have higher drives than our modern women.
    My second argument is that I think so many things of our physcial life (not even getting into emotional/spiritual stuff) is so incredibly unhealthy.  I don’t believe we feed or care for our bodies to function as God intended them to.  I’ve struggled with a low drive most of my marriage.  I finally had my testosterone tested and I had virtually NONE in my body.  After beginning some low dose testerone treatments my drive immediately increased.  In the process of this all, I’ve made drastic changes in what I eat and excercise.  I’ve learned that very little of what we eat in this country has little semblance of food as God created it, to fuel our bodies.  I believe that all the junk we eat has completely messed up our hormones and how our body works. 
    But I also think that a lot of it comes down to just plain selfishness.  Selfishness and sin.  But you know, returning back to the low drive issue, while it was improved with the testerone treatments, now that I have changed, I can look back and see my own sin and selfishness.  Even when I don’t necessarily “want” to have sex with my husband, I want to make him happy.  So I change my attitude to fulfill him.  But listening to my friends, it’s just plain disheartening listening to the selfishness in which they talk about how they “have a headache” or are “too tired.”  Yet they have enough energy to do what they want to do.  Sometimes, it’s just about the woman trying to control and manipulate IMO.

    • 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.
      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.

      • Oysterbed7 AnYa494
        though it was seven days from beginning of menstration (whether she menstruated
        1 day or 6 days).  
        I do
        think that there is much distortion of sex (both inside and outside of marraige)
        within the church.
        However, I also think there is just plain much selfishness amongst
        women.  Even this morning in an e-mail chat among my female friends, one of the
        ladies (supposedly a devout believer) said how much she enjoyed that her husband
        travels for work more than half of the month, every month.  Her words were that
        she is tired of having kids on her all day and (her words exactly here) “having
        hubby gone is a nice break to have myself all to myself” – note: he’s gone 5
        days a week, EVERY week…………….just doesn’t line up with “well meaning”
        to me.
        And she is not my only
        friend who has made comments like this.  Her e-mail just happened to be there
        this morning for me to quote.  Last week another friend mentioned getting her
        husband a harlot.  

        Perhaps I need new
        friends, but the trouble is, I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t have this
        attitude.  With the exception for one or two persons who blush to 25 shades of
        red (despite being married for years), this is pretty much the attitude I hear
        from anyone who speaks of sex.  It’s either refusal to talk about it because of
        embarrassment or feeling it’s improper or the attitude of “ugh, must he touch me

    • 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.

      • TheGenerousHusband AnYa494 
        I don’t deny that the church has skewed the message and meaning of sex.  I grew up in a Christian home, but my parents spoke nothing to me of sex…..what I learned, I learned from health class in public school (talk about an unhealthy POV) and from my friends.  Simply put, good girls didn’t talk about sex.  Ever.  That leaves the problem of HOW do we teach healthy sex attitudes if mum is the word…I don’t deny that it’s messed up at all.  I’ve seen very little healthy views of sex within the churches that I’ve attended (and I’m talking at least a half dozen – of various denominations).
        BUT, if I am the one making the choices, I don’t see how I can blame others for MY sin.  As an adult, I could seek out healthy POVs and work to change my attitude.  The thing is, most women I know don’t want to.  They want to change their husband to match their attitude rather than being willing to change themselves.  And that is a major problem.  No one is guilty for my sin but ME.

        • 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 AnYa494 
          Forgive me, but it sure seemed to me like you were just shifting the blame.   Regardless of what we are taught, Romans pretty clearly says ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  It really doesn’t matter who taught us what, we are all sinful.  Sin is sin is sin, whether you taught it was okay or not.  Sin is still sin.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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 AnYa494 
          I agree that at the point of marriage, we all intend (usually) the best for our spouse.  I just know what my friends tell me after years of marraige, and it’s not always the best intentions for the husband (like my friend who said she’d get her husband a prositute so she could have a girls weekend….um?????????)
          Yes, a wise man would look at what he has done wrong before looking at what his wife has done wrong.  I don’t have a problem with you saying that a husband should look at what he does wrong first.  Jesus tells us to take the plank out of our own eye before removing the speck from our brothers.  I guess I get hung up that I always hear the message that making the wife happy will give a good life.  I think we need to be telling (and I mean this to ALL authors) the wife to learn to be happy and fulfilled by Christ, learn to be content with what we are/have and love our husband.  If we take our eyes off ourselves and focus on loving our husband, I think we’d be much more successful at ALL above things.  My hang up is that there is always an excuse for women to act selfishly, when it’s really just selfishness.
          I get that you are speaking to men about how to love their wives.  But having been in a horrible marriage that has flipped 180° to a great marriage, I don’t think it’s effective council to cater soley to womens emotions.  I’ve learned that as a woman, my emotions are completly unstable and I can’t trust my emotions.  If my husband were to cater to just my emotions, it would be a huge mess.  As a wife, I need to learn to be content with what I am, where I am and learn to be selfless.  How to encourage men to encourage their wives along that road?  I don’t really know.  But I don’t believe that catering to their every emotional whim will get you there.  
          In dealing with my children, I have to be firm regardless of their emotions.  When they’ve done wrong, I hear a lot of “it’s not fair” and so on.  But if I cater to their emotions in the moment, I achieve nothing and only hurt myself in future discipline.  Now I know there has been discrepency in agreement on how to handle discpline within marriage, but that aside, even if you don’t get into actual discipline, wisdom would tell you that catering to every emotion will be no more effective with adults than with children, especially when the emotions are wrapped up in the sin of selfishness.
          I was recently quite disgusted when my female friend pursued a divorce.  She has no “legitimate” reason, she just wasn’t happy.  He hadn’t cheated, abused her or gambled away their money.  Nope, she just wasn’t happy.  And ALL her female friends told her to “do what makes her happy.”  Really????  In fact, I can name 7 couples who have recently been divorced.  And 2 more who beginning the process and then were able to reconcile.  Want to know the odd thing…the only divorces initiated by the MEN were the ones who were able to reconcile – thus none of the actual divorces were initiated by the men.  The 7 couples who actually divorced were ALL initiated by the wives.  Just because they weren’t happy.  Too bad!  Life has times of unhappiness, struggle, uncomfortableness.  Women need to be told to grow up and don’t idolize our emotions!  Put our nose to the grindstone and work!  I’d say “man up” but that might be a contraditctory statement as I’m talking about women LOL.  
          Anyway, my point is that I believe teaching men to let womens emotions reign will only continue the spiral of chaos in marriage.  We must ALL recognize sin as sin and learn to not place more weight on emotion than should be.

  7. 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.

    • Upwithmarriage 
      Thank you!  You said what my wife and I have been trying to communicate for a few days & you did it so well.  I do think that a husband has some adapting to do, but yes, the wife is the helpmate & it will almost always mean her coming towards him.  It’s a complete 180 from what today’s worldview and church worldview everybody’s arms and tempers go up.  
      My wife is sitting here going yes, yes she gets it! Both sexually and as a marriage.  It’s transformational.   We went from the worst marriage we knew to the best, with plenty to spare.

  8. Pingback: My Spouse Has Little Or No Desire For Sex | The Romantic Vineyard

  9. Pingback: My Spouse Has Little or No Desire for Sex : Marriage Missions International

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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