SEXUAL NEEDS IN MARRIAGE

As she sat in my office she was clearly angry and she had a right to be. Her husband had crossed the line. She’d caught him “sneaking a lustful peek” at another woman and she didn’t like it one bit. “What do I do?” she asked, “He’s supposed to be a Christian husband.” She put a put a big emphasis on the world “Christian” when she said it.

I agreed 100% with her that she had a right to be mad and that he didn’t need to be looking at women that were not his wife, but then something else came out that I didn’t expect. She made the comment that it had been months since they’d had any sexual activity together. I remember her giving me a weird look when I shockingly repeated the word “MONTHS?” She said, “Yes, lots of months.”

To make a long story short, come to find out her husband might have been sneaking a peek (which was still wrong) because she wasn’t interested in meeting any his sexual needs. She was making no effort to even sleep in the same room with him. I remember her saying, “I just have no desire to do that.” She looked even more angry when I said, “Do you not understand? It’s not all about you, and you are to blame just as much as he is for all this.”

Listen, I do not in any circumstance approve of husbands looking at someone other than their wives, BUT understand this, if you and your spouse want to remain strong in the face of sexual temptation, cultivate a healthy and intimate sexual relationship together. Paul said it this way, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7.3-5).

I’ve been worrying about adding this part, but it needs to be said. Too many times I’ve listened to wives whine about their husband’s struggles with lust when all along it was the wife who was starving their husbands sexually. Don’t starve your husbands and then berate them for their hunger. If you want to protect your husband, do what the Bible says – don’t deprive him, or you’ll make his struggle to be pure harder. You can do your part in keeping your husband from being vulnerable to sexual temptation.

Just like men need to eat to be strong physically, they also need sexual intimacy to be strong morally. I know this is an extremely touchy subject, but if the Bible talks about it maybe the church needs to also.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
34 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Greg says:

    Well said, brother! I look forward to reading the responses this will generate.

  2. David Kirk says:

    Pray for me because my mind isn’t pure. Have a great day!

  3. Brie says:

    You said the “s” word! :)

    I think part of love that we (and I include myself here) forget sometimes is that love means caring for the other person more than you care for yourself. That can mean that we need to do all sorts of things that we’d rather skip sometimes to take care of our spouse. Dishes, laundry, taking a turn getting up with the baby, and sometimes even having sex when you’d rather be sleeping. Or reading. Or playing WoW. ::cough::

    That whole “Love is not selfish” thing can really be difficult sometimes.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  4. TREY MORGAN says:

    Well said, Bre!

  5. That Girl says:

    I was just sayin’…

  6. AncientWanderer says:

    A brother in Bible class once became very distraught over a discussion of “lusting”. He swore he had never lusted after a woman in his life. To make his point he said, “I’m not that kind of a man. I wouldn’t know a pretty woman if one was standing right next to me.” Yeah, he was sitting next to his wife in class.

    All the sex in the world isn’t going to stop men from noticing women. I would be very interested in what “separate but equal bedrooms” wifey defined as “sneaking a lustful peek”.

    Hello My Name Is Don and:
    I for one notice woman from time to time.

    I DO NOT envision us having sex or daydream about them? NO. That’s lust ladies and gentlemen. NOT LOOKING AT WOMEN.
    If just looking ‘occasionally’ is lust (which equals adultery) then I need to go to the nearest eye bank and make TWO deposits.

    Now, I do have a preacher friend that is WAY TOO friendly with waitresses and other women we come in contact with. And he can’t NOT look at a woman who passes by… that IS lust. Yes, he and I have agreed to disagree on that point.

    Sex versus the ‘modern’ concept of love and romance? I won’t bother you with my thoughts on that.
    _______________
    Now, having said all that, when my wife and I are out and she says, “She sure was pretty wasn’t she?” I always reply, “WHO WAS DEAR? I DIDN’T NOTICE!”

  7. cdj says:

    Completely off topic…I am wondering if you changing your blog background color between black and white is really a metaphor of some sort…your mood, the weather, stress level, the color of your current vehicle…the English teacher in me is seeping out. Ha…

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Don – Well put and I think I’d like to address that in a later post. It is something that needs to be discussed. Men are confused about “looking or lusting.” I think there is a definitely difference between looking and lusting. Yes, I do see women that I think, “She is pretty.” I CAN do that without lusting. But where do we draw the line? That would make a great post for next week. And as for your response to your wife? Priceless!

    Ms. Jenkins – :) Sorry about the changes. I’m a change guy. I get really tried of how my blog looks after about a month, and so I change colors. I honestly need to leave it alone. I like the black I just wish it was a little wider.

  9. Anonymous says:

    well-said, but until we have some mature christian ladies’ sharing this, a la Titus 2:4……

    also, the vicious cycle is real, too. some husbands are real jerks and would get more action if they treated their wives nicer.

    funny quote: submission is the wife ducking out of the way so God can hit the husband.

    brian

  10. Mitch says:

    I find it interesting that this post comes a few days after the “30 day sex challenge” post. Although that post encountered much variety of opinions I believe that this post backs up some of the things said there.

  11. Falantedios says:

    The difference between the types of looks is intent.

    The difficulty in figuring out which is which is our deceitful nature.

    We deceive no one as easily as ourselves.

    Spiritual discipline trains us to be able to freely admit our failings, to seek forgiveness for them, and NOT to obsess over them, but to focus our attention on Jesus.

    in HIS love,
    Nick

  12. Anonymous says:

    Trey, You a just a wonder boy. This is a tricky subject. I have actually worn this womans shoes and giving yourself to your spouse is much more than sexual intimancy. Would I be justified in having a wondering eye if my husband goes to bed at night drunk and stinky? NO! I would be called to step up, but that only works for those of us who try our best to serve God. Two wrongs never make a right and placing blame on one or the other is pointless. Relationships take two and much humility and the part of both. I have to do what is right even though he is in the wrong and vise versa, but to blame this woman for her husbands behavior is just plain wrong. I have gone through this and did ultimatly humble myself to my husband and it has allowed God to work on him some and I am trusting that he will continue to work on him, he first had to soften my heart before I was a willing participant. This is what you should of told this woman, you should have prayed with her for the Lord to take her pain and help her to reenter the marriage relationship and for the Lord to open this mans heart that he could see his wife and love her as he has been commanded.

  13. TREY MORGAN says:

    anonymous – I understand this subject goes much deeper than what we’ve talked about here. There are often many other reasons to struggle with sexual issues in a marriage. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As for the woman in the story, I can’t reveal all the details, but we did spend time praying together. And thankfully their marriage is rock solid today.

  14. almcfaughn says:

    Trey,

    Thank you so much for speaking out on this topic. It is, for sure, one that is difficult to address from the pulpit (since there are children and singles listening), but it is very much a Biblical subject.

    I appreciate your thoughts and the tone with which you presented them.

    Adam

  15. Anonymous says:

    glad you went conservative with the image, bro.

    brian

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think this subject needs to be taught in separate classes, husbands and wives taught by mature
    Christian men and women. Perhaps an elder and wife. Some wives aren’t interested in sex because their husbands are only in it for their own satisfaction. They don’t
    know what nurturing even means. God instituted the sexual act for the purpose of “being fruitful, etc.” But we wouldn’t be made like we are if he didn’t intend for us to enjoy it. A marriage which is happy and monogamous and one which wants to please God shouldn’t have this problem. Sorry this is preachy
    and I’m an older woman who has seen and experienced many things.
    GET IN THE BOOK!

  17. Philip Murphy says:

    I think somebody is finally getting courageous enough to blog about those steamy books he was reading.

  18. Arlene Kasselman says:

    Trey
    great post and I’m a girl.
    The book Intimate Issues is a good read for women on this issue.

  19. Kim says:

    I second the book “Intimate Issues”. It is a must read for all women. Also, the Song of Solomon study by Tommy Nelson. It is hands down the best study I have ever done on the Husband/Wife relationship and I have done alot of them. I am constantly seeking to keep my relationship with my husband healthy. Personally, the best thing I have done as a woman to make sure I am approaching my relationship with my husband in a healthy way is to pray about it. Since God created our relationship, I believe He is the best one to help me have the right heart and mind toward it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Trey – complete agree. Have always heard that an affair is the fault of two people, not just the wandering one. BUT that being said, what do you do if you aren’t physically attracted to your spouse? I realize you still have a biblical obligation to fulfill, but that doesn’t make the desire anymore.

  21. Zach says:

    Trey thank you for being so open! Now what do you do when your wife is in the first tri. of her preg. I still get the.. Don’t touch me look! haha

  22. agrantham81 says:

    Well Said. I know if my husband goes elsewhere its my fault. I would hope that he would voice his ‘issues’ with me first.

    In regards sex when one doesn’t find their spouse attractive, GET OVER IT. Sex isn’t meant to about you enjoying it, its about making sure they enjoy it. Of course when done properly by both people its kinda hard for both parties to not enjoy it.

    Also as for sperating Men and Women to discuss issues re sex, that is ok, but at some point ya gotta get the spouses to talk to each other about it as well.

    Just my loud, not so humble opinions.

    (A not quite converted christian woman).

  23. TREY MORGAN says:

    Kim – you are a wise woman!

    Anon – I think anytime you are not finding your spouse attractive you have to ask “Why?” Is it something that has changed in me or them? Is there anything I can do to encourage him to be more physically fit, have better hygiene, be kinder, etc. What made you fall in love with him in the first place? Surely, you were attracted to him then. Remind yourself of those things.

    Zach – Get used to the look for a few more months. :)

    Agrantham81 – Thanks for stopping by…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Part of this discussion I have heard referred to as the genie out of the bottle. Men are celibate (make this a given) before marriage. They get married and then the genie comes out. A spouse dies or there is a divorce. The guy doesn’t stop having that drive.

    I have known more than one couple who were celibate in marriage. It is generally not healthy. It is not how God planned it. But it is reality. I say it is not generally healthy because, for example,in the case of infidelity the couple have to work through things and you can’t just expect physical intimacy immediately.

    On the other side, many women use sex as a weapon against men.This is real sick.

  25. cdj says:

    As you’ve noticed, I’m a change kind of gal, too. I have changed the title of my blog several times, but I think I finally have found the one I like the best. I’ve always said I’m either slightly ADD, or just SO intelligent I get easily distracted…;) I think I’ll stick with the ADD story; it’s a bit more believable!

    I like the black best, too!

  26. Amy says:

    Well said! Very touchy subject. Unfortunately, this subject is very sensitive to my heart. Not in MY marriage, but my parents were divorced over this subject(after 25 years of marraige, when I was 22 years old) and my best friend in college cheated on her husband becasue of lack of emotional fulfillment. Not fulfilling one anothers needs, whether emotional or sexual WILL destroy a marriage. I am in COMPLETE agreement with you. If you don’t make him happy in the bedroom, he WILL find someone who will. I think it is safe to say, I have learned ALOT from two very important relationships that have been destroyed by lack of fulfillment. It is a sad topic.I cannot imagine being in this situation with Jason.

    WE ARE SO BLESSED!!

    Thanks for the reminder! And for keepin it real!

  27. AncientWanderer says:

    Just Saying-
    It is possible for men (you know males) to have a lousy wife and still be faithful to her.

    Not all men are dogs ruled by their hormones. It seems that the idea is too prevalent that if she doesn’t “make him happy in the bedroom, he WILL find someone who will” is out there.
    THAT ISN’T THE CASE WITH A REAL CHRISTIAN MAN.

    I have known mental illness and physical illness to shut down a wife’s response to her husband for years or even the rest of their marriage (quite a few preachers) and they didn’t dog it to the next bed.

    Just letting everyone know not all men are hormonally out of control. You can “cork” the bottle.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ok… here is my two cents worth.

    I resigned myself to a sexless marriage because my husband had no interest. Not the marriage I was hoping for – but it was what I got.

    Imagine my surprise to find that after 10 years of a pretty much sexless marriage, he had an affair. After we divorced, he told me that the new girl didn’t like it because he didn’t want sex anymore.

    It’s not just women who deprive the marriage of an integral part of such a relationship. In my eyes marriage is a commitment. You make a promise and you stick with it, even if you don’t like it. I was hurt more because my husband broke his promise to stay married more than I was hurt by his affair.

    Terri

  29. Falantedios says:

    Don,

    That is absolutely true. Hosea was just as human as the rest of us.

    I thought this discussion was about spouses who CHOOSE to be unavailable (sexually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually)not spouses who are medically prevented from fulfilling their role in the marriage.

    Under this topic, we could discuss how hard it is for men to “complain” about their “lousy wives.” I guarantee that the church atmosphere says “suck it up” far more to men in these situations than women. In a tradition like ours where men fill all the “public positions” much more emphasis is on us to keep problems hidden.

    We wouldn’t want to show ourselves “unfit to serve.”

    Sin in a relationship must be EXCLUDED -named for what it is and intentionally set aside by confession and forgiveness- before life together can again be EMBRACED through reconciliation. Neither “I’m okay, you’re okay” nor “Oh, it was nothing” will suffice to heal a wounded relationship.

    Pretending that cruelty from one spouse to another is okay in ANY fashion allows Satan to unmake what God has made.

    in HIS love,
    Nick

  30. Shane Coffman says:

    Marriage is a partnership, also know as “mutual submission”. When things aren’t going well, rare is the case that the blame can be laid at the feet of only one of the parties involved.

    The wife who is depriving her husband physically is wrong. The husband who is depriving his wife emotionally is wrong. Change the different things being deprived all you want. It’s not a chicken and egg thing where you seek to find which came first and who started it. If there is a serious problem, you can be sure there are serious lacks of mutual submission going on on both sides.

    (Obviously, I’m not talking about extreme medical situations here. I’m speaking in generalities, because I believe in most cases it proves to be true.)

    Trey – excellent, excellent post, brother. The wife needed those strong words from you. She had the planks going in her eyes and was trying to surgically remove the speck from her husband’s eye. I’m sure both were needing some eye surgery…

  31. TREY MORGAN says:

    Terri – well put from a woman’s point of view. Thanks for sharing.

  32. katy says:

    You are right on. As a wife, we think that it’s all about what I want. If I don’t feel like it, then tough on you. I find that when I choose to please my husband even when I don’t feel like it, I begin to enjoy it too! The honeymoon can return, if we allow it to.

  33. Gary says:

    Trey,
    Great job! As a fellow,”seasoned” minister, this is always and will always be a difficult approach. I had a grandmother who taught my sisters the following approach to keeping a good marriage.

    “If a woman keeps her husband well-fed and his gun un-loaded, he will not need to go hunting!”

    Seems like good-ole country reasoning!

    Incidentally, two of my sisters have failed in following her reasoning!

  34. Anonymous says:

    What if we are having sex often but he still feels tempted by others?

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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