Okay, so I’m back on this topic again, because it is so close to my heart. If you are married, you should be having great sex on a regular basis. If you are not, then something is really wrong. Enough pointing fingers already. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
I had been asked by a friend why it is that I keep addressing the woman’s responsibility in my articles. The answer is really simple; because I am a woman. As a woman, I understand from the inside out how a woman thinks, feels, and operates. Because many women have confided in me about their marriages – in particular their sex lives, I have been able to identify some commonalities in our behavior and attitudes that cause problems in our marriages. I do not speak as the final authority on married women’s issues. If you get nothing else from my presentation, please get that. I do, however, speak as a sister in the trenches, who has made some egregious errors in my marriage, and has experienced a fair share of triumphs. I freely share those with you as the Holy Spirit leads.
It is out of love I rebuke. Because let’s face it, only a woman can really hold another woman accountable in this area. If a man were to tell you that P. M. S. is not an acceptable excuse for cursing your husband out for not taking out the trash, you’d be pissed off, and call him a misogynistic, sexist dolt. But because I have a period and experience horrible bouts of P. M. S. from time to time, when I tell you to knock off that madness, all you can do is be mad at me. But guess what, I’d rather speak truth to you and endure your wrath if it means that you’ll be free in the long run, than to co-sign your mess. Having said that, let’s move on.
The biggest complaint that I have heard (and have used myself) for not having sex is that the woman is too busy and tired at the end of the day to be sexually available for her husband. As a mother of four, with multiple responsibilities, I really do get this. It is a fair and valid complaint. If your schedule is wearing you out to the point that you cannot “spare” any time for sex with your husband (we’ll talk about why that mindset is to’ back in another article), then you must get rid of something (and not your husband!). Sit down with your organizer, a cup of coffee or tea, and the Lord ,and go over your schedule with your Father. Prayerfully ask him what you can delegate, eliminate, or cut back on to free up time for your husband. An excellent sex life is a priority for God. You can trust that he wants to help you in this area. The key is going to be how willing you are to be obedient (without resentment toward your husband) once God starts pruning stuff. This can be a rough process.
There was one point early in my marriage where I had an activity scheduled for every evening of the week. Month after month I was out of the house with one church activity or civic cause after another. At the close of a really successful luncheon that I had planned for nearly a year, which I had produced and for which I had choreographed a routine, for twenty plus teens, my husband walked up to me and extended his hand. After congratulating me on a job well done, he introduced himself and politely asked if he could have his wife back. At the time I thought it was a cute gesture, so I hugged my agreement, pecked him on the cheek, and moved on to greet some of my guests. Later when I had time to think about his request, I became resentful. “He’s just jealous,” I thought. He had a great career. He had the respect of his peers. Now that I was beginning to shine, he couldn’t handle it. I concluded that he was being selfish and that I would do as I pleased. He’d just have to suck it up.
When I voiced my concerns to an older, godly woman in whom I often confided, she gently but thoroughly, told me off. She knew my husband and knew his character. She challenged me to think about who would lie to me about my husband, profit from it, and delight in my turning on him. I had to admit that only the enemy would profit. She gave me a crash course in spiritual warfare right there on the spot. She hipped me to the fact that those ungodly thoughts were not my own, but right out of the pit of hell, and had been designed to cause strife between me and my husband. She challenged me to guard against those thoughts and to seek God’s guidance for what I should do regarding my husband’s very fair request. She pointed out that he was requesting to spend more time with me and that that was a good thing.
She pointed out that I had embraced the enemy’s thoughts against Mykel, just as Eve had against God in the garden. “He’s jealous. He’s holding you back. He just doesn’t want you to be as successful as he is because he wants to control you.” That’s a paraphrase – but it is basically the spirit behind what the devil said to Eve in the garden about the God who had given her everything. And foolish little girl that she was, she had fallen for it, just as I had. In truth, I already knew that if the situation had been reversed, and Mykel was running out the door every time I wanted to hang out or spend time with him, I’d have been hot, and a lot less patient with him about it. The fact is that I enjoyed being busy. I enjoyed feeling purposeful. I loved the thrill of planning yet one more project. And the idea of having to give all of that up to be home with a baby – our son was approaching 2 years old – did not suit me. I wanted not just more – but something else totally different.
This older woman continued to pour into me on a weekly basis and to pray for me. Over time it became clear to me that mine was an attitude problem. I was deriving my self worth from my activities – not from my identity in Christ. My husband was suffering for my choice. To make a long story short, the Holy Spirit helped me to see over time that I am the only person who can minister to my husband sexually. And that to neglect him in this area is to grieve the Holy Spirit – not to mention to put my husband in a vulnerable position. Because you can bet that if the enemy was whispering to me, he was whispering to Mykel, too. Saying things, like “She doesn’t love you. She doesn’t care about you. If she did, she’d have her butt home. You deserve better. You should just get you some elsewhere. That’ll show her.” Like many women before and after me, I had been meeting the needs of everyone who came knocking: my boss, my pastor, the kids I worked with at the time, their parents, my child, my friends, but I had been failing to meet the needs of the most important human being in my life. That was a fail.
Once I got my head out of my butt, and looked to the Lord to re-prioritize my life’s activities, I began to see that much of what I had to do, could either be done by someone else, or not at all. I pared down my schedule and became really picky about what I’d say “yes” to. If something conflicted with time that Mykel and I had set apart for ourselves, I asked his permission. That’s right. I gave him permission to make the decision. I had begun to see that it wasn’t my time, but our time. Out of respect for him, I asked his permission. Truthfully, he’s such a nice guy, that there were times I didn’t even bother to ask because I knew he’d selflessly let me go anyway – even if he was inconvenienced. It has always been very important to me that he never feels as though he’s being punk’d or taking him for granted. So most of the time I was and am more apt to reject a new activity, rather than bringing it to him for approval.
My “new” behavior caused some problems for the folks who were used to my being their “Girl Friday,” but in the end, the Lord honored my decision to honor my husband by scaling back my activities. Since that season, we’ve gone through times where I have been really, really busy as has Mykel, but with each of us firmly dedicated to putting the other first, we’ve been able to extend and receive grace and still tumble into bed frequently and with much pleasure. For what it’s worth, I hope someone is blessed by my sharing this snippet from my life.
Next time I’ll address “But He’s Broke and Jobless!” God bless, Family! And be encouraged!
Other Articles From The “Sexless Marriage Series”: