This should come as no shock; we’ve all heard about it and it’s been a big pink elephant in the sanctuary for as long as I can remember. Women aren’t having sex with their husbands. Why? The most obvious answer is the hardest for some men to take in—we simply don’t want to. When we feel our husbands coming on to us, we pretend to be asleep, tell our husbands we’re cramping, have headaches, give the “are you kidding me stare,” or say we’re too tired. And this happens all too often.
Men grow tired of the excuses and feeling barely tolerated. Sadly, some, as a result of not having sex, sneak to view porn, feel rejected, lose trust in their wives or begin feeling cold or guilty toward the women they chose to spend the rest of their lives with. Wives—Christian wives are flat-out lying to their husbands. Lying and avoiding sex aids in the tearing down of marriages and works against the will of God. Some of us feel we have no choice but to lie and avoid. But as we admit this, let’s come to admit a few of the reasons behind why we are withholding our bodies from our husbands; especially when we never did before marriage. I make no excuses for either party and I encourage every woman reading this to be listeners of God’s Spirit.
Although I’m single now, I used to be married. Was I a virgin when I got married? No. However, after I married, there was a season when I acted like one toward my then- husband. But why? And why do so many other women do the same? I realized we had a problem when my [ex] husband would try to be intimate with me and I would feel like a wounded animal trapped in a corner ready to lash out. I never felt like that when we engaged in premarital sex, so what changed? Well, I realized that being married, Satan wanted to fire darts at us and at God’s order. Satan wasn’t bothered by me fornicating. I was in disobedience as he wanted. But once married, one of the things that I suddenly had to confront was the wound behind previous sexual immorality and being raped and molested.
Also, I realized that being married, I was with that person all the time which meant more sex was sometimes expected. But deep down, sex had no real value in my heart because I actually wanted to feel valued for who I was, not for my sexual performance. I wanted to be loved, not lusted after, so once married, I saw how I’d placed my husband who always wanted sex, into the category of men who only wanted sex. I felt he was no different and took for granted that I’d met and married the man who wanted me for me, not sex. I’d been punishing him for the abuse I suffered from myself and others. We worked through it successfully, but I had to confront myself and search my heart before the Spirit and wisdom of the Lord. I hope you will do the same if you’re a woman denying your husband intimacy.
The following reasons behind sexless marriages should be further explored through humility, self-reflection, God’s word, wise counsel, and prayer.
Typical reasons women withhold sex from their husbands:
- Lack of respect for him
- Victim of sexual abuse
- Feels objectified
- Views intercourse as dirty or a chore
- Views intercourse as a trophy used for her own selfish ambitions
- Resentment—husband doesn’t help around the house or with the children
- Not trusting the husband due to suspected adultery (physical, emotional, or viewing porn) or other disappointments (like weak leadership)
- Husband is financially careless, resulting in the wife feeling unstable and unloved or neglected
- Husband lacks empathy or is inconsiderate of her, her emotions and input, or role
- Feels her husband is her enemy
- Refuses intercourse as punishment
- Genuinely stressed, tired or sick (physically or mentally)
- Husband is abusive, controlling, or an addict
- Lack of healthy and clear communication
- Lacks attraction or desire for the husband or his performance
- There are physical or emotional insecurities or concerns
- Sex is not a priority
- Husband provides no intimacy outside of intercourse
- Feels the husband doesn’t deserve it
- Rebellion. Now please catch this one! When people are sexually immoral before marriage, they’re operating in a spirit of rebellion against God. Fornication is sexual abuse against one another and your own body (1 Corinthians 6:18). This is a device of Satan to work against the will of God. When rebellion (disobedience) through fornication and other sexual immorality before marriage isn’t extinguished and placed under submission to the Spirit of the Lord, this spirit of rebellion seems to simply transfer into the marriage and manifests itself into the next device against God’s will (eg: withholding sex, affections, or kindness). If a woman rebelled against God by having sex before marriage (and that rebellion wasn’t tightly checked), then don’t be surprised when a woman rebels after marriage by avoiding sex. This is because a device from Satan is to attack the two from operating as one in God’s marital covenant.
So what is a good solution to this problem? Women refuse sex for various reasons, but the issues are most commonly linked to pride, hurt, and lack of healthy communication. The most powerful scripture that comes to mind that each spouse has been called to follow is, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:34-35.
I’m convinced that when spouses love like this and no longer walk according to their flesh, true romance between the two become magnetic! Also, people forget that one of the main purposes of marriage is to glorify God, not self. Marriage magnifies this purpose no matter the season. When we sign up for marriage, we aren’t signing up for our will be done! We are signing up to lay down our life for our friend (John 15:13) and love our enemy (Matthew 5:44), so that we are without excuse to magnify the love and fruit of God in us through one another. Unless your life or health is in danger or you’re divorcing due to adultery, then what is your reason for withholding? Is it truly valid according to scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 7? Are each of you truly holding your marriage in high honor as taught in Hebrews 13:4?
I ask you, ladies, what fruit are you truly bearing behind closed doors? When social media is off and it’s just you and him, are you glorifying God or are you knit-picking? Are you laying aside every weight that so easily besets you so that you are following the example of Christ’s love? I’m not asking how your husband makes you feel, I’m asking how God makes you feel about your husband. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” says Jeremiah 31:3, showing how the Lord has drawn us when we didn’t even qualify for the race. The Lord’s love molded us into the faithful believers we are today.
To love your spouse means to love with the same love that comes from that everlasting love spoken of in Jeremiah. Perfect your faith and marriage according to that love. Trust God and His peace. Communicate to Him, even when your husband doesn’t know how to with you, and watch the Lord lead for better or worse, richer or poorer! I know some of you ladies may not feel you can connect with this article due to thinking your situation is too complex or that the love is already lost, but God’s love for marriage isn’t. The issues are deeper than the removal of sex. That’s merely an outward symptom of an inner breakdown. Warfare and study God’s word. Analyze yourself while showing love and honor as you trust the Lord to reveal everything and heal your hearts before Him.