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Blog about sex long enough and you hear just about every possible perspective about sex in marriage.
I regularly get emails and comments from people exasperated with the lack of sexual intimacy in their marriage.
They are desperate.
They are lonely.
They feel horribly rejected because the person they married rarely or never wants to have sex.
They contemplate various scenarios of how to deal with the lack of sexual intimacy -- everything from affairs to divorce to pornography to suicide to "bearing their cross" to seeking God more to masturbating in secret and so on.
They are bitter and numb. Some have gone with little or no sex for years.
I also regularly receive emails and comments from people who try to convince me that "sex isn't that important to a marriage." I can't always tell if they are trying to convince me or themselves, as they dig their heels in and proclaim,
"There's more to marriage than sex."
"Wanting sex is selfish."
"Sex isn't a need."
"It's like that's all my spouse wants."
"I'm too tired."
Do you know what happens when two contrary perspectives about sex exist within a marriage? A lot of disconnect and discouragement. That's what happens.
When one person wants nurtured intimacy and one does not, it becomes abundantly clear that sex does matter in a marriage.
"But what about when both the husband and the wife are fine with the lack of intimacy?"
That scenario is rare.
So rare that it barely shows up in the hundreds of comments and emails I receive. (I am not talking about situations where there is injury or illness preventing sexual intimacy. I am talking about two people arbitrarily deciding to disagree with God and disobey Him by removing sex from their marriage.)
So. What do you think?
Intuitively I think we know it matters. You'd be hard pressed to find a married person in your circle of influence who went into marriage thinking sex was optional... something that merely could be cast aside.
But even practically, if you were to ask your local professional counselors (Christian and secular), not to mention your local pastors and people who lead marriage ministries, what consensus would you find?
Would they collectively tell you sex is "no big deal" to the health of a marriage?
Or would they instead share that in all their encounters with married couples, where sex is nurtured, the marriage generally is stronger, healthier and happier? Would they without reservation tell you that where sex is ignored or a constant source of contention, the marriage struggles?
From a spiritual warfare standpoint, does Satan like it when a couple nurtures and pursues sex in their marriage -- or does he rejoice instead when they fight about it, disagree about it, refuse to deal with sexual struggles, and rarely make love?
Sex was God's idea. So it's safe to say that Satan -- the enemy of all that is good and holy and right -- is not a fan of nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage.
Not a fan.
Satan knows (sadly better than A LOT of married couples) that when a husband and a wife tend to their sexual intimacy with intention, care and passion, that is a force to be reckoned with -- that makes Satan's battle for causing division in the marriage exponentially harder.
Like most advocates for healthy sexual intimacy in marriage, I see what happens to marriages when sex is nurtured... and when it is not. I am privy to the collateral damage that floods from the hearts of people who contact me, hoping and praying I have "the answer" to fix what is broken in their marriage sexually.
And I glance out at our societal landscape, where sex has been ravaged, abused, mishandled and exploited for horrendous reasons. Can we not see that sex outside its right context leaves a trail of pain and tragedy?
Can we not then see that sex within its right context of marriage leaves a trail of strength and connection?
Does sex matter in a marriage?
I glance in my heart when my husband and I make love, and I find a clear answer to that question.
Every. Single. Time.
Does sex matter in a marriage? Does sex matter in your marriage?
Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.