Back from the dead.
In the wake of the Easter miracle, that’s what we relish in.
Jesus Christ back from the dead, raised to give us a hope for something so unfathomable and mysterious and wondrous. It was preposterous then and still at times seems preposterous now.
Who is this man…this Lord…this Son of God…who would give me more than a passing glance?
At its core, the truth — this truth — is crazy, right? To think something dead can indeed live again. And yet, that’s where we will always land when we let Christ wreck our heart.
So what about sexual intimacy in your marriage? Can it too be resurrected?
Sex and Christ in the same breath. Sacrilegious? Hardly. He is, after all, about making things new. And honestly, I am more than certain that He is intimately aware of every detail of your sexual intimacy.
Every. Single. Detail.
When you look at those intimate details, do you see pain? Or glory? Do you see oneness? Or division?
If a sexual desert — short on hope and long on heartbreak — is your reality, then you probably have wondered. Or begged. Or fallen to end of yourself with anger and tears.
Can sexual intimacy in my marriage be resurrected?
Let’s work backwards on this one. Let me begin with the premise that if sex in your marriage bed can not be resurrected, it won’t be because of God’s lack of interest in this tender heart issue. I’m not asking you to trust me. I’m asking you to wrestle with Him. And rest in Him.
Because believe it or not, He is intricately entwined in your life, including your sexual intimacy.
If your spouse has refused you sexually, the pain is unbearable, isn’t it? I receive emails from people who are so deeply devastated by that pain that they run out of words when trying to convey it to me me. It’s that deep.
If you have done the refusing, your pain is here in the mix as well. What pain brought you to the point of refusing your spouse the one thing they can’t morally go get someplace else? Pain from your past? Pain from your present? Pain you can’t even identify?
“It has nothing to do with pain, Julie,” some would say.
And sometimes that is the truth. It’s not about pain. It’s about fear or indifference or selfishness or confusion.
But make no mistake, when sexual intimacy is not nurtured and valued in a marriage, there always is a reason.
My heart is for you to know that God knows more about that reason than you do.
He sees it. Feels it. Recognizes intricacies about it that you likely don’t even understand. Into it He longs to speak His hope and clarity. He knows what’s going on in your heart. Whatever is skewed or broken or pained, He wants to wrap Himself around it.
Can sexual intimacy in your marriage be resurrected?
I believe it can. Will you do the brave thing and start with Him? Will you press into His hope and walk where He leads you, no matter how difficult and crazy it seems?
You are worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your marriage is worth it.
Invite your Savior into helping you fix what is so messed up in your marriage bed…helping you bring back to life what has died.
Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
16 thoughts on “Can Sexual Intimacy in Your Marriage Be Resurrected?”
Great insights Julie!
God can and does make all things right. Couples should invite Him into their marriages and yes even into their sexual intimacy. He designed us the way He did for loving marital sexual intimacy.
Every married Christian needs to consider what you have written.
If it couldn’t, I would do one of two things: leave my wife (which I wouldn’t because it’s not really supported Scripturally), or get castrated. I’m not kidding guys. I’m living on sex once every 5 weeks. I’ve been praying, fasting, seeking God as hard as I can for several months. Nothing has got better, only worse. I’ve stopped following numerous “sex therapists” on twitter because its all rubbish as far as I’m concerned. Have them live in the real world where nothing, including changing yourself, work. All this happy happy talk is doing me no good, it only aggravates me further. Telling me to pray just aggravates it more. Yet the only hope I have is that God would change my wife. I don’t need any more advice about how I have to change. I have, and am; she isn’t. And if God doesn’t move soon I’m off to a brothel or to the doctor.
Oh, and when you’re wife says that if “you want sex every week, then go find someone else”, it doesn’t really help either. Maybe I will. See you later.
Actually Julie, your post about “5 Things You should know if you are denying your husband sex” intrigues me. If only my wife could read it. Of course, she won’t. She wouldn’t believe it or take it in anyway. She needs something firm and decisive to change her mind; something directed at her. I like the comment about “Well, “someday” showed up in the form of divorce papers and another woman.” If only that could sink into her head. If only God would reveal something like that to her. No, I’m not thinking of having an affair, because I love my wife. I pray it doesn’t come to a head where i just walk out. But there’s little I can do. I pretty much reject all advice these days because it does nothing, yet if there’s something else I haven’t heard 100 times before, I’d love to hear it. Oh, and yes, I have talked to her about it.
I like this blog or article. I found it thru another website.
I am a woman who is being refused.
I am a new Christian, my husband actually helped lead me to Christ.
I love them both with all my heart.
I have given this particular problem up to God, over and over again. It’s hard to leave it there when the pain cuts sooo deeply into my heart.
It isn’t about the physical act itself its about the emotional bond that comes with it.
I am NOT going anywhere. But don’t think I haven’t thought about it.
It kills me when I can’t even get suggestive with him, or even hint that I am interested with out it becoming a fight, causing him to threaten to leave me.
I long for any intimacy out of him. A hug, or a REAL kiss.
I miss the man I fell in love with
@Married but alone… I am so sorry for your pain. I do have a page on my site dedicated to posts/resources for wives who are sexually refused. You may want to take a look to see if anything in those posts shed some insight/hope on what may be going on with your husband:
Thank you so much. I’m already reading stuff there I can identify with.
It’s great to find a site that shares my values.
sex once every 5 weeks? Thats Nirvana. I’m at 3 times in 10 months. And thats a “good” year.
I believe couples engage sexually for five foundational reasons: my own pleasure, satisfaction/joy/pleasure in sexually pleasing our spouse, duty/responsibility based on understanding of Scripture, experience of intimacy at some level, a heart generally inclined toward kindness/giving/blessing. If a spouse’s heart is hardened or wounded in any of these areas, you will see restrictions on the marriage bed, excuses for not engaging, and infrequency that can eventually lead to complete ceasing of sex. The hardening of heart and wounds could have existed before you were ever married. For example, a person may not believe First Corinthians chapter 7:3-6 applies to them, even before they say “I do”. This would be common for unbelievers, believers who have not studied Scripture to practice it, those who have experienced abuse in their childhood, spouses who know the Scriptures, yet rebel against it willfully for whatever reason, etc. If your spouse has low desire for their own pleasure, then frequency can be affected. If you don’t receive great joy from sexually pleasing your spouse, then frequency can be affected. And if your spouse is so wounded or hardened in heart that they don’t want to engage in intimacy with you, then frequency of sex will be diminished. Finally, some people are simply selfish and are not very kind and giving, so frequency is reduced. Hardening of heart could be linked to unforgiveness, a root of bitterness, vengeful thinking (my spouse really likes sex so they aren’t getting much from me, or my spouse doesn’t bring home enough money for our family, so I’m going to cut him off sexually, etc), childhood abuse, wrong teaching about sex, abuse from you (such as harsh words, threatening divorce, angry outbursts, lack of consistent gentleness and kindness, etc). Remember that sex in marriage is an act of kindness (King James English calls it “due benevolence”), so everyday relational kindness must be present. Pray for your spouse’s healing and softening of heart, as well as revelation in these areas.
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I too am choosing to go the castration route. My wife of many years gave up alcohol after she had gall bladder surgery. It was a wake-up call for her. Unfortunately for me, it was the end of our intimacy. Under the influence of alcohol, she was quite passionate and uninhibited, however without alcohol, she has zero desire. She has been to counseling but to no avail. There is a lock inside her brain that only alcohol can open. We don’t want to go back to alcohol since it would open the door back to a full fledged addiction once again and that is not an option. She can’t just drink once in a while. It’s all or nothing, so I am between a rock and a hard place. The lack of intimacy is killing me. I simply don’t want to be celibate and adultry is not an option for me (as a devout Christian). These leaves only one option for me. It’s very sad but I don’t see any end in sight to my dilemma. I have tried giving her herbs, supplements, etc. but the problem is not physical, it’s mental.
@Patrick… I’m so sorry for your pain. I can grasp that your wife’s frame of reference is different now that she is sober, but that does not mean she is beyond choosing to learn how to nurture intimacy without alcohol.
You mention she has been to counseling. What does she tell the counselor? Because simply saying “I just can’t get in the mood, so I’m not going to have sex” does not show any accountability on her part.
I would suggest you ask her to go to marriage counseling with you. Obviously not having sex or having very limited sexual intimacy is not a healthy option for your marriage. If she refuses to go to counseling, then go on your own… not only will this give you the opportunity to get wise Christian counsel on how to proceed/navigate this extreme difficulty, it also will demonstrate to her that you are serious about doing whatever you can to have a strong marriage.
While I am not a doctor, I agree with your assessment that this isn’t a physical issue as much as it is a mental and spiritual one.
Castration is not your best route. Your wife sinning and you would be wise to seek humble, wise Christian brothers in Christ who will listen to you, pray with you, and advise you on ways to continue to address this issue with your wife.
An interesting analogy between the biblical Ressurection and that of a sexual relationship. I must admit I wouldn’t have linked the two for reasons that most of us would probably be too coy to even raise. But nonetheless, your point is innovative, well made and has given me some food for future thought.
@Kwala and Patrick. With Julie’s permission, I’m going to recommend the Sexual Refusal forum at boards.themarriagebed.com. (http://boards.themarriagebed.com/viewforum.php?f=29)
Lots of folks over there to talk with you specifically about refusal issues. We’ve been there. Some of us still are but there is hope. With the Lord, there is always hope.
It has been 9.5 years for me. I just keep trusting in the Lord and ask for his help and guidance. I am asking for prayers for at times it seems lie maybe I will be able to hold her hand at least, then I slack of my devotions and it is back to the way it was. Pray for me to keep at devotions daily. I remember reading a blog or something about a husband who concentrated on getting himself right with God and all else fell into place. I am keeping that in back of my mind for encouragement.. Thank you for your prayers and time..
@CraigW… I’m so sorry for your pain… The Lord sees it and is grieved by it. Is your wife open to any counseling? Even if she won’t go, I encourage you to go… not only to talk to talk to someone who may have some good insights on how you should address these issues and navigate, but also to demonstrate to your wife your commitment to having not just a marriage that exists, but one that is strong and healthy.
How about when it’s not only sexual refusal, but also intimacy-of-ANY-kind refusal? And that’s her norm, not just when she’s mad at me. Oh sure, we’ve gone through phases where she used to patronizingly touch me back when I touched her first, but she was never comfortable with it, so I let the charade drop and she was apparently relieved; her desire has apparently always just been for something of a business relationship, not a marriage. It is so egregious that she never can even be in the same room of the house with me for more than a few seconds at a time, lest any microscopic shred of intimacy might sprout up. Again, this is normal, everyday marriage to her, not when she is mad. And this from a woman who pursued me fervently and pretended to be super-incredibly intimate….until I made the hideous mistake of marrying her. Talk about bait and switch. But now we have two young children. And she has shown me, especially lately, that I need to be here, because she does reckless neglectful things once in awhile with our children, like leaving them unattended in the bathtub when the youngest is only a year and a half, and letting them run around with sharp scissors. Not enough for any court to care about, but definitely enough to scare ME. So I need to be here to protect them as much as I can, at least till the youngest can swim and be safe around sharp objects.
I’m trapped; I’m doomed to more of this. It is hard to stay upbeat around the children while being so comprehensively and consistently ignored by my spouse in all phases of life requiring even one nanoparticle of intimacy of any kind whatsoever. I don’t know how I can hang on, but I have no choice.