Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Appreciate Your Husband's Sex Drive?

I subscribe to many Christian marriage related sites, both as a blogger and as a Facebook user.  "Your Husband's Sex Drive is God's Gift to You" was the latest headline and link shared on the Focus on Marriage Fan page yesterday.  It sure caught my attention.

The comments that followed clearly indicate two distinct reactions to this topic:  (1) wives who are grateful for God's gift of their husband's sex drive and (2) wives who are not.   What became painfully obvious were the many, varied, and unexpected obstacles to God's charge that wives respect their husband's desire for intimacy and sex.

Allow me to clarify.  The overall theme for my blog, Your Husband's Deepest Desire, is found in the teachings of Ephesians 5:33b (wives are to respect their husbands).  In a related book, "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs, he explains:
". . . sex is symbolic of [the husband's] deeper need - respect.  When a wife refuses, that symbolizes to him that she does not care about him and does not respect him and his need."
I am like most wives.  I have what I have always felt was a healthy sex drive.  I enjoy intimate moments with my husband and feel that we connect more completely through sexual relations than by any other means.  However, I do "get headaches" from time to time like every other wife.   If I am tired, irritated or emotionally spent, I will avoid intimacy completely.   I know that this is an area that needs improvement.

I am only recently beginning to see how I am responsible for bringing about that improvment.

The comment that I left on the article yesterday was this, "Why do we act as if a man's sex drive is a sin or a behavior bestowed upon him by Satan? Is not a man's sex drive a gift from God?" I never received a response, other than many people clicking the "like" button on my comment.

Why is it that we wives are apt to continue treating the human sex drive as a sin after we are married?  Maybe we don't treat it as a bad thing, but don't we wives often treat sex as an unwelcome thing?   I thought that starting a conversation about that topic would uncover and resolve the real issue.

The real issue is this:  Why do we avoid sex with our husbands rather than employ it for all of its benefits?
"If you really want his attention, work with the way God designed him. . . . Your sexual relationship may be the "on-ramp" to communication, conflict resolution, and building the emotional intimacy you are longing for."  (Juli Slattery)
When I was younger I would have felt repulsed by her suggestion but I recently reached that same conclusion myself.  You see, it wasn't until I was nearly 50 before I realized that my husband will provide all the emotional support I require (which is substantial) if I would give him the intimacy he needs.

Did I say "all" the emotional support I require?  It should say "and then some".  When I respect his desire for sex - and not always by merely "giving in" but by inviting, encouraging and enjoying it - my emotional needs are met.

I am in control.  I am not at the mercy of my husband's demeanor, energy or understanding. He is not required to read my mind or figure me out.  I recognize that he does not intuitively know what I need anyway so I'm crazy to demand that he acquire that instinct.   When I learned to respect the truth about my husband's nature, I realized that I can be in control.

To get what I need, I must take that control but I am not taking control by force or coercion.  I am employing the talents that God gave me and relying on the sex drive that God gave him in order to satisfy both of us.

When I initiate sexual intimacy I am not waiting for him to accidently realize that I need to be held, comforted or caressed.  Our communication is also greatly improved.   I am no longer waiting for him to open up and share his feelings, I am drawing those feelings out of him.
"While acknowledging that sex is a huge force in your husband's life, don't neglect the fact that God created that force for your use as well." (Juli Slattery)
Prayerfully consider the power of respecting your husband's desire for sexual intimacy.

Word to the Wives ~ ~ It can be easer to honor and respect your husband's need for sexual release when you initiate or encourage it yourself.
As low as $2.50 on a Note Card


Lisa♥H said...

I've heard it said, and have experienced it first hand, that sex is a great way to get rid of a headache ;o)
I completely agree with your post. I find that my husband and I are on the same track (in all ways) when his (and my) sexual needs are being met. That builds our intimacy in so many different ways. We just connect better!

Shell said...

I love this and whole heartedly agree. There's a post on my favs page about it- the title is something like everybody's doing it- let's talk about sex.

Thanks for linking up!

Aging Mommy said...

I think that for both men and women connection through the intimacy of sex is very important. It is an intimate act and without it a marriage is just a friendship, which can be wonderful but is not really a man and wife relationship then. I think it enables so very much within a marriage, fostering that special closeness. Interesting post.

Karen said...

I agree that sexual intimacy is so important to a healthy marriage. When my husband and I go for a long time without connecting in that way, we feel disconnected in so many other areas as well.

That being said, having 4 little boys ages 7 and under leaves me exhausted and with little left for my husband. At the end of the day I crave quiet, peace, and time to myself and a little time when I'm not being touched.

It is really, really hard to set aside myself for the sake of my husband's needs. And then, I start to have this inner dialogue (and I admit I let resentment creep in) - 'What has he done for me?' 'When's the last time he has sacrificed something he wants for something I want?' 'Why is it always the wife who is supposed to do the sacrificing?' And on and on.

I know those thoughts are not from God. But, it is so hard to shed this human skin.

Erin Wallace said...

I do believe that sexual intimacy with my husband is a gift from God, one that brings us closer, ties us together, and makes us one. However, I also think that it is important for our husbands to be in tune to our needs - if we are too tired, aren't feeling well, or really aren't that into it. I've found that a double standard seems to exist regarding this topic - if your husband is in the mood, it is your wifely duty to supply his needs; I've never seen this statement in regards to men and their needs. I am not anti-sex nor do I have any issues regarding sexual relations - those with my husband are wonderful. But I do think that if he or I just aren't up to it, it is both of our duties to understand that and wait for a better time.

xo Erin

Can I get an Amen?