When your wife says ‘No’, can you force her? : A Christian view of Sexuality

Welcome to Defender’s Voice. This is Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Send your questions to info@doctorpaul.org. Visit my website www.doctorpaul.org to subscribe to my podcast and to read my articles. 

Today’s question. Let me read the letter I received. 

“Is it right for a Christian wife to refuse sex with her husband? My wife and I are Christians. My wife often rejects my appeal for intercourse saying that I need to show more love in words and deeds in order for her to agree for intercourse. Is her demand right?. I am very worried as I am unable to show more love in words and deeds. Her continuing to reject me in context to intercourse is painful as a man. I feel rejected.” 

  This is a very interesting question. Thank you John for asking this question. I call everybody John because I want to keep your information confidential. Lot of Christians are having sex related problems. I would like to tell you 7 things. 

Principles 

First, we should start with Christian principles of sexuality. 

Sex is not a human right. It is a gift of God. 

    Our secular society portrays sex as a human right. Everyone deserves to have sex. There should be social justice. There should be equity in everything including sex. This view is unrealistic. If you look into our society, some people get lots and lots of sex while some people get nothing. If you go to a college campus, you see some guys changing girlfriends every month while some guys would never have a girlfriend during all four years. Many of them silently suffer the insult. But some of them become psychotic and even violent. Groups like Incel are born. They call themselves ‘involuntary celibate’, they are looking for romantic partners but not getting any one. They grow bitter and resentful. They even carried out terrorist attacks. They blame women for their loneliness. They consumed the lie that sex treats your loneliness. ‘You are lonely, that means you are not getting sex. You are lonely, that means no woman wants to be with you’. So, are women responsible for your loneliness and unfulfillment in life?  That is a dangerous view and it is creating terrorist groups in our neighborhoods. 

   God created sex for pleasure and procreation. But God’s intention was not to make sex as an agent of fulfillment. Sex cannot cure your loneliness. It cannot give you meaning in life. It cannot give you fulfillment in life. Only God can fill the void in your heart, make you happy, give you meaning and fulfillment in life. You can be sexless for an entire life and still can enrich your life with  great joy and satisfaction that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with being single. Married people are not more happy than singles. God can give you fulfillment even in your singlehood. So, don’t feel miserable if you are single. Don’t blame God for not giving you a partner. On the other hand, you can have lots of sex and live a very miserable life. 

   Hollywood and Bollywood created many big lies about sex: Sex is your right; Sex takes away your loneliness. Sexless life is not worth living. Monogamy is boring. More sex means more happiness. More partners mean more fulfillment.  They overrated sex. Hollywood and Bollywood distorted human sexuality. Only God gives us the right view of sexuality. Only God’s word helps you understand the true nature of sexuality. 

    Another lie is sex gives you liberation. Many young women bought into this lie. ‘I will take a birth control pill and I will have sex with as many guys I would like to have’. Serial monogamy or polyamory took over our society. If you are living such a lifestyle, you are a slave to sin. There is no freedom in that lifestyle. One day God will judge you for all the sexual sins you commit. Sex is not for freedom. It is not for fulfillment. It is not a civil right. 

     So, don’t go to your wife with an ‘incel’ mentality. You should not go to your wife and say, ‘This is my right. You should sleep with me now’. In some cultures, wives are raped by their husbands because those husbands think that they have right to have sex with their wives any time they would like to have.  Sex is a gift. Your spouse should voluntarily offer it to you. 

Purity 

   Another lie we are fed in our culture is ‘more porn means more sex’. Lots of couples are having sex problems because pornography entered their lives. I often think about what Malcolm Muggeridge said about this matter many years ago. Let me quote his words: 

“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.” 

Malcolm Muggeridge nailed it. Note those words:  having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. OC Pill, Scalpel and syringe. I will add a digital screen to that list. They took away our natural God given view of sex and procreation. 

     God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ in Genesis 1:22. God told Adam and Eve, ‘Have sex, procreate and fill this world’. Now, sex did not start after the Fall. There is nothing sinful about sex. The commandment in Genesis 1:22 was given before the Fall. But after the Fall, sin corrupted our view of sex.  After sin entered the human race, we separated sex from procreation. No wonder, if you take a look at today’s US census, the fertility rate is at its lowest level. Lots of sex but no procreation. Muggeride also said, ‘his own impotence out of his own erotomania’. Impotence out of Erotomania. We are becoming impotent out of our erotomania. Pornography is destroying sexuality of many couples. Porn used to be a man’s problem. Now, it also became a woman’s problem. So, if you want to have great sex, put away all pornography. 

Proverbs 5:15-19 says  ‘Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.’ Pornography is like trying to drink from other people’s well. It is not going to satisfy you because God does not bless it. 

Practice 

Then, practice. You wrote, “I am very worried as I am unable to show more love in words and deeds.” That is not right. You want sex but you don’t want to show love in words and deeds. Sex should be an expression of love. You should not separate the two. You can express your love by determination. You should not say ‘I am unable’. Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 13:4, ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered’. Love is kind, it is not self-seeking. Love is not an abstraction. It should reflect in words and actions. In Christian view of sex, the first priority is your spouse. ‘My wife’s enjoyment is more important than my enjoyment. My husband’s enjoyment is more important than my own enjoyment’. That is how we should think. 

Preparation 

You wrote, “My wife and I are Christians. My wife often rejects my appeal for intercourse saying that I need to show more love in words and deeds in order for her to agree for intercourse. Is her demand right?. I am very worried as I am unable to show more love in words and deeds.” 

     Her demands are right. You can’t just show up and demand sex from her. We got this ‘fast food’ mentality. When we are hungry, we say, ‘where is the nearest drive-thru?’ Drive, get the sandwich, eat it. We are used to this fast food mentality. You are going to your wife with the same mentality. I am ready, give it now. It is not going to work. You need to prepare. Take time to spend with your wife. Take her flowers. Exercise every day. That will boost your physical energy. Eat healthy food. 

    Ephesians 5:33 says, ‘Each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her’. Christ and his bride, the Church. Christ is like the husband and church is like a wife. Christ loved his church unconditionally and offered himself for the church. A husband should reflect this image of Christ in his marriage. On the other hand, the Church should submit to Christ. A wife should reflect this image of Church in her marriage. 

     Husband should love his wife and the wife should respect and submit to her husband. It is easy to submit to someone who loves you. So, if you love your wife in words and actions, you will make it easy for her to submit to you, even in bed. Husband should love, the wife should submit. It is hard to love someone who does not submit. It is hard to submit to someone who does not love. But, if you both do your parts, your bond will get stronger. 

Prayer 

  When you pray together, your hearts and minds come together. In prayer, you open your hearts and minds before God. It brings fellowship between you and your wife. Confess your sins before God. That cleans up any guilt that hinders your fellowship with one another and with God. So, spend more time in prayer. That enhances your fellowship, it brings your hearts and minds together and soon your bodies will be united. 

     Prayer brings you and your wife into a common bond. Talking about bonds, I heard something interesting today. Suppose if you buy a Treasury Bond from the government, the government is obligated to pay you back with interest at the maturity of that bond. Oxford English dictionary says the root of the word bond is the middle English word band, one meaning of which is a plain ring for the finger, such as a wedding ring. So a Treasury bond and a wedding ring are both promises. Then the professor said, ‘in its entire history, the United States has never broken its Treasury bone promises. It has never defaulted on a bond. It has always kept its promises to pay. The same cannot be said for the promises made by those who exchange rings’. That is tragic. Marriage is a bond. When you and your spouse pray, it will strengthen your bond. It will strengthen your intimacy. It will protect your marriage from divorce and separation. 

Presence 

    Then the presence of our being. Many times, we are physically there with someone but our mind is not there. We have so many gadgets to distract us. We look so often into our mobile phones, what is on Amazon, what is on the News, what is on TV, what is on this app, what is on that app, we are easily distracted from our loved ones. We spend little time with our loved ones. Even during those few hours, we are into our phones and televisions. That seriously distracts our fellowship. We do not give them the impression that we take them seriously. When you are around your wife, put away your cell phone, give her the feeling that she is the most important person in your life and the object of all your affection. If she has to compete with your mobile phone, to get your attention, that will make her feel unimportant and unwanted. ‘When it is raining, listen to the sound of the rain drops’. That sounds a little Zen, but that is what we need. The presence of mind. 

Prescription 

Finally, prescription. Sex is a neurovascular event. If you have neurological problems, vascular problems, psychological problems or any other health problem, get medical attention, because they can influence your sexuality. I have so many patients in my practice who come to me for viagra. It became one of my most prescribed medications, because a lot of men are having issues with erection. In our body, Nitric oxide induces vascular relaxation and promotes erection. Medications like Viagra (Sildenafil), vardenafil, tadalafil they increase the concentration of nitric oxide and boost your performance. 

   Viagra is not the answer to every one. Sexual dysfunction has many causes. But for patients who have vascular issues, I prescribe viagra. So, make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your health issues. 

   So, those are the 7 things I advise you to boost your sexual intimacy. 

Principles, 

Purity 

Practice

Preparation

Presence 

Prayer 

Prescription 

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