Monday, 9 August 2010

Am I obligated to have sex whenever my spouse asks?

Winston Smith professor at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation answers the question, “Am I obligated to have sex whenever my spouse asks?”

Let’s pick up where Winston leaves off, namely are there other factors going on in the relationship? A leading culprit in the absence of intimacy is the absence of love and respect. Ephesians 5:33 is very clear; “husbands love your wives as you love yourself and wives respect your husband.” There has never been anyone who has loved someone else more than himself/herself, save Jesus. Yet this command is not an allegory meant to symbolically describe the way the husband should treat his wife. It is to be taken literally and it is not something that comes naturally to the man. Women on the other hand tend to be loving and nurturing so God is asking them to respect their husbands, regardless of whether or not they are deserving of respect. Why is respect so difficult for the wife, because in the Garden part of the curse which Eve was to bear was that she would struggle to dominate her husband, It is theoretically more difficult for the wife to respect than to love.

The answer is for the husband to learn from his wife how she wants to be loved. Is it flowers once a month, quality time each day, words of affirmation, or a hug? For the husband what does respect look like to him? Is it a thank you for providing each month, or a word of affirmation for something he does well?

"Sex is not just about scratching a biological itch, like being thirsty and needing a glass of water. Sex has a deep relational and theological meaning.
Sex is ultimately God expressing His love for His people. We tend to keep sex and God in different categories even though we recognize it is a gift from God.
We need to ask other questions when one of the partners desires to be intimate and the other doesn’t there is something going on at the heart level of our intimacy. If we are sexually infrequent and sexually frustrated there is a good chance that there are other negative factors in the relationship that are showing up in the bedroom. Sex can be a barometer.
Different levels of desires and excitement may call for one of the partners to be sacrificial."

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