A month ago, we started a new series of seven blogs designed to recognize unhealthy habits. If you missed the last four weeks check out our first FOUR Highly Defective Habits:
Habit #1: Spiritual Continuity.
Habit #2: The Single Life
Habit #3: The Fun-less Couple
Habit #4: Criticism Floods
Here we go…#5 on the list of my 7 Habits of Highly Defective Marriages:
Habit #5: Inconsistent Sex
adjective: not staying the same throughout
Synonyms: unstable, irregular, unsteady, unsettled, uneven
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
The subject that people, single and marriage, have a hard time talking about but don’t mind reading out is sex. When it comes to sex, it is the action that provides so much enjoyment yet so much conflict. The most common sexual conflict in marriage is in reference to frequency. In that average couple (not always the case) one spouse tends to have a higher libido and want more sex than the other. This leads the spouse with the higher sex drive to feeling under appreciated, unimportant, and unloved.
“Why doesn’t my wife want me?”
“Why doesn’t my husband desire me?”
“Why won’t she initiate anything?”
“Why won’t he touch me?”
This begins a spinning carousel of chaos where the other spouse thinks:
“Is sex all they want from me?”
“What about my love language?”
“I shouldn’t have to do something I don’t want.”
It’s at this place where it feels like the wheels are falling off. The carousal of sexual chaos is spinning and you don’t know how to stop the cycle that continues to stifle the marital joy. Your marriage isn’t the only one dealing with this. Couples struggle with sex being inconsistent (unstable, irregular, unsteady, unsettled, uneven). I’m not saying “inconsistent” as it is HAS TO HAPPEN on certain days at certain times. What I mean is your marital sex life has become irregular and unsteady. It’s in a cycle of instability and frustration. It is vital to break this cycle that most couples fall into at one time or another.
There is no magic number. I’m not after getting you to the average frequency of the american couple. What I’m after is CONSISTENCY. What helps is remembering what 1 Corinthians 7 tells us.
“Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree“
I’ve never met a couple who had a consistent healthy sex life who wanted a divorce. But the act of depriving (deny a person the possession or use of something), has been used to destroy so many marriages. Let me clear the air on this: There is a difference between refusing occasionally and depriving someone habitually. If depriving has become your habit. You’ve let selfishness creep in. My wife says it best, “You are the only one that can meet the sexual needs of your spouse. No one else can. If you don’t, you’re opening up the door for the enemy to try to use someone else to fill in that need.” (Anne is a wise woman.)
“Do not Deprive” simply means…
- Sexual intimacy is a God-given gift given to your marriage. To deprive your spouse is to deprive them of a gift from God
- Sex isn’t a weapon to wield for power in the marriage. It cannot be used for leverage or manipulation.
- You are not after the minimum. You are just “doing your duty”. You’re after experiencing the gift TOGETHER. Sex connects us on three levels: physical, spiritual, and emotional…but that’s for another blog
- You are after intimacy and not just release. It’s not about releasing frustration. Sex is at the deepest level of intimacy and should be treated and enjoyed as such.
You have to start by taking your SELF off of it. It’s recognizing that if you as a couple remove selfish needs and wants and walk in a manner that says, according to 1 Corinthians 7, “your body belongs to me and mine belongs to you.” I even love how the section ends. If you step away because you MUTUALLY decided to do it for a time, come together to make sure the enemy cannot tempt you at all.
The result of a consistent sex life is simple: It will be a mutually fulfilling sex life. It sounds easier on the blog that it is to be reality. But the beauty of it is it’ll be more fun to practice than it will be to read. As I said earlier, I’ve never met a couple who had a consistent healthy sex life who wanted a divorce. Why? Because at the center of a consistent sex life, was a self-less, humble, servant-like heart.
And that makes for a HIGHLY EFFECTIVE marriage (and a fun one at that).
Stop being defective…
Stop being inconstant with your marital sex life…
Stop depriving and enjoy each other.
Thanks for letting me ramble…