Alright, married ladies, I’m talking to you today. I’m going to start off with a contentious statement that I’m sure will ruffle not just a few feathers: we do not have enough sex with our husbands.
I can hear you already! But Kathryn! You don’t understand! I had a long day at work! I don’t feel sexy! It takes too long to get in the mood! It’s my body anyway! My kids…! [insert every other excuse in the book] Yeah, I know. I use those same excuses. Too much.Now, I want to be very clear. I’m not referring to the times when you do not want to have sex for legitimate spiritual, physical, or emotional reasons. These times do exist, and you do have a right to say no. In the same way your husbands have that same right. Paul mentions this is 1 Corinthians 7:5. I’m referring to the times when you are just thinking “Eh, I’m not really feeling it.” I’m referring to the times when maybe it feels like a chore.
Before you go thinking that I have a rip-roaring sex life, that’s far from the truth. This is probably the number one argument between my husband and myself. (And, a quick Google search of “the top arguments in marriage” would suggest to me that it is probably also in your top 5.) This is what the Lord has laid on my heart to think about the past few weeks. So I want to exhort you, married ladies. I want to share with you what the Lord has been sharing with me.
First, how important is it to take care of our brothers in Christ? (Side note: I know it’s a little off-putting to think about our husbands as our brothers, but please suspend mere terminology for a moment.) It’s extremely important! Paul goes on at length in Romans 14 to “never put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” We ourselves may not be sinning by not consenting to sex, but we may be causing our brothers to sin, or to be tempted to sin. Paul clarifies this in 1 Corinthians 7:5 when he says “…but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you…” With sex-culture and pornography literally bombarding us at every turn, let’s not make it harder on our brothers.
Also, I know that it is a common argument—especially in our modern American culture—to claim our bodies as our own and that no one can tell us what to do with them. I would like to respectfully point out this argument is hogwash. Our bodies are not our bodies. They are foremost God’s bodies. We are His creation. Secondarily, when we get married, we consent to give authority of our bodies to our husbands (1 Corinthians 7:4). Don’t get your feminist panties in a bunch as I’m inclined to do! If you read that verse again, you’ll see our husbands do the same for us.
Second, sex can be and very much is an act of worship. We can renew the covenant of marriage and reflect the covenant of Christ to His Church! How crazy is that to think about? I was going to try to explain this, but Tim Keller does a much more eloquent job of it:
The ultimate covenant renewal ceremony is the Lord’s Supper. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper renews the covenant made at baptism; through the break of bread and pouring out of wine it reenacts the selfless sacrifice of Jesus to us. In addition, in the receiving and eating of the sacrament it reenacts the giving of ourselves to Jesus. We reenact the total commitment and oneness we have in Christ as a way of renewing and deepening that oneness. In the same way, marriage is a covenant, one that creates a place of security for vulnerability. But though covenant is necessary for sex, sex is also necessary for covenant. The covenant will grow stale unless we continually revisit and reenact it. Sex is a covenant renewal ceremony for marriage, the physical reenactment of the inseparable oneness in all other areas—economic, legal, personal, psychological—created by the marriage covenant. Sex renews and revitalizes the marriage covenant. (The Gospel and Sex)
Finally, c’mon, ladies, sex is awesome! God made it that way! He could have made intimacy with our spouses to be saying a few sentimental words or a nice walk around the block. He could have made reproduction a handshake or the exchange of a strand of hair or toenail or something. Instead, we get to enjoy sex. We get to enjoy our spouses in the most intimate way one can experience another human being. There’s even a whole chapter of the Bible dedicated to “experiencing” our spouses—and not just for reproductive purposes.
Just take a moment to check out these two passages: Song of Solomon 1:2-4 and Song of Solomon 2:3-6.
Y’all, that is in the Bible! That is the word of God! It’s a little ironic to me that the young woman who is emoting in the passage above follows in the next verse with some advice to single women: “you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Thanks, young woman, but it’s a little hard when you are using language like that!
So I’ll close with this exhortation. When your husband taps you on the shoulder or starts romantic talk, don’t shrug him off with one of the many excuses we as women can come up with. Try it for a week. Try it for a month. Make it a habit. See what happens. And let’s be real. Have you ever consented to sex when you’re not 100% in the mood and afterward thought “Well, dang. I’m really upset I did that?” No? Yeah, that’s my experience too.
P.S. Single ladies, I apologize for tackling this raw topic that is not applicable to you right now. But I encourage you to keep it in your back pocket until the time is ready.