Monday, July 28, 2014

Should You Only Have Sex When You Feel Like It?

My last post actually started as a comment on the Matt Walsh Blog which generated over 1,300 likes and dozens of comments in the first 24 hours. So I figured more people would want to read it and posted it on my blog. Apparently, my comment is the sort of thing that people either love or hate passionately because there were also many comments that ardently disagreed. One of the chief criticisms (besides the oft-repeated declaration that I "don't know anything about feminism") had to do with this statement:

"Feminism told them that it's degrading to be a stay-at-home mom or to submit to a husband or to want a lot of children. They should never have sex with their husbands unless they feel like it. They should never let a man make decisions for their family."

Specifically, a lot of people had a problem with the second sentence in that quote. They objected to the idea that a woman should ever have sex with her husband when she doesn't feel like it.

But I absolutely stand by that statement. I think it's perfectly normal and right for a woman to have sex with her husband even when she doesn't feel like it. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say that a woman ought to have sex with her husband even when she doesn't feel like it - at least sometimes.

That sounds like a radical idea, I know. Our society has become so feminized that this idea is actually considered crazy or weird or somehow the same as saying women should be raped. It's not.

You see, there are lots of things we do that we don't feel like doing. I don't always feel like getting up in the morning, making breakfast, feeding my kids, cleaning the house, changing diapers, going to the store, or a million other things I do. But I do them because they need to be done and because I love my family. My feelings don't rule me. I make decisions based on love for my family and what needs to be done to care for their needs.

It should be the same in for caring for my husband's needs, including his need for sex.

Of course, the usual response at this point is to ask whether I consider sex some painful, unpleasant duty. I get people saying my sex life must be horrible. On the contrary.

You see, it is a modern and erroneous notion that "duty" is a bad word and the opposite of "pleasant." But that is a false dichotomy. There is no inherent reason that duties cannot be pleasant. Nor does doing something out of duty mean that one cannot enjoy it. Of course, not all duties are fun, but they don't have to be unpleasant simply because we have a duty to do them.

For example, I may not feel, at the moment, like taking my girls outside to play. It's hot. I'm tired. I have dishes to do. But they want to play outside and the fresh air and sunshine will do them good. So I go because I love them and have a duty to care for their needs. One of their needs is play time and time with mommy. But once we're outside, we have a great time and I'm glad I did it. Duty, in this case, was not preventing me from having fun. In fact, duty helped me overcome laziness, lower priority tasks, and distractions that would have prevented me from having fun with my girls.

There are many other things which work similarly. I have a duty to read and study the Bible, and I enjoy it. I have a duty to feed my family, and I also enjoy it. I have a duty to vote and participate in my government, and I don't find that duty horrid or burdensome. I have a duty to be a witness to those around me, and I find that duty agreeable.  I have a duty to clean my house...ok, maybe I don't necessarily enjoy that one, but it isn't some horrible thing I do just because I have to either. I do it because I love my family. And having a clean home is certainly enjoyable.

In the same way, I have a duty to have sex with my husband, and I also enjoy it greatly. There is no contradiction there.

Another thing to consider is the design of female sexuality. Women are less likely than men to be aroused out of the blue. We women often need touch, closeness, and the right mindset to get us in the mood for sex. If a wife is waiting for the mood to strike her before she says yes, it may be a long time and it will take a toll on their marital intimacy. Thus, women who go ahead and engage (not just laying there, but actively participating), even if they weren't initially in the mood, will often find that they warm up as they go along and end up enjoying it. And the emotional intimacy that comes from physical intimacy will strengthen the marriage and bring husband and wife closer together.

So, if duties aren't necessarily unpleasant or a hardship and women can often enjoy sex if they will choose to engage, then pointing out the duty to have sex within marriage doesn't mean that sex becomes unpleasant or forced. Sure, it could be that way if you let it. But it doesn't have to be. If you have the right mindset, recognizing the duty to have sex can help you overcome laziness, lower priorities, and distractions that would prevent you from having the vibrant, intimate, and fun sex life that God intended you to have in your marriage.

71 comments:

  1. Hi Lindsay, Great article. I just wanted to post up here and see if you had ever heard to Mark Gungor. He's a Christian pastor, and is thoughtful and hilarious on the topic. You can see a bunch of his videos on youtube. They are excellent.

    I also think that its worth noting good 'ol Ephesians 5.

    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    People get the wrong idea here, thinking that Women are just supposed to submit and be subject to the husband. However, if you really dig into it, it is quite the opposite.

    Wives are called to submission - Sub - Under - Mission. Go under the mission... of their husbands. And what is the husbands mission? To lay down his life. To die to himself (daily), for his bride. Just like Christ dies for his bride, the Church. Women are called to submit, and allow their husbands to lay down their lives for them! The bible isn't putting Men above women, more like the opposite.

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    1. The name Mark Gungor sound vaguely familiar, but I couldn't tell you anything about what he says.

      I can agree with some of what you say, but not all. I agree that a woman is to join with the mission of her husband. However, I don't agree that the husband's mission in life is to serve his wife. The husband's mission is to serve God. The husband should also be willing to die for his wife, if necessary, but the life mission of every believer is to serve God. When the Bible speaks of daily dying, it refers to dying to ourselves and our sinful desires in order to please Christ. Wives are not goddesses to be served by their husbands. Neither are husbands gods to be served by their wives. Both husband and wife are to work as a team to serve God. Neither is above the other, but they are equal with different roles.

      In a Christian marriage, a wife should get on board with the specific mission that God has called her husband to. If her husband is called to be a missionary, she should go with her husband and work to help him be as effective a missionary as possible. If her husband is called to defend the Bible through apologetics in the church, she should help and encourage him to be as effective as possible in that mission. Whatever her husband is doing for the Lord, she should make it her mission to help his mission succeed.

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    2. Wives are called to be their husbands help meet. We are to serve them and even called to obey them. Neither wife nor husband is better, it is simply God's ordained order.

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    3. "thinking that Women are just supposed to submit and be subject to the husband"

      Yeah, taking it to mean what is says would be really bad, right?

      Why are we so paranoid of some Biblical concepts these days? I would rather recommend finding what it does say and focusing on that. Excusing it away with lots of handwaving is "making the Word of God of no effect through your traditions." Jesus got on the Pharisees for that.

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  2. Perhaps a "woman not feeling like it" a little too often can lead a man into temptation, and the other way around. Biblically, we are admonished to NOT defraud each other and to "give" to each others needs. It says nothing about the wife being ready or wanting to have sex. Love is giving, not taking. It is just sad what women have become in the popular culture. When man and woman become one, they give to each other whether they want to or not. If you don't like the role of spouse or wife, don't get married. You and your husband will be miserable. And for goodness sake, don't make an enemy out of your husband because some feminist said he is an inferior man who should not lead you or ask you for sex when you don't want it.

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  3. Great post, Lindsay! The Bible commands that women love their husbands which includes giving them frequent sex. When you truly love someone, you do many things to make them happy and their lives better even if you don't always "feel" like it.

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    1. Lori, amen. Please share this with all the Christian women (young and old) that you know. Feminism has destroyed young Christian women's view on sex ("if you're not in the mood and he has to talk you into it, that constitutes as rape"). Ultimately, sexless marriages or duty sex marriages lead to divorce or a lifelong marriage full of anger and resentment. Thank you for your amazing opinion.

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    2. Little lube goes a long way eh?,, and whats ten minutes out of the little misses day

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  4. Its so nice to see a refreshing perspective on sex in marriage that doesn't make it sound like sex is only for the husband. As a husband myself, I don't enjoy sex if my wife isn't enjoying it. I do not want to use her for my own selfish needs and wants. I would much prefer a mutually enjoyable experience that meets needs in both directions. Female sexuality its much more sophisticated than that of the male and the long history of sexual suppression of women is infuriating to me. Nothing is more beautiful than a sexually confident woman who has fully "bloomed" into her sexual maturity and embraces that side of her self.

    I realize that stereotypes exist for a reason, but they are changing. Its just so nice to see someone commenting on these issues from such a rational and refreshing perspective. Imagine the difference it could make if more wives understood the principles you describe. I think men would rise to the challenge.

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  5. I loved your post on the matt walsh blog. It's brilliant and indirectly shows the light of 1 Corinthians 7: 3-5.

    Also the honest truth that you mentioned. "The other factor at play is that women are most attracted to men when men are most masculine. It's masculine and attractive to women for men to be in charge, confident, powerful, and robust." For younger guys looking to go off to a christian school and get married one day. Could you give us advice and tips on how your husband shows his masculinity that excites you to help us do the same for our wives? I think many Christian men want to turn our wives on as much as they want to turn us on.

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    1. That might make for a good blog post. Stay tuned.

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    2. I sure will. I already bookmarked this page so I can keep up. I'm visiting your blog as well as Matt Walsh's everyday now. I just wanted to ask for a Godly woman's advice so im prepared this kind of stuff because it isn't easy to talk about in my church unfortunately. I don't know if small groups would even be that honest. So im definitely looking forward to it! Thanks

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  6. "Our society has become so feminized that this idea is actually considered crazy or weird or somehow the same as saying women should be raped."

    I think you're right, and it's probably going to get much much worse. Funny thing, two men having sex doesn't seem weird at all but two married people having sex when one would rather read a book IS weird.

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  7. Lindsay, I think the notion of submission is the most difficult point for women to swallow in their journey to become feminine. I've wrestled with how could and why would such a thing be asked of them. I finally found my answers and posted them in the 4th to last paragraph of this post just tonight!

    http://genderrific.blogspot.com/2014/06/his-and-her-blessing-and-burden.html

    I then read your comment on Matt Walsh's Blog, followed it to this post, and have linked your post to that paragraph. It seems fortuitous, and I want to thank you for validating my impression, through some of your posts and comments, that the submission of women is equal to the sacrifice of man. I have historically felt some shame about Biblical and cultural norms which say that a wife should submit to her husband. As I see how important and valuable masculine roles are - how vital their contribution to society - I also see how equality requires just as much of feminine roles. I have found your views to be SPOT. ON., and I look forward to anything you post. I would especially appreciate more expounding on HOW submission to a man does not make a woman inferior to him.

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    1. I agree that both men and women have blessings and burdens in their roles. Neither is above the other and both are called to make sacrifices. Yet when both do their part, the family is stronger, happier, and healthier.

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  8. I must admit, when I got married last year, I totally didn't agree with this, until my pastor mentioned it being essential for a Marriage to work, and that it is following God's word. I can't say that I have sex every single time my husband is in the mood (seriously, the wind could blow and he'd be ready to go) lol but I've made a conscious effort to say yes more often than no and I've realized it's made us much closer. Although I submit to my Husband and understand he makes the family decisions, we both went to college together, and now work in the real world, and some of these comments are confusing me, and making me wonder if I'm missing something/doing something wrong. It seems like sometimes Christian women think of themselves of being the supporter while God calls the husband to do great things...but what about us? If my job was to want me to move out of state, would it be ok to make that move, or not in God's will because it didn't happen to Jeremy? Is it ok that although I respect Jeremy, I also think I have an important part in this marriage and want to be able to lovingly voice my opinions/concerns?

    Just figuring this out, we celebrated our first year of marriage in June so this a new journey. I want to abide by the Word of God, but sometimes, I don't know if the Christian wife examples I'm seeing are accurate.

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    1. Good for you that you listened to your pastor and are working to submit to your husband and have a vibrant sex life in your marriage. It sounds like you are on the right track and asking the right questions. You're still just starting on your journey, as am I. I'm a little further along though, so maybe I can offer a few words of encouragement.

      As for your questions about a wife having a career and goals of her own, I wrote a new post to address that issue. http://lindsays-logic.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-vital-importance-of-wife-and-mother.html

      To answer your more specific questions, I wrote a post about how we settle problems and disagreements and it involves both of us unless we cannot come to an agreement. http://lindsays-logic.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-settle-disagreements-without.html

      A wife absolutely has every right to voice her opinions and concerns and have a say in making decisions for her family. A marriage is not a dictatorship where one makes all the decisions without the input and influence of the other. But neither is it a pure democracy either. The husband does have override power in cases where they cannot agree.

      To address your scenario where you got a job somewhere else, it would be a decision for you and your husband to make together. In general, it makes more sense for the husband to build a career since it is his responsibility to provide while a woman's primary responsibility is the home and any children. So in most cases, a wife should stay where her husband has a job so that he can build seniority and a lasting career. There may be some cases where moving for a wife's job is best, especially if it also provides opportunity for the husband's career. That is a decision to make together. But what you don't want to do is to build a career at the expense of your responsibilities in the home or get used to a lifestyle that requires you to continue working outside the home after you have children.

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    2. That sounds like a good direction, though watch that you keep it focused. It may seem like the guy can have sex at the drop of a hat, without the hat, but you don't want to help enable pressure and habits that push him to fulfill that desire elsewhere.

      Men may need to sometimes restrain themselves, but the point of getting married is to provide a release for that, not to continue to stuff it. A wise wife will not allow her husband to be pulled away from approaching his wife when such desires hit.

      I have some experience in this since I will have been married 26 years in August. My wife never had the same sex drive I had, though she mostly goes along as needed. The pressure does ease as you get older, but even getting involved in hobbies or such instead of that may not be a good thing overall for a marriage as it takes what should draw a couple together and instead pulls them apart.

      Just something to consider. A wise man won't push sex when it is truly not reasonable, but a lot of what is reasonable is perverted by the attitudes noted in the OP.

      A related note: How ironic is it our society says that sex is great and wonderful before marriage, but then greatly rations it after marriage. That is the exact opposite of reality and is one of the reasons things are going the wrong way!

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  9. As a married man, I fully agree, though granted I could be biased, but as one who has done sermons at church before, I have often wanted to preach now about the way men and women are to interact in marriage.

    What women don't often realize is just how much this means to their husbands. If we have to go without, it is really difficult for us to focus on anything else and we are more prone to withdraw. Now that doesn't justify a man being unloving to his wife of course, but it does mean that it can be a whole lot easier for a woman to get the love she wants when she's fulfilling her end of the deal.

    On the other hand, if women want men to do things for them more around the house, well here's the secret. Have a lot of sex. Give your husband sex on a regular basis and you will be amazed at how much he is willing to do for you. I was even thinking the other day about how in so many Disney movies we seem to have a Prince Charming concept where the woman dreams of being swept off her feet.

    I think those same dreams apply to men also. Men dream of being seduced by their wives. The sad part is that for too many men, if they aren't being seduced by their wives, they are more prone to dream of being seduced elsewhere. As one counselor I heard put it to a woman, "Your husband is going to have a love affair with someone. You'd better make sure it's you."

    It's also no shock I think that the greatest expressions of love usually come out in the bedroom. Is sex everything? Nope. It sure is a whole lot and I don't think women honestly understand just how much this means to us men. For us, our whole identity is wrapped up here and we need that constant affirming from our wives that "You are the man I chose and today, I am choosing you again."

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    1. Great points Nick. The withdrawal that results is not always recognized as the true danger to a marriage that it is.

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    2. "On the other hand, if women want men to do things for them more around the house, well here's the secret. Have a lot of sex. Give your husband sex on a regular basis and you will be amazed at how much he is willing to do for you. "

      Completely FALSE!!!! My husband and I have a GREAT sex life and he STILL won't help. Speak for YOURSELF! And not EVERYONE ELSE!!!!

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    3. " Is sex everything? Nope. It sure is a whole lot and I don't think women honestly understand just how much this means to us men. For us, our whole identity is wrapped up here and we need that constant affirming from our wives that "You are the man I chose and today, I am choosing you again." "

      I honestly believe this has to do with whether who hS the higher libido. It isn't just men who do this. And men can have the lower libido too.
      I've been on both sides. So i know what it feels like. I'm a woman. I've talked to my husband about this and I definitely think it just depends on having a lower or higher libido on how you feel about it.

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  10. What if it's the other way around and it's the husband that always needs convincing to have sex? I'm 36 and newly married, but he's 45 and has been married before. I never so much as even kissed someone before marriage while he has been around the block a few times. He doesn't see that it's still new to me even if it's old hat to him.

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    1. That's a hard place to be. The Bible teaches that neither spouse is to deny the other sex (I Cor. 7). Sex is an important part of marriage, not just a fringe benefit or something you squeeze in if you feel like it. It's an integral part of what marriage is. It is not right for either a husband or a wife to refuse sex all the time. Both husband and wife have a duty to fulfill the sexual needs of their spouse.

      Of course, knowing that doesn't help you because you already want sex and aren't getting it. You're in the position of about 25% of wives who have a higher sex drive than their husbands. It's not that uncommon. I'm no expert, but I can point you to some articles that may help.
      http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/09/husband-doesnt-want-sex/
      http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/12/wifey-wednesday-understanding-the-higher-drive-spouse-bread-or-tomatoes/

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  11. So it's okay for you to make an effort and have sex with your husband when you don't feel like it, but he can't make the effort to arouse you sexually in order to make you want sex? That's such a sad perspective! Relationships are a partnership, and both sides have to try as hard. Biology makes men and women different, but as a couple, you should both try to make it work despite the differences and use them as something that makes you stronger as a couple. Having sex when your husband wants it is a noble thing to do sometimes, but you should also remember that you are an individual and just like his wishes and needs have to be fulfilled, yours do too, so if for some reason you don't want to have sex on a certain time, that's fine! he should be okay with that because you make the effort for him in other times. He should also make the effort to arouse you sexually sometimes and he should enjoy that since making you happy should make him happy as well, that's marriage, a partnership.

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    1. "So it's okay for you to make an effort and have sex with your husband when you don't feel like it, but he can't make the effort to arouse you sexually in order to make you want sex?"

      I never once said anything of the kind. Of course the husband has a responsibility to try to arouse his wife and to make it pleasant for her. A wife's pleasure is just as important as the husband's in the bedroom. Sex isn't just for men, it's for women too. I never said anything to the contrary.

      What I said is that women should make an effort to say yes, even if they aren't necessarily in the mood right now, "at least sometimes." In other words, wives shouldn't make it all about themselves. It shouldn't be a case of "I don't want it, so you don't get any either" all the time. They should recognize their duty to work at it, even if they would rather do something else because their husband's needs are important too.

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    2. A wife could say "Well my husband should be doing XYZ" to make me feel aroused and loved. Truth there? She's entirely right. Her husband should be doing things to make her feel aroused and loved.

      But what if he doesn't?

      Does that mean "Well if he's not going to do his part, I'm not going to do mine."? If so, then your behavior would be just as bad as what you condemn in your husband.

      The one way husbands and wives should compete with one another really is to try to outdo the other in love and service.

      Lindsay's post in this case was addressed to the wives. When she writes to husbands, I'm sure she will state the things we need to do, but for now, she should not be faulted for not saying something that isn't even the topic of her post.

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    3. Thank you, Nick. That's exactly right.

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    4. The danger with the idea that "the husband should be doing X" is that the list of "X" items never ends. We are all responsible to control our own moods.

      Also think about whether you would apply the same principle to a man. Would he have the right to not take care and provide for his family if he didn't feel like doing so? Can I stay home and play computer games all day instead of going to work if my wife isn't doing an "X" that I think I need to get in the mood to go to work?

      I drag myself to work when I have to because that is part of caring for my wife as Christ loves the Church. Why is that "do it regardless" attitude something we only think men should do? (Not in the OP, but a general thought in many.)

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  12. And duty rhymes with booty....so it must be good. Thats a joke. Just trying to lighten it up after the last post. Great write up, by the way!

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  13. Lindsay,

    While I applaud your stand on abortion and the courage to take on the big issues, I think you are stepping into dangerous waters here by having the same approach to very personal and private activities which by definition do not involve anyone else.

    Sex is a private matter between individuals, and nobody in the church has the right to come into the bedroom of another couple to give arbitrary advise or make suggestions about how they should act. The marriage of two people is a threefold cord. Man, wife, God. It does not involve pastors, friends, relatives or anyone else. I have been married for 25 years, have three grown children and can say with confidence that any personal issue which I have needed help with has always been able to be resolved between my husband and myself through prayer, discussion and sometimes reading.

    While scripture is clear on so many things relating to how we live as Christians, it is completely silent about the most intimate details of our lives. There is a reason for this. I don’t believe Paul would have preached or written on the issue of sex, simply because it wasn’t a public issue. Nor does it honour the privacy of individuals, personal boundaries and the sense of the holiness of the marriage union. These things have been eroded in the world to the point of utter abandonment, but I don’t believe God has abandoned them.

    THAT is what the sanctity and holiness of marriage is about. You are accountable to God for your actions, the way you relate to your husband in all areas of life. I do not believe that the blogosphere is the place for christians to discuss other people’s sex lives.


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    1. I am not discussing "other people's sex lives." I am talking about principles that apply to people's sex lives. And those principles are both Biblical and practical.

      The Bible does, in fact, tell us a lot about what our sex lives are to look like. For example, the Bible tells us that sex is for married people and that sex outside marriage is wrong. Applying that principle within a marriage, it tells us that sex involving third parties (whether physically present or in the form of porn) is wrong because it violates the exclusivity of marriage.

      In the case of this article, the Bible teaches us that husbands and wives are not deprive one another. It's a very clear statement in I Cor. 7:3-5 that denying each other should be short-term, mutual, and for the purpose of prayer and that a person's body belongs to their spouse. That doesn't necessarily mean that a wife can never say no, but she shouldn't say no all the time simply because she doesn't feel like having sex.

      What married people want to do together in the private of their own bedrooms is indeed their business and I don't want to know about it or talk about it in any specific detail. However, there are Biblical principles that govern the sex life of a believer, just as there are for the rest of life. If God thought it important enough to give us those guidelines and make them available publicly in the Bible, then it must be something that needs to be talked about and that believers should be taught.

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    2. Part of the mistake is in our thinking that sex is a private matter. It's not. Now what happens in the bedroom? Yes. That is private. The effects? Those are not private? Want proof? Go see your neighbor and when you finish visiting them, then you can consider that the reason your neighbor exists is because two people had sex one day.

      Reality is that sex is in a sense very very much public and for we who are Christians, the world doesn't hesitate to get its message out of what sex is. There's no hesitation that casual sex is okay and it's just something that you do together when you've been dating awhile and the world has bought into this sham of sex that jumps into the shallow end thinking that's the best thing in the world not realizing that Christianity offers an ocean of sex that someone can immerse themselves in by following the Biblical worldview on sexuality.

      The church HAS to talk about sex. I'd in fact encourage a pastor to have a sermon on sexual issues once a month at least. They also need to watch how this is given. I still remember being a college guy and going to my church to hear a Silver Ring Thing service where the pastor got up to talk about sex to encourage the youth and in the middle of the sermon, I got bored. If you are teaching about sex and a college guy gets bored, you are teaching about sex wrong.

      Unfortunately, his message was all negative. He said if you have sex before marriage, it will be for selfish reasons. Okay. Fair enough. Then he went on "Think about what if you got an STD or what if you got pregnant or how ashamed you'll feel later on or what you'll tell your future spouse someday on a wedding night." I was listening and thinking "Pastor. Those sound like selfish reasons to me." There was no positive given about the joy of sex in marriage and how special it is to wait and giving a whole worldview on sex which is what our youth need because a few verses in Paul will not be enough to stop things when they're alone with their date on a couch somewhere.

      If we're not talking about sex openly and honestly, then the youth will get the worldview of sex that is being talked about openly and honestly, that of the popular media. They will believe that side because they haven't heard the other.

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  14. This article hit home for me on many more areas than just "sex" (sex is not a duty for me...). I loved this, "You see, it is a modern and erroneous notion that "duty" is a bad word and the opposite of "pleasant." But that is a false dichotomy. There is no inherent reason that duties cannot be pleasant. Nor does doing something out of duty mean that one cannot enjoy it. Of course, not all duties are fun, but they don't have to be unpleasant simply because we have a duty to do them."

    As a happily married wife of 23 years who is also a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom, life can be saturated with mundanity. Duty takes on the definition of dread which according to God's Word should not be so. Through this article you sharpened me & extended accountability, in day-to-day life, that I needed & have been desiring. Thank you for reminding me, "So I go because I love them and have a duty to care for their needs... I do it because I love my family..."

    I DO have a duty... To God. To my marriage. To my children. To my family. I simply needed a renewal of perspective & God, through His infinite grace, supplied it through you.

    Thank you.

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  15. "But I absolutely stand by that statement. I think it's perfectly normal and right for a woman to have sex with her husband even when she doesn't feel like it. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say that a woman ought to have sex with her husband even when she doesn't feel like it - at least sometimes."

    Before I engage this, I want to know if you feel the opposite should be true as well? That a Man should sleep with his Wife if he doesn't feel like it?

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    1. Because if anything The Bible prescribes the Opposite. it speaks in Deuteronomy 24 for example of the Husband having a Responsibility to his Wife but not the other way around.

      Leviticus 18 meanwhile says you should not have Sex with a Women when she is menstruating.

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    2. Yes, a husband does have a responsibility to fulfill his wife's sexual needs also. I Corinthians 7 is clear on that. Of course, there is a certain amount of "wanting to" that is necessary for the man to have, just due to biology, in order for it to work. But men are to strive to please their wives sexually just as wives are to do for their husbands.

      As for Leviticus 18, I don't see how that has anything to do with this discussion.

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    3. I think that law in relation to the menstrual cycle certain refutes any notion that a Husband should get Sex form his Wife on demand.

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    4. Ceremonial laws about uncleanness do not apply to believers today because they were for the Jews, to set them apart from the world and protect them. In the case of sex during menstruation, a woman is at much higher risk of infection during that time. Thus, before sanitation and antibiotics, it was a way of protecting women from infection that could well have killed them. This ceremonial law is not part of God's moral law (due to being about ceremonial uncleanness, not morality, and not being included in NT references to God's moral laws). Thus, what God had the Jews do is rather irrelevant to what I said about sex between married people today.

      Secondly, I never said a husband should always get sex from his wife on demand. I said women should say yes, even if they don't feel like it, at least sometimes. I said that women should place their husband's needs as a priority and not be ruled by their feelings.

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  16. Lots of materiel from that same Chapter of Leviticus many Christians do want to impose on Modern Christians. So they should be consistent.

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    1. What chapter it's in is irrelevant. Moral laws are still binding on us. Ceremonial laws are not. That is very straightforward and easy to understand when you aren't trying to do mental gymnastics to avoid what the Bible clearly teaches.

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  17. Good questions Jared,

    But much of this material in Leviticus is no longer imposed for very good reasons-

    We are told that it is because Christ has fulfilled those reasons.
    That Christ has fulfilled those metaphors.
    That Christ was the revelation of those metaphors- Jeremiah 3:16

    Many of those metaphors only related to "regulations for the body until a time of Reformation".
    They only related to the body 'until Christ appeared'- Hebrews 9:10,11.

    Only related until a "new covenant was made with the house of Israel"- Jeremiah 31:31.
    Until a spiritual covenant was made with a new Israel- Jeremiah 31:33

    Until a time when "ALL the nations will be gathered to Jerusalem"- Jeremiah 3:17
    A time when "the Law would be written on their hearts"- Jeremiah 31:33

    A time revealed when "devout men from every nation under Heaven" were gathered together- Acts 2:5
    A time when thousands were "pierced to the heart"- Acts 2:37
    Pierced by the Holy Spirit.

    And that was the was the riddle that Rachel was investigating in her recent misrepresentation regarding Leviticus. A riddle that I discussed here-

    http://vanberean.blogspot.ca/2012/11/the-riddle-of-rachel-pt-1.html
    http://vanberean.blogspot.ca/2012/12/rachels-riddle-pt-2.html

    Blessings,

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  18. Most Conservative Christians want us held to everything in Leviticus 18. In my view the rule in that Chapter inherently least relevant to Christians is verse 22. But most don't care.

    I disagree with the Ceremonial Law-Moral Law distinction. I recommend viewing Chris White's videos on the Sabbath on YouTube. He disagrees with my different views on Sexual laws, but he explains why the moral Law is just as finished in Christ as the Ceremonial Law.

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  19. Jared. Do you have a personal opinion on child sacrifice?

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    1. Obliviously that is a Sin on many grounds.

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    2. Do you consider homosexual behavior a sin?

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    3. Not all of it. Leviticus 18:22 was addressing a specific Canaanites ritual practice involving Penetrative Anal intercourse.

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    4. Do you have any scholarly citations for that?

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    5. Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
      Lev 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

      From the context, the passage is giving blanket statements about which sexual acts are not permitted. Sexual acts between men are not permitted. Sexual acts with animals are not permitted.

      Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      Again, looking at context, the entire passage is about sexual acts that are not permitted. Sex with one's mother, daughter-in-law, or sister are forbidden in the same chapter. It doesn't say anything about simply not doing certain practices of pagans. It says no sex between men.

      The New Testament supports this and shows that this was not merely ceremonial law, but part of God's moral law in Romans 1.

      Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
      Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

      This passage is clear that not only male-male sex is forbidden, but female-female sex as well.

      The Bible is quite clear that homosexual acts are immoral and forbidden. They go against God's design for sexuality, which is between a husband and wife. God makes these moral laws for our benefit. The natural consequences of violating our design are harmful to us, so God forbids them for our good.

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    6. The Context of the word Abomination is always about Idolatry. The verse follows one on Child Sacrifice, so the subject had already changed from the earlier differently expressed Sexual acts. Also the most literal Translation of the Hebrew would be 'Thou shalt not Lie with a Male in a Woman's Bed".

      I find it interesting you put 22 and 23 side by side. Most people trivialize the fact that 18:22 is only really referring to men. Yet the following verse on bestiality has no problem sounding redundant to make sure it applies equally to both.

      Actually Romans 1 only defines the act in mind as Homosexual when it's the Men. The Women are said to be doing something "against nature" and then when saying Men do the same thing it's specified as Same-Sex. Our modern notion of Orientation didn't exist back then, the Women actually can't be doing the same thing if it's a Same gender act.

      The grander Context of Romans 1 is clearly Paganism. In fact what's in those two verses is clearly defines as happening because of their denial of the creator. It's the effect not the cause.
      http://sociallyliberalfundamentalist.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

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    7. Jared: The Context of the word Abomination is always about Idolatry. The verse follows one on Child Sacrifice, so the subject had already changed from the earlier differently expressed Sexual acts. Also the most literal Translation of the Hebrew would be 'Thou shalt not Lie with a Male in a Woman's Bed".

      Reply: Let's start with the first sentence here. Really?

      GEnesis 43 and 46 have verses saying that shepherds are an abomination to the Egyptians. What does that have to do with idolatry?

      Exodus 8:26. The sacrifices Moses and the Hebrews would offer would be an abomination to the Egyptians. Nothing about abomination.

      Lev. 18:22 uses the same word but verse 26 lists it in the plural. Everything in the chapter is said to be an abomination.

      Deut. 22:5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

      Nothing about idolatry there.

      Deut. 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

      Not there either.

      Deut. 24:4
      Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

      Not there either. That's sexual sin.

      I could go on, but the point is made.

      You should really check these claims first.

      And that gives me real pause to doubt your ability in interpreting and translating Hebrew. Since everything is tied in at the end of the chapter, I see no reason to see a differentiation.

      Jared: I find it interesting you put 22 and 23 side by side. Most people trivialize the fact that 18:22 is only really referring to men. Yet the following verse on bestiality has no problem sounding redundant to make sure it applies equally to both.

      Reply: Could be because women could be just as prone to do this as shrine prostitutes. Lesbianism wasn't really as prevalent as male homosexuality anyway.

      Jared: Actually Romans 1 only defines the act in mind as Homosexual when it's the Men. The Women are said to be doing something "against nature" and then when saying Men do the same thing it's specified as Same-Sex. Our modern notion of Orientation didn't exist back then, the Women actually can't be doing the same thing if it's a Same gender act.

      Reply: Actually, even homosexual scholars who are women have seen this as condemnation of lesbianism. Paul's argument is not changed at all by orientation regardless. He is talking about function.

      Jared: The grander Context of Romans 1 is clearly Paganism. In fact what's in those two verses is clearly defines as happening because of their denial of the creator. It's the effect not the cause.

      Reply: Yep. The clearest vertical example of paganism is idolatry. That's clearly against nature. The clearest horizontally is homosexuality.

      You know, instead of going to blogs by non-scholars, why not next time go to a real scholar, like I have.

      http://www.blogtalkradio.com/grok558/2013/10/05/deeper-waters-the-bible-and-homosexual-practice

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    8. Verse 26 could be read as summering the whole Chapter, or only after the change og Subject in verse 21. Remember the Chapter Divisions are modern.

      "Actually, even homosexual scholars who are women have seen this as condemnation of lesbianism." those people show their ignorance of The Greek.

      That Blog I linked to was my own. And my arguments have the backing of many real Scholars, thought their not people I always agree with on other issues so I'm hesitant to name them.

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    9. Jared: Verse 26 could be read as summering the whole Chapter, or only after the change og Subject in verse 21. Remember the Chapter Divisions are modern.

      Reply: So totally ignored that your first sentence was shown to be wrong. Is this the kind of research that I can expect? Let's see what you said.

      You want to think it was only those? That God was not saying the rest of the practices described earlier like incestual relationships weren't going on? Or maybe God just doesn't think those are such a big deal.

      Sure. The chapter divisions are modern. Good thing I never based my argument on them.



      Jared: That Blog I linked to was my own. And my arguments have the backing of many real Scholars, thought their not people I always agree with on other issues so I'm hesitant to name them.

      REply: Wow. So I need to trust in scholars that I do not know the names of. Gagnon and I don't agree on many things. His book treats the JEPD theory seriously. I think it's a joke. So what? The high quality of Gagnon's work speaks for itself and I will not hesitate to name him as a scholar who supports my stance and in fact the leading one in this area.

      Have you responded to him?

      I have no reason to think you can translate Hebrew like he can or exegete a passage either. Considering a simple word search was enough to show a claim you made was errant, I have reason to be suspicious of the rest.

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  20. Lindsay: Your husband is a fortunate man. Good for you.

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  21. I love that you wrote this article. I've been married just over a year. I was very fortunate to come across this point of view about 6 months before I got married, and I have never turned down my husband for sex. The funny thing is, when you really engage and focus on the enjoyment of both people, the sex is MUCH better for him, and the result is he asks for sex less often because he's more satisfied! There is this vicious cycle in a lot of marriages:
    Man needs satisfaction.
    Wife rarely says yes, and if she does (grudgingly) she doesn't engage, so he never feels completely satisfied with the sex.
    So he asks for sex more often because he needs it.
    She feels like he's using her (or decides he's out of control sexually) and tries to reign him in by withholding sex.

    It's horrible and makes both feel unloved and taken for granted. That is not the way marriage was meant to be! Don't just attempt to beat the average wife at this. Go above and beyond and be that fountain of sweet loving your husband always dreamed of.

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    1. Why would you want your husband to ask for sex less often? Don't you enjoy it too?

      And if the wife is saying yes rarely, perhaps the man needs to improve his technique.

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  22. What kind of man would WANT to have sex with his wife if she wasn't in the mood? That's the last thing I'd ever want. It wouldn't be any fun. And if I knew she wasn't in the mood, why would I enjoy it?

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  23. Well sometimes, a woman can get in the mood once she gets started. Besides that, if a woman wants to build up the mood, she needs to act when she's not in the mood. When we start to develop a virtue, we only have the desire for the virtue and not the mood and when we act to develop it when it is contrary to our mood, we eventually find our moods changing.

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  24. Sorry I'm just now stumbling onto this post. I consider myself to be Christian and a femininist, but I am single. I get what you're saying that sometimes a wife should engage in sex for her husband even if she's not necessarily in the mood, and I would agree. I hope you also agree a husband should do the same for his wife, even if it is sex or something else she wants but he doesn't. It's just part of a marriage to do all you can for your spouse out of love. However, you are wrong to say that feminism has taught women, "that it's degrading to be a stay-at-home mom or to submit to a husband or to want a lot of children. They should never have sex with their husbands unless they feel like it. They should never let a man make decisions for their family." That is not what feminism taught them, that is what some may have wrongly interpreted feminism to be. Feminism is about giving women the freedom to choose instead of be told what to do. Whatever is good for one woman may not be good for another.

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    1. Feminism may have started out as a movement to secure equal rights for women, but it has gone far beyond that today. People wanted to keep the movement going, even though equality has already been achieved, so they had to invent new horrors to rally people around their cause.

      Thus, modern feminism does indeed see mothers being at home with their children as archaic, patriarchal, and oppressive. They elevate women in the workforce as being "strong women" while pointedly never referring to stay at home moms as such. They subtly (or not-so-subtly) tell women that stay home that they're weaker or being controlled in some way.

      Some of the more radical feminist leaders view any and all sex with a man as rape. Yes, they have actually said that. Even short of that, the very idea that a man must beg and cajole his wife for sex and she has all the power to say yes or no - widely passed off as normal in media of all kinds and praised as "equality" by feminists - is completely emasculating and degrading to men.

      Feminists today are pushing for special, not merely equal, treatment for women. The schools are now biased against boys - with assignments and topics that girls are more interested in, an intolerance for rough play that boys prefer, long periods of inactivity that girls can handle better than boys, an emphasis on feelings that girls find more comfortable, and better grades assigned to girls. This isn't just me saying this. It's been widely documented.

      The push is not for equality of the law any more. The push now is for women and girls to be considered the gold standard and men and boys to be considered as defective females. They're also pushing for equality of outcome, instead of equality of opportunity.

      What's more, feminists of today love to point out the many duties of men (such as getting a job) while denying that women have any duties, they pretend that a woman's greater empathy and emotional bent is an unqualified good that men are simply deficient in (while saying that men are better than women at anything is widely considered taboo), they insinuate (if not outright say) that women are more spiritual and more naturally good, and so on. It's everywhere. Our society is full of mostly subtle and sometimes blatant knocks against men while elevating women. Today's feminists not only praise this as an accomplishment, but are pushing for more.

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    2. In the workforce, for example, feminists are often up in arms that women are "underrepresented" in fields like engineering and pretend that this is due to some secret and subtle bias against women. In reality, the difference is due to the different choices of women. The same is true for the "gender wage gap" that everyone keeps bringing up. The truth is that women choose less strenuous, more flexible jobs and work fewer hours - mainly because they value their time with their children more than men do. When you control for these lifestyle choices, the gender wage gap disappears.

      There is no systematic bias against women. If anything, we now have the reverse. Many engineering programs, for example, are biased towards women - selecting women applicants over equally or lesser qualified men - and yet the women are still present in lower numbers. The workforce is similar, with many, many companies preferring women.

      Feminism pretends that women always want the same things as men and fuss about differences in numbers, which means they aren't allowing women to make their own choices, but are trying to push them to be like men. That's not okay.

      It's not okay to suggest that women freely choosing to spend more time with their children is somehow a social problem that needs to be fixed. It's not okay to suggest that men are defective and women are better. It's not okay to point out men's flaws while pretending women don't have them too. It's not okay to allow jokes that portray men as idiots and buffoons (which are very common today) while being up in arms when the shoe is on the other foot. It's not okay to give women all the sexual power in a marriage relationship and force her husband to beg for consideration.

      Today's feminism is not okay. It's not balanced. It's not fair. And thus I will not call myself a feminist. I'm an equalist. I believe that men and women are equally valuable and have equal rights. But I don't believe that men and women are exactly alike, that they have all the same strengths and weaknesses and priorities, or that women can do everything that men can do just as well (or vice versa). I won't bash men for being different than women and I won't pretend that females are better. I'm really tired of the modern feminist agenda and the feminization of society. It hasn't done anyone any good.

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  25. You claim that sometimes a wife should have sex with her husband even when she does not feel like it, that she has a duty to have sex with her husband. But can't someone equally claim that a husband has a duty to only have sex when his wife feels like it, that to do otherwise is inconsiderate of her feelings and his duties towards her, and if he loved her he would respect her wish not to have sex unless she felt like it? That sounds like a reasonable feminist response to your post. How would you respond to it?

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    1. After all, going outside to play with your kids when you don't want to is not going to be traumatic. It may, however, be traumatic to have sex when one does not want to.

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    2. I have never said that woman has no ability to say no to sex or that her husband's desires always win. My recommendation, speaking to women, is to say yes sometimes, even if you aren't already in the mood, in order to take your husband's desires into account. Neither spouse should be dictating frequency to the other while the other has no say.

      I'm also NOT saying that a woman should just lay there even when she is seriously opposed to the idea of sex. I'm saying that she should consider her husband's desires as important and seek to please him. If she's sick or extremely exhausted or in pain, I'm not saying her husband's desires trump her real needs. I am saying that just because she can think of something she would rather do (like watch a tv show or read a book) doesn't mean she should say no to her husband's desires because she's "not in the mood" for sex. There are certainly times when it's appropriate to take a rain check because you're really not capable of enjoying sex. There are also times (a good many of them) where a woman isn't thinking of or desiring sex - she doesn't have it on her list of things she wants to do right now - but she isn't incapable of participating and even enjoying it. On those occasions she ought to engage, for the sake of her husband and her marriage.

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  26. Wow. I found your response on the article, which led me to your blog. You are very wise and I love the way you think. I love that you can see past what is shown to you and actually understand life for what it is. I definitely consider myself a feminist, but not in the way it is popularly defined today, which is really hard to explain to people. I completely agree with you, I think men have become passive as well, because they kind of have to. As a young woman, I love being independent and in control, but at the same time, I want a man who is ridiculously masculine. I understand this could seem difficult at first, but I think it can be done. I personally am a Muslim woman and although media probably shows otherwise, but the true essence of Islam is a woman being independent and at the same time fulfilling her natural duties of a mother and a wife. The prophets wife actually was first a businesswoman and she sent him a proposal, but that didn't mean that she was masculine. She was a great wife and mother. What us women don't realize is that men need us more than we need them. We can spend hours, days, or some even years without a man. We don't necessarily need a man, but men need us. Which is a beautiful thing. It is only after that realization that women can begin to understand men and more importantly the necessities of men. When we, woman learn to be emotionally independent (that doesn't mean not depending on your spouse for happiness or anything like that), when we learn that we can only depend on God and not man, we empower ourselves. When we start seeing ourselves not in competition to men, but as equal counterparts to each other, beautiful relationships can bloom. When women aren't so hell-bent on being in control but just acknowledge their self-worth, men would respect that and maintain their masculinity. In my life, I strive to be on top in any career path I choose to be in. Yes, I want to experience dominance in my career. But, I still want to be feminine and I know how to treat my man, like a man. This gives men the realization that women can do both. We can be women, we can be feminine, which doesn't mean weak or fragile (as popularly perceived), we can be domestic, we can me natural care-takers, BUT at the same time we know our worth. We know how to act in the outside world, we know how to run a business, lead a team and etc... This way women are treated as what we are, caring and maternal souls that have the ability to run things. This also gives men the ability to me men. They know they are needed in a certain sense, but they also don't cross their limits because they know that women know their worth and won't tolerate it. This way, women won't be treated like objects or children they have been for centuries (in every civilization ever known to man), and they won't be so intimidating to men that they forget how to act like men. We women need to find ourselves a middle ground, and we can accomplish everything we secretly ever want. We are much more powerful than we know.

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  27. Someone special and wise told me recently to look at it this way: Jesus gave His body for us. Sex can be one of the most valuable sacrifices we give to our husbands. To give them love and comfort. It is a noble sacrifice that can yield miracles because of our love and service and affection. I'm not saying sex is bad, no, but it's something to think about when circumstances arise to make us REALLY not want to do it.... sometimes it's the love and sacrifice that can turn things around for the amazing, even when "they don't deserve it". It's about showing Love to the end, no matter what. Even if it takes a lot out of you, show Love. God will renew His people, so give freely. He humbled Himself though He is God. Can't we follow that example?

    Hope that made sense :). I didn't read all the comments to see if anyone else made the same point, but there it is lol.

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  28. I totally disagree..this is your body and u should not be doing anything to please anyone if you dont feel like it...and im not a feminist..what if your husband is a jerk or abusive or your tired.sick..pregnant..been working all day..this isnt a christian perspective and fyi sex doesnt make a marriage work nor does it buy love.

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    1. "fyi sex doesnt make a marriage work nor does it buy love"

      You are falling into the same trap as so many other women. You are looking at sex only from a woman's point of view without considering what it looks like from a man's point of view. A mans reality regarding sex is completely different than "most" women's and a man's reality is just as valid as the woman's. If you don't care about the mans reality then don't get married and all will be well. If you do choose to get married, you better be very concerned about what sex means to your husband if you want a good and lasting marriage.

      Sex may not make a marriage, but a lack of it WILL DESTROY a marriage. Also, In a way, it does buy you love from a mans perspective. God created sex to draw your husband closer to you and it also binds the two of you together (physically, emotionally and spiritually). Just as women have needs (many of which are emotional), and if those needs are not met they will not be happy and content, men not only have an emotional need for sex, they actually have a physical need for sex also and if that need is not met, they are unable to be happy and content.

      If however you are able to recognize your husbands legitimate need for sex and choose to meet his needs, (a completely Christian perspective) it draws him closer to you emotionally. It makes him have warmer feelings for you. It makes him want to please you more and to do a better job of meeting your needs. In a way, it does buy you love.

      The opposite is also true, if a husbands need for sex is not met, it will push him away from you, cause bad thoughts and feelings toward you and eventually cause him to despise you. It has also caused countless divorces.

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    2. I wrote a blog post about sexual refusal and why it hurts marriages to help explain the man's perspective. Anonymous just above did a good job explaining it too, but if you're interested in another take on it, here's what I have written.

      http://lindsays-logic.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-sexual-refusal-hurts-marriages.html

      It is necessary, if you're going to make a marriage work, for both people to consider and work to meet each other's needs. That includes the wife recognizing and meeting her husband's need for sex. It's not okay to be selfish. You have to think of the other person and you can't expect them to just be a mirror of your desires and preferences. Marriage calls us to come out of ourselves to serve someone else. If you're not willing to put your own preferences aside to meet the needs of someone else, don't get married.

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  29. I'm interested in everyone's thoughts about how our society revolves around sex and the controversial issues with liberal women vs. Trump...haven't you noticed American women love being objectified and the thought of being sexually dominated by a rich man(50 shades of grey) BUT the same women seem to hate Trump and his comments about women. Please clear this up for for a woman who did not read 50 shades of Grey and does not have strong opinions about Trump.

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    1. As it turns out, I already wrote a post about this very topic.

      http://lindsays-logic.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-real-reason-50-shades-of-grey-is-so.html

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