Here comes hubby looking for some nooky, and you are feeling more worn out than a Tupperware container from 1974. What should you do?
Some women act like sex is a Willy Wonka golden ticket, to be given out sparingly and used carefully. Their husbands have to complete an obstacle course or tiptoe across burning embers before they can gain access to the Grand Prize.
Other women recite the mantra, “Never refuse your husband!” like it can be found in 4 Corinthians 9:11. As if the sole measure for a good wife is letting hubby have his way with you 24/7, no matter how nauseated your tummy or whether you sneeze throughout.
Now I don’t know where you come down on this debate. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 says, “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.” It seems to me that giving your body to your spouse is a willful choice made by each person. You still make the choice, but your body is not completely your own either.
In this post and the next, I want to talk to the two extremes. I’ll call them Withholding Wanda and Never-Say-No Nina. Since I think there are more of the former, I’ll speak to Withholding Wanda first.
I believe there are some legitimate reasons to refrain from time to time. Such instances should be like earthquakes in California: They happen, but not regularly. The next verse in 1 Corinthians states that you can “both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer.” So obviously there are times when you can jointly take a brief hiatus for greater spiritual focus.
There may also be some physical reason – a contagious illness, a severe migraine, a yeast infection, a period of pelvic rest following childbirth, for example – to forego intercourse. There can be emotional ones as well, such as intense grief following the loss of a loved one, that make it nearly impossible to focus on your spouse (although sexual intimacy can be stress-relieving for some).
But without a legitimate reason (and current lack of interest doesn’t count), Withholding Wanda needs to stop acting like her husband must buy the $47.50 ticket every time he wants to get into the amusement park. Hey! He paid the admission when he said “I do”; his hand has been stamped; and he should only be disallowed from getting on the thrill-seeker side when it has a legitimate sign saying “Closed for Repairs.” As soon as possible, the gatekeeper should open up the ride again.
If you’re simply not excited about having sex at the moment, treat it like the old Life cereal commercial where two kids convince young Mikey to “Try it! You’ll like it!” And surprise! surprise! Mikey does like it! You might find that some of your best lovemaking with your honey comes when you weren’t thrilled about the idea to begin with but made the decision to engage yourself nonetheless. It might feel really good after all!
Some will disagree with me (and I’d love to see your comments), but I think it’s a biblical position that your body belongs to three people – God, yourself, and your spouse. Take care of that body, so that it can be used and enjoyed by all three of you.
Make sure your yeses far outweigh your nos. After all, “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Remember that you are one.