We are continuing from the previous post. You may want to check there before continuing on with today's post. Normally I give a little re-hash but our subject matter makes that difficult.
Forgiveness is the act of choosing to remember no more and not grudge bearing offenses committed against us. This is how God forgives us. Unless forgiveness is asked for by her husband it is to be granted silently in the inner man and transacted between her and God, but demonstrated to her husband immediately. It is not demonstrated in parcels, handed out as the wife feels is necessary. Also, it is not appropriate to tell someone “I forgive you” if they have not asked for your forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only answer to dealing with the anger and resentment in her heart. If anger and resentment are not resolved biblically they will turn to bitterness, complicating things immensely. A godly wife can not be unforgiving toward her husband and angry because of the great sacrifice the Lord Jesus has made on her behalf and His complete forgiveness of her in spite of her unworthiness.
Heart change needs to take place through the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:1-2
Your mind must be changed with respect to what God’s plan and intention is for sexual intimacy in marriage. It is not enough nor appropriate to point a wife to a few verses in the Bible and tell her to submit to them. The wife has a real problem! It is a thought problem that is affecting her actions (like every other sin we commit). I do agree that for a wife to deny her husband - and herself - the comfort, closeness and physical release of sex is in every respect sinful. Part of what every married woman as agreed to in her marriage covenant is the sexual relationship. To deny the husband intimacy is to not hold up your end of an agreement you entered into willingly, to defraud him.
But I repeat just telling a wife that is not helpful to her. We must minister to her heart and help her by application of the Scriptures to experience that heart change that will lead her to a willing and joyful desire to obey the Lord.
God’s intention for sex: The sexual relationship is primarily for the creation of children (Gen 1:28) and yet humans are created with an ability to enjoy this act. We are encouraged to participate in sex often and we are told in Scripture by God Himself that it is to be enjoyable (Prov. 5:19). God was apparently so determined to get that message across that He wrote an entire book of the Bible about it (Song of Solomon). In fact God designed us so well that our desire for the pleasure of sex is to be met by our spouses frequently to avoid sinning! The temptation for sexual sin is enormous particularly in our western culture where sex is used to sell everything – hamburgers, tires, beer, and hot wings only to name a few things. Paul understood this temptation a few thousand years ago when he penned 1 Cor. 7:1-4. Refusing sex with your spouse will cause incredible tension to build in him physically, and weaken his self-control. In our society where pornography is so easily available on television and just a click away on your family computer many husbands have found their physical release while viewing these illicit images. While he is totally responsible for his own actions, can you deny that the refusal of sexual intimacy has played into his falling into this sin? I have counseled many women whose husbands have succumbed to the lure of pornography and I can tell you this is a devastating blow to any marriage, even when the wife is disinterested in sex! It is a blow that can be avoided by satisfying each other’s sexual needs.
The sexual union of a husband and wife is also the most beautiful representation of the relationship Christ has with His Bride, the Church (Eph 5:31, 32). This is one reason that Satan has made sex a primary target in Christian marriages. Anything he can do to spoil this most glorious and intimate picture is good for his purposes.
Finally, the sexual relationship reminds both husband and wife that they do not belong to themselves; they belong to each other (1 Cor. 7:3-4). This is another area when women struggle. It is a part of the curse God placed upon woman kind that we desire to rule over our husbands (Gen 3: 16). We recoil at the idea that anyone would own us, especially in this “enlightened” age of feminism. The idea that we should have to submit our bodies to another person is in some cases horrifying to us. Our heads have been filled with feministic lies that tell us that we can do as we choose with our bodies, (“my body, my choice”) forgetting that we have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20) by the precious blood of Christ and we do not have the biblical right to say we can do as we please with our bodies.
Now that we have God’s viewpoint on some of the reasons for sex, next time we will turn our attention to other areas of mind renewal.