When doing marriage counseling I hear frequent excuses from wives and frequent complaints from husbands regarding sex. Relationally, sex is supposed to be the demonstration of the close intimate relationship a husband and wife have to each other. Biblically, it represents the relationship of Christ to the church.
In reality it is a battleground, a subject fought over in too many Christian marriages and a source of great strife between husband and wife.
It is hard for a man to understand the way a woman thinks about sex. Women are wired much differently with respect to this wonderful gift. Read any book written on the subject and you will learn that women are made different physically and they respond differently to various kinds of stimuli.
You probably know that each sex is stimulated differently. Guys like to look; they are visually stimulated, which is why pornography is so addicting for them. Women daydream and think about romantic scenarios, knights in shining armor and bold and daring rescuers; which is why they read romance novels and watch what is known at our house as “the woman channel” on television.
One book on the subject says that men are like microwaves, and women are like crock pots when it comes to being ready for sex. A man is ready for sex much faster than a woman, both physically and emotionally. He can come home from playing golf and see her in the kitchen making cookies and be ready to run her to the bedroom. She would most likely refuse his invitation because there are things to do, her hair is a mess, and it is the middle of the day and she has not had one amorous thought. If she consented, it would be grudgingly and she would most likely pretend her way through it.
A man is usually more spontaneously interested and ready for intimacy. Women want to think it over, plan ahead, make arrangements, and set the scene. A truly enjoyable sexual encounter for a woman begins long before it ever happens. She may spend a considerable amount of time playing it out in her mind before her husband gets home from work.
Husbands wonder why their wives are not interested in sex, and make many of the comments and complaints listed above. Men, if your woman is disinterested, it is up to you to find out why. You are her leader and her helper. Many Christian women are brought up to believe sex is done under the covers and at night. They do not understand their freedom in Christ or in the marriage relationship.
To complicate matters, men are taught wrong things about sex too. The world’s message about women and sex is found on television in programs such as Sex in the City, and Desperate Housewives, and popular music and rap videos. Women are spoken of in derogatory terms often referred to as property to be bought, sold and even loaned out to friends for pleasure. These are the messages the young men and women of the 1990’s and 2000’s are receiving.
This brings up another prickly issue. Unfortunately, many people engage in sex outside of marriage. In our sex-crazed world there is little thought to sexual purity and modesty. Young women are involved in the most intimate of acts with virtual strangers on a routine basis. Drugs and alcohol numb their inhibitions and the teachings and philosophies of the world have dulled or silenced their consciences. As a result more women then ever before are sexually active at young ages.
There is also the painful result of sexual abuse, incest stranger rape and now date rape. If not dealt with biblically, these traumatic events can change the way a woman responds sexually forever! Added to this list is the painful realization that her husband has been unfaithful or uses pornography.
Each of these matters must be looked at individually and no one volume (especially one of this limited size) may adequately address all these issues.
This week we are going to take a look at this difficult and intimate issue. Stay tuned!