Season: 9 Episode: 138
Listen to episode 138 in Spanish:
Emotions can get the best of us and in a culture where emotion and desire leads the way, we aren’t told that emotions must be disciplined. Shanda shares what the Bible says about disciplining emotions and what that looks like.
“From a biblical perspective, if someone wants to have sex, they have to get married.”
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to biblical truth. If you haven’t heard, the solo episodes are now translated to Spanish for our Spanish speaking Christian friends. Jennifer Chavez takes the English episodes and works her magic to put them in Spanish. You can go to the website to find under podcasts and this one will be under episode 138.
I have a listener requested episode for you today.
I got a message from a follower asking whether or not it’s a wife’s responsibility to make sure her husband stays pure in the marriage by having sex with her husband often or when he needs it. Great question. Before I get into that today, I want to ask you to leave a 5 star rating and review if you enjoy the podcast because ratings and reviews is how the podcast gets into the earbuds of others.
Of course there are lots of other announcements, curriculum and membership info coming out, but if you go to shandafulbright.com, you can subscribe there and we can send you all the info.
Ok, so is it a wife responsibility to keep her husband pure?
Meaning – does she HAVE to have sex with him so his eyes don’t wander or so that he’s not tempted to watch porn? The follow up question to this is – why do we tell boys they need to get married to quench the desire for sex or that his desire will go away once he’s married? Now that’s probably not verbatim, but it’s very similar.
It’s so funny because I actually have conversations like this with my husband and my boys. Being a boy mom to 3 boys, 2 of them being teenagers, I don’t shy away from hard conversations with them, so we have touched on this.
So today, let’s examine a few questions – not through opinion, the opinion of culture, or popular opinion – but from the Bible itself because that is my go to.
And the good news is – the Bible talks about this very subject.
- Is it a wife’s job to have sex with her husband to keep him physically satisfied? Thus, keeping him pure?
- Should we send the message to boys that when they get married they’ll control their sexual desire with their wives?
- Why do we need to have these conversations with our spouses and our children?
So when it comes to marriage and sex, is it the wife’s responsibility to have sex with her husband so he won’t be tempted to fill the need somewhere else – either through pornography or looking at other women? I mean there aren’t a whole lot of other options outside of committing adultery.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that men have more of a sexual appetite than women. I know my husband and I have talked about this before on a previous episode and I think women need to keep that in mind. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that women connect emotionally before they want to connect physically.
So men are going to want to have sex more than women on average.
That’s just a fact. Also, a woman’s sex drive is driven by her menstrual cycle, so there’s that little factor. And if you think about it, if men and women had the same sex drive, no one would get anything done. And we’re talking about this within the context of marriage. I’m not talking about sex culture or hook-up culture as that’s a whole other topic.
From a Biblical worldview, only a husband can fulfill the physical needs of his wife and only a wife can fulfill the physical needs of her husband. That’s it. Those are our only options. So we have to work with our spouses on this and communicate our needs to them.
So let’s take a look at how Paul address this issue in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 because I believe it answers both how to address sex within marriage and before you get married.
Paul says this:
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: t“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 uThe husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 vDo not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, wso that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 Now as a concession, xnot a command, I say this.1 7 yI wish that all were zas I myself am. But aeach has his own gift from God, bone of one kind and one of another.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that cit is good for them to remain single, das I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, ethey should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
What does Paul mean when he says it is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman?
It means that if you can remain single and work for the Lord, then do that. But because singleness and the desire to have sex can lead to sexual immorality, ie lust, fornication, pornography, adultery, any sexual sin, then by all means get a spouse.
Of course when you have a spouse, you have sex with them and sex within the covenant of marriage is not a sin. Are you with me? Ok, let’s keep moving right along.
Verse 3: the husband should give to the woman her conjugal rights, and likewise the woman to her husband. Conjugal means marital rights. Again, let’s go back to what a husband and wife only can give to one another: physical needs being met, emotional needs being met. And Paul is saying that both husbands and wives should give to each other their marital rights – the standard is not different for the husband than it is for the wife and vise versa.
So we see that the husband should not withhold what his wife is entitled to by the marriage covenant and the wife should not withhold what is due her husband. They’re married – they signed up for this. Yes, you signed up to have sex with your spouse. Let’s look at verse 4: ‘For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
Let’s stop and evaluate that for a minute.
Again, notice the standard is the same for both, husband and wife. This is a great example of a paradox – you don’t have authority over your own body, yet it is your own body. This is an example of the oneness within the marriage covenant. There are marital duties that take into consideration the comfort, well-being, and happiness of the other person.
I think the discord and frustration comes in when we observe the differences between men and women. Again, a man’s libido is higher than a woman’s and you can confirmation on that fact if you desire to look it up.
Verse 5 says, ‘Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, wso that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Right away we see we are not to deprive each other.
To deprive means to deny. weddinwire.com says that sex in a relationship is important because if married couples aren’t having sex, they’re more like roommates than a married couple. The frequency of sex is up to the couple and there isn’t really a hard number where a therapist can say if you follow it you’ll both be happy. Sex is more about collaboration than compromise.
But the real question is: Is it a wife’s responsibly to keep her husband pure by having sex when he needs it or wants it? I think if that ’s the question we’re asking, we’re asking it wrong. There is nothing in this verse that says I have to keep my husband pure. It says I cannot deprive him and he cannot deprive me.
So wives, you’re not always going to feel like having sex when he does.
This takes communication. Because it is our responsibility not to deprive our husbands of sex. Why? Because satan is a tempter and he will take opportunity. Notice here this verse does not give an allotted amount of time? Like, it doesn’t say don’t go one week without having sex or you’ll be tempted. It say deprive. To deprive is to withhold.
So personally, I can read my husband. He’s very handsy. And he can read me. After 21 years of marriage, I know him well. So when I notice he’s getting too handsy, he’s feeling deprived and yes, that’s my responsibility to make sure his needs are met.
Now culture will tell you that you don’t have to make sure your husbands physical needs are met. Feminism is all about my body- my choice, and that means sex in marriage too. But that’s not God’s way.
Husbands and wives are partners.
I don’t need to keep him pure, but he and I should encourage one another to keep ourselves from sin and to honor God within our marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing that reflects Christ’s love for the church.
So no, we don’t have to keep our husbands purse, but not depriving them will keep them from temptation. The bible tells us what to do and why we should do it. And yes, that means sometimes having sex with your husband will be a sacrifice of meeting their needs more than having your needs met. Not always, but sometimes.
The second question is: Should we send the message to boys that when they get married they’ll control their sexual desire with their wives?
So now we drop down to verses 6-9 to find out how to answer this question: “Now as a concession, xnot a command, I say this.1 7 yI wish that all were zas I myself am. But aeach has his own gift from God, bone of one kind and one of another.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that cit is good for them to remain single, das I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, ethey should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Paul is not commanding people to stay single, he’s suggesting it so that they are more God-focused than a married man because he has to think about the need and desires of his wife.
And he says, “If someone cannot express self-control, they should marry because it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
So yes, if you want to have sex, find a spouse.
That goes for unmarried women too. I don’t know where anyone gets the notion that girls don’t want to have sex with boys. It’s usually after marriage that a woman’s libido slows down because she works, has kids, manages the house and she gets tired. But not single women.
So if either- boys or girls – want to have sex, get married. Now, don’t just marry anyone. That’s a whole other podcast episode on looking for a godly spouse. But this is clear – get a spouse if you burn with passion.
Finally, why do we need to have these conversations with our spouses and children?
We need to have these conversations with our spouses because we need to know if they’re struggling or not and if they feel deprived. We need to be able to communicate about sex and not just compromise on sex. It will prevent it form becoming a chore and bring more intimacy because hopefully, each spouse is God fearing and is willing to talk it out and align to a biblical perspective on this.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
If your spouse or your children can’t come to you with their struggles, how will you work with them on these issues?
We live in a sex culture.
People think they have to get abortions to manage the consequence of their sexual actions instead of putting sex into its divine design and plan. So although difficult and uncomfortable, these conversations need to happen.
I think there have been two abuses within the context of sex:
- Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus makes clear that it’s wrong to lust after a woman (I know women can lust too, but let’s be real … men have these struggle more than women). Now this doesn’t mean a woman is held responsible for a man’s lusting. I catch some gross old men staing at me when I workout. Ew! It’s rude and disgusting.
I know many women have felt like tools because they’ve been misused and abused by men because they either take the verse out of context where our bodies belong to our spouses, or because they just don’t have respect for women – especially in other countries.
2. But also, if we’re honest, a woman can cause a man to stumble by how she presents herself. And women, you aren’t ignorant of this. Women who wear clothing to get attention wear it to get attention. You know what you’re doing and to say that you have no responsibility in that is a lie. Modesty is a lost virtue and to say that you can dress however you want and it’s not your fault what a man thinks – I disagree. That doesn’t mean a woman is at fault for rape or assault, there is never a reason or excuse for that.
My husband tells me all the time that men think differently than women and struggle differently than women when it comes to sex. So we have to be mindful of that.
I’m going to close this out today by reiterating a few things I think are important to remember in marriage:
- Husbands and wives are the only ones who can fulfill the physical needs of each other. There is no one else on earth permitted by God to do so once we enter into a covenant of marriage. Instead of compromising to have sex, we need to collaborate with each other so that we understand each other and our needs.
2. A wife shouldn’t look at having to keep her husband pure as much as she wants to help him in all areas of his life and be someone he can confess his sins too. We need to provide a safe place for our spouses and our children because we all struggle in one way or another.
3. Like it or not, we have a responsibility to be mindful and careful of how we present ourselves. Men are wired differently than women. It’s a biological fact. That doesn’t mean it is a woman’s fault when a man lusts, but she can do her part to present herself in such a way that she doest not cause a man to stumble. And we can cause people to stumble. Jesus referred to causing little ones to stumble in Mark 9:42. Also, I don’t want men to lust after me. I think it’s disgusting and rude so if I can help prevent it I will (and sometimes you can’t).
That’s my take on this question per a biblical standpoint.
I hope that helps and no, it’s not easy. And sometimes we don’t always like the biblical advice because we don’t want the responsibility. But you and your husband are one. You signed up to figure this out together.
If you have any questions about this or anything else I talk about, email me at email@example.com and I’ll catch you on the next one.