While most men make it to marriage expecting that “Sex is going to be the best thing ever”, many women struggle with very different expectations. We are bombarded with lies that set up barriers to fully enjoy sex in marriage. In order for a husband to empathize and encourage his wife to live in God’s fullness, it is helpful to understand what the lies are and understand ways to counteract them. Below are a list of lies that your wife, whether she admits it or not, has most likely battled at some point in her life.
(A continuation of what I share in my men’s class, “What in the world is she thinking?”)
1. Sex is easy
Many women believe that everything will naturally fall into place – especially if she has operated within God’s boundaries. The reality is that orgasm is a learned response, and it may take some time for her body to recognize pleasure and chase after it. There is still a cultural expectation that our husband will know what to do, and that he will give us our orgasm. Many times it takes work and time exploring what feels good to her, because it is very different from what feels good to him.
What to Do – Deuteronomy 24:5 says, A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.
God created women complicated. That is why a husband must spend time getting to know his wife and learning how to love her. Though you cannot stay home from work, you can turn off the screens and spend time really studying your wife. Don’t take personally how tricky your wife is, just embrace it as another opportunity to learn more.
You can also encourage your wife to get to know herself, and ask her to show you what she has learned. Don’t get frustrated when your usual path doesn’t work, but enjoy learning something new and taking her a different place. Be careful not to focus so much on orgasm that she feels pressured to perform. Simply enjoy the journey of discovering something new together.
2. Sex is for our husbands
Whether it is Christian books stating that “sometimes we just need to do it for our husbands”, the threat that your husband will stray if you don’t have sex, or sitcoms portraying a husband begging for sex, the message is loud and clear that sex is for men. It is not unusual for a book to state that women don’t need to have orgasms . If you gave a woman a choice between enjoying a great orgasm or not, what do you think she would choose? The truth is that God created sex just as much for wives as husbands and it is equally important to us – we just don’t typically have the hormonal urgency that men do. If your wife has bought into the lie that sex is for men, she may not be willing to do the hard work that it takes to figure things out.
What to do – Never say you need sex – say you miss her, or feel disconnected or want to love her. Once in a while serve her by forgoing your own orgasm and focusing on bringing her pleasure. Make sure she knows that you thoroughly enjoy connecting by getting to know her and watching her. Plan a sex date that your wife would enjoy – light a couple candles, provide chocolate, wine, strawberries – spend time warming up her body and woo her with your words. Learn to enjoy the kind of sex that works for your wife.
3. You have to look like the magazines
This world is filled with images of thin, tan, beautiful women looking sexy and having sex. As real women that will never appear on the cover of a magazine, one of our deepest desires is to be beautiful. Comparing ourselves to others or what we used to be, makes us want to crawl into our shell and hide.
What to do – Keep your eyes pure so that your wife’s body becomes the most amazing beautiful thing you have laid eyes on in years. Tell her what you think of her, even when she doesn’t believe it herself. Don’t just visually enjoy and affirm your favorite zones, but like Song of Songs, enjoy her from head to foot.
4. Good Girls Don’t
As unmarried Christian girls, the message is loud and clear – Good Girls Don’t – you don’t have sex before marriage. Even after marriage there is an under riding current of not enjoying what the rest of the world enjoys. Don’t get too wild and don’t have too much fun – just have safe, boring, married sex. The truth is that God sets up clear boundaries in the bible to protect our marriage and beyond that, He gives us a huge playground to play in. God is a creative God, and just like He offered a giant menu of food to enjoy, He offers many ways to enjoy and get to know each other physically.
What to Do –Read Song of Songs out loud with your wife to expand what you think sex is. Encourage your wife’s creativeness by being thrilled when she does something different. Talk about sex with your wife to get her creative juices flowing – ask her what she would like, and share what would thrill you. Bring God into your marriage bed by praying about sex, praising God after sex, and thanking God for your incredible wife. Your wife can be both Godly and sexy.
5. Sex in Marriage is Boring
Media portrays boring marriages, friends complain about husbands that constantly beg for sex, and marriages filling our pews simply look dead. Why in the world would our kids want to wait to have sex until marriage? We have bought into the lie that sex in marriage is supposed to be boring.
Proverb 5:18-19 says, Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
We are supposed to be captivated by each other – forever. Just because the world says it is boring does not make it true – we make it a reality by living it.
What to Do – Think about what you loved to do when you were dating or just married – lots of kissing, hand holding, sweet words, surprises and playing together – start doing these things again. Be creative in planning dates and new experiences together. Don’t just add variety, but get to know each other better by being present during sex. Dare to reveal desires and passions, and dare to bring your spouse’s desires to life. Have a beginners attitude toward sex and instead of assuming you know how to take her from point A to point B, discover a new path.
6. Men will take from you
From the time we are girls, we are told that boys have no self-control when it comes to sex and if you let down your guard they will go as far as they can. In essence, they will take your virginity and your reputation. The news is filled with stories of girls and women being hurt by men and it takes a conscious effort to believe that when your husband wants sex, he does not want to take from you.
What to Do – Be vigilant in treating girls and women with respect – whether it is with your words about what they are wearing or how you look at them. A wife will notice how you treat other women. Respect and love your wife by keeping your eyes pure and not just looking at her like a piece of meat. She has to know that you see when she is tired or discouraged and that you can love her in all kinds of ways, not just physically. Ask her how you can love her better. Offer back rubs and foot rubs with no expectations of payback. Sometimes make love to her and just focus on her pleasure and nothing else.
7. Sex is just a physical thing that we do
In our heads women probably know that sex is more than just physical, but if you look at what we live out, sex is just physical. We have sex when our hormones surge and make us horny. We don’t seek out sex as a way to be refreshed or even to reconnect with our husbands, we use it as a ransom to make our husbands love us better. Men probably understand intuitively better than us how important sex is to connect to their wives emotionally and spiritually, yet we assume all you want is sex.
What to Do – Your wife assumes that sex is just physical for you – a physical release that your body craves. Think about and share with your wife what it means to have great sex with her. How does it connect you to her, or open you up, or deeply affect you? Share how sex makes you into one? Share how you know her through sex. Share how it connects you to her spiritually. Not easy things to do, but it will profoundly affect how your wife views sex.
The lies your wife battles ought to be a battle you fight together. Understanding and talking about these lies can be one of the first steps to claiming God’s truth. Help your wife by communicating and living God’s design for sex in marriage.
How have you helped your wife battle the lies about sex in marriage?