Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 1

mrlucky

(This is the first of a five-part series; here are the links to part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.)

I’m going to step out of my Mr. Nice Guy persona and go on a little rant. And, I’m also going to go…. There!

Michele Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex-Starved Marriage, says that 1 in 3 marriages have a problem concerning significant libido differences. That’s a clinician’s way of saying that one person in a marriage is wantin’ and ain’t gettin’. And I’ve come to the conclusion that Christians have the worst set of skills for confronting a sexless marriage.*

The Jedi Mind Trick™

The first of the Christian’s “go-to” marriage tools is the Jedi Mind Trick™. We ask God, we pray, we plead “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi Lord. You’re my only hope.” We want God to reveal to our wives just how much we want, need, to have sex with them. We have this idea that God is going to  wave His hand and this will somehow magically happen……..

God: You like sex.
Wife: I like sex.
God: You want sex.
Wife: I want sex.
God: You want sex with your husband. Now.
Wife: Come here Tarzan, Jane wants to play. Rowr.
Husband: Thank You, Obi-Wan Kenobi Lord!

Does that make it sound like I don’t believe in prayer? I hope it doesn’t, but if it does, well, people have thought worse things about me. But here’s the deal: I have this idea that Christians are trained to be passive and just pray for something, and to not do anything, as that is working in the flesh. Instead, we are to “stand still and see the Hand of God on your behalf!” I read a quote recently, on a Filipino pastor’s blog, that applies James 2 very well:

To paraphrase a verse, prayers without works are dead. Yes, we pray. But we do more than pray. We become God’s answer to our prayers.

For some reason, Christians think that speaking up for themselves is wrong. We hear “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”, from 1 Corinthians, and we think that applies to our marriage. We assume that it is better to suffer in silence and hope that God will pull a Jedi Mind Trick™ to make things better, rather than working on our marriage. And so, suffering continues. One year, two years, five, ten, twenty years, and the prayers continue, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi Lord.”

Speak Up!

I hope you get the import of what that Filipino pastor was saying. It’s not enough to just sit back and hope that God will do His thing. Yes, pray. But put feet to your prayers. You don’t know but what it is God’s intention for you to work. That verse in 1 Cor. about being willing to suffer wrong is about bringing a fellow Christian before corrupt secular judges. It had nothing to do with marital advice. Why do we assume that it is God’s will for the GCH™ or the GCW™ to suffer in marriage?

I assume that everyone has heard that old sermon illustration about the man sitting on the roof of his house during a flood and refusing help. Three times he tells would-be rescuers floating by in boats, “I don’t need to be rescued,” he told them, “God is going to rescue me.” He ends up drowning in the flood, and when he gets to heaven, he asks God, “why didn’t you rescue me?” And we know the reply, right? “I sent people to you three times to rescue you, but you refused.”

We look for God’s divine hand, we want the bells and whistles of miracles. But we don’t want to work for our miracles. We think that God’s work is done by God, and not by us.

Instead of waiting for God to flash a revelation in the mind and the heart of our spouses, we need to speak up. If there is a problem with sexual frequency, sexual activity (or the lack there of), bring this up with your spouse. Discuss it, address it, and be upfront about it, not waiting for God to somehow waive his hand and and say “you want sex.”

“But you don’t know my wife”

True, I don’t. But if this matter of concern is so important that you feel that you have to go to God with it, why isn’t it something you would talk over with your wife? You’re already using your mouth to talk to God, why not use it to talk to your wife? Yes, I don’t know your wife. I don’t know you, either. But if you are saying that the situation is something that you need to pray over, that you need to bring to God into, then why isn’t it something that you would bring to your wife?

But, actually, I think I know why you don’t bring it to your wife. You see, your situation really isn’t intolerable. As long as the situation, whether it be refusal or gatekeeping, is something you can live with, you will live with it. If you can tolerate it, it’s not important enough to you to do something other than wish and pray about; it’s merely a preference. When you are desperate enough to put down the Jedi Mind Trick™ and do something, anything, then you are really serious about changing your marriage. When you are, then you’ll ditch this:

More to come…. CSL

* I realize that experts tell us that in up to 40% of marriage dealing with libido issues, the spouse with the higher drive is the wife. And, yes, I realize that, for the sake of these articles, I am using the societal archetype of males as the higher drive, frustrated spouse. I do not believe that this discounts what I am saying to refused and/or restricted wives. Yes, there may be a different set of challenges, but I don’t think a different skill set is the answer.

8 Comments

Filed under Marriage & Sexuality

8 responses to “Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 1

  1. I agree with you. There are also a few other considerations. I think the HD spouse has to do a lot of introspection. Is the HD spouse doing everything in their power to be holy in the sexual arena? I know none of us are perfect, that’s why Jesus came. But, if the HD spouse is viewing pornography on a consistent basis with the excuse that it’s OK because they are being rejected, they aren’t going to get anywhere. (You know that I believe it is imperative for the LD spouse to step-up. I am not making excuses.) Pornography damages the ability to be emotionally intimate with your spouse. You have to be able to be emotionally intimate with your spouse as well as physically intimate. Plus, if you aren’t being as holy as humanly possible in the sexual arena, how can you ask your spouse to be? Pornography was a major stumbling block in our marriage. I would have welcomed a gentle, loving discussion about how he felt about the sexual refusal. But, he wasn’t able to express his emotions because of his intimacy disorder which was perpetuated by the pornography use. Through the Holy Spirit, these past 15 years we are continue to heal daily! PTL

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    • “I agree with you. There are also a few other considerations. I think the HD spouse has to do a lot of introspection. Is the HD spouse doing everything in their power to be holy in the sexual arena? I know none of us are perfect, that’s why Jesus came. ”

      Thank you for your kind comments. I have seen others say something to the effect that the refused needs to make sure that he is “godly” before he can ask for his wife to address refusing. My question has always been, “Does a husband have to reach a beatified state before he can rightly expect a sex life?” I’m pretty sure that you aren’t saying that, but you’d be surprised how many people somehow seem to imply the guy has to earn a sex life.

      “But, if the HD spouse is viewing pornography on a consistent basis with the excuse that it’s OK because they are being rejected, they aren’t going to get anywhere. (You know that I believe it is imperative for the LD spouse to step-up. I am not making excuses.)”

      I do know of your backstory, as I began reading your blog when it first started. I rejoice with you and your hubs over the victories the two of you have achieved.

      PTL, indeed.

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  2. You are right, I wasn’t saying that. The point I was trying to make is that a man will have better capability of reaching emotional intimacy with his wife and talking to her about her refusal if he can quit porn viewing. It muddles. I am glad you are encouraging a discussion. I would have valued a discussion. Talking is good! I’m looking forward to your next installment. 🙂

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  3. Pingback: Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 2.1 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  4. Pingback: Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 2.2 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  5. Pingback: Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 3.1 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  6. Pingback: Christian Go-To Marital Tools, part 3.2 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

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