From allowing our differences and/or preferences to come between us, to potential emotional abuse when “I’m not getting what I want”, we can drift from God’s desire for sexual intimacy in marriage. Also, different seasons and challenges in our married life can lead to challenges in our sexual intimacy.
Join Josh and Kit this week as they discuss the tensions in marriage and in sexual intimacy. They share about how we might learn to be more sensitive to one another and how to seek God together during these difficult times.
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I think we’re surrounded so much with with pictures about what sex is supposed to be in. I mean, we see it in Hollywood movies. And it just works. It’s magical. it you know, the couples know they’re meant for each other because of how they connect sexually. But the reality is that in a lot of marriages, sex is a really difficult piece, it’s a really hard area of their their marriages in people’s marriages. We’ve heard stories here and we just want to share some of our perspective on on some of the negative that we’ve heard, but really primarily want to move into like, what’s God’s vision? And how can we get after framing up marriage in a way that’s more helpful and healthy for people. I’m sorry, framing up sex and marriage in a way that’s more helpful and healthy for people. So khitomer and I back here talking today, Kate, you’re sharing with me just some stories you’ve heard from multiple women, to share it with me. And then I have just a couple stories I’ve heard from different people about some of the areas that have really difficulty, like, like, faulty ways of looking at sex and marriage. So just let’s just have a conversation about that, before moving to some of what God’s design
Well, you know, quite a few women have talked about the hurt that they’ve experienced when, you know, their husbands have a desire for sex very often more often than the wives would want it. And, and that happens a lot. And like we’ve said, not everybody has equal sexual, you know, interest and drive. But instead of being able to accept that or figure out how that would work for both of them, the husband would get extremely upset and would then kind of punish the, the wife and be unkind. And, you know, I would say to the point of kind of being emotionally abusive, and or even take it out on the children or, you know, and and that’s so discouraging for these women. And, of course, the husband is dealing with something he doesn’t even know probably, you know, something, some brokenness in him some desire, he some needy wants, Matt, that he thinks he can get that way. And he can’t. And so it’d be great if that could be a topic of conversation, rather than it kind of spiraling into this dark place.
Yeah. So you’re describing like, kind of a husband, and this can happen either direction. But yeah, but you’re, you’re talking about walking or walking with wives who’s like, the husband gets angry because the wife does not want sex as much as he does. Yes. And so he gets angry either. Is it directly? Is it indirectly as a passive aggressive? Is it well, can be
different stories have different ways, but it’s clearly punishment of some kind?
Yeah, maybe he’s not, maybe he’s thinking of it that way. Like, I’m gonna treat her badly until she gives me sex, or maybe he’s not even realizing he’s being passive aggressive, but kind of, you know, the, the, the child inside of the adult body kind of, you know, throwing a temper tantrum, you know, because I’m not getting what I want.
What’s what, what did? I mean, from your experience? What, what are they saying about that? Like, you know, what’s the is it? What’s the husband’s perspective, that he’s that he’s articulating around that as he is? He does, he isn’t usually, like, you know, I get I’m being unreasonable, or is it? Is it justified in some way?
Well, I think a lot of times, it’s, it’s, it’s, there’s little self awareness, and you know, so it’s just like, it’s like, well, this is what I want, this is what I need. This is how I’m built, you know. And so it helps if, if the wife can, can actually, can we sit down and talk about this. And if the husband’s willing, then that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s just this tension, you know, thing that goes on and on and there isn’t good communication. So obviously, good communication about it, honoring the other one, about what they need, what they want, you know, is so important for stories of
sometimes we’re husband, kind of hyper religious kind of posture says, you know, I’m the husband, you need to submit to me, I remember hearing, someone shared a story of growing up in an environment where I think the mother, their mother, before they got married, said something to the effect of, look, you’re not gonna want to have sex, it’s gonna hurt, but this is something you need to do. It’s your job as a wife. So it was just kind of this and I don’t know where that kind of stuff comes from. But man talk about like, drifting from God’s design, we’ll get into that, but it’s just not a setup for, for, for a loving situation, when So from my perspective, as I’ve watched it A lot of men in marriage is wrestling with sexual stuff. One of things I hear a lot is men who have who have struggled with lust in one form or another, whether it’s a sexual addiction, or pornography addiction, or just kind of their own experience in the world, high school college kind of just being more womanizing get into a marriage, and they’re comparing this one spouse, to all sorts of other sexual experiences or things that they’ve seen. And she doesn’t measure up. And he’s, he’s, you know, wanting to be, quote, unquote, sexually satisfied in the marriage, but he’s finding as either his mind is drifting, or he’s going back to porn, or he’s asking her to dress certain ways or act certain ways, or even can we bring certain things into our marriage, pornography in our marriage? In some extreme cases, can we bring other people into our sexual relationship? To quote unquote, spice it up? And sometimes, you know, the wife just being thrown into it? What are you? Like? Are you kidding me? No. And so she starts to, you know, to shut down or in, sadly, and a lot of other cases, the wife trying to become more like someone else, in order to satisfy her husband, which I think is the desire to Saturday to be to satisfy one spouse in a sex relationship is a normal healthy thing, but, but to only to a degree not not by becoming someone else, or acting like someone else, or playing a part. So these are just a couple examples, there are a lot of other examples of ways that even otherwise, good marriages or, or marriages between Christians really, really suffer and where we’d say like, you know, if, if kind of looking and going, Hey, timeout, timeout, this is really not a good way to approach this, this is, you or not, you got it, we got to pull back, we got to figure something else out. Because long term, this is, this is not going to work for for either of you, let alone for both of you.
And, you know, there can be some extreme examples of what you mentioned, or just, you know, more commonplace where, you know, that’s why, you know, we try to understand, like, why does God say that sex should be within the covenant of marriage, you know, well, if you’re acting out sexually with lots of different people, and you’re, you know, you’re there’s a, there can be a very, you know, psychological unhealthy charge that you’re getting from that. And then you get married, and you have this one spouse that you’re you want to be devoted to, and you your view of what this can be, this sexual relationship is tainted, and so it can, you know, can really Mar you know, your, your understanding and your expectations of what it can be.
Yeah, and then I think another example would be that the the marriage where there’s just not sex, that couples are not having sex. And, and this is actually happening more than I think a lot of people know. And even in marriages that from the outside look really healthy, they just become sexless marriages. And it could be for any number of reasons that the sexual relationship was difficult. And so they, they didn’t know what to do. And maybe were really afraid to ask for help or, and so it just, they kind of just gave up on it. Other times, some of these other factors could have been played into it. And so, you know, one spouse did shut down or shut the other one out. And,
and that’s so important to talk about that and not just let it go. I mean, there’s so many, so many things about marriage, right? That we, we know, it’s unhealthy to just sweep it under the rug to see but other than that, you know, you gotta keep an active communication about everything in your marriage. And certainly sex is very significant. And you you will have, you will go through times when it is difficult for whatever reason, you know, that’s certainly happened in my marriage, and we’ve had to really be be willing to talk about that, because it’s, it happens. And I think that’s, that’s, I
mean, so I think about how we started this podcast by saying, there’s so many images out there of like, oh, sex just works. It’s always great, blah, blah. And it’s funny, because I don’t think we typically think that there’s any other part of our relationship, finances, time schedule, personalities that are just always going to click, and somehow we think that some that this most intimate, sensitive areas, or that area of our life is always just going to work and just be, you know, a rocket to the moon. Well, no, like, you’ll
have to work on this to learn in this culture, right? It’s like, it’s an image thing. Like, I don’t want to Oh, sorry, that it’s not good. Because, you know, that’d be weird. Like, I want to be cool. I want to be like, the image of the culture is that, that this is, this is the good thing that you have this natural, you know, thing going on. And so, you know, I love that we’re talking about this and that, you know, hopefully we can talk more about it like it’s beautiful. It’s can be great. And it can be really hard and really challenging. And let’s just be real about it.
Yeah. I like that we’re talking about cuz I think that there’s this tension with sex. On the one hand, God, God’s design, sex is very intimate, it’s personal. And it’s meant to be just between two individual people for a while. You know, like, it’s not meant to have an audience. It’s not meant to be comparative. It’s not meant to be, you know, raise dinner party, right? On the other hand, because it’s so sensitive, because it can get so difficult because it is so nuanced in some ways. There are times where we need help, we need to hear from other people. And it’s hard to find Healthy People this one of the reasons I love that we do the parenting workshop shameless plug for PG. Because I think that like we really were meant to grow up in an environment where we learned from mom and dad some healthy approaches some healthy perspective on sex so that we get married. It’s not like we’re searching the internet for answers or having unhealthy conversations or unrealistic expectations. So with that in mind, I want to just kind of, there’s so much we could talk about, but I want to just spend the rest of time we have just talk about like, what are some healthy, like just thinking about healthy perspectives on sex? So we can’t solve all the problems, and it’s a podcast we have but but even like, what if people were to reframe, like, what’s a good healthy approach or healthy perspective? Towards the way that God has designed sex to be between a husband and a wife? Does that make sense? Yeah. So what are some things
that came to my mind? Is that something that comes into my mind often, with my husband and I, that it’s, it is a remarkable gift that this is something that, you know, God intended, for a husband and wife to share with only each other. Like, this is something that my husband and I give and share with one another. And we don’t give it or share it with any one else. Yeah.
That’s profound. Yeah. It’s profound. And it’s in when you have that perspective, and that appreciation and that gratitude. It It is a you if you allow it to be you know, just not just physically and emotionally but spiritually, very enriching.
Yeah. So I mean, you know, I, one of my passions is helping people break free from the grip of pornography, but it’s just another example of why porn, the whole pornography, propaganda is such Bs, I mean, because even the idea of like, you know, we’re gonna bring pornography in our marriage to spice things up, the brain is not wired. for sexual enticement with lots and lots of people, the brain actually releases chemicals into the nervous system, that help a person bond sexually with one spouse. And when that when those chemicals are released with multiple people, it just confuses the matter and actually facilitates infidelity. I mean, helps to, you know, move people towards being unfaithful, which is not going to make you feel better so I can improve your sex relationship. One of the one of the categories I think, is really helpful for me when I think about healthy sex, is that sex is not something unto itself, it really is meant to be a category or an expression of love. And so even even kind of bristle when I hear people talking about like, using expressions, like, you know, we have good sex or Hey, do you want to have sex? Like, like, sex is a it’s a, it’s a verb, you know, I mean, it’s a noun, we’re talking about gender, but I think it’s meant to be this, especially just like communication is it’s something that that the two people do, it’s not something that has, it’s not like a ride, you go on, Hey, have you been on this ride of this amusement park? Like, you know, like it, but we talked about it that way, as opposed to this husband and this wife’s sexual relationship? Does that make sense?
Absolutely. So and it comes out of an honoring, like, what you’re describing so beautiful, like, sex. And it’s, I think, in its most beautiful form, the way God intended is that two people would come together and there would be this honoring of one another, you know, this understanding of each other, this knowing of one another. Right, right. And then that, that that would naturally lead you then to know each other in this way. Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. And it’s completely different than if it were otherwise. If it were just let’s have sex,
right? So So one way to think about it is, do you in this moment want sex? Or is the you desire to be close with to be united with this person? Those are very different things,
very different things.
You know, I think if we if he got a call from a friend who just said, Hey, you know, just looking to talk to anybody, and we got a list and you know, your name alphabetically felt top so would you want to get together and have a conversation? You’d be like, Wait, do you wanna have conversation interesting sent out with me, you’re just like, you know, like, he just wants to know, like, we treat sex that way. You know, and I think and I think, you know, on a soul level, I think a husband and wife feels that like, you know, do you do you are you really seeing me Do you want to be with me? Or is it just any body and the body will do right now to give you a sexual the sexual feelings you’re after. So different things. And I think you know, with my background with with pornography in my Life, I think that, that that’s been such a paradigm shift for me and, but a really helpful one, and I think it actually benefits and makes sexual relation my wife sent me so much richer and deeper and more worthwhile than, than just, you know, seeking the thrill, you know,
and, you know, I think I want to be careful to not to set this bar like, and therefore, sex between a husband wife will always be this, you know, spiritual high and all intentions will be good, you know, like, you know, life is life, and, you know, so, you know, being able to accept one another, and, and, you know, have it be what it needs to be sometimes, but knowing that that’s the intention, you know, knowing that that’s the desire, and always having that, you know, as the foundation of what you’re really sharing together.
Yeah, like, so yeah, that’s really helpful. Because we want it we want to be gracious, you know, I’m coming out of my own past of lost. And so I don’t always get this right. But but this is, if you know, for the kind of, this is our purpose statement, we want to really kind of seek to approach it this way and approach each other that way,
to have a vision, you know, it’s good to have a vision of all kinds of things in life about what God intended. Right? That’s what we think about a lot here is what did God intend? Yeah. In the beginning with all these things, including, you know, sex, right?
What other so what other things would you add to that kind of like, Okay, this is the purpose we’re pursuing, or this is the perspective, we want to encourage people to try to foster or breathe life into in their marriages, as opposed to some of these other, these other, you know, the negative pieces that we started with?
Unknown Speaker 16:47
Well, you know, I think,
again, I think it’s, it’s, when you think about a marriage, and you think about all the different things that you can, you know, share together, and enjoy it, like, enjoy it, you know, like, my husband, and I love to take hikes together, and we love to explore nature together. And I think sometimes if we, you know, we think about sex, and it’s like, oh, you know, and you get all kind of weird about it, which it is, it’s a very, it’s a highly, it’s a thing to highly respect. And I think we can enjoy it, you know, we can enjoy it, and it can be a part of, of the richness and the goodness and the joy of a marriage, you know, and in ways that sometimes movies and songs and things don’t really, you know, lead us to,
and I think that’s, that goes back to what we were talking about before with the, I mean, if you look at that, as as in, it’s an, it’s a, the converse of the, the one person wants to have sex, the other doesn’t, the one person wants to try these things other doesn’t, that, then there’s this kind of this, these expectations, and this kind of like, you know, what I’m one person is feeling forced, or that’s not enjoying each other, it’s not enjoying this gift as a part of your relationship. It’s, but that means, and when that happens, I think, if the intentions are good, and one person desires to have more sex, and the other one person desires to do things, actually the other doesn’t, how can we move towards each other in this place and learn as we go? Not under, you know, kind of a legalism or a you have to do this for me, I have to do this for you, but rather, like how can we learn to love each other, as we’re respecting each other. And it may mean, it may mean that we give up something that we had hoped for. I mean, that that’s a real part of marriage, too. Like, my wife has worked hard in our almost 18 years of marriage to, to grow and her kind of love and desire to cook. And she doesn’t love to spend time in the kitchen. I always wanted to marry somebody who was just a great cook, you know, like, that’s not my wife and I, you know, I would gladly trade that to have her you know, that she’s the one I want. And the same thing is true in any sexual relationship there. You know, what, like, I thought this is gonna be part of my life and part of my sex relationship. It’s not but but I’m going to enjoy being with you.
You know, so often in marital vows, we say love and honor. You know, again, I love that word. Honor, I love it so much. But that’s so important, you know, this honoring of each other. Because if in your marriage, you are honoring one another in all aspects of your marriage, you’re creating a safe place. And a safe place is really important for your sexual relationship. Yeah.
And yeah, I would actually say kit like I’ve told men this. And I think it’s true both ways. But I believe that creating that safety through honor and trust is actually one of the that’s the one of the biggest aphrodisiacs
because it I totally agree with you.
I totally agree with you. And I think it’s especially true for husband as he’s relating with his wife, like, like, you know, if she’s gonna feel comfortable, relaxed enough to feel enjoy that experience. She’s got to feel like she can trust you and she’s being honored in that way.
Oh my gosh, yes. Powerful. That’s part of God’s design. I, I would just claim that part of God’s design is that that honoring in the bedroom in the in the marriage bed would be so beautiful that it would create that kind of safety that you might not experience anywhere else.
Could you you were sharing a story offline that you said you wouldn’t mind sharing that you and Greg would mind sharing as part of that you guys have walked through, I think that we’re not gonna hold it up as like, Hey, this is this is it go for this, but, but he’s just a great example of that, would you mind sharing that? No, it’s
a beautiful thing. Hard, you know, experience, but a beautiful story. And that when after my cancer, you know, when you have a tumor that’s estrogen positive, then you you want to get the estrogen out of your body. And so you know, whether it’s with the chemo, or the medication afterwards, they’re, they’re draining your body of estrogen. So that, of course, create some problems. Loss of estrogen can mean a lot of things, it can mean you know, lack of sex drive, it can, it can mean you know, physical pain and discomfort. And of course, you know, I want to be sure to say that this is not permanent either, but it is it is a temporary situation, that can be very difficult. And so, you know, Greg was very, very, very patient and not only patient, he said, you know, honey, this is not, this isn’t a finer marriage, this isn’t the most important thing in our marriage. And, and, and you know, what, we’re gonna be fine. And we could have said, well, let’s just give up on it. You know, what neither one of us wanted to do that. And so we’re like, yeah, we’re gonna figure this out. And, and we, and we prayed about it, and we asked God to be in it. And, and, and when he did, he met us there, it was just an honoring of, like, there was nothing I could do about these physical issues that were happening. And yet, by him loving me in that place, and honoring our marriage in that place, in the way that he did, it allowed us then to go forward, and, and, and, and enjoy each other in ways that it’s different. And it’s, in some ways, you know, more special,
it’s. So in Ephesians, five will conclude with kind of this and this a beautiful story. I’ve always been a fan of your husband, and I’m all the more so after hearing that like fusions five, the command that the Paul gives to husbands, husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. And we know that Christ of the church, even even the point of sacrificing his desire, sacrificing his life for her to make her beautiful. When I hear that story, what I hear that reflects Christ to me and that story is, is basically, I’m not pursuing sex, I’m pursuing you. And you right now we’re walking through cancer and the follow up of cancer and the difficulties there. And we can you could apply that to whatever the situation we’ve talked about before, you know, I’m not pursuing this activity or this sexual experience, I’m pursuing you and where your heart is what you’re capable of not pursuing the you know, that people have been asked before and pursuing you and who you are. And from that, then, together husband wife can pursue more enjoyment more freedom, life, procreation, all these good aspects of, of sex together as opposed to kind of pursuing it from each other. You know? Yeah, there’s so much more to say about that. Let’s, let’s talk more about this. I know that we’re hearing from people they really want, like, talk to us about how to, like, we know their negative things about tech sex talks about having good healthy sex, sexual relationships in our marriages. And so we will come back to this. But Kit, thanks for your vulnerability today with this. And thanks so much for talking to me. So let me just close in a prayer for everybody, as we’re all kind of trying to grow in this area, Lord, sex is your design. Not only is it designed for us in marriage, Lord, but it’s your desire for husbands and wives. And that’s good lord, it’s an expression of your desire for us. And I pray, Lord, that you continue to sanctify all of us and all our listeners, that the desire that we have, will grow into your likeness. Or we have made sex an idol. We’ve made sexual pleasure an idol. So Lord, we were announced that idle now in Jesus name, or teach us to love one another, as you have loved us. And in so doing, Lord, would you teach us to love one another husband, loving wife, wife, loving husband, in marriage, including in their sexual relationship? Are you can do this, we pray this through Christ, who gave Himself gave his body for us. We pray in his name. Amen
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