Well, if the other post on this topic was not enough, got one more issue I’d like to throw out. Since we’ve probably already offended women in the first, no need to back off now. Also, a little warning that this post is probably PG-13. The purpose of these two posts was to give some specifics and application from the Sunday sermon to women, with the call in Ephesians 5:22-33 for wives to submit to their own husbands and respect their husband. The book of Proverbs gave us several examples of women whose attitudes and behaviors fail to submit and respect their husband and therefore dishonors Christ. In this post I want to focus on one more real housewife, and we will leave Proverbs and head to 1 Corinthians 7.
The Sexually Manipulative Wife – A husband and wife’s sexuality is a barometer for the entire relationship. While there may be some exceptions, if a married couple maintains a healthy and active sex life it is a sign that the rest of their marriage has health. On the other hand, when a couple is not active in their sex life it is generally an indication that deeper and serious problems exist. In years of counseling couples, we have seen a significant problem multiple times involving women who use sex as a way to manipulate their husbands. Generally, men have a stronger sex drive and need for sex. And some women know this is the Ace of Spades in the relationship. If she can keep the man guessing and begging, she knows he will never really get the upper hand in the relationship. She may even believe she is a compliant and submissive wife in other things, but by using sex she is able to control her husband. If the husband gets demanding with sex he is a pig, and if he goes to far she can claim abuse. But the alternative is a beat down husband who is sexually frustrated and out of control. Now, hear me clearly here. No man should force himself sexually on his wife. Sex should be each person’s gift to their spouse and enjoyed by both. But if the husband is the head of the home, and the wife is to submit in everything (see Ephesians 5:24), this means that the husband should have leadership in the expression of sexuality within the relationship. But for the sexually manipulative wife, she realizes that the husband will come home and sit on the couch wondering if his wife will give him intimacy, and will wait and wait, wondering if she is going to share her body. And she likes this position, she has the power. Of course, she has reasons. If he would love me better, if he would be more romantic, if he would help me clean the kitchen. All these are valid, and I already got on the guys for their failure to love their wives as Christ loved the church. But this does not excuse a wife when she fails to honor her husband in their sex life. Furthermore, any man will struggle to feel respected by his wife if she is withholding sex and frustrating him. Believe it or not, the Bible speaks clearly to this issue.
[7:1] Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”  But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.  The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.  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.  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, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
(1 Corinthians 7:1-5 ESV)
Some things that are clear about the sexuality between a husband and wife.
1)God created us as sexual beings.
2)As a gift from God, our desire for sexuality should lead us to commitment to a wife or husband.
3)We are commanded to give our spouse their conjugal rights. This sounds so much like a prison thing, but the text is clear. To deny a spouse sexually is a sin against one’s spouse.
4)When a person gets married they no longer have right over their own body. The wife’s body really belongs to the husband, and the husband’s body belongs to his wife. While guys get the much better end of this trade, the idea here is that sexuality in marriage is a way for each person to serve the other, and to use it as a weapon of manipulation is a sin.
5)The only reason in this text that a couple can refrain from sex for any season of life is for the purpose of prayer and pursuit of God, and this only happens when both people agree to this.
6)The question as to how often a couple should have sex is governed by the principle in verse 5. If either person in the marriage feels deprived, or comes to the point where they burn and are tempted because of lack of self-control, then their sex life is not sufficient and needs to grow. While each marriage and man is different, on average God has created the male body to crave sexuality every 3-4 days, so for most couples a sex life that is satisfying to both partners will average intimacy about twice a week. Your marriage may be different, but the question is if both people are satisfied and feel connected to their spouse as a result of their sexuality.
My goal here is not to beat down wives, so if these posts have felt harsh, believe me that my motivation is love for people in our church and the desire to see marriages grow and get stronger. We want to see amazing, Gospel driven families with husbands and wives who love each other and live the roles God has given them. If you disagree with me, no big deal. But if you find yourself at odds with the Scriptures and with God you will not move toward health in marriage or life. And the best way for a wife to see if she is honoring her husband is to ask him. Where grace is needed, seek it. Where repentance is warranted, do it well. Where a discussion with your wife or husband is needed, do it with mercy, but do it. And in all things, live for the glory of God with Christ at the center of life and the Gospel as your core message. And work toward the idea of having your marriage being an amazing earthly picture of Christ’s love for his church and the church’s submission to Christ as her Lord.