Available Balance
Why Sex Is So Important to Your Husband
January 30, 2018
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A man’s sexual performance with his wife is an inseparable part of who he is.
By Barbara Rainey

My husband, Dennis, and I received an email about the romantic differences between men and women. It began by asking, “How do you romance a woman?”

Answer: “Wine her, dine her, call her, cuddle with her, surprise her, compliment her hair, shop with her, listen to her talk, buy flowers, hold her hand, write love letters, and be willing to go to the end of the earth and back again for her.” That sounds about right, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want that kind of treatment?

Ahhh … men.

The email continued, “How do you romance a man?”

Answer: “Arrive naked. Bring food.”

A woman’s picture of romance tends to revolve around her emotional needs and her thirst for a relationship with her husband. It’s a package deal, like going on a cruise. Your cruise ticket doesn’t just allow you to enjoy sailing on a ship through beautiful waters to exotic locations; it includes three meals a day plus all-you-can-eat midnight buffets, access to swimming pools, games, exercise facilities, entertainment, excursions to ports of call, and a host of other amenities and experiences.

While a man has emotional needs, too, as Dr. Willard Harley asserts in His Needs, Her Needs, a man’s view of romance is much more focused on a single experience: sexual affirmation. In that regard, God wired men and women very differently. As you probably have experienced, these radical differences in approach to romance set the stage for repeated clashes in marriage—the husband pursues romance based on his sexual passion, and the wife goes after relationship.

In order to understand these differences, we have to be educated and nurture a desire to learn about each other. Colossians tells us to “put on a heart of compassion” (3:12 NASB). If I love my husband, then I’ll want to know him, to understand him, to have empathy for him so I can love him more. It’s what we wanted in marriage: to know and be known by another in the safety of unconditional love.

Genesis chapters one and two teach that man and woman are made in the image of God. As I understand how God made my husband, I can better complete him as a man. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” the Bible declares (Psalms 139:14 NKJV). My husband’s maleness is as essential as my femaleness in the working out of God’s design in our marriage.

Like oil and vinegar

When God created woman, He gave her multiple avenues for expressing the essence of her sexuality—her femaleness. Because I am a woman, I can participate in sexual intercourse with my husband. I can conceive a child and experience the miraculous process of creating a life in my body over nine months. My husband can only watch and wonder, but he’ll never know what giving life is like.

After my child is born, I can physically nurse her for months and even years if I so choose. There is no way a man can feed a baby with a bottle and begin to experience the same deep fulfillment and satisfaction women feel when they successfully nurse their child.

The experiences of childbearing and nursing are affirmations of female sexuality. Women were made to nurture life. It is an expression of our inherent femaleness, even if we never have a biological child. We are nurturers by God’s design.

By contrast, a man’s sexuality, his manhood, is primarily expressed through sexual intercourse. Of course this isn’t the only way he demonstrates his sexuality, but his sexual performance with his wife is an inseparable part of who he is. This area of his masculinity is subjected by the design of the Creator to a brief performance with a woman—his wife.

My point is this: when it comes to affirming your sexuality as a woman, you can participate in intercourse with your husband without having to become aroused. Your husband, however, cannot. His sexual affirmation requires him to be able to perform to complete the act of intercourse.

A wife must understand that temptation can get a foothold when her husband’s sexual needs (including the need to feel desired by his wife) remain unmet. There are many voices in a man’s world tempting him to fulfill his needs through illicit and perverted recreational outlets. Counterfeit pleasures beckon from every street corner—and every modem.

Is it any wonder that all of the warnings about sexual temptation in Proverbs are directed at men? While women are not immune from the pressures of sexual temptation, I find it remarkable that there are a host of examples of men falling into this sin throughout the Scriptures (Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law thinking she was a prostitute, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah, or Amnon raping Tamar)—not to mention the examples of women trying to seduce men (such as Potiphar’s wife luring Joseph to her sofa), but there are no examples of women being seduced by men.

In a way, the blending of our romantic differences is similar to making a good salad dressing. Oil and vinegar are about as dissimilar as condiments get. The only thing they have in common is that they are liquids. Oil is smooth; vinegar is sharp. Oil is thick; vinegar is thin. Left alone in the same bottle, the two will always migrate to opposite ends and remain there forever—unless shaken.

Interestingly even after the bottle has been shaken, the two retain their unique identities. And yet they complement each other in a perfect unity; together, they serve as a zesty finish to an otherwise bland mix of lettuces. And so it is in marriage. No matter how many times a husband and a wife come together, they always remain unique. He will always think like a man; she, like a woman. While their innate design will not change, they can better understand each other and move to love each other with compassion, knowing that, in so doing, they give each other life.

Grateful for God’s design

I’ve had women ask me, “Could God possibly design such a gigantic flaw?” Could He really not know the implications for His children? Hardly. God’s design isn’t a mistake. God is in control. He fashioned us together as husband and wife the way we are wired, with our unique backgrounds, for a specific purpose.

And He has done the same for you.

I turned a corner in our relationship when I chose to begin thanking God for His design of my husband and me. As a result, I started to see how important it was for my husband to need me, and I began to appreciate his greater sexual drive. Our coming together sexually was a key part of what has kept our relationship a marriage—not merely friendship, a roommate living arrangement. Sexual intimacy with my husband gives both of us the comfort of being known and accepted on a deep level that is unlike other human relationship. Safety and security are the results when we experience being “naked and not ashamed” as did Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter two.

Have you ever thanked God for the way He created you and your husband? God doesn’t make mistakes, and thanking Him for His design is the first step in finding peace in your situation. And doing that will give God the opportunity to change your thinking.

Thanking God is a decision I choose to make. From there, I choose to love my husband even if I don’t have strong feelings. Love, ultimately, is a commitment to seek the best of the one loved. I can choose to exercise my power as a passionate, nurturing, fully alive woman, or I can withhold and withdraw.

You face the same decision to love your man today.

Your husband will never be the man God created him to be if you don’t validate his maleness and understand and satisfy his need for sexual intimacy. You are God’s primary instrument of love and affirmation if he is to become God’s man. You have the power to make him or break him because men are not born, they are made.

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30 Ways to Love Your Wife
January 30, 2018
1

 

We all would do well to watch Solomon in action. Solomon, by contrast, referred to his wife as “my beloved” forty times in the Song of Solomon. That choice phrase is packed with affirmation. It’s a romantic expression, a call to rich friendship. Each time Solomon said, “My beloved,” his words clothed her with dignity and value.

What woman wouldn’t flourish under such a constant stream of loving affirmation?

Here are thirty nonsexual ways to cherish your bride through words and acts of affirmation. And by the way, these are nonsexual so that you speak her romantic love language. It’s important to remember that you are not doing these things to get something in return. Perhaps she will reciprocate in your language back to you, but that’s not your goal. Are you ready?

1. Hug and kiss her every morning before leaving the house. Research indicates that marriages that practice this simple discipline are much healthier than those that don’t. If she’s sleeping, leave her a note, or gently kiss her forehead and whisper, “Have a wonderful day, sweetheart.”

2. Reach across the front seat of the car when you drive and hold her hand, even for a few moments. Allow your fingers to become entwined.

3. Write, “I’m crazy about you, Honey. You’re the best!” or another personal message on a yellow sticky note. Attach it to her bathroom mirror.

4. Call her from work and say, “I’ve been thinking of how good I have it with you in my life. Thanks for all that you are as a woman and all that you do for me and our family.”

5. The next time you get a pair of tickets to a ball game, theater, or concert that she’d like to go to, make a sacrifice. Instead of going with a buddy, tuck them in her purse with a note saying, “You deserve a night off. Have fun with a girlfriend.”

6. Go an entire day without criticizing anything about her. Instead, try to notice her doing something that you really appreciate, and tell her how much you value her.

7. Go to bed at the same time with her for a week; just talk or read a book and share the quietness together. Or play a card game that you used to play when you dated or were just married.

8. Brush her hair and compliment her hair and eyes.

9. While she studies her face in the mirror, come up behind her and gently kiss the back of her neck. Say, “God broke the mold after He made you. You are so beautiful.”

10. Call her or send her an e-mail midafternoon and ask her how her day is going.

11. Try your hand at making breakfast on Saturday morning. Tell her she deserves a break and should feel free to sleep in.

12. Take her car to the gas station, fill the tank, vacuum the floor mats, and clean the windows. When you park it at the house, leave a note on the dash with just a heart and the words, “Thinking of you.”

13. Write her a short love letter in which you list several ways that she has blessed you this year.

14. Resurrect common courtesies. Start opening the car door for her as you did when you dated, pull out her chair for her at the dinner table, offer your arm while walking down stairs, and help her put her coat on.

15. If she’s doing the laundry, pull yourself away from whatever you’re doing and offer to bring the hamper.

16. Put the toilet seat down when you’re finished, and wash your hands. I’d estimate that 40 percent of men don’t. Our wives do know. Stroking her face after you’ve been to the bathroom suddenly loses its romantic appeal!

17. Put down the newspaper or turn off the computer, and say, “Why don’t we go for a walk and talk? I’d love to hear about your day.”

18. If you overhear her engaged in a difficult situation on the phone or with a child, compliment the way she handled the conversation.

19. Initiate daily prayer with her. This one spiritual discipline has transformed millions of marriages. Make a commitment, and then begin to pray together every day. Begin by giving thanks for her and your family, then pray with her about her worries and challenges. Ask her to pray for you about a challenge you are facing.

20. Say, “Thank you,” after every meal she serves. Then help her clear the table or offer to do the dishes with her.

21. If she has wrestled with a specific spiritual issue (such as gossip, envy, a lack of compassion), tell her how much you appreciate her desire to handle it in a godly manner.

22. Express appreciation for her doing the laundry and folding your clothing.

23. Each day try to say, “I love the way you _______ ,” and fill in the blank with something you’ve observed.

24. When your wife irons your shirts or picks up the dry cleaning, say, “Thanks, Honey, for taking such good care of me.”

25. When the alarm goes off in the morning, wrap your arm around her, press your body next to hers, and cuddle for several minutes. When you leave, say, “I wish I didn’t have to go.”

26. The next time you go to dinner, say, “You’ve had a tough day, Sweetie. Why don’t you pick the spot tonight?”

27. When you are together in a crowd, find a way to brag on her. Say, “My wife is such an amazing cook,” or “I’ve got the best wife—her ______ never ceases to amaze me.”

28. The morning after making love, touch her tenderly, and tell her how wonderful it was to be with her.

29. With your wife in the room, tell your kids, “You’ve got the best mommy in the world. Isn’t she great? I just love her so much.”

30. Help her put the kids to bed each night.

For some men, the thought of affirming their wives sounds like a lot of work. Others are anxious about being so vulnerable with displays of affirmation. Whatever the reason, they hesitate to step out and pursue the call to love found in Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV): “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

If you’ve hesitated affirming your bride, or if you’ve been slow to praise her qualities, trust me on this: just do it. Affirming your wife through even just three or four of these ideas will do wonders for your romance. Is that too difficult to believe?

You’ll never know unless you try, right?

 

 

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