Monthly Archives: June 2015

Q&A: My Shy Husband Is “Grossed Out” by Sex

When fellow Christians balk about why I write about sex in marriage, I often want to say, “You should see my email.” If they could read the scenarios and testimonies I receive, perhaps they’d understand how important ministries addressing marriage and sexual intimacy can be.

With that in mind, here’s a heart-wrencher question today. This young wife and her husband waited for all the physical stuff until their wedding day, including the kiss. I’ve known others who waited for nearly everything until the honeymoon, and most are like children ripping open the Christmas present with eagerness and excitement; they can’t wait to be intimate! Not so this couple.

My Shy Husband Is "Grossed Out" by Sex via Hot, Holy & Humorous

My question basically is, how do I encourage my husband to be more comfortable with me when he is (well is seems to me) grossed out by stuff… I try to use my tongue while kissing, and [he] absolutely won’t use his. I have stopped because it makes me feel rejected when he does that, but I really would like to be more intimate that way. I tried reading a book with him called A Celebration of Sex for Newlyweds but he didn’t seem interested or at least was to shy to be reading words like sex and orgasm :)…

I don’t know how to help educate my husband so that he is confident in touching me. He doesn’t explore my intimate parts unless I intentionally sit down with him and then he seems to [lose] interest in 3 minutes even though I am doing my best to encourage him. And if I try to move his hand there while in bed he resists me (again rejection feeling). So I want to be respectful of his discomforts so I just suggest every once in a while and leave it at that. But he is fine with me touching him for the most part except that he is extremely ticklish.

So I am feeling frustrated because I want more, but don’t know how to communicate with my shy quite husband. And will I have to keep asking? I also feel frustrated because of the stereotype of the way men should be in my mind and he is not that, i e he does not pursue me aggressively in a sexual manner which is what I want/expect. I feel like I am doing all the work. It seems like he was such a good Christian boy who never ever let his mind wander or fantasize. I ask him if there are things he would like to do or try and the answer is always “i don’t know.” How do I get my husband to want me more and in new ways? I guess the real answer is prayer. I should pray more for him. But again how do I get him interested in learning about sex? 

Mourn with those who mourn. First, I want to hug this wife. Sex is supposed to part of the package deal of marriage, and she’s got a lifetime ahead of her with the man she loves, but it’s just not happening…at all. I want to “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15), because this is real grief. Yet God knows. And, while I cannot reach her, He can wrap His strong arms around her and her marriage and help her through.

Sexual baggage? Second, my red flags are up and flying at full mast. If this husband were in my counseling office (no, I don’t have one, but let’s pretend), I’d ask a lot of questions about his sexual history. An extreme lack of interest and discomfort with sexual intimacy could relate to events from his past—such as childhood sexual abuse; harsh punishment for sexual curiosity; teaching that sex is “dirty” or sinful; deep and unyielding shame about prior inappropriate activity (e.g., watching porn).

I suggest sitting your husband down outside the bedroom and starting a conversation about your previous experiences with sexuality. When did you learn about sex and from whom? Did you have any awkward experiences as a child? What did you think sex would be like in marriage? If he will not engage—because it’s about S-E-X—state clearly, “I need for us to talk about this, because I want to be intimate with you in every way, including sex. If you cannot talk to me, you have to talk to someone.” Then outline some possibilities for him, like your pastor, a Christian counselor, a mentor friend, a support group.

And yes, I think there could be a point when he’s had ample opportunity to follow through but hasn’t, and you must enlist help from others. That could mean going to your pastor, explaining the situation, and asking him to gently and privately approach your husband. It could mean telling a close friend of his who’s marriage-positive, a wonderful confidant for your husband, and who’ll take a biblical approach. I would not take this step lightly, but it’s also not okay to live like this for years on end.

Just too much? That said, this “good Christian boy who never ever let his mind wander or fantasize” may simply feel in over his head. If he expended a great deal of effort avoiding sex to remain pure, it could be difficult to flip that switch. In which case, I’d put away the Christian sex book (yes, even mine *sigh*) and reach for the ultimate Christian sex book, the Bible. You need to start with helping him understand God Himself is entirely in favor of him exploring, enjoying, and satisfying his wife in the marriage bed.

Three times in the Song of Songs, the Bible says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). Many Christians and churches focus on the first half of that verse, making sure not to arouse or awaken sexual feelings and activity before marriage. But the verse doesn’t stop there; it goes on to say “until it so desires,” meaning there will be a time when love should be aroused and awakened because it’s ready. Marriage is that time.

You can share the Song of Songs, or stories from the Bible about sexuality (4 Great Bible Stories about Sex, 3 More Great Bible Stories about Sex). Take him to one of my favorite scriptures on sexuality—Proverbs 5:18-19: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Pray for him, and pray with him if he’ll agree. It may help to find some of these specific scriptures and adapt them to pray for your husband’s interest and engagement. For instance, using the above scripture: “Bless my husband’s fountain, Lord, and help him to rejoice in me. Give him Your view of me as loving and graceful. Help him to seek satisfaction in my breasts and my body and to become intoxicated with my love.”

Slowly, slowly. On a practical level, go slow. Like insanely slow. Will this nearly kill you? Not being a patient woman myself, I’m freaking out a little just writing about it. But ask for divine help to persevere and slowly pull your husband out of his extreme timidity.

Set aside chunks of time to use as experimentation. Even if your husband isn’t tuned into his body, your body, and sexuality, he can get there. He may need time, permission, and trial-and-error to figure out what gets him going in the sex department. Explain you want to spend time figuring out how to make sex work between you two.

Also, I’m not a big fan of blindfolds, but I can see a use for it here or simply asking hubby to keep his eyes closed. He may need to tune out the visual of oh-my-goodness-what’s-happening and focus on sensations of touch. Ask clearly and often about what he likes or doesn’t like. If he isn’t comfortable answering with words, he can provide a hand signal or soft noise—whatever works for you. You may need for a time to hold off on intercourse while you help him explore sexuality itself. Remember the goal is ultimately physical intimacy, not a grand finish (although, believe me, I’m in favor of the grand finish).

You have a lifetime together, so breathe easy knowing you don’t have to get this all nailed down by Thursday. Does it suck? I’m a candid woman, so I’m going to agree that it sucks to be rejected by your husband and have him get grossed out by something as simple as a French kiss. Will it always suck? I’m also a Christian woman, so I’m confident saying that answer is no. God has worked wonders in so many marriages when it comes to sexual intimacy, and I think He can spin a beautiful miracle in yours.

What advice do you have for this wife? Do you have a similar situation in your marriage?

Manual Play for Her

Most wives enjoy their husbands touching them with deep embraces and gentle caresses, but what about something more titillating? How can a husband use his hands to stir up his wife’s desire and give her oodles of pleasure?

Manual Play for Her

Manual play refers to your hubby using his hands on your genitalia to arouse and satisfy you sexually. There’s quite a bit he can do down there with his talented, God-given hands. Let’s talk about a few approaches. (I do get pretty detailed, by the way.) If something here intrigues you, invite your husband to give it a try.

Rub-a-dub-dub. Hubby can use his fingers or whole hand to simply rub your privates. This might feel best away from the most sensitive areas, like the clitoris, instead focusing on either side of your vulva or the “mound,” or mons pubis, above the genitals. The right pressure is important, and he should probably approach it like a massage stroke.

Tease and please. Speaking of pressure, his fingers can be used with soft strokes to tease and please all of the areas of your pleasure places. One tip most men need is to go slow. Sometimes a husband can get antsy wanting to rev things up quickly and get you to that powerful peak. However, women usually respond better by warming up slowly and enjoying all the lovely sensations along the way. Let him know this is a tease-fest, and you want him to stay with it until you beg for more.

Round and round he goes. I’m talking circles. Why am I giving circles its own section? Because it’s very easy to explain to hubby and can feel very good to wifey. Where can he circle his hand or fingers? How about around your vulva? The perimeter of your vaginal opening? Your clitoris? All of those places would likely respond to circular motion with his hands.

Slip-’n-slide. Let him come inside. Have hubby slip his finger into your vagina, called “digital penetration.” Usually, the finger that works best is the middle one, because of its flexibility and the rest of the hand stabilizing it. Using that finger also allows him to have other fingers free to stroke or rub the area outside as well. If you’d like, he can add another finger or two, increasing the friction and sense of fullness. He can simply caress your vagina, thrust in and out to mimic intercourse, or hook his finger toward the front and try to locate your G-spot. If he can find it (no guarantee, but worth a shot), your pleasure will likely build even more with direct contact to that sensitive site.

What’s the goal of manual play? Primarily, it’s foreplay. It should be a huge turn-on to you and to him for you to be touched. In this way, your husband can explore your tender places and get to know your body more fully. Meanwhile, you can experience the pleasurable sensations of being lovingly touched in your most private area.

Manual play is also a fabulous way to get your lubrication going. In order to have intercourse, you need to be “wet.” If he can stimulate you first with his hands, then he can reach in a bit, draw out your natural lubrication, and spread it over your vulva. Don’t worry if you’re not producing much on your own, though. You can always grab some personal lubricant and use it during manual play, or introduce it before intercourse. Your manual play might actually feel better with some added wetness to get things moving.

Note that manual play is a great method of reaching climax. Many wives respond well to their husband’s hands stimulating them down below. Quite frankly, a hand can be more precise and adaptive than a penis. Thus, if you need a certain level of pressure or for him to hit that right spot, having him “finger” you might be the best way to nudge you up that climax cliff and send you over the edge. This position can also be very enjoyable for a husband, because he gets to watch the entire thing. Most hubbies love seeing their wives experience that wave of excitement, and knowing he did it all with his hand is a pretty awesome attaboy he can give himself.

A few last-minute tips for manual play, to make sure things go smoothly.

Give him access. For years, I didn’t think our girly parts were all that pretty, so I wasn’t super-willing to show them off to the hubby. He doesn’t see it that way. Regardless of how we feel about ourselves down there, we need to embrace our husband’s fascination with our goodies. Hubby likely thinks it’s an amusement park down there, and he’s itching to pay his ticket and see the sights. So let him. Share your feminine beauty by breathing easily, opening up, and letting him see and touch this special part of your God-woven body.

Use lubricant. Your own natural juices or purchased personal lubricant or coconut oil will help your husband’s hands glide across your private places and the contact will feel much better to you. After a bit of stimulation, you can invite your husband to swirl his finger into your opening and draw out the wetness there to share with the rest of your area.

Go slow. Make sure he knows this isn’t a race. You want to enjoy his hands and fingers fondling you, so ask him to give you time to bask in his talents and your sensations. Your arousal will be heightened if he can start slow and build the speed, pressure, and intensity as your body responds to his touch.

Remember the clitoris. The clitoris is a particularly sensitive area of your privates. It’s a knobby bit of flesh at the top of your vagina that swells when highly aroused. Climaxes occur when the clitoris is directly or indirectly stimulated, and manual play can take real advantage of that. Your husband can see directly when he’s hitting that spot and lean into that pleasure for you. Show him exactly where you want to be touched, pointing out the location of your clitoris and the type of strokes that feel best.

Manual play can be an excited part of your lovemaking. Add it to your foreplay, use it to explore and experience orgasm, and let your husband be hands-on with his wife. Pay attention to the beautiful sensations that emerge, and thank God for the fabulous skill of hands.

Q&A: His Past Porn Habit Makes It Hard to Know What’s Okay

We’re back to another Summer of Q&A with J question. I guarantee this one affects more wives than the one woman who sent it in:

My husband is working very hard by the Lord’s grace to overcome a pornography and masturbation addiction. He has come so far, but we are not out of the woods yet. I struggle with what sexual things I should or shouldn’t do in order to encourage his healing. As an example, is my giving him a hand job triggering the wrong kind of desires in his mind, or is it okay because it comes from me?

Fist bump for you two working through that struggle. With God’s grace indeed, this couple is on its way to experiencing more intimate and God-honoring sexual intimacy.

The question remains: What’s okay and what’s not for a husband who’s had a porn and masturbation habit? Are certain activities best omitted because they remind or tempt hubby toward sin?

Q&A: His Past Porn Habit Makes It Hard to Know What's Okay

I had some immediate thoughts, but spent more time in the Word of God to clarify my approach.

The past is past, but it can still rear its ugly head. 1 John 1:6-7 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with [God] and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” Pornography is a dark sin, and the answer to dealing with this addiction or problem is light. Your husband has brought this sin into the light, and Jesus can purify him, meaning that sin — while remembered — essentially goes poof! and it’s gone. This verse also addresses that fellowship with one another is affected; many marriages know how porn negatively impacted their relationship and sexual intimacy and how healing brought a positive impact.

But the past is past, a done deal. Those sins, once confessed, brought into the light, and washed by Jesus’ blood…are forgiven. Does this mean a switch is flipped, and everything’s a-okay? No one who’s walked such a path would argue that. Nor does the Bible. One chapter later, John says: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” John’s talking to Christians, and he basically admits they’re going to mess up.

Yet sinning is not living in sin. We know the difference. Let me first assure you that if you do something in your marriage bed that unintentionally causes porn memories to rear their ugly head, that does not mean a return to pornography permeating your marriage. You and your husband still have an advocate in Jesus Christ, who is working in your lives to lead you further and further into the light.

Your sexual intimacy can provide protection against his temptation. That’s what 1 Corinthians 7:5 says: “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Also, in Proverbs 5, a chapter devoted to warning against adultery, the husband is advised to “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” That means have sex with your own wife! It’s one way of protecting against the pull of adultery.

For wives whose husbands have engaged in pornography, the emotional pain for these women is deep. I understand why they would not feel safe in the marriage bed and worry that sexual activities could stir up past imagery. However, while the initial reaction for many wives is to retreat from the marriage bed, God’s prescription is the opposite. You may need a short break to grieve, but in the long run fostering sexual intimacy protects your marriage and wards against outside temptation.

This includes activities that your husband might have seen in porn, but that also occur regularly enough without that example. For example, oral sex might be shown in porn, but plenty of couples have oral sex without the inspiration of porn. Likewise, hand jobs could be associated with a man self-stimulating while watching porn, but it’s also fairly common in the marriage bed.

As you engage in various sexual activities together, you’re rewriting the script. Instead of your husband associating manual arousal with pornographic imagery, it can become something special and intimate between husband and wife. Will this happen after one time? I shoot straight on my blog, so I’m going to say probably not. It’s more like a balance of scales, and over time you add more and more weight to the side of godly sexuality and marital intimacy, so that the scales tip. Eventually, the other side means nothing, and godly sexual intimacy is the way you both view sex.

An activity may be too close to a porn memory and should be left out. Sexual activities should not automatically thrown out because they also occur in porn; however, some activities could truly be triggers for your husband. How can you distinguish?

Since porn addicts struggle with attaching sexuality to imagery, I advise staying away from similar imagery for a while, even if it’s of you. Your husband needs to retrain his body to react to physical interaction with his wife as an all-five-senses and 3-D experience. While a wife giving her hubby a naked or suggestive photo of herself doesn’t strike me as sin, it could be unwise for someone on the road to recovery from a porn addiction. Because it’s still in line with attaching sexuality to imagery.

James 1:14-15 says: “…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” Apparently, there’s a space before sin that involves desire, and to avoid birthing sin, we should aim for aligning our desires with God’s. A porn addict needs intentional time to get back on track with sexuality being linked to physical interaction, intimacy with a covenant wife, and the layered experience of sex as God designed it. Things that smack of two-dimensional arousal would be off my list for a while.

Other activities, including that hand job, might or might not be triggers. The only way to know is to ask. While building your trust in other areas, build your repertoire of conversation and honesty.  Before you engage in an activity, ask your husband outright what effect it will have on his mind. If your husband’s heart is in the right place — and it sounds like it is — he’ll admit if something is too close to a porn memory and should be avoided.

A few things might need to come off the table (or the bed, if you will), at least for a while. Don’t concentrate, though, on what you can’t do. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Ask your Heavenly Father to help you forge a new reality. How about praying before your lovemaking? Or memorizing scriptures about God being on your side and creating something fresh and beautiful?

Here’s a personal testimony. I had some bad memories from my premarital promiscuous past, and a particular one made me feel very ashamed. Years ago, I began to pray to God to help me renew my mind, even asking him to remove the memories. That memory went away, just gone. I can’t tell you what it was. And I have no other explanation than God erasing it from my memory bank. Had He not removed it, He would have had a reason for leaving it there. But in my specific case, God relieved me of this shameful memory, which allowed me to focus more on godly marital intimacy.

Pray for the healing of your husband’s mind and your own. Here’s an example from Isaiah 65: 18-19:

“Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the one true God; –– In the name of our one true God, we invoke Your blessing in our land of marriage.
whoever takes an oath in the land will swear by the one true God. — We take an oath to honor our marriage bed.
For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. — You have forgotten the sins of pornography and hidden them from Your eyes, and we praise You.
See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. — Create a new intimacy in our marriage that honors You.
The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. — As we make love, help us to not remember the former things, and keep any sinful thoughts from coming to mind.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Or more simply: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, KJV).

For those who’ve been down this road, what advice would you give to this reader and others trying to recover from porn addiction in their marriage?

The Dating Advice I Gave Teen Girls

Last week, I was at youth church camp, hanging out with kids ranging from 8 to 18 years of age. At one point, I ended up in a small circle of teen girls, and the subject turned to boys. It’s one of their favorite subjects, so why not? *smile*

Thankfully, these lovely young ladies were comfortable sharing their thoughts about romantic relationships and asking for wisdom from me and another woman who joined the conversation. What did I tell them?

The Dating Advice I Gave Teen Girls

Let me share the dating advice I gave these teen girls, with the years of hindsight I now have. Maybe it will help another parent figure out what to say to their child.

Dating and relationships can wait. I wish I hadn’t dated so much in high school or worried about relationships. In today’s culture, the likelihood of finding The One when you’re 16 years old is extremely low. Of course I know people who married their high school sweethearts, but they’re the exception, not the rule. The rest of us bounced around boyfriends, with little more to show than wasted time, broken hearts, and only a handful of great memories. If you happen to find someone, fine, but it’s okay to take your time and start dating later.

Focus on God, yourself, and friendships. Whether you’re 16 or 46, you should feel confident and comfortable as a separate person before adding another to your mix. Figure out who you are in relationship to God, to yourself, and to your friends first. Once your own identity is better formed, you’ll be a better choice for someone else and better able to discern the right person for you.

But won’t a romantic relationship or marriage change you? Yes, it will, and should. But you won’t be mixing your baggage with someone else’s baggage. You’ll be iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17), not bludgeons. I’ve had the bludgeon relationships, and they are not fun. I’ll take my solid marriage, thank you, which is far better at pushing me to become the person I should be in Christ.

Remember real hearts are involved. Skipping around from boy to boy is a bad plan, because real hearts are involved. Only two options for a relationship are possible—it stays together, it breaks apart. And broken relationships typically break at least one heart, sometimes both.

Just because you’re young or you didn’t think it was a big deal doesn’t mean your choices couldn’t hurt someone else’s heart. We need to consider others’ hearts as well as our own. Don’t jump into relationships lightly.

Guard your heart. Speaking of hearts, guard your own heart. Don’t throw yourself wily-nilly into deep romantic entanglements. When you engage in a relationship with someone, you’re giving them a bit of your heart. Can you trust them with it? You don’t have to know this person is The One before investing in a relationship, but you should have some confidence he cares about you as a person, not merely a girlfriend or Saturday night’s date.

Sometimes we pursue that guy that gives us the tingles, but we know deep-down he isn’t trustworthy. Bad. Idea. Just consider your choices and guard your heart.

Love is wonderful. A lot of what I just said might sound like I’m opposed to romance, love, passion. Not at all! When there was a discussion of which boys were cute, I immediately piped up and said that Spock (hubby’s nickname) was super-hot and totally caught my eye. They smiled and laughed, amused to see I still get the tingles for my guy—22 years later.

I let them talk about cute boys and what they liked in boys. We discussed how truly nice guys get more attractive over time and catch your eye when maybe they hadn’t before. I spoke positively of the two girls there who are in relationships (with great Christian guys). I let them know fluttery love feelings are ticklishly good, that romance is worth pursuing with a wonderful man, that love can last for decades. I also stressed that these young women are worth it for some godly young man out there waiting for each of them.

Closing up, I might want to mention that word had gotten around among a few of these young ladies about my own rules for my teenage sons being allowed to date. The one rule these girls seem to like a lot is my sons must first demonstrate they know how to treat a lady—and part of the evidence is how they treat the most prominent woman in their life, their mom.

What dating advice have you given your teenagers? What excellent dating advice did you receive? How did your dating affect how you viewed marriage?

♥♥♥ And be sure to enter the giveaway for the fabulous marriage book, Lovemaking: 10 Secrets to Extravagant Intimacy in Marriage. Winners will be chosen at the end of today, June 18. My review of the book and details on how to enter the giveaway can be found HERE.

Q&A: Will Frequent Yeses Turn My Husband into a Sex Maniac?

Welcome to the Summer of Q&A with J! The first question I’m tackling today addresses giving your husband the green light for frequent sex. If you let him know you’ll say yes when he initiates, will you be stuck with more sex than you can handle? Read on.

Q&A: Will Frequent Yeses Turn My Husband into a Sex Maniac?“[I]n offering sex to my husband every day, sometimes more than once a day, I have turned him into a sex maniac, I think.  He told me that he and his late wife, with whom he had a very good marriage…went through periods…when they only had sex once or twice a year, and that even as newlyweds, it was only once or twice a week.  Supposedly if you offer your husband sex every day, this dissipates his fear that he won’t ‘get any’, so his demand goes down.  No, just the reverse, daily sex and multiple daily sex has become the norm.  Just recently we slowed down to maybe five days a week.

“I’m ok with this — for myself, I’m not so crazy about sex, but I love having that experience with my husband — but, as both of us are devout people, I wonder if it’s such a good thing for him.  I know it’s good for his health and good for our marriage, but I wonder if awakening so much desire is really a good thing, spiritually.  I talk to him about it, because he is surprised by this too, but he doesn’t feel it has any bearing on faith or spirituality…

“On the one hand I am concerned about turning my husband into a sex maniac but on the other hand I can’t help but be flattered.”

I see two major issues in this reader’s question.

“Supposedly if you offer your husband sex every day, this dissipates his fear that he won’t ‘get any’, so his demand goes down.”

I suspect this is true, but not over the short-term. When a higher-drive spouse has longed for sex but hasn’t gotten to experience it fully, an invitation to partake at will can result in a bit of overindulgence. Why? For some, it feels like this just can’t be. They worry this offer is too good to be true, so they must get as much as possible now, just in case, or they test the waters to confirm it’s real and not a pinch-me-awake dream.

Also, imagine you’ve been wanting and waiting for something for a long time. When you finally get the go-ahead, you can go a bit crazy. Think about young kids and Christmas, the first visitors to an amusement park or concert, or even “Black Friday.” If you’ve camped outside Wal-Mart since midnight waiting for the deep-discounted holiday shopping to begin, when 4 a.m. arrives and the attendant throws open those doors . . . you might sprint into and through that store with the fervor of a Cheetah on Red Bull.

But I’ve been shopping on Black Friday afternoon, and it’s not bad. After the initial hype, things ease into a typical holiday shopping crowd. I’d expect the same to happen in a marriage. Once you throw open those bedroom doors to your husband (or wife), they might be extra-eager to soak up all the intimacy they can get. Over time, however, things will likely settle a bit. Will they settle to the same level you might want? Maybe, maybe not. Your higher-drive honey may always want more than you’d order up, but you probably won’t be inundated with Energizer-bunny levels of sexual intimacy.

“I know it’s good for his health and good for our marriage, but I wonder if awakening so much desire is really a good thing, spiritually.”

On one hand, how could it possibly be bad to awaken sexual desire in your marriage and enjoy God’s gift of physical intimacy? Isn’t it living into God’s design to enjoy frequent sex together?

Some believe because sex is physical, it’s somehow “lesser-than” in the spiritual realm. Yet many Spirit-filled activities have a physical component. Consider Matthew 25:34-36: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Jesus counts all these things, very physical manifestations of love, as righteousness. Sex as God designed is a physical expression of agape love to your mate. And because God is so loving, He made it physically pleasurable.

However, there is another side to this. The Bible says sex can get in the way of focusing on your faith at times. Why else would it say…?

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” —1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (emphasis added)

Refraining from sex here is clearly a set period of time, agreed upon by both spouses, and for a specific purpose. It can be good to abstain from sexual relations for a short period to dedicate yourself to prayer—as one might fast from food for the same reason. It’s not the thing itself (food/sex) that is a problem, but removing potential distractions can foster one-on-one time with God. Day-to-day, however, there’s no indication frequent sex itself interferes with spirituality.

Still, sex could mess up your spiritual life if it continually competes with God for your attention. Exodus 20:3 says:  “You shall have no other gods before me.” Anything can become a “god” to you, meaning you place it above the real Father in Heaven. Jesus also said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). If one’s focus becomes all about sex, sex, and more sex—so that your heart is there and not with God and your spouse—then yeah, that’s a red-flag issue.

In the case of this specific reader, I suggest she hang in there, because the frequency will probably go down a little bit more. (Although 4-5 times a week sounds good to me.) She doesn’t have to say yes every single time to be honoring God and her husband with sexual intimacy. But she can. As long as you are prioritizing God above all and otherwise devoting yourselves to your faith, get it on as often as you’d like. And thank God for the goodies when you’re done!