Sometimes I wonder if wives who read my blog think things like: Oh, that J — she’s got sex in marriage figured out and has never struggled like we have.
Au contraire, mon amie!
I’ve written before about when my sex life sucked. Yes, it did. And I know how it feels to believe that improving your sexual intimacy is going to be a hard road. Even though you know the journey is worth it, you’re looking forward to that road with about as much excitement as a week’s-worth-of-groceries trip through Walmart with past-their-naptime children.
But this weekend, I was going back through old journals. Yes, I used to keep journals, though I haven’t done that consistently for years. I found entries in one from the time I went through a women’s Bible study based on The Power of the Praying Wife.
Chapter 4, and thus week 4, is titled “His Sexuality.” The author, Stormie Omartian, is not saying that her sexuality doesn’t matter — it most certainly does — but the focus of this study is on how to better pray for our husbands. So the chapters focus on praying for him.
When I read the prayer I’d written for that week, I knew I wanted to share it here, so you’d all know that things weren’t always terrific in J’s household — that it really is possible to improve the sexual intimacy in your marriage.
In my journal, I refer to my husband by name, but on my blog and social media sites, I’ve always referred to him as “Spock” because he is so much about expressing logic, and not so much about expressing emotion. (If you want to know more, read Does Your Husband Stink at Romance? Mine too.)
Without further ado…
The Prayer I Wrote
Lord, I know that sex is a gift from You, which You designed specifically for husband and wife. Spock and I have struggled for a long time now with having the time and ability to experience this gift fully. Please bless us in our sex life. Help us to overcome obstacles and share our bodies with one another in the way You intended.
Please help us to find more time and energy to have sex. Help us to reach out to one another with affection throughout our days so that our sex is a natural flow of our intimacy and touch.
Lord, please held my body respond as it should to stimulation. Help Spock and me to agree on the priority that sex should have in our lives. Please give us the perspective of being unified in our lives — including physically. Thank You that my sex drive has returned somewhat and continue to increase my interest.
Please help Spock and me to remember that our bodies belong to each other. Help us to be willing to offer ourselves to one another and enjoy one another’s wonderfully made body. Help us to respect one another in deciding when to have sex — engaging each other when we should and being patient when we abstain. Give us unity in our sex life.
I know that’s all pretty vague. But I can break down exactly what we were going through from other notes in the workbook.
The Problems I Detailed
Frequency has been low because of finding time with young kids around and my pain (which recently abated).
Want sex more often, and with more affection preceding.
[My husband will] (1) Ignore me the rest of the day, then want to have sex. (2) Approach me just after I’ve been consumed with the role of mother. (Mind you, these were my feelings at the time, and that first complaint probably doesn’t reflect reality or how he saw it at the time.)
I think exercise is the most important thing I could do to make him and me feel better about my body. I’ve also begun to care for my skin better. I also need to find ways to “refresh” myself from the exhaustion I often experience.
So yeah, we weren’t having sex much, we weren’t prioritizing it, we weren’t laying the groundwork of romance and affection beforehand, I was struggling to switch from mother to lover, pain had been an issue, I didn’t feel good about my body, and I was just flat-out exhausted. Sound familiar to anyone?
Look backing, it’s funny how much of my prayers for his sexuality were really about needing God to act on my sexuality.Look backing, it's funny how much of my prayers for his sexuality were really about needing God to act on my sexuality. Click To Tweet
And while it took some time, God answered those prayers. I’m not saying we’re 100% now in all those areas. By no means! But our sex life was clearly unsatisfying then, and it’s improved a lot since. Moreover, when we face obstacles now, we’re much better talking about our sexual intimacy in ways that help get us back on track.
The Challenge for You
Some of you face challenges now that sound like these I’ve shared. Some face far greater heartache. All I want to do today is issue a challenge to write your prayer down. Ask God for what you want to have happen in your marriage bed.Ask God for what you want to have happen in your marriage bed. Click To Tweet
Then keep that prayer tucked away somewhere, so you can revisit it later. You might revisit it a few times and feel like you’re still stuck on the same stuff, but keep reading my posts, my books, other great marriage resources, and — most importantly — what God says about sex in His Word; keep praying; and keep pursuing the best for your spouse and your marriage.
You might have that great experience that I did of finding your prayer and thinking, Oh yeah, God is faithful, God is good. And my marriage bed rocks!
24 thoughts on “When I Prayed for His Sexuality, and God Answered”
I accept your challenge.
We had sex 3 times over the weekend, and not once did I orgasm, and not once did my husband try to help me or wait for me or have any concern for my sexual needs. This is par for the course, and frankly, I find my body shutting down to any sexual stimulation (and I love sex, have a very high drive, and can orgasm fairly easily from proper stimulation.)
There is no talking with him about it. There is no sending him books or articles or even going to,a counselor. He is blind to it all and refuses to put on glasses to see. The only thing I have left is prayer.
I used to pray…all the time! Not much has changed. I prayed for myself, too, to make sure any beams were out of my eyes.
It feels hopeless and I am struggling to love my husband as a husband. I am struggling to find him attractive. I am struggling to even be sexual anymore. And I am struggling with even caring about this marriage. Our anniversary is coming soon and I am to the point of not caring whether or not we do anything to build or support our relationship that day.
He thinks I just have a sour attitude, but after nearly 2 decades of praying, crying, reading, fighting, trying, adjusting, surrendering, etc, I don’t have much left to give unless God puts it there.
I just want to give a hug right now. Don’t stop aiming for something better, starting with prayer.
I’m really sorry you’re going through such a hard time. I see myself in your comments in so many ways. I don’t know exactly what your issues are with your husband or what you need differently from him, but I see the same despair in your words that I felt. Unlike you, I completely gave up at one point because I felt it would never change. I felt that I was doomed to a marriage of terrible and infrequent sex, and that my wife would never care. I felt that God was punishing me for past offenses and that his will was for things to never get better.
I was wrong about all of those things and I almost threw away my marriage. I know that prayer works because it worked in my marriage, even when it wasn’t me praying. I have friends that prayed over us even after I had thrown in the towel, and it has changed everything. We’re still a huge work in progress but I have hope for the first time in my marriage.
I’m praying for you and your husband right now libl. Maybe God will do a work in your life as he did in mine. I surely know that he’s able.
Right there with you, libl. And this time of the year it stinks even more, right? (Valentines day).
As there is pretty much nothing anyone can say to help, i won’t, except you’re not alone.
It sure sucks to be in this losers club.
A wife can grow impatient with a husband. She tries to point out a troubling issue to him and it just seems to go in one ear and out the other, even though the husband acknowledges what she says, YEAR AFTER YEAR! The reality is it is not enough for a man to be told something, his thinking has to be changed. Proverbs says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” It can be complex. That simple behavior that bothers the wife is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the iceberg that needs to be removed. A wife needs to ask God to change her husbands understanding, not just his action. She doesn’t need to know what it is. God will do it. Just give him time. My wife had to wait quite a while.
Thanks J. I appreciate what you do.
Thank you Doug. Praying for understanding, not just action, is just what I needed to hear.
God bless you for sharing this. Prayer does amazing things and it’s so encouraging to read the hurt and need in your past prayer in light of how you come across now. I’m still so early in my healing and sometimes I feel so scared that everything will fall apart. It’s really nice to see another example of someone who walked through the fire.
Libl and Brian I want to say a big thank you to you both for sharing your situation. My wife and I have been married for 41 years, we get on really well, we walk, talk, laugh and really enjoy being together.
However over the last 17 years increasing all that changes when I mention or suggest spending time together, for sex or intimacy – then things change and my wife has no interest, desire or willingness to do things for me.
I have and still do try my best for my wife spend time touching, caressing and pleasuring her to try and ensure that she has a good time and orgasm.
I am finding it very hard, it hurts, it makes me feel sad that she does not want to be proactive for me. Books articles and gently trying to talk make no difference.
I have prayed over that time and continue to do so I know that God can change the situation but there is an ache.
My prayers are with you Philip. It’s a hard road to walk and it feels like you are completely alone with this burden. Our culture in the church makes it all but impossible to reach out for help, and sometimes you feel like you must be the only person in the world that feels the way you do. One thing Christian bloggers like J have shown me is that we aren’t alone.
There are so many people hurting from lack of sexual relationship, and now we have a way to at least talk about it. And we have God. I don’t pretend to know why God works the way he does, but I have to remember that he can and does work out all things for good for those that love him. I’ve found myself forgetting that fact far too often in my life.
I come at this from a different angle – a prayer that sexuality be removed. Not because it’s ‘wrong’, but because –
1) I worked as a paramilitary contractor, and knowing the violence my life entailed made my wife really uncomfortable where intimacy was concerned. I could understand that; the profession does brand one, and rejection was not hard to accept. She loved me, and still does, but she couldn’t embrace my past, not in bed.
2) Now I’m dying, and she needs to look ahead to what her life will be after I die. Adding a physical tie to an emotional one (even were it possible for me, which it isn’t, now) would be unwise.
Some things just aren’t meant to be, I guess, and I’ve learned, here at the shores of this final sea, that the stuff I remember are the lives I saved through the application of the hard option, and the gentleness and grace I could offer in the vilest and darkest circumstances. God calls us all in different ways; I hope I answered the call I heard.
Oh, I ache for you Andrew. May you feel God’s comfort.
He is my rock, J. I always took Ps. 144 as my own, in war and in peace.
When I read “Frequency has been low…because of my pain” my eyes lit up. I have a chronic illness which often brings pain that prohibits sex (Interstitial Cystitis), and there are so few resources for women in that boat. How do we woo and romance our husbands and keep the fire alive in the midst of all that? Encouragement to have sex frequently can make a wife feel guilty and helpless when physical pain is involved. I would so LOVE for you to write on that topic if you have experience in this area.
My physical pain was as the result of low estrogen that made attempts at sex after childbirth feel like being speared by a machete. I didn’t know what was happening, but after my third — yes, third — visit to the doctor about this issue, the nurse practitioner realized I was low on estrogen, prescribed an external cream, and sweet relief came my way. I wrote that prayer when the cream was starting to work, and we could finally make love again.
That all tells you that my pain was short-lived. But what I would say from that experience is to keep bugging your doctor about what you can do about the challenges you have in the bedroom. And if your doctor isn’t listening (mine didn’t, thus the nurse practitioner), then go to someone else.
So many different angles, as Andrew puts it, such a wide variety of experience from the men and the women here, and levels of frustration and fulfillment, sometimes a little of both – I, too, can definitely add as others have, that I can see I’m not alone. After reading these comments, especially but not limited to Andrew’s, here is my angle:
I had the kind of illness as a small boy that has sent many, many people I’ve known to dialysis, and not all have made it. I have never in my life been near a dialysis center, and I am now 59 years old in excellent health. Yes, self-care makes a difference, but it is all due to my Father God, who also shows me how to do that.
Fast forward from infancy, and neither my wife nor I were all that young when we married. We were young enough that for a few years we could barely keep our hands off each other at times, but as I’ve learned, love and sex, and especially both together, take a lot out of you. (Thank you Dr. Ed Wheat for helping quash the myth that they’re easy.)
Now we’re *really* not all that young, though still not ancient, yet. Long story short, although my drive has scarcely diminished, I have never been in a better place. Don’t get me wrong, I am intimately familiar with sexlessness and it’s frustration too, and am by no means exempt even now. We talked about all this recently, and I have an extra special dinner and mini-getaway planned. Her prayer is that I not be disappointed, because she knows how intense my drive can be. (She has a few years on me.)
My prayer? Simply that it goes well, whatever does or doesn’t happen in bed.
Thank you for sharing, J. My sexual struggles seem small compared to these, but i am praying for new passion and unity in the area of sex. My husband used to be fairly selfish in the bedroom, whenever I was sick, or on my period, or recovering from childbirth, demanding favors regardless of how ill I was (because his pastor told him its always his right) and it really affected my view of sex, to the point that I truly hated it, and resented God’s design. Now, during an unexpectedly difficult pregnancy, he has been kind instead of demanding, he has been very understanding and gentle – and while it is a relief for my poor body, I have realized, with sorrow, there is no more passion. It is boring, routine, take-it-or -leave-it, with little emotion involved for either of us. I know this is not God’s design any more than selfishness!
I wonder if, in trying to be mindful of my own physical limitations, he has had to just shut down sexually? And how can I help both of us restore that passion when I cannot force my body to be well enough all the time?
Anyway, my prayer is to the Maker of our bodies, that He will 1. Restore my health, and 2. Give us freedom, joy and passion in the bedroom again.
A pastor told him that?! *shaking my head* While there is a biblical duty to have regular sex in marriage, it’s also your husband’s duty — and privilege — to love and cherish you as Christ loved His church. And the main focus of that oft-cited passage, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, is its emphasis on mutuality.
I suggest you and your husband have a candid conversation about where your sexual intimacy is, what you want for it to be (as in, mutually pleasurable and intimate), and what the Bible really says about godly sex. Praying for you both.
Uh,……5under6? Does that mean you have 5 kids under the age of 6? If it does, i am rather pleasently surprised that you are functional in any capacity. ?. I only have one who is about to be 6 and he alone can take down anything. Including relationships. Praying for you!
Haha, yes, we have five children under the age of six. We are crazy ? But we both believe that taking fertility out of sexuality is taking away an important part of the design. Personal belief, we definitely don’t judge people who believe differently!
J, we have talked a lot, and I believe we are finally in agreement on this subject, but it’s as if his guilt from the past gets in the way, maybe? He is very hesitant to take the initiative now, and I’m far too whale-like and uncomfortable to do that much myself. I hope after baby comes, we can pursue a more spontaneous, loving relationship in the bedroom. That’s my prayer anyway.
Whale-like? Hey, the Whale Institute for Sexual Enjoyment (WISE) contacted me to say that they object to that characterization and even whales can have fabulous sex. They’d like to send you a bumper sticker that says Whales Need Love Too.
(Sorry, my humor side ran rampant there. 😉 )
If I had sex every week, I’d think I died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately, I can count on 1 hand the number of times of memorable sex( 2 getting pregnant). My wife doesn’t like her body—overweight, varicose veins, double mastectomy—-so doesn’t want to be touched. As a result, I’ve been sexless for 14 years. She has always performed out of a sense of duty and doesn’t enjoy it at all. Her last comment to me years ago was” oh, just go ahead and do it!”
I have very little of God’s blessing in this area even though we honored Him during our dating and wedding. I know we are living in sin by not being obedient to our wedding vows and His word on the subject.Yes, sex in a Christian marriage has been a huge disappointment. Praying for a miracle.
Oh, I hear the hurt in your words. What a struggle! It sounds like your wife has absorbed negative messages about both herself and sexuality. Too often, women hear that sex is just for men, when God created it for both spouses! Many wives also struggle intensely with body image, and your wife’s physical challenges seem to have increased that struggle. I pray that God shows her the truth of His design for sex in marriage and that you can find ways to help her see that truth while keeping yourself from the bitterness that so easily can take hold. In other words, praying for a miracle too. Blessings!
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