Last week, I took on the tough subject of husbands who are bullies in the bedroom, using coercion, pressure, and intimidation to get their wives to do what they want sexually. Today and next time, I want to talk about all the other husbands—men who love their wives and want a healthy, honorable sex life with her.
Celebrating the Good Guys
Sometimes I think y’all should read my email. Of course I wouldn’t share personal communications—though I do select questions to answer on my blog or Facebook at times. But if you could see the kind of messages I get from husbands, you might better understand what I believe about men.
I’m not saying this is scientifically representative, but if I had to break down the email I get from men, it would be:
- 10% from husbands who are complete jerks yet blame their wives when they are the problem
- 20% from husbands who are behaving badly because they’re upset about their sex life or marriage or have individual problems but can be reasoned with or helped
- 50% from husbands who want to make their sex life and marriage better but don’t know how to proceed (with a specific or in general)
- 20% from husbands who are simply encouraging me, sharing a thought, or praising their amazing wife
That’s 70% of husbands who are already good-willed and another 20% who could get there quickly or eventually. I’m not saying that 90% are men without sin, but they are the “good guys.”
With the right attitude, information, insight, and support, most men are capable of being good husbands and good lovers.To Good-willed Husbands Who Want a Great Sex Life: " With the right attitude, information, insight, and support, most men are capable of being good husbands and good lovers." @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet
Good-Willed Men in a Broken World
Some marriage authors and speakers make clear that their resources are primarily intended for “good-willed” spouses.* What does it mean to have goodwill?
Goodwill can be defined as “benevolent interest or concern” (Merriam-Webster). It means that you care enough about another to pursue their good. A lot of husbands want good things for their wives—including wanting their wives to enjoy sex!
But we live in a broken world, meaning that sin has entered, selfishness and pride are often present in our hearts, and we carry wounds from past experiences and life’s hardships. Husbands with goodwill toward their wives mess up and even hurt their wives through their actions or inaction. (I’m not talking about abuse—an altogether different issue—but emotional pain that comes with tension or conflict in relationships.)
In short, many men struggle to be the husband they want to be. Maybe they:
- Don’t understand her physiology or emotional makeup and thus neglect meeting her longings
- Have a past porn habit that haunts them at times (if the habit is current, get help—it’s hurting your marriage and your soul!)
- Lack communication and/or lovemaking skills that would improve intimacy
- Experience a lot of stress that carries over to their marriage relationship
- Lack as much interest in sex as they want and feel like they’re failing their wife
- Have far more interest in sex than their wife and often feel frustrated or hurt
But they haven’t given up. They continue to struggle, and striving matters.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.1 Thessalonians 5:15
The person in the Bible I most relate to is Peter, who fell down a lot but kept getting back up and trying again. Eventually, Peter learned how to trust God more fully, yet he still recognized that effort was involved:
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with [God].1 Peter 3:14
If wanting better and messing up is where you are, keep fighting the good fight. With your eyes fixed on Jesus, finish the race (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Timothy 4:7).
Supporting a Good Husband
When I was younger, I swore I would never own a truck. (There’s backstory there, but it’s not worth telling right now.) Fast forward to 2013, and I said to Spock, “You want a truck? Great! Buy a truck.”
I once thought I’d never have an extra-large TV. Not only do we have one now, I recently said to Spock, “Hey, if you want the whole wall to be a TV, go for it.”
Why did I change my mind? Because Spock is a good husband, and at some point, I decided my reluctance on those issues was less important than supporting his reasonable desires.
Do NOT use this example to tell your wife you need a truck, bigger TV, or whatever. Spock didn’t push me! He expressed his desires then let it go, and I concluded these things on my own.
My point is not that you should get more man-toys. [insert eye roll here] Rather, I want to talk to the wives of good-guy husbands.
Just as I believe husbands should learn how to appreciate and affirm his wife’s personality, femininity, values, and desires, a wife should do the same for her husband. That might involve thanking him, speaking his love language, supporting his hobbies, or pursuing him sexually. It might be something altogether different. But think how much more attracted you feel to your husband when he’s meeting your emotional needs. Your husband likely feels the same.
(Again, I’m NOT talking about abusive or emotionally destructive marriages. In such a situation, sacrificing yourself to meet his “needs” won’t have the intended effect. We’re talking about good-willed husbands here.)
Think about what would speak to your husband’s heart, and then pursue that. If your husband has deeper problems, do what you can to help him get help!
Good Men Do Good Somethings
Perhaps you’ve heard or even memorized this popular saying: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” (It’s often attributed to Edmund Burke, though he never actually said it.) The antidote to bad men is more good men.
Yes, good women absolutely matter as well! We can, and should, stand up to bad men and share our insights about what it looks like to be a good husband and father and coworker and brother in Christ. But if we want to the world to have a better view of masculinity, that has to come from good men stepping up and displaying good masculinity. (For a few tips, see Titus 2:2,6-8.)
I’ve been lucky. For every guy who sexually harassed me, many more treated me with respect. For every abusive guy I’ve known, many more displayed tenderness. For every guy who betrayed me, many more behaved with integrity. The bad guys are definitely out there, but I’ve encountered more good than bad.
For any woman reading this who has not experienced the same, I’m sorry. Such mistreatment should never have happened to you. Please know that good-willed men do exist and do what you can to to have those men in your life and not the bad ones. Protect yourself and get help.
To the good-willed husbands out there, please continue to pursue what’s best for your wife and family. Own up for your own flaws and take on the responsibility to address them. Please get help if you need it—whether that’s seeing a physician, getting into therapy, joining a support group, or installing filtering software on every device you own. Learn about her body and her sexuality. Share the household burden. Take care of your children. Keep dating your wife. Pray regularly. Let Christ be your example.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.Ephesians 5:25-27 (NRSV)
I and many other wives, likely including your own, are cheering you on.
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