The Excellent Wife

Chapter 11: Intimacy – The Wife’s Response



Would anyone like to share how you put last weeks teaching into practice?



The sexual relationship is a low priority in the minds of many wives. It isn’t that the wife cares nothing about that part of her life. It is that there are so many other things screaming for her attention, such as raising children, work, finances, managing a home, emotional stress, exhaustion, sickness, and marital strife.


For a wife, sex comes out of affection. She doesn’t want to be affectionate with a man who makes her feel angry, hurt, lonely, disappointed, overworked, unsupported, uncared for, or abandoned. But for a husband, sex is pure need. Wives sometimes have it backwards. They think, “We can have sex after we get these other issues settled.” Actually, there is a far greater chance of settling the other issues if sex comes first.


Whether all conditions are perfect or whether you feel like it or not, isn’t the point. The point is meeting the needs of your husband and keeping communication lines open. A man can easily be made to feel insignificant, beaten down, discouraged, destroyed, or tempted in this area of his being. There is probably no more important means of fulfillment for a man, and no area where he is more vulnerable.


Sometimes there is the opposite situation, where the wife is sexually neglected by her husband. His lack of interest can happen for many reasons. If he is content to go month after month without sex, something is wrong. If there is no physical problem, maybe he is having deep feelings that need to be addressed. Prayer can help reveal what the problem is and how to solve it. See Power of Praying Wife / His Sexuality.


It is never too late to pray for sexual purity, no matter what has occurred in either of your pasts. Sometimes sexual problems in a marriage happen as a result of sexual experiences before marriage. Pray to be set free and healed of those memories. Purity happens the moment it takes root in the heart.


Sexual problems are quite common because many women don’t have a clear grasp of what God’s view is on the subject.


The sexual bond between husband and wife is a gift from God for the enjoyment of physical intimacy and the procreation of life. Christian husbands and wives possess the potential to have sexual relations and in the process remain pure in their thoughts, actions, and motives.

The physical union of husband and wife is designed by God to meet a God-given desire for companionship, to protect the husband and wife from temptation, and for the mutual giving and receiving of great pleasure and joy between the husband and the wife.


But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn. (I Corinthians 7:2-5, 9)


A proper and healthy physical relationship between a man and a woman in marriage protects either partner from the danger of temptation to adultery. Both husband and wife should be so satisfied with each other’s love that no one else would even get a second glance or entice them in any way.


Since neither the husband nor wife have authority over their own bodies, neither has the option to refuse the other unless he or she is providentially hindered or the couple has agreed to temporarily refrain from sex because of devoting themselves to prayer.


What if your husband desires sex at a time that is inconvenient for you? If possible, you should arrange your schedule so that you may have time together. This shows your husband that fulfilling his desires is important to you.


If it is virtually impossible at that moment, the wife should give him a rain-check for a specific time in the future. When she fulfills her promise, she should make it worth his wait!


You may ask, “What if I am not in ‘the mood’?” One of the best ways for a wife to get in “the mood” and enjoy having sex with her husband is for her to concentrate on pleasing him.


A wife should not only concentrate on pleasing her husband, but should also remember that her pleasure enhances his pleasure. It is important that the wife tell her husband what is pleasurable for her. She should talk to him, be specific, and help him to be a good lover to her.


Sexual relations between a husband and wife should not be a chore, but a pleasure that is enjoyed by both and anticipated by both. (Proverbs 5:18-19)


Principle 1 – Sex Within Marriage is Holy and Good

An undefiled marriage bed means the couple has sexual relations and neither one is unfaithful to the other nor impure in their thoughts or actions. As long as your thoughts and motives and actions are pure, you are pleasing to God and God views what you are doing as good. (Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 1:31)



Principle 2 – Pleasure Is Assured And Is Not Sinful

Pleasure resulting from physical intimacy between husband and wife is assumed by Scripture. It should be fun. Generally both husband and wife should come to a climax, but if one or the other is too tired or is providentially hindered in some way (wife’s period or pregnancy), they can still express love to the other, if not through vaginal intercourse, through manual stimulation.

(Song of Solomon 7:10-12)


Principle 3 – The Wife Should Be Other-Oriented And Not Self-Oriented

An attitude of “How can I give pleasure to my husband?” will result in more pleasure for the wife. Think about your husband – plan for him. You should seek your husband to satisfy your sexual desires rather than seeking sexual release alone which is sinful and selfish. (Song of Solomon 5:2-5)


Principle 4 – Sexual Relations Should be Regular And Continuous

The frequency of sex depends on the other person’s need, not ours alone. If your attitude about having sex comes down to only what you need or what you don’t want, then you don’t have God’s perspective. The goal is that neither is experiencing frustration or temptation. Sexual intimacy should be a regular and continuous part of your relationship with your husband. (Proverbs 5:19)


Principle 5 – The Wife Should Never Bargain With Her Husband In Return For Her Favors

Bargaining with your husband in return for your “favors” is selfish and treating your husband more like a child by trying to manipulate him. Your motive should not be what you can get from your husband. It should be for the glory of God. (Philippians 2:3-4)


Principle 6 – Sex Relations Are to Be Equal And Reciprocal

Equal and reciprocal sex means either the wife or the husband may and should initiate sex. Anything goes as long as it is mutually agreeable, pleasurable, and not offensive to the partner. Exceptions would include anything that is sinful such as sodomy, watching pornography, and sharing sexual fantasies about other people. (Galatians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5)


Wife’s Biblical Obligations to Her Husband Regarding their Physical Intimacy:


·        She is to satisfy him completely if at all possible.

·        She is to go to him to meet her own needs in this area.

·        She is to initiate sex and plan ahead, anticipating their time together rather than dreading it.

·        She is not to participate in any sinful practices such as masturbation, pornography, sodomy, or sexual fantasies about other men.

·        She is to have a pure motive before God and view sex as a good and holy act the God declares “good”.


If you have not been thinking about sex or participating in sex with your husband in a God-honoring way, you must repent. Then you must do what James suggested to show your faith by your works. (James 2:18)


Questions / Discussion:



Homework: (Read Chapters 12 and 13)

Prayerfully ask God to show you any area regarding your physical intimacy with your husband that may need improvement. Begin to take specific steps to move toward the God-honoring, physical intimacy that we were created to enjoy.