Sex in Marriage: It’s Not the Most Important Thing

Earlier today, I read a blog post by Ashley Easter called Coercive Sex in Marriage: Her Story, where Ashley cites a close friend who anonymously wrote down a part of her heart-wrenching story that includes a form of marital rape not often talked about, and often perpetuated, in Christian circles.

Here is a part of that story:

I was told that in order to heal my marriage I had to have sex.

I was told that “withholding” was against God’s will.

I was told that I needed to have sex every night so God could heal what man had broken.

I said no and was accused of having an affair. I said no and was told I wasn’t respecting the covenant…

I was told that he had needs. That my refusal was ungodly. That my desire for every other night, or my occasional desire to wait even longer, was not according to God’s will.

I was told that he would be nicer to me if I had sex. I was told he would be more helpful with the children if I had sex…

I hate this. So much. Not because this is my story, but because it could have been. Easily.

The things that this blogger’s friend share from the depths of her aching soul about what she thought was expected of her and “right” in the eyes of God when it came to marital sex are things that, sadly, I have heard before. Not from my husband, praise God, but from powerful influences in my formative years and even now.

Yes. These words are spoken to me even now. Which means that others must be hearing them, too.

I am blessed beyond measure to have married a man who would never treat sex this way.

But others are not. And they hear these words from high places or from people they trust that men have urges and needs that we as their wives are required to fulfill if we are to keep sacred the covenant of marriage. Refusing to do so might mean disobedience to God, or worse, a cheating husband that, presumably, no one could blame.

These teachings are not, cannot, be biblical. They cannot be Godly.

Marital rape is a thing. A horrible, damaging, debilitating thing – as is all rape.

And teachings like this make it harder for Christian women to see past its absolute evil, as if they are expected, even commanded by their Creator, to simply let it happen.

We cannot permit our precious loved ones – our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our best friends – to believe that sex is a man’s right in marriage even more so than it is a woman’s, or that his desire for it trumps any hesitancy or resistance she may have, for any reason.

Sex in marriage is important. For sure. But don’t for one minute let anyone convince you that it is the most important thing. It’s not.

Communication. Respect. Love. Service. Forgiveness. These are among the most important things. In no particular order, and in no gender-based hierarchy of importance. These things, from both partners, constitute a healthy marriage.

Sex comes later. After communication. After respect. After love. After service. After forgiveness. Never before and never in place of.


  11 comments for “Sex in Marriage: It’s Not the Most Important Thing

  1. June 5, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Great post!

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks, friend!

  2. June 6, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Great read! This is something that should be discussed more among women. Manipulation isn’t love.

    • Gabby Clark
      June 7, 2016 at 1:31 am

      I agree, Kwame! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. June 7, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Nice read. Totally agree with a lot of your points.

    • Gabby Clark
      June 7, 2016 at 4:46 am

      Thanks, Jenn!

  4. lastchance3
    June 9, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Manipulation is actually a form of emotional and psychological abuse. No matter the relationship, it is NEVER okay. In my heart, God would never want any woman, a believer or not, to do something with her body that she is uncomfortable with or doesn’t even want to do. There are two people in a marriage, both created equally, both with needs and both who deserve to have those needs met. After, Eve came from Adam’s rib…not his foot. She is meant to be along side him, not behind or below him.

    • Gabby Clark
      June 9, 2016 at 7:08 am

      I completely agree with you. God wants what is good and holy for us, and that does not in any way include being manipulated and abused. He’s a much better Father than that. Thanks for your powerful response!

  5. June 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I love this so much. So many young women end up traumatized because they think this is how relationships/marriages work. It needs to change.

  6. June 9, 2016 at 11:56 am

    It’s funny how men (never my hubby thankfully!) will use that verse to not deprive sex as a battering ram against their wives, but when it comes to the verse that commands him to love her like Christ loves the church, the scripture suddenly doesn’t apply to him.
    A woman’s need for emotional connection is just as vital and urgent as a man’s biological need for sex. Just like he has no legitimate way of meeting his sexual needs outside of his wife, she has no other legitimate way of meeting the need for emotional intimacy outside of her husband. (How many affairs started with lonely women who just needed someone to talk to, someone to listen and care?)
    You nailed it! So many men need to get this through their heads!

    • Gabby Clark
      June 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks for the response, Daundra!
      I mentioned how this is something I hear, often, even now about my marital “duties” and it’s never in the frame of coerced sex, always with the intent to scare me into keeping my husband around (“If you don’t provide for him in bed, someone else will” kinda thinking). It drives me insane.

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