Periodically, I am reminded of this. Very little gets my goat more than to hear a marriage forum member say, "My wife and I have a great marriage. We enjoy doing things together. She's a wonderful mom to our kids. She's a good Christian woman, actively ministering at church. Our relationship is good in every way EXCEPT..... in bed.
She refuses to freely enjoy sex with me. As the keeper of the "sex gate" only she decides when and how we have sex, totally disregarding my sexual needs. I have no say. What can I do?" (And I see this in reverse as well… with wives who have refusing husbands.)
One of the biggest hurdles for a refused spouse to overcome, is in admitting that the refusing spouse is NOT the loving spouse they once were. We are NOT a wonderful parent while sexually refusing our children's other parent. We are NOT a good Christian just because we are active and ministering in church, while we treat our spouse like crap in the bedroom. Refusal affects all areas of our life. We figure that since nobody knows our "refusal secret", then our pastor and all our church friends think that we are a good Christian. Hey, we've learned how to fake it well. Everyone but our spouse, only sees our "pretend" personality.
God knows better. He knows us by how we are in the secret place. It's in the secret place that He judges our heart. We might be able to fool man for a season, but we never fool God.
To refused spouses: TELL THE SECRET!
Quit protecting your refusing spouse's reputation. As long as you agree to hide their refusal, you are contributing to their sin, so their sin is also YOUR sin. Tell your pastor, counselor, or whoever else will cause self-reflection when a refused spouse can't make a dent, even if it means embarrassment. We have no reason to be embarrassed if we're not doing anything wrong. If the refuser dies of embarrassment when the refused spouse tells their pastor or another person, it sends the refuser a clear message:
*Refusal is serious.
*Refusal goes against the wedding vows.
*Refusal hurts the kids, and others they try to help (ie, Christian ministries.. like the blind leading the blind).
*Refusal can lead to infidelity or divorce.
Either refused spouse, pastor and others are ALL wrong, or I need to take a serious look at the damage I'm causing in my marriage.