Pastor-teacher Don Hargrove
Faith Bible Church
Friday, March 20, 2009
THE As-Zs OF NEVERS IN MARRIAGE:
S-SEXUAL REJECTION, Part 4 (8 Causes of Sexual Problems: #4-#6)
As we have noted: according to the Word of God sex between the husband and wife is designed to be a blessing in the realm of love, intimacy, unity, and mutual physical pleasure. To disagree with these basic propositions on sex is not simply to disagree with me (which really does not matter), but with the Word of God and God Himself. To put experience or anything else above the Word of God is to in effect destroy the authority of the Word of God and make Divine Truth at best subjective and at worst an outright lie. The Bible alone is the Word of God and God’s complete and final revelation to mankind! Man is his own worst enemy in so many ways but it always comes back to the fact that he thinks more of self than he ought (Rom 12:3) and this always translates into thinking she knows better than God.
It is interesting that those who do not accept the truths of God on the joys and blessings of sex in marriage as outlined throughout the Word of God are the ones who generally make excuses for their abstinence in marriage – usually by some type of holier than thou attitude, i.e. "I am too spiritual for such things." What malarkey! What rejection of God’s Word! What rejection of Jesus Christ! (Mt 19:5; Eph 5:31).
Anyway…back to the sexual problems as per this DDR series. When sexual problems appear, some couples simply give up and don’t try to resolve their difficulties. They may fear of discussing the frustrations or a belief that things will never get better. Others develop physical symptoms – headaches, abdominal pains, fatigue, or emotional distress – all of which hide the sexual problem and provide an excuse for abstinence. Studies indicate that in a surprising large number of young marriages, there is no sex at all - usually due to the fears and attitudes of the wife. In some of these marriages the marriage has not even been consummated.
Rejection of sex in a marriage can be very difficult for a mate who wants sexual fulfillment. In the last DDR I noted the first three of the eight common reasons for sexual rejection in marriage. Let us now turn to the next three.
#4) Fatigue, Haste, and Lack of Opportunity. Fatigue is a common cause of unsatisfactory sex. Mutually pleasurable sexual intercourse takes physical and mental energy. It also takes a relaxed, unhurried attitude that is not greatly concerned about time. When a young couple is first married, they can sleep late on weekends, and have no children to demand their attention, to interrupt their lovemaking, or to interfere with sexual spontaneity. These couples often have a great deal of vigor and natural energy. As they grow older, the husband and wife may have an undiminished desire for sex, but also have less energy, more responsibilities and demands on their time, increased mental and physical fatigue, and a need for more sleep. Growing children demand attention and their presence often forces couples to reduce the frequency and spontaneity of sexual intercourse. When they are able to get alone in bed, there often is a desire to “hurry so we can get some sleep” or to “keep quiet so the kids won’t hear us.” It requires almost no sophistication for us to realize that common concerns like these can interfere with relaxed sexuality and can create sexual tensions within the marriage. The solution is found in living out the principles of the Word of God – especially those precepts that deal with the fact that the husband and wife are to keep each other and the marriage as the top priority even though many times they will have to put the kids first chronologically. Logically the husband and wife are to put each other first even during those times when the kids have to come first chronologically and temporally (feed, change diapers, ad nauseam). The couple must especially be sensitive to not allowing differing attitudes with respect to raising the kids become a source of division. During these very trying tots to teens years it is so important for both the husband and the wife really focus on their spiritual growth together in the Word of God. Most divorces take place during this time because the husband and wife lose touch with each other as they lose touch with the God who made them and His plan for their lives – a plan which provides all that a believer needs to handle the adjustments and distractions of children.
#5) Boredom. When believers do not grow spiritually by consistently staying in fellowship and advancing in Bible doctrine, they default to life dominated by the old sin nature. One dominant characteristic of the old sin nature is boredom with the same old thing – the old sin nature simply lacks the capacity to go beyond the experiences of the senses; it lacks capacity for the sublime, the lofty, and the supreme joy. It is spiritual life that gives believers the capacity to enjoy all of the mental, spiritual, and sublime aspects of love making, e.g. love, unity, coalescence of souls, awe, exhilaration and joy. Under the old sin nature it is just about the physical and as they run out of novel ways to have sex, foreplay becomes shorter, and coitus becomes routine. After several years of failing to grow in a thriving spiritual life, sex becomes monotonous. To add insult to injury partners sometimes becomes less interested in their appearance – e.g. nasty boxers, nasty bodies. Sex under such circumstances is not very fulfilling to say the least, and the stage has been set for an extramarital experience with someone who is more exciting and novel than one’s mate. The old sin nature is extremely pernicious. Studies indicate that some couples cope with their boredom not by extramarital affairs but by fantasy with other people. During the act of intercourse, they fantasize about previous, desired, or exotic sexual involvements – and some do it as the only way to reach an orgasm. This of course destroys all capacity for intimacy in the marriage. There is simply no substitute for growing spiritually. To grow in the spiritual life is to grow in love with your spouse and to enjoy intimacy even in the later years when you may not be quite the athlete you once was.
#6) Physical causes. Sometimes sexual problems have physical origins such as endocrine disturbances, obesity, diabetes, low energy level, or the weakening of vaginal muscles in women who have given birth. Sometimes a physical illness prevents sexual behavior, and at other times it may cause people to be afraid of intercourse. In one research study, for example, it was found that 80 percent of heart attack patients were afraid to resume sexual activity after their illness, and 42 percent of the men had difficulties attaining or maintaining an erection. Almost always, when physiology creates sexual problems, psychological tensions come as well and a vicious circle develops: the physiological problem creates psychological tension that in turn hinders physical functioning. In some cases physiological malfunctioning (real or imagined) is used as an excuse for abstinence or sexual difficulties. Perhaps the most common physical hindrance to sexual fulfillment is the use of drugs, including alcohol. Since alcohol relaxes people, minimizes anxiety, and makes them less inhibited, some couples drink before intercourse. In large quantity, however, alcohol dulls sensations. It is one of the principle causes of impotence in males. Such impotence creates anxiety and a fear that one is sexually inadequate. These anxieties hinder further attempts at intercourse, especially if the man has few more drinks to relax before “trying again.” The ultimate solution is always growth in the Word of God. The couple which continues to grow spiritually will enjoy each other and experience an intimacy especially in the golden years when they are not quite the "gymnasts" that they used to be. Through spiritual growth an elderly couple is able to enjoy the most sublime intimate relationship, a relationship that may have had plenty of ups and downs but a relationship that lives in the understanding and awe of the fact that out of all of the world, God made this person for me. As a matter of fact an older couple which grows spiritually together through all of the trials and tribulations of life will enjoy a mature love, intimacy, unity, and connectedness - a blessed unity and intimacy that not even the most virile young couple can possess or achieve merely by physical means. The greatest love making organ really is the mind - i.e. a mind which has been shaped, formed, beautified, and edified by the Word of God.