In my last article, I was responding to a question about whether the Bible says anything in regards to frequency in sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. This led to highlighting how many couples find themselves in a “sexless” marriage.
Today, I want to suggest some ways you could rebuild or strengthen your marriage if you are experiencing a sexless relationship. There are likely many reasons for a sexless marriage – some of them may even be legitimate. Health, age, distance, and emotional issues all can create the reality of a marriage where sexual intimacy is pushed to the background.
I am going to assume the person reading this article is in a sexless marriage and wishes the story was different. I am also assuming you may be really hurting and struggling in your marriage right now. With this in mind, here are some ideas to honour God in the midst of your brokenness.
1. Examine Your Heart
There is a good chance you have battled anger or bitterness in this journey. If you want to bring healing and hope to your marriage, it will be so important to have a heart free of these emotions. Ask yourself why you want to have sexual intimacy – is this purely for you or is it also for the benefit of your spouse?
2. Focus on Faithfulness
Wanting sexual intimacy with your spouse is perfectly normal and biblical. Many who are not feeling connected sexually will go looking for it somewhere else. I know men who have convinced themselves that looking at porn is not cheating on their wife. Jesus would beg to differ (Matthew 5:28). If you want to restore sexual intimacy in your marriage, you need to restore your own faithfulness to your spouse. 1 Peter 3:7 tells us to honour our wife – so that our prayers are not hindered. The Bible teaches us our prayers for God to change the sexual intimacy in our marriage could be hindered because we are not honouring our wife.
Beyond being faithful to our spouse – our higher calling is to be faithful to God. When we are told to love our wife like Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25) we are reminded that being a husband is about reflecting Christ to our wife. I don’t know about you, but I regularly fail Jesus and He is faithful to graciously love me and pursue me. We need to do the same – not just because we want to fix our marriage challenges, but also because we want to be faithful to God.
3. Invest in your spouse
In Philippians 2:3, we are taught to consider others as more important than ourselves. One of the traps when there is brokenness in sexual intimacy is we become very focused on ourselves – our wants, needs, etc. However, if you want to begin to change the story of your marriage then you may need to learn to change the story of your heart and actions towards your spouse. How are you investing in their emotional well being? Do they believe you truly love them? A helpful tool for this is the Five Love Languages.
4. Have honest communication
Communication is critical. Carve out some time when you and your spouse are not too tired and where you can be alone. Share your desire with them. Study the Bible and what it has to say about sexual intimacy. Ask yourselves the question of whether you are serving each other well and according to God’s vision for this area of your relationship.
Be careful to avoid blaming your spouse. Focus more on the positive of your hopes and desires for you together.
5. Seek outside help
It is likely the wounds or habits run deep if you are in a sexless marriage. It may be very important for you to seek outside help in order to overcome these barriers to sexual intimacy. Seeking outside help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of acknowledging what God has already taught us. Sometimes, we need other people in the Body of Christ to help us be stronger in our own walk with God.
6. Wait on God
You probably did not end up in this place in your marriage overnight, and it is unlikely you will get out of it overnight. Keep your eyes on the bigger vision of being faithful to God’s will for your life and wait for Him to answer your prayers. I believe sexual intimacy in marriage matters to God, and so I also believe He hears your prayers and is working in your situation.
Use Bible verses like Psalm 27:13, 14 to keep you encouraged and to strengthen your faith as you wait for God to answer. Pay attention to the small victories along the way and thank Him for how He is shaping you to be more like Jesus in this journey.