Archibald Hart, a leading Christian expert on male depression, says, “When a sexual outlet is denied, and by this I mean a reduced frequency of orgasm, such males become irritable and aggressive and develop a set of behaviors that can best be described as ‘sulking’ or ‘moodiness’. This unique form of depression sets in fairly quickly whenever sexual activity diminishes.”1
Dr. Hart explains, in another article, why Christian men intentionally avoid intimacy and thereby, ironically, bring on their own depression.
Good men have difficulty differentiating between ordinary, healthy sexuality and what is abnormal. Many men fear that just because they have a strong sex drive they are in some way deviant. “I must be something of a freak” a pretty normal pastor told me once. Some even fear that they may be “perverted” or addicted to some sexual aberration.
Men with strong sex drives can easily develop a pervasive sense of shame and self-rejection, even though a strong drive, in and of itself, is NOT abnormal. (Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., FPPR., Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary)2
The Bible is clear that the primary way to successfully control sexual urges is in a healthy marriage with frequent and reciprocal sex. A biblical marriage goes a long way in mitigating “testosterone induced depression” (Dr. Hart’s term) in Christian men.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverb 5:18,19 ESV)
Our book, Radical, addresses the topics of frequency and reciprocity in a Christian marriage from the Bible. We’re not telling you this to sell books but to help marriages and relieve your husband’s depression. Granted, there are many forms of depression but this is one that has a practical remedy.
The opposite of depression is delight.
Delight yourself in the Lord first and then delight in the wife or husband of your youth. God’s Word is so practical.
Blessings, René and Gloria
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- Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together; Mark and Grace Driscoll; p 163 quoting Archibald Hart. ↩