Do not deprive one another (1 Corinthians 7:5a ESV)
There are probably many valid reasons for telling your spouse “Not now, dear” from illness to PTO meetings and everything in-between. We are not talking about these moments tough. If the reason for the delay is reasonable then postpone but set a time.
All things being equal, “Not now, honey” means “No”. Paul tells us, as we have seen numerous times in our journey toward a more biblical married sex life, that we have conjugal responsibilities, our bodies are not our own, and in our verse today, “Do not deprive”! “Do not deprive” is about as clear and direct as you can get.
There are as many ways to request sex as there are marriages. Most marriages have their own unique ways such as a glance or a secret phrase. Other couples are more direct with a kiss or a touch. You know your unique request methods. The temptation is to “accidentally” miss the signal if you’re not “in the mood”.
“Not in the mood” is not a biblical response. If we wait for both of us to be “in the mood”, at the same time, then it could be long wait. We’re usually not in the mood because we are looking at ourselves and not our spouse. Selfishness kills “the mood”.
The only biblical response to a request is an enthusiastic, “Yes!” This seems unreasonable in so many ways especially in our culture of individualism. How can anyone, realistically, be in the mood all the time? If you go by your feelings then it’s impossible. Trust God. Pray.
God’s Word tells us clearly that we should be ready for sex. This goes beyond feelings to obedience. The Word says be ready for your spouse when they’re in the mood. You have conjugal responsibilities, your body is your spouse’s, and do not deprive them.
How can you be ready?
First, don’t be surprised when your spouse suggests sex! Many are startled when their spouse says the secret phrase and panic, “Now!?” Be ready, don’t be surprised.
Secondly, anticipate when your spouse will be in the mood. If you’ve been married for any length of time then you should know your spouse’s sexual rhythms. Anticipate.
Thirdly, make sex a priority – think about it, talk about it, plan it. Yes, there are many obstacles to the one flesh reality of marriage including illness, aging, and travel and so many more. But make the effort to make sex a priority.
Fourthly, change your mind about sex and align it with God’s Word and not the culture. We like the way JB Phillips puts it, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” (Romans 12:2)
When we put God’s way into practice then we will know God’s plan is good but not before.
Bible Thought: God’s way has to be practiced in order to discover that it is the best way.
Prayer: Father, help my mind to be transformed from cultural biases to God’s truth about married sex. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Just do it,
Rene & Gloria