When marriage partners react against each other they diminish their potential for sexual intimacy.
Family Counseling Ministries -
The intimate nature of the marriage relationship affords
ample opportunities for husbands and wives to emotionally wound one another.
When married partners disagree, for example, on what kind of car to buy, they
can usually quickly arrive at a workable solution. When they wound one
anothers spirits, however, the path to reconciliation becomes a significantly
Spouses either respond to one another in love or they react to
one another in selfishness. An examination of several ways in which husbands
and wives inflict wounds on each other, sheds light on how to move beyond the
reacting stage to the responding stage.
A wife has a deep longing for her husband to provide
spiritual leadership in the home. She reacts against him when she senses that
she and the children do not have first place in his life. When he seems to be
preoccupied with other people, possessions or activities, she begins to doubt
his love and she becomes insecure. When a husband senses that his wife is
reacting to him out of insecurity, he should make a sincere effort to express
his love to her by meeting her needs, by spending time with her and by
reassuring her of his firm commitment to be the spiritual head of the home.
A husband, on the other hand, instinctively longs for his
wifes respect and admiration. When she consistently expresses criticism and
disapproval of his decision-making ability he becomes defensive and
reactionary. A wife must learn to question her husband in a manner that
demonstrates her eagerness to help carry out his decisions for the good of the
When men and women react against one another in one or
more areas of marriage, their sexual relationship is almost always adversely
affected. As they approach the sexual arena of marriage, husbands and wives are
a study in near-opposites.
He generally enjoys sex any time, any place. He seems to
be jet-propelled by passion although he often runs out of gas in other areas of
family life, such as completing handyman projects or consistently leading
family devotions. She possesses as great a capacity as her husband for sexual
enjoyment, but her mood, energy level and surrounding environment all have
great bearing on her sexual desire and response. Soft lights and relaxing music
or tender, romantic words have a marked effect on her degree of arousal. The
very sight of his wifes body can stimulate him almost instantly, but she is
excited more gradually, like a slow-burning ember.
Men and women perceive the act of sex in two different ways.
He is prone to view sexual intercourse as a physical act, in which two marriage
partners do something. She considers intercourse to be more an emotional
experience wherein a husband and wife are saying something meaningful to one
As husbands and wives learn to respond lovingly and
patiently to one anothers sexual differences they will experience greater joy
and satisfaction in this important aspect of marriage.
When marriage partners continue to react against one
another and inflict emotional wounds on each other, they damage the very spirit
of their marriage. Their relationship is in danger of ultimate failure. The
writer of Ephesians 5:21 instructs husbands and wives to submit themselves to
one another in the fear of the Lord. Spouses who choose to walk in obedience to
this command will experience the Lords blessings and benefits.