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What Does The Bible Say About A Wife Denying Her Husband Sex?

It is written in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, whether a wife should deprive her husband of sexual intimacy or not. “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.” Marriage is a sacred union ordained by God and meant to be beautiful and give Him glory.

There is a blueprint for marriage that we are meant to adhere to to enjoy the fullness of what God has proposed for the marriage.

However, this blueprint is usually neglected or not followed by the letter, and it is not surprising that issues arise that threaten the stability of the union and lead to its break.

When issues such as a wife refusing to fulfill her marital rights to her husband spring up in marriage, it is usually a result of a lack of understanding and/or a gap in diligently following the biblical principles laid down for marriage as ordained by God.

Should it be considered a sin if the wife refuses to take up her responsibilities as a wife to her husband sexually, or are there occasions when the Bible permits the wife to deny her husband sexual intimacy?

The purpose of sexual intimacywhat does the bible say about depriving your spouse

The purpose of sex does not stop at procreation alone; it was designed by God to be pleasurable in the confines of marriage.

Marriage is where God allows for sex to take place according to His will.

In Hebrews 13:4, the Bible says, “Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”  

The bed in marriage is viewed as undefiled, but it becomes defiled when fornication and adultery set in.

In Proverbs 5:15-19, the Bible states how a man should find satisfaction in his wife’s body.

He is meant to be “ravished” always with her love, which speaks of the sexual intimacy between them, and not “embrace the bosom of a strange woman” (Proverbs 5:20).wives do not deny your husbands

The entire book of the Song of Solomon speaks of the intimacy between a husband and his wife, the Beloved, and his lover, the Shulamite.

He finds pleasure in her body and describes it with poetic language that shows how much he appreciates her (Song of Solomon 7:1-10).

This also rings true for the Lover. She compliments his features, talks about how she delights in his company, and appreciates how he views her (Song of Solomon 1:16, 2:3-6, 7:10, 8:10). 

The Bible depicts sexual intimacy as a binding force that makes a man and a woman one, and this was designed to be between a husband and a wife.

Anything outside of it is considered a sin (Matthew 19:5, I Corinthians 6:16).

So if the husband and his wife are meant to enjoy sex with each other, doesn’t it pose a serious threat if one of them refuses to fulfill this responsibility to his/her spouse?

Duties of the wife according to scripturewives do not deny your husband

Ephesians 5:22-24 reads, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be subject to their own husbands in everything.” 

Looking at this passage carefully, we will see the importance of the wife’s duty.

The relationship between Christ and the church is used to explain how the relationship between a husband and wife should be.

It is profound when we realize that all through the Bible, God uses the bond between a husband and a wife to describe His relationship with His people.

Just as God expects His people to submit to His authority, the wife’s duty is to submit to her husband in everything. This includes sexual intimacy. 

God, in His wisdom, placed the man as the head of the union.

This might tick a lot of people off because submission has been erroneously viewed as slavery and oppression. However, we are to view submission through the lens of the context in which it is written.

As a Christian, do you see yourself as oppressed by being subject to Christ?

If your answer is no, then why do we view submission in a bad light?

Like every other thing placed in the wrong hands, submission in marriage has been greatly abused.

Wicked men have violated the sanctity of marriage and turned their wives into slaves as their own interpretation of submission and use this passage to justify their wicked acts. However, the passage clearly shows what the Spirit of God revealed about the wife’s duty.

The wife is to submit to her husband in the same way the church submits to Christ, not out of compulsion but out of respect and devotion to her husband. wife denying husband conjugal rights

This devotion and respect should stem from understanding her husband’s authority as the head, just as the church understands Christ’s authority and willingly submits to Him.

This is the biblical standard for the wife.

She must submit to her husband in everything, regardless of whether he deserves it.

She is simply to play her own part and not try to compel her husband to do his part, and vice versa.

This is a hard pill to swallow, but this is the standard for a Christian marriage.

The wife must fulfill her responsibility to her husband by submitting to his leadership.

This also includes sex, as God created sex to be enjoyed in the confines of marriage. what does the bible say about lack of intimacy

In I Corinthians 7:3, the Bible instructs that both man and his wife must render affection to each other due to their spouse.

In the next verse, it goes on to say thus: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (I Corinthians 7:4).

Both are stewards of each other’s bodies, and as stewards, they are meant to render due affection to one another by caring for it, both sexually and otherwise.

They are not to deprive themselves unless with consent from the other spouse, and even so, they are to come together quickly so as not to give the devil a chance to tempt either of them (I Corinthians 7:5).

It is detrimental to the health of the marriage when either the wife or the husband denies their spouse sex for an extended period.

This is walking in grave error. Some women even weaponize sex and use it to control their husbands to do their bidding at every given chance.

This goes against what the Bible says about the bed in marriage. It gives room for the devil to operate in the home.

The Proverbs 31 wifechristian wife rejects husband

The Bible describes a wife as a “good thing” that makes the husband obtain favor from God (Proverbs 18:22).

Wives are designed by God to be helpers to their husbands, not in the sense of being subjugated and oppressed but being what makes up for the areas he lacks and being a succor to him.

She is to be a relief to him in all areas. In Proverbs 31:10-31, the Bible describes how a woman who fears the Lord carries herself and handles her home.

Her husband trusts her, and his heart is at peace with her (Proverbs 31:11). In verse twelve, it states that she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She is devoted to his well-being and delight.

A wife who denies her husband is not doing him good.

She makes him unnecessarily struggle with self-control due to her refusal to perform her responsibilities to him as a wife. She is to fulfill his needs and be devoted to his well-being as her head.when a wife denies her husband

The Bible says that a wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her hands (Proverbs 14:1).

The power to build and tear down the home has been placed in the hands of the wife. It would be unwise for a wife to tear down her home by denying her husband his conjugal rights.

Christian wives have to stop following the ways and advice of the world on how to run their homes and treat their husbands.

They are to follow God’s blueprint of marriage.

Suppose a Christian wife keeps letting the world define her reactions to her duties as a wife. In that case, she will only deprive herself of enjoying marriage as God intends for His children.conjugal rights bible

The world teaches that marriage is transactional. “I’d only submit to him when he has earned it.” But the Bible teaches differently.

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” (I Peter 3:1-2).

Your husband may be the one with the authority of the home, but you, as the wife, hold the power to keep the home.

You have the power to win your husband over by submitting to him, which you do in the fear of God. Having a gentle and quiet spirit is precious in the sight of God (I Peter 3:4), and God takes care of those who please Him by obeying Him.

Do not worry about whether or not your husband is keeping his side of the bargain, and do your own duty with meekness and gentleness of heart, seeking not to please man but to please God.

In doing so, the Bible says you heap coals of fire upon the head of the person who does you evil (Romans 12:20-21). 

Reasons why wives deny their husbandsReasons why wives deny their husbands

There are cases where wives denying their husbands sex is not a result of wanting to weaponize sex for the sake of it.

Some women experience challenges in sexual intimacy due to several reasons that are genuine to them.

One such reason could be the higher sexual drive of their husbands in comparison to theirs.

They may feel unable to meet their sexual hunger and begin to find the act as a chore rather than something to be enjoyed.

This is the reality of many women, and they are shut down when they raise their concerns about it and are told to just handle it. However, it is essential that they are vocal to their husbands about it, and they both seek out how to solve such an issue together. 

Another challenge could be that she feels used to it because her husband only ever looks her way when he is sexually interested.

The wife may feel reduced to an object of satisfaction to her husband and lose interest in indulging him every time.withholding sex in marriage bible

These are essential issues that need to be tackled between husband and wife.

And even when the husband is not willing to cooperate, the wife is to put her trust in God and keep fulfilling her duties to her husband.

Let her rejoicing be in God, not being anxious about anything but making her requests to God through prayers and thanksgiving. God will give her peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:4-7).

If, for any reason, her husband is violent and abusive, she should seek the help of a respectable leader in the church (pastor, bishop, church counselor) who has sound biblical knowledge and authority to intervene in the matter.

It will be difficult for a woman to give herself to an abusive husband, and it is detrimental to her well-being in the long run.

Therefore, it is wise for her to seek counsel from someone with sound knowledge of the scripture and high authority in the church who would be of help for such a sensitive case.

can a wife deny her husband

What Does The Bible Say About A Wife Denying Her Husband Sex?

The Bible clearly does not support a wife depriving her husband of sexual intimacy in any way; instead, it admonishes her to be submissive to her husband in all things and be of delight to him. She is a steward to him just as much as he is to her, and she is obligated to play her role as a wife, irrespective of whether or not he plays his role towards her. She is doing this to seek the praise and pleasure of God.

Sexual intimacy is an important area in marriage, and the wife’s sexual submission to her husband is a vital ingredient in maintaining a healthy relationship that is pleasing to God.

Of course, the burden of sustaining the marriage does not fall upon the shoulders of the wife alone.

Both husband and wife must have mutual respect, love, and care to have a wholesome, godly relationship that brings glory to God.


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