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Marriage Workbook

By Craig Caster



The Bible teaches that there are two specific purposes for human sexual activity in marriage, procreation (Gen. 1:28, Deut. 7:13-14), and pleasure/recreation (The Song of Solomon 4:10-12, Prov. 5:18-19).

Do you view sex as a gift from God, to be enjoyed only with your spouse?

Sex is a gift from God to humanity, created by Him to be enjoyed only within the union of marriage. He designed us, male and female, with the ability to both produce children and experience physical and emotional pleasure during sexual intercourse. Through the sexual relationship, as husband and wife, we have an opportunity to mutually present ourselves as a gift to one another, to intimately become what God calls “one” as we share our bodies.

This is God's plan for sex, but the sin of man and the deception of Satan have tainted His gift to us. Many have fallen under worldly influences which have perverted the purity of sex and made it sinful, sometimes even thought of as something dirty, or a tiresome duty. Attitudes toward sex are also affected by the teaching of our parents, or personal experience which can range from childhood curiosity and information gained from friends to pornography, molestation, rape and experimental sexual choices. Remember, it is Satan's plan to destroy, or make bad, the things God has created for good, including sex.

When two people join in a marriage relationship and are ignorant of God's will, have selfish expectations, or maybe a negative view of sex, they will have difficulty establishing and maintaining a fulfilling sexual relationship.

A healthy sexual relationship is based on the following:

  1. A belief that sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed and practiced only within the marriage relationship.
  2. A commitment to give and receive sex within the context of biblical love, which is selfless, not selfish.
  3. The practice of open and honest communication between husband and wife, learning how to bring physical pleasure to one another.
  4. A basic understanding of human sexual anatomy as it relates to sexual pleasure.

Sadly, many Christian couples are unfulfilled in this area of marriage and don't know how to make it better. If you have a negative attitude toward sex and/or the sexual relationship with your spouse, it is import to discover why. When God reveals His will for us, then we need to see it as good. There can be medical or physiological reasons why both men and women may experience difficulty with sex but, in most cases, ignorance, selfishness and/or resentfulness is the cause. Over the course of any marriage there are seasons when we must deny ourselves in this area and exercise patience due to pregnancies, surgeries, temporary and terminal illnesses, life traumas, etc.; however, whenever possible, we are to keep our sexual relationship fulfilling.

Men, on your marriage day you never imagined there would be a time when you would turn down a sexual advance from your wife. Today, more than a few men are struggling with this problem, opening the door for Satan's lies, creating temptations and causing confusion. When a husband rejects his wife's sexual advances, she will begin to feel undesirable, unattractive and unloved. A husband who is not initiating sex on a regular basis needs to find out why and work toward changing it. The most common reasons are not medical, but come from a “HEART” condition.

Examine your heart with these questions:

  1. Do you feel that you have been your wife's priority in marriage,second only to God?
  1. Do you feel your wife knows how to treat you with honor, speak to you with respect and affirmation?
  1. Do you feel that your wife treats you like one of the children?
  1. Do you feel your wife trusts your leadership and yields to your decisions for the family?
  1. Do you feel your wife has rejected your sexual advances because she does not love and/or prioritize you?
  1. Do you feel your wife has been unwilling to talk about sex and to work toward making it better?
  1. Are you angry or resentful toward your wife for any of the above reasons?

Any of these issues can affect your heart attitude,and desire to have sex with your wife. Through forgiveness and a willingness by both partners to work toward reconciliation, your physical intimacy can be restored.

Consider these sinful responses:

1. Have you been rejecting your wife’s sexual advances and/or not showing interest in sex to hurt her, or to get revenge for past rejections and the way she treats you?

2. Have you given up on trying to make your sexual relationship better?

 [Ephesians 5 :27 says, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” This verse is an exhortation to settle for nothing less than God's holy will in your marriage; when we do not follow His will, it is sin. A man who gives up onthe sexual relationship makes himselfand his wife vulnerable to sinful practices; this can result in adultery or indulgence in pornography. Another common sin is over-committing time to such activities as career, hobbies, volunteer work and even ministry. When a man does not receive affirmation, this is a common problem. You need to confess, repent, and work toward making things right.]

3. Have you turned to porn?

[If you have turned to pornography and masturbation, this is a destructive and sinful antidote. If you have begun to practice this on a regular basis, it can become the preferred way to find sexual pleasure because there is no risk of rejection and or negative attitudes, but it is sin. You need to repent, seek help and work on restoring your marriage in this and other areas.]

4. Have you placed selfish expectations on your wife's physical appearance and/or certain sexual acts as a condition for you to lovingly participate in sex with her?

[There is never an excuse to not do God’s will in any area of our life, and that includes working at fulfilling your wife’s sexual needs. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Sex is not about selfishness in the marriage. It is an expression of love, and a commitment to God and spouse to fulfill His will in your marriage.

Look for physical problems:

There are physical reasons why a man can lose his sex drive and performance prematurely.

  1. Lower than average testosterone level; this can be determined through a doctor’s visit and a simple blood test. There are many options available to increase testosterone levels.
  2. Are you taking antidepressants? These can cause a man to lose his sexual drive. Talk with your doctor and seek other options. I also encourage you to get some “good” biblical counseling. Depression or anxiety can result from hurts that have never been forgiven, guilt from past sins/mistakes never resolved through forgiveness,unconfessed sinful practices, Demonic lies accepted as true about yourself, and confusion about God’s view of you or what you need to do to be accepted by Him.
  3. Are you taking blood pressure medicines? This can affect sexual drive and/or the ability to get an erection, very humbling and embarrassing for a man. It is important for both husband and wife to know the side effects of taking blood pressure medicines and be willing to work through this challenge together. Changing medication may solve the problem, or a doctor can advise using meds like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis to address erectile dysfunction.

The truth is, a man needs to learn how to please his wife physically without having to reach an orgasm himself. Most wives have participated in sex many times without ever reaching a climax or orgasm. Why is it acceptable for a man to be sexually pleased with little or no pleasure for his wife; however,the reverse situation is not normal, but taboo and very unacceptable? Yes, a good wife should be willing to participate sexually with her husband when she is “not in the mood”, but a good husband should also be willing to fulfill his wife’s sexual desires apart from his own.

A husband who loves his wife and desires to fulfill her sexually can do so without the ability or desire to reach an orgasm himself. This will take honest communication about technique and a mutual willingness to explore new sexual avenues perhaps usinglotions, lubrication, hands, mouth and positions.

Make a commitment to God and your spouse to go through the Forgiveness Workbook together and begin to work on making the necessary changes in your marriage. Trust God and His ways, and pray that He will heal and bless your obedience.

An Honest Prayer about Intimacy

Lord, it’s hard to know what sex really is— is it some demon put in here to torment me? Or some delicious seducer from reality? It is neither of these, Lord. I know what sex is— it is body and spirit, it is passion and tenderness, it is strong embrace and gentle handholding, it is open nakedness and hidden mystery, it is joyful tears on honeymoon faces, and it is tears on wrinkled faces at a golden wedding anniversary. Sex is a quiet look across the room, a love note on a pillow, a rose laid on a breakfast plate, laughter in the night. Sex is life — not all of life — but wrapped up in the meaning of life. Sex is your good gift, O God, to enrich life, to continue the race, to communicate, to show me who I am, to reveal my mate, to cleanse through “one flesh”. Lord, some people say sex and religion don’t mix; but your word says sex is good. Help me to keep it good in my life. Help me to be open about sex and still protect the mystery. Help me to see that sex is neither demon nor deity. Help me not to climb into a fantasy world of imaginary sexual partners; keep me in the real world to love the people you have created. Teach me that my soul does not have to frown at sex for me to be a Christian. It’s hard for many people to say, “Thank God for sex!” because for them sex is more a problem than a gift. They need to know that sex and gospel can be linked together again. They need to hear the good news about sex. Show me how I can help them. Thank you, Lord, for making me a sexual being. Thank you for showing me how to treat others with trust and love. Thank you for letting me talk to you about sex. Thank you that I feel free to say: “Thank you God for sex”.

Dr.Ed Wheat


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