In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (5:18). This is one of four times in which Scripture clearly tells us what the will of God is. I call these the four universal wills of God, and I have written about them extensively in my book, The Four Wills of God, and how our following these four universal wills of God can lead to learning His unique will for us in our individual lives.
A wife longs for her husband to hear her heart. She becomes insecure when he does not. What can she do?
Given your husband has goodwill and wants to do God’s will, I suggest looking in four areas and trying to “H.E.A.R.” your husband.
H: Honor his desire to honor God. If there is any positive thing you see in his walk with God, say, “I want to honor your desire to honor God. I have noticed how you _____.” Fill in the blank. While most likely there are things you wish he did in his walk with God that he isn’t currently doing, don’t go there. This exercise is about addressing the positive—how you see your husband honoring God—because it is true, honorable, and right.
Can a wife be guilty of helping her husband too much? At first glance, that may sound preposterous, right? I mean, of all the burdensome things a wife deals with during the day in managing her home and feeding her marriage, do we really have to add “don’t help husband too much” to her list?
The events of Genesis 2 speak to this, actually. Take another look at these verses that you are probably more than familiar with already:
- God created man: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (v. 7).
- God put man to work: “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” (v. 15).
- God recognized that man needed help: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’” (v. 18).
- God created the animals, but none were what man needed: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, . . . but for Adam there was not a helper suitable for him” (vv. 19, 20).
- Then in verses 21–23 we are given the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib in order to be the perfect helper for him.
Did you catch that? Eve was created to be a “helper” for Adam in his work, not to do his work for him. So yes, if by “helping her husband too much” we mean she does it all, to the point in which he feels he is no longer contributing anything, though her heart is no doubt in the right place as she tries to love and serve her husband the best she knows how, she indeed can be guilty of helping her husband too much.
In a previous article, I wrote about some of the disheartening times when Paul’s Holy Spirit-inspired words on sexual intimacy in 1 Corinthians 7 were spun so as to justify one-sided coercion rather than mutual consent.
Unfortunately, throughout history many husbands have taken a one-sided position to 1 Corinthians 7:4 and demanded fulfillment of their male conjugal rights. This is clearly contrary to Abba Father’s revelation to husbands and wives and ignores the second half of 1 Corinthians 7:4.
Equally depressing on the other end of the spectrum, are those husbands depriving their wives of sexual intimacy. How many wives have cried themselves to sleep at night as they repeatedly asked themselves, “What’s wrong with me? Why does he not want me? Why does he reject me?”
These unfortunate applications of 1 Corinthians 7 raise an important question. Is the message of 1 Corinthians 7 to be blamed for the abuse that some men have taken part in? Or, are the people who misapply 1 Corinthians 7 the abusive ones?
It is dangerous to suggest Scripture itself is to blame. Yet, there are those who have accused the Apostle Paul of being a misogynist. Others blame the Pastor who preaches on this text, wrongly accusing him of being one-sided even when he has preached accurately from 1 Corinthians 7 on mutual sexual needs and equal authority regarding sexual intimacy. In these situations, the problem is with the reader and listener, not with the message or the messenger who is “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
We as listeners, can be guilty of “selective listening:” only hearing part of the message, closing our ears and hearts to the part we fear. And, because one message, one blog or one book does not cover fully every detail in a single writing or message, does not mean the author fails to teach the truth. To ignore the entirety of the author’s teaching, within context, is damaging and deceitful.
In the near future, I will be going deeper on the topic of sex in marriage for all of our Love and Respect friends.
The title? Love and Respect (and Sex): Coming Together as Husband and Wife.
Interested in learning more? Would you like to add your stories to the content? Read on, and I’ll show you how.
For over forty years as a pastor-teacher and pastoral counselor, I have exposited 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 with great excitement. In that passage are nuggets of gold for husbands and wives concerning human sexuality. There we learn four beautiful truths that all married believers need to believe, prize, and follow. God calls husbands and wives to honor their:
- mutual sexual needs
- equal sexual responsibilities
- equal sexual say
- mutual sexual agreement
One, each of us in marriage must value and validate the way God designed the other with sexual desires, needs, and vulnerabilities (1 Corinthians 7:1–2).
Two, each of us must fulfill our God-given responsibility to meet the other’s sexual need as a reflection of our general concern and devotion to please the other as God calls us to do each day (1 Corinthians 7:3, 33, 34).
Three, we have equal sexual authority given to us by God and have both the right to request more sexual intimacy and the right to ask less, with neither being wrong, just different (1 Corinthians 7:4).
Four, because we have equal say and equal responsibility in meeting mutual sexual needs that differ, God intends for us to find a win-win agreement (7:5).
For this reason, based on Ephesians 5:33, I teach that husbands are to love their wives so much that they seek to respect these mutual sexual needs, equal sexual responsibilities, and equal sexual say, and then find a mutual sexual agreement about sexual intimacy. The same applies to the wife. She is to respect her husband’s inner heart, based on Ephesians 5:33, which means loving him so much that she too recognizes their mutual sexual needs, equal sexual responsibilities, and equal say in order to find mutual sexual agreement.