By: Michael Baker
The Sexless Marriage
“Do you find your sex life fulfilling?” The latest statistics tell us that 53% of couples say Yes, while 47% of couples say No.
Connecting that 47% with the current divorce rate in America, which is 50%, it is interesting that these numbers are so close together. I don’t think it’s an accident.
What is a Sexless Marriage?
Did you know many couples fear the intimacy of sex and avoid it? But what if your sexless marriage isn’t the solution to your relationship, but the sin that stunts your relationship?
Many God-fearing men and women are in this kind of relationship, believing that sex will cause more problems than it solves. So they live married, cohabitating, even raising children, but without the intimacy of regular physical affection.
By definition, a sexless marriage is having sex less than 10 times per year. Maybe this is you, maybe not. The question to ask is not so much, “Are we in a sexless marriage?”, as it is, “Are we headed in that direction?”
A recent article finds a man named Mike (not myself) justifying his sexless marriage: “My wife wasn’t interested [in sex], and mentally, I decided I was not going to bug her… Life would be more complicated with sex.”
It’s interesting to me that married people with this problem will blame their marital woes on a “lack of communication,” or finances, but in truth, it is often a lack of physical affection. What’s the first thing to go when problems arise? Sex. Physical intimacy gets put on the chopping block, and everything else falls away from there.
Sex is intimate and intimacy requires real relationship. Living a sexless marriage is seen as the solution to intimacy issues. But a sexless marriage is no solution. A sexless marriage is an assault on the Institute of Marriage causing an epidemic of broken intimacy and sexual integrity throughout the U.S.
But studies now show us that this issue goes far beyond North America.
A Cross-Cultural Problem
A study from 2016 in Japan states:
“More than 22% of all women surveyed said they found sex ‘troublesome.’“
“Among married men, 35.2% said that work left them “too tired” for intercourse – up dramatically from 21.3% in 2014.”
When did we begin to find husbands secretly scanning porn and our wives finding emotional completion in the arms of another man? For now, it is enough to say, if there is an absence of intimacy in the marriage bed then there will be an absence of sexual integrity outside of the marriage bed.
More than a metaphor
Genesis 2:24 mentions “One Flesh,” and Jesus uses the same language in Matthew 19. If you think one flesh is a metaphor for one life or one family, think again.
Every person on the planet is the result of a sexual encounter — Jew or Greek, slave or free. We can’t get around the facts. Sex is when two become, quite literally, one heartbeat, one body, one flesh.
Sex is the spark that empowers intimacy and makes communication possible on all levels between a man and his wife. It was not designed solely for procreation. If we harden our hearts and remove sex from the marriage relationship, then a literal wedge of distance is placed between a husband and wife.
“Sexual integrity means living out one’s sexuality in a way consistent with the conjugal purpose and meaning of sex.” 1 Corinthians 7:5 addresses sexlessness inside of marriage by telling us to “stop depriving one another…so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” God did not mince words: stop depriving one another.
Sexual integrity in marriage is the call for regular sexual intimacy.
1 Corinthians 7 is only one of many Scriptures to outline the intimate significance of sex and it helps us to see that the model for marriage has always been a robust sexual relationship.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers, God will judge” Hebrews 13:4.
Husband and wife are called to be one flesh and, as Jesus says, what God has brought together let no one tear apart.
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Michael R. Baker is a retired 24-year Veteran with the Montana National Guard. He is passionate about teaching Christian men how to take back their place in the marriage, family & church. Michael has been teaching men how to be men for many years, beginning with his five sons. Michael’s passion stems partly from the abuse and neglect he suffered as he was growing up. He quickly saw the need for men training in the lives of other men and began training other soldiers. Michael began his podcast, The Sedated Man, just under a year ago. He is currently working to build a brand with The Sedated Man courses to teach men on a larger scale.
Michael is a devoted Christian, husband & father. He is the sole provider for his household to allow his wife to stay home with their five boys. He and his wife have helped hundreds of couples to recommit themselves to their marriage and raise their children in a Godly way. When he isn’t building his business, Michael can be found taking pictures of the beautiful Montana scenery & scuba diving any chance he gets. Michael can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at The Sedated Man or on Instagram at @thesedated.