After you discover your husband’s sexual sin, depending on your circumstances and personality, you may be tempted to react negatively to your marriage bed in one of two ways:
1) Take over as his god. When men are trapped in sexual sin, sex becomes their god. They worship it. They give themselves over to it, sacrificing their time, money, energy, and even their family to their god. You may be tempted to jump in and take over, allowing him to idolize you. Trying to satisfy his every sexual craving in such a way that he would not need to seek any god other than you.
2) Be repulsed by him. You obviously have been wounded and devastated by your spouse’s sexual behaviors, and therefore you may be tempted to associate all sex with your husband’s sin. Sex may become something that is dirty, filthy, vile, gross, and utterly repulsive.
I encourage you to put to death both of these options! In the beginning, I fell into option number one. I felt like it was a competition between me and porn stars, and somehow I had to win my husband over from the wickedness that had ensnared him. I felt that if I was sexy enough, if I seduced him enough, if I gave him everything he wanted sexually, then I would be able to keep him from being tempted again. But I was wrong. Not that it’s wrong to be sexy or satisfy his sexual desires; but my motivation was not oneness, rather it was to control him. And controlling my husband was never going to redeem our marriage bed.
Sex is a gift that God gives us to treasure and cherish, to steward, to enjoy, to protect. And once that gift has been trampled on, it’s hard for women to view it that way. But there is hope! The marriage bed can be redeemed and you can, once again, treasure, cherish, and enjoy sex with your husband even after betrayal. Although he failed to protect and steward it while he was in sin, if your husband has been repentant and you’re working towards healing, God is giving you both an amazing opportunity to restore your marriage completely – including the marriage bed.
There are a few key steps to redeeming the marriage bed:
1) REPENTANCE – There’s really no point in trying until true repentance has occurred. Repentance is the act of completely turning from sin (in this case, sexual sin) and turning towards God. Once your husband has repented of sexual sin (and is not just “sorry” he got caught) then you can begin to work on intimacy issues.
2) HONESTY – You have to be genuinely honest with each other about what you do and do not feel comfortable doing sexually. It’s interesting how many married couples still feel awkward talking openly with their spouse about sexual positions and styles. But to redeem the marriage bed, you need to do just that. Your spouse needs to know what you enjoy doing; not what he’s watched in pornography or experienced with another woman. And at the same time, you are going to have to learn what your husband enjoys doing as well. It’s a mutual give-and-take that makes intimacy so much fun and you have to have honest communication with each other for that to work. It can sometimes be very difficult conversations, but when approached with humility and love, it can be extremely beneficial.
3) PRAYER– I know, it sounds weird! But you need to pray before having sex. God is in the business of redeeming and sanctifying things that were intended for good. And the marriage bed is good! If you’re feeling disconnected from your husband, pray and ask God to help you remember what you love about him. If you’re feeling angry over his sin, pray and ask God to help you forgive and to exercise mercy and grace with your husband. If you’re feeling tired or stressed, pray and ask God to give you a renewed mind and a burst of energy. It’s amazing how much prayer can impact your sex life. Many times my husband and I have asked God to cleanse our minds, cleanse our hearts, grow our love, banish the enemy, and give us the proper perspective so we can enjoy each other physically and emotionally. God wants to give us our hearts desire and bless us abundantly. And that includes in our marriage bed. He wants it to be an area of great fulfillment for us.
4) TAKE IT BACK– Don’t let the enemy come to bed with you. Don’t allow your husband’s sin to stain what God has sanctified. You have to boldly reclaim your sexual intimacy and take it back from the hands of the enemy. Declare, out loud, that your husband’s past and the enemy’s tactics no longer have power over your marriage bed. God has delivered your husband from bondage and He can redeem the marriage bed too.
5) SERVE – Contrary to popular belief, sex isn’t all about you! You should be serving your husband while at the same time, he should be serving you. And when you are both serving the other, you’re both getting physical and emotional needs met, you will definitely see fireworks J
The intimacy between my husband and I has become something that I am very fond of. But we have worked diligently to overcome the negative concepts of sex together. It hasn’t been easy and there are still days when I catch myself going back. Thinking on the past. And I have to remind myself of one of my favorite verses, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18). God has redeemed our marriage bed and has made it new. He made a road for us in the wilderness and a river in the desert. Even when our marriage bed was defiled by pornography, we were able to redeem it and sanctify it through Christ. Now our intimacy is something we both enjoy and look forward too. Not only that, but it encourages my husband to stay sexually pure and it has fortified our marriage, bringing unspeakable joy to our relationship.