4 Things Fathers Should Teach Their Daughters About Men Part IV
‘‘I never say no to sex,” she said in response to my question on how to make marriage work. As she spoke I could tell her words were a deeply ingrained conviction that laid the foundation for her 17 year marriage. And even though I knew her statement was biblically based, I was challenged by these words.
Ashamedly, I thought about the times in my own union when I’ve struggled to be a “never say no woman”. I began to factor all the possible reasons why a woman might deny her husband the greatest gift she could give him: kids, work, fatigue, and a loss of loved topped the list. I thought about the stages in a woman’s life: how she can seemingly go from the sexy newly married career woman to the out of shape, tired, and broke down mamma of two overnight. Regardless of the extenuating circumstances a woman finds herself in, the Bible is clear.
The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 1 Corinthians 7: 4 (NIV)
For today’s empowered and self assured woman this scripture is difficult to embrace. We live in a society where women boldly declare what they will and will not do with their body parts. At best, this scripture appears outdated and archaic in a 21st century culture.
But God’s word never changes leaving women to either acquiesce to the gospel or buck up against it like a wild bull. I have been both. Which is why I’d like to offer a little perspective as it relates to sex and the denial of it in marriage for those who may be raising their fist in opposition.
What I’ve discovered may surprise you: to deny a husband’s request for sexual intimacy impacts more than his physical needs. It also gives a destructive and crushing blow to his male ego; it is a form of disrespect. And whereas we are used to ascribing respect to our husbands in communication, we are not so accustomed to applying that same respect to his request for intimacy.
As a woman who grew up in a all female household, respect in general is a skill I’ve had to work at with great intentionality. I’m still learning, gradually picking up nuggets of wisdom that would have been great to know prior to saying “I do”. Whether engaged, just hitched, or a seasoned married woman, knowledge on respecting a man is invaluable when it comes to helping a marriage thrive. For this reason, this is the third thing every father should teach their daughter about a men.
#3 Men need respect.
If a man is not respected you’ll know it. You will see it in his countenance as he morphs into a mere shell of who he was created to be. Often times he will withdraw and shrink back: becoming less assertive and in some cases refusing to try at all. Consequently, he may retreat to what is commonly known as his man cave.
A woman may easily detect the effects of disrespect in a man’s career but she may be oblivious to how he feels disrespected in his own home. Stephen Arterburn, author, founder and chairman of New Life Ministries, had a few words to say about it in his book, “The Secrets Men Keep”.
“. . .For whatever reason, a large number of husbands in our culture confess to having “a fragile ego in the bedroom”. . . This means that a third of the men surveyed enter the sexual domain of their relationships with their wives with some measure of fear and trembling. That obviously cannot be a comfortable situation for those men, nor can it result in a fulfilling sexual relationship for a couple.
I entered marriage knowing what the Bible said about sex and yet not understanding how rejection in the bedroom impacts a man. I did not see the connection between sexual rejection and disrespect; in marriage they are synonymous. Once I discovered it, I saw Ephesians 5: 33 in a new light.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5: 33 (NIV)
Most wives who have been in church any length of time are familiar with this scripture. However, left to figure respect out on her own, we may overlook all the ways men derive respect from their wives. This is especially true if the woman never saw this in her mother’s relationship with her father or it simply was never explicitly communicated to her.
Which is why a woman may not know how her consistent argument of a headache or fatigue is negatively affecting her husband. If a woman is not taught this by her father or his interactions with her mother, she must learn it through the life changing word of God. She must be willing submit to the authority of the word of God first so that she can submit to and respect her husbands initiation of sexual intimacy.
This is God’s design for the union between a man and a woman. Following this blueprint for marriage draws the heart of a wife to her husband. Thereby making a woman’s choice to submit to her husband an outward display of her submission to God.
Unfortunately, heart change like this can’t be purchased over the counter. This type of transformation happens overtime as we yield our unregenerate nature over to God. He is the only One who can take a woman with an “it’s my body and I can do with it what I want” mentality and give her a heart to honor her spouse by meeting his physical need for intimacy.
This is not to exclude the reality that sex is a two way street and there are some requirements for the man as well. He is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and that cannot be ignored. It is also not to dismiss the need for the woman to seek professional assistance if there is any form of physical or emotional abuse taking place. The aim, however, of this article is to focus solely on the role of a wife, lessons she may have missed from her earthly father and how she can learn those lessons from God.
Meet Me in October!