So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I’m part of an online support group for Christian women who have experienced pregnancy loss. It’s a safe place where women who have been through the heartache of losing an unborn child can share their struggles and offer hope to others.

Recently, a woman wrote a comment saying that since her loss, she has avoided having sex with her husband. To her, femininity, sex, and making babies were inexplicably intertwined.

Many of the comments to her where sympathetic and understanding, but one comment made me angry. A well intentioned woman in the group made the comment that “not having sex with your husband would be like him not talking to you” in reference to this article called Your Sex-Starved Man which basically states that husbands need sex and wives should provide it.

There seems to be a crisis of marriages in which women see sex as a chore and men see sex as a marital right.
Personally, I am lucky to have married a man who I am compatible with on many levels, including sexually. Our sexual appetites are about equal, and we do our best to meet each other’s needs in and out of the bedroom. When we go to bed, we both leave satisfied every time. So perhaps I am missing something here but this idea that so many women see sex as a chore has always bothered me immensely.

God created sex in the context of a loving, committed relationship, like marriage so that both men and women could benefit from the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of sex.

If a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her husband, something is wrong. I understand that sometimes we get tired and may not be in the mood but that isn’t what I’m talking about. There have been many times when either my husband or I wasn’t in the mood, but there have been maybe two or three times in our 6 years of marriage where we have turned each other down. This is the kind of sacrificial marital love that Christians often speak of when they quote scripture, (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) often taking it out of context. However, giving in when you’re “not in the mood” is very different from giving in when you feel pressured to do something that’s supposed to be so sacred and special but that your heart and soul is not a part of.

How many women are being given the advice to “just do it” when what they really need is to talk to their husbands about how broken and hurt they feel?

I understand the pain of the woman who posted in the online support group. I felt the same brokenness after my miscarriages. For several months after my losses, sex was a painful reminder of the life that was no more. I cried to my husband about how I felt and it helped. He listened, and he comforted me. He couldn’t possibly understand the pain I was feeling but he tried and he was patient.

The advice to “satisfy your man” is so much a part of our culture that it’s become a part of the cultural milieu, and it bothers me on so many levels.

First, it suggests that sex is a chore. If sex is a chore, you aren’t doing it right.

Secondly, it suggests that women are responsible for the sexual needs of their husbands, without taking into account differences in libido, personality, and a host of other factors. If a man wants to have sex every day and his wife can only get in the groove once a week, why should she be responsible for satisfying him the other six days? He should respect his wife enough to satisfy himself without making his wife feel like a machine.

Third, this kind of language reinforces the idea that masculinity is associated with hyper-sexuality and femininity is associated with purity, innocence, and fragility. It makes women feel like they shouldn’t want sex as much as men; that they should be charitable with their sexuality rather than owning it as an essential part of being a woman.

Lastly, and most importantly, giving women the advice to submit to sex with their husbands without understanding the context of the relationship can make marital problems worse. If a woman is avoiding sex because she is depressed or because she feels hurt, used, or neglected by her husband, having sex is not going to fix the problem- it’s going to drive it in deeper and cause a well of resentment to fester. God created sex to be a union of the body, heart, and soul. When sex becomes merely a physical act, the relationship will suffer.

Women who avoid sex with their spouses should be encouraged to figure out why they don’t want to have sex in the first place. The gift of sex is one that should be treasured, not taken for granted and only once barriers to true intimacy are removed, sometimes with painstaking work from both spouses, can the gift be realized.

Emily Sinkclear

Emily Easley-Sinkclear lives in St.Louis with her husband and kids, though she grew up in Minnesota and longs to return to a place where snow and evergreens abound. Her greatest joys include playing with words, hiking, and laughing with her family.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections