Do Not Monkey Around with Despair

I just made a response to WheelMonkey, who is having nearly identical troubles as Tacomaster. It struck me as deserving its own post.

Stick with me here, WheelMonkey, and read to the end. I am being your friend.

I feel like damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Sigh…

Your mindset is all wrong. Damning is an action taken by someone with the authority to condemn. She does not have that authority. The husband has authority over the wife. In the Kingdom of God this servant has authority over that servant, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! She can kick and bite and refuse and scream divorce as much as she wants, and yet she is a helpmeet under authority as we all are servants under authority. The Master will return, and there will be a reckoning. Be of good cheer!

When Jesus is on the cross, He does not take issue with the crowd (society), the Romans who are crucifying him (the courts), or even the Jews who lied and betrayed him (the wife who played harlot because the Messiah wasn’t “man enough” for them). He cries to God: “Why have you forsaken me?” He does for many reasons (not the least of which is to fulfill prophecy) but because He knows all things are in God’s hands, and the Father wants us to come to Him…just as you want your wife to come to you.

Are you doing this? You have the luxury of not being nailed to a physical cross, yet there is little in your replies of your conversations with God about this. No, He is not going to reply audibly any more than He did to His own Son on the cross.

You are not to “try to have sex with your wife”. You are to desire to reflect and manifest the love of Christ for the world (though the world knew Him not) that God has consecrated solely for husbands and wives no less than He has consecrated priests and prophets to their callings. In this, you and your wife are not so dissimilar. You want her to fulfill you first, just as she wants you to fulfill her first. With that in mind: If you bid her to come to bed with you, and her response is pitiful at first: do not be surprised because she is reflecting your own sin; your pitiful attempts to fulfill the merely physical and ignoring the glory of the spiritual. There are serious things going on here. Your pain at her rejection is a sign of the damage being done. There is no fault for you feeling that.

“Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading out the grain”. This command appears three times in scripture, and it’s about not stopping the laborer from enjoying the fruits of his labor. Let the animal enjoy itself as it WALKS over the harvest to produce SEED. You are to be about doing the work. God will sort out the muzzling, and repay those who have denied you. The Lord will harvest, and separate the wheat from the chaff, and the chaff will be burned up and blown away.

Furthermore: You have not done any of the things I recommended–which I did in the spirit of a man walking in understanding with his wife (1 Peter 3), and with the intent of washing your wife of her uncleanness (Ephesians 5)–but you have done what I said NOT to do. Now you are feeling hopeless, having done nothing with what was given to you in love. Here, you are the bad servant.

Do not speak of divorce. Do not speak of her wrongs because she is trapped in sin, but forebear them. Do not speak unless you have something to offer her.

Do pray heartily, and I suggest literally on your knees. It is good for us. (Wives should pay MUCH attention to that, too, when dealing with their husbands.) Do take care of your responsibilities with as much joy as you can muster. Do see to your appearance. Someone suggested asking her to shower with you. That’s a wonderful suggestion.* Do walk. Do bid her walk with you. There are recurring themes within scripture; particularly as regards relationships: bread, wine, blood, trees, washing, sheep, harvesting, threshing floors, seed and not the least among them is WALKING.

* Feel free to either comment on how you love her body, or simply silently admire, but do not be coy, or look away. If she makes a negative comment in response to something like, “I love that body!” then just smile, or say, “Hey, I like what I like.” Your desire is just.

5 thoughts on “Do Not Monkey Around with Despair

  1. This is a refreshing perspective to hear from a man, I wish more men thought like this.

    [CC: Thanks, and welcome. You might like my A Series of Negatives.]

  2. Do not speak unless you have something to offer her.

    This is important and easily forgotten, especially considering the highly emotional aspects of women. They will not respond to bare scolding without a hope of “something better.” Ask any serious writer and they will confirm this truth. There must be hope and a chance to learn something. Then, the challenge is to speak as a wise man, one who explains and provides a solution instead of wallowing in misery and despair. This is a husband’s proper role, as the head over his own home. Lord, husband, teacher, saviour; it all must come together. Stern warnings might be necessary, yes, but in the pursuit of improvement, not condemnation.

    Point out the problem. Describe the solution. Honour God and the marriage.

  3. Dalrock pointed me to your blog (the “Tacomaster Desires…” post in particular). I’ve enjoyed your reading your advice. I believe you commented on a thread at Dalrock’s where my post elicited many replies. I’m another sex-deprived (as in zero sex for months) husband. I’ve also struggled with porn, but haven’t viewed it (or done any activities associated with viewing it) for over 2 months. I’ve told my wife about this. She was mildly impressed, but it hasn’t changed our zero sex/intimacy relationship at all. She keeps saying it will “take time” for her to build back her trust due to my porn use and other past wrongs. (Most of those wrongs are sins of which I’ll readily admit, but a few are more debatable.)

    I have a question that’s on a more tactical level. She’s been letting our youngest (almost 3) sleep with us since she left her crib. We’ve let others sleep with us here or there (when they wake up in the middle of the night, special occasions, etc.), but nothing like this. I think my wife’s allowing this “co-sleeping” (to use the hip, modern term) to make intimacy all but impossible for us.

    I’ve been thinking about telling her it needs to stop. Something along the lines of “This is our marriage bed (Heb. 13:4). It’s a place for the two of us to sleep and make love. I don’t mind our kids occasionally coming in when they wake up with a nightmare or something, but not on a regular basis. If you disagree, you can sleep with the youngest in her (twin) bed. I’ll sleep here.”

    At this point, I’m sure she’d choose to sleep with the youngest elsewhere. But it would be a way for me to put my foot down and set a boundary. I think I’ll have to do things to force the issue unless my wife suddenly builds her trust. And the longer I’m staying away from porn, the more confident I’m getting.

  4. John, you’re moving in the right direction. Keep at it. One note to consider:

    “If you disagree, you can sleep with the youngest in her (twin) bed. I’ll sleep here.”

    I recommend NOT giving her options like this. Women can become tangled up in alternatives. Some call this phenominon “choice addiction.” It’s a form of analysis paralysis, and causes instability for them. Make the decision for her — and for the whole family. Keep your stance simple and clear, sticking to your original statement, which is very good:

    “This is our marriage bed (Heb. 13:4). It’s a place for the two of us…[etc.]”

    Maintain your place as the proper “head” of your family and your wife’s place as the nurturing helpmeet. If she wishes to abandon your bed, that must be HER initiative, not YOUR suggestion. It’s not a trivial distinction. Stand firm and do not encourage her in a bad choice.

    I remember the maternal fears that our little ones might be “upset” at night. Allay her fears and reassure her that the kids will naturally adjust to their own sleeping arrangements. Soothe her and listen to her concerns. This approach may kill three birds with one stone; easing the separation between mother and child, cementing your role as a caring and watchful father, and presenting yourself as her rock and companion.

    You may find that a steady hand in these situations, coupled with moral conviction will soon draw her back into you. In actual fact, it will strengthen your marital bond and stimulate her interset in you.

    I’ll step aside and let others weigh in. All the best to you.

  5. Pingback: Welcome Aboard, John | Things that We have Heard and Known

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