"Submission: The Sexual Relationship" by GMT Leader Jennifer Zabel

“A wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. Equally, a husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does.” 1 Corinthians 7:4

As a Christian, when you marry, you enter into a covenant with your spouse and God.  God’s greatest desire for the covenant of marriage is oneness, both mentally and physically.  It is no secret that to become physically “one”, a couple’s sexual relationship must be healthy and fulfilling for each person.  Sex is yet another area in marriage where we can actively live out “submission”. As Paul writes to the Corinthians in the verse above, ladies, our bodies are not our own. They essentially belong to our husbands. Once we married our husbands, we gave him authority over our bodies. This is not to be confused with women being personal property or an object to be used or abused by men. It is meant in the sweetest, most vulnerable way.  Ladies, if we really understood the degree to which our husbands need sex and what neglecting that aspect of our relationship does, we would never want to withhold sex again. Our men need sex almost as much as they need food and water (my husband often uses this analogy, as sex is a basic need for a man, just as eating and quenching of thirst are). Not just for the physical release, but also for the emotional connection.  Imagine your husband refusing to talk to you. You would not feel very connected to him, would you? He needs sex to feel connected to you. He feels closer to you when you are meeting this deep need of his.  He also feels desired, empowered, and more confident. When you are meeting his sexual needs, he is much more equipped to go out into a world that is often beating him down and face it confidently. All because he feels desired and wanted by you.  If you want him, then who cares what everyone else thinks! It is easy to see then, if the pressures of life have gotten you tired and disinterested, that Satan would be waiting to pounce. The enemy of strong, happy marriages is waiting in the form of female co-workers, friends, or internet websites to make your husband feel desired and wanted. Your husband may be devoted, Godly, and committed, but he is just a man. A man that is tempted by his flesh.   A man that is in a daily battle with principalities unseen. A man that if unfulfilled, can fall prey to the lure of a very enticing lie.  This is why Paul goes onto advise the Corinthians in verse 5 to “not deprive each other by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” God knows that men are weak in this area. So women, we must make them strong and provide them with what only we can.  We are human too, and at times, this can be a difficult charge.  You may be in a season of your marriage where you have lost  passion and/or desire. Or, you may be like me, and are raising small children, leaving you zapped of energy at the end of an entire day of giving of yourself endlessly.  Whatever stage you are at in your marriage, take a good, hard look at how you are doing in this area. Have an honest conversation with your spouse and ask them how you are measuring up. I guarantee this is one “heart-to-heart” he won’t mind having! If you are meeting your husband’s expectations, give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t become complacent! If you can improve, be glad that you have an opportunity to become the woman of your husband’s dreams in the bedroom.  If you truly long for the type of marriage God has for you, then you can’t afford to not put time and energy into you and your husband’s physical intimacy. Pray that God would strengthen your sexual relationship with your husband. He intended for sex to be a beautiful, joyous, and profound connection between husband and wife; one that binds the souls and joins the hearts.

Jennifer Zabel

Jennifer Zabel is part of the Awesome Marriage Global Management team.  She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.