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Is Withholding Sex From Your Spouse Grounds For Divorce In The Bible?

Marriage is a wonderful thing. It takes work. Keeping up a relationship takes work. A relationship between and man and a woman starts with a bit of ‘sparkle’ as two people just enjoy being together. They share common views and want to be in each other’s company as much as they can. Marriage normally begins with passion and continues to build as the couple grows and matures.

What Is Normal Intimacy?

In some places, people get married, and after they have kids the relationship between the husband and the wife stops. It stops many times because the sexual intimacy has stopped. If you want to know how to kill your marriage, all you have to do is stop the sexual side of the marriage relationship. The regular coming together is an important part of marriage. One very personal survey asked married couples how frequently they had sex.

  • Between 18-29, married people had sex 112 times a year, or a little over twice a week.
  • Between 30-39, they had sex 86 times a year, or about seven times a month.
  • Between 50-59, they had sex 69 times a year, or a little under six times a month.

Based on the above, this would be normal healthy frequency among couples. In 1 Corinthians 7:5, believing couples are commanded not to withhold themselves from one another unless mutually agreed, and for a limited time. Why? So that married people won’t be tempted to look for sexual fulfillment somewhere else. Just as the woman has a monthly menstrual cycle, men have monthly cycles of sexual desire. If that is not fulfilled with their wife, they are going to start to notice the women around them at work, outside, and other places. Women who are not fulfilled will also start looking for that man to hold her and treasure her.

No Sex, No Marriage

Marriage is not just about living together. It’s about being together and learning to meet the needs of each other. It’s a commitment to take care of each other in all ways. In Genesis 2:24, we see that the son and daughter leave their parents to come together and create a new family. It says,

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

-Genesis 2:24 (NKJV)

The two become one. This is not just a something that happens on the honeymoon night. As we see from above, healthy happy married couples have a lot of sexual contact in addition to all of their time together. When the sex intimacy stops, so does the spiritual intimacy between the couple.

We know that God hates divorce, but when a married couple stops having sexual intimacy, that is the beginning of a dysfunctional marriage. That is not God’s plan. And the foundational ‘one flesh’ commitment of marriage is in breech. In many countries, when a person begins to withhold themselves from their spouse they are denying their wedding vows. In English, couples clearly pledge themselves to each other in the wedding ceremony in front of all saying, “To have and to hold, till death do us part.”

If you are in a marriage relationship with no intimacy, you have likely been very challenged. As we just read in 1 Corinthians 7:5, withholding yourself from your spouse is against what the Bible teaches. You are dishonoring your spouse by making them struggle with their sexual desires and will eventually lose them to someone else.

Withholding sexual intimacy is one of three reasons that lead to and justify divorce. If your marriage isn’t important to you, you need to see a marriage counselor at a healthy church. You should avoid divorce at all costs and repair your marriage quickly. Find that first love that you had with your spouse again. If you don’t know Jesus, meet Him now, if you do know Him it’s time to as God to help you in your life.

Pray This Prayer-

Father, I give my marriage situation to you. Please forgive me for not meeting the needs of my spouse. Not showing my love as I pledged in marriage. Father, help me to see myself from your eyes and the eyes of my life mate. Help me to fix those areas that have been broken and restore that first love of our marriage again now.

Holy Spirit, please speak to me every day and lead me in my marriage. Help me not to serve and seek my things first, but to do a better job of relating and fellowshipping with my life. I thank you for the victory and the reinvigoration that is coming to my marriage as I pray right now. In the mighty Name of Jesus I pray, AMEN.

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