Week 4 - For Women Only Bible Study

Well I hope you all have time on your hands, b/c this is a long one :)

This week's chapter was called: Sex Changes Everything

Women are faced with a crisis! Men are worried that we are not even aware of it!

Men aren’t getting enough sex.

I can hear your howls of laughter. It’s not exactly groundbreaking news that men want more sex. We know they are sexual creatures. I do think that you are going to be fascinated this week when you realize how strongly the feel this need and you may be blow away when you understand why.

Our culture portrays sex as a physical need for men. However, as Shaunti conducted research around the country, it became clear that the importance of sex had little to do with the physical. In fact, to a husband it was emotional, all about feeling desired by his wife. On search survey and in random interviews, this theme emerged with great urgency. Being desired by his wife also gave a man a sense of well-being in other areas of his life.

When men were asked how important it is for them to feel sexually wanted and desired by their wives, and astounding 97% said “getting enough sex” wasn’t, by itself, enough; they wanted to feel wanted. In the entire survey, this was the question that men most agreed on.

Shaunti also gave men this scenario and question:

You are getting all the sex you want, but your wife is reluctant or simply accommodates your needs. Will you be sexually satisfied? A total of 74% said that they still would feel empty if their wives were not engaged and satisfied. A huge signal to a man of whether he is desired and desirable is whether his wife enjoys their intimacy together.

One man that Shaunti interviewed summed it up this way:

“Everyone thinks women are more emotional than men (when it comes to sex)….that women are more into the emotion and cuddling of it. So women think there are no emotions there (for the guy)….but there are, and when you say no, you are messing with all those emotions.”

Sex makes your husband feel loved—in fact, he cannot feel completely loved without it. You have discovered that he often feels isolated and burdened by secret feelings of inadequacy. Making love with you assures him that you find him desirable, salves a deep sense of loneliness, and gives him the strength and well-being necessary to face the world with confidence.

Before we go any further….let me make sure a few things are clarified. First, while there continue to be ways in which singles are addressed in this week’s study, know that this week focuses exclusively on sexual intimacy within the God-ordained marriage relationship.

Second, we will be focusing on the apparent majority of cases, in which the husband tends to crave more sex than he is getting. You should know that according to the surveys of women Shaunti interviews 25% found themselves in the reverse situation. If you are one of these women, know that many of these truths will still apply, but please recognize that this week, of necessity, focuses on the majority of cases.

Our Weekly Challenge:

Married Women—This week track the messages you may be sending your husband regarding your desire (or lack thereof) for him. In what ways can you make progress in understanding and meeting the needs of his heart through sexual intimacy?

Single Women—Observe how the media portrays a man’s view of sex. What messages does it convey about how the culture thinks guys are wired versus how they really are created by God?

Everyone: begin each day with a prayer that God will help you meet a new challenge. Practice every day. Continue to practice changes you are making from other Weekly Challenges.

Something is missing in your husband, and only you can fill that void.
How does this truth differ from the popular view of a man’s sexual needs?
A Man’s deep need for his wife is more than physical. His emotional need to bond with his helpmate is a reminder of how we were created.

Read proverbs 12:4, The Message
4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Think how a man feels when his advances for sex are rejected.

When a wife is the kind of wife a man needs, he shines like a crowned king. When a wife causes her husband to feel belittled, it eats at him deep inside. When sex is good, the husband likely will be affected in such a way that everyone will know. He will be energized and on top of the world. If he feels rejected or undesired as a man, he can feel ashamed, as if his very insides are being eaten away.

How will this knowledge change your behavior?

First Corinthians 7: 1-5 offers powerful warnings for couples.
1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except 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.

What principles does this passage teach?

What is the danger of denying sex to each other?

The danger is if we are not willing to ensure that our husbands feel desired by us, they could have much more difficult time resisting that temptation elsewhere. Remember what a core need this is! Many a man has been let astray by the flattery of someone who, without the pressures of the day-to-day grind that you face, makes him feel like the most desirable man on the –planet. The lure of the prostitute in Proverbs 7:15, is that she is looking for him and is available all night long. It’s a love feast, and he’s the main course!

The lure of pornography is another danger. If you are like me, you have puzzled over this one; I mean it’s just a picture, isn’t it? Men have explained it this way: “It is as though that beautiful desirable woman is looking through the camera directly at me and saying, “I want you.” In today’s world, the temptation to get that intoxicating feeling is at his fingertips 24/7.

The Apostle Paul warns that as human beings we have limits. We can be tempted. To deny your husband or to not give the effort to make sex a fulfilling experience can be dangerous for your marriage.

I do want to point out that the Bible is not saying that we belong to our husbands in the sense of personal property that can be used or abused.

Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5

Notice verse 4 speaks to both of you. He has just as much responsibility to meet your needs as you do to meet his. However, remember that the focus of our study is narrow—on his privilege to have access to all of you.

Think honestly for a moment about what goes on through your mind when you reject your husband’s advances. Do any of these responses sound familiar?

I have a rIght to a good nIghts sleep.
I am just plain tIred and rest Is what I need.
I can’t be expected to meet everyone’s needs all the tIme.
I need some tIme to myself.
I am not Interested.

The emphasis on “I”, while not subtle, helps us to remember our focus. Aren’t we often quick to want to exercise our rights? To think “Well, it is my body!” But is it?

Our memory verse this week is 1 Corinthians 7:4

4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

When you deny him the sexual response he is expecting, you deny him access to part of himself. When a part of himself is messing, the wounds can go very deep.
One of Shaunti’s most fascinating discoveries from her research has to do with how men look at romance. They really do want romance.
Playing together is very romantic for men. Having fun with their wives makes them feel close and loving and intimate; it offers an escape from the ordinary and a times to focus on each other—all things that women also want from romance. This means that going with him on an errand to the local hardware store may be terribly romantic for him!

One married man explained it this way, “For a guy, a big part of the thrill was doing fun things together. The woman who is having fun with her husband is incredibly attractive. If you see a woman out playing golf with her husband, I guarantee that all the other guys are jealous. Getting out and having fun together falls off in a marriage because of various responsibilities, but men still want to play with their wives.”
Think about times your husbands have suggested some activity that you didn’t realize might have been romantic for him. In his mind, the activity was just a fun day of hiking or a chance to relax—it was his version of a candlelight dinner.
Now where does sexual intimacy come into romance. Sex doesn’t always have to be connected to romance, and it doesn’t have to happen at the same time—but it’s in the back of his mind! To make a giant generalization, women can often experience emotional closeness and feel that an evening is romantically complete without sex—while men often cannot.

Many men expressed frustration and even heartache over times when they tried to be romantic, tried to do things that signal their love and care for their wives—and still didn’t see any increase in sexual interest. Clearly, just as we want our husbands to love us in the way we need to be loved, so do our men want the same for themselves. Sex is a huge part of making them feel loved.
So what about the times you HAVE to say NO?
The truth is there are times when sex is just not going to happen. Men have told Shaunti that if a woman takes the time to explain her “no” then it can help. You cannot assume that he sees your briefcase full of reports or the pile of dirty dishes in the sink and automatically understands what is foremost on your mind.
Gently let him know what is going on inside of you at the moment. Leave him without a doubt that you desire him but that you are just not able to respond at the moment. Leave him with hope! Make plans for a time when you can be fully devoted to each other. No other appointment should be as important as this one. Get a baby-sitter! Go away! Lock the door! Let your husband know he is irresistible to you!
Trust that God knows what He is doing. He delights in helping His children. As you obey Him, you will also find delight and joy. As you affirm you husband sexually, as you watch him blossom with your respect, and as you see him secure in your trust and admiration, you will feel delight.

1 comment:

Chelsa said...

wow, i really needed this! especially now, being pregnant and tired all the time... i never looked at it this way...