Help! I Think I’ve Misplaced My Sexual Desire
Lysa TerKeurst

“The 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. Do 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.” 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (NIV)

SEX. Bring up this topic among women and you’ll get giggles, rolling eyes, smiles and, yes, some frowns. At a recent women’s conference, I led a session titled, “The Eight Things Every Wife Should Know.” Number three on the list was Enjoy Your Husband Sexually. I asked the women to notice that I didn’t say to endure him sexually but I intentionally used the word “enjoy.”
Had I been sitting in that audience just a few years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at the speaker and quietly picked at a thread on my jeans while discounting everything she said. The reality was, enjoying sex and truly desiring my husband was a problem in my life.

I had bought into the notion that sex was a chore and something else that I had to do for my husband. It was in no way a priority to me, and my husband knew it. It became a huge source of conflict in our marriage. The very thing God designed to bring us close together was tearing us apart. I felt frustrated and misunderstood. Art felt neglected and rejected. Satan, whose very name means “one who causes a separation between two” was having a field day.

I finally got so broken over it that I cried out to God. “Can I talk to you about sex, God?” I whispered the word “sex,” as if my years of trouble with this topic were some big secret to Him. As I prayed, my words went from embarrassed whispers to loud cries for help.

God gave me a word picture to help me better understand my husband’s point of view. Imagine if my husband was my only source for physical food, which my body not only wanted but needed. However, every time I went to him for food he would reply, “Not now…I’m too tired…I have a headache.” After a while my hunger would consume me, I would grow very bitter towards him, and eventually I would go looking for food elsewhere.

Just like I need food, my husband needs the sexual nourishment that only I can provide. His desire for intimacy with me was given to Him by God and is a gift that should draw us together. I’m the only one he can share this gift with under God’s perfect plan of marriage. Art not only needs me to share this with him, he also wants me to share in the desire for sex. He needs to hear that I want him!

I’ll never forget how mechanical I sounded the first time I tried to utter, “Oh honey, I really w-w-w-want you.” Art just smiled back and said, “Wow, I can really tell.” But over the years I’ve learned how to whisper this in his ear and really mean it. It lights my man’s world on fire to hear me express my desire for him. And do you know how I got my burning desire back for my husband? I asked God for it.

I asked God to retrain my mind. I asked God to reveal to me ways to make sexual encounters with my husband a bigger priority in my life. I asked God to give me wisdom to better understand my body and courage to talk to my husband about the things that make me feel good. I asked God to help me think about sex in good and desirable ways. And it worked!
I’m not perfect in this area, I have a ways to go, but I realize that my marriage is worth the investment of time, creativity and energy. Isn’t yours?

Dear Lord, stir in me a passion for physical intimacy with my husband. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This Crazy Little Thing Called Love – 6 CD Set with Companion Guide by Art and Lysa TerKeurst

Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

Capture Her Heart companion book for husbands by Lysa TerKeurst

Do you know Him?

Application Steps:
What could you do to help your husband celebrate that you are his wife? Does he have plenty of opportunities to experience the physical and intimate satisfaction he craves with you?
The Bible instructs us to, “Drink water from your own cistern.” This means the sexual nourishment your husband needs should come from his wife alone. Give him the nourishment that only you can provide.

Reflection Points:
If you’re struggling with a lack of desire for your spouse sexually, make a point to initiate sexual intimacy with him. Though it may seem awkward at first, your marriage is worth the risk.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 5:19 says, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.” (NIV)

Proverbs 14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this timely devotion! My husband and I have a a marriage retreat this weekend and I know I'll learn more, but with a 3 year old and new baby, sex has been the last thing on my mind! Thank you for reminding me that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. :o)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am convicted. My husband and I are going through stuff right now, and I haven't felt any desire for him for a long time. This reinforces that it is important to ask God to help me with that, just as much as I'm asking for help with the stuff.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lysa & team.

Thanks for this refreshing topic. Even though I am not marrid yet I have heard that this is a problem area for many and I feel that the best time to prepare to take it seriously is in singlehood- we must train ourselves as ladies of the Lord to have healthy attitudes towrads showing our love towards our husbands in ways that they appreciate. Thanks again,God bless you all, Kate.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to that. Why is that we as Christian women shy away from this topic? I am thrilled you posted about this :). Did you know that this is the #1 cause of marriages breaking up? I like how you illustrated it with your need of food.

Thank you.

Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

eph2810 directed me here this morning. Seems this topic has been on minds in the blogosphere this week big time. I join in with a big "Amen."

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for having the courage to share this private issue with us. I can so relate. It helps me to know I'm not alone, but to realize I can't sit back and let things remain status quo.

Blogger Unknown said...

I can so relate!!! Thank God He works in us when we ask for His help. I, too, came over from Sting My Heart and am so glad I did.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what defines a luke warm christian?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi to all,
Hmm, I would agree with everything in this posting>> I haven't had much of an issue with my desire> but He seems to be distracted a lot> I can sometimes sense his feelings of duty, We have been married for 17 years, we have had many trials in this area. We have hurt each other deeply, yet we have remind together. We have ask forgiveness and moved on.( or a least I think so) It is as though are sexual roles are reversed.. I mean to say He seems to have some of the same issues my female friend speak of, being tired, headache,busy. So how can I handle this area? I try to allow him the lead, I wait for his cue, and sometimes months will go by before he seems to be interested;I find ways to fed my spirit, ignoring my own desire. When I think it is a good time I will offer myself to him, sometimes with no response.I have spoke with him about this issue, His answer being he doesn't desire it as much. From his past I have found he never has. What does the Bible say about this? Has anyone here ever had issues of this nature? Are women the only ones with this lack of desire issue? Thank you for the information Dks

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Lysa, Thank you so much for writing on this topic. Your words were telling my story. It is comforting to know other women are going thru this; i felt alone and maybe something was wrong with me. I have been praying for the Lord to give me the desire I once had for my husband. I am reading a book about what makes a man feel loved and it has really opened my eyes and heart to my husband's needs. God bless you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dks, There is a great, biblically based book called "His Needs, Her Needs" that might help you. It's a great book to read with a spouse, but equally as good for just one, to find ways to make your relationship better. In your case, it does talk about that sometimes when other needs are met, desire increases.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one feeling this way. My husband and I are involved in the youth ministry and with a 3 and 1 year old and work and house duties, I feel very overwhelmed and fustrated at times. When it comes down to intimate time with my husband , I get so upset because I am so tired. I can't stand feeling this way towards making love to my husband. I love him soooo much but I don't understand at times why I have to feel this way. I should be thrilled that my husband desires me and thinks I am beautiful, even though most or all the time I don't feel like I am. I have asked God why, why, do I have to feel this way, if he created love between husband and wife to be closer to him. I ask him always to remove this feeling from me. Well enough, I have faith that God is going to help me over come this. I thank you for writing this because it made me realize I need to make more of an effort too. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this message and thank you all for your comments. I am like another reader in that my desire for my husband is more than ever and always has been, but his desire for me seems almost nonexistent. We've been married a little over a year and a half. I had never had this kind of intimacy before and was excited to share it with my husband. I assumed he would feel the same way, but since the beginning this has been an issue. I try to be patient and to figure out what I might be doing wrong, but lately I've really been struggling. Sometimes I get angry and frustrated and feel unattractive. I often wonder if perhaps I've said things to push him away. I try to take my feelings to God and remember that this doesn't mean that my husband doesn't find me attractive. I try to put myself in his shoes and understand the pressures he's facing. We are both in school now and very stressed. In addition he is working. I know that God wants me to put aside focusing on my needs, and realize that my husband really needs my practical help by thinking of ways I can make life easier for him. But sometimes it's so hard. We spend a lot of the day apart at school or work and when we're home sometimes he's too tired to really talk. I just end up feeling alone and sad. Thank you for sharing what it's like to be on the other end of this issue. It helps me understand that I am not innocent, and that there are needs he has that I am not meeting. Can anyone suggest practical ways I can show my husband that I understand his stress and would like to make life easier for him. Also what can I do in those moments when I feel so rejected and frustrated.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an area where I have a major problem. This devotion has helped me trmendously. I try to visiteveryday, but can't always do so.

Thank you for all of your great work.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"practical ways to show your husband you understand his stress"
A woman at my church I really look up to said this, Ask him if there is anything you can do for him today or help him with this week. Or, ask if there is anything he would like for you to pray about for him. I know that sounds simple, but it does let your husband know you care and that you are in it with him. It's also good to let him hear the positive things you notice about him, even if it's only "Hey that shirt looks great on you!" I'll look back to some seminar notes and see what other little tidbits I can find. Those are just a couple that come to mind and have helped my husband.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional and comments really helped me. I am one of those wives who have the strong desire and my husband has very little. It is so nice to know I am not alone. We have been married 5 years now I still struggle with not growing bitter or feeling unloved, but when I step back and realize that we are a team, not enemies in this fight to keep our marriage strong, I take comfort in knowing that we can face this as long as we are a united and trust FULLY in God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this devo when it first was published and have returned to it several times recently. I am in the same position as Lysa in that I am somewhat lacking in sexual desire and my husband is totally frustrated and hurting. The problem rears its ugly head, as it did last night, and I return to reread this devo. I also read thru all the comments today and I am glad to know that I am not alone in this.
We have a 9 yr old and an 11 mo old - he does not sleep well usually. Night before last I got up several times and then was awake from 4-6am. I did get a long nap later that morning, but was still exhausted. Last night, we finally got around to finishing our taxes and as we were going to bed at 12:15am (we usually go to bed around 11 or 11:30), my husband wanted to "celebrate" the unexpected return we are going to get. I totally rejected him and he read our devo and prayed thru gritted teeth. I don't want to hurt him. I love him so much! But is it fair for him to expect sex when I am exhausted and he snores thru my many trips to the nursery in the middle of the night??? I am as frustrated as he is!
Thank you Lysa for reminding me to pray for God to give me a desire for my husband.

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