Is It A Sin To Refuse Sex To Your Spouse?

fixing a marriage

John and Mary have been married for over 28 years and for the past six years, Mary has refused to have sex with her husband.

She does not seem to have any interest in sex herself nor does she have any desire for pleasing her husband.

After becoming devastated emotionally and having constant blows to his self-esteem, John decides to move out of the house and file for divorce; he cannot take it any longer.

To add fuel to the fire, Mary goes to her friends at church and tells them that she does not know why John left her and that she only has suspicions—everyone needs to pray for him and his sins.

John has a dilemma, from a marital standpoint as well as a religious one; he really wants to go to church and defend himself from his wife’s accusations, but he also does not want to cause a scene or make matters worse.

How would you feel if you were in John’s shoes?

Would you have allowed the sexual rejection to go on for so many years and how would you deal with the issue?

Straight From the Bible

From a religious standpoint, 1 Corinthians 7:5 says, “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 

A possible modern translation to this verse:

If you marry a person simply and solely for sexual fulfillment and your spouse does not want it, then communication and/or mediation need to happen to get everyone on the same page.

Both partners should fulfill each other’s sexual needs; do not deprive one another unless there is a legitimate reason to do so, and that should only be temporary. 

If you and your spouse do need a limited time off from sex, then both need to agree to this and to the terms.

During this sexual hiatus, pray about your relationship together and create a goal surrounding the marriage bed.

Do not let Satan tempt you with a lack of self-control during this time of sexual absence.

Possible Reasons for Withholding Sex in a Marriage

A few reasons where this action would be reasonable are sickness, injury, grief, new baby, etc. Some other reasons for withholding sex from a spouse could be marital or sexual dissatisfaction, physiological problems, mental or physical issues, anger, manipulation, control, or hygiene issues. 

Adultery is another common reason for withholding sex from a partner, whether it be from the shame and guilt of the act or thinking that your spouse will find out.

Whatever the case may be, adultery is a violation of the marriage contract.

In the Bible, this is called sexual immorality.

In addition, refusing to have sex with your spouse, based on the passage above, is also a violation of the marriage contract. 

It definitely may be difficult getting into bed with someone who is treating you badly or with someone you suspect to be having an affair, but it is still important that you communicate with your spouse and find the help that you need. 

Getting Help

In many of these cases, especially any surrounding health or mental health, an underlying issue needs to be determined and a professional may need to be sought out in order for the marriage and sexual relationship to mend.

This may even take place within the church if there is a pastor, priest, or professional leader who is trained on helping married couples with sexual issues in a Christian setting.

There are also Christian sex therapists out there who are capable of dealing with this problem.

If you are experiencing a similar circumstance like John and Mary, seek someone out who can help, whether that be from a religious standpoint or not. 

Regardless of what marital issues John and Mary are having, each spouse has a responsibility to treat the situation with care and respect.

Mary needs to see how her actions are hurting her husband, and John has a lot to think about and a big decision to make.

If Mary will not listen to and understand where John is coming from as well as take the Bible seriously, then unfortunately John might need to continue in his efforts in filing for divorce.

If a marriage contract is broken and one spouse is not willing to reconcile and receive the help the marriage needs, then the best decision might be to divorce.

I have a free mini-course on saving a mariage that helps with just that and I sincerely hope that you will get it and apply what it teaches!

ALSO SEE: Sexual Rejection’s Effect On A Marriage

ALSO SEE: How To Stop A Sexless Marriage

ALSO SEE: I Hate My Wife

ALSO SEE: I Hate My Husband

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Coach Lee

Coach Lee helps people save marriages from divorce. No matter the situation, there is hope with the appropriate response. Rely on Lee's 22 years of experience in working with couples in troubled relationships.

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