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Planks and Specs

1 Corinthians 7 says that we should abstain from sex for only a while. She almost never wants it. Shouldn’t I confront her?” These words echoed in my ears as I listened. Like the smell of an old musty wooden drawer it took me back to earlier days. I clearly remember thinking the exact same thing as I started dealing with my junk. In fact…I think this is a really common temptation for guys in the beginning of the sexual purity fight.

It’s a great question that needs to be asked but our sin nature misleads us. Lots of thoughts swirl through our minds here like:

  • If I don’t have sex I’ll explode.
  • It’s a tough world to be sexually pure in.
  • If my wife is not keeping me satisfied, isn’t that causing me to stumble?
  • God said so, it’s in the bible.
  • If God didn’t want us to have rich sex lives then why give us the plumbing?
  • Sex is a good thing, right? Shouldn’t I confront her on this?

The whole council of scripture. Hank Hannegraf says that “We are to interpret scripture in light of scripture.” That means that all of scripture agrees with all the other parts. If that is the case (I think it is) then there may be other places in scripture that helps us make some sense of this. Let’s take a look.

Submission…the two sided coin. Ephesians 5:22-24 tells wives to submit to her husband in everything. Men often stop there. That should sum it up…she has to do what I ask, right? Guys, if you stop reading there you are going to miss a clear command aimed right between our eyes.

The next 8 verses tell us that men need to love theirs wives like Christ loved the church. Jesus sweat blood as he begged the Father for a way out of being crucified… for the church. Ultimately, he submitted to the Father’s will and gave his life for the church. This leads to our forgiveness and eternal life. The example makes it clear that we are to love our wives sacrificially to the point of death if necessary! Are you asking for submission without loving to the point of d

Sexual purity - plank in my eye

Planks. Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus told us to remove the plank from our own eye before taking a speck out of our brother’s eye. Hmmmm…planks? Let’s do a little self-examination shall we?

In Matthew 5 Jesus said that a man who looks at another woman lustfully in his heart has not only committed lust but also adultery. Honestly now, how are you doing with that one? We tend to minimize our sin. Facebook, chatting, meeting men in parks and restrooms, using pornography, hanging out in bars, looking at women on the street or at work, masturbating. We reserve our condemnation for the likes of Senator Craig and Jonathan Edwards. Scripture tells us that when we just lust we are no different. No small splinter here, we just found the motherload of redwoods! I’m surprised that our necks don’t snap under the load!

What does God think about this kind of plank? Galatians 5:19-21 that the sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Like all sin sexual immorality separates us from God. We need Jesus. The point is that sexual sin is a really big plank that we need to deal with before we lovingly ask our wives to deal with their spec.

But this is really urgent/important/critical/etc. Steeped in sexual sin I totally lost my sense of reality. I thought I was normal and my wife was the issue. The reality was that we both had issues to deal with. I was just too blind to see my own. Recovering alcoholics have a saying “Clean up your own side of the street, let others clean up theirs.”. Deep down I knew the calling. I had to take care of my own junk and trust her to take care of her own.

There may be deeper hurts. It’s entirely possible that your wife has deeper hurts that need to be resolved. We live in an age of sexual promiscuity that is incredibly damaging to women. Consider the possibility that there may be deeply hidden issues and hurts in her heart. It’s also entirely possible that you have played a part in these hurts. I am absolutely not recommending that you go on a witch hunt trying to fix your wife. Leave it alone for now. Clean up your own side of the street! What I am saying is to use a scripture verse out of context to compel a woman who secretly suffers from this kind of hurt is to perpetrate a kind of emotional rape and create very difficult damage to repair.

The easy way out. This is an attractive verse to misapply. The bottom line is when we are misusing sex then more sex never solves anything. Our brain chemistry tricks us into just wanting more. When we misuse sex it’s only temporary relief. It’s the heart issues that need to be solved, not the amount of sex. There is no denying that the 1 Corinthians 7 verse is there and it is a biblical truth. It was just not intended for us to use it to force our wives to satisfy us. If it is a something your wife needs to work on then let her discover it and let the Holy Spirit convict her. God is fully able. He knows your need and he knows your wife’s needs. Trust him…clean up your own side of the street.

Categories: General
  1. Blake
    July 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Great stuff COPP!!

  2. July 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Good phrase Jeff:
    “loving and serving rather than lusting and taking”

  3. July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Good, solid blog VIP! It’s so easy to shove scripture down other’s throats to get what we want, or bend scripture to make it say what we want. We are too often lust-driven in our marriages. Even as we are recovering from our sexual addiction and getting healthier, we need to make sure we’re loving and serving rather than lusting and taking.

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