Sexual Passivity

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • Are you able to communicate openly with your spouse about this area of your married life? What do those conversations look like?
    • Have openly discussed sexual expectations with your spouse?
    • Have you sought the help of a Christian counselor or caring pastor?
    • Is your spouse on any medication, such as medication for blood pressure, antidepressant, etc., that could be affecting sex drive?
    • If you have children, how are they affecting your ability to build intimacy and closeness in your marriage?
    • How are you and your spouse investing in the non-sexual romance of your marriage?
    • Was there a particular time when your spouse appeared to begin losing interest in the sexual area of your marriage? What were the circumstances surrounding that time?
    • Are you or your spouse under an uncommon amount of stress? Do you see any way to begin getting out from under that stress?
    • Do you and your spouse pray together every day?
    • How can I as your mentor help and encourage you right now?
    • What does “affection” look like to you?
    • What was affection like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal)?
    • What would you like to be different in the way your family (or your spouse) shows affection?
    • How did your father and mother show affection differently?
    • On a scale of 1-10, how much affection do you feel like you have in your marriage right now? What would you like it to be if you could patiently and gently affect
      change?
    • Have you and your spouse discussed your sexual past with one another?  When did you do that?  Do you feel that each of you were fully honest in that disclosure?
Deeper Questions
    • Have you examined your expectations about sex?  How realistic and fair are they?
    • Is your spouse on medications that could help explain the lack of sex drive?
    • Is it possible your spouse is siphoning off his/her desire for you in other areas (e.g. pornography, masturbation, workaholism, lust)?  Have you discussed that with him/her?
    • The sexual state of your marriage is often a thermometer of the rest of your marriage.  How do you two resolve anger and keep it from leading to bitterness?  How can you take a step in the direction of resolving those areas of bitterness?
    • Is your spouse a victim of past sexual abuse that he/she may not have fully dealt with?
    • Have you told your spouse how his/her choices make you feel?  Do you respectfully communicate to your spouse what makes you feel secure in his/her love?
    • Do you pray for your husband regularly?
    • Are you a student of your spouse?  Are you immersed in learning what pleases him/her most?  What have you learned?
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Resources
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 65

    “There may be a number of causes for a man’s lack of interest in sexual relations with his wife: childhood sexual abuse, guilt or shame over past sexual sin, significant rejection in his life, which makes the risk of any potential rejection by you frightening, workaholism, exhaustion, health issues and prescription medications he may be taking, fear of his potential ability to perform sexually, pornography, and masturbation.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 261

    “Whatever the reason, a man who refuses to address his low libido and meet his wife’s needs is putting his marriage at great risk. If you are wrestling with this issue, and if talking with your wife about it is too difficult, seek help. Find a pastor, counselor, or another godly man in whom you can confide. Do it for the sake of your marriage and family. Step out of the shadows of isolation and into the healing from the One who gives ‘every good and perfect gift’.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 137

    “When a wife believes there is a problem, when she feels hurt, lonely, or neglected, she definitely has no interest in responding sexually. When her spirit is crushed, her body is unavailable.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 64

    “Sometimes there is the opposite situation, where the wife is sexually neglected by her husband. His lack of interest can happen for many reasons—physical, mental, or emotional. But if he is content to go month after month without sex, then something is wrong. If there is no physical problem hindering him, maybe he’s having deep feelings of failure, disappointment, depression, or hopelessness that need to be addressed. Prayer can help reveal what the problem is and how to solve it. Get professional help if you need to. It’s cheaper than a divorce of the physical, emotional and mental ravages of a dead marriage.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 64-65

    “Don’t let negative emotions like resentment, bitterness, self-pity, and unforgiveness build up in you. Keep yourself healthy and attractive. If you don’t think highly enough of yourself to take care of your body, do it as an act of kindness for him.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 131

    “God is very concerned about your marriage, including your sexual relationship. Fall on your knees before Him, pour out your heart, your hurt to Him. Ask Him to show you how to love your husband, how to affirm him, how to encourage him in his masculinity. Ask God specifically if there is anything you can do to create desire in your man.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 70

    “Contempt is born when we fixate on our spouse’s weaknesses. Every spouse has these sore points. If you want to find them, without a doubt you will. If you want to obsess about them, they’ll grow–but you won’t!”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 154

    “While it can be difficult to start, couples who have worked at openly talking about their fears and expectations around sex find not only a richer love life, but a deeper, more trusting marriage.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 121

    “An expert in sexual issues made the following statement: ‘Ninety percent of sexual problems aren’t sexual at all—they have their roots in the emotional barriers we place between ourselves and our partners. We bring these problems into the bedroom from the dinner table, the office, and our past experiences.’ The reasons why a man may lack sexual interest include changing sex roles, fear of closeness, feeling overworked and overstressed, time pressures, boredom, marital conflict, anger, and fear of sexual dysfunction.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 16

    “It is as important to be filled with the Spirit in bed with your husband, ministering to him, as it is for you to be filled with the Spirit when you are teaching the Bible or ministering.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 129

    “If you are in a marriage where your husband is disinterested in sex or unable to be interested, you must guard your heart, your eyes, and your activities.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 222

    “I often hear many wives complain that their husbands are too disconnected and passive on family matters. But why is he passive? Quite likely in the past, every time he tried to step up to the plate, she had a better idea. After a while, he just let her have her way.”

  • - James Walker, Husbands Who Won’t Lead and Wives Who Won’t Follow, p. 65

    “There are two parts to handling the problem of a withdrawn man. The first is to commit yourself to the process of helping him emerge into his God-given role, and the second is to build for yourself a strong relationship with the Lord from which to draw strength while the emerging process is working.”

  • - James Walker, Husbands Who Won’t Lead and Wives Who Won’t Follow, (p. 75)

    “When marriage is filled with more withdrawals than deposits, it’s easy to forget why you married in the first place … The same love that drew us to our mates so that we wanted to spend our lives with them is still there. It may be covered over with the trauma of irritations and the loss of romance, but it’s there nevertheless.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 25-26

    “Some of us ask too much of marriage. We want to get the largest portion of our life’s fulfillment from our relationship with our spouse. That’s asking too much. Yes, without a doubt there should be moments of happiness, meaning, and a general sense of fulfillment. But my wife can’t be God, and I was created with a spirit that craves God. Anything less than God, and I’ll feel an ache.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem your mentee for acknowledging the need to invest in his/her marriage by improving their sexual difficulties
    • Encourage your mentee to get involved in a local, bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability
    • Encourage him/her with Scriptures of hope and help
    • Let him/her know s/he is not alone.  A growing number of men and women struggle with sexual passivity.
    • Encourage him/her to realize that understanding can actually foster intimacy.
    • Encourage him/her with examples from your own experience and with practical tips that have worked for your marriage.
    • Encourage him/her to pray every day together with his/her spouse, even if it’s just for a moment or two.
    • Encourage him/her to not give up or lose hope, and to not even consider divorce as an option.
    • Encourage him/her to watch out for argument triggers that have a way of killing any hope for tenderness (James 1:19).
    • Encourage him/her to consider a short TV fast, maybe even 48 hours, to re-make meaningful connection. (Ephesians 5:16)
    • Encourage him/her to put their thoughts down on paper if it helps diffuse the strong emotions involved.
    • Encourage him/her not to settle for the isolation, but to do the hard work to move back toward one another.
    • Remind him/her that God has a plan for oneness in his/her marriage and that He provides the power to make it happen.
    • Encourage him/her to make a list of the positive things about the spouse and find time to verbalize those. (Philippians 4:6-8)
    • Remind him/her that s/he cannot change his/her spouse, only God can do that.
    • Encourage him/her to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.
    • Remind them that love is action, not feelings (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
    • Remind them their spouse is not their enemy
    • Talk to your spouse about what affection was like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal).
    • Think about how your father and mother may have shown affection differently.
    • Discuss ways your family could express more affection for one another.
    • On a scale of 1-10, rate how much affection you feel you have in your marriage right now. Talk about what you would like it to be if you and your spouse could agree on how to gently and patiently bring about change.
    • Consider discussing your sexual past with your spouse in a way that is open and honest.