In marriage, withholding sex IS a sin.
First, let’s define “withholding sex” so that we are on the same page.
Withholding sex would mean – I purposely won’t have sex with my husband when I am actually able to.
In that moment, he would like to have sex, but I decide that:
- I just don’t feel like it.
- It would take too much effort.
- I want to hurt/punish him by turning him down.
The main issue here would be our motives. Our motives, as believers in Christ, are to be holy, kind, honorable, and good.
Let’s take a look at a passage in scripture about this issue:
“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps 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 Cor. 7:1-5
Withholding sex is only a sin in marriage.
When we are not married, we are not to have sex at all until we enter a marriage covenant.
So withholding sex before marriage is good and right. To have sex before marriage is clear sin. Don’t let your boyfriend or fiancé try to tell you that if you won’t have sex with him, you are sinning. That is just a big old lie.
- Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Heb. 13:4
- Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor. 6:18-20
- Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. 5:19-21
- But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Rev. 21:8
- And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Matt. 19:9
- “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Cor. 6:13
For more on the issue of withholding sex in marriage and whether spouses should withhold sex or force their spouses into having sex, please check out this post.
Let’s Talk about Sex – this post has links to all of my other posts about sex including resources for wives whose husbands want a lot more sex than they do and wives whose husbands want less sex than they do.
A Precious Example – and in this post, a couple who has been married for decades shares what this concept should look like in practice in a Christian marriage in a beautiful way.
If you are struggling with porn, please check out this resource www.xxxchurch.com.