What If I Am Dissatisfied With My Sex Life in Marriage?

Consider the Deeper Meaning

Our culture boasts of sex as though it is transcendent—offering enduring joy when experienced to its maximum degree. In some ways, the church oversells it as well. For a variety of reasons, many experience dissatisfaction with their marital sex lives, which can lead to discontent. As a response, Winston Smith, counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF), encourages those struggling with discontentment in their married sex lives to think deeply about their dissatisfaction. Right-thinking can help to shift sex back to its rightful place as a communicator of the deeper realities of God's love for His people.

Winston has served as a counselor for more than fifteen years and holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. Winston is the author of Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments as well as several mini-books: Divorce Recovery; Help for Stepfamilies; It's All About Me—The Problem with Masturbation; Who Does the Dishes?; and Help! My Spouse Committed Adultery.  

As Winston noted, we need to view sex rightly—as an experience diminished by the effects of sin. Because of this, sex cannot be the ultimate goal of life. Rather, we should consider its deeper meaning of expressing the love of God for His people. Doing so prompts us to think more deeply about what is driving the dissatisfaction of our hearts.

In light of Winston's points, has anything changed in your views about the meaning of sex in marriage? If so, how?
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Do you have a transcendent view of sex? If so, what needs to change in order for you to view it in the way Winston described? What truths about sex do you need to acknowledge?
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Since sex is fallen and broken like the rest of life, then our goal should not be to make it ultimate, but to seek a greater understanding of its meaning to better recognize what motivates our dissatisfaction. God created sex as an expression of the special qualities of His love for His people. When we experience dissatisfaction, we find ourselves longing for something more than sex can offer.

How might your dissatisfaction point to ways in which you are not currently content in God's love for you? Can you identify any ways in which you are looking for sex to fulfill what only God can provide? If so, how could you begin to surrender those to Him today?
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Winston said, "Sex is not ultimate. God is ultimate and no marriage and sexual experience can replace the love that we need to find in Him through Christ." Despite the advertising of culture and, at times, that of the church, we will always find sex to be a less-than-perfect experience—even in the best of times. God did not create sex to be ultimate goal of human life. If you are facing dissatisfaction today, take the time to think deeply about its causes. Ask God to reframe your perspective and help you to view the good gift of sex according to His divine design.

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