Don’t “Deprive”: What’s That Mean for Your Sex Life?

Q: Is there a “normal” frequency when married couples should have sex? How can we figure out what works for us?

A: The second question begins to answer the first one—in other words, discover what works for the two of you. The key is to communicate your needs and express your desires, then do what you can to make lovemaking the pleasurable and bonding time that God created it to be.

Women should understand that most men have a rhythm to their sexual pacing, so wives need to be good students of their husbands. Some guys want to be intimate with their wives every seventy-two hours. Other men every forty-eight hours. Other men once a week. Other factors such as stress, illness, fatigue can affect men’s desire for sex. Those same factors affect women as well. Men need to understand that if their wives are working around the clock, be it in the home or outside of the home, chances are sex is going to be really low on their “to do” list. Yet women really need that intimacy because it creates safety and security for them. 


The Bible even speaks about the need for married couples to have sex. First Corinthians 7:5 says, “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Lots of couples may not have had sex for awhile—but it’s not because they’re taking time off for prayer. More likely, they are just exhausted, or dealing with a new baby, or having too much stress at work or at home. The Bible says, don’t deprive each other. One of you may not feel like it, but so what? Give yourself to the other anyway. Take care of each other in this area. Why? Well, because of the second part of that verse: Satan will be glad to provide someone else to meet your spouse’s needs. The longer you go without sexual connection, the more chance you’ll go underground or be led into sin.

The bottom line is not to let too much time go by without that connection. You both need it.