Q&A: “He’s Too Spiritual”

We received the following email from a reader:

In my new marriage sex is great, but he’s a much stronger Christian than me and so he’s is not as willing to get more into trying new and erotic things as me.  He believes doing some of these things are major sins.  This kind of disappoints me that our sex life is not as crazy, adventurous, and romantic as it could be. We also both waited till marriage to have sex.  How can I get him to break down that extreme Christianity wall and realize that God will forgive him and that prayer before sex is not necessary, because it really is a HUGE turnoff to me.

There are a lot of issues going on here. I seems apparent to me that there is a need for you and your husband to get on the same page sexually. If the sex is great, that is a good start, but learning to communicate now about sex will pay you back in dividends later. That he is committed to his faith is also a good thing and I would caution you to be careful about trying to get him to be less committed to his convictions. If he feels that a certain act is sin and you don’t agree, it would be more helpful to discuss the reasons than to ask him to do it and then ask for forgiveness later. We should never enter into sin lightly with the thought that Jesus died for it so it’s OK. (A study on this passage may be helpful to you.)

If he believes that certain acts are sinful, ask him why and go to the Word of God together to see what it says. You might find this article helpful as you determine appropriate sexual boundaries together. It may take some time to work through these things, but you have a lifetime to grow in intimacy and passion. It’s important to work towards unity and honest communication so give it the time it needs.

If you want to spice things up, keep on suggesting and trying new things that are within his current boundaries. Have sex somewhere new. Put some sexy music on and dance for him. Avoid the word strip if it causes negative feelings for him. Greet him after work in the privacy of your own home wearing only lingerie. There are lots of spicy things that can be enjoyed. The list is endless. Enjoy what he is comfortable with now and grow in it as you grow in the other areas of your relationship.

It seems to me that his desire to pray before sex may be one of the ways he is trying to be a spiritual leader and covering for you. Based on what you have shared, I can see why he is praying out loud with you. He wants both of you to grow together in your relationship with one another and with the Lord. Be careful about how you handle this one as it may come across as though you do not appreciate that. If it turns you off and you want to talk to him about it begin by affirming to him how much you appreciate his commitment to making God a priority in your relationship. Once you have established that, tell him that it is hard for you to stay aroused when the focus shifts from the two of you to God. Ask him if he could pray internally. If he feels it helps and you feel that it detracts, then you can both have what you need if he prays silently. I suspect that while you wish that he would loosen up and be less focused on God, that he wishes that you had a closer walk with God.

You might find further helpful information about this issue in the following articles:

As I said at the outset, I think this really is an issue of learning to communicate well with your husband. Countless books are written on communication for a reason. As simple of a concept as it is, learning to do it well is incredibly valuable in a marriage.


  1. There’s a bit of an issue with the idea that a spouse should “break down that extreme Christianity wall and realize that God will forgive him “.

    The gal who wrote needs to understand that Christians shoul d actively avoid making a practice of deliberately sinning with an expectation of being “forgiven later”.

    Hebrews says that for the person who comes into knowledge of the truth, who deliberately continues on sinning, there IS NO more forgiveness of sins. I’m not sure how to interpret this when it comes to wrong thinking for a period of time (I can be forgiven so I’ll just do X … ) which a person then realizes was a bad practice but it certainly seems like a really bad idea to keep on that path for an entire lifetime! I’d think it would be a good idea to encourage someone to conciously try to avoid such a mentality in their walk with God.

  2. whoa whoa whoa…
    From the homepage, in a marriage between a man and woman (sanctified in the eyes of God) sex is not a sin. When did Christian become another word for prude, weren’t we trying to get away from that? I think another article for the original reader to read is “HELP! HIGH SEX DRIVE!” (though it’s response from the website owners slightly contradicts the response in this article). A direct quote from the other article: “sex is good and nothing to be ashamed about.” Yes, communication is good, but can someone answer me this… What are women supposed to do if their spouse is not capable of matching their sex drive?? I know sex is not everything, but physical satisfaction is an important aspect of a person’s well being. So what are women to do when they love their husband, love God, love marriage, but cannot function? Who has a solid answer for that…

  3. It sounds like you are very angry about the circumstances in your marriage and that if you are finding that you can not function, it would be beneficial for you to get some counseling. We can not possibly speak to the issues you are dealing with given what little we know about your situation. There is no solid answer though. Nothing easy about having to work through this stuff. And what works for one person or couple, may not work at all for another.

  4. Just wanted to note that my DH and I have been married for 11 years, and we are still learning how to communicate. I believe it takes a life time to perfect. Always keep an open mind to help your spouse. It is very important to always talk to our husbands in a loving manner about what we need or struggle with. Try to use I’s and not you so he doesn’t feel like you are blaming him for your struggles. I would love to have a husband who wanted to pray before sex. He does not and I do not ask him to. It is enough for me to know that he loves God. It is good to still keep yourself in check with what God wants you to do in the bedroom. After all we are one with our DH and God! I understand the feeling of thinking the other may be more Godly. Remember we are all human, try not to feel that you are not as important as the next person. We are equal in the eyes of God, and each of us are at a different place in our relationship with Him. Be an encourager for your spouse, and remember you are important to God!
    I am always amazed at what God teaches my DH and I as each year goes by!

  5. i rarely get philosophical but one of my roommates in college was the type that prayed a lot. she could not really get out of bed without praying. it was just her way. she prayed all day long. “give me strength. forgive my weaknesses.” etc. she often asked me to pray with her.

    i had to explain to my roommate that i felt firm faith in God, and felt i could handle getting corn flakes without asking for God’s help. obviously i am condensing a lot, and was nicer than that, but actually we did have theological discussions about the meaning of faith and how much God expects us to try things on our own — but still in faith etc. vs. always trying to live a spiritual life. it was just a different view of what faith is.

    soooooo, yeah i would ask him to pray earlier in the day. you can join him at appropriate times like saying grace at dinner or at church or bible study or whatever, but simply be honest and tell him you do not feel the need to pray before sex. you will have to explain, because he probably will be wondering why you do not see it as a spiritual experience.

    explain that you see it as a spiritual experience, but you don’t need to pray about it. on the sinning thing … hopefully he does not think sex itself is a sin.

    but on the other hand don’t press him into doing something he thinks is a sin. find out why. maybe it is as simple as his mother told him something was a sin back when he was 5 years old, not meaning when he was married.

  6. I think it can be really sweet to pray together before sex. Especially if its to protect eachother from images or lies from your past or satan. Or just to pray that the other will be enjoying making love and satisfied.

  7. What I have learned over the years as I have ministered to young women that God has blessed me by putting into my life, is that they were taught “wrong”, and not “wait”. So when they do get married, they have years and years of “wrongness” in their head to over come. As I talk to them, I try to re define how they view their sexuality, and this important aspect of their married lives.
    I have been married 20 plus years. I enjoy teaching younger women to love their husbands and children. My 19 year old daughter is soon to marry, and I delighted in the day that she explained to her fiancee why she was going to call him her “beloved”.
    As for this thread, I wonder if this young man is having difficulty transitioniing from “wait” to “delight”. The good news is that “delight” can be learned, and taught.

  8. If Christ really gave his life for us and asked us to take up our crosses and follow him, then “extreme Christianity” is a good thing. The problem is not extreme belief in the truth. The problem is wrong beliefs! If your husband is legalistic and cannot accept Christian freedom about things that the Bible permits, that’s a problem completely unrelated to how extreme a Christian he is.

    Also- we often pray together before sex, especially if I am stressed or distracted; we ask God to get my head in the game and help us enjoy each other. I’ve also been really blessed to have some constant pray-ers in my life (folks who pray over what to put in their grocery cart) and really do believe it’s a beautiful thing to remember he has a plan even for the minutia in our lives. I have seen corn flakes used by God in beautiful, surprising ways. Not that he can’t move us through our day if we don’t pray, but the Bible does say to “pray without ceasing”. Maybe your husband would be willing to pray together after sex instead?

    Hope you and your husband are able to grow together in both faith and freedom. Blessings!

  9. I guess I’m a little confused by part of your response, CinnSticks. The woman who wrote this is saying that prayer before sex is a huge turn off to her, and you are encouraging her to ask her husband to pray at a different time, instead of going to the Lord herself to address the issue of why SHE is turned off by making the Lord the center of their sex life. There is a Monday’s Mission, I believe, that actually encourages us ladies TO pray together about and/or before making love with our DH. I guess I’m a little curious as to why the encouragement in this response was to discontinue prayer before hand, instead of looking at her own heart and maybe ask why she herself seems to not really want God in their sex life very much?

  10. Fair question. I do believe in praying about our sex lives, but I also can see how very godly women might not find prayer effective as foreplay. We were all made differently and since the mental stimulation is usually an important part of foreplay, if some women do not find prayer effective for arousal I can understand that. It doesn’t mean that a woman like this doesn’t want God to be part of their sex life, although in the case of this writer that could be the case.

  11. Makes total sense, thanks for clarifying. 🙂

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