Marriage Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

by Yvonne Chase on August 20, 2018

Not In A Million Years
Last November, I wrote a post titled, Sexless Marriages Are Not Pleasing To God. I never shared why I wrote that post. Every post in this space is inspired by God and written out of my experience. I once dated a guy who was in a sexless marriage. Not in a million years did he ever think that would be his reality. His marriage was definitely like a box of chocolates. 

chocolates
Put Out Of His Misery
Ten of the twelve years of his marriage was sexless. It finally came to an end when he couldn’t take it anymore and cheated on his wife. Is it ever okay to cheat? To have sexual relations outside of marriage? No! It’s 100% wrong, however, she bears some responsibility. What does a wife expect her husband to do when she flat out refuses to relate to him sexually? Withholding sex opens the door to every kind of sexual immorality. 

chocolates
Threw The Whole Box Of Chocolates Away
I’m reminded of a time when someone gave me a box of chocolates. The first thing I do when I get a box of chocolates is rummage through it to find the chocolate covered coconut piece. That’s my favorite. Every box of chocolate always has a coconut piece…always! After taking a bite out of each piece and spitting it out, I threw the whole box away because it was all a disappointment. No chocolate covered coconut and everything else was just gross. It’s the worst box of chocolates I ever received. Imagine getting married and the one thing you expect to be there isn’t?

No Intimacy
Sometime last week, I received an email from a gentleman somewhere over the rainbow who found my blog and read the post about sexless marriages. With permission from him, you can read his heart below:

I was diagnosed with cancer and after that my wife left to live with her mother. Our marriage has been strained for a few years previous to that. No intimacy for over 5 years. Her single mother has lived within a mile of us for the last 15 years and has had a negative impact on our relationship. (no leaving and cleaving).

I offered to take her to FOF marriage intensive, Jimmy and Karen Evans programs, and Family Life’s programs (weekend to remember, marriage cruise, etc.). She was not interested in any of them. She has withheld sex from me for around 5 years. Some of that time, I tried like the dickens to win her back but to no avail.

I started marriage counseling, she came after about a month. We did that for 11 months and drifted further apart during that time. The Christian counselor stated three things that I couldn’t agree with: 1. That in our priorities of life God is our first priority, but she stated that spouse and children were tied for second. 2. that oral sex in marriage was sodomy and shouldn’t be practiced, and 3. that we should continue abstinence until were 100% healthy. I couldn’t agree with the lady counselor on these. So after another year, I filed for divorce and it was final 2/21/2018.

It was tearing me up being married and having her withhold from me. Then I started surfing for sexless marriages. It is an epidemic that has infiltrated even and especially the church. Millions of hits on this and blog stories about sexless marriages. I wish Pastors preached on this. They preach on the sins of gambling, drinking, drugs, adultery, fornication, etc. but not on WITHHOLDING intimacy from a spouse and that is something that is killing marriages.

If couples were healthier, there wouldn’t be the same divorce rate. Or porn surfing, or adultery, or single-parent homes where children don’t have the influence of two parents. One thing that can contribute to (not totally solve) helping couples get healthier is to have physical intimacy often.

Why haven’t the evangelical preachers tackled it? Is it because many of their marriages are strained and they feel they can’t lead by example, so why preach on it? The enemy is winning and most preachers will not give this consideration. 

I wish they would wake up to the fact that they can have some influence in this arena. If you have any influence on Pastors, please help them to feel the pain and consider preaching on what God’s view is on sex in marriage.

Thank you,

Sorely Disappointing
That’s a whole lot, isn’t it? I would love to talk to his ex-wife to find out her take. There are always two sides. Why did she choose to withhold sex? What role did he play in her choice to withhold sex? 

chocolate

Avoids Like The Plague
Influence on pastors? I have none. There are times when I want to start my own church for the sole reason of talking about topics like this and others that the church avoids like the plague. For now, my “church” is this blog space.

Pour His Heart Out
I’m leaving all of this right here for you to digest and I’ll say this one last thing in closing; not talking about something will not make it go away nor will it make it better. It took something for this gentleman to pour his heart out to a total stranger. I was beyond surprised when I read his email. Clearly, we have a lot to talk about.

Something to think about…

What say you? How can the church tackle the topic of God’s view of sex within marriage? Is this a topic the church needs to tackle or is it something we can figure out on our own through Bible reading? Do you have any advice for him? Is marriage like a box of chocolates?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Lacy August 20, 2018

Wow, this is such a hard topic to discuss but more open communication would be so helpful. Thank you for having the courage to approach this subject.

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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Lacy.

It seems like talking about what others don’t have the courage to talk about is my ministry. I gladly embrace it. This is a MUST to discuss and preferably before marriage to avoid emails like the one I received.
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Lisa notes August 21, 2018

Wow–those are some tough situations. Unless there’s a valid physical reason, a sexless marriage seems like such a waste of God’s good purposes. Thanks for tackling this tough subject.

We need to share our boxes of chocolate! I bite into every one of them, too, but it’s to find and throw away the coconut ones. haha.
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Ann Miesner August 21, 2018

I think the problem of sexless marriage, or problems with sex, is one of the reasons contributing to couples living together outside of marriage. Small groups might be the best place to tackle this subject; but, it would be great to have a pastor who is confident enough with his own marriage relationship to approach this from the pulpit.
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Ann Miesner August 31, 2018

I am your #BVNetwork partner today, and reading this for the second time. It is as good as the first time I read it! Great ministry God has given you, Yvonne!
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Yvonne Chase September 5, 2018

@Ann,

Bless you. There are times when I wonder why God has this never married single woman writing about these matters. I’m never going to stop writing what he puts on my heart even if others think I have no place writing it.

Thanks so much for giving it a second read and thank you for your encouraging words.
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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Lisa,

Well said, “A sexless marriage seems like such a waste of God’s good purposes.”

What?? You throw away all the coconut pieces? Hilarious. Yes, we must share our box of chocolates!
Yvonne Chase recently posted…No One Really Wants To Be Single For A LifetimeMy Profile

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Melissa Gendreau August 23, 2018

Sex is one of the number one topics that married couples enter into therapy with me. Sex is not adequately taught from the pulpit. It is generally addressed as “don’t do it until marriage” and then that’s it. Far too many pastors are embarrassed to talk about the beauty of God’s design for sexual intimacy, the symbolism, the necessity of vulnerability – spiritually, emotionally, and physically within a marriage. The result is so many Christian marriages who don’t understand sex.
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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Melissa,

I’ve been going to church since I was a youth and I don’t recall ever hearing sex taught from the pulpit. I do recall getting beat over the head with, “Don’t do it until marriage.”

It blows my mind that Christians are embarrassed to even say the word sex. I recall a time when I sat in a women’s Bible study about marriage and the leader never once mentioned the word sex. She’d skip around it, over it or simply not address it at all.

I found it all quite strange so I said it and they all looked at me like I dropped an “F” bomb! No wonder your office is crowded with couples having sex issues. Yikes!
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Sue August 23, 2018

Tough and infinitely complex topic, for sure. There are innumerable reasons why sex might be withheld in a marriage, but only one of them biblical (by agreement), and the fallout is so often tragic. Thanks for tackling this one so honestly!
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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Sue,

You’re absolutely right, there are a boatload of reasons to withhold sex yet the only valid reason is agreement. I wonder how many couples know this? For some reason, I don’t believe Christians follow Gods plan for sex in marriage. If they did, I would’ve never received that email. Seems like we don’t believe or know God has anything to say about sex within marriage…
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Donna Reidland August 25, 2018

Sadly, you’re correct in saying this needs to be addressed more often. But not all churches are silent about it. Elyse Fitzpatrick does some excellent teaching on it directly to women. I wrote on it in my post for today. But it’s not just women who withhold from their husbands. The more I counsel, the more often I meet with women whose husbands are not interested and they are struggling as a result. Thanks for addressing a difficult subject.
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Donna Reidland August 25, 2018

I’m sorry I hit publish too quickly. 🙂 There are churches that are teaching the whole counsel of God. I know, speaking for myself, I went to a couple that were not early in my walk with the Lord. I hope you find one that is. Blessings, Yvonne.
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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Donna,

I would say my church teaches the whole counsel of God, however, not from the pulpit. What I mean is, my pastor did a great Bible study recently on marriage where he spoke about the problem of withholding sex. It was fantastic! He had a lot to say to singles.

This should’ve been taught from the pulpit on a Sunday morning when the church is packed wall to wall and not at a mid-week Bible study with 1/4 or less of the congregation. Sex is treated like a dirty topic/secret only to be discussed behind closed doors. We should have zero shame talking about it.
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Yvonne Chase August 28, 2018

@Donna,

I will Google Elyse. Both men and women need teaching on this matter especially if through your counseling you are hearing of husbands not interested in sex. I’ve never heard of men withholding from their wives. Hmmm…Interesting.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Marriage Is Like A Box Of ChocolatesMy Profile

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Calleen Petersen August 29, 2018

This could also add to the huge rise in pornography. Interesting post. I will be thinking about it for the rest of the day.
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Yvonne Chase September 5, 2018

@Calleen,

I’d say you’re right about that. When there is no sex in marriage, pornography is another option right along with every other form of immorality. It’s a dangerous gate to open.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Discipline And Dating With Kids Go Hand In HandMy Profile

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Denise Renae August 29, 2018

Sex definitely needs to be discussed more in churches. The top two topics that tear marriages apart the most and are talked the least in the churches are sex and finances.

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Yvonne Chase September 5, 2018

@Denise,

Go figure! That would like too much like right. I had a conversation with a lead pastor at my church about the lack of teaching around sex in marriage from the pulpit at the main service, not a small Bible study where most of the congregation is absent.

He said something along the lines of there are churches that focus on this topic and other churches that focus on that topic etc.

I told him that marriage is the foundation of it all so if I were a pastor and I know marriages are falling apart and I know divorce in the church is higher than that of the world and I know people are living in sexless marriages etc, I would make it my business, my priority, to teach on it at every service if I had to. It would be an urgent matter for me.

Seems like he and the leadership understand the urgency of it all but somehow feel more comfortable teaching on it in smaller groups.
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Laurie August 31, 2018

I feel so sorry for the poor man who you quoted. I hope he can find happiness and peace. You are right – marriage is like a box of chocolates. Luckily, mine is like a box of all (or mostly) chocolate-covered coconut! 🙂
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~Karrilee~ August 31, 2018

I love this so much! I mean –of course, I hate that it is a necessary topic – but I love that you are tackling it! When my husband and I pastored, we talked OFTEN of the importance of loving your spouse and protecting your marriage… we always encouraged physical connection because, as you pointed out, it opens up the door WIDE for the enemy!

We always point out that sex is like God’s Wedding gift to us and it is the only thing that we get to enjoy here on earth that is quite possibly not available in Heaven –at least not in the same physical way!

You can’t have a healthy, loving marriage without an active sex life. Of course – there are sometimes physical limitations or illnesses – but being tired, busy, angry, etc should not be an excuse that lasts more than a few days at worst! The goal should always be to work toward healing and to fully embrace the gift God gave us to enjoy here on earth!
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Yvonne Chase September 5, 2018

@Karrilee,

Say this louder for the people in the back: “You can’t have a healthy, loving marriage without an active sex life.”

My brother got very sick in his marriage so there were serious physical limitations. Because of his experience, I fully understand this aspect of it.

I agree with you 200% when you say, tiredness, busyness, anger and all the other excuses should not be a constant barrier to a fulfilling sex life.
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KellyRBaker September 5, 2018

Wow, my heart breaks for those with broken marriages! I’m blessed to be a member of a church that preaches on a Sunday morning about making a healthy sex life in your marriage a priority! And Yvonne, you have more influence than you realize. Keep on keeping on, girl!
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Yvonne Chase September 5, 2018

@Kelly,

It’s great that your church teaches on this matter at Sunday service. More churches need to follow suit. Christian marriages are in crisis. I hear stories almost daily! Somebody has to speak up and talk about it. If God is using me to do so then I will keep on keeping on. Thanks for your encouraging words.
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Christin September 6, 2018

Such an important topic in marriage, and sadly, unaddressed in so many churches! I have yet to hear a sermon series on the book of Song of Solomon–it is seriously one of my favorite books of the Bible, and one that is so overlooked in the church!
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