Sex Starts In The Morning.

As I’ve taken inventory of my marriage, over the years, I’ve discovered something: marriage is hard work. Often, we find ourselves on different pages altogether. It happens to both husbands and wives alike. But, if we want to build a healthy and successful marriage, we must make a change in the way we think and interact with one another!

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I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It was the summer of 2004 and Kristin and I were at odds. We argued all the time, over the smallest things. It was becoming ridiculous. At that point, we’d only been married for 5 years. Our misunderstanding of one another was growing exponentially. I determined that we were on different pages, plain and simple! Or were we?

When I finally took the time to listen to my wife’s heart, and not jump to conclusions, I discovered something profound. I had a personal problem. That’s right….me! I failed to see the most important ingredient of a successful marriage- servanthood. I was a little dense (heck I was in my 20’s), and kind of lousy at putting her needs above my own! But I knew better.

A few years earlier, right before I got married in fact, an older, wiser husband and father gave me some peculiar, but great advice. He said, “Sex starts in the morning. Don’t ever forget that! It starts by you choosing to serve her at the beginning of every day.” The comment came out of the blue and frankly caused my face to turn red. I may not know very much about marriage but there’s no way I’m talking about sex with this guy, I thought to myself. In ended the conversation pretty abruptly. Fast forward 5 years later. His words returned to my mind. I began to think long and hard about what he said. The longer I thought, the more I realized why my marriage was stuck on the rocks.

I was wrapped up in me….and she was tired.

Not just tired physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. She had nothing left to give at the end of the day. She was burning the wick at both ends, from sunup to sundown. Every morning, I rushed off to work and she would put hand to the plow keeping our house in order, attending parent-teacher conferences, doing laundry, going to doctor’s appointments, tending to sick kiddos, and countless other things.

While I could turn on my physical side as easily as flipping on a switch, it’s wasn’t like that for her. It’s a process. It’s a trip from point A to point Z. It’s acts of kindness throughout the day. It’s helping to get kids off to school in the morning. It’s taking it upon myself to put laundry away because she does it everyday and could use some help. It’s noticing that she’s spent several hours in the kitchen, preparing dinner, so I take care of clean up while she takes a break.

It’s servanthood. It’s her needs above mine. It’s participation and engagement with our children. It’s all of this and so much more!

SERVE.

What if I told you I had the secret ingredient for a successful marriage? What if I told you that you could drastically improve your intimacy? Not just husbands…but husbands and wives. Would you believe me? All those years ago I discovered that I was really bad at putting my wife’s needs above my own. If you asked me, I would’ve told you that I was great at it. But, dig a little deeper and you’d find that I was making it all about me.

So here’s my question- How are you at serving your wife? How are you at serving your husband? Even though my wife and I have grown tremendously in our 16 years together, and our communication is way beyond where it was in the early days, I have to choose to serve her, and put her needs above my own, every single day. And she needs to do the same. It’s a choice we both have to make, intentionally. That’s the secret ingredient.

When we both apply servanthood to our marriage, and put one another’s needs above our own, our marriage is healthy. When we don’t, the ground is shaky and we’re at odds. It’s that simple.

LISTEN.

I’ve mastered the art of nodding and saying “uh-huh,” when my wife is talking. Heck, I’m even a pro at capturing a few buzz words and repeating them back to make it look like I’m listening. Let’s be honest, we all do this! But, this isn’t good enough. I guarantee there are adults in your professional world that you would never just nod and say “uh-huh” to repeatedly when they’re talking.

I know this, because it’s true for me. Why, then, are we okay with treating our spouses this way? Frankly, it’s terrible. I can listen intently to a football announcer’s analysis of my favorite team’s offensive struggles, but tune out my wife when she’s sharing something that’s on her heart. That’s just not good enough!

DISCOVER.

In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Integrity, he talks about the wake that leaders leave behind as they move. Simply put, how self-aware a leader is determines the type of wake he or she leaves for those who follow them. Those who follow can ski on it, or they’re sinking because of it. Same question applies to marriage. Are we aware of our spouse’s needs? Are we tuned-in? Can they ski on our wake or are they drowning because of it? If it’s the latter, it’s time to self-evaluate. Ask your husband or wife this question- “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?”

Then, put your big boy and big girl pants on, close your mouth, open your heart and ears, and listen to their answer!

BE.

How good are you at being in the moment? When you arrive home from work are you present? Or, are you somewhere else? This was a huge problem for me. I struggled with engagement. Still do at times. It’s a battle I fight nearly every day. As human beings, our world blitzes us all the time, demanding this, or calling for that. It’s nearly unending and it feels overwhelming. We lose focus and give our mind power to everything but the most important people- our family.

Asking Big Questions.

So, how do we overcome this? How do we change? As you and I continually work on our marriages, we must ask [and answer] these critical questions:

  1. Have I put my husband or wife’s needs above my own today? Yes, this is a daily question!
  2. Am I really listening to them when they’re sharing something with me? Or, am I distracted by my phone, the football game, my kids, the laundry, or someone else?
  3. What kind of wake am I leaving behind me? Can my spouse ski on it or is she drowning from it? This actually applies to your entire family.
  4. When I get home from work am I really there? Am I present and engaged with the most important people in the world?

You will never reach perfection in your marriage, but you can reach health. Trust me, I’m living proof of this. If we make a commitment to serving, listening, discovering, and being everything will improve, including our sex life. I know our wives are not perfect and they have work to do also, but that’s not the point of this post. This is for us men.

That guy I told you about earlier was right- sex does start in the morning. And boy oh boy is it good. The dividends pay greatly when I start each day with a commitment to serve my wife above myself! In fact, they pay greatly for any spouse who makes the choice to the other’s needs above their own.

Question: Husbands and wives…what have you learned? Share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Hayley Prychun Rodgers

    This is really good, but I think we need a wife’s perspective as well. I know you state “I go sit in a quiet office” but that is likely not true. You have stress and have put in a hard days work. I know as a SAHM I have had days where my husband comes home and is in a bad mood and I think “Wow, really? All the crap I deal with and you come home snapping after a day away at work.” but that is not the right reaction.

    A little retooling and wording from a wife’s perspective as well and I think you have a pamphlet to hand out to every newlywed ever.

    • Hayley, thanks so much for your comment. I totally agree with you. This does need a wife’s perspective. There’s much to say from wive’s perspectives on this matter. But this was written for husbands. From one husband who has screwed this up. Soon and very soon we’ll get the other perspective. I think my wife is writing it as we speak! 🙂

  • Tricia Swenson

    Most of the time my husband is really good at being a support to me and listening. Maybe it didn’t start out that way, but I don’t really remember anymore. I do really want a break when he gets home though. I think its important for us moms to have a hobby that will help refuel us that we can do regularly. Otherwise we do just get drained and turn into meanie moms.

    • Tricia, sounds like your husband gets it (for the most part). So good to hear. I was clueless to my wife’s needs and frustrations for years. Glad I finally clued in… 🙂 🙂 Great insight too! Thanks so much.

  • Nancy

    Mike ~ great advice for parents. But also for kids taking care of THEIR parents.

    My hubby is a disabled veteran, but starts his day at 5am with coffee, prayers, and the sports page. Then he brings me coffee in bed at 7am! Then he is out the door to work: handyman jobs for peeps at church, elderly parents of old friends, and most of all to check on his 88yr old mom and 96yr old dad. He tends their needs, then his huge vegetable garden in their back yard, goes to his doctor appointments, errands, and his favorite – going to the grocery store. By the time I get home from work, he has our evening salad made and dishes done. After dinner, he practices his guitar and waits for his massage … from me! I am a licensed massage therapist, but always make sure I save one appointment at the end of the day for him! I do the laundry, housework, and help him on my days off.

    Just when you get the kids off to college, you get to start taking care of the parents, so taking care of each other is a life long practice!

    • Nancy, wow! Reading your comment warmed my heart. You are right on target. Such great insight! Thanks for sharing.

      • Nancy

        Mike ~ I took out the part about being married 33yrs to a man who “never got it”! My sweet man now is such a blessing and who knows, we might get 33 yrs together, too! 😉 Warm regards and best success with your column.
        ~Nancy

        • Nancy, thanks so much!

        • Maria

          Nancy- Curious- did you remarry or is this the same husband?

          • Nancy

            Remarried.

  • Austin

    I really like this advice. Asking these questions can be a great reminder of how to act. My constant struggle is “fighting through the fatigue of the day”. In the morning, I couldn’t be more serving of my wife and open to her needs, but after a long day in the office on conference calls, I just want the football game on and to talk to no one. I’ve found that my wife, who works as well, needs to talk about her day and get her stress off her chest. This is a completely different way of decompressing for the day than my own. In fact it is the last thing I want to do: Talk about work and stressful things. It is not a thing that can just be changed in someone, so it is a daily self-reminder to take the time to let her get that out and to actually listen and give feedback. It can mean the difference between an evening of enjoying each other’s company over wine or a night of constant bickering.
    It has also helped me to start dinner when she walks in the door. The TV is off and I can focus on what she is saying. Thanks again!

    • Austin, I am right there with you! All the years I actually went to a place to work, I would also come home exhausted from meetings and deadlines etc. Talking and listening were huge issues for me. I kinda walked around in a fog at times. Love your insight here man. Great feedback. Thanks for the comment!

    • Nancy

      Well, as an older woman, may I offer some advice to the young women. As much as I really want my sweetheart to hear all the emotions and thoughts of the day, I understand men just aren’t hardwired for too much of it. An alternative outlet for us ladies is to have “girl time” to talk about the small print, and save the headlines for the hubby.

  • Jason

    This post is a lie, perpetrated by your wife.

    The reality is that she has no sex drive. Think about it. No matter how long of a day you’ve had, you are ready for it. You could be 16 hours in a coal mine and spring to action upon walking in the door.

    Your wife sees sex as a chore/reward. It is just another thing she has to do (to make you happy). And you are right, she doesn’t need more chores. So if you do her chores, she’ll reward you with sex.

    If she had a sex drive, this post would not exist.

  • Cathy Smith Blackham

    “True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one’s companion.”
    ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Stand a Little Taller

    • Great quote Cathy. Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cathy Smith Blackham

    I look forward to reading from a wife’s perspective.

    • It’ll be published sometime within the next month, I believe. 🙂

  • Rusty

    This post has basically turned sex into a carrot. The idea that sex begins in the morning for HER while she does NOTHING and he has to do EVERYTHING to make HER day a cupcake walk through the park is ridiculous. Life sucks, it’s difficult. That’s no reason to engage in sexual abuse of your spouse, and that’s what you’re saying. You’re saying it’s ok for women to engage in the sexual mistreatment and abuse of their spouses.
    Any woman that does this to her husband belongs in marriage counseling, or divorced.
    Marriage is a partnership, and what you describe here is slave labor.

    • Agreed, counseling would be a healthy choice, she is clearly unhappy with her life choices and blaming her husband for providing. It’s not healthy, it’s very abusive.

    • Rusty, thanks for your comment but I think you missed the point. I’m choosing to serve my wife because of all she does for our home and our family day in and day out. She’s not holding sex in front of me as an ultimatum. That’s not what I’m saying at all.

      • Rusty

        The way you have this written, that’s exactly what it says. I didn’t miss your point, your point is either poorly articulated, or you’re incredibly self deprecating. Has your wife ever read “The proper care and feeding of husbands”? You appear to have been gaslighted, and I say that as someone who used to think and talk like you, gave the same types of advice. Only to find out later I had been manipulated, sexually abused, and gaslighted by a spouse. The person you’ve described in your article is someone that’s incredibly selfish, self centered, and demanding. You probably don’t mean that she is, but those of us that have lived through abusive relationships, that’s what we see. We see a broken man propping up a manipulator.

        • Rusty, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have a peaceful home and a loving supportive wife who is gracious and compassionate and would never manipulate or abuse. Anyone who knows her would testify to that. I’m sorry you went through manipulation and abuse in your life and former relationship. Truly, breaks my heart to hear this. I’m an advocate of spouses serving one another. My wife does so much for our home and our family that out of my heart I feel led to serve her and put her needs above my own. She doesn’t demand this at all.

          • Rusty

            If your relationship is what you say it is, I suggest rewriting this piece WITH your wife. That way you can express the mutual love and respect you have for each other. Right now all it looks like is you have a very one sided and abusive relationship.

          • She’s been working on “the wife’s perspective” which would be a challenge to wives on this topic! It’ll come out sometime in the near future. Great advice. Thanks!

          • Debra Martinez

            Grace. Kindness. Deep love. =
            “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

            Beautiful heart and gracious response, Mike. I appreciate the spirit of God in you.
            I fell upon your blog this morning for the first time and while I don’t make a great deal of time for the Internet, this writ might just be the thing to draw me to it often.
            The premise behind this article is something all men need. You’re promoting service of one’s spouse. As a woman married to the same man for nearly twenty-nine years, this is perfect counsel for husbands. After my husband learned this well, I noticed that my heart towards him began to feel fought for, cared for, valued, safe. While I had always served my husband out of obedience to my covenant with Christ, my heart softened towards him (became more vulnerable).
            It enabled us both to safely position our heart’s responses towards each other in mutual service of one another. In this mutual, happy, balanced, and safe place in our relationship, the incredible sexual intimacy followed.
            You are spot on; in your article and in your response to Rusty! They are both grace-filled and saturated in love.
            Kudos and blessings to you and your wife for this ministry.

          • Thanks Debra. We appreciate your kind words! Glad the post resonated.

          • Jim

            Rusty, I was kind of thinking the same thing. Basically you could summarize the whole blog post as “Happy Wife, Happy Life”.

            It reminds me allot of what Lucy does to Charlie Brown with the football.

        • Nativelady79

          I’m a woman I didn’t take it that way at all, but the he’s choosing to honor is wife in his everyday simple things that make us wife’s Want to make love to our husbands. I don’t think it was really about sex in that way but more of an emotional and intimate way. I think you hit the nail on the head Mike. Thanks and God Bless

        • Janee

          I don’t think Mike is talking about doing EVERYTHING for his wife while she is laying there doing nothing. His article states that he is only striving to do a few things extra. I also read “The proper care and feeding of husbands”. It’s a great book for women but it absolutely agrees with this article. It takes two to make the relationship work…you should read the book “10 stupid things men do to mess up their lives.” same author…especially the part titled STUPID HUSBANDING.

          • Janee, your comment is awesome and you’re awesome! I smiled when I read this. Thanks for joining the conversation1 ~ M

          • Rusty

            I’ve read it and for the record Laura Schlessinger would have a field day with this blog post.

    • MikeDDS

      The article is written from the standpoint of what the husband has to do, and that is put the other spouse first. Of course, the reality is both spouses have to be doing this.

    • Billy D

      I get both sides…I didn’t read Mike’s blog as if he was being abused, alternatively he was starting to serve the other side. But it does take two… And as much as one side can give all they have its too often ‘not enough’…. I felt that in my failed marriage and unfortunately chose another outlet to serve my own ‘needs’ and what I ‘deserve’. I was truly attentive to the needs of my ex… But she always seemed to find a reason as to why i wasn’t… or how I couldnt… It’s rough… So I get what you’re saying Rusty. It’s hard to stay the path once you feel that way. It takes a really strong and dedicated man to be able to do that and there are men that do. But it is curious to see more women reading this post than men… It really does take two… And now that I’ve moved on and found someone that appreciate that all I want to do is be even more giving and be even more supportive. I hear you Rusty.

    • Austin

      I want to address this, because I’ve read a number of the commenters reference this as a potential bad relationship for a man to serve his wife to be rewarded with sex. That is not the point (Mike, please correct me where I’m wrong so I’m not speaking for you). The goal is not the act of sex but the overall intimate connection between spouses, of which the act of sex is a part. That, in a sense, IS a carrot on a stick, and it should be on both sides of the marriage. You should both be seeking to achieve a level of connection with the other that satisfies you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Mike’s focus is actually pointing toward there being more to sex than just the action that happens at the end of the day. The intimacy is a continuous development of a connection that “blossoms” into the culminating action. It is NOT an action that develops intimacy for you.

      I think the deeper issue here is a misconception with the idea of servanthood. It is too frequently thought of as lowly or abusive, similar to slavery. In fact, servanthood is the highest demonstration of love and appreciation. The action of serving another person out of love, represents their needs above your own, and the desire to sacrifice your own convenience for theirs. This idea is very evident in spouses but is not exclusive. Leadership, family relationships, and a general approach to your fellow man, are all situations where it is applicable. This is the same way that you sacrifice time from your day and be late somewhere to help a stranger change their tire. You aren’t helping them because you expect money back (although a smile shouldn’t be out of the question). An act of servanthood shows you care about their wellbeing and are willing to put your own needs after another’s. This idea is what marriage is built on.

      • Well said! You hit the nail on the head.

    • natasha

      I resent ths comment i am a stay at home mom while my husband works. We dont just do nothing. We do alot like everything. Keeping up ith he kids, house work, meals, dr appointment and so on is not close to doing nothing. I wish my husband would help out more bc it is exhausting by the end of the day im too tired to even have a conversation

      • Rusty

        I didn’t write what you thought I wrote. I specifically was referencing the fact that there was no mention of what SHE does during the day to make romance happen. Being a SAHM does not remove the obligation to your spouse, yourself or your marriage to be intimate. Because at the end of the day he’s just as tired as you are, if not more so. You chose to be the SAHM, and it comes with baggage.

  • No. Her needs do NOT come before yours. Both needs must be accommodated that means BOTH compromising. She chose to be a stay at home mother, she is not a victim to her choice. You do not just sit in your office twiddling your thumbs you put in long hours to support your family.

    As for when you just get home, my friends mother passed down to her, to give her husband an hour to unwind when he got home so that he can transition. OF COURSE you’re going to have work on the brain you just got home. It’s important for your wife to support YOUR needs as well otherwise this is not a partnership and servitude is not marriage, it is servitude. Marriage is a partnership that means her also recognizing your needs.

    Both partners need to see that love making is throughout the day including the wife. What is she doing to romance you? Or does she have resentment based on seeing her life not from a place of choosing but from a place of regret? If so, that is her process to uncover, her journey to heal. You can support that healing but you cannot take it on as punishment. You support your family, you deserve to be loved and received not told that your needs are less than or should never come first. No.

    As for her feeling burnt out, that is up to her to find was to nurture herself and make requests. Nothing wrong with requesting but what you’re describing is her needs as the ONLY priority! No. That is abusive and sounds like the wife does not like face herself and now it is all your fault that she is frustrated. No. We are all co-creators. I get that you are working to own your part, but you are owning more than your part and therefore this actually shows up as her relinquishing her agency so that she can be served.

    I’m sure she’s stronger than having to be treated as if she is incapable of confrontations and processing together. You’re needs are NOT less valuable than hers and you needs are necessary. Do not negate the work you do. And if she’s invalidating your work as less than hers, that sounds like and issue SHE needs to face within herself as to why she feels so resentful for the role shes CHOSE.

    I’m writing 100 Days of How to Treat Men right and your wife just gave me inspiration for Day 65, thank you!

    • Kristal, glad I could help with your book, but I think you missed the big picture idea of the post. This is about choosing to serve my wife and willingly put her needs above my own. I’m not choosing that because she’s forcing me to or not validating me. It’s out of a grateful heart for all she does for our home and our family.

      • 51dirtbp

        She isn’t forcing you just not giving you sex if you don’t. This article is very over simplified. Women are much more complex.

      • Rusty

        “This is about choosing to serve my wife and willingly put her needs above my own.”

        You put the needs of your partner above your wants. Not your needs below their needs. Anyone that puts their partner in a position where their needs must be suppressed to keep the peace, the relationship is already over.

        • Tori

          I’m really stunned at some of these responses. My husband puts my needs above his and I put his above mine. Our NEEDS. We have very good communication and when I NEED time to myself, he is amazing and steps in to give me relief. When He NEEDS whatever it may be that he needs at the time, he conveys this to me and I step in. This is not abuse. I’m not understanding where anyone is getting this from. And, I personally find it incredibly offensive that ANYONE is suggesting that the author’s wife has in any way been abusive, simply because this man is making the emulation of Christ a priority. Philippians 2:3 states “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” and Matthew 20:28 states “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” That is what makes a marriage work. I agree with the comment above that these comments on abuse seem to be a reflection more of where the individual making the comment is coming from and not at all indicative of what this article reflects.

          • Tori, we are humbled by your awesome words and your amazing perspective. Thank you so much for joining in the conversation. Blessings to you and your husband!

          • Rusty

            Firstly, I am a church going, scripture reading Christian. Servanthood does not equate to serving. Sacrifice from a Christian point of view is placing your comfort and wants under your needs and the needs of others. Serving is self sacrifice (which is the suppression of wants over needs), and servanthood is systematic oppression of a lower class. What you’re conflating is discipleship with servanthood. Christ said “follow me” not “serve me”. He said “serve your fellow brethren” not “follow your fellow brethren”. Serving is a product of following Christ, not the other way around.

            You being offended that I would suggest the author has been abused is pointless, why are you letting anyone live in your head for free? Look I was a minister for a few years, and I do advocacy for sexually abused adults, and help them find resources for help. It helps me heal from my own abuse. This reads EXACTLY like the stories I’ve heard from dozens of abused men and women. This article reflects an abusive relationship, and I’m not the only person that sees that.

            Again I’ll take Mike at his word that that is not what’s happening here. But what is on the page tells a different story.

          • Tori

            I didn’t say I was offended. I said I was stunned.

            Being a person that goes to church, reads scripture and “ministers” to others doesn’t make one a Christian (as the saying goes) any more than standing in a garage makes one a car.

            I maintain the opinion that your opinion reflects a hammer looking for a nail. There is no abuse here.

          • Rusty

            No, you said “I personally find it incredibly offensive that ANYONE is suggesting that the author’s wife has in any way been abusive”, suggesting you are offended. Mike can take criticism and disagreement without getting all offended. He’s not your shield, and he doesn’t need you to defend him. Mike is a big boy.

            I was an ordained minister. You suggesting I’m not a Christian because you disagree with me is laughable. I didn’t call you not Christian because you disagree with me, and it would be ridiculous to do so.

            This whole discussion about putting the needs of your spouse before your own is rediculous as well. The needs you have before you’re married are STILL your responsibility AFTER you’re married. So the only needs you’re actually responsible for for your spouse are sexual in nature, and they are MUTUAL responsiblities. Both are EQUALLY important. Placing the needs of your spouse over yours are the hallmark of a co-dependant and abusive relationship.

    • Kathryn

      I believe some people have completely missed the point. I am a Christian, and a wife, and something I that truly believe is essential to a successful, godly marriage is the continual emptying of oneself. Jesus is our example of this. He said in John 15 “no greater love hath any man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.”

      I am guilty of selfishness on a regular basis, and I need to make it a priority to serve my husband…to put his needs first. I can’t be thinking about what he should be doing for me. That will just keep me discontent and unsatisfied. It’s also an extremely selfish attitude. My only responsibility is to empty myself – to give of myself for the sake of my husband, because I love and respect him. He works hard, and I want him to know I appreciate him and all he does. I shouldn’t be worried about how well he’s doing as a husband…that’s not my job to fix him. Someone wise told me to take responsibility for me…for my actions, and my thoughts. Yes, he should be doing the same for our marriage, but whether he is giving of himself or not, should not affect what I do. I need to do my part for our relationship, not wait for him to do his part.

      I believe that’s really what Mike is saying…he’s giving of himself for the sake of his wife, without regards to what she’s doing to “earn it”, because ultimately that’s not the point. That’s not why we love a person. Love is not about taking all you can get out of a relationship. “Love is patient, love is kind…it does not envy…it is not self-seeking”…which is exactly how our relationship is with Jesus (if we have one)…he loved us so much, that he gave of himself for us, without thought to whether we deserved it, and without looking to his own needs first…that’s the pinnacle of true agape love, and an example to live by.

      Krystal, he even said “I failed to see the most important ingredient of a successful marriage- servanthood. Kristin had figured this out years earlier”. So this servant attitude he has now is not one sided, or abuse from his wife. Before he realized this need to serve his wife, it had been one sided on HER side. She had already learned to put his needs first…now he wants to do the same. When both are putting the other’s needs above their own, then the needs are met. It’s really a beautiful thing

      Now, Mike, I don’t know if you’re a christian…I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth either way. I just wanted to share my perspective on your post. I totally agree with you and appreciate your insight. It’s also helpful for me, as a wife, to gain an understanding of what my husband is probably feeling when he comes home from work. That can help me in my quest to put his needs before my own as well.

      To end, I’ll leave you with one more verse, this one from Philippians, which I think articulate my belief very well:
      “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

      • Kathryn, right on! You said this so well. Thanks for your perspective and insight. I am a Christ-follower and a former church Pastor. Thanks for your wisdom and input!

    • Douglas Stuart

      Wow… This is amazing. Thank you. We currently both work, have two kids, and martial relations are… lacking. I worked as a Stay-At-Home-Dad for a year while my wife finished law school. I totally get the isolation, the yearning to talk in complete sentences, the boredom or the same routine. But, I wouldnt have traded that time for anything. She had a clean house (to German grandparent standards!), a hot meal when she got home, a well socialized active kid, and…it was not hard. Really. I would take that gig over “work” any day. Cook three meals? Sure! Clean up? No problem. What are women doing that is so difficult? Really, nothing. The problem, as I see it, is a restructuring of the social norms to which they had become used to before getting married and kids. If I viewed “production of a new human and maintenence of domestic structure” as my “job” I had zero problem with all the stress of a stay at home parent. Now, when the kids are in school from 8 till 3? I would have to take a second job to keep from going nuts.

      • Hey Douglas, so glad you liked the post.

  • Chosen Listener

    I’ve been married for all of 3 weeks now, and every night I ask my wife (and she asks me) 3 questions: 1) what was your favorite part of the day? 2) what was your least favorite part of the day? 3) how could we improve that part?

    We also have a 48 hour rule for petty disagreement where if one of us upsets the other, the offended has 2 days to bring it to the other’s attention. After that, we have to let go and let God. The only exceptions are really major issues.

    More wisdom will come with more time. I suspect we’ll forget to ask these questions eventually or excuse ourselves from answering, but I know I try to make sure I’m not just tired or hungry before I snap at her.

    • Those are great questions to ask!

      • Chosen Listener

        Back in high school, my father used to ask us kids very similar questions to get us to be introspective and intentional about our actions. In retrospect, it was really very good for me. Hated it then, though.

  • Jeff Rader

    Not seeing my ealier reply, I agree, but only to a point.That point being where serving ends the husband-wife relationship and creates a huaband-husband relationship. I’m divorced now because my wife demanding to be my equal resorted to ultimatums. She wanted independent equal headship. She wanted to equally lead (be served) and not have to follow (serve). It was either start automatically meeting her expectations without having to be asked or told, or she was done with me. Sorry, that isn’t a marraige. The end result was her leaving me.

    • Hey Jeff, so sorry your earlier reply didn’t appear. There may be an issue with Disqus. Sorry about that. I’m so sorry you went thru that. Definitely not what I’m encouraging and it’s unhealthy.

      • Jeff Rader

        The reply not making here might have been a smartphone browser glitch 🙂

    • Douglas Stuart

      I had that talk once. “so… you don’t want to make any decisions…. but want to reserve the right to criticize the choices I make”

      “yes”

      i….see….?

  • Daniel

    I agree. When a man can clear his head of life’s destractions and fully engauge in what his wife needs she is more likely to want to be intimate. Throughout most every day I will send a simple message to my bride saying a wide range of things that i love about her. I do this mostly in the form of poem’s, her reactions always make me feel like a million bucks. inturn she want’s to give more to me, this includes sex, time, and attention. It’s a contunious circle, the more I give the more I get. Helping with daily chores is new to me but the reward is great. I make certain that i treat her like a Queen both physically and emotionally everyday (more emotionally because this is how she receives love).

    • Daniel, so great to hear. Sounds like you guys have a healthy balance in your marriage!?

      • Daniel

        As with any healthy marriage we have our issues but make the choice to work through them as a team.

  • Garyle Morgan

    I noticed a good many people on here saying how it seems like your wife is sexually abusing you by “dangling a carrot” for you to chase. I’d like on comment on this briefly. Honestly, even if she WAS doing this, the behavior you are recommending to men is great advice and could very well change her view on the matter. These wives may have stuff in her past that makes her feel this is the only way to get love. I know my wife had this issue herself. It took me many years and many mistakes to figure this out and treat her as she deserves to be treated without thought to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect. I screw up my fair share…maybe more, but the point is I try and she sees that and appreciates it. After 15 yrs, we are very equal mates and take turns serving each other in many ways. It truly works.

    • Hey Garyle, thanks for your comment and your valuable insight. To answer your question, no, my wife is not sexually abusing me. ;-). We also take turns serving one another daily and our marriage is strong. Not perfect, but strong. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Mathew Falk

    Couldn’t help but comment to the few nay-Sayers in the group below…. I
    find this article very insightful from a person who knows now how to
    effective change oneself for the better, right or wrong the only way we
    can change a situation or relationship is to take ownership…we can
    never change our spouse or partner, only ourselves. I hope that more
    people in this world will be able to see the wisdom in what you have
    done here. Great article!!

  • companyoflosers

    well sex in the morning IS awfully convenient considering how the body works and we men usually wake up full mast. my girlfriend has taken full advantage of this on various occasion sometime even starting without me and ill wake up as shes climbing into position lmao. in all seriousness though, it makes perfect sense to have intercourse in the morning rather than at night especially if you are well rested and want some time to be intimate and do it uninterrupted. it could be part of a regular routine as well, though couples have to be careful not to over saturate their sex life and begin treating it as a chore. i guess i should discuss this with her at some point and see if she agrees 😉

  • jessnoelle7

    Interesting….even though you never said a single thing about your wife not ALSO choosing to put your needs above hers, several people just drew that conclusion. I totally get what you’re saying here. You put your wife’s needs above your own. I assume she does the same thing for you, and just because you didn’t explicitly say that she does, does not mean that she doesn’t. Unfortunately, blogs can draw a lot of people who don’t read carefully enough. But don’t take them personally, what you’ve written here is beautiful. You’ve figured it out. I’m so grateful for men like you. I try hard every single day to put my hubby before myself, and he does the same for me. It truly works. God bless.

    • Appreciate your kind words Jess. They mean a lot. Don’t worry, I don’t take the naysayers personally! 🙂 My wife is the foremost example of grace and servanthood. We have a balanced marriage where we’ve both committed to serving one another. Thanks again for commenting! Glad you joined the conversation.

    • plskthompson

      I think you have touched on something extremely important here without realizing it. All too often, in today’s society the traditional vows of love honor and serve ate looked at as outdated and usually sexist with men wanting to keep their wives submissive and only there to do as they want. What is forgotten is that those vows are supposed to be a guide in how to treat each other in marriage. Men are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church, which means doing whatever it takes to provide for, protect, and show her the love that she deserves. This would include being willing to die for his wife if it cane down to it. In turn, if all of this takes place, a woman should have a desire to do the same for her husband. I realize that this most often is not what happens because of the convoluted world we live in. I personally stink at it, but I try. I can see a difference in my wife when I get close to starting to get things right and lined up with the example that was set so long ago. She is more than happy to do whatever it takes to make sure things are harmonious, buy when I don’t try, things get very tense and situations get blown out of proportion when it is usually just the wrong tone of voice being used at the wrong time. I’m not trying to be preachy or saying that someone that doesn’t follow the example set by Christ is wrong, but in my own personal life I have seen how following that example can affect my own life.

      @Mike, thank you for the article. So often we as people, especially the ones that have been married for some time, forget and need to be reminded that it’s not only about us, but a collaboration of people that make the marriage work. While I have only been married for ten years, which compared to some is a very short time, by today’s worldly standards, it’s somewhat of an achievement. My wife and I have been through more together than I had ever imagined going through, especially in the amount of time that it has occurred. I can’t say that we have come through unscathed, we have battle scars, metaphorically speaking, to show our journey, but we have used each opportunity to learn and grow closer to each other. I need the reminder more often than I like to admit.

  • Thanks Julie. Glad you liked this post. You are spot on- both husband and wife must both commit to this principle. It creates a balance of happiness and health. Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • Peter

    I learned long, long ago that “what can I do to help?” and “Yes, honey” were the two most productive phrases I could possibly know. And it’s not so much the helping you can do but the wife’s perception that you’re WILLING to help. That’s worth gold!

    • You are right on the money Peter. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      • Peter

        Another thing which helps in this area is the wife’s willingness to ASK for help. Sometimes women actually believe that we know intuitively what they want. 🙂

      • Jimmy Snell

        Mike, I just had the pleasure of reading this post and, unfortunately, a number of the comments. I’m not sure how anyone could take your post as anything other than an opportunity to fine tune their marriage. Thank you for your, very masculine, explanation of what it takes to have a successful, balanced and truly intimate marriage. I, too, try to serve my wife as much as she serves our 3 children and myself. However, I am also not perfect. For me, there has been one sign, when I’ve fallen short, that has always stood out to me. You see, my wife has seldom said no to making love to me. But I can always tell, during those intimate moments, when she’s only there because she truly loves me and wants to put me first. It’s in those moments, whether she realizes it or not, that I realize I’ve been “absent” a little more than I should be, and that she’s exhausted. I also recognize in those moments, more than any others, how hard she works to put me first which, in turn, makes me want to put her first that much more. It’s my “kick in the rear”, if you will, to stay more involved and present in our home. I know this may seem like a little TMI to some, but I hope it will help others understand, what I believe to be, the real message that you’re sharing; “Putting each other first, leads to true intimacy, inside and outside of the bedroom.” Recognizing, and for some admitting, when you’ve falling short, is often harder than the fix. Thanks again for “refilling” my cup, and reminding me that I’m not alone in my struggle for balance. God Bless!

        • Jimmy, so glad you liked this post. It’s my pleasure!

  • Austin

    Julie, this is a serious struggle for many marriages (including my own), because of the way men and women are wired. Men typically think and connect physically (hugs, kisses, etc), while women focus on the mental connection. A man may come in the front door and give a hug/kiss and think he has connected with you, and then open up the laptop and respond to work emails or turn on a football game. I am guilty of this all the time. He may think he has checked all the boxes (again men think in lists and repetition), and be completely clueless that he has missed what you need… connection.
    The solution is communication, which you have already identified. When one partner is not focusing on the perspective needs of the other, they need a direct line of communication, and the other needs to accept the communication, rather than responding defensively. It sounds like you both are already in the right direction 🙂

  • Austin

    I want to address this, because I’ve read a number of the commenters reference this as a bad relationship or a man enslaved to his wife to be rewarded with sex. That is not the point (Mike, please correct me where I’m wrong so I’m not speaking for you). The goal is not the act of sex but the overall intimate connection between spouses, of which the act of sex is a part. That, in a sense, IS a carrot on a stick, and it should be on both sides of the marriage. You should both be seeking to achieve a level of connection with the other that satisfies you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Mike’s focus is actually pointing toward there being more to sex than just the action that happens at the end of the day. The intimacy is a continuous development of a connection that “blossoms” into the culminating action. It is NOT an action that develops intimacy for you.

    I think the deeper issue here is a misconception with the idea of servanthood. It is too frequently thought of as lowly or abusive, similar to slavery. In fact, servanthood is the highest demonstration of love and appreciation. The action of serving another person out of love, represents their needs above your own, and the desire to sacrifice your own convenience for theirs. This idea is very evident in spouses but is not exclusive. Leadership, family relationships, and a general approach to your fellow man, are all situations where it is applicable. This is the same way that you sacrifice time from your day and be late somewhere to help a stranger change their tire. You aren’t helping them because you expect money back (although a smile shouldn’t be out of the question). An act of servanthood shows you care about their wellbeing and are willing to put your own needs after another’s. This idea is what marriage is built on.

    • Austin, thanks for your comment. Well said.

  • Stephen Juliano

    I don’t agree that you should put others’ needs above yourself, because you don’t need to belittle yourself to build others up. You should start with trying to be the best you that you can be. Be decisive, strong, loving; take steps to improve yourself by eating healthy, exercising, reading, being a more effective and patient communicator. That way, it all starts with you and trickles down – it isn’t a zero sum game. Far too often men think they need to emasculate themselves to get/keep a relationship. Unfortunately, this is what can lead to the relationship failing. Women want a real Man, whether they realize it or not – it is on an instinctual level. Put yourself first, by striving to be a better man, and it will help, not only your relationship with your wife and kids, but your professional life and personal happiness.

    • Hey Stephen, thanks for commenting. You don’t believe that a man could accomplish being the best they can be by choosing to serve others above themselves? I’ve found that I am the best version of myself when I’m choosing servanthood and I’ve never had to belittle myself to achieve this.

      • Stephen Juliano

        “You don’t believe that a man could accomplish being the best they can be by choosing to serve others above themselves?”
        No, by definition, you couldn’t. You are putting your own happiness and your own personal growth on the back burner for someone else’s happiness. What I think is more effective, is to work on yourself more than anything else, which should include being better to others. From what you wrote in your article, it sounds like — when you aren’t choosing servant-hood — you are being selfish, which puts yourself first, but aren’t striving to be a better man. So I would agree that you are probably a better version of yourself in servant-hood compared to that. I think it may be advantageous, for you, to have your self-worth come from self-improvement, doing good, and being good to others. Being more mature and secure in yourself should trickle down to more patience and kindness toward your family.

        • Stephen, I don’t agree with you. But I greatly appreciate your input here.

  • Lynette Vining

    I would like to say that this is a wonderful article. Mine and my
    husbands roles are reversed at the moment. He is the stay at home
    father and I work full-time. He does the laundry, dishes, grocery
    shopping, kids doctor appointments, takes care of the kids when they are
    sick, cares for the animals, and takes care of are huge beautifully
    manicured lawns. When I get home from work I am tired and sometimes
    grouchy, I have a really emotionally draining job. But every morning I
    have to remember what he does all day and I help him get the kids ready
    for school and on the bus. Every evening we cook dinner together while
    helping the kids do homework. And once the kids are in bed we get to
    set and talk about our days and have our time. These things we do
    together make our relationship that much better. I live to serve him
    and our children and he lives to serve me and our children. It took
    some time of bickering and fighting for us to realize that is not what
    we want and that if we work together, as a team, ALWAYS then we can get
    through anything!!! Great article and it does go both ways.

  • Gabriella, glad you liked the post. Great perspective too. Thanks for sharing it here. I was only referencing Cloud’s book, not meaning it to sound as if my wife was my subordinate. The illustration is focused on asking her, “What’s it like on the other side of me? How am I making you feel? What kind of wake am I leaving? Can you ski on it or are you drowning because of it.?” In leadership circles it’s a question to let subordinates answer. In marriage, I believe it’s a question to allow your partner answer. Sorry if that sounded confusing in the post. You’ve given me something to address and ponder when I turn this concept into a book. Thanks!

  • Mike South

    Here’s a little thing you can do, if you have kids in diapers. Realizing that it’s always “her turn” to change the diaper when you’re away at work, just make a rule for yourself that it’s always your turn when you’re home. Once you have decided this, it’s easy, because you never go through the thought process any more, you just do it. And it’s a frequent reminder to her that you’re willing to do your part.

    • Mike, great advice. I’ve been down that road. I never minded changing diapers. Now vomit…that was another story. We sort of had an agreement that I would tackle diapers and she would handle vomit. 🙂 Thanks for joining the conversation.

  • concerned614

    I think a more eloquent way to express this would be to devoid any of your actions from being something to build up to sex. Something about saying ‘sex’ starts in the morning makes it seem like your goal is to live your day with sex as the end result of getting it right. While I agree with 90% of the article, what I think men must realize is that sex is a way of expressing love. So love starts in the morning. It needs to be expressed throughout the day, with or without sex. Love should be the goal. Every moment of service, every moment of listening, should be to be love to that person; not in building up for how great sex will be if you do all these things. (I know the author isn’t making that point). But society wants us to think of sex as love and love as sex. Love is so much more than sex, and sex does not always have love in it. (Rape, prostitution, etc.) Love is the goal. Love.

    • I agree with you but the overall point of this post was to challenge husbands to consciously put the needs of their spouse first and choose servanthood. My wife’s response was a challenge for woman to do the same. When both partners are doing this it creates health within the marriage. And I agree, love is the goal..in all cases! Thanks for sharing.

  • amber wright

    Love this discussion…. Your insight is just like a book I read…. “Becoming a Godly husband “. Great book…. Every man should read it…. Great knowledge on how women are wire differently than men.

    • Thanks Amber. Glad you like the post.

  • damgud

    sorry, I’m a woman…how the hell do I get my husband to READ this??? he thinks everything is peachy…we’ve been married 35 years….kids grown and gone…and all I can say is, “I’m tired”.

    • Maybe print it out and stick it in the middle of the sports section of the newspaper?? Kidding. But, I have heard of several spouses physically printing the post out. There’s an option at the top. Hope that works! Thanks for sharing.

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  • WebScrawler

    I have read multiple pieces like this one over the years, and I appreciate the sentiment. Christ’s role as “servant of all” is key to how He built successful relationships with every layer of society, so it is no surprise that that the model works for interpersonal relationships between equals. The imbalance between men and women is common because of societal stereotypes that all of us bring to our relationships. This particular one is one I am glad I have never had to deal with in my own marriage. I am a man married to another man. As a result, there were no presumptions going into the relationship about who had what role. We ended up where my husband cooks and I take care of the dishes. I usually handle the laundry but he mows the lawn. The serventhood aspects were at play from the very beginning because there neither of us came to the relationship with any preconceived notion of one of us as “head of household.” It is one of the few silver linings — I dearly wish that we had known more same sex households to look to as role models in the early days, but not having such models meant we also didn’t come with any outdated mental baggage on how a marriage “should” work.

    • Thanks so much for joining the conversation! Sounds like you two have a healthy balance in your household!

  • avalon2183

    This is a very good article!. I am VERY interested in the wife’s point of view! I know a while back, you said that you’re wife was writing as you spoke. Has she been able to post an article yet? If so, and if not, how would one go about finding this information out? The only reason I seen this article was because someone posted it to Facebook 🙂

    • Did you read Part 2? My wife posted it earlier this week.

  • Hdz Hendricks

    Thank you for being bold enough to share what you have learned! I personally have been married previously, that guy was not so good so I won’t even comment on him. I have since then married a man who I have known since we were young teens; grew up in church youth group. But marriage changes things of course. I love what you have said about this matter. And that you have opened your eyes to see what your wife does behind the scenes. Not many men take the time to appreciate what their wives really do and how hard they really are working in the home and with the kids and for the family. No I personally have dove into learning the kind of mom and wife I wanted to be before this marriage and still learn daily from scripture and life lessons bc I want to be the best I can be for him and my kiddos, so you are right in pointing out that women need to do something too, it’s not all on the men. But I am so glad that you wrote this. My kids are 6 months and two years old, I am the one who gets up at night, the one who feeds the majority of the time both, changes diapers, in charge of potty training, bathes, try to cook every meal so it is healthy, take them to the hospital if needed, take them to appointments, stay up with laundry, do the dusting, cleaning, all of the other house stuff, and it’s good to see that mentioned here. My husband started helping me with the dishes when he sees that I can’t get them done bc I asked him to do that bc I sometimes can’t find the time to get everything done in a day and him helping with even one chore so I can do another like fold laundry is actually more helpful to me than he realizes. He isn’t a mind reader, I have to ask. But that was very helpful. But I’m definitely going to post this! Thank you for typing this up! It was a good read and I felt a sense of accomplishment just by reading someone acknowledging a woman doing all the things that I do. 🙂

    • You are most welcome. Glad you liked the post.

  • Ron, thanks for your comment. Glad we could get you thinking. 🙂

  • Marian Dunn Griffith

    I am awed- this was written by a man. I divorced my husband after almost 52 years because everything was all about him. Not me or the kids. It finally got so bad, and his treatment of me so bad, that I decided I could live the rest of my life in misery or I could get out. I got out. If he had applied just some of the things in this article, most likely we would still be married!

    • Marian, so sad to hear your marriage didn’t work out. Serving one another is such a hard thing to do but it is so important and needed to create a healthy marriage! Thanks for joining the conversation.

  • Danni Wallace Jones

    I truly enjoyed your words and I find it refreshing. We are raised, at least my generations has been, in what is called a “me” generation. One of selfishness and instant gratification. It is hard to find those that still believe and follow our Father in marriage as He intended. We no longer treat our partners as the gift they are.

    I find it somewhat scary and very disconcerting that some of the readers see this as an abusive relationship or wrong in some way. No, it is not. It is an article that is written from one perspective of a two person relationship and for people to make these assumptions only reflects where these individuals are in their own emotional turmoil. I think the part that struck me the deepest was the comments that said servanthood makes you a slave to your spouse and that the Bible does not teach servanthood, but discipleship. That’s not true. Throughout the Bible, Jesus and his followers teach leadership through servanthood. This is not degrading as many seem to want to believe. True servanthood in a marriage is equal, and means submitting yourself to your spouse for the sake of lifting them up. Making your spouse’s needs and wants a priority does not lessen or cheapen your own. That very notion, in my honest opinion, demonstrates a very selfish heart.

    Some readers seemed to take your words quite literally, to a fault. They took the phrase “sex starts in the morning” to literally mean the physical act being used as a form of control. They also took it literally that in the relationship as a whole, your implying that her needs and wants are the only thing that matters, from both parties. That’s basically reading something and forcing it to fit your your frame of mind. Neither is true in this article, and at no point did I, or numerous other readers, interpret Mike’s words to mean that. Again, this is his belief towards his wife and the love with which he writes about her with makes it quite obvious that she feels the same towards him. She treats him with the same love and belief. His needs are her most important priority and her needs are his.

    The “sex starts in the morning” was merely a euphemism for the deeper emotional and physical relationship that a husband and wife share. Meaning that we cannot live completely separate lives throughout the day and evening, merely to come together for a few hours in the bedroom at night and truly be partners and support each other. Our marriage is something that should be the number one priority and deciding factor in each and every action that we take throughout the day, and how these actions will effect that marriage.

    At no point did Mike give the impression that his wife was unhappy or resentful towards him in their marriage and I find it almost laughable that some indicated that she is, as if she is some bitter housewife. All Mike was doing was explaining the dedication that his wife has put into their marriage and family as he sees it through his eyes. I’m sure that if you asked her, she would not see it that way and when she talks of Mike’s dedication and work that it would sound different as well. That’s because it would be from her perspective.

    These are the basic tenets of a strong Christian marriage, as taught by our Father and in the Bible. There is nothing wrong or debasing about them. Not when it is mutual and done in love and respect. I spent ten years in a deeply emotional and physically abusive relationship, so I know what that is and what that is like. And I promise you, it was nothing like what Mike describes and I never spoke of that man with the reverence that Mike speaks about his wife with. Thankfully, I was able to finally leave and recover from that relationship and I am now married to a wonderful man that believes as Mike does, and I treat him with the same love and devotion. It is amazingly rewarding. He is my husband, my partner, and my best friend. He is also the steward of our family, as God intended. I have complete faith in him and the choices he makes for us and our family.

    Our society has begun to treat marriage as throw away gift. When we get tired of it or no longer like it, throw it away and find a new one. Maybe if more couples began to take the stance Mike and his wife take, marriage will once again become the precious and life long gift that God intended it to be.

    • Danni, thanks for your comment. Glad you are in a better place now.

  • deb

    Another thing that could have been addressed is affection. Being hugged, kissed, and touched through out the day. Especially for men that might not have been raised that way. Otherwise, it can feel like a duty, instead of a mutual time of love.

    • Deb, good insight here. Could be the subject of a future post. Thanks for your input.

    • Douglas Stuart

      Ladies, ya gotta deal with that. Humans need physical contact (see the Orphan Study, or the primate study). Men do…not…get…that. By which I mean mean men, in our culture do NOT get physical touch as “love language” from anyone other than our wives and (until they are teenagers) kids. Men get that PT, from our spouses, through, primarily, sex.

      Again, think about that. If sex is an “emotional thing” why would you NOT communicate that love to your husband in a way that he understands?

      Yes, men “need” in a way women don’t because of their hormones, but PLEASE do NOT underestimate the emotional connection that comes with that.

      I like to think that before marriage men are “sex is just a physical thing…nothing emotional” and women require “love before sex” but that AFTER the roles switch. Men need that sexual and physiclal connection to reinforce the emotions they are NOT AS ABLE TO EXPESS, whereas after marriage sex for women is “just sex” becuase they have that emotional connection established, and it becomes a “chore” on the check off list.

      Don’t let your husband become a chore.
      Dudes, don’t let your wife’s feeling become a chore.

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  • Carnelle

    As a man of God I don’t serve my wife with the expectation of her serving me back. I do it because God expects me to. Men are you to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it. Naturally and spiritually God will honor you and bless you. In the end your wife will be sanctified by you and she will serve you as well.

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  • ANewHope

    Being your wife’s servant won’t do it. You need to be the captain. Alpha + Beta. Being her Serant only will make her have no respect for you. Check out this web site. http://marriedmansexlife.com

    • Thanks for sharing. I don’t agree with you though. This world is full of self-serving people and it has created lonely desperate marriages for many people. When two people choose to put one another’s needs above their own, they create the healthiest marriage possible.

      • ANewHope

        I’m pretty sure you publicly zapped my post, which I’m fine with.

        You are influential and have a lot of followers. I urge you to check out Athols books. His work has revitalized many marriages. It is a VERY pro marriage site. His work is focused on correcting a lot of the mis-information our women’s lib society has erroneously built into the modern psyche.

        I’m not asking you to post my comment or a link, or even to agree with me. I’m asking you to take a look at his body of work.

        It’s accurate. It’s logical. It works.

        You are coming from the viewpoint that you are both putting the others needs ahead of their own. You are assuming that she understands how important marital sex is to the man. I would argue that in most marriages, that isn’t true.

        The lifeblood of the marriage, if both are healthy, regardless of age, is the bedroom. If it’s going well there a few times a week or more, all good. If it’s 1x a week or, like in do many cases I know personally, less, there’s a problem.

        Acts of service towards your wife aren’t going to fix that.

        If you’re at 2x a week and generally get along, your article is spot on. For the husband who hasn’t been intimate with his wife in 8 weeks, your article doesn’t really apply. That was all I was trying to say.

        She needs to be attracted to you for the bedroom to work. That means you have to physically be in shape, you have to lead in the relationship and elsewhere in life, you have to be interesting.

        Balance. I would argue that most of the men I know, and where I relate, has the service / servant idea nailed. Your wife’s response of “that’s so sweet” isn’t the desired outcome. For you, you’re a good looking young man based on your pic in the blog. You have followers, which makes you a leader. You are alpha. A little servanthood probably helps you. To the guy that’s already doing the dishes, making coffee, watching the kids for GNO and generally foregoing himself for her benefit and getting shot down in the bedroom, that article is the OPPOSITE of what they need to read.

        I just ask that you check out the Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011. Or Marrital Attraction Plan by Athol Kay. It’s not anti religious. It’s not anti women and it’s not anti marriage.

        • ANewHope

          Do you believe in the still, small voice? I haven’t heard it in a while, but did tonight after re-reading your article.

          It’s obvious you’re working towards a greater common good. I mean no disrespect in my post above. I appreciate you blog and thank you for this posting. It’s made me think.

        • ANewHope

          Mike – I was the “guest” above and thought I deleted that post. Is it possible for you to delete that post and this one?

          I’ve re-read your article and the post above doesn’t apply. Is appreciate it if you would delete it.

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  • LLadyDi

    <3 Awesome read <3 Asking the BIG questions go both ways Husband of Wife, and Wife of Husband <3 If BOTH do #1

    Have I put her/his needs above my own today? (Yes, this is a daily question!)
    A TREASURE will maintained.

    I did all the say at home mom chores and then some, while also working and/or going to school full time, with 3 chlldren. Had this been in place in my marriage, I would still be married . . . after a 33 year relationship, 28 years of marriage . . .

  • Ronn Jerard Writes

    Mike, I discovered this many years ago, but I need to be reminded. I think I do pretty well, but I’m aware that I slip up more than I care to admit. I DO focus on my wife’s needs, and it makes for a happier marriage. It might be that being older (Boomer age) has taught me how to do this, but I can never forget the lessons that you speak about. Thank you for the reminder.

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  • Dirk L. Zollinger

    I thought this article was going to teach me something. The body is a temple, but especially a womans body. They should be treated as such.

  • Liza Shaw

    This is one of the most intelligent articles I’ve read on what works in a relationship. For similar principles, watch my tedxtalk, called “Marriage 2.0.” The message in this talk applies to either party in the relationship, but it says the same thing as your article!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAC8IEJDxCg&app=desktop

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  • Christopher Ferran

    This is a great reading. I’ve been reading it everyday and trying to implement it all day. Not easy. One thing I have noticed is it seems like deep down inside I’m expecting something in return, and if I don’t get that, I’m resentful. I’m motivated by getting something in return for my efforts. Not necessarily sex for me (could be fooling myself about that), but I’m definitely falling into an entitled position by serving her all day. This isn’t something in my conscious mind because my ego wouldn’t let me think about that so freely. I mean, who wants to believe that they are that selfish! But it is definitely there. Have you experienced this at all?

  • KiKi

    Hi there! I’m a 32 year old stay at home mom of 3 girls. My husband and I will make 10 years of marriage in June. We have alot of dynamics to our marriage. My husband works full time and is also a drummer at a few different churches, taking up alot of his “off” time. Like I said I “stay home” with our lovelies, and I’m deemed “disabled”. I don’t like using that term, but I walk with a walker and have alot of trouble with mobility. Our 3 girls are in 3 different schools, band and dancing. And so much more! My husband and I were in our 5th year of marriage when we realized we will never understand each other. We’ve learned that we need to tell each other our needs and wants and work on those together. Of course we don’t always get to the other side smoothly. We have disagreements. But we’ve learned to talk it out. We chose to love each other everyday. We all hear the Bible scripture about “wives submit to your husbands”…but then it goes on to talk about when the husband is submissive to Christ, then the wife is compelled to submit to her husband. Of course neither mine nor my husband’s relationship with Christ is perfect, no one person has that, but daily we have to chose to seek after God and to serve each other. I’ve been beyond blessed with a man who puts me and the kids before all else. Of course there’s hunting, drums, BBQ, football…lol! And sometimes I feel left behind, unappreciated, not good enough etc, but that’s when I need to communicate those feelings and then my husband is able to put those thoughts to rest and remind of his love. I could go on and on, but all this to say, I’m with you on everything you said in the article! Great read!

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  • Summer

    I loved this article! I loved all the points it made, and the importance of one another. Can I ask what type of job you or your wife have? Sometimes these types of articles confuse me because of the equal mess women now have in our world. I 100% agree and think it’s a majority of respect for one another in how you treat and react to each other. I think work gets in the way too though and balancing out who does what and who does what more etc..

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