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  1. While I agree that those pillows are bad for a marriage, I’m confused by the conclusion you draw from it.

    First, many translations of of Proverbs 21:9 use the words “quarrelsome” or “nagging”, NOT “contentious.” I’m not sure that the logic you apply to the word contentious would be the same as what you, or any other reasonable person, would apply to the other words that appear in that verse. It stands to reason, then, that you are missing the spirit of the statement. Besides, since David had hundreds of wives, I think his circumstances were a little different.

    Second, regarding this point: If you habitually put off your husband’s sexual advances, if you routinely insist that he wait until some remote time when you are “in the mood” before you give him what he so desperately desires, then you are by definition being contentious. A good synonym for the verb “to contend” is “to resist,” which is precisely what you are doing when you refuse to have sex with your husband.

    I’m at odds with the suggestion that wives are contentious when uninterested in sex, but (based on your June 27th post on How to Handle a Disinterested Husband) when husbands are, they deserve our patience. Perhaps I’ve missed a post where you suggest that men should practice patience with their wives’ own disinterest, but if not, I find this a little unfair, especially since 1 Corinthians tells us, “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” “In the same way”–these words speak volumes to me. Physical and sexual intimacy are a very important part of a marriage, but I think the rejection must sting just as much for either partner experiencing it.

    So what message will I send to my husband? I certainly don’t want him to believe that I am obligated to fulfill every sexual desire he has–nor do I think that of him. I think part of the beauty of marriage is that we can respect those boundaries and explore other forms of intimacy. Besides, Mary remained a Virgin, and I suspect that Joseph did not call her contentious for it.

    1. I appreciate the questions you’ve raised, Sarah, and will try to respond to all of them.

      First, translating the word “quarrelsome” still works, as sex makes every “top ten” list of “things couples argue about” that I’ve ever seen.

      Second, I agree that rejection stings just as much for either partner experiencing it. The reason I tell disinterested wives not to snub their husband’s advances in this post, yet tell snubbed wives to be prayerful and patient with disinterested husbands in my other post, is because I’m writing for women, not for men. If I were writing to husbands, I would tell them the same thing: be patient when your wife is not in the mood, but be willing when she is and you aren’t (which is essentially what my husband advised in 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife — see #11 and 17). Each person is responsible for their own actions/responses/attitudes. We have little or no control over the actions/responses/attitudes of anybody else, including our spouse.

      And last, Matthew 1:25 tells us that Joseph kept Mary a Virgin until Jesus was born. I know that the Catholic church teaches that she continued in her virginity afterwards, as well, although scripture neither states nor implies that this is the case. But even if it were — even if Mary never once had relations with her husband, the father of Jesus’s brothers — as you said of David, I think her circumstances were a little different than ours. For those of us who are not the Mother of God, we are told very clearly in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 that wives are not to deprive their husbands of sex (nor husbands their wives) and that to do so is to render your spouse vulnerable to temptation.

      Hence, my attitude, as showcased on my pillow.

  2. That is a lovely story. I feel your disappointment in those stupid little phrases like that. I especailly don’t like the ones that impy your husband is stupid or has to fix his own supper. Your story was a neat way to start the day.

  3. not what i expected! i was truly laughing when i got to the end, what a wonderful story! good job on the pillow. ( i quilt, so i thought “embroidery” right up my alley) this is a very good message, love it!

  4. Jennifer- Thank you for sharing this story. The pillow is lovely. And such a sweet and personal gift for your husband. I love your attitude on life and love for your husband.

    I burst into tears when I read that you and your husband made an agreement to pray together before you have sex. That is such an amazing expression of your love for each other, as well as a perfect acknowledgement that what you are about to do is a gift from God. It’s just beautiful.

    I changed my gravatar to a picture of the embroidery that I did for my boyfriend. I didn’t know how else to share it with you! lol. It looks a little sloppy because it is done in my handwriting, which unfortunately, is a little sloppy. But, it felt more personal to have it in my own handwriting. 😉

    1. That was a very smart way to show me, Chantel. And you are right, it is more personal in your own handwriting. It’s also more challenging to stitch, I think. I have a tablecloth I used to have guests sign when they shared a meal with our family, and I’d later embroider over all the names. That was tough! You did a lovely job, as I can clearly read every word. I love it and am sure your boyfriend treasures it as well.

  5. Great Post! Always a good reminder for wives to give their husbands (and vise versa) due benevolence! Thank you for the practical teaching of things you can do to be a better wife! I am not a wife currently, but when I am I want to be the wife in the Song of Solomon! Thank you for sharing the ways that you please your husband, encouraging wives and future wives to be creative and thoughtful too!

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