“Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5 NKJV)
Early in our marriage, I wasn’t completely “in” our marriage. My body was there, but my attention was always absent. My mind was always on work and ministry or watching a basketball game while my gift from God was sitting right next to me frustrated and deprived. I withheld my attention from my wife while expecting her (maybe even daring her) to break our covenant by seeking attention from another man.
The man or woman who withdraws their attention from their spouse is leaving the door opened for a co-worker, client, or friend to lure their spouse away. The man or woman who withdraws their physical affection from their spouse is adding to the temptation for affairs, pornography, and other forms of immorality. Every time you say no, there are plenty of lonely immoral people out there willing to say yes.
Paul tells his readers the best way to combat Satan’s tricks and our own natural temptations is to be together constantly without depriving one another.
Let’s be practical. If you’re a “one serious conversation per week” man married to a “one serious conversation per day” woman, your spouse may be feeling deprived and you need to work on your conversation skills. If you’re a “physical intimacy once every two weeks” woman married to a “physical intimacy twice a week” man your spouse may also feel deprived and you need to work on your availability.
Otherwise you are putting your marriage in jeopardy. So get together and talk about your needs in an opened, honest conversation. Then do your best to stay as close as possible everyday without depriving one another.