5 Reasons to Make Love (Even Though You’re Tired)

Make Love (Even Though You're Tired)

If you’re looking for excuses to get out of sex, or reasons to stay mad at the mistake-making human husband you married, you’ve come to the wrong place.

But for the rest of you… the tired mom who just wants a little extra sleep, the woman for whom the initial delight you had in your beloved has faded into a hum-drum occasional physical interaction, the wife who feels exhausted by her children and has been excusing “not having anything left over to give” to the man you pledged your life to… to YOU, I have a few things to say.

Know that I’m not saying this from some lofty tower of well-rested ease. I’m an oft-tired mom of six, going on seven, children– including lots of little ones. We moved across the country less than six months ago, and are definitely in a more tired season of life.

But here’s the deal, ladies– your life is like a vapor. And that quick-fading nature of the time you are given includes ALL of your relationships.

This is the time you have been given. Today.

Tomorrow? …none of us know what lies there waiting for us. It could be more of the same-old, same-old everyday things. Tomorrow could hold something great; it could also bring a diagnosis like “cancer.”

And I don’t want to play the “everything could go wrong tomorrow” card just to make a point.

But the truth is, it could.

Regardless of what lies in the future, tonight, tomorrow night, when you (a tired woman) lay next to a human husband who (like you) has faced the everyday attacks and assaults of the world and the enemy,  you have a choice to make. How can you pour into him? How can you truly be a helper to him, and a blessing to his heart? How can you serve and encourage and show active love to him?

One way (not the only way, but ONE way) for us to shower our affection on him is to be a willing wife… yes, even when our body desires sleep.

With that in mind, here are 5– scratch that, I’ve given you a bonus sixth! SIX– reasons to make love, even when you’re tired:

  1. YOUR BODY IS NOT YOUR OWN. As a believer in Christ, this is always true of us, no matter what. If you are in Christ, your body is the Lord’s. We are not our own; we are bought with a price. But as a wife, Scripture says my body does not belong to me only, but also to my husband. This is a starkly different message than the “my body, my choice, my rights” message we get, non-stop, from our culture. Hear me, though; this is NOT a demeaning message– this is ultimately a FREEING and LIFE-GIVING message. This is the beauty of the Gospel. Christ loves the church and gives Himself up for her; our husbands are called to love us and give themselves up for us. Their body is ours (they work for us, shower us with their affection, protect us, go to battle if necessary to defend us, put themselves between us and harm’s way), and ours are theirs (we care for them, joyfully give physical affection, bear their children, nurse their babies, care for them when they are sick). So if your husband asks, or implies, or you think he might, respond (or even, INITIATE) rather than retreating.
  2. Seize the day! I don’t think a single one of us will reach the end of our lives wishing we’d just been able to squeeze in 20 minutes more of work, dishes, gardening, or sleep; a great many of us will reach the end of life wishing we’d connected more deeply, more often, with our husbands. NOW IS THE TIME (yes, even when you’re sleepy), MY FRIEND!
  3. INVEST, BECAUSE THE STATE OF YOUR SEX LIFE AFFECTS & REFLECTS THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP. Don’t believe me? Read 1 Corinthians 7. Paul, a single man who was (arguably) perpetually given to religious rather than physical affections, recognized the inherent connection between sexlessness and Satan’s footholds within the marriage relationship. I’ve known married couples who have done it every night (yes, every night!) for 20+ years, and some who have done it every Thursday night for 35+ years. Sadly, I also know couples who haven’t touched each other in years. Beyond habitual patterns and statistical data, the way that we approach one another physically gives indication of other aspects of the connections between us. More often than not, the state of the sexual relationship gives an insightful glimpse into two things: the marriage relationship, and the way we approach God. Invest in your relationship by investing in your physical affection and connection. So many of us in this wicked culture bring heaps of unhealthy baggage into this arena, but it is SO worth it to work through that junk. Let me urge you: make this a priority in your life.
  4. MAKING LOVE IS LIKE EXERCISING. I have a friend who says this about working out: “I never really want to do it, but I’m always glad to have done it.” For some women, making love is like that. It’s a good thing to do. God has made it good for your body, good for your marriage, good for your heart, good for your husband, good for your health, good for your soul. Heck, it’s even (in a long-view-of-life way) good for your kids, grandkids, and descendants, for you to pass on a legacy of self-giving, loving affection as normative in a healthy marriage. So even if you (initially) aren’t “in the mood,” God built our bodies wonderfully, making us women particularly able to adjust our “mood.”  Like exercise (assuming that you want to be healthy), even if you don’t initially *want* to make love, you’ll never be sorry that you did.
  5. REALLY, IT’S *SUCH* A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME. Sure, sometimes you’re newly postpartum, or have something strangely exhausting happening in your life; those times are the exception. But generally speaking, you can afford the 10-35 extra minutes to get in a good time of physical and emotional connection with your husband. Honestly, who cares about the tiny amount of extra sleep, as compared to putting a slap-happy smile on your husband’s face (AND YOURS)? Plus, women who have had sex sleep better (it releases body chemicals and hormones like dopamine and oxytocin that relax your body and enable rest to come more easily). The time investment is truly SMALL compared to the connective fibers you are stitching into your marriage.
  6. WE’RE ALL TIRED. Honestly, we really are. No matter our age or phase of life. This cutthroat, go-go-go, hyper scheduled culture keeps most of us a hair past exhausted. But we all make time for what’s important to us. I’ll say that again: WE MAKE TIME FOR WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO US. Is this area of your marriage important? Maybe you would answer “no”… but would your spouse truly answer the same way? The truth is, we’re all tired, but God has given us (as husband and wife) the ability to have this beautiful physical act that mirrors the connection, the intimacy, the transparency, and the joy that we are to have in and with one another. We’re all tired, but we make time for what’s important to us. Consider raising the importance and priority of this activity, and commit to just do it.

Let me challenge you today: invest in this part of your relationship. You could “just do it” tonight.

Yes, even if you’re tired.


image courtesy of mack2happy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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13 Responses

  1. Erin says:

    Let me add another excuse not to do it, but one I have worked through. I take medication that, as a side effect, decreases libido. I have experimented with four or five different meds to find that one that effects libido the least, but still, mine is really very low. Because of this, I rarely have making love on my mind. The desire just isn’t there, no matter how much I love my husband (and I do!) or how attractive I think he is (and he IS!). However, there are two important things I have found: 1 – Often times, my body will still respond to my husband, even if I have no desire before the act; and 2 – I have had to communicate with my husband that I am willing – no, HAPPY – to “be there for him” as we call it, because he is my husband, I am his wife, and we are one, our bodies are not our own. And though I honestly don’t always want to take the time, I find joy in the joy that I can give him.

  2. Debbie Coleman says:


  3. Madelyn Lang says:

    I think a lot of us have to learn this over time. I mean understanding it in our own actual lives, rather than in theory.
    The mutual giving of self is an awesome and utterly unique thing. When God says we will be one flesh, he means it. United in (only) this way, we become so much more than either alone, or even two together. We become one entity. This resounds in every part of our being-spirit, emotions, mind, body. This connection is almost beyond our understanding, and is often misunderstood, and sold short.

  4. Kondwani says:

    It’s not a topic people often talk about at all, so this post is refreshing. Do you not just find it can be so painful after difficult labours? (I’ve had some surgery which has helped a little but its not a pleasant experience). But I also take your point about giving selflessly, and there can often be many excuses!

    • Jess Connell says:

      I haven’t personally dealt with physical pain in that way (aside from the normal postpartum tenderness every new mom has to work through as things heal) but I do understand that’s a difficult thing to face.

      I would strongly encourage you and any women reading who are experiencing physical pain during intimacy to talk explicitly with your doctor. There may be adjustments that can be made through surgical means or treatments that can be attempted to, over time, make things more pleasurable. In addition there may be other factors (time of day, ability to relax, lubrication, and even working through conflicts or counseling issues), that can be analyzed and worked through in order to possibly find resolution or at least improvement in that area.

      It’s worth it to try and find a workable solution that can allow for intimate interactions to be desirable and pleasurable on both sides.

  5. Sara says:

    Thank you for this! I am new to your site, but have found so many relevant posts already! You offer a very insightful, honest and encouraging viewpoint of topics we all face. Today you have encouraged me. Thank you!

  6. Wendy Petta says:

    Two very common & real hindrances to this act of obedience are bitterness & unforgivness. I’d love to see a post for women who are continually sinned against & perpetually struggle with forgiving their husbands. Because of the sometimes daily pain that is inflicted upon them, that the idea of sex with him is repulsive. Please speak to women who never find their husbands sexy or attractive & perhaps some hints to overcome that. Such a good topic. Thank you for dealing with real life issues!

    • Jess Connell says:

      It’s true. I will think on this, and what I have to offer (publicly) on this topic.

      It’s so tricky, with sexual topics. Even when I just think about my own sexual history, there is so much nuance and difficulty in striking the right balance in dealing with sin but also in dealing with hurt, being sinned against, and working through old baggage that comes from both our own sin and being sinned against.

      I’m very happy to talk one on one with women about particular challenges, but it is very difficult to wisely handle such things in a public, at-large way. But the Apostle Paul did it in his oversexed culture, so I will think what helpful things I might be able to (publicly and generally) offer on the subject.

      Thanks for the nudge.

  7. Karla says:

    Great posts Jess!! I’ve just now read through a few of your “sex blogs” so my comment might better pertain to a few others? But I’ll comment on here.

    Let me just encourage anyone who may be reading through these posts and comments that praying for a strong sex drive works! My husband and I went from nothing to newlyweds over night. God is so faithful and knows how important sex in a marriage is. Now that things are how God intended them to be in the bedroom, all other parts of our relationship have fallen into place. We’re best friends. We can’t wait to see each other and talk about our day. We flirt and hug , smile and laugh with eachother. Ladies God is so faithful. Go to Him in prayer and watch what happens!

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