First off, one must ask who gets to define how much sex is not enough sex inside marriage. Who gets to decide? Because as Roy Baumeister noted in his book Is There Anything Good About Men? even a happily married man who has been married for years and is also reporting that he has a satisfactory sex life would STILL be willing to have fifty percent more sex. Driscoll's lack of a definition of what "enough sex in marriage" would be would seem to automatically skew toward whoever had the highest drive for sex and anecdotally and even statistically that would seem to predominantly favor the man in a relationship. Driscoll left very little room for doubt about where he was going.
When I'm meeting with a couple and one of them, maybe it's the husband, says, "Well, my wife's not being very nice to me so I'm gonna deny her sex and until she's nice to me I'm gonna withhold it." That's demonic. The wife who says, "You know, I'm just never in the mood and, you know, I know you love me and we have a decent marriage and there's no reason I shouldn't have sex with you, but, I'm just not in the mood or, you know, I don't feel like, uh, giving it to you until you give something to me and it becomes a bartering chip in the relationship." That's demonic.
It's necessary to bracket this 2008 teaching as a whole and cross reference this idea to the 2012 book Real Marriage. The full significance and the full implication of Mark Driscoll's teaching in 2008 won't be apparent until this occurs.
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0 (IE)
To be honest, fornicating was fun. I liked fornicating. To stop fornicating was not fun. But eventually Grace and I stopped fornicating, got engaged, and were married between our junior and senior years of college.
I assumed that once we were married we would simply pick up where we left off sexually and make up for last time. After all, we were committed Christians with a relationship done God's way.
But God's way was a total bummer. My previously free and fun girlfriend was suddenly my frigid and fearful wife. She did not undress in front of me, required teh lights to be off on the rare occasions we were intimated, checked out during sex, and experience da lot of physical discomfort because she was tense. [emphasis added]
Keep that emphasized material in mind as we go.
Before long I was bitter against God and Grace. It seemed to me as if they had conspired to trap me. I had always been the "good guy" who turned down women for sex. In my twisted logic, I had been holy enough, and god owed me. I felt God had conned me by telling me to marry Grace, and allowed Grace to rule over me since she was controlling our sex life. [emphasis added] I loved Grace, but in the bedroom I did not enjoy her and wondered how many years I couild white-knuckle fidelity. ... We desperately needed help but didn't know where to turn. Bitterness and condemnation worsened.
... When I discovered her sin against me and that she had punished me with resulting years of sexual and emotional denial, I felt like a real fool, and my world crashed down around me. It seemed everything I had been striving for since I was a little boy was in vain. In idolizing marriage, I ended up demonizing Grace and doubting God.
I grew more chauvinistic. I had never cheated on a girlfriend, but I never had a girlfriend who did not cheat on me. And now I knew that included my own wife. So I started to distrust women in general, including Grace. This affected my tone in preaching for a season, something I will always regret.
That bitterness was the second category of the ordinary demonic can be discussed on its own. At this point it's necessary only to establish that Mark Driscoll resented his wife for transforming from his fun and carefree girlfriend into his fearful and frigid wife.
As Grace seems to recall things:
... When we married, I (Mark) tended toward sex as god. I was a newer Christian who had accumulated most of his knowledge about sex from culture, locker-room talk, and sinning sexually with a few young women. Conversely, Grace was raised in a home that was religiously conservative when it came to sex, had sinned sexually, and had been sinned against sexually. She considered sex gross. For her I was too much sexually. For me she was too little sexually. We made very little progress for many years until we had spent considerable time talking through our sexual history and beliefs, working together through many hours in the Bible and Christian books to arrive at a unified view of sex as gift. Once we came to the same place in our thinking about sex, we began to work as allies instead of enemies. Our marriage has never been the same since, and our sex gets better all the time.
When we got married, I (Grace) didn't understand the physical and emotional aspects of sex for men. It seemed with his high sex drive that was all Mark wanted from me and that he didn't appreciate anything else I did. His drive seemed to get stronger the less we had sex, and I wondered if it was an idol to him or if that was normal for me. I later realized it was partially a real physical need, not an obsession, since he wasn't masturbating or getting relief some other way, which I am thank for. I read somewhere that if you have sex more, it actually decreases the necessity for frequent sex over time for most men. I tried that but it didn't seem to change anything for Mark.
We could discuss the implications of Driscoll tending to view sex as a god (idolatry) some time later. Grace Driscoll describes a desire for sex as partially a real physical need and not an obsession. But this would perhaps inevitably raise the simple question of how often Mark and Grace Driscoll were actually having sex. Considering how frequently Mark Driscoll said he asked married couples this question in counseling it would stand to reason that either of the Driscolls ought to be willing to answer that question themselves. Whether sounding off on something that seemed to have nothing at all to do with the Ted Haggard affair (screen cap of the full post), or in remarking on how most of the time more sex in marriage fixed things, Driscoll seemed fixated on the idea that if dudes just got laid enough in holy matrimony things would go better. And maybe they often do. .
Didn't seem to be the message Bill Clem had for single guys during that season but so it went.
To return to Real Marriage, it turned out that Mark Driscoll did not (apparently) make a case to Grace that her withholding sex from him was satanic. He framed the issue in a more positive way, that more sex would remedy his mood swings and depression.
As with many things in marriage, communication is key. When I cam to the conclusion that the cure for a lot of my moodiness was having more frequent sex with my wife, I simply told her. Yes, it's that simple. For years, when I would endure depression, I tried to talk to Grace about it. Her natural inclination was to want to have long talks about our feelings toward each other, and I know that connecting with her like this is important. But sometimes I was jsut too frustrated and ended up blowing up and hurting her feelings. The truth was I wanted to have more frequent sex with my life, and we needed to discuss how that could happen.
To make matters worse, seemingly every book I read by Christians on sex and marriage sounded unfair. Nearly every one said the husband had to work very hard to understand his wife, to relate to her, and when he did that to her satisfaction then, maybe, she would have sex with him as a sort of reward. After many years I finally told Grace that I needed more sex. I asked if we could have sex more days of the week and try a variety of positions. She'd be the one to decide exactly how we would be together> Grace said that helped her think about our intimacy throughout the course of the day, which helped prepare her mind and body. To our mutual delight, we discovered that both of us felt closer more loved and understood, and were more patient with each other if we were together regularly in some way. And whether my depression was testosterone-induced or not, I just generally felt happier.
For a wife, sex comes out of a healthy relationship, whereas, for a husband, it leads to one.
But if Driscoll applied his approach consistently wouldn't he have essentially made a case to his wife that her withholding sex from him WAS demonic? Even if he did not do that the other inevitable question emerges, if a lack of sex within marriage is the first ordinary demonic foothold and the Driscolls had a mediocre sex life that Mark Driscoll found a foundation for resentment and bitterness then how many demonic footholds ... or how big a demonic foothold would "not enough sex within marriage" have ultimately been in the Driscoll marriage? Big enough to have precluded him from ever being fit for ministry until it was dealt with?