I promised some more thoughts directly on Transactional Marriage, but I want first to take up this popular modern view of sex as something that Christian wives are supposed to concern themselves with being good at. To me these are related, because the context is often that a wife should be giving this to her husband because he needs it to function properly, or because it will make him more likely to fulfill his responsibilities. She should invest in her capabilities in this area to influence him, perhaps, or because if she isn't good enough at it she is depriving him of some happiness that God wants him to have.
I don't think a wife should concern herself at all with whether she is good in bed. The very concept is pagan. Nowhere in the Bible will you find a woman after God's heart being instructed to improve her technique. Nor will you find her being evaluated based on it. "Rejoice in the wife of your youth," says the Proverb, and a bit later, "Let her breasts satisfy you at all times." Rather than encouraging the wife to get better at making her man happy, the Bible instructs the man to be satisfied with his wife at all times-further, to rejoice in her.
Someone may argue that there's no prohibition against a spouse trying to be pleasing in bed. And there isn't. It's common decency, for example, not to make love to your spouse immediately after cleaning out your home's sewer line. But that's not what anyone means when he says "good in bed." The connotation is rather that the spouse ought to be wearing the right clothes, whispering the right things, practicing the right moves.
Men, what your wives give you in the bedroom is more than good enough, and if you aren't happy with it then the problem is in you, in your soul. No amount of Victoria's Secret on her part is going to fix that. You are after a physical experience in which she is playing a supporting role. My deepest regret and heartache is that I didn't learn that sooner in my own marriage.
And wives, don't believe anyone who tells you that you are obligated to discover how to make it more fun for your husband in bed. He is to delight in you. In you, independent of whatever tricks you can perform for him.
Furthermore, in a marriage where husband and wife are earnestly seeking after God, what she offers him-in the bedroom or in other dimensions of their life together-is more than good enough, because it is she. She is his one flesh. Whatever he gives of himself is more than good enough, likewise, because it is he. And seeing that she is more than good enough, she will likely want to give more and more of herself, just as he will want to pour himself out for this person who loves him not for what he might be, and not even in spite of who he is, but because of who he is, because he is hers.
This is sacrificial love, rather than transactional. To love someone this way you have to lay down every hope and dream you had for yourself and that marriage, and love her as she is, right now. And the next morning you get up and do it again, and again after that, until one or the other of you is buried in the dirt.
This is a love that is given with absolutely no eye toward a return. It might yield a beautiful return for both spouses, but something tells me that the moment either spouse acts based on an expectation or even hope of such a return, something essential is lost. This is why I'm so dead set against even a hint of transactional thinking in the deep things of a marriage. But more on that next time.
Read Tony's "The Transactional Marriage, Part I."