Sex and marriage – two words that are supposed to be perfectly linked, but thanks to sin and cultural influence they are more separate now than ever. You’ve all seen movies and TV shows where the running joke is that married couples have terrible sex lives. The only way they suggest you can have good sex is to be unfaithful to your spouse or to not get married at all and just sleep around.
Sex is portrayed as this casual, and very selfish act, that is fine to engage in with anyone and everyone. The last thing anyone wants to do is be “stuck” in a relationship for the rest of their lives having the same boring sex with the same person...if they even have sex at all.
Lies and more lies from the enemy of God who only wants to pervert and distort the beauty of God’s creation. Just read what David writes in Psalms 5 and you will see clearly how God feels about intimacy.
“Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well. Should your springs flow in the streets, streams in the public squares? They should be for you alone and not for you to share with strangers. Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth. A loving deer, a graceful doe - let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever. Why, my son, would you lose yourself with a forbidden woman or embrace a wayward woman?”
Now we can dig into the metaphors at length another time, but it’s pretty plain to see that God wants us to “be lost in her love forever”. Translation, pursuing intimacy with your spouse is a lifelong thing.
So God created sex. He blessed the relationship between a husband and a wife with this incredible gift of connection. This connection is on a level that should not be experienced between any two other human beings. Yet somehow this gift often turns into a burden and place of unhealth for many marriages. Why?
In the book, Two Becoming One, we spend all of chapter 12 discussing the issue. Marital intimacy deteriorates for a number of reasons including:
1.) Lack of prioritizing
2.) Poor communication
3.) Distorted views of sex
4.) Past sexual sin
6.) Misunderstanding motivations
7.) Little or no instructions
The book digs into these areas and it’s definitely worth investing the time to identify which struggles your marriage might be experiencing.
So what does the Bible suggest to help overcome these challenges? There are lots of verses that speak to it, but Paul has some very practical tips for us in the following scriptures.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5
“A husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
If you missed it, there is a clear warning in the passage above about refusing to be intimate with your spouse. Now let me be clear that there are some relational health parameters that are assumed here. Things will never be perfect in your marriage, but if there is any form of abuse then you should seek biblical counsel about what intimacy should look like in your marriage.
That aside, we give the enemy a foothold in our marriage by denying intimacy. He seeks to steal and kill your marriage, and a lack of sexual health is an open door for attack. So husbands and wives HAVE to make it a priority.
“Any couple expecting enduring sexual satisfaction must set aside time for developing their sexual relationship. The issue here is not to establish a standard for the number of times to have intercourse per week. Instead, the focus is to have regular, mutually-satisfying sexual contact.” (Two Becoming One, pg. 163)
The rest of chapter 12 in the book gives some great suggestions about ways to make this happen. For each couple reading this you can ask a few questions.
- Am I speaking love and blessing over my wife regularly so she feels cherished and valued?
- Am I making non-sexual physical contact with my wife so that she doesn’t feel used when I do desire sex?
- Am I communicating in a non-frustrated way my desire for intimacy? Tip: Don’t wait to get turned down to share your desire for sex. The worst time to talk about it.
- Am I investing time to learn what pleases my wife and make her a priority during our intimacy?
- Am I willing to invest in date nights and special times away from the kids to help my wife feel special and increase her likelihood for desiring sex?
- Am I showing my husband respect and honor regularly so he feels loves and valued?
- Am I making effort to engage him in non-sexual physical contact or am I leaving it all up to him?
- Am I communicating in advance my emotional and physical state of readiness for intimacy? Tip: If you know he wants sex then don’t wait till bed time to say you’re not in the mood.
- Am I investing time to prepare my heart and mind for regular sex with my husband?
- Am I will to invest time and energy to prioritize sex by sometimes taking the initiative?
Remember God created marriage and He can make it work. God also created sex and if we will be obedient to His ways and His plan we can have healthy, vibrant intimacy in our marriages. No matter how long you’ve been married you can experience the gift of sex. Keep it spicy in ’21!
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