Summary: Sexual intimacy in marriage
Keep The Home Fires Burning
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Last week we examined this one verse of Scripture. It’s found in the book of Genesis and it gives us God’s blueprint for the home. That verse helps us to lay a solid foundation for a lasting marriage.
We said there were 3 key words in that passage.
The first key word is Leave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother.” A husband and wife are to leave all other relationships so that their commitment may be fully to one another.
[Hold up two ropes—one in each hand.]
The second key word is Cleave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” A husband and wife are to be joined together. They are to be cemented, welded, glued, or tied together in their marriage relationship. You know—tying the knot! [Tie one end of the two ropes together.]
The third key word is Weave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The husband and wife are to knit their hearts and lives together in oneness and partnership. [Intertwine the ropes together.]
This weaving—this uniting of two lives together—involves all aspects of the relationship. A husband and wife are to weave spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. And this physical weaving includes sexual union. And it is this part of the marriage relationship that we want to consider this morning.
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 7. We have been working our way through the book of 1 Corinthians passage by passage. We have now come to 1 Corinthians chapter 7 where Paul addresses the topic of sex in marriage. I know that this is a challenging subject to deal with in a mixed group. The subject of sex is usually something we talk about in private—not in a church service. And it would be easy to skip over and to ignore this section of the Bible. But God has called us to know the whole counsel of the Word of God. And so it would be wrong to gloss over this portion of Scripture. Sexual intimacy in marriage is an issue that Paul needed to address with the congregation at Corinth. And so it’s an issue that we need to address with our congregation here at Shiloh.
Paul shares with us 4 guidelines for sex in marriage from 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. Guideline #1 is this:
1. EXPERIENCE SEX ONLY WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Paul writes in verse 2: “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”
You know, sex is a wonderful gift from God. It was designed by God to be a pleasurable experience between husband and wife within the boundary of marriage.
Listen to what the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 13:4: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Sex in marriage is pure—and it is pleasing to God. Sex before marriage is sin—it’s called fornication—and God will judge those involved in it. Sex after marriage with someone other than your spouse is sin—it’s called adultery—and God will judge those involved in it.
I’ve had people ask me, “Doug, is sex sinful?” And my answer to them is: “Yes and No.” It all depends—it all depends on when and with whom. Outside of marriage, sex is a sin. But inside of marriage, it is a wonderful gift from God to be enjoyed by a husband and wife.
So, experience sex only with your spouse. Guideline #2 is:
2. SATISFY YOUR SPOUSE’S SEXUAL NEEDS
Look at verses 3 and 4: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.”
The husband and wife have a marital duty to each other. And in this context, that “marital duty” is sex. Paul is saying that you are to satisfy your spouse’s sexual needs.
Now, Paul does not prescribe how many times a month couples are to engage in sexual relations. The number of times is irrelevant. You should have relations as much, as frequently, as often, or as seldom as your spouse has need. The principle is that both husband and wife are to provide such adequate satisfaction for each other that they not tempted to look outside the marriage to have their needs met.