Summary: I think every married couple, no matter man or woman or how long they’ve been married WANTS a fulfilling sex life.
I think every married couple, no matter man or woman or how long they’ve been married WANTS a fulfilling sex life. In courtship, especially for Christian couples, it seems that keeping the passion alive will be the LEAST of your problems. That’s because couples who take God’s timeless wisdom seriously are often too busy trying NOT to have sex to worry about the quality and quantity of sexual activity AFTER happily ever after.
- So how is it that with those high expectations, it’s almost universal that in just few years, sometimes even weeks AFTER happily ever, that quality and quantity of sex becomes a real issue?
- Why sexual problems, when we learned last week that God created us sexual beings, made us in his image, MALE and FEMALE? I mean the first thing we learn from scripture is that sex is good and spiritual. Here’s the biblical formula for marriage:
o “A man shall be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. The two were naked and not ashamed.” (Gen 2:24, 25)
There’s something so wonderful in this oneness out of sexual duality that Paul is at a loss for words when commenting on this one verse. “This is a profound mystery” he says. What we can say for sure is that sex is too intense and vulnerable to NOT be contained inside the firm boundaries of marriage.
- “marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure.” (Heb 13:4)
It doesn’t take a genius to realize how many ways we’ve invented to mess this up; ways which bring deep, deep wounds. But even for couples without such wounds, sex still can be a challenge. Why? Well, there’s the stain of sin, which mars God’s good design. And every couple finds out sooner or later, that men and women are wired differently when it comes to sex. We’re not just people with the same thought processes about sex who happen to have different but nicely matching body parts.
Therefore, the most practical instruction in the Bible about sex encourages selfless understanding and giving, to overcome our differences:
- 1 Cor 7:2-5 Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
o Which means, in a sex saturated culture, protecting the sacredness of sex and our own souls means it’s better to be married with a healthy sexual outlet than to try and fight the culture and lose the battle.
- The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
o This is saying that sex is not an add on to a marriage for extra credit! It’s a fundamental part of your covenant. In some sense you might say sex defines marriage because it’s the one thing you don’t do with anyone else.
- 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.
o People who think Paul is some kind of misogynist should take note that that Paul here makes the first statement of sexual equality in the history of the human race! He makes no distinction for gender, both women AND men cede partial control of their bodies to their spouse equally. Wow! If you have issue with this kind of mutual submission, then you have issue with everything Jesus taught us about fulfillment: You do not seek your life to find it, you give UP your life to find it.
- Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent
o When it comes to sex, Paul is saying you are your spouse’s only hope at a happy sex life. And sex is part of the expression of the image of God in them. Deprive them and what are you doing? You are in one sense throwing them to the wolves of an immoral culture. Paul makes the direct connection between sexual fulfillment IN marriage and a decrease in sexual temptation outside of marriage.
o Finally note that Paul makes no nod toward gender here. You may assume that he’s leaning toward male sensibilities, but did you know that in Roman culture in the 1st century it was understood that women were the drivers of sexual lust and couldn’t be trusted alone with the opposite sex? It’s true. In our culture, it’s opposite. So the command in the Bible makes no gender distinction, it’s simply this:
? don’t deny sex from the other.
Now, this is such critical wisdom we need to spend the rest of our time unpacking it. Let’s talk to women first:
FOR HIM SEX CHANGES EVERYTHING
Like all the weeks in this series, we’re going to build off of general male/female differences, and the average married man probably wants more sex with his wife than he gets. According to Jeff and Shaunti Feldman and their survey of over 1000 men and women, 3 out of every 4 men (75%) said they wanted more and better sex than their wives.