Summary: Sexual immorality is very seducing. Paul adressed this problem by admonishing the husband and wife to have a fulfilling and enjoying couple relationship.
Theme: THE LONGER, THE SWEETER
Text: 1 Cor. 7:3-5
A. Last January 2005, I received a text message informing me that 2500 Satanists in Africa gathered in a certain place to release curses especially on marriages. Satan knows that the collapse of marital relationship will mean the collapse of the family, community, and the nation.
B. Christians must be aware of this enemy’s diabolic objective toward relationship of couple. We must counter the enemy through more intensified family devotion, prayer partnership, deepening of personal relationship with God, strengthening Christian values in our individual lives, and better orientation on the biblical paradigm of marriage.
I.Q. How would we strengthen and keep the sweetness & intimacy of couple relationship?
T.S. Let’s consider Paul’s advice concerning marital relationship in 1 Cor. 7:3-5
C. Corinth is a commercial city during Paul’s time. Prostitution and sexual immorality were prevalent in the city. The temple of Diana alone employed thousand of prostitutes. Sex is part of their worship service.
-thus the newly-established church in Corinth was exposed to such immoral environment and Paul saw its potential to become a big problem of the church.
-to address this problem, Paul advised the married couple to make their relationship enjoyable and fulfilling so that the temptation to commit immorality would be prevented.
Q.1 –What do we mean by “enjoyable and fulfilling” relationship?
>that both enjoy the presence and company of his/her mate. Both can say “I love to be in your presence”. Literally, being entertained
>that both feel no reluctance to express oneself to his/her mate;
>that both are satisfied with their partnership, no feeling of regrets regardless of the circumstances or of the limitations of the partner;
>that both accept their individual differentiation.
Q.2 –But how to make couple relationship enjoyable and fulfilling?
-Paul’s admonition is:
- “fulfill your duty”
-Paul here was not thinking only of the sexual aspect of couple relationship, but its totality. We shall look to our partner as a person, not a “thing” for which to satisfy our sexual urge.
T.S. There are 4 aspects of your relationship where both of you are responsible to fulfill:
I. The SPIRITUAL ASPECT of your relationship.
-you both have spiritual need;
-you both need prayers and encouragement;
-realize that you both have spiritual struggles and need the support of other;
-it’s not the husband alone who is responsible because the woman is a weaker vessel. Spirituality doesn’t depend on gender; there are women that are stronger than their husbands.
-be a minister to each other. Each should extend a spiritual ministry. This is the spirit of Paul’s command to “bear one another’s burdens” on the couple relationship level.
-If the husband is the “Paul”, the wife is the “Barnabas”.[Note: Paul is preacher, Barnabas is encourager.]
-The Preacher of Ecclesiastes told us that “two are better than one”(Ecc.4: 9-12)
>v.9 –have more resources. They can contribute
each other’s lives;
>v.10-both can find immediate upliftment;
>v.11-both can find immediate encouragement;
>v.12-both can get strength from each other
THUS, couple relationship is meant for spiritual contribution, upliftment, encouragement, edification and strengthening.
II. The PHYSICAL ASPECT of your relationship.
-our basic physical needs are food and shelter. Failure or insufficiency of these needs result to marital and family problem.
-in the Scriptures, the husband is commanded to provide the need of his family, while the good wife in Proverbs is there to prepare. The husband is to seek the provision, the wife for the preparation; the husband “brings in”, the wife “serves in”.
-there can be no enjoyable relationship if no proper provision and preparation for the physical needs of both. To meet the physical needs of the family, two responsibilities are very important: provisionary and preparatory . Failure of any of these will greatly affect the atmosphere of the couple relationship.
-well, in our modern time, both do the same responsibilities. There’s no problem with it, as long as the intimacy is not affected.
III. The SEXUAL ASPECT of your relationship.
-to neutralize the appeal of sexual immorality, Paul advised the couple to “fulfill their marital duty”, that is to meet the sexual need of each other. Many couple did not enjoy sex as God intended it to be because of wrong understanding. Let us look the biblical paradigm on sex to have proper understanding of it:
a. Sex is a gift of God. He made us sexual beings. Its first purpose is reproduction, the second is union. Intimacy of couple relationship is intensified through it.
b. Sex must be enjoyed with propriety.
-it must be within the bounds of marriage;
-it must be out of love, not of lust.
c. Sex is interactive; between two persons responding each
-look at our text what it says –v.4-5: you have no authority of your body but your mate; no depriving. That means, you should freely give yourself to your mate. Be as attractive as you can be to him/her; be as appealing, as romantic, as responsive and affectionate.