31-Day Marriage Devotional
SEX AND MARRIAGE
“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
(1 Corinthians 7:1-2)
Physical intimacy with your spouse requires more. Physical intimacy demands more from two people. You can do many things as a married couple and even pretend to get along, but sex is the litmus test. It is not unusual for a couple to attend church together for 30 years and be miserable in their marriage. Though they can pretend in the public domain, they cannot truly be fake in the privacy of their bedroom.
Intimacy is either right, and your marriage is good, or it is not, and your marriage is in trouble. If your sexual life is struggling, it is because of sin. Sin separates, and the bedroom is the most prominent place where you will perceive this division.
If you do not deal with sin biblically, the tectonic plates of your sex life will shift, and your marriage will be off kilter. No matter what you do, you will be out-of-harmony with each other.
Sin is what happened to our first sexual couple. Sin entered the picture, and it divided Adam and Eve by shame, guilt, and fear, which prompted them to hide from the truth (Genesis 3:7). This one verse explains eloquently, powerfully, and sadly why sex can be such a problem in marriage and why it is an indicator of the deeper problems a couple can experience.
When sin enters, the fig leaves come on, people start hiding from each other, and the desire for vulnerability, exposure, openness, honesty, and transparency vanish. You cannot have biblical physical intimacy while wearing layers of fig leaves. If there is unresolved bitterness, anger, frustration, guilt, disrespect, unforgiveness, hurts, malice, or insensitivity in your marriage, you will be hesitant to become completely vulnerable in physical intimacy with your spouse.
No doubt a man can be mean to his wife and demand sex from her. I am also aware a woman can despise her husband and still have sex with him. Hate or disrespect toward each other does not equal biblical sex. Biblical sex is an uninhibited willingness to unite with another person in God-centered, other-centered unity physically. God-centered sex is the most intimate picture of Christ and His church–fully and comprehensively united as husband and wife (Ephesians 5:28-30).
A poor sexual relationship is a symptom, not a cause. Though the symptom is inside the bedroom, the cause is outside, specifically in your hearts. If you do not fix the real cause, your sexual experience with your spouse will never be right.
Let me illustrate: Suppose Alan slapped Joyce across the face at 5 PM. It is now 10 PM, and Alan wants to have sex. Do you think Joyce can freely give herself to Alan? Though you may have never slapped your spouse, it is possible you have done things that have caused your spouse to put layers on, which restricts your sexual experience.
Time to Reflect:
- When you think about physical intimacy with your spouse, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
- Are you free to be vulnerable with your spouse during physical intimacy? If not, what are the things that impede your mutual transparent relationship?
- Are there things that you brought into your marriage that inhibits you from being sexually free with your spouse? What are those things?
- Are there unresolved issues in your marriage that keep you from uninhibited physical intimacy? What are those things?
Share your reflective thoughts with your spouse. If you cannot share these things with your spouse, please find a competent mentor friend of the same gender to get their perspective. As you share with your mentor, ask the Father to give you the freedom and opportunity to start sharing these things with your spouse. The ultimate goal of this devotional is to talk about the reflection questions freely.
Also published on Medium.