To the Married – Should You Be Having Sex?
Should You Be Having Sex?
To the Married – Should You Be Having Sex?
I don’t know about you, but anytime I turn on a TV show, scroll through Facebook, or start a movie it seems that sex is talked about far too much. Men always want it. Women want it. It goes with hamburgers and we need medications to enhance it. It’s what is motivating everyone all the time.
Or is it?
In a world where the media would have you believe the only thing on our minds is, or should be, is sexual intimacy, married couples are saying something different.
This is not about how the world pushes having relationships outside of a God-designed marriage (although, that would make a great post for later!).
The question for today is, “Should You be Having Sex?”
My friend Helene over at MaidservantsofChrist and I are pairing up to tackle the subject of the sexual relationship. Who should be having one and who should not. If you are not yet married, Helene’s post is written especially for you. You can check it out here – Should I be having sex?
Satan in the Bedroom
There is a dichotomy at work. Married people who want to be desired by and intimate with their spouse vs married people who do not want to be bothered with intimacy because of the course of their normal day. Same people. Depends upon the conversation which side they take.
I want to encourage each of us today that we can take care of the first problem (wanting to be desired and have intimate time with your spouse) by changing our attitude regarding sexual intimacy and how it relates to the second problem (not wanting to be bothered by it after a hard day).
Having ample reasons for not being up to intimacy is a common thing. One person just decides for both people that being close in that way is not going to happen. Feelings are hurt. Confidence is crushed. And sex becomes an afterthought to all the other worries of the day.
This is not how God intended things to be! Satan has been spoon-feeding us lies and we are eating them up like candy. All the while our conscience is telling us something is wrong. That little voice in our head that reminds us that we want to be close, then Satan sends that other voice that reminds of the hurt that was created the other day, by words, actions, forgotten things, whatever it may be. Now we’re choosing to not access what is ours for the taking because we allowed Satan to put huge cracks in part of the foundation of our marriage.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up – to the beginning.
Should you be having sex?
Married women, today I am speaking to you.
So, if you are married, how would you answer the question, “Should you be having sex”?
It seems it would be obvious that married people would not have a problem here – but we have already established that many do. Busy lives, health issues, kids sleeping (or not sleeping), work, stress, etc. are ready to hand reasons for neglecting this part of the marriage relationship.
But wait a minute – after a day of chasing children, working all day outside of the home, working all day from home, cleaning house, health issues of your own, caring for a family member with health issues, you name it – we are TIRED.
Believe me, I get it. In a later post, we will talk about how to handle the realities of life about this subject.
But stick with me for a few minutes as we focus on the principles that should be our foundation for this subject first.
Over in My Favorite Advice for New Wives, I share three verses I believe worth keeping in mind as a wife.
Those three verses are:
- Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 as a reminder to keep God at the forefront of everything we do, every choice we make.
- Matthew 7:12 which tells us to treat others the way we would want to be treated.
- and Acts 5:1-10 which serves as a reminder to every wife that being submissive does not include going along with things that are sinful.
These verses alone would lay a great foundation for our attitude toward the sexual relationship.
- God created us and the sexual relationship. If we want to please Him, we should heed His will in this matter.
- If I treat my husband the way I want to be treated, then I’m going to do all I can to fulfill his needs and wants. After all, that’s what I would like him to do for me.
- Studying to be aware of what falls into appropriate behavior in this area, and what does not, will help me to have no fear of enjoying the relationship that is healthy and beneficial for us both. It will also help me to have no fear to refuse what is sinful in nature. Both aspects help to protect a precious marriage.
So, we’re done, right?
Don’t go yet, I’ve got a few more pieces to consider for building up a strong foundation for the intimate part of the marriage relationship.
IN THE BEGINNING
Genesis 2:22-24 reads,
“The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
God created man and then created a helper “suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). Moses gives commentary on that creation and the Woman having been made from a part of Man by saying, “for this reason…they shall become one flesh”.
Jesus confirms this in Matthew 19:4-6 when dealing with questions concerning divorce. He took them back to the beginning to show what God intended.
Since the beginning of all things, marriage was two whole people coming together forming “one flesh”. When God created woman as a “helper suitable” He designed her to complete man. Scripture bears out that is done physically as they are made to fit one another (Mt. 19:5), emotionally as they are to love and understand one another (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:7), intellectually they support one another (Prov. 31:11-12, 25-30; 1 Sam. 25:14-19, 23-35; Acts 18:2-3; 19:26) and spiritually as each is an equal in the sight of God in all things religious (Gal. 3:28).
The sexual relationship is only one part of that becoming “one flesh”, but it is just as vital as the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual aspects of the relationship. The act of becoming “one flesh” is the illusion God uses for the whole of the relationship. The physical part is the first thought.
Blessings only found in Marriage
The importance of the sexual relationship is seen in the fact that God shows us the attitude we are to have towards it BEFORE marriage and AFTER marriage.
Anticipation before Marriage
The sexual relationship is something to be eagerly anticipated and prepared for before marriage.
Song of Solomon shows us the beautiful story of a young woman, not yet married, who must choose between two very different men. When she was brought to Solomon’s tents (Song of Sol. 1:4, 12) she left behind a young Shepherd whom she already loved (Song of Sol. 2:16-17; 5:10-16; 6:2-3).
Through the course of the book we learn how the Shepherd and the Shulammite are both ready to care for one another (Song of Sol. 4:8-15; 4:16; 5:10-16; 7:10-13). They anticipate hard work, kind words, and physical pleasure in their marriage.
While remaining pure (Song of Sol. 4:12; 7:13; 8:10, 12) they had a wholesome expectation of their relationship once married. They knew that what was forbidden now, would be readily accessible in their married life.
Continued interest long after the wedding
This attitude of anticipation of enjoyment is shown throughout marriage in the scriptures.
Proverbs 5:15-19 speaks of a man being satisfied and exhilarated with the wife of his youth, and the context is explicitly (though modestly) sexual.
Genesis 21:1-2 shows Sarah and Abraham being able to conceive at an advanced age. The opening of her womb beyond the normal age for bearing children was the only miracle though. Faith came into play because Sarah trusted that when she and Abraham were together as a man and wife should be, God would provide a child where before only disappointment had been before (Heb. 11:11).
In Genesis 26:6-11 we see Isaac and Rebekah caught in a lie because of the way they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other, and Isaac was at least 75 years old at this time.
Luke 1:5-25, 57-66 gives us the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth becoming the parents of John even though “advanced in years”. Just like with Abraham and Sarah, the miracle was the womb being opened. The rest of what was necessary took care of itself.
Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the marriage bed is honorable and is to be undefiled.
As Proverbs 30:18-19 says, one of life’s wonderful mysteries is “the way of a man with a maid”.
Repeatedly in scripture, the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is shown to be anticipated and enjoyed. Why are we allowing Satan to feed the idea that this part of marriage is just going to go away? Let’s choose to see God’s picture instead and begin to live it!
Something Vital that needs Aggressive Protection
As we have seen so far, marriage is intended to be where the needs and wants are safely and righteously met.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul makes it clear that, in his opinion, it is better to stay unmarried, especially if there is a lot of religious persecution going on around you. (1 Cor. 7:7-8, 26-27, 32-34). Yet, he also realizes that people need to be married to give an outlet to their physical desires (1 Cor. 7:9).
That right there puts the importance of keeping intimacy within the marriage state. Paul leaves no room for it outside of marriage.
It is either stay unmarried and do not have a physically intimate relationship (Mt. 19:11-12; 1 Cor.7:8-11, 34) OR marry so you can take care of those needs (1 Cor. 7:8-9, 35).
He uses the phrases “do not have self-control” and “to burn” to describe how fierce this need might be for some. God recognizes those needs and He has provided a way to relieve them – marriage! Paul even points out in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 that this aspect of marriage is a worldly concern that spouses must spend energy to focus on.
Paul makes it very plain in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 that because of sexual immorality and temptations, husbands and wives are NOT to deprive one another of this part of their relationship. It is vital!
God is so good at covering all the bases though. He understands that there may be times when it just is not possible to meet this need. Verse 5 tells us what to do when we may need to adjust. Check it out –
“Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Except by agreement
The attitude we are to have is that this aspect of marriage is so vital, so needed, that we will only pull away from it out of absolute necessity.
Communication needs to happen. Ugly words and attitudes should have no place in the marriage, and certainly not regarding this deeply personal part of it.
A submissive and loving wife (Eph. 5:22; Titus 2:4) is going to know her husband’s needs and will meet them. As part of being that warrior who is keeping her house and family safe, she is going to make sure that there is no room for temptation in this aspect of her relationship with her husband.
A loving husband (Eph. 5:29) is going to nourish and cherish his wife, which would include all sides of their relationship. He is going to understand her needs and see to their being met (1 Pet. 3:7).
A focus for both the husband and the wife (1 Cor. 7:4, 34) is to make sure that the other is not caused to be tempted because of a lacking for sexual intimacy.
Therefore, part of your day needs to be making sure you are prepared to take care of this just as surely as you take care of putting dinner on the table for the family.
If there is some reason you cannot, see to it that a discussion will take place to figure out how long of a pause will be given. That pause may only be one night. Fine. Give your husband the honor of acknowledging him and this part of your relationship. The conversation may be subtle, but it needs to be understood by both of you. Then make sure that part of your prayers includes asking God to help you to correct whatever got in the way today so that it will not be in the way tomorrow.
So, what’s the answer?
It says in 1 Corinthians 7:34, “…but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”
- be a mother.
- be a grandmother.
- have a job outside of the house.
- work from home in addition to keeping the home.
- be a stay at home wife who doesn’t yet have children.
IF you are married – young or old – pleasing your husband IS one of the things you are commanded by God to do.
The choice of whether to fulfill this responsibility or not was made when you agreed to marry. You had the option to remain single and unencumbered. You chose otherwise. The choice now is how hard you are going to work to preserve this part of your marriage. Being vigilant and intentional is going to make things easier.
When Satan starts bringing up things to get in the way of your intimate time with your husband – see it as an ATTACK on your marriage and both of your souls.
It is to be fought back with the truth of God’s word. You do this by obeying His commands that you come together. When that’s not possible, by praying to Him for help in the times when you cannot. It is not to be ignored or pushed aside as unimportant.
Being tired, having low interest, the busy schedule, stress, sleepless nights with children, etc. these are excuses that keep you from putting first things first. Satan has plenty more of these to feed you. Stop eating them! They only lead to selfishness, hurt, and danger for your heart and your marriage.
My deepest wish is for those who are married to enjoy the richest blessings from the Lord in that relationship. Nowhere else can we righteously anticipate the beautiful fulfillment that comes from the sexual relationship.
The answer to the question, “Should you be having sex?” is YES!
After years of being single and time spent anticipating it, in marriage, we GET to participate in this beautiful act! In marriage, we are BLESSED by having this connection! This is not something that should be shelved easily.
Ladies, as KEEPERS we are WARRIORS! Put your armor on, pick up the Word of God, and fight off the attack of Satan against your soul. Satan wants to break down the confidence you and your husband have with one another. This breaks down your trust that God has given you things that are good for you.
Do NOT give your marriage, your heart, your spouse’s soul, nor your own soul over to Satan’s lies. Own the rightness of the sexual relationship in marriage. Be confident that making time for this is GOOD for you and your spouse. Be assured that children who have parents who care for one another and meet each other’s needs are happier children.
Take on the attitude that God made this part of marriage and that makes it VALUABLE. Things of value need to be guarded and nourished. See your soul and your husband’s soul as needing no more temptation by the neglect of this part of marriage.
In the beginning, God created marriage so Man would not be alone. That relationship is ultimately defined by the sexual intimacy granted to a husband and wife.
Consistently through scripture, we see sex within a marriage as good and sex outside of marriage is always bad.
God goes specifically to the topic of choosing to deprive one another and He says DO NOT DO IT.
With that attitude move with intention in each day to in SOME way to show affection to your spouse. Do something that keeps alive the sparks that are meant to burn between you. In some seasons that fire will burn hot and some seasons it will need help to stay lit. Determine to NEVER allow it to burn out. Tell all of the “voices” that tell you not to be intentional in this way to “Get behind me Satan!”
You, your marriage, and your relationship with God are all WORTHY of attention being given to this glorious part of marriage.
Yes! Thank you for sharing. This article is jam-packed with scriptural truths!
I’ve been there- tired, overwhelmed, under appreciated, etc. But it truly is so important that we not foresake the marriage bed.
So glad you find it encouraging! Life likes to get in the way, but just a little vigilance on our part can make a huge difference!
I understand life happens for us all, however, I do not understand not having sex in marriage. Sex builds a strong bond between a husband and wife. It’s the Gorilla Glue to the marriage. Would love it if you’d check out my latest post.
I agree with you! I read your most recent post about the misconception of “waiting” until marriage. Well said! Sexual morality at any time should be our sacrifice to the Lord first and foremost. I look forward to exploring your other writings.
I’m wondering what your response would be to a couple who has the opposite problem from this- ie the woman has the desire and the husband does not and, therefore, the wife’s physical needs are not being met. Thanks!
Hello Susan! I would first say, I understand, and she is not alone. I read recently that at least a quarter of all couples struggle with this situation – the woman’s interest being more than the man’s. And it is not usually a case of misapplied interest on his part (pornography, other partners, etc). It’s just not that unusual for some men to not have the extreme drive that is often portrayed. Most men, fall into the middle. So, I would tell her not to despair and not to feel unwomanly because of the situation. I believe the answer is… Read more »