Sexual Intimacy in a Marriage is a Gift
This can be such an uncomfortable topic for people to talk about! It is often spoken in hushed tones with discomfort, embarrassment, or even shame.
Somewhere along the line, the understanding of sexual intimacy has become skewed for some couples. And truthfully, some churches!
Unfortunately the topic of sex is often glossed over by parents and pastors. The message then becomes short and curt. It can go something like this, “Don’t do it until you’re married.” With maybe a bit of an anatomy lesson about what in the world they’re talking about. Maybe. (I promise I’ll write a full post on ways to explain sex to your teenager and I’ll add a link to this post!)
As a Christian mental health therapist, I talk a lot about sex with my married couples. Often because it has become a source of contention in their marriage. It has become viewed as a “wifely duty”, a chore, an obligation, or worse a weapon. That is not how sex was intended!
And sexual intimacy doesn’t have to be a taboo topic.
Sexual Intimacy in a Marriage is a Gift from God
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
First, sex was created by God! So how then is that a bad thing? Everything God creates is good, beautiful and with a purpose. Sexual intimacy is no different.
It is when we change or alter the things that God creates that it becomes no longer good. That is why the title is sexual intimacy in a marriage is a gift from God, because that’s how he intended it. It is when sex takes place outside of a marriage union that pain, hurt, and suffering takes place.
In Leviticus 18, God gives Moses a whole list of when and with whom it is not okay to have sexual relations. Why? Because it was specifically designed and created for husband and wife to share together.
Together! Sexual intimacy was not a gift just for men!
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 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. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
To further make this point please acknowledge the physical anatomy of a female. There is no purpose of a clitoris beside producing pleasure for a female. Again, all of God’s creations are intentional. Sexual intimacy is for both husband and wife as a beautiful gift from God.
Sexual Intimacy in a Marriage is a Gift to Your Spouse
Have you ever truly read the book Song of Songs?
I encourage you to do so! It is filled with passion. It is sensuous and erotic between two lovers but never dirty. They go back and forth complimenting each other and telling each other what they would like to do as lovers. There is no shame or guilt in their pleasure and desire for each other. It is about the emotion that the other lover evokes in them.
And it is love the way God desires us to have for our spouse!
Sex is the most physically intimate act you can do with another person which is why it was intended for marriage. Which is the most holiest of unions on earth. In the moment you are truly one flesh as God intended. You are trusting your body with your spouse and being vulnerable and open with your physical desires.
Sex then is also the most emotionally intimate act you can do with your spouse. You are both giving yourself to each other for pleasure and joy. What an amazing gift to your spouse!
When sexual intimacy is not viewed as a gift from God or to your spouse it creates a chasm in your marriage. It can become tainted and loses it’s beauty.
Think about when you were trying to conceive. When the focus of sex got shifted to becoming pregnant as the primary purpose? Did it turn into a duty or a chore? Did other areas of your marriage become tense, too? My heart reaches out to couples who struggle with fertility issues. Not only do they have to endure the pain of not being able to get pregnant but their joy and gift in sexual intimacy often alters and changes.
Sexual intimacy is also so closely tied to other areas of our marriage. When we are not feeling connected in others ways we may not want to be physically connected. At the same time, if we are not experiencing regular sexual intimacy, you may not feel connected to your spouse and other areas become less connected as well. It becomes a cyclical issue.
So take the time to enjoy your spouse physically. Get to know what makes them feel best. We work to do this in all other areas of our spouse’s life, right?
I pray that this post meets you where you are today. I hope that it helps you to view sexual intimacy through the lens of God’s creation and not as something negative or tainted.
For more articles on how to keep your marriage healthy check out Love is a Daily Choice, Why 50/50 Marriages Don’t Work, Why Adventure is Important and a Married Couple, and When You Put Your Marriage First the Whole Family Wins.