Physical Intimacy in Marriage
February 21, 2022
1 Corinthians 7:3-5, AMP
“The husband must fulfill his [marital] duty to his wife [with good will and kindness], and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have [exclusive] authority over her own body, but the husband shares with her; and likewise the husband does not have [exclusive] authority over his body, but the wife shares with him. Do not deprive each other [of marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves [unhindered] to prayer, but come together again so that Satan will not tempt you [to sin] because of your lack of self-control.”
One of the things that clearly sets the Biblical marriage apart from other human relationships is the physical intimacy that exists in it. One of the fundamental designs for the relationship between the husband and wife is that they are to have sex with one another. The act of sexual intercourse is the most intimate physical relationship that two people can have. Sex was created by God as a symbol of the closeness and intimacy that he desires to have with us. We know that every good and perfect gift comes from God our Father and because He has created each of us, male and female, and has created the marriage relationship and the sexual intimacy that is a part of it, we can have confidence that sex, as designed by God and performed in accordance with that design, is good, holy, and right. However, as with everything, the sin of humans as perverted God’s design.
I believe a strong argument could be made that sex has been a target of the enemy from the beginning and because of this, it has become one of the most abused and sin filled areas of human existence. Entire nations and cultures have risen and fallen all because of the perversion of sex. Entire industries have come into existence based on the temptation and desire for sex. But this is all perversion. Sex is designed to be experienced in one way and one way only, that is in a marriage relationship between one biological male and one biological female who are both in submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Any other way in which sex is practiced is a sin in the eyes of the Lord. There are no exceptions and no loopholes.
When sex is practiced in the confines of its original intent and design, it is not an unholy act or compromise, it is a holy act that is righteous before the Lord. When a husband and wife come together in physical intimacy it is an act of worship unto the Lord. God speaks extensively on this topic. In fact, the act of a husband and wife making love is the only action that has an entire book of the Bible dedicated to describing it. The Song of Songs is a book of deeply meaningful and poetic symbolism. There is no doubt that what is described provides us with a beautiful image of the way that we are to love Jesus and the way that He loves us, but make no mistake about it, the actions that are being described in Song of Songs and that demonstrate this picture, are the actions of a husband and wife making love to each other. Because of this, the enemy hates Biblical sex. He does not desire for husbands and wives to have sex. He will do all that he can to stop this from happening because he knows what it symbolizes when it is done in a God honoring way. He also knows that when a husband and wife are engaging in physical intimacy as prescribed by God, he is much less capable of bringing division, distraction, and temptation into the marriage relationship.
What does all of this mean for the marriage relationship then? We as couples should simply ask ourselves this question, are we honoring God in his design for sexual intimacy? This does not have anything to do with the frequency with which we have intimacy, but instead the condition of our heart, mind, and spirit as we engage in it. Have we allowed any areas of perversion or temptation to enter our minds or our beliefs? Have we compromised in anyway the original and holy design for marital intimacy? Do we recognize the importance and sincerity that should exist in the physical relationship between husband and wife, and as a result, honor each other in the way that God has prescribed? Take this as an opportunity to review your own thoughts and actions and seek the Lord to help you move closer to His design for marital intimacy.