Living in an over-sexualized culture, we hear messages about sex, wrong messages. These messages become more a part of us than God’s truth because we hear them repetitively and churches are scared to address sexuality.
For too long, I believed the world’s message about sex. That it’s a superficial, feel-good avenue to self-satisfaction. Wrong, partly. God did design sex to feel good!
But, there is more than that. He designed it for profound spiritual, physical, and emotional connection. It is just a shadow of things to come.
God’s design of sex is too amazing to keep silent about.
Here are five truths about God’s design of sex in marriage.
God designed sex to be bonding.
Not only spiritually bonding, but emotionally and physically. When the two become one flesh, biochemicals are released in our bodies like oxytocin and dopamine. Oxytocin, especially, is a bonding chemical. When I embraced this truth and started engaging in the marriage bed more, the tone of our marriage completely changed.
“This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh,” Genesis 2:24 (NIV).
God designed sex for both husband and wife to experience pleasure.
It’s an equal opportunity activity. Why else would there be a clitoris? It’s only function is for pleasure. The Song of Solomon is full of beautiful poetic language about the pleasures of physical love for both spouses.
If one spouse struggles with the ultimate moment, there are Christian resources available to help the couple understand how to achieve mutual enjoyment.
“The mandrakes send out their fragrance, and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old, that I have stored up for you, my beloved,” Song of Solomon 7:13 (NIV).
God designed sex so that we would know yearning.
Before you were married, you yearned for your fiancé. Not only did you crave your fiance’s touch, you craved his/her presence and knowing him/her better. Even after years of marriage, it is good to remember this yearning. It mirrors how God desires us to yearn for him. I believe this is one reason he frequently uses the marriage as a symbol of his relationship with us throughout the Bible.
“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?” James 4:5 (NIV).
God designed the marriage bed to be a place to show the fruit of the Spirit.
Peace, patience, love, joy, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control are the foundation of all Christian life, especially the marriage bed. All conflict surrounding the marriage bed can be managed through employing these key traits.
My own marriage endured a long season of mismatched sex drives. It was through these qualities and some wise communication tools that we overcame our conflict.
God designed sex as a powerful mystery.
Biblical stories of sex often confused me when I was young. There was some nasty stuff in the old testament, the rape of Dinah, Lot and his daughters, the men of Gibeah clammering for the male visitor, Leviticus 20. And yet, there is the beautiful Song of Solomon. The New Testament seemed to prefer celibacy, to be honest. As a teenager, I couldn’t understand why I liked thinking about sex if it was disgraceful and violent.
But, as an adult, I realized the stories were teaching me that sexual intimacy is powerful and mysterious. It’s OK not to have it all figured out, as long as you respect the power it holds to do good when it is aligned with God’s perfect design.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8-9.
Don’t let the world’s message of cheap sex destroy the meaningful sex in your marriage. Sex may only be a small portion of the whole of your marriage. However, sex matters. It especially matters if one spouse is more interested than the other. When we ignore its power and importance in marriage, the relationship suffers.
Now, granted chronic health issues can affect sexual function and that’s a more complicated story.