Sex & Marriage – Not What You Expected
Movies glam this up. Single people long for it and make jokes about it. Married people typically keep quiet or roll their eyes when the word sex is mentioned. It is a widely shown topic yet a very quiet and secretive one. It has been embellished, abused, and scrutinized. Now for the reality.
Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I thought I’d remind us all of the commitment and beauty of our marriages.
Sex is fragile. Unfortunately, when a marriage goes through difficult times, sex is one of the hardest things to enjoy. It is the first place that the enemy is going to attack. If he can keep you from enjoying the deep intimacy with your spouse, he can get in and cause all sorts of trouble in your marriage.
“Do not deprive one another sexually – except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – 1 Corinthians 7: 5
God designed sex to be wonderful. It is His gift to those in marriage. It is ceremonial. It is beautiful.
Most importantly, it is an act of worship that a husband and wife can give to the Lord.
The most profound moment can happen when a couple prays and asks the Holy Spirit to work in them, and for the Lord to be present in the moment. It reminds the husband and wife how they are one before the Lord. It brings the triangle union of husband, wife, and God to light.
The reality of hard times in a marriage can wear down the focus of sex. It can diminish the desire for it.
Infertility can drain the excitement from wanting to make love. We were meant to procreate. Whether we consciously think about it or not, it plays a part in the passion and draw of sex. The thought of making a miracle of life with your spouse is fascinating. But it is hard to deal with when we see ourselves as broken. How do we move past that thought?
I challenge whichever spouse doesn’t have the fertility issues to show honour and appreciation to the spouse that is struggling. Embrace him or her. Talk about the aspect of her body that you value. Make him feel important and respected. Pray about it together before getting intimate. Take some time to give all your hurt and frustrations to the Lord. Then talk about the aspects you love about each other. The more you emphasize what you love about each other, and the more you give your pain to God, the more you’ll defend your marriage and bring intimacy back. It’ll help you to see what you first loved about one another and will rekindle that passion for the two of you.
Physical disabilities can also greatly hinder the ability to enjoy sex with your spouse. You may want it, but it is physically taxing on the spouse with the disability, which can cause the other to feel guilt each time. No one wants to see his spouse suffer by making love. It should bring pleasure not pain.
It is hard when it’s not really a choice. If you can afford to, try to set special dates where you can be romantic and enjoy sex together. Make sure it is a time when the spouse with the disability will have the needed time to recuperate afterwards. Plan for it. Talk about it. Make it special. The actual act doesn’t have to be long, but the moments around it can be memorable. Then when it’s over, reminisce and share what you enjoyed about it.
Find special ways to show your spouse that you love him. Basic physical touch can go a long way. Whether it is random hugs, light massages, kissing, etc, each physical touch can boost your spouse’s “love tank”. (For more explanation on this, read “The 5 Love Languages”). Leave notes of encouragement and things you love and appreciate about your spouse in random spots for him to find. Send her a text throughout the day that you’re thinking about her. Better yet, send him a text explaining a body part of his that you admire. That’ll perk him up!
Remember that you can still be playful even if you can’t have sex often.
Financial or relationship issues can bring a sense of mistrust into your sexual life. If you don’t trust your partner for some reason, you’re not going to want to expose yourself to him or her. Perhaps this is a good time for you to seek some outside counsel.
Communication is so important in a marriage. You need to talk to your spouse about your struggles. You need to share what your fears and doubts are. If you are self-conscious, search Scripture or talk to someone that can guide you in understanding your true value. The more confidence you have, the more you’ll be able to enjoy.
Sex is one of the most important and sacred things about marriage. We need to protect it. We need to do whatever we can to keep it as a consistent and active component of our marriages.
“A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does.” – 1 Corinthians 7:4
This is not saying that we can treat our spouse any way we like. This verse highlights two people becoming one. It shows the vulnerability we are supposed to have with one another. It acts as a reminder that we need to take care of our bodies. We need to share our bodies with our spouse in a loving and sacrificial way.
I wanted to remind us today of why sex is important and how easy it is to let other things get in the way. We need to keep the Lord as our focal point. We need to keep our spouses as second and remind ourselves to be a bit less attentive to our needs and more to the needs of our spouse.
The more we give of ourselves through touch, intimacy, and sex, the more our marriage will thrive.