Sexuality Within the Christian Marriage

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One of the most neglected topics of discussion in the Christian Church is sex…at least, sex within marriage. This is shocking and appalling considering the Bible does not shy away from sexual references at all. In fact, the Bible commands married couples to engage in sex.

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That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Sex is the culmination and ultimate expression of love and marriage, but so many Christians refuse to talk about it. In fact, many times we are more comfortable talking about what is sexually immoral, and we sometimes forget that sex is something we are supposed to be doing, as long as the context is right.

So What Happened?

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To make a long story short, there were a number of saints and writers who, due to their own sexual compulsions and issues began to speak out against sex, condemning it as something inevitable and necessary, but not something to be enjoyed. Sex was to be disconnected from pleasure and celebration and only used for procreation.

Over time, though attitudes about sex may have become more liberal, married couples still suffer from sexual problems.  A sexless marriage can leaves spouses feeling rejected, lonely and distant from their spouse. Failure to be able to fully please one’s spouse sexually leads to diminished self-concept and sexual anxiety. Lack of physical intimacy leaves spouses with little respect, love and communication with one another. And we wonder why the divorce rate in the US is over 50%.

Being Sexually Connected in Marriage

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Sex is vital to marriage. Let me say that again. SEX IS VITAL TO MARRIAGE. Paul explains the importance of having sex with your spouse in the New Testament:

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive each other except perhaps 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.” 1 Corinthians 7:4-5

Being sexually obedient to God’s word in marriage means that you should be having sex! The problem is, many of us are not. Many of us settle into the “routine” of marriage and forget about our sexuality completely. If this is you, you are living in sin. That’s right, if you are married and you aren’t having sex, you are sinning, according to the Word. Your sexuality is a gift to you from God, and it is a shame to let it fade away.

Making a Change

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If you are living in a sexless marriage, or you are not having pleasurable sexual experiences with your spouse, there is hope!

 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

As the Creator of sex, God will always provide a solution for your marriage so that you can fully enjoy His gifts. But, this may mean making some big changes to your attitude and your actions.

1. There is no such thing as normal sex.

That’s right. However you do it, you’re doing it right. The Bible gives very few rules regarding sex in marriage. We know that sex should be for marriage (Galatians 5:19), between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), we should respect the boundaries of our spouse (1 Peter 3:7), we are to maintain control of our sexual impulses so as not to develop an unhealthy addiction (Proverbs 25:28) and that we shouldn’t push our spouse to do something that would compromise their beliefs (Romans 14:1).

Sometimes, people recoil from certain sexual acts because they call them “dirty” or “kinky” or “weird”. The truth is, if you and your spouse agree to try something (even if it’s weird) and you enjoy it, it is certainly ok for you to try during sex as long as it follows the basic guidelines. So by all means, experiment and add some variety to your sex life!

2. Sexual growth is key.

Don’t remain sexually stagnant in your marriage. Your body will change and so will your spouse’s. Something that may have been your go-to years ago (or even weeks ago) may no longer be pleasing to you. Be willing to make changes to accommodate your changing body and emotional state. Touch, kiss and taste new places on your spouse’s body and don’t be afraid to do something new. It is when sex becomes boring that you start drifting towards a sexless marriage.

3. Bring your sexuality outside the bedroom.

No, I don’t mean sex in public. What I mean here is allowing your sexual being to become a part of who you are all the time, not just in the bedroom. This is the problem I have with the attitude of modesty. If you are modest in your marriage, you’ll never experience sexual freedom and intimacy. Sexy texts, wearing sexy underwear under your clothes, writing sexy notes or using sexy “code” words when out and about are all ways to bring your sexuality out of the bedroom.

When we confine sexuality to what we do in the bedroom, it makes it hard to attach to it as part of who we are and it becomes something that we do.

4. Know thyself and communicate that with your spouse.

Be willing to examine your own sexual needs and wants. Fantasize about things you could try with your spouse. Get to know

 

your sex organs and what feels good and what may feel good coming from your spouse. Read Song of Solomon and see what parts you find most appealing.

Then tell your spouse what you find. Albeit sometimes uncomfortable, we have to communicate our sexual needs to our spouses. Most people are desperate to know what will please their spouse sexually. Don’t withhold that information from them and expect them to be able to please you sexually.

5. Let go of anxiety.

You are good enough no matter the outcome of sex. Your spouse enjoys sex with you, no matter what happens. Your sex organs are attractive no matter how they look that day. These are things you have to remember if you want to cultivate your sexuality. Performance anxiety is one of the things that makes people avoid sex in marriage. Learn to stop focusing on what is happening during sex, and learn to appreciate your spouse and focus on how it is feeling. Sex is about connection and intimacy, so it doesn’t matter if you have a few extra pounds or if you didn’t shave that day.

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God is not shy about sex, and we shouldn’t be either. Sex is something beautiful and pleasurable and is a gift that was meant to be shared by married couples. We spend so much time boxing it in and judging it that this fact is easily forgotten. Your spouse desires and deserves your body sexually. So learn to appreciate and accept your God-given gift.

About Bonnie

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My name is Bonnie and I am a Christian wife, mother of two young children and a Professional Counselor. My passion is helping women discover and cultivate their Godly sexuality and to help men support, encourage and uplift their wives as they do. I blog at Love, Marriage and Sex, where I provide marriage advice, sex tips and how to intertwine your faith with your sexuality. I also tackle some of the tough sexual questions that many are afraid to address from a Scriptural viewpoint. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest!

 

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Comments

  1. Hello I’m a married man age 47. I’ve struggled all my married life for a healthy sex life. 90% of the time I want it but my wife don’t care . Anytime I touch her, as in put my hands on her waist or touch her but she thinks I’m only after 1 think. I try to talk to her. I try to make small talk yet she doesn’t communicate. I’m a normal man with a strong sex drive yet my wife feels I’m abnormally weird. Or perverted, or unhealthy. God’s word is clear for us to have sex. But no matter how I try or say, or do. It tares me apart inside. How can I get my wife to want me sexually. And don’t take it the wrong way I’m not being a selfish man seeking to meet my own needs. I want to experience my wife intimately and not be made feel dirty. I read of all the great marriages in the comments. And feel as if the church has really lacked in this teaching. Or they just skim the topic enough for everyone to joke or falsely brag about their sex. I’m a hurting man that needs my wife yet she tells me I don’t need her, I need More of God. I love Christ and try to be the man of Christ wants but I do fail. What’s your encouraging words. My wife says I need therapy she don’t. In which I will I just think we both need it. We listen to Smalleys teachings yet when something is said in my favor. He’s wrong.

    • Hi Troy, we appreciate you stopping by. From your comment, it seems you are in are in a frustrating place. I’d encourage you to check out Shelia Gray’s resource about developing a healthy sex life here. Additionally, you might also consider going to counseling alone as a therapist may be able to provide some insights. While one only has the ability to change themselves, a partner’s response can be influenced by both prayer and seeing changes in oneself. Praying for you and your wife as you navigate this challenge.

  2. I’ll bet you’ve helped a lot of people with this post. I never thought about why we do not teach, guide or discuss married couples on sex. It’s personal, but not secret when confined to God’s plan.

    This article is thought-provoking for a lot of reasons. You’ve likely challenged many ministry leaders to consider why this subject isn’t taught in safe, church circles. We teach about money/stewardship and other relevant life topics. Why shouldn’t the sexual component of marriage also be part of (particularly) a marriage ministry within the church?

    • Hi Godsygirl, Bonnie’s article had definitely resonated with many readers. Which let us know it’s a topic that many people are looking for to hear more on from a Christ-centered focus. I hope that it will be a topic that others will speak about as well. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Found this post through the wrap up of 2014’s top posts. I want to stand up and cheer! I am married, and was incredibly blessed to find the person who would be my husband at a young age and thankfully he is my only sexual partner. I sometimes feel like I am the ONLY Christian woman who actually enjoys sex and believes sex should be a priority of marriage. If sex is mentioned at all within the church, it is usually pushed as a duty/chore that women HAVE to do to keep those weak & kinky men satisfied, only good for keeping them faithful or making babies. I don’t understand why the push is to ignore the female sex drive, but thank you for helping to break some of the taboo around the topic!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Crazy how Christian sex went from Godly gift to unspoken “taboo”. Many men and women need to talk about it, as it can cause significant problems in marriage.

  4. Dear Bonnie.. I think what you said is true.. most religious people think sex to be some sort of sin instead of understanding that it was a gift from God to bring spouses together in love. And I appreciate you for being bold enough to say this..

  5. Nice post! I think sex in marriage is very important- we actually made a resolution this year to have sex at least once a week all year… with two kids our time gets put on the back burner so we are working on it.

    • Thank you Savanna! And what a great resolution. I also have two young children so I know how sex can get pushed aside. I’m glad you have a sex positive attitude though. It will go a long way in helping you maintain intimacy in your marriage!

    • Hi Amy! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog and congratulations on your recent wedding! I’ll certainly return the follow. I don’t use bloglovin but I hit you up on Twitter and Pinterest! Good luck with your blog!

    • I’m right there with Amy. I’m getting married in 6 months and want my soon-to-be marriage to blossom (knowing sexuality will be a big part of that throughout the years). Beautiful insight. I will be following you on your blog journey:)

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