This is the second last of a series in which I’ve looked at seven aspects of building a strong relationship. As a teenager, I was given a Christian book that covered a whole range of subjects but the first chapter was all about sex. The author argued that he dealt with it at the front because most teens would flip to that chapter first anyhow. Sex is a popular topic!
In a book I have recently read about marriage, the subject of good sex is one of the last chapters. This isn’t because sex is considered unimportant but because good sex in a relationship is dependent upon a whole lot of other relational aspects. Sex will also affect every other part of marriage.
Unfortunately, some people get the idea that the God of the Bible is against sex. This is far from the truth. God invented sex and he made it very good. He designed us to be attracted to each other as husband and wife. He gave us the ability to express our love for each other in a sexual way, holding nothing back and hiding from each other.
Sadly, the church in the past has promoted some wrong, unbiblical ideas about sex. In the fourth century Augustine spoke of the “shame that attends all sexual intercourse”. Others had the strange idea that when a married couple had sex, God left the room! People even thought that the less sex they had the better. This is exactly the opposite of God’s Word, which talks of a married couple’s sexual relationship, advising that they “not deprive themselves from one another” in 1 Corinthians 7. God designed us to love one another through sexual intercourse in marriage. He is not somehow surprised or shocked by our enjoyment of it, but he is saddened by our misuse of it.
Today we live in a sex-saturated society. The most common spam e-mail I get is the one that tries to sell me Viagra! Sex is overdone and over-emphasised. It prompted a British newspaper to run a recent story title “Why sex isn’t sexy anymore”. Society promises that sex will deliver us the world, the ultimate happiness and of course, it fails to satisfy people’s over inflated expectations.
So here I’ll list four Biblical principles to help build a fulfilling sexual relationship.
Firstly, sex is a powerful force. It is not just a physical act. Sex, whether we intend it to or not, affects us deeply at the emotional, psychological and spiritual levels. Sex is designed by God to be a powerful expression of the exclusive and committed relationship between a man and a woman in marriage.
Secondly, the Bible says that sex is designed for a lifetime of discovery. There is a beautiful erotic poem in the Bible in the Song of Songs. In the poem, the love making matures as the relationship grows and deepens. Proverbs, another book of the Bible, tells a man to “rejoice in the wife of your youth…may her breasts satisfy you always, may you be ever captivated by her love”. Lifetime commitment brings deepening sexual delight.
Thirdly, sex is an essential ingredient in any marriage relationship. The Bible tells married couples not to deprive themselves from one another.
Fourthly, sex from a Biblical point of view is an act of giving. Sex involves working at bringing pleasure to your spouse. In contrast, in our society, sex is often seen as being merely about self fulfillment. But giving of yourself in sex leads to fulfillment and this is how God intended it to be.
The Bible lists various characteristics of great lovers. Six of these are: