Marrital Intimacy

The Two Becoming One Flesh

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)

Richly enjoying what God has given us

God created marital intimacy and wants us not only to express our love to one another through it, but to richly enjoy it as well (1 Timothy 6:17). For itʼs this act between a man and a woman which can bring about the most intense physical pleasure that two people can ever experience. For itʼs one of those pleasures of life that even brings forth new life (yes, I mean babies). So, this being the case, doesn't it make sense that God would want us to richly enjoy it? For Godʼs word says: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” which means marriage is good for everyone and that sexual intimacy is not to be viewed as dirty, defiling or unholy (Hebrews 13:4). And let us remember we ourselves are here because our parents had a sexual encounter as well. And letʼs thank God they did.

Now that being said, we must keep in mind that people are not always on the same level of faith when it comes to sexual intimacy. For some may limit themselves to some simple basics, while others may have more freedom enjoying themselves on their marriage bed. So that being said, we need to be careful not to put a stumbling block nor a guilt trip on a fellow Christian. What I mean is this; those who limit themselves to the simple basics, should not condemn those who do otherwise. And in the same way, those who indulge in it should not look down on those who donʼt. For we need to take heed to what Godʼs word says and leave all judgment up to God. For it's before Him that we stand or fall; and according to His word, He will make us stand (Romans 14) So, wherever your faith may allow you to go in your sexual intimacy, you should richly enjoy it and give thanks to God for it.

Me, Me, Me (that shouldn't be)

However, we still need to use caution when it comes to this area of physical intimacy. For it can be so easy to take things out of perspective and focus only on ourselves instead of our mate. For we must not overlook the fact that sexual intimacy is to be an act of giving as well as receiving. For we are to focus on bringing pleasure to our spouse who in turn should want to bring pleasure to us. It can truly be a beautiful act when the couple has this attitude of giving to one another. And again, let's not forget that the sexual act between a man and his wife was designed by God to bring children into this world.

So, to take sex out of itʼs intended environment could lead you to a feeling of incompleteness, an emptiness, or even frustration. Thatʼs why we need the Holy Spirit daily to help us put all these things into their proper perspective. His Word tells us to walk after the Spirit so that we can put off the deeds of the flesh. For if you live for pleasure you will die, but if you live for God, he will give you all things to enjoy in their proper time and place (1 Timothy 5:6). Therefore, let us always read and meditate on his Word and be doers of it. Amen.

What about Us

Of course there are those who may struggle with some sexual infirmity that can hamper a normal sexual act. But even here God provides ways for them to richly enjoy the sexual act as well. An example of this would be oral sex which some need to rely on to help get things going (and for some, this may be their only option). Of course these couples may have to get creative in their quest to have children. However, with a little help and cooperation from each other, and utilizing what God has given them, they can work all things out. 

Now, there may be those couples who enjoy a normal sex life but are struggling with conceiving a child. However, that didnʼt stop Abraham and Sarah or even Zachariah and Elizabeth from continuing having sex, even in their old age. And we know in the end that both couples were blessed with a child. So, even in your old age and physical infirmities, don't stop enjoy sex with your spouse. For God is the God of miracles who can make a way for you, no matter what difficulties you may be facing. 

Also, I would like to point out that there are health factors involved in sexual intimacy for both the man and woman. For science has shown that the man's semen contains components that are beneficial for the woman (such as mood enhancers for example). And as for the man, a weekly sexual release can help maintain his prostate and reducing the risk of cancer (see article links below). So whether you are young newlyweds or well seasoned in years, keep enjoy sex with your spouse and give God the glory. Amen

Health for the Woman:

Health for the Man:

The Song of Songs

There is a book in the bible called Song of Songs, which has a beautiful love story between a man and his wife. I encourage all couples to read through its pages and glean from it, asking God's Holy Spirit to bring out its rich meanings. But, be careful of those who may take it out of contexts, trying to making it read in such a way it was meant not. Always test what others may tell you (including what I say) like the those did from Berea who searched out the scriptures to make sure what they were being told was true (Acts 17:10-11). And always interpret scripture with scripture relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth. God help us.

Below are a few passages from the Bible's Song of Songs chapters

  • I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. - Song of Songs 2:1-4
  • A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. - Song of Songs 4:12-15
  • Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. - Song of Songs 4:16
  • My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. - Song of Songs 5:10-16
  • How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; - Song of Songs 7:6-8

Scripture Reference:

  • And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)
  • Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

What about Birth Control?

So what about birth control. Well, Iʼm going to be quite frank with you on this. I believe that the use of birth control is wrong. This would include the use of birth control pills, condoms, vasectomy, tubal ligation or pulling out during a normal intercourse so as to spill ones semen on the ground. These acts are a willful withholding of children which is in direct defiance to Godʼs command for married couples. For the Bible says: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28)

So some may be asking, is there any punishment described in the Bible for married couple who are using birth control? Well, that there is. For we can see a man named Onan who was not willing to allow his wife to conceive during their act of sexual intimacy. For God word says: “And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.” (Genesis 38:9-10) 

So, it was in that culture if a man dies leaving no children, that his brother should marry her and raise a child to carry on his dead brothers name. 

Now according to this custom, Onan had the choice not to marry her if he did not want to (even though it would be to his disgrace). But because he did marry her, he then had the duty to bring forth children. However he refused, and God slew him for his wrongful actions but no harm came to the wife. And letʼs not forget what Godʼs word says concerning children: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)

Now, having said all this, I do believe that there may be times that a sexual act may not directly cause conception and yet would not be evil. This would include any sexual act that would be done outside of a womanʼs normal time of ovulation. A good example of this would be during a womanʼs pregnancy. Of course there are other examples as well which would include those who cannot have a normal sexual act because of a some physical ailment. But again, because the couples intent is not to willfully withhold children, their sexual act should not be viewed as evil. And letʼs remember Paulʼs statement to the Corinthians believers. For he said: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Giving Heed to God's Word

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

The Puritan's View of Sex in Marriage Nathan W. Bingham • Feb 14, 2014

There are many caricatures and misinformation when it comes to how Christians through the ages have viewed sex in marriage. In Dr. Joel R. Beekeʼs Living for Godʼs Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism, he dedicates a chapter to marriage, in which he discusses the Puritanʼs view. Marital love must be sexual, so that both marital partners can give themselves fully to each other with joy and exuberance in a healthy relationship marked by fidelity. 

Reformers such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin established this aspect of marriage by abandoning the medieval Roman Catholic attitudes that marriage was inferior to celibacy, that all sexual contact between marital partners was a necessary evil to propagate the human race, and that a procreative act that involved passion was inherently sinful. This negative view was rooted in the ancient church and based on the writings of such notables as Tertullian, Ambrose, and Jerome, all of whom believed that, even within marriage, intercourse necessarily involved sin. This attitude toward marital intimacy, which dominated the church for more than ten centuries, inevitably led to the glorification of virginity and celibacy. 

By the fifth century, clerics were prohibited from marrying. Two classes of Christians emerged: the “religious” (i.e., the spiritual clergy), which included monks and nuns who vowed to abstain from all sexual activity, and the “profane” (i.e., the secular laity), who, being unable to rise to the noble heights of virginity or celibacy, were conceded the right to marry. Puritan preachers taught that the Roman Catholic view was unbiblical, even satanic. They cited Paul, who said that the prohibition of marriage is a doctrine of devils (1 Timothy. 4:1–3). 

Even the Puritan definitions of marriage implied the conjugal act. For example, Perkins defines marriage as “the lawful conjunction of the two married persons; that is, of one man and one woman into one flesh.” In contrast with Desiderius Erasmus, who taught that ideal marriage abstained from sexual intercourse, Cotton said in a wedding sermon that those who call for marital abstinence follow the dictates of a blind mind and not those of the Holy Spirit, who says that it is not good that man should be alone. 

The Puritans viewed sex within marriage as a gift of God and as an essential, enjoyable part of marriage. Gouge says that husbands and wives should cohabit “with good will and delight, willingly, readily, and cheerfully.” “They do err,” adds Perkins, “who hold that the secret coming together of man and wife cannot be without sin unless it be done for the procreation of children.” Perkins goes on to say that marital sex is a “due debt” or “due benevolence” (1 Corinthians. 7:3) that a couple owes to one another. That must be shown, he says, “with a singular and entire affection one towards another” in three ways: “First, by the right and lawful use of their bodies or of the marriage bed.” Such physical intimacy by “holy usage” should be “a holy and undefiled action (Hebrews 13:4)... sanctified by the word and prayer" (1 Timothy. 4:3–4). 

The fruits of God-honoring, enjoyable sex in marriage are the blessing of children, “the preservation of the body in cleanness,” and the reflection of marriage as a type of the Christ-church relationship. Second, married couples must “cherish one another” intimately (Ephesians. 5:29) rather than having sex in an impersonal way as an adulterer with a prostitute. Third, a couple should be intimate “by an holy kind of rejoicing and solacing themselves each with the other in a mutual declaration of the signs and tokens of love and kindness (Proverbs. 5:18–19; Songs 1:1; Genesis. 26:8; Isa. 62:7).” 

In this context, Perkins particularly mentions kissing. Other Puritans stressed the romantic side of marriage as they compared the love of a husband to Godʼs love for His own. Thomas Hooker writes, “The man whose heart is endeared to the woman he loves, he dreams of her in the night, hath her in his eye and apprehension when he awakes, museth on her as he sits at table, walks with her when he travels and parlies with her in each place where he comes.” He adds: “She lies in his Bosom, and his heart trusts in her, which forceth all to confess, that the stream of his affection, like a mighty current, runs with full tide and strength.” The emphasis on romance within marriage (rather than in extramarital relations, as was common in the Middle Ages) has often been attributed to the Puritans. Herbert W. Richardson writes that “the rise of romantic marriage and its validation by the Puritans represents a major innovation within the Christian tradition.” And C. S. Lewis says, “The conversion of courtly love into romantic monogamous love was largely the work of... Puritan poets.”

The Puritans took the matrimonial duty of sex so seriously that failure to extend “due benevolence” by either partner could be grounds for church discipline. There is at least one case on record in which a husband was excommunicated for “neglecting his wife” by not having intercourse with her for a long period of time.

All Scripture is from the King James Version of the Bible unless noted otherwise

Garden of Delights

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. (Song of Songs 4:16)

Training Up a Child