Scott and Cindy

In the past few blogs about physical intimacy, we have discovered that God created marital sex to be a good thing, that He created it for important reasons (procreation, pleasure, intimacy, and symbolic reminder of our love relationship with Him), and that surveys indicate 88% of couples derive pleasure from their marital sexual encounters.

Then, is it any wonder that God gives his command in First Corinthians 7:5 when he is talking about sex within the confines of a marriage:   “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”.

Notice the reason why having regular sexual encounters within the marriage is a good thing — “so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”.  Now, please remember that the apostle Paul wrote these words around 60 A.D.  in a time when men and women did not work together in an office like they do today all dressed up, in a time when you could not connect with old flames through Facebook, and when there was no internet where you could click and see beautiful pictures of sexy women right before your eyes.  Back then, men and women were not even permitted to sit together at church.  If Paul encouraged couples not to deny each other THEN,  how much moreso would he encourage that NOW, in this sexually charged culture?

Maybe you might be one of those people who think that “Satan” isn’t real or his minions don’t “tempt”.   Think again.  The numbers are staggering.   Many estimates I read are that about 50% of the men suffer from some kind of pornographic addiction;   about 1 in 6 couples will deal with infidelity in their marriage.   1/2 in couples will divorce, and a vast majority of the rest of the couples are not really happy.

And, do you think this is just for non-Christians?   Think again.   In most surveys, the numbers do not dramatically change for those calling themselves Christians.

The temptations are real.   That is why Paul gave his readers (and us) a command so direct and to the point.  Do not deprive each other the physical encounter.  So, what can one do about it to ensure that temptation does not trip you up?

First, husbands, realize that most wives are not wired like you are.  They are not usually hormonally driven for sex as much as you are.  Instead, what increases their desire to be with you and to respond to your physical needs are the actions you take to show your love, care, protection, and cherishing of them.  How can you ask your wife to desire to be physically intimate with you when you don’t treat her well?    It is that simple.   You see, the Bible is presuming here, husbands, that you are living the Christian life and laying down your life for your wife (Eph 5:25b), resulting in a wife who is drawn to be with you physically.   It is much harder for your wife to be excited about being with you sexually when you treat her like a roommate.   So husbands, please don’t use this verse in First Corinthians 7:5 as a weapon against your wife unless you are first fulfilling the command in Eph 5:25b to lay down your life for your wife.

However, if the husband is making strides to cherish his wife, then there is second step that you can take.   With regard to sex, most husbands are like a microwave and most wives are like a crockpot.  Most wives need time to “warm up” to the idea of a sexual encounter.  Therefore, husbands, one technique that usually works is to give your wife some time off from all of her responsibilities and duties of the family — no cooking, no kid duties, no cleaning, no responsibilities, no nothing — give her 4 hours to do what she wants to do (read a book, go shopping for herself, rest, relax, sit in the tub).  In those 4 hours, ask her to do only two things:   First, think positive thoughts about a sexual encounter with you.   Second, come back home ready to have sex.

If you’re having issues in this regard, try it.   I know many couples for whom it works wonders.  You may have to adjust your schedules and give something else up because sex is important.  I think that’s why God says we should not deprive each other inside the marital relationship.   I kind of like that command — and I think Satan doesn’t.

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7 Responses to THE THEOLOGY OF SEX, # 2

  1. John says:

    I like the approach. As to the temptation of Satan – I remembered something that I had heard and readily identified with because the only time that I had ever wished for an affair was after the birth of our first child. Read or Listen to it hear…

  2. Dear John,
    Yes. I read the article about the temptations that crop up after the birth of the first child. Well, in my humble opinion, you could say the temptations that crop up during ALL of the parenting years. Unfortunately, national averages show that the average marital satisfaction levels are like a “U”, with the left high side at the start of the honeymoon and the bottoming-out during the youth years, and the right high side at the beginning of retirement. These studies show, therefore, that marital satisfaction scores are actually on the decline straight through the youth years and don’t start going up again until the kids leave. So, I would argue that, for many, temptation exists in all of the youth years because of the constant demands that the kids need. Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way — with great planning and execution, one can have a mountaintop marriage regardless — but, it does take effort !! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Anon says:

    We’d have to hire a nanny and a maid if the wife in our union took that much time off in order to “get in the mood” as frequently as the husband was! Lol

    • Dear Anon,

      Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate it.
      Everyone’s situation is different, but I think that it may not be as hard as some may think. My wife and I instituted this practice at a time when I was working 60 hours per week with the stresses and strains of being a pastor. I had already committed to watching our kids 2.5 hours per night when I got home (5:30 pm – 8:00 pm). For two nights per week, all I did was take away my “down time” of 1.5 hours and take the kids an additional 1.5 hours per night until I put them to bed by 9:30 pm. Then, when my wife got home at 9:30 pm, we were ready to go (it doesn’t take me but 4 minutes to get ready).
      Now, of course, that meant that, for two nights per week, I didn’t get much “down time” nor much off my “to do” list. However, it did mean that my wife and I had a regular time of physical intimacy, which was so much more important to me.
      In my pastoral counseling and Marriage Life Coaching, I have discovered that many couples struggle with too many priorities. Many couples have too many things they are trying to do (bowling, hours on Facebook, softball, skiing, tv sports) which leaves precious little time for the most important things in life (sex being one of them). It’s a tradeoff, but focusing on the most important things in life and then being diligent to plan for those things can really bring great rewards.
      I hope this helps. I do appreciate your comment. PS ~ and, if you have the money, the nanny / maid is not a bad way to go !!!

  4. Anon says:

    We have found that it is less stressful if the wife simply makes herself available to the husband, or even initiates, whether she is in the mood or not. It tends to put incredible amounts of guilt on the wife when it is assumed that she needs to WANT sex in order for a sexual encounter to take place. A wife starts to feel damaged or broken when she isn’t feeling hot-and-bothered at the same rate that her husband is. At least this is true for us. Might not be true across the board.

    My spouse and I have commented wryly that with men being driven by a physiological need (and having sex on the mind several times a day), our choices tend to be A) wife meets husband’s sexual needs frequently whether she is wanting an orgasm of her own or not, or B) reinstate polygamy or find him a mistress so the women can share the responsibility of meeting the man’s sexual urges. For us as Christians, only the former is an appropriate option. 🙂

    • Dear Anon,
      Thank you for your response. I think it is always good for my readers to get different perspectives on what works in a Christian marriage. Whichever route one takes on this issue (give the wife a break before the encounter or proceed without the desire necessarily being there), I think the important issue is that it works for both spouses and it meets their needs as a couple. Certainly, with something as complex and intricate as physical encouters, there will be multiple ways that couples get to the point of meeting each other’s needs. Thank you for sharing one way that works for the two of you !!

  5. Megan says:

    Ha, love the nanny idea! We could use one at our house for sure!!

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