Perhaps you have noticed that men and women are extremely different. No where is that difference more pronounced than in our sexuality. Men are attracted by sight; women by touch and kind words. Men focus on intercourse; women on foreplay. Men think that sex will heal the hurts; women want the hurts healed before they can respond sexually.
With all these differences, what is the secret to mutual sexual fulfillment in marriage? In one word—love. Making sex an act of love—that is God’s plan. Our attitude should be, “How can I pleasure you?” We are not to force anything on our spouse. When we force our spouse out of selfish desires, we have ceased to love. Love is tender and kind; never demanding.
What is the purpose of sex in marriage? What was God’s design? I want to suggest three reasons clearly revealed in Scripture.
First, and most obvious is procreation or reproduction. It was God’s design to provide a safe haven in which to rear children.
A second purpose is companionship. Sex is designed to be a bonding experience. The biblical term is: The two become ‘one flesh’. It is deep deep companionship. I believe that is why it is reserved for marriage. It is our unique expression that we are ‘one’.
A third purpose for sex in marriage is for pleasure. If you doubt this, read The Song of Solomon in the Bible. God’s design was mutual sexual pleasure.
In a society that is saturated with sex, why do so many couples struggle in this area of marriage? One of the reasons is that we fail to communicate. Your wife will never know your feelings, needs, and desires if you do not express them. Your husband will never know what pleases you if you do not communicate. I have never known a couple who gained sexual oneness without open communication about sexual matters.
Make a list of suggestions that would make this part of the marriage better for you. Share the list with your spouse. If you would like to read a list made by other husbands and wives see my book: The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. Communication is the road to finding mutual sexual fulfillment in marriage.
One of the realities in contemporary society is that many couples come to marriage with previous sexual experience, either with each other, or with other partners. The commonly held idea is that sexual experience before marriage better prepares you for marriage. All of the research indicates otherwise. In fact, the divorce rate is twice as high among those who have been sexually active before marriage.
The Christian answer is the confession of wrongdoing and genuinely forgiving each other for past failures. The scars of the past may remain, but the scars serve as a reminder of the grace and love of God. When God forgives us, He no longer holds it against us. We in turn, forgive each other.
Some Christians have a negative attitude toward sex. It may have come from a distorted sex education, an unfortunate sexual experience as a child, or sexual involvement as a teenager that brought disappointment and guilt. The origin is relatively unimportant. The important thing is to understand that we choose our attitudes.
The first step in overcoming a negative attitude is exposure to the truth. The truth about sex is that within marriage it is God ordained and designed to bring mutual pleasure. As in all of life we are called to live by the truth. We admit our negative attitudes and feelings, but we don’t serve them. With the help of God we live according to His revealed truth.
Would you like some guidelines for helping you decide whom you marry?
The Scriptures say that when we get married, the husband and wife become ‘one’. The word speaks of deep intimacy. If we’re going to have that kind of marriage, then we need a strong foundation on which to build. That foundation consists of the things you hold in common. Here are a few questions to consider before you marry:
Spiritual Unity: Are you marching to the beat of the same drummer? If not, in marriage you will be ‘out of step’ with your spouse spiritually.
Intellectual Compatibility: Can you carry on conversations about intellectual matters without arguing?
Values: Do you value the same things?
Socially Compatible: Are you on the same page socially?
One year ago today, my mother turned 99. Today she is in heaven. We often talked about her living to be one hundred. But I knew that was not her desire. She talked about going home, and I knew she was not talking about her earthly home. Two weeks before she died she prayed, “Lord, take me home. My work is done.” On March 9th this year, God answered her prayers.
My mother’s name was Grace, and that has been her spirit though all these years. She gave her heart to Christ as a teenager and has walked with Him ever since. My dad and sister are both in heaven. I can only imagine the reunion they are having. I thought about singing “Happy 100th Birthday Mom”, but I don’t think that matters in eternity. On this day, I’m extremely grateful for a Christian family.
In our culture, Christmas is a time when families get together. That’s really what Christmas was all about: God reaching out to bring us together. We were made to have fellowship with God, but we walked away. We left home. We wandered afar. But God came to find us through a babe in Bethlehem. He lived a perfect life. He died a sacrificial death. He paid our penalty, so we could return home without penalty.
I hope that you have responded to the love of God expressed in Christ. I hope that you have accepted the gift of forgiveness. I hope that you can call God, Father, and know that He is not ashamed to call you his son or daughter. If not, His arms are always open.
Merry Christmas! Webster says, that ‘merry’ implies uninhibited enjoyment of frolic, festivity, or fun. In addition, freshness and buoyancy as manifest in singing, leaping, and dancing. That’s what I wish for you on this Christmas day. That’s what the shepherds did. Luke says, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
I hope that in the busyness of this day, you will find a place where you can let your spirit rise in praise to God for what He did on that first Christmas. The babe of Bethlehem was born to die so that we might have eternal life. Yes, the hinge of history is attached to the door of a Bethlehem stable. So, let us sing, leap, and dance for joy in celebration.