Sex has been one of the reasons many marriages hit the rock today. I did a reading research sometimes ago about the reasons many marriages ended in divorce. Out of ten different articles that I read, four of them were issues ranging from sexual dissatisfaction by either of the partners, which led to the problem of infidelity and lack of trust and eventually, to the dissolution of the marriage proper. There was one that I read that was even a bit funny. The man is seeking to dissolve his marriage of sixteen years simply because his wife always demands for money before she allowed him sex. That sounds ridiculous, isn’t it?
Now, the Bible clearly addresses the issue of sex, whether pre-marital or marital sex. First, it has been clearly established that sex is exclusive to marriage alone. Any sexual intercourse outside of marriage is called pre-marital sex, and it is a sin. Pre-marital sex is called fornication and God’s word frowned at it. Hebrews 13:4 tells us “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Did we see that? God says He will judge both fornicators and adulterers, which means He does not condone sexual intercourse outside of marriage.
But this is where the problem lies really. Even in marriage, where God had sanctioned that one should enjoy the gift of intimacy that comes through sexual intercourse with one’s spouse, there are still issues emanating from it. What exactly is going on? And this is why we will be addressing the matter of sex in marriage in this short piece. Now, the starting point is this: What usually brings about sexual dissatisfaction in marriage? Because I believe if we can know the root cause of the problem, it can then be adequately addressed. Let us begin by examining how men and women have been wired.
Biologically speaking, men and women are wired differently when it comes to sexual matters. And because of this, both sexes respond to the matter of sexual intercourse differently. For example, studies have found that men generally have a strong sex drive than women. Some experts have also concluded that sexual desire in women is extremely sensitive to environment and context. Now, that tells you that a man may want sex at the blink of an eye and ready to go on overdrive while the woman may not be actually interested in sex at that moment. If there is lack of understanding between the two, unwarranted issues may come up due to that. Now, this happens a lot in marriage and I believe folks who are married reading this piece can actually testify to this scenario playing out in one or two occasions in their marriage. So, for couples who don’t have a basic understanding of their partner’s sexual wiring, there may be issues here and there, and every now and then over matters of sexual intercourse.
Now, I believe sexual matters should be the least of issues that should bring about troubles in marriages if the parties have a basic knowledge of how they can go about it. It first begins from having an understanding of who your partner is, and then knowing the role that sex plays in the marriage. Sex is a weighty matter in marriage, and it is not a subject that should be underrated in any way. Without any iota of doubt or a matter of speculation, sexual intercourse between the husband and his wife is what consummates the marital vow. Each time both engages in it, it is like the covenant of marriage being renewed.
It is the glue that makes the two to become one flesh for the rest of their lives. Mark 10:6-9 tells us that “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Did you see that? The Bible says they are no longer two, but one flesh. How was/is this possible? It is through the act of sexual intimacy between the husband and the wife. It is the same reason apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 that husband and wife should never deprive themselves when it comes to this matter, except it be with a consent between the two parties; and it is for a specific time that they both agreed upon.
The moment there is a shortcoming in the couples sexual life and intimacy, this usually begins the starting point of problems in the marriage. Most times, it manifests in the form of the man wanting to satisfy his sexual desire with his wife, but the wife is not in the mood or ready. And sometimes, the reverse is the case as well. And because either of them isn’t getting the needed satisfaction from their spouse, they decide to venture into other men or women, and then the issue of adultery and infidelity in marriage creeps in, and then, both are on their way to court to dissolve their union; all because of not being able to navigate well; with understanding, their sexual relationship.
So, navigating sexual intimacy problems in marriage begins when both parties talk about their sexual wiring and come to terms on how they can better enjoy this experience. But first, it is by coming to this Biblical realization that adultery is not the solution to either your husband or wife not satisfying you sexually. Couples must understand that adultery would only make the matter worse. Sexual intimacy should only be with the one whom you have been married to alone, and no one else. When you read Proverbs 5:15-20, it tells that God’s idea of sexual intimacy should be between the husband and the wife.
“Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?”
After duly addressing the issue of immorality from the beginning of that chapter, Solomon; through wisdom, offered the advise we read above from verse 15-20 to his sons. There are a number of implications contained in those five verses above. The implications are:
1 Enjoy with satisfaction the comforts of lawful marriage, which was ordained for the prevention of sexual immoralities. verse 15 says “Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.” The cistern there could be taken to be a symbol of your wife or husband, as the case may be. Once you are married, you are tied down in holy matrimony with that person and therefore, you have no moral or spiritual obligation to seek sexual intimacy or intercourse elsewhere. No wonder God so much frowns at adulterers and adulteresses, and apostle Paul also admonished young folks to marry rather than burn or be engaged in pre-marital sex.
2 God’s provision for sexual need is found in the marital bed. This alone makes adultery forbidden both for the man and the woman. In Hebrews 13:4, God said “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Which means that God’s judgment will actually not elude anyone, especially the adulterers and fornicators. This reason alone is enough for husband and wife to find a way around their lack of sexual intimacy and misunderstanding.
3 Husband and wife are supposed to be the source of satisfaction for each other and no one else. This is why Solomon wrote that the man should enjoy the wife of his youth. The admonition “And rejoice with the wife of your youth” means it is something that you must willingly do. Even when there are issues contending to tear the marital vows apart, when both husband and wife rejoice in each other, celebrates each other, some of the issues bringing about the contentions are quickly resolved.
Sex, should never be a problem in marriage, because God has ordained that husband and wife enjoy the intimacy that comes with it within the confines of marriage. But because of differences in sexual wiring and some other factors, there are issues emanating from this aspect of the marital journey. But with understanding, both the man and the woman can work around their differences, understand each other’s sexual preferences and by so doing, they can both enjoy the intimacy that comes from this God-ordained desire coded within the confines of marriage.
I believe you have been blessed!
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]