Sunday, 17 June 2018

7 FIRE POINTS ON SEX AND SPIRITUALITY IN MARRIAGE

7 FIRE POINTS ON SEX AND SPIRITUALITY IN MARRIAGE


If you think about it, you will have to agree that sex is a subject frequently addressed in the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New. Though the Bible handles this subject matter much differently than the secular world, it does have much to say on the subject. I can only think of one reason for matters pertaining to sex to be so frequently discussed in the Bible—sexuality must be very closely related to spirituality.
NOTE:

  • People often wrongly assume that the bible emphasis on abstinence in courtship means that sex itself is bad. That is a very wrong and dangerous assumption. Not only is that not what the Bible says . . . it’s not even close.
  • Sex was designed to be good. Within the context of marriage, it is good. Physical intimacy grows more meaningful the better you know your partner and the more you care for them.
  • Sex outside of marriage is deliberate disobedience of God’s commands, which are for your good, and therefore it is a deliberate forfeiture of your own spiritual well-being, as well as your own sexual well-being!”
So what does the Bible actually say about sex and spirituality, as it’s intended to be had within marriage?

2 But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:2-4)

Notice the three-fold parallel structure in verses 2-4 which stress the mutuality of sexual pleasure and sexual duty:
  • Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband (verse 2).
  • Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband (verse 3)
  • The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does (verse 4).
Paul does not stress the submission of the wife to her husband here, as though it is his role to get pleasure from his wife, and her role to give pleasure to her husband. There is mutual submission here, so that both the husband and the wife are to subordinate their interest (pleasure in sex) to the interest of their mate. Consider the guiding principles for what we might call “Spirit-filled marital sex.”

Here Are 7 Fire Points On Sex and Spirituality in Marriage

(1) Consistently abstaining from sex in marriage is not only unnatural, it is unholy. The norm is that Christians will marry and that as a Christian couple, the husband and wife will enjoy regular sexual relations. The ascetics are absolutely wrong in thinking and teaching that sex is nonspiritual and thus inappropriate even within the bonds of matrimony. 

(2) A healthy sex life is a preventative for immorality. A healthy and pleasurable sex life between a husband and wife is a normal and natural release of sexual tension, and thus it is helpful in the prevention of sexual immorality. Good sex in marriage is not a guarantee that there will be marital fidelity. If one mate is unfaithful to the other, it does not necessarily mean that the offended spouse has failed to satisfy the other.

David certainly had enough wives to satisfy his sexual appetites, but he committed adultery anyway. The lusting eye is never satisfied. Nevertheless, Paul speaks of sexual relations in marriage as a preventative for sexual immorality outside of marriage: “Because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.” The ascetics are wrong. To abstain from marital sex proves to be a temptation; to enjoy marital sex promotes edification.

(3) Both husband and wife should eagerly engage in the sexual act as their duty, both to God and to their mate. It is not just the wife who is commanded to give herself to her husband; the husband is likewise commanded to give himself to his wife. In fact, the husband is first commanded to give himself to his wife, and then the wife to her husband (see verse 3).

(4) Both husband and wife should not only give themselves for sex, but each should seek to produce the ultimate pleasure for their partner. Reaching the ultimate pleasure in the sexual union is what best insures against immorality. 

Frustratingly unfulfilling sex to one partner or the other will also tempt one to be immoral. The “use me” mindset in sexual intimacy falls far short of the mark which Paul sets for us here. The duty of the husband is to satisfy his wife sexually, just as the duty of the wife is to satisfy her husband. This is the best one can do to stay sexually pure and to encourage one’s mate to do likewise.

(5) Neither the husband nor the wife has the authority to deprive their mate sexually. If I have not said it clearly enough, I will say it bluntly here: it is wrong to deprive one’s mate of the pleasures of sexual intimacy. There is nothing spiritual about avoiding sex. I think I should also say that there is nothing particularly spiritual about demanding sex either.

(6) Those Christians who have been forcibly making a celibate of their mate by withholding sex are commanded to stop sinning in this fashion. Paul’s command to “stop depriving one another” in verse 5 strongly implies that a number of Corinthian Christians are already withholding sex from their mates. Paul tells us that withholding sex from your mate is sin, a sin which must be repented of, and a sin which we must correct by obeying our Lord’s command through Paul. Paul spoke of the benefits of staying single by concession, rather than by command. But the instruction to husbands and wives to sexually fulfill each other is a command, not a wish or a suggestion. To refuse to change in this area is to willfully disobey one of God’s commands.

(7) Sexual abstinence is to be a rare and temporary exception to the norm of regular sexual union. There are obviously times when normal sexual relations are temporarily interrupted. In the Old Testament, a man was not to have sex with his wife during her monthly period (see Leviticus 15:19, 24; 18:19). Here, Paul speaks of the temporary interruption of a couple’s marital sex life to facilitate prayer. 

The reason should be obvious, especially for parents with children in the home. Bedtime seems to be the only “private” time two parents have. This means that besides sleep, closing the bedroom door affords the opportunity to enjoy sexual intimacy; it also affords the opportunity for prayer. Frankly, it is difficult to have both prayer and sex on the same agenda, especially if the prayer is urgent and extended. For a bachelor, Paul seems to understand married life very well.76

Paul sets down some very stringent requirements regarding the cessation of normal sexual relations in marriage. 
  • First, the decision to abstain from sex must be mutually reached by the husband and the wife. There must not be a unilateral decision made by one spouse. 
  • Second, a cessation of normal sexual relations should only take place for matters of great urgency. I understand Paul’s words in verse 5 to refer to specific, urgent matters of prayer, and not normal prayers. The King James Version may well be the original text, and it includes fasting with prayer.
  • Third, normal sexual relations should be resumed quickly, so that Satan may not take advantage of their lack of self-control. This statement should have really irritated the Corinthian ascetics, who thought of their sexual abstinence as the epitome of self-control. Not according to Paul! Sexual abstinence did not strengthen these saints in their battle with the flesh and with Satan; it weakened them, and it made them vulnerable.
Unfortunately, I have known of situations in which “prayer” was the excuse of one mate for avoiding sex with the other. Who can be more pious than one who gives up sex for prayer? And who can be so nonspiritual as to criticize anyone for neglecting their sex life to enhance their prayer life?

Closing Notes:
  • If the truth were known, a healthy sexual relationship between a man and his wife may facilitate a richer prayer life. 
I say this on the basis of Peter’s words in 1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 

  • Surely “living with one’s wife in an understanding way” includes the sexual relationship. 
  • A sexually frustrated and irritated mate is not a good prayer partner or well wisher.
Don't work by assumptions, For Marital Frank Talks With Father Okwuosa, Call or Whatsapp 08039681543. Follow On Instagram @fatherokwuosa

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