It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband (1 Corinthians 7:1-2).
Intimacy is either right, and your marriage is good, or it is not, and your marriage is in trouble. If your sexual life is struggling, it is because of sin—one way or the other. Sin separates, and the bedroom is the most prominent place where you will perceive this division.
If you do not deal with sin biblically, the tectonic plates of your sex life will shift, and your marriage will be off-kilter. No matter what you do, you will be out-of-harmony with each other.
Sin is what happened to our first sexual couple. Sin entered the picture, and it divided Adam and Eve by shame, guilt, and fear, which prompted them to hide from the truth (Genesis 3:7). This one verse explains eloquently, powerfully, and sadly why sex can be such a problem in marriage and why it is an indicator of the deeper problems a couple can experience.
When sin enters, the fig leaves come on, people start hiding from each other, and the desire for vulnerability, exposure, openness, honesty, and transparency vanish. You cannot have biblical, physical intimacy while wearing layers of fig leaves. Suppose there is unresolved bitterness, anger, frustration, guilt, disrespect, unforgiveness, hurts, malice, or insensitivity in your marriage. In that case, you will be hesitant to become utterly vulnerable in physical intimacy with your spouse.
No doubt a man can be mean to his wife and demand sex from her. I am also aware a woman can despise her husband and still have sex with him. Hate or disrespect toward each other does not equal biblical sex. Biblical sex is an uninhibited willingness to unite with another person in God-centered, other-centered unity physically. God-centered sex is the most intimate picture of Christ and His church–fully and comprehensively linked as husband and wife (Ephesians 5:28-30).
An inadequate sexual relationship is a symptom, not a cause. Though the symptom is inside the bedroom, the reason is outside, specifically in your hearts. If you do not fix the real cause, your sexual experience with your spouse will never be right.
Let me illustrate. Suppose Biff slapped Mable across the face at 5 p.m. It is now 10 p.m., and Biff wants to have sex. Do you think Mable can freely give herself to Biff? Though you may have never slapped your spouse, you may have done things that have caused your spouse to put layers on, which restricts your sexual experience.
Share your reflective thoughts with your spouse. If you cannot share these things with your spouse, please find a competent mentor friend of the same gender to get their perspective. As you share with your mentor, ask the Father to give you the freedom and opportunity to start sharing these things with your spouse. The ultimate goal of this devotional is to talk about the reflection questions freely.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).