The need for sex is a very strong one. I think one reason God created us that way was so that people would come together in marriage and have children together.
And yet, as I mentioned yesterday, there are special parameters God has given concerning sex. It is only to be enjoyed between husband and wife.
Particularly in Japan, however, it seems that “sexless marriages” are on the rise. Numerous articles have actually been written on the subject. Corinth was also having its issues concerning marriage and sex, and so they wrote Paul about what they should do.
In answer, Paul wrote,
Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. (1)
Literally, he says it’s good for a man not to “touch a woman” or as other translations put it, “to have sexual relations with a woman.” But considering that sex is only meant for within marriage, the NIV translates it “not to marry,” which is probably closer to the sense that Paul is trying to say.
Why does he say so? Because of the “present crisis (26).” In other words, this was not meant as an absolute for all peoples at all times. But it was Paul’s advice under the circumstances, which many scholars take to be persecution the church was suffering through.
And it was just his advice, because time and again in this passage, he emphasizes that he is by no means prohibiting marriage. He says as much in verse 2.
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. (2)
Paul recognizes here that because the sexual urge in people is so strong, it can lead to sin unless they find a way to fulfill that urge. And again, one main reason God gave us that urge was so that two people would come together in marriage, become one, and have children.
It is, in fact, a picture of our relationship with God. That we are joined with Christ, with he as the groom, and we as his bride, and in that joining we give birth to righteousness in our lives, the fruit of our love for him.
But anyway, Paul says when you get married, feel free to enjoy a life of sex with your spouse. More, he encourages couples to make it a regular part of their lives. He writes,
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except 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. (3-5)
There are some key principles of marriage that we need to remember here. Namely, that when we get married, we no longer belong to ourselves alone. We belong to each other. And so Paul says don’t deprive each other sexually except for short times so that you might devote yourselves to prayer. And even then, that decision should be made mutually.
But then he says, be sure to come together again. Why? Because if you don’t Satan will swoop in with sexual temptation. This is especially true with men, but also true with the women.
How many marriages are damaged because couples don’t follow the Lord’s instructions. Instead husbands and wives find their sexual fulfillment outside of marriage, ultimately destroying their marriage, not only causing pain to themselves, but to their children as well.
Let us not do that. Let us find satisfaction and joy in our own husband and wives, and never seek to find it anywhere else.