Written by Kristin Geckle
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. – Hebrews 13:4
Sex was designed by God to exist within the confines of marriage only. Most Christians know this, but what exactly constitutes sex? Once we’re married, is nothing off limits? Are there certain boundaries that we need to keep in the marriage bed?
The Bible is not a book of sex tips and tricks (well, Song of Solomon might qualify). We’re not given a giant list of what we can and cannot do, so we need to examine Scripture as a whole. What does God require of us? How should we, as husbands and wives, love each other? How can our marriages bring glory to God? When we explore Biblical marriage and God’s expectations for couples, we can come to a wise and informed decisions about our sexual relationship with our spouse.
So – let’s start unpacking this.
1. Anything sinful – Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18
Yes, this seems pretty obviously, like, I’m really grabbing some low-hanging fruit here. Obviously, sin cannot glorify God, Kristin (duh). Stick with me here. Please understand that your husband or wife’s consent does not negate God’s law.
Couples may want to watch a pornographic video together. Perhaps they’re interested in bringing a third person into the bedroom. If it’s sin (which pornography and threesomes are), the answer is no. Sex is for you and your spouse; there shouldn’t be anyone else in your bedroom (this includes people in videos, there’s no work-around with pornography).
2. Coercion, Guilt, and Manipulation – Speaking of sin, sexual immorality is not the only way in which we can sin against God and our spouse. With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:2-3
Scripture talks a lot about marriage, often given specific instructions to husband and wives. I really love these verses in Ephesians 4. Our marriages should be gentle, loving, and peaceful. If we jump ahead to Ephesians 5, we see that our marriages should emulate the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s a pretty high standard, no? Since sex is a part of marriage, we can assume these commands given to husbands and wives should be applied to the bedroom too.
It’s fine to have ideas and want to try new things. Sex should be enjoyed and explored. However, there may be times that your spouse is extremely uncomfortable with what you’re suggesting. If we love our spouse, we should not be pressuring them to do something that’s making them uncomfortable. Sex cannot be enjoyed by both parties if one person is being pushed outside their comfort zone.
I do understand that sex pushes boundaries, that’s kind of the point. However, my point is that before doing anything in the boudoir, both you and your spouse should be on board. We should never be guilting and manipulating our spouse to do what we want. That’s not love, folks.
3. Safety risks – All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. – 1 Corinthians 10:23
Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do something. According to this article from WebMD, sex has a few health benefits (yay!). But, certain sexual behaviors can be dangerous and unhealthy. If something is posing a risk to you or your spouse’s health, I believe it would be wise to avoid it.
We have a few basic guidelines here. If we’re not sinning, we’re loving our spouse, and we’re not harming ourselves; have fun! A healthy sex life will do wonders for your marriage. While sex isn’t a cure-all for marriage, it certain helps to keep our relationship strong. God designed it that way; He’s kind of brilliant like that. Often times, sex can reset us, so to speak. It’s like a little shot of espresso in our marriages; it just give us that recharge we need sometimes. When we’re continually intimate with our spouse in this way, we strengthen the love between us.
Like so many things, sex can be sinful or it can be God-glorifying. Our sex life with our spouse should be an expression of our love for the person we chose to spend our life with. It’s a way for us to be giving, passionate, selfless, and joyful. When we understand God’s design and purpose for sex, we can proceed in a way that builds up our marriage and brings glory to our Creator.