Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

The Christian Marriage: Do not deprive each other of intimacy or sex.The Christian Marriage: Do not deprive each other of intimacy or sex.

A man and a woman join as one flesh in marriage, a holy covenant God ordained. This union reflects the love and unity between Christ and the Church. One critical aspect of this relationship is sexual intimacy, a gift from God meant to be enjoyed within the bounds of marriage.

The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7:2–5, addresses the importance of sexual relations in marriage, emphasizing that spouses should not deprive one another. This article will delve into this teaching, exploring the biblical basis for a fulfilling marital relationship that pleases the Lord.

Biblical Foundations of Marital Intimacy

1 Corinthians 7:2–5 states:

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his wife, and each woman with her husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and the wife to her husband. The wife has no authority over her body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps 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.”

Paul’s instruction is explicit: marital intimacy is not merely a privilege but a duty. This mutual submission in the area of sexual relations is crucial for maintaining the purity and health of the marital relationship.

The Role of Submission in Marriage

Ephesians 5:22–24 provides additional insight into the marital relationship:

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body, of which he is the Savior. As the Church submits to Christ, wives should also submit to their husbands in everything.”

This passage emphasizes the importance of submission in marriage. However, it’s essential to understand that biblical submission is not about subjugation but respect and mutual love. In Ephesians 5:25–28, husbands are directed to love their wives without conditions, in the same way Christ loved the Church.

Mutual Consent and Avoidance of Deprivation

1 Corinthians 7:5 advises against abstaining from sexual intimacy unless both partners mutually choose to dedicate a period to prayer. It’s important not to extend this temporary abstinence, as it could lead to temptation and sexual immorality.

The mutual yielding of bodies underscores the concept of belonging to each other, which safeguards against adultery and strengthens the marital bond.

Consequences of Withholding Intimacy

Withholding sex from one’s spouse is contrary to God’s design for marriage and can have several negative consequences. It can create emotional and physical distance, breed resentment, and open the door to infidelity. Hebrews 13:4 states:

Everyone should respect marriage and keep the marriage bed pure because God will judge adulterers and all other sexually immoral people.

Keeping the marriage bed pure involves regular and consensual sexual relations, which honor both God and the marital covenant.

The Call to Love and Respect

The cornerstone of a Christian marriage is love and respect. Colossians 3:18–19 instructs:

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”

This mutual respect and love are essential for a healthy and God-pleasing marriage. Withholding sex can be seen as an act of rebellion and selfishness, contrary to the spirit of love and unity that should characterize a Christian marriage.

Conclusion

In summary, the Bible underscores the importance of sexual intimacy within the context of marriage. Spouses should prioritize meeting each other’s needs and treating each other with love and respect.

Withholding intimacy is detrimental to the marital relationship and displeases God. Christians have a calling to respect their marriage commitments and foster relationships that show Christ’s love for the Church. By adhering to these biblical principles, couples can strengthen their marriages and create a union that glorifies God.

Marriage is a divine institution that requires commitment, sacrifice, and mutual submission. Embracing these principles will lead to a fulfilling, God-honoring marriage where intimacy and love flourish.

By Christianity News Daily

Christianity News Daily: Publishes the Latest Breaking Christian World News, Posts, & Stories About Christianity Today, Headlines on the Persecuted Church, and the Gospel News of Jesus Christ! Christianity News Daily spearheads the enhancement of the great commission by spreading the true gospel of Jesus Christ to every corner of the earth.