3 Insights to Enrich Your Sex Life
- Dr. Barry Leventhal for <i>Two Becoming One</i> The marriage ministry of Christian Family Life
- 2003 2 Feb
It may be surprising to most people that the biblical euphemism for sexual relations is the phrase “to know.” This term is first used in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 4:1, “Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain . . .” Over and over again in the Bible when a man and woman had sexual relations, in reality they “knew” each other in the most intimate of ways. Yes, it is true, they also “became one flesh,” but in so doing they also exchanged intimate knowledge in a way that cannot be reproduced in any other way. This biblical insight leads to some powerful implications for each of our marriages or perspective marriages.
1. Sex Creates an Exchange of Personal Knowledge
The first implication is that each and every time a one-flesh relationship is experienced, an exchange of personal knowledge takes place between the couple. But there is a grave difference between this exchange of personal knowledge within the sanctity of the marriage covenant and outside of this covenant. When sexual intimacy is experienced within the loving and holy boundaries of a marital covenant, the exchange of personal knowledge is infused into the relationship, nourishing and enriching it. A husband and wife get to know each other in a way that transcends the merely physical. Their personal knowledge of each other expands into the spiritual, mental, emotional, and social areas of life. They not only grow deeper in their married love, but they also grow deeper as individuals and in their relationship with God. They have not merely “made love,” they have also experienced intimacy with each other and with God.
On the other hand, when sexual relations transpire outside of the bonds of a marriage covenant, there is still an exchange of knowledge between the couple, but since it is not within the protective boundaries of a marital commitment, that knowledge has been compromised . The couple may have “had sex,” but they did not experience intimacy. This kind of sexual experience may give a couple an immediate sexual “fix,” but in the long run it will drain and deplete the relationship until it is only a hollow and empty shell leading each partner to move onto the next sexual “fix.”
2. Sex Enhances “Unmitigated Monogamy”
A second implication is that sex within marriage strengthens the bond between husband and wife, making monogamous relationships stronger. God knew exactly what He was doing when He established marriage as the fundamental building block of society. No society has ever survived when the fabric of its marital institutions has unraveled. And the institution of marriage is based on a covenant commitment before God and a growing, intimate knowledge between husband and wife. In his book, The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis has captured the essence of God’s mandate for His gift of sexual knowledge when he said that this demand “takes the form of a dilemma: either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy.” God is no Cosmic Killjoy. Being the Supreme Creator of the one-flesh relationship, He alone knows that sexual knowledge can only be truly experienced and sustained in the bonds of a committed marriage covenant. Again, it is Lewis who reminds us of this awesome reality, “The truth is that wherever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.” Unmitigated monogamy, enhanced by a godly sex life, is a building block of civilization.
3. Sex Is an Opportunity for Deep Intimacy
Finally, sex between a husband and wife provides an opportunity for deep intimacy. We must guard our hearts with all vigilance so that we do not lose sight of God’s call on every husband and wife to really get to know each other. Sex without intimacy can only lead to a growing sense of alienation and emptiness, with the marriage as well as each partner becoming a hollow shell without the inner essence of God’s love and grace.
There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man [lit. a young virile man] with a maiden [lit. a virgin].
This is the way of an adulteress [or an adulterer]:
She [or he] eats and wipes her [or his] mouth and says,
“I’ve done nothing wrong” (Prov. 30:18-20).
God has built into His creation a certain sense of order, beauty, and harmony. The wise person recognizes this and worships God in awe, wonder, and amazement. Whether it is the eagle, the snake, the ship, or the chaste young couple on their wedding night, God’s way of doing things is beautiful and wondrous. But there is something that is most unfortunate and even tragic: the sight of an immoral person who has lost sight of the sense of the sacred and now treats one of God’s choicest gifts as nothing more than a physical appetite that needs fixing. This is truly a person who has fallen from the loveliness of sexual knowledge and intimacy as God has designed it into the empty and hollow depths of selfish depravity.
3 Steps to Experience God’s Perspective of Sex in Your Marriage
In order to enjoy sex as God intended for every married couple, follow these three steps:
- Begin with your highest calling, your knowledge of the holy: “to glorify God and to en-joy Him forever!” As individual husbands and wives, keep your devotional lives fresh: on a daily basis, read the Bible and pray separately as well as together.
- Glorify God through your bodies by avoiding all evil outside of marriage and by serving each other within marriage, especially in exchanging sexual knowledge (1 Cor. 6:18—7:5). Really get to know each other!
- Schedule your intimate times together as if your were dating again. Yes, enjoy the spontaneous moments when they come, but the busier you get, the more they will get squeezed out. So schedule it! Make your love life a priority!
© 2003 Christian Family Life
Christian Family Life was incorporated by Don Meredith and Barry Leventhal on October 1, 1971. In 1972, Don and his bride of five years, Sally, began to give marriage seminars in many churches around the country. In 1975, Campus Crusade for Christ asked Don and Sally, along with others, to help start a ministry for engaged and married staff members. FamilyLife conferences continue today and have impacted literally thousands of couples over the past twenty years since its inception.
The Meredith's latest undertaking is Two Becoming One, a recently re-written twelve week small-group study in which Don and Sally reveal how to discover God's blueprint for marriage. Two Becoming One also includes practical directions on how to integrate both the spiritual and practical sides of marriage into your everyday life.