How to Have a Love Affair with Your Spouse
Sometimes in relationships, what begins with flowers, breakfast in bed, love notes, and opening doors for the girl of one's dreams can end with a couple sleeping back to back or in separate rooms, sweatpants, and slamming doors on each other. Sound familiar to you?
Today, I want to talk about the sensitive topic of intimacy and sex in marriage. But here's the deal: sex cannot be discussed by itself, because it's related to every other part of a couple's relationship. It never stands alone; you have to have something to build on.
Let's read the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 5:15-19: "Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love."
Briefly put, sex in marriage is like a flowing stream. Sex outside of marriage, on the other hand, whether given before or during a marriage, is like drinking polluted water from a sewer. One will delight; the other can destroy.
So how do you build up the one and guard against the other? There are three principles I want to point out, the first of which is magnify your mutual covenant. The term wife of your youth in verse 18 implies a covenant -- a monogamous, binding relationship that lasts your entire lifetime. That's the secret to stability: a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is a total commitment of yourself -- a marriage without an escape hatch or a back door. It's only then that true intimacy and safety can begin.
The second principle from this passage is maintain your marital enjoyment (see vv. 18-20). Contrary to popular belief, Hollywood did not invent sex -- God did. The thing is, physical enjoyment can't be separated from emotional enjoyment, and it also can't be rushed; it has to be cultivated tenderly under the banner of that covenant unity. So if you want a healthy, vibrant sex life, try a little tenderness during all the other hours of the day.
Here's the third principle: make a spiritual commitment. At the end of his exposition on sex in marriage, Solomon wrote, "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths" (v. 21). Talk about real intimacy and vulnerability! Imagine what life would look like if you lived with the spiritual knowledge that God just heard the words you said to your wife or knows the thoughts you think toward your husband.
But that's exactly what I'm asking you to do: bring God into your marriage and keep Him at the center. People who make a spiritual commitment to His lordship find it easier to say no to sin and have more stable, satisfying marriages. That's because they understand that God invented sex and intimacy, that it is good, and that they can enjoy it to the max within the boundaries of marriage.
In closing, here are three quick application points: Number one, don't leave God out of your marriage. Number two, don't neglect your spouse's needs physically or emotionally. And number three, to be a good husband or wife, you first must be a good Christian -- you must first have that foundation of a relationship with God.
Make sure today that you're saying yes to Jesus Christ and exalting Him as the Lord of your life, then allowing Him to guide you in these principles and apply them, by His strength, to your marriage.