Good sex is always intentional. A husband and wife may be naturally attracted to each other, but that doesn’t mean a healthy sexual relationship will happen automatically. Passion ebbs and flows in a relationship. Romance comes and goes. The honeymoon ends, and when that happens, a couple has to work at it.
Sex is more than just physical effort. The physical element may be obvious, but sex also has spiritual and emotional factors.
The spiritual component of sex: God created sex, which makes it a spiritual act as well as a physical act. Sex requires intimacy, and the greatest type of intimacy is spiritual intimacy.
That surprises some people, but research suggests that the most sexually satisfied people in the world are married Christians. That’s because, for Christians, marriage is more than just a piece of paper. It is an act of the spirit of God.
Many people look at marriage as a type of contract, in which people protect their rights and limit their responsibilities. But the Bible describes marriage as a covenant. Covenant means “to cut,” and in the Bible, a covenant always required a sacrifice. Unlike a contract, it surrenders our rights and assumes responsibilities.
That’s why a covenant is permanent until death. That’s why we promise to stay married for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health.
Biblically, every covenant has a seal and sign, and God created sex to be the seal and sign for the covenant of marriage. We seal that covenant by consummating a marriage. Throughout the married relationship, sexual intimacy is the fullest expression of that sacrificial covenant.
That’s the reason the best sex occurs when spouses put each other’s interests ahead of their own. A sacrificial attitude leads to amazing sex.
The emotional component of sex: Emotional connection between a husband and wife is also essential to a healthy sexual relationship. That relationship can become strong through emotional validation.
I once spoke to a man who was complaining to me about the lack of intimacy in his marriage. He mentioned something his wife has recently said to him. I asked how he responded. “I just laughed at her,” he said.
In other words, he didn’t validate anything she had to say. Even if he didn’t quite understand what she needed from him, he should have listened and acknowledged that her words were important. Even if he didn’t agree, he needed to validate how she felt.
Women need verbal affection. They need to know that they are being heard. Instead, this woman walked away hurt because her husband refused to see things from her perspective.
And he wondered why they had problems with intimacy! I told him that he needed to be responsive to her outside the bedroom if he wanted her to be responsive to him inside the bedroom.
Husbands and wives need to sit down with each other on a regular basis and open up with each other. Share. Listen. Talk about how you feel. Become a safe place for each other to become vulnerable. That emotional connection is crucial to sexual intimacy.
Great sex isn’t just two bodies rubbing together. Between a husband and wife, sex is a physical act that reflects a spiritual covenant and an emotional connection. That’s how God created it—and he designed it to be spectacular.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today