Biblical Principles for Physical Intimacy
It is not uncommon for some words that are of great importance to believers to be misused by the world. One such term abused, misused, and perverted by the world is the word “sex.” Because unregenerate man lives to satisfy his desires, sex has become exalted as the epitome of human experiences. Some attempt almost anything to increase pleasure from it; yet genuine, lasting satisfaction cannot be found apart from following the guidelines in God’s Word.
Many believers attempting to rescue the word have regrettably been influenced by the world’s view. They have views that are just as out of balance as the world. On one hand, some have attempted to make it the greatest of human marital experiences. You hear the words, “Make love,” or “Lovemaking,” and other such terms that imply love is mainly seen in sex, and sex is the most important part of marriage. This, however, is teaching erroneously that a good sexual relationship is the key to a good marriage. In reality, a good marriage (one where problems are being solved Biblically and individuals are growing in their relationship with Christ) produces a good sexual relationship.
Others have gone to the opposite extreme of attempting to ignore the physical relationship or to think that since the term “sex” is so misused, it can’t be good. As a result, Biblical principles of sexual intimacy are not taught in the home or church and husbands and wives have ignored the reality of God’s plan revealed in the Scriptures for sexual relations in marriage. This gives the impression that God has no guidelines for physical intimacy or that He has no answers for sexual problems. It is very important that we approach this study with the knowledge and conviction that physical intimacy between husband and wife is God’s idea.
It will be our goal in this lesson to “Renew” our thinking and bring it back into a Biblical context for proper study and application in our marriage relationships. We must apply the teachings of God’s Word to guide us to prevent problems and discover answers for problems when they occur. There are several principles we will consider. The first principle is:
- Physical Intimacy is Pure and Holy .
- Sexual intimacy was created by God Before sin.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” Genesis 1:27-28a
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
- At the end of days 3, 4, and 5 God called His work, “Good.”
- On day six of creation, God created sexual human beings with differences based on their gender (their sexuality) being male and female.
- What was God’s view of man’s sexuality based on Genesis 1:31?
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was Very Good .”
Note: Those who teach sexual intimacy was designed as an “outlet for the passions” of sinful man are in error!
- Sexual Intimacy is still called honorable by God After man sinned.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4
- Sexual activity in marriage is pure and holy – God made it that way. But any sexual activity outside of marriage brings one under divine judgment.
- God designed life such that the ultimate delights of physical intimacy can only be experienced in marriage. People can experience the physical sensations of the relationship without marriage, but the real delights of pleasing God in this area require the commitment and intimacy found only in the covenant of marriage.
- Any other view of sexual intimacy is A sinful view!
Do you view sexual intimacy in marriage to be as pure and holy as …
- reading God’s word?
- teaching a Sunday School class?
If not, you have a sinful view of sexual intimacy. God calls it very good, pure, and honorable.
- Physical Intimacy in Marriage Should be Kept in Proper Perspective
- In God’ eyes sexual intercourse (“legal” or illicit) does not produce a marriage.
In John 4:16-18 Jesus spoke to a woman at a well …
“He said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband.” John 4:16-18
- Unity in marriage is more than sexual intimacy.
- Sexual intimacy is not what makes a marriage successful.
- Before sexual unity, there must be commitment, companionship, and spiritual oneness. These are essential to a good sexual relationship.
- The main point: A God honouring marital relationship is the basis for and the key to a good sexual relationship.
- Although physical intimacy is not the basis of marriage, it is Very Important .
- It should be a very prominent part of marriage.
(Consider the Song of Solomon)
- Marriage partners should be enthusiastically involved in the riches of a Biblical sexual relationship.
3rd Principle – very important
III. The Primary Goal of Physical Intimacy is Giving and Providing Sexual Satisfaction for Your Spouse (Meeting One Another’s Desires). (the goal of love is to give, not get)
- The command is given by God in 1 Corinthians 7:3 (NKJV):
“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”
To whom is this command given? What are the implications of this?
– To BOTH!!!
- Your goal is giving to satisfy the other person, not getting to satisfy self. The primary goal of sexual relationship is satisfying your spouse.
- The word, “Render” … is a command to give to the other fully, completely, without reluctance, hesitation or inhibition.
- “Affection due her” … a duty with the idea of doing good to the other person.
It’s a good that results from physical intimacy. He is to satisfy her sexual desires – it is a duty for her benefit. So the goal is giving to satisfy her, not getting to satisfy self. (This is the antithesis of most sex on T.V., movies, literature, magazines, locker room talk, etc.
- The wife has the same command. She has the responsibility to sexually satisfy her husband completely, enthusiastically, and without reluctance.
- This principle is also taught by the definition of love.
- Based on the following verses, how would one define “love”?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” Jo. 3:16
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
– LOVE = GIVING
- The greatest pleasure in physical intimacy comes from giving!
- Giving in order to get is selfish
- Jesus Christ said it is more pleasant to give than to receive.
- Paul reiterated this truth in Acts 20:33
- “What is the personal benefit of the relationship?”
- Satisfaction of pleasing God and your partner
- Receiving physical pleasure as a by-product of pleasing your partner—true for both husband and wife.
- How can I know what pleases my partner? Talk about it together.
- Based on this definition of love (i.e. love is “giving”), why would a person’s involvement in the following areas be wrong and displeasing to God?
Note: Masturbation builds selfish habits that will produce difficulties in marriage. In the fantasies that are a part of masturbation, other people are controlled for personal benefit. A life then is built around self-gratification rather than giving to another.
- What should be our response then to anything outside the boundaries of marriage that stimulates the sexual desire?
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
- God Has Created Both Husband and Wife with Equal Ability to Satisfy Each Other.
“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
1 Corinthians 7:4.
The word, “Authority,” means “Control.” The principle is that each person does not possess independent control over his/her own body.
- This means both the husband and the wife are to be initiating in sexual relationships.
What has the world typically said about who the initiator should be in a relationship?
- Sexual relationships are to be equal and reciprocal.
- Requesting sexual satisfaction is not forbidden, but demanding is forbidden.
A Test: If you become upset because your “request” was not fulfilled, it was a demand, not a request. Your focus was on yourself, not your mate.
- What about different levels of desire?
- God’s Word instructs you to focus on satisfying your partner, rather than your own level of desire.
- To refuse to seek your partner’s satisfaction is to violate God’s commands.
- Pleasure in Intimacy is not Sinful and Forbidden but Rather is Assured and Encouraged.
“. . . rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.” Prov. 5:18-19
- The admonition is for BOTH partners in the marriage to delight in one another.
The word “wife” teaches that real sexual delight can be found only in marriage. All attempts, in thought or deed, to find sexual satisfaction outside marriage will be unsuccessful.
- This implies a desire for companionship as a person, more than just as a sexual partner.
What can be done to develop a deep intimate relationship on levels other than physical?
- To delight in the sexual relationship is right and pleasing to God.
Notice the following words and what each signifies in the marriage:
“Satisfy” pictures a thirsty, dry person being quenched with a cool drink of water
Sexual relationship is to be as refreshing, delightful and pleasant as that drink of water. Not just passively offering your body, but aggressively using your body to bring complete sexual satisfaction to your spouse. This is not a picture of something you receive but of something you give.
“Ravished” literally, to be drunk, intoxicated, or overwhelmed with satisfaction
You have been so aggressively pleasing your mate that he/she cannot receive any more. Your mate is so satisfied there is no more interest at that time. Such a satisfied mate will not be looking elsewhere.
Point: When you combine Proverbs 5 with the commands of 1 Corinthians 7, each is to provide mutual satisfaction for each other.
- This responsibility is not a dutiful drudgery, but delightfully pleasant when viewed as God views the relationship.
Song of Solomon 4:7-11; 5:10-16
- Sexual Relations Are To Be Continuous.
“Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:5
- Defraud or deprive means to withhold, avoid through deceit or dishonesty.
- When there is abstinence, it is to be by mutual consent.
This is not one person refusing the other or one person withholding intimacy from the other to punish him/her or because one is upset with the other.
- Four biblical guidelines for refraining from physical intimacy.
- Both agree – mutual consent.
- Specific period of time, predetermined, prearranged.
- Terminated by renewed physical intimacy.
- D. How often or frequent should a husband and wife be physically intimate?
- Enough to keep each other satisfied.
This means no burning or unfulfilled desire (1 Corinthians 7:9). This is determined by your partner’s definition and through open communication. Also, consideration for your partner regulates the frequency of sexual relations.
- Enough to avoid temptation.
Unnecessary abstinence makes self-control more difficult. This doesn’t excuse sin, even though failure to apply this principle makes it easier to sin.
When seeking to apply these two principles, we need to keep two things in mind:
- This does not remove the principle of moderation and consideration of your spouse.
- This does not allow for demanding satisfaction.
Please read Exemplary Husband, chapter Eleven
& The Excellent Wife, chapter Eleven to emphasize these principles.
*** May God bless you richly as you live your lives together for His glory!