God designed sex within marriage to be a sacred, pleasurable, and spiritual act. We don’t often stop and think about how amazing it really is that God invented sex and gave it such potential to build a physical and spiritual union between two people in the safety and devotion of a Christian marriage. Sex is an amazing gift, a chance to be bonded in body, mind and spirit. One flesh. Yet everywhere I turn Christian people seem to be struggling with sex.
It seems that we have taken what should be a true blessing in our marriages and have turned it into a chore. Women are constantly joking about trying to get out of having sex with their husbands. Husbands are constantly joking about how they don’t get enough sex. And, somewhere in the middle of all of the casual talk about it, are two people, naked and vulnerable in the quiet of their own bedroom, struggling to figure out how to connect spiritually while they make love.
We live in a world that is unbelievably sexual. Every commercial, television show, book, and magazine is putting sexual images and ideas into our minds every day. Porn culture has warped our idea of what sex is. It isn’t a union of two bodies and souls, but a chance to get what we want. Slowly the notion has crept into our minds that we need satisfaction by whatever means necessary, even in Christian marriage. So, we come to the sacred place where we should be experiencing a spiritual union with our spouse, and we bring along years’ worth of images and fantasies that have nothing to do with them. And, instead of being completely present in this beautiful moment, instead of wholly giving ourselves to our spouse, we retreat and call up these images, and the spiritual union is weakened at best, and completely severed at worst.
No wonder Christian marriages are having sex problems.
Pornography is a huge part of the problem. But, maybe you don’t watch porn. You have seen plenty of movies, read plenty of books, created plenty of fantasies in your mind that don’t involve your spouse. The truth is that unless we are diligent about it, we will all allow our minds to wander to scenes that we have viewed or imagined, even when we are in the middle of trying to make love to our spouse. We may not even realize what we’re doing, inviting other people into this holy moment. Letting outside ideas and images crowd in on the beautiful act of giving ourselves to one another. How can we expect to achieve a soul-to-soul union with our husband or wife when we are escaping to some love scene or pornographic image? Before long we forget how to really be present in this divine moment, this spiritual experience of loving the person right in front of us, in the ways that only we can. We have to keep ourselves anchored to each other during sex, and the only way to do that is to banish outside images from our minds. Not only that, but we have to be careful to keep from bringing brand new images into our minds, by guarding what we see and hear and read.
I know many of you are thinking that this is not a big deal, or that it is impossible to have sex without calling up images and ideas that have aroused you in the past. But, if it were an impossibility, why would Paul advise us to take every thought captive to obey Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5) If it is no big deal, then why did he tell us to think about what is noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8) Why would Jesus tell us that anyone who looks at a woman (or man) to lust after her (or him) has already committed adultery in their heart? (Matthew 5:28)
The truth is that when we allow images of other people into our minds when we are having sex with our spouse, we are sinning, and our sex life will never achieve the spiritual depth and emotional closeness that God designed it for. There is a better way to have sex in Christian marriage. And, it isn’t just okay sex. It is life-giving, soul-stirring, and it connects you to your spouse in ways you didn’t even realize were possible. Kick everyone else out of your head. This moment is for the two of you alone, body to body, soul to soul. Anything else will lead to a lifetime of sexual emptiness, physical connection with no spiritual bond. And, despite what this world tells you, that will never be truly satisfying.
So spot on and not talked about often. Thank you.
What isn’t often said, is that the “romance” novel is as bad for women, as porn is for men. Both media, give the reader/viewer the wrong idea of what to expect in a relationship.
Romance novels — even *Christian* romance novels — are the Christian woman’s porn.
So true! Thanks for sharing!
Howard Hendricks, late of Dallas Theological Seminary, said to invite Jesus into the bedroom. It works for us.
No, sex is not spiritual. Sex is for pleasure and procreation and is for all humans saved and unsaved. If it were a spiritual thing then it would not be for the unsaved since they are dead spiritually you have just flunked spirituality 101 or pneumatology 101
Everything that is good and from the Father glorifies Him. Our spirituality glorifies Him and in all things we are to glorify Him. How can a husband’s tender love for his bride not bring glory to the Father? How can it then not be spiritual.
What we do in life does not occur in some strange vacuum. Sex for the unsaved is like many other aspects in life; here, too, they miss out on His blessings.
One more thought. Your understanding of spirituality as intended by the Father seems rather small. I would encourage you to not place such a wall around His blessings by boxing Him in with some legalistic theologically challenged view of His greatness and His desire to please and bless His children.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”—1 Corinthians 10:31
[P]resent your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
Thanks, Mom. Great article!
“[P]resent your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1)
None of what has been posted has passed any contextual or exegetical measure for claims that sex is spiritual. It is not a spiritual act.
This is not to say the blog post does not containv worthy elements, it does and I should have softened my delivery in that manner so in that respect I regret my bluntness.
But to Romans and presenting one’s body as a sacrifice. Paul says it is our spiritual duty, not that our bodies are spiritual themselves rather, they are to be subdued by or controlled by God’s Spirit. However, that does not make the thing you are doing, spiritual, it makes you spiritual just as when you drink coffee or put on your britches.
A most telling passage is:
1 Corinthians 6:
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him
Notice what is and is not spiritual, here.Joining one’s self sexually only joins you physically, not spiritually. “The two shall become one fkesh”.
Spiritual union occurs with, in and through Chrust. Spirituality is just that, a spiritual thing, not a physical thing. You may do physical things as a result of being filled with God’s Spirit but those things, themselves, are not spiritual rather, as a result of being spiritual.
When “the two shall become one flesh” do the two morph physically into one physical person?
It’s called a metaphor which means they become one unit which operates, as a single institution.
Alex G, you are spot on! Thank-you for those Scriptures. I came out of a church where rape and other hidden sexual sins were prominent, therefore proving that sex in of the flesh. May our LORD have mercy on His children.
Melissa, I am a male. I will spare you the shock of my age. But I will give you a hint. It is March 2018. I am old enough to have voted for six American Presidents. I live in a beautiful American city just a few blocks from a landmark people recognize around the world.
Melissa, I have never had sex so I do not have a real basis to comment on your topic: “Sex Should Be Spiritual. I often think about what it would be like just to do it – just once. I cannot imagine having sex on a level you are urging your readers to experience. Time is running out for me to begin. That said, I am thankful that so many people were able to contribute constructive comments.
I would love to share a painful irony of my life with you.
About 4 years ago, I asked a divorced woman out on a date. She and I were roughly the same age. She had been married a few times and had children. This woman did not know much about my past. I have always been careful about talking too much about my life experiences. Nonetheless, I was confident that day.
I met her about the same time she met her ex-husband. I was captivated by her from the moment I saw her. I ran into her a few more times that year but never said more than hello. She married her ex-husband after a short courtship. She shared with me she was very attracted to her ex-husband but he rarely had sex with her during their marriage. He treated her terribly in general she said. They were married just over a year.
I ran into her a few months before her divorce was final. I patiently waited about 18 months to ask her out. During those 18 months we talked on the phone, traded texts and emails, and occasionally met in public areas. We never dated, per say.
She turned me down when I asked her out. What she said next was unforeseen. She said it would not be a good idea to date because she was no longer interested in sex. Sex, she said, had always been a very important part of her relationships. She felt that would eventually be an issue if we dated. I told her it would not be. She said, no – again to dating.
The day she turned me down is the last time I remember crying.
I just felt it was amazing that sex came up at the moment I asked her out. Not the disparity in our experience. Because she really did not know me. But would it have mattered? (If she knew more about my background in a romantic sense.)
I will never know. Besides, I would never share personal details about my sexual past with anyone – other than in – an anonymous forum as I am now. It is simply too embarrassing.
I live with the biggest curiosity a man or woman can live with while on Earth? What is it like – sex with another human being?
Sadly, I will not have years and decades to become a competent partner. Especially, if I continue to meet women in my age group who are grandmothers that no longer have an interest in making love.
I often ask God, why me?
Melissa, I am happy for you and your readers that know God and have a committed partner to express and receive love.
I spend every birthday alone. Every holiday day alone. And I cannot remember the last time I had a date.
Thank you for this opportunity to share the despair I live with in my personal life.
Signed, going through life alone.