married Life – Week 5 (Christian Marriage and Sex)
Jason White

We live in an extremely sexualized culture, but what is sex supposed to look like in a Christian marriage? In this final message in our married Life series we look at sex from a biblical perspective.



and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to


Sermon Audio Transcript
So over the last 4 weeks we have been talking about married Life… how Christ is the Life…not marriage…not our spouse, but Christ. And so we have looking at how that plays out in marriage…how He meets our needs of contentment, security, & worth…not our spouse, which frees us up to quit trying to control or manipulate or guilt / shame our spouse to get something from them that we already have in Christ and that they were not designed to meet in the first place. This has been the basis for the entire series…but we’ve talked over the last several wks about specific things like money, roles, & commitment in marriage and what each of these look like if Christ is our Life. But today we are going to be talking about intimacy and married Life… and oh what fun we are going to have! Now before we dive into this, I want to let you know that if you missed this emails on what we were discussing today and you brought your 6 year old in here with you today, that we do have Children’s Church that is going on right now. We have Children’s Programming from birth thru 6th grade, so I am going to pray in just a moment to ask God to speak to us today, but if you would like to use this time to check your children into Children’s Church then feel free to do so. Let’s pray…WE Okay, so I want to start off this message by talking about what sex is. Now, don’t worry I’m don’t mean that I am going to be pulling out those 7th grade sex education diagrams or anything like that…I just mean, let’s talk about the truth about sex from God’s perspective…Because there are a lot of ideas and perspectives out there about sex in our world and in our own minds…I mean some of us may believe that sex is dirty, that it is sinful and God wants us to stay away from it. Others of us on the other end of the spectrum may think that sex is good and we should be able to have sex with whoever and whenever we want to…And then there are views anywhere and everywhere between those 2 views… some of us may think it should only be used for procreation, making babies…and others of us may think it is meant to be enjoyed but not with just anyone…it’s meant to be with people you really love and care about. And we could go on and on about the different views we carry around with us about what sex is for and how it is to be used…but the truth is that it really doesn’t matter what we think…what matters is what God thinks. As our Creator, we look to Him to define what He created and what He created it for and how He created it to be used. So let’s look at Scripture to see if we can find these answers. And the truth is, if you open your Bible, that you don’t have to look very far to find out some of these answers b/c they are right there at the beginning of Genesis and the creation story. Look at Gen. 1:27… GOD 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Okay so imagine this moment…Adam and Eve have just been created…I mean this is the first time they are seeing each other… there’s no history there…this is fresh…it’s right at the beginning…no idea what to do next, right. It’s just them and God and all that He had created. Can you imagine what they are thinking? Like, “Okay God what now? I mean like we’re here, but what do we do now?” I wonder what God told them? Well let’s see… verse 28…28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…Wow! THE VERY FIRST THING that God tells Adam and Eve to do after creating them is to go have sex. So listen, why am I pointing this out? Well, one of the things this says to us among others is that God created it. That it was His idea…& that He expected men & women who are married (we’ll see that in a minute) to have sex. In other words, some of you were taught that sex is a bad thing…that it is evil. But it’s not! God is the Creator of it and God does not create evil…He only creates things that are good and holy and right. So we need to see this right out of the gate…that…That we are sexual beings, and that is a good thing if God made us that way…BUT I do want to point out that that is not all that God made us to be…Not only did He said to “be fruitful and increase in number: fill the earth” He also said to “subdue it”…bring it under your control. He goes on to say…Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” In other words, we are not JUST sexual beings…we were created to think and work and be creative and to use our mind, our personality, & our body to shape culture under God’s guidance & empowerment. So this is important for us to also see b/c some will try to say that we are JUST sexual beings… that’s all we are and therefore, we need to just give in to those impulses that we have. But God created us for more than just sex…and besides that He created sex to be used for certain reasons and in a certain context. So what is that? Well, one of them we have already seen…for procreation. God did say, “Be fruitful & fill the earth.” So that is certainly one reason, but is that the only reason? NO! Listen to what Solomon says after his honeymoon night in Song of Solomon 5:1…I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love. Solomon is not talking about food here! He is talking about the intimacy he shared w/his spouse on their honeymoon. And notice, in talking about it, he did not say, “Hey everyone, last night we had sex to simply make a baby…nothing that great about it…this is just science y’all…it’s just biology. That’s it.” No, he obviously enjoyed & even encourages people to be intoxicated w/love. And so I point this out because what we see is that one of the reasons God created sex is for enjoyment and pleasure. If you still don’t believe me then flip over to ch. 7 later on this afternoon and read what it says there. I won’t do it b/c some of you would get really embarrassed, but let’s just say that, “He is captivated with her bodily features.” God meant for sex to be enjoyed, for physical pleasure…BUT…not JUST for physical pleasure and not for pleasure with JUST ANYONE. Look back at Gen. 2…we have looked at this passage the last couple of weeks so I won’t read it all to you again, but this is where we learn more details about how and when Eve was created, but look again at what it says after her creation in verse 24…24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Listen, we see a couple of things right here in the creation account along with several other places that this gets confirmed throughout all of Scripture about sex…and that is this: #1, it was meant for a man and a woman in a marriage relationship… “a man leaves his father and mother and is united/glued to his wife in marriage and they become one flesh.” Sex was created for a marriage relationship.Now, to a lot of us that sounds really restrictive…it sounds crazy and absurd to most people in our culture…like, how cruel of God, why would He not want you to have any fun and to not be able to really enjoy sex? Well, listen here’s the truth that we’ve already establishedGod did create it for you to enjoy and so the truth is that if God wants us to enjoy it, then He knows that we are going to enjoy it the most only in the context of a marriage relationship. He’s not being restrictive…He just wants us to enjoy it in the fullest possible sense, which He knows is only in marriage. And we see WHY right there in the verse w/the reference to them becoming “one flesh.”24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. “One flesh,” is a reference to sexual intimacy… a man & a woman are physically joined together as one flesh…BUT that’s not all one flesh means. One flesh is more than just physical. All throughout Scripture, marriage oneness is spiritual and soulical…a joining together of mind, emotions, and will. And so when it comes to sex it is meant to be much more than just a physical act between 2 people. And that is why we will enjoy sex in the fullest possible way when it is in a marriage context w/God at the center of it…b/c we can enjoy the spiritual/soulical aspect of sex along w/the physical b/c it is w/our spouse whom we are one with & committed to till death do us part. And so listen…this is why sex outside of marriage is not only less fulfilling but why it also produces shame…why it hurts and carries baggage throughout our lives. I mean if sex was just a bodily thing, like no connection to soul and spirit then the effects wouldn’t stay with us as long as they do. For example: I’ve hurt my body before and you’ve hurt your body before: and depending on what it was for you, you either got over after a certain amount of time or it was pretty severe and it’s stuck with you. But either way, you didn’t experience shame with that bodily injury. But now let’s take someone in high school who starts giving themselves away to someone else and what do they feel? Shame. Someone cheats on their spouse? Shame. Why? B/c sex is not just physical. There’s more to it than that…there is an intimacy aspect that god created on a soulical and spiritual level. So we feel shame when we experience sex outside of the way God created us to enjoy it. Now don’t get me wrong, you would still enjoy the physical pleasure of it…but b/c there’s more going on there, there is shame associated with it. But look at what it said in Genesis 2:25 immediately after talking about a man/woman leaving his father and mother and being united together as one flesh…25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. In the context of a marriage relationship and of course, with no sin in the world yet, they felt no shame. Why?B/C this is how it was designed by God to be… between a man & a woman in a marriage relationship w/God at the center. This is the way it was at the beginning: Adam/Eve, married in the garden, w/God present, and there was no shameNow the very next chapter, we do see sin entering the world…and one of the very 1st things we see happen is that Adam/Eve began to feel shame and they began to cover themselves up. So even though they were still married and weren’t experiencing sex outside of that marriage, they were still feeling shame b/c of sin being in the world.Which means that you and I can still experience shame as well even in the context of marriage b/c of sin and b/c Satan trying to take one of God’s good things and use it to drive a wedge between us or between us and God. But listen, Jesus came to fix all of that, and He did. Jesus took all of our sins to the cross and shed His blood…gave His life so that we could be forgiven and so that we could be in union with Him again through the Holy Spirit…living with Him as our Source, meeting all of our needs and giving us guidance as to how He created things to be used in our lives & empowering us to live those ways out. And when we do look to Him as the one who meets all of our needs and as the One to guide & empower us in those ways then we get to enjoy them in all their fullness…even sex in marriageYOU So I want to spend the rest of our time talking specifically and practically about what sex looks like if Christ is our Life…And really the first thing that I’d say is actually to those of you who are single… if Christ is your Life then…#1 - wait until marriageI mean, 1st, remember God is not holding out on you. He is simply wanting you to enjoy sex in the fullest possible sense, and He knows that you will do that in a marriage relationship where you can enter into w/someone else in a truly physical/soulical/spiritual way as one. Now, I’m sure if that’s you that some of you are thinking, “Yeah but that is hard to do in this culture. Sex is all around us and the temptation is great.” And you’re right, it is. But again if you know that Christ is your life…that all of your needs are being met in Him, then you can be content, secure, and find all of your worth in who you are in Christ which frees you from that pressure as you renew your mind to that truth. And I need to say this too…we are not just talking about singles who have never been married. This applies to anyone who finds themselves single after having been married at one point to. God’s design is to wait until you enter into a “till death do you part” marriage union before engaging in sexual intimacy.Now if you are single in any capacity, and this is an area you’ve made some bad choices in. Please hear me say that Jesus’ forgiveness is complete…He is a God who restores and redeems…so it’s never ever too late to turn to Him and allow Him to begin to guide and empower your choices from here on out.Now, here’s the second application to what we’ve talked about today:#2 - Don’t use pornography to “get you by until you get married.” You might be tempted to think, “Okay, yeah I’ll save myself for marriage but in the meantime I’ll satisfy this curiosity and this urge that I feel with pornography. That way I won’t really be having sex with anyone, but I’ll still get to experience the pleasure until then.” Listen, this is a lie…And porn is not what God intended for sex anyway…it is not sex between 2 married couples…and anyway sex between 2 people wasn’t meant to be used for someone else’s pleasure anyway either…it was meant for them and them only. But even beyond that here are a couple of other things: #1, you will carry those images into your marriage and place those expectations on your spouse… you will expect them to perform the way you’ve been watching people perform and this is not how it is. And there will be frustration and confusion and anger and all kinds of things you will be bringing into your marriage bed. And #2, the lure of pornography will not go away just b/c you get married. If you think you’ll just watch it till you get married and then all of your needs will be met…you’ll find that this stuff is addicting and rewires your brain. These will become habits and things that you will go to in order to get a high…and it will be wedge between you and your spouse and the fullness of what God created sex to be for you.As a matter of fact, obviously then this has application to those of us who are married as well. Did you know that pornography addiction has been cited in some recent studies as a factor in almost 60% of divorces that occur? So this is a major problem in our culture and in our marriages, and Satan is using it to tear apart marriages and to steal, kill, and destroy our own lives.This is the kind of thing that has to be brought out into the light so that Jesus can work through these things…so please get the help you need if this has become a struggle for you.Okay, but let’s talk about further applications for those of you who are married… if Christ is your Life, then here is the 1st way I think that applies in your marriage when it comes to sexual intimacy:#1: Be physically intimate on a regular basisIf He created this as something for you to enjoy & as a part of the oneness & intimacy that He created marriage for, then He will lead you to make this a part of your marriage on a regular basis. Now of course, there is no definition of how often that is, but that is a discussion for you and your spouse and even the Lord.But here is the 2nd thing: #2 - Be unselfish when it comes to physical intimacyIn 1 Cor. 7, this is what Paul writes:3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-controlSo one of the things we first see here reiterates our first point…to be intimate on a regular basis…I mean, Paul said “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time.” So that’s the 1st thing to notice…But the rest of what Paul writes here about not having authority and fulfilling your spouse is about being unselfish. Listen to what Ray Stedman writes about this passage:Not once does Paul ever suggest that you have the right to demand sex from your mate. What he says is that what you have the right to do is to give him or her, as a gift from you, the fulfillment of these sexual desires -- and the responsibility you have is not to your mate, but to the Lord to do so…Sex in marriage is a gift that you are to freely offer to each other. It is not a selfish, self-centered satisfying of your own desire.And so if Christ is your life, then He will lead you to be unselfish with your spouse and to not demand things from them…but this also leads me to another point of application:#3 – We don’t use sex as a tool to get something else from our spouseBut that is what it can often become. We become tempted to use it for power or control or to manipulate our spouse…to get our spouse to meet another need we have…but again, if we renew our minds to the truth that all of our needs are met in Christ, then we are free to give to and be unselfish with no expectation of what we will get in return.Here’s the final thing I’ll say about application:#4 – Allow Jesus to free you from shame in the bedroomSometimes with sin in the world, we feel shame…which can be 1st of all from what we think/feel about our own bodies. Maybe we aren’t quite in as good of shape as we once were or we’ve just gotten older and we are ashamed of our bodies. But listen, our identity is not found in our physical appearance…it’s found in Christ…so if we know that and live in that truth then it frees us up from those feelings of shame associated with our bodies.But not just shame from bodies but other stuff…shame from our past relationships, shame from pornography, shame from abuse. Now some of these things may take time to process and for Jesus to work through with you, but the truth is that you are a brand new creation in Christ and completely forgiven from any choices you have made and you are not defined by what anyone else has done to you. You are defined by Christ and who He says you are based on your union with Him. So when we trust Christ as our Life this frees us from the shame we can experience in the bedroom and enter into the enjoyment and pleasure He intended for us to experience.Now, listen… these things are going to require a conversation with Jesus and your spouse too. So, have those conversations and talk through this stuff together/pray through this stuff. I know that it can be uncomfortable, but again if Christ is your life (your identity is found in him and your needs are being met) then you can be okay with uncomfortable conversations b/c they won’t define you. And when you do enter into them, then you are giving Jesus room to work and grow you in this area of marriage.