The Christian Marriage Bed: Part I

            There are few places so profaned in our culture as the marriage bed. The culture mocks those who want to marry one man or woman and stay married. The man who is idolized in our culture is the one who hops from bed to bed. The woman who is idolized is the one who stays young and sexy so that all men notice her as she walks down the street. We are told that married sex is dull, boring, mundane, and rare.
            But the Scriptures give a very different picture of the married life. God’s commands are given so that we might have joy and delight. When he tells us to marry and remain faithful to our spouse for life, he is telling us the best path to happiness, joy, and pleasure. He is not chaining us down in a dark cellar to rot. Here are some exhortations that should help you make your bedroom a place of service, delight, and honor. This article is addressed to married couples.
First, the husband is responsible for leading his wife in their thinking about sex.  He must be praying about their sex life and seeking to bring the couple’s thinking about sex captive to Christ.

Second, the husband is to imitate Christ by sacrificing in the marriage bed. He is to make sure his wife is enjoying sex. He is to serve her. Too many married Christian men approach their wife like a vending machine who is there to give to us. But Ephesians 5:25 commands us to lay down our lives for our wives and this includes in the bedroom. Our passions and lusts can prevent us from doing this. Men, if your primary concern in bed is getting what you want, you are not imitating Christ.   

Third, God invented sex and made you for a sexual relationship. Sex within marriage is a gift from God. You were made for it. It is not dirty, bad, ugly, or sinful.  Many of us, both men and women, have committed sexual sins in the past. Sex has become for us a symbol of sin. But in the beginning it was not that way. And as redeemed Christians, we should not think of it that way.

Fourth, sex was created by God for our pleasure. God wants us to enjoy our spouse.  Again because of past experiences, we can think enjoying sex is bad. There is residual guilt, which leads us to treat sex as something to be ashamed of instead of rejoiced in. But remember the Lord gave us the Song of Solomon. In the Song of Solomon sex is a shadowed joy and delight. We may not know exactly what is going on, but they are enjoying themselves. There is tasting and touching and smelling.  As Christians our sex lives should resemble the Song of Solomon, not in the specifics, but in tone, which is one of great pleasure and delight in one another.

Fifth, past and present sexual sins must be confessed and overcome to have Christ-honoring sex life. But if they are confessed then forgiveness should be assumed. We must fight the urge to hide our sins. But we must also fight the urge to keep bringing them up after confession, repentance, and forgiveness. Remember, all of your sins are forgiven in Christ.

Sixth, sex should be a regular part of your marriage (I Corinthians 7:1-5).  If there are long periods of no sex then you are disobeying God, unless he has providentially hindered you. (See #11 tomorrow).