Why is a pastor writing about a topic like this you might ask? Good question. There are several reasons.
For one, I see too many unhealthy marriages. And I want to see more healthy marriages. I know that when people are more content and fulfilled in their marriage, they are more fulfilled in the other areas of their life.
Now, I don’t think the lack of sex or infrequency of sex is the only problem in marriage, but it is a topic of contention in many marriages. It is also a major contributor to extra marital affairs.
I admit. It is much easier for me to write about it than to speak about. If I had to stand up in front of a large group of people and talk about this I would be more intimidated.
The main reason I address it is because the Bible talks about it. And I believe the bible holds the best solutions for relationships. Jesus came to give us life abundantly. He wants us to lead more fulfilling lives. This includes experiencing fulfillment in marriage.
The Apostle Paul dealt with this directly in his letter to the Corinthians. Some people in the church at Corinth had adopted a view that sex of any kind, including within marriage, should be avoided. Paul wanted to provide clarity. Sex has spiritual implications. He explains that marriage was to be THE place for sexuality. “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV).
The frequency of sex in marriage provides people a very practical and obvious benefit in regards to sexual temptation. It reduces the temptation for sexual sin. Paul goes on to explain. “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV)
While a lack of sex between husband and wife doesn’t justify sexual immorality, it does address a very basic fact. If needs are not met at home, the enemy is ready to tempt to meet those needs outside of the marriage relationship. It doesn’t make it right, it is just the truth about the nature of this temptation. The Bible is saying don’t put your spouse in that situation.
So how often should a married couple have sex? The Bible doesn’t say exactly. But it does make it clear that a married couple should only withhold sex from one another if there is mutual agreement. This means there needs to be honest discussion and agreement on the frequency of sex in marriage so that each other’s needs are being met. When needs are met it helps diffuse the temptation outside the home.
How each couple determines how to handle this is unique and different. Nevertheless, I want to share how one lady addressed this issue in her marriage. This may not work for everyone but it may work for some. It could be a practical solution to help you meet each another needs. The following is what she posted on her blog.
No, I’m no sex expert, just a happy, fulfilled wife offering you perhaps, a new approach.
My husband and I have “date night” 3 times a week (and for those of you who can’t read between the lines, that means we have scheduled “sex nights” 3 times a week). We look at it like a contract – neither one of us will break the commitment unless we absolutely have to (i.e. one of us is traveling for work, one of us is sick, etc.). Now I am VERY much a planner – total A-type personality. My husband on the other hand, totally NOT a planner and can’t stand if I try to make plans well ahead of time in pretty much any other aspect of our life.
We first established our little schedule because with very small children, I was often not only too tired, but also still in “mommy mode,” and had a hard time making the switch in my head to “mistress mode.” My husband, however, never seemed to have to switch modes – he was always there! So I made the suggestion of planning things out- I think at first he may have been resistant (can’t fully recollect since it’s been a few years now and my foggy working mommy brain can’t hold on to so many details), but then, guess what? Not only did it work, but he now thinks the idea is BRILLIANT. So brilliant in fact, that he wanted to write a book about it.
Let me tell you why it works… firstly, it avoids disappointment on his end – I won’t ever say “no” on a date night. Secondly, on non-date nights he can’t make me feel bad about taking some time for myself (like reading my book or watching TV). Thirdly (and most importantly), it maintains the closeness and intimacy, so crucial to our relationship. And this then equates to a happier and healthier home life for both us and our children.
From my husband’s perspective, he feels that knowing it’s a date night ahead of time, he can think about it during his stressful day and have something to look forward to. We also have another secret… if he helps me transition from “working mommy mode” to “mistress mode,” he will definitely get the best of me! So on date night, he helps me relax and switch modes by giving me a wonderful neck, shoulder & head massage. Yes, I know I am extremely lucky and I really, really appreciate it.
Now some of you may question the spontaneity of the whole situation and whether it takes the “romance” out of the relationship. But honestly, does real-life really run on romance? It may definitely take some getting used to, but once you do, it absolutely changes the dynamics of your marriage and your family life.
According to her blog, here are some quick tips to help get you started in creating your very own “date nights”:
- Decide with your spouse/partner how many times per week you want to have sex.
- Choose the nights you feel will work best.
- Set the scene a bit… a hot bath or shower.
- Relax and TALK to each other – something else that we often forget to do in our busy lives is to really talk to one another (and not about the day-to-day things).
- Do something nice for one another.
And then have some great sex!
Wishing you all some hot date nights ahead. ~Jacqueline
This is one couple who was willing to share openly their approach to make sure each other’s needs were being met. It may or may not be the best approach for you. The main thing is to make sure you are meeting each others needs.
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