Key text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
Key Idea: Sex in marriage is an adventure in devotion, delight, and dependence.
First, an adventure in devotion – devotion to one another’s protection and one another’s rights.
- Devotion to one another’s protection
1 Cor. 7:2
2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality,
each man should have his own wife and
each woman her own husband.
For the Christian, sex in marriage is to be a God-installed defense against temptation. … Our spouse is our first line of defense to protect us from the calls of [this lust-driven, sex-crazed world]. (155)
Sex works invisibly but powerfully to diminish temptations to sexual immorality. We need to see that such moral protection is not just a pleasant byproduct of marital intimacy. It is a core reason for marital intimacy. (156)
Our strategy against temptation cannot simply be avoidance. You don’t just fight for your marriage by killing lust. You fight for your marriage by cultivating healthy growth in intimacy! Weed killing is necessary, but one of the best defenses against them is a healthy lawn. God is all for this. He commands this (see Prov. 5:15, 18, 19)! In fact, he looked us in the eye and put Song of Songs in the Bible for His glory and our good!
How comfortable are you talking about sex with your spouse? Harvey writes on page 154, “…there may be no area more thought about and less talked about in a marriage than sex.” That’s a problem that we need to address and remedy – for the glory of God and the good of our marriages. Maybe this chapter can help get you off the block!
- Devotion to one another's rights
1 Cor. 7:3
3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights,
and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body,
but the husband does.
Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does.
...marriage becomes an adventure by underscoring the other-centered nature of our union. Marriage means that our bodies are now claimed by God for the pleasure and service [e.g. protection] of another. Our connection is so comprehensive that God gives our spouse a claim over our body. It’s a remarkable picture of the actual scope of “the two becoming one flesh.” We are called by God to become devoted to sexually satisfying our spouse. (157)
5 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.
You’ve got to notice the language: It’s “give the other her/his rights” and “do not deprive;” it’s NOT, “Now I can play the “I own your body” card!”
Talk about it:
- How well do you and your spouse communicate about sex? You’ve GOT to work on this!
- Have you ever talked about issues of frequency and expectations?
- Have you ever talked about frustrations, distractions, discouragements?