God invented marriage, God invented sex, and He called them “good”. The logical part of your left brain may believe that. But when things are difficult especially around sexuality and intimacy, married sex may seem anything but good. For marriage and married sex to be good, you need to bring God into your marriage, and specifically into your marriage bedroom. How do you do that?
We get into trouble when sex and faith are kept apart. Just as dangerous is when faith makes sex all about behaviors and doesn’t address matters of the heart. Spiritual leaders fall into adultery and scandal. Children grew up hearing “Don’t do it” but may become sexually active the moment they are outside the boundaries of family or church. Marriages that may look good to the outside world are torn apart from the inside by pornography, domestic violence, disappointment, and more. Some feel entitled to sex and use it as a weapon. Others, almost always through their own woundedness, pull away from the intimacy sex was designed to provide.
God intended married intimacy and sex to be glorious. But what if it’s not? What does it look like to bring faith and sex together? And specifically, how do you bring God into your marriage bedroom?
Believe God created married sex to be good.
Physical intimacy between husband and wife was meant by God to be comforting, exhilarating, tender, exciting, bonding, and more. That foundation would then provide a healthy place to bring a child into: hence the connection between procreation and unity in godly sex. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4).
You may need to do some work to get rid of the distorted messages in your brain that culture or even the church have provided that make sex one-sided or dirty or “bad.” You may need to study both individually and together about how God created you for intimacy, and His design for beautiful married sex.
Deal with your own stuff.
You came to marriage with baggage, perhaps sexual baggage. You learned things and experienced things that may have set you up for pain and discouragement around married sex. Move away from blaming your spouse. Invite Jesus into your own story; that’s how the pain, shame, or wounds can be dealt with. He may need to address your anger, entitlement, addictions, or tendency to self-gratification even around married sex.
As you deal with your own stuff before God, the way you bring yourself to your marriage will change.
Focus more on your spouse’s needs than your own.
Sex is more about giving than receiving, and it is at its best when both partners work first to satisfy each other. Make it about the relationship rather than yourself. This is, of course, the opposite of using sex as a weapon. That includes stretching yourself to be intimate at a frequency (either less or more) that your spouse desires. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
And you’ll need to talk about sex in order to understand your spouse’s needs. This does not mean your own needs aren’t important; it’s just that focusing on your own needs first never works out well.
Get your sexual needs met ONLY from your spouse.
As a man or a woman, God made you a sexual being. But the only legitimate place to get physical sexual satisfaction is from your spouse. “Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
If you’ve struggled with pornography or affairs, inviting God into your marriage bedroom means dealing with those painful realities. God doesn’t “zap” you into a good married sex life; He takes you through the restoration process for as long as it takes.
Respect what sex does for your spouse.
The biggest turnoff to your spouse is likely a distant or demanding demeanor. No more condescending comments, avoiding your spouse, or using Scripture as a weapon to either demand or refuse sex. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” (1 Cor. 7:3) The word “affection” here includes both emotional kindness and physical affection.
Let God deal with all parts of your marriage.
Fatigue, physical illness, stress, marital conflict, previous trauma – all these and more will impact your physical intimacy together. If God is a natural part of your life together in other ways, it will be easier to make Him part of your physical intimacy also. “But we all … are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God is after making your marriage into something beautiful, and He invites you to work with Him in doing so. Give Him that chance.
Extend grace to each other.
People make mistakes. You make mistakes. You married a sinner, and so did your spouse. God has extended grace to you: it’s important to extend grace to your spouse. This does not mean continuing to put yourself in a position to be harmed if your marriage is toxic, but it does mean learning to forgive each other. You’ll need to do it often. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13, NIV).
Extending grace can feel hard when you’ve felt hurt. Forgiveness is a process, but it’s worth learning to do it well.
Pray specifically about your sex life together.
Yes, that means you and your spouse pray about sex. Together, and individually. Loving well, including sexual love, can only fully happen when you invite and allow God’s love to flow through you. He will hold you together if you invite Him to. “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).
Does this guarantee complete sexual fulfillment every time you desire it with your spouse? No. But I can assure you that the only way to give yourself a chance of that kind of fulfillment is to have God as a regular partner in your bedroom.
Lord, please come into our marriage right now. Thank You for making marriage, and married sex, to be good. My spouse and I have “stuff;” we ask You to be with us as we deal with our stuff. Bring us healing. Remove our shame, anger, entitlement, fear, or lust. Draw us closer to You and closer to each other. Bless us as we bring our bodies, minds, and hearts together. Share Your love with and through us as we right now make love to each other and once again become one flesh. Amen.
Your Turn: What have you done to bring God into your marriage bedroom? Which of these elements might you need to focus on next? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
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- God invented marriage and married sex to be good. But He needs to be in the middle of it! Here are seven elements in how to bring God into your marriage bedroom. Tweet that.
Struggling to Talk About Sex?
Learning to communication–about sex and about other things–is something most couples want more help with.
Our Guide to Healthy Communication in Marriage will help you reset the communication between you even if it’s completely broken down. You can learn to do this better!