Sex has the potential to be the most profoundly satisfying and rich part of a marriage. Sex the way God intended it to be expressed–within the context of a loving, serving relationships between a husband and wife–is a mysterious and sacred act that knits a couple together in ways that are beyond description.
We can talk about the deep, toe-tingling pleasure of orgasm, but words fail when we try to describe the oneness that a husband and wife feel after giving their bodies to each other. The Bible tells us that this oneness is a reflection, a mirror, of the oneness between Christ and his body, the church: “‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.”
Although sex can lead a couple into some of the most intense pleasure in a marriage, it also has the potential to lead them into pain. Why?
First, the very mystery that we just described can lead to misunderstanding between husbands and wives.
Second, most of us come to our marriages with unrealistic expectations. We measure our own experiences against what we see on our television and movie screens or what we read about in books.
Third, our sexual lives can cause hurt because we too often see sexual pleasure as something we get rather than something we give. A great sex life leaves no room for selfishness.
Deeply satisfying sex occurs when husbands and wives connect the physical with the spiritual, emotional, relational, and psychological sides of sex. When all these facets work together, couples enter the mystery of the oneness God intended.
If we took seriously the glimpses that movies, television programs, and books give us into people’s bedrooms, we would conclude that singles or people in extramarital affairs have the best sex. Well, they don’t. Medical studies have discovered that married people have the best, most satisfying sex. They enjoy sex more often and have the highest levels of physical and emotional fulfillment. In fact, 88 percent of married people receive great physical pleasure from their sexual relationships, and 85 percent report the same positive experience emotionally.
Sex is extremely, intensely satisfying—when it’s used the way the Creator designed it. That’s when it works best, when it lasts longest, when it brings strength to a relationship, and when it elicits ecstatic responses from husbands and wives.
Great sex isn’t just a grope, a grab, and a romp in the sack—although at times it can be. Great sex involves a lifetime of study and practice. It requires commitment and discipline.
Disappointment about Sex
Even with all of the statistics about how great married couples do in the bedroom, in Gary’s work as a counselor and in our work coaching people through our ministry America’s Family Coaches, we’ve seen literally thousands of people who have problems with sexual intimacy. In many households, couples are confused and disillusioned about sex.
We keep asking ourselves why married Christians are struggling so much with sexual intimacy. Of all people in the world, they should have the best, most incredible sex lives. After all, they worship and serve the great creator and designer of sex! But it is clear to us that Christian couples are struggling just as much as, if not more than, their non-Christian counterparts.
A few years ago we surveyed hundreds of couples from across the country to find out their top sex needs, their desires, and their struggles. The majority of our book, The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women, is based on our findings in that survey.
We define sexual needs as what goes on both inside and outside of the bedroom. What is or is not going on outside the bedroom has a profound impact on what goes on inside the bedroom.
If you are dealing with a sexual issue in your marriage—no matter what it is—we want you to find the hope, encouragement, and healing to pursue great sex. If you and your spouse are not experiencing a satisfying sex life, then we want to set you free from what is holding you back, lead you to an open discussion, and ignite a desire to seek God’s best in your bedroom.
The Ultimate Lesson
God made men and women to be different from each other. Most of the time we’re pretty happy about that. But sometimes those differences make it challenging to have and sustain a great intimacy life. Why is that? Is God cruel? No. We believe that God wired men and women differently so that we can appreciate the mystery and so that we can continue to learn about each other.
Yes, sex is about pleasure, but so often we miss the larger purpose. We seek immediate gratification, immediate pleasure. Sex is about me. Yet, that is the opposite of the way God works—and the opposite of the way God wants us to work, especially in our marriages and intimate lives. Ultimately this realization calls us to redefine it altogether.
We have brought into our bedrooms so many expectations and perspectives that shouldn’t be there. We’ve listened to our culture for far too long; we’ve defined sexuality in ways that are displeasing to God.
The more the two of us work with couples who struggle sexually, the more frustrated we become at what Christians have allowed our culture to dictate about what should and should not happen in the bedroom.
That’s when we look at each other and determine that enough is enough. As Christian couples, we need to guard our bedrooms and our marriages. We need to cordon off our marriages from negative influences. We need to redefine the environment in our bedrooms and reestablish God’s design for our sex lives.
*For more revealing insights about what your spouse’s most intimate sex needs are – and how to meet them – check out The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women in our online bookstore!