Many of us complain that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Yes, it’s true that human connection always requires an act of the will, time, and effort. For, in addition to being very different, spouses often allow walls to separate them over many years. But, however different we are, and however great the distance between us, God has made spouses to be better together. God even created the sexual differences in us to make marriages more fulfilling and less selfish.
We fit together as we should.
We cannot use our differences as an excuse to allow God’s precious gift of sex to collect dust
Let’s Enjoy This Good Gift
If we truly believe that sex is a good gift from our Creator God, then we can be assured he will support our efforts to use his good gift properly. We cannot use our differences as an excuse to allow his precious gift of sex to collect dust, like those unwanted socks you got for Christmas.
Therefore, in this article I will offer six wholesome ingredients for spouses to bake into their marriages and reignite their sex lives.
A Recipe For Sexual Fulfilment in Marriage
In my previous article, we turned to the Bible and asked ourselves what God, the Creator of all things, intended for sex in the very beginning. What was his design for sex? What is a healthy sex life? We saw that sex is a precious and pleasurable gift from God within marriage. God designed sex to be a community builder, a source of lifelong delight, and a lighthouse to which we must frequently look to avoid wrecking our lives on the rocks of consumer sex.
To reject, neglect, or grumble against God’s gift, is to reject the Lord himself
Consumer sex has shaped our culture since the sexual revolution of the 20th century (and even before). This view and treatment of sex is increasingly destroying human community, connection, and commitment.
Sex may require effort, forethought and a fierce spiritual battle, but Christian marriages must reclaim this delightful gift from God for our own good and for his glory. To reject, neglect, or grumble against God’s gift, is to reject the Lord himself.
Six Essential Ingredients
So let’s get cooking. Below are six practical ways to build a stronger sexual connection between spouses and fan the flames of our love lives in marriage.
1. Consider Your Spouse’s Sexual Needs
Commit to meeting your spouse’s needs in a faithful and intentional manner. Since our bodies belong to each other (1 Corinthians 7:5-7), we should never use them to punish, manipulate, or withdraw from each other. Remember that men and women respond to sexual stimulation at different rates.
What matters is that each partner commits to meeting their spouse’s sexual needs unselfishly
Furthermore, our sexual needs are often quite different. But it really doesn’t matter who is more sexual in the relationship. What matters is that each partner commits to meeting their spouse’s sexual needs unselfishly – provided that a spouse’s requests do not violate your marriage covenant or conscience.
2. Communicate About Sex
Commit to communicating your sexual needs and reservations to one another. Within marriage this should be done freely and without fear, knowing that sex is God’s good gift to your marriage. Make sex an open topic in your marriage and don’t be ashamed or embarrassed, but always loving. Never ridicule or shame your spouse. Talk things through respectfully and honestly.
3. Commit To Sexual Purity
Commit to sexual purity in your marriage. God’s parameters are wide. But there are some boundaries which he lays down for our own good. Don’t allow fantasy lust into your marriage (Matthew 5:27-30). Take every thought captive to Christ, as the most ferocious spiritual battlefield is your thought life. Flee from pornography, which is selfish and fuelled by lust.
Just as you must not invite other parties into your marriage bed, don’t let any person but your spouse into your mind. Once we do we will very quickly find our spouse unsatisfying, and no longer delight in the “wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
Trust Jesus to fulfil your unmet needs and do not turn to sin
Don’t develop an emotional or sexual attachment with any person except your spouse, either on the internet or in real life. Trust Jesus to fulfil your unmet needs and do not turn to sin. Get help and be accountable to someone you trust when you face temptations, or you will live a double life.
4. Create Romance
Create an atmosphere of sexual pleasure in your marriage. Lovemaking won’t just happen by osmosis. Remember that sex begins in the kitchen, not in the bedroom. If a husband is impatient, angry, or inconsiderate all evening, he’s crazy to think his wife will be eager for sex at bedtime. It’s even less likely she’ll enjoy it.
Romance happens outside the bedroom.
Romance happens outside the bedroom. Pursue your wife like you did when you were dating. Plan a date night every week. Plan sexual encounters together, and make sure the kids and housework are taken care of.
5. Connect Deeply, Meaningfully
Be intentional about creating a deep connection with your spouse. Authentic, self-giving love requires time and sacrifice. Set aside special times to simply enjoy each other in a non-physical way. Talk, read the Bible and pray together, play games, share hobbies, and build your friendship. Regularly turn off your smartphones, as technology has been shown to foster disconnection and loneliness.
Each spouse must feel loved for who they are, not just for their ability to offer sexual fulfillment
Going for a walk away from the noise and demands of home might be a good start to pierce the surface of superficiality and build a better connection. Become best friends again. Relational intimacy shapes and strengthens sexual intimacy. If there’s no connection on the soul level, there’ll be a poor connection on the physical level. Each spouse must feel loved for who they are, not just for their ability to offer sexual fulfillment.
6. Confront Sexual Problems
If you have sexual problems, deal with them together. At some point in nearly every marriage, you’ll face obstacles: lack of desire, chemical and hormonal imbalances, unresolved conflict, sickness, stress, and fatigue are all part of our broken existence.
Don’t strand your spouse sexually because of a problem that you haven’t dealt with.
Go to the doctor. Pray together. Seek counselling for past abuse. Go on holiday. Do whatever you’ve got to do. For we must not deprive our spouses sexually (1 Corinthians 7:5). Don’t strand your spouse sexually because of a problem that you haven’t dealt with.
One Last Suggestion
Finally, make a worthwhile investment into your sexual life and marriage, by buying and reading together Kevin Leman’s book, Sheet Music—Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. This is a wise, hilarious, and straight-talking book. Leman will help you and your spouse talk more comfortably about sex.
“If you and your spouse work in tandem,” says Dr Leman, “you’ll create some of the most stunning music ever heard! All it takes is practice…and the right attitude. Sex is about the quality of your entire love life, not just the alignment of your bodies. So why not put inhibitions aside and give your spouse the best gift ever—a sexually enthusiastic mate?”