When God created mankind, He designed them to be male and female (Genesis 1:27). There are many differences between male and female, and it takes one of each to create another human life. God designed the sexual relationship to create a unity between a husband and wife (Genesis 2:24-25; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18). As with everything else God created “good,” man has corrupted and perverted the sexual relationship; it is “shameful even to speak of those things which are done by [man] in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).
While the Bible has much to say about the sinful use of the sexual relationship, there is also much to be considered in having an intimate relationship between a husband and wife that is pure and healthy. For example, consider the picture of marital happiness in the book of Song of Solomon, a poem about married love.
Here are some thoughts and suggestions from God’s Word to help you and your spouse maintain an intimate relationship that is pure and healthy:
- Keep other people out of it. Adultery is involving someone else in your bedroom (Hebrews 13:4). Do not use pictures or videos either. The dangers of pornography will be dealt with at another time. Keep your relationship intimate, just between the two of you.
- Keep your relationship healthy outside of the bedroom. A wife does not want to share her love with someone who frequently criticizes her (Romans 14:19). Nor is it easy for a husband to want to share his love with someone who nags him (Proverbs 21:9).
- Use your words to compliment your spouse, especially in those areas where he or she might feel particularly vulnerable. Simply consider Song of Solomon 4:1-5 and 5:10-16. While your wife or husband might be different from everyone else, it is likely that he or she wants and needs to hear your words of appreciation for his/her physical attributes. Compliment liberally and sincerely.
- Keep the level of stress in your life to a minimum. Life demands a great deal of energy, time, and mental power from us. Even if your wife stays at home, she is occupied with chores around the home. Distractions can steal intimacy from your time together. Husbands, if you need to, clean the house, wash the dishes or whatever, so that your wife can give you her mental and physical energy. Wives, if you need to, mow the yard or keep the “Honey-do-lists” to a minimum so that he can give you his thoughts and energy.
- Communicate! In 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, Paul informs us: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” Share with your wife or husband what you enjoy and give to him or her what he or she enjoys. Do not take knowledge for granted; share it.
- Finally, be selfless. Be considerate if your spouse is not feeling well. Be considerate if your spouse is overly distracted. Think of his/her needs before you think of your own needs: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
God designed the sexual relationship. He designed it to be good. It is only good if we follow the instructions He has set out for us in His Word. But, if we do follow His instructions, we can enjoy the intimate relationship with our spouse, pure and healthy, as God intended. Then it will make us one.