The Gospel in the Bedroom

Did that title catch your eye? We don’t usually see the words “gospel” and “bedroom” in the same sentence.

The Gospel is the central point of Christianity. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, entered the world in human form; lived and preached among us; sacrificed himself as the ultimate blood offering for our sins; and conquered death through His resurrection so that we can live with our LORD eternally . . . that is definitely good news, or gospel, to the whole world.

Cross with wedding rings

by AnonMoos via Wikimedia Commons

The Gospel calls us to higher principles, purposeful lives, and servant hearts. Often, we don’t allow it to permeate every area of our lives. The Gospel should impact what you choose to do with your time and money, which thoughts you dwell on and which ones you resist, how you treat your friends and the restaurant drive-through employee, and — believe it or not — how you approach the marital bedroom.

The Gospel matters a great deal in every aspect of life, including the intimacy you experience with your husband. These are just a few of the aspects of the Gospel that affect your married sex life:

Because of Christ, you can trust that God can redeem your brokenness.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7

If you have sexual baggage from your past — an addiction to pornography, an affair that wrecked the trust in your bedroom, or whatever other sin you can think of — Jesus Christ died for that sin. He brings forgiveness and healing when you confess and repent.

Because of Christ, you can forgive your spouse and give grace.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Has your husband mistreated you sexually at some time? Sought his own pleasure and ignored yours? Ignored your sexual needs? Demanded sexual satisfaction or refrained from giving himself fully? Quite honestly, most of us can think of a time when our spouse was selfish regarding sexuality. But regardless of what has happened in the past, you can be generous, give grace, start over.

Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. For instance, maybe he awakened you to have sex last night at 3:00 a.m. not because he doesn’t care how exhausted you were after taking care of a sick child yesterday or working on a job project with a looming deadline; maybe he was restless and started thinking about how beautiful you are to him. We can’t know exactly what our spouse’s motives are, so lean toward the most positive possibility. And forgive past sins, as you have been forgiven.

Because of Christ, you can have hope for your future.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:18-20

Think about that. The same power that God used to resurrect His Son is working in your life. You have hope for better things — in the life after this one, and in this life as well. We know that Jesus wants our lives and marriages to be full (John 10:10), loving (Ephesians 5:2), and fulfilling (1 Corinthians 7:3). When we know that God desires for us to have intimacy in our marriage and then shares His power with us, we have hope! Maybe your marriage and sex life isn’t everything it should be. Continue in prayer. Continue in faith. Continue in hope.

Because of Christ, your body has intrinsic value.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Your body is valuable and has the capacity to honor God. The verse prior says to “flee from sexual immorality,” and then gives the above reason. But if you are fleeing from sexual immorality, where should you run to? Well, to sexual morality of course! Welcome to God’s plan for marriage. You honor God with your body when you follow His plan for it in marriage; when you delight in the mate your Father has given you; when you seal your commitment and intimacy with physical bonding.

Because of Christ, you know what true love is.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

I teared up while looking for passages for this one. There are SO MANY to choose from. We know what true love looks like because Jesus modeled it for us. He was patient with disciples, gentle with sinners, humble before God, and serving and sacrificial above all. Imagine taking the perfect love of Jesus into the bedroom and being patient, gentle, serving, and sacrificial. Imagine both of you approaching physical intimacy that way. Now tell me how fabulous that would be for your sex life.

Because of Christ, you know that your intimacy mirrors and symbolizes what the Church has with Jesus, her Bridegroom.

“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32

Isn’t it amazing that the verse chosen to reflect Christ and the church ends with “the two will become one flesh”? The unity of a husband and wife is like Christ’s unity with His people. I desire one day to have with my LORD the intimacy that mirrors the intense closeness I experience with my husband in the midst of sex. How I long for it! And when I experience such pleasure and bonding with my husband, I know that it is a mere taste of what God has waiting for us in Heaven.

If the Gospel is true, the implications move into every aspect of our life. Our marriages are affected by God’s steadfast, redeeming love. Our physical intimacy with our mate is affected by His example and sacrifice.

We Christians need not approach the bedroom as the world does. Sex isn’t merely physical or all about oneself. The apex of intimacy is not multiple orgasms or more and more kinky sexual acts. The goal isn’t to have sex when we want, with whom we want, however we want, wherever we want without regard to others. We have the ultimate instead: a Gospel-driven life that shows a better way in every area — including the marital bedroom. And guess what? With God’s perfect design, we can end up having the most amazing sex! (See Spiritual Intimacy While Making Love from Sheila Gregoire.)

I pray for each married couple to experience the Gospel in their bedroom — to know the overwhelming love of Christ and to share it with their spouse.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

My sincere thanks to Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard who said something that inspired this post. Be sure to check out her marriage blog!

23 thoughts on “The Gospel in the Bedroom

  1. Do Not Disturb Blog

    Amen and Amen! So many people have asked me why I am so free in the area of sexual intimacy and this post so exemplifies the answer. God’s grace, love and redemption are so much a part of my life that I have never once doubted His desire for me to apply them to my marriage and sex life. Thanks for a beautiful post. I also pray that many are blessed by your message.

    Megan

  2. Anonymous

    Only got to scan this, but it thrilled me! Thank you for writing! I’ll find time to read it properly asap.

  3. Debi - The Romantic Vineyard

    J, I’m in tears. This post is one to frame and remember until the Lord calls us home. What a Savior and what a friend! And to think He intends for us to share this same kind of love with our spouse. I’m so affected by this, and we’re about to welcome Brad and Kate to our home for dinner. Oh my, I think we’ll be talking this one! Thank you for such a thought-out, God-glorifying post. Wow!! Well done!!!
    P.S. Thanks for the link up!

    1. J

      Okay, Debi, we are such GIRLS! 😉 After reading your comment, I got teary-eyed too. How very sweet of you to say this! Your words inspired and then I just turned the topic over to what God says about himself and our marriages. What a great God we have!

  4. Pearl

    Thank you for these thoughts, J. They have truly touched my heart. I’ve just recently come to understand the connection between sexual fulfillment and spirituality. I have had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that it’s OK for me to like sex as a Christian. But, realizing the spiritual factor of sexual union with my hubby has helped.

  5. Anonymous

    Your post was timed by God J, I have been dealing with some things in our marriage that at times I feel like the mountain is too big to climb, but today I was communing with God about it, and then afterwards I sat down and saw your blog, what perfect timing! I know God heals and is able to help. Thank you

  6. Jenny

    Thanks so much for this, J. My husband and I are beginning to work towards healing in our intimate life. I long so much for both of us to experience this fulfillment in our marriage, and in our relationship with God. It’s something I pray for all the time, and I know God will answer my prayers! I know He wants this for us, that it is pleasing to Him. Thanks again. I always enjoy your posts. 🙂

  7. Lisa

    So glad I just found your blog! What a beautiful and inspiring post! So much to pray over and think about. Thanks so much! Many blessings, Lisa

  8. Rena

    I’ve just finished reading your Personal Testimony and What I Believe pages and looked for somewhere to comment. I thought I’d come back here. I’m beyond thrilled that you stepped out into this blog!!! Over the past months I’ve sensed a call myself to step out in this area. At last summer’s end I read Eden Derailed on the theology of sex at the request of a blogger friend. Her Pastor wrote it. I did a blog review and cannot say enough good about this book. MUST READ!
    The church has too long ignored this highly important topic. It’s time we step it up! I’m reading Sheila’s book as well and am so thrilled that God is using men and women to speak up about this topic.
    Thank you for this blog!!! I’m looking forward to reading more.

  9. Gina Parris

    J, you always write such inspiring posts. I love that the Gospel permeates our whole lives. I watched this African family last night at the baseball games. They were staying with the ministers who stayed with them for six months. I was sort of sad for them to see how “worldly” life is for believers here. “Ministry” here consists of preparing for the fraction of a family who will show up for an hour of church per week. But then I got to realizing how my faith is a huge part of everything I do, and my awareness is of the sacredness of all that is secular (and sexy) for me.

    I don’t write such blatantly Christian posts, as I’m clearly called to the “burned by church” crowd. But I praise God for Truth that heals the hurting and I always praise God for your joyful look at life, love and The Redeemer who makes it all possible.

  10. M

    Thank you, J, for your wonderful ministry! Yours was one of the blogs I held onto when I found out about my husband’s porn addiction and your wisdom helped me through our recovery and restoration. Christ’s forgiveness was the only way I could get through.

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