Don’t Just Have Sex. Make Love.

I know marriage authors who far prefer talking about making love than having sex. For the most part, it seems a bit po-tay-to, po-tah-to to me. If I say “make love,” y’all all know I’m talking about having sex with your spouse.

And from a writer’s perspective, it’s nice to have more than one way to express the meaning of sexual intimacy. We have plenty of alternate names for nookie — everything from “marital intimacy” to “the beast with two backs” (thanks for that one, Shakespeare).

In a marriage with healthy, godly sexual intimacy, does it matter too much whether we call it “coitus” or “making love”? Either way, you’ll likely experience it in a loving way.

But many of you are not in those perfect, we’ve-got-it-all-together sexual relationships with your beloved. Maybe it’s a far cry from where it should be, or maybe you just need some tweaking. But when you come together, it doesn’t feel as intimate as it should. It’s just having sex.

And that’s not really the point of sex in marriage.

For those of us who messed up pre-marriage and remember a bit of what it was like to be with someone you didn’t care about nearly enough, we definitely know the difference. It’s why I plead with people not to do what I did! (Including my children.) I want them to have a better experience than just having sex. Because anyone can do that. Big whoop.

But my Heavenly Father has a much more valuable gift for me. He wants me to experience deep and meaningful love as part of the physical act of sex. He wants it to be in the context of a covenant relationship with a life partner. He wants it to be pleasurable for my body, my heart, and my soul. And that’s why He said outright that it should be done in love.

It’s right here in this all-encompassing verse: Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).

Marriage Memory Verse 2-27-16

You can’t really argue with the word everything. That’s got to include sex in your marriage bed.

And the word translated as love is the Greek word agapeAgape is often described as a selfless, servant love that wants the best for the other person. It’s known as being the kind of love God Himself has for us. I like how Merriam-Webster defines agape as “love feast.”

That’s how agape works. It’s over-the-top, giving-all-I’ve-got love.

And it’s the kind of love we don’t master on our own. Rather, we channel it from God Himself by seeing our spouse through His eyes.

When you bring that kind of making love in your marital bedroom? Let’s just say, WOW!

Give it whatever name you want, but we are called to treat sex with our spouse as an agape experience. We are supposed to make love by treating our spouse with Christ-like love and approaching sex as an expression of our deepest feelings for our beloved.

“Do everything in love.” It’s not an easy command, but we should take it seriously. Especially when it comes to our marriages.

Isn’t your marriage worth giving it all you’ve got?

Memory Verse Help

Now whether or not you’ve been joining me for my Marriage Memory Verse challenge, don’t tell me that you can’t memorize this week’s verse! Four words and a citation. You can do it!

Remember that I’m only asking you to choose one verse per month to commit to memory. It’s also good to go over those verses at other times in your head to keep them fresh. Then when you face a difficult situation, those memorized verses come to mind as God’s guidance.

Let’s talk this week, though, about remembering citations. Because I stink at that. I’m always saying something like, “Somewhere in the New Testament, it says . . .” But it’s better to know where a verse comes from, so you can access it later and read it in context for better understanding.

And this is where “Sword Drills” are a great tool. If you grew up in a church that did this activity, you’ll remember how it goes. But basically, your sword is your Bible (“sword of the Spirit,” Ephesians 6:17).  You can play alone or with others. But close your Bible, look at the verse reference, call it aloud, and then see how fast you can find that scripture in your Bible.

Once there, read the scripture aloud.

Rinse and repeat.

By interacting with the information in a fun way, you’ll be more likely to commit both the verse and the citation to memory. For a great info-graphic on Sword Drills, check out this link from OneHope.

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18 thoughts on “Don’t Just Have Sex. Make Love.

  1. libl

    My husband has flat out told me, “you keep saying you want to make love. I just want to have sex!”

    Thankfully, we have grown since that painful argument. Spending time lavishing me with ecstasy bores him. Getting “banged” leaves me empty. We have found a middle ground that is acceptable.

    Reply
  2. Eric

    This reply is re BOTH the “Don’t Just Have Sex . . . ” and the “Manspeak” posts. I’m writing from the perspective of a man married more than 50 years. We both came from Christian homes, with no divorces for as many generations as we are aware of. Common words re sex, if our parents heard us using them, resulted in a paddling or mouth washing with soap and water.

    Then we got married.

    I do realize that many women (both Christian and non) find certain common words offensive. OTOH, some of both sexes find making love to be highly erotic pleasure, as well as a bonding experience, and therefore enjoy a nicely timed “naughty” word now and then, in the bedroom where only our four ears + God can hear. After all, it’s private.

    A couple of years ago a men’s Christian marriage blog (which I believe has been represented on this loop a few times) discussed a book written by a sex-positive woman: Just _ _ _ _ Me. Most men who commented about the book hadn’t read beyond the title, which they found intriguing. Yet this word, often found on the walls of public restrooms, can be powerful in the proper context (the marriage bed), or disgusting, depending on both the context and the heart of the person using it in private (as a verb, rather than an expletive).

    I did read the comments to both these posts, J. What I took away is that there are two sides to this issue, and “Never the twain shall meet,” I guess. That’s why some personal things are also private. Pietists don’t understand nymphos, and vice-versa.
    Eric

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      My entire point is about the attitude you take into the bedroom. You aren’t just having sex with someone’s body, but making love to your chosen mate.

      That said, I would highly object if my husband dared to use such a crass word with me in the bedroom. I do not find a word scrawled on bathroom walls and often used in conversation as an insult to be arousing or respectful. I know some women disagree, but I think more wives agree with me than not. In my marriage, we use playful phrases a lot, and certainly don’t say, “Let’s make love” every time. I think that’s unrealistic and doesn’t tap into the private, humorous part of sexual intimacy with your spouse. But yeah, couples should discuss this and not just assume their words have no impact. What we say often represents what we think.

      Reply
      1. Lynn

        I teach sociology and in the course of teaching, we talk about language. I tell them that some of our most common ‘four letter words’ are good old Anglo Saxon, and that the ‘F word’ means “to strike”. I compare that to the current phrase, “I’d hit that”. I agree with you, J, I dislike that word.

        Reply
  3. Jennifer Schmidt

    I heard recently that an excellent way to memorize Scripture is to say the reference out loud, then the verse and again the reference, five times in the morning and five times in the evening for five days, you’ll have it down easily. Thank you for your posts! They are always so encouraging.

    Reply
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  5. Christina

    I liked your post because I believe having sex with the one you married should be special because to me that person is the other half of me. And when we come together we are uniting as a whole. Husbands should try to please their wives and wives should just as much try to please their husbands.

    Reply
  6. Keelie Reason

    I think that making love encompasses all of the kissing and everything that happens leading up to and after sex is over. Definitely good to keep that mindset of enjoying the whole process, not just rushing to get to the big o, which is good, but better when you build anticipation.

    Reply
  7. Garden Wren

    J, I absolutely love your blog. It’s always overflowing with insight and realistic in its context.
    I am very fortunate to have a husband whom adores me and vise versa. That being said, you’re totally spot on in your assertion that while not every time is going to be the slow, steady, “let’s gaze into each others eyes for a hour” love making, all acts should be performed in love and respect for one another… Even the good ole, after church, kids are FINALLY taking a nap, Sunday afternoon, race to the bedroom, quickie (which usually results in waking one or both of the munchkins up.) Marital sex is about coming together physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually as one flesh and I find it amazing just how much that union with my beloved proves almost theraputic for both of us, especially when one of us is stressed. It helps realign us and oftentimes significantly clears our heads, making the conversations afterwards some of the deepest, most productive we have. (I’m not implying that our everyday interactions and conversations are less than, but there is just something special about the “afterglow” period.) Luckily were both pretty high drive and often joke that if we could get someone to watch the kiddos for a week we could probably figure out the solution to end work hunger or something before passing out from exhaustion. Marital sex is a truly amazing gift from God and it pains me to see so many couples struggling with understanding God’s intent of that gift or never fully unwrapping it in the first place. Keep up the good work J. I sincerely believe you’re helping more than you’ll ever fully know!

    Reply
  8. Jeff Banks

    I will try and explain the difference from a philosophical and cosmological view point so please don’t try and interpret this response in any religious context.

    To begin to understand the difference of having sex an actualistic point of view must be undertaken. This comes right from the very heart of the Universe itself and its fundamental property/force which is love in its purest form. The Universe itself is biological, we are all components of the consciousness of the Universe, this is why our state of existence is so precious. When our souls are born into a physical life we lose that connection and attain an individualistic consciousness.

    Truly falling in love with someone entails a commitment that goes beyond physical, it is an amalgamation of two souls and we find solace in our existence. Making love allows a couple to achieve all but for a moment our pure state of being in which our souls come from. Making love connects us physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually, sex is just a part of making love but only a very small slice of the pie. Sexual gratification alone has no bearing in truly fulfilling the needs it purporting to fulfill, rather I would liken sexual gratification to that of nicotine, it fools our brain into thinking it is something we need to survive. True love and making love because of that gives us the desire to wake up everyday and love each other and life that to me is the essence of long term survival.

    Love is a factor of divinity, making love is the greatest factor of divinity we can achieve in this existence.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I see some truth in what you say. Although I don’t know how to not interpret this in a “religious” way, since my faith permeates my worldview. For instance, “When our souls are born into a physical life we lose that connection and attain an individualistic consciousness” strikes me as different from my belief that God creates our souls and physical lives at once. Perhaps I would see it more as humans being made in His image, and thus our souls bearing His mark of extravagant love. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
      1. Jeff Banks

        I can remember my first memory in this life, I can remember inhabiting my body and conciousness and being born into the world. I know this it didn’t happen at birth it happened at about a year and half old. I can remember my first memory was looking into the sun it was blinding and I was screaming inside. Afterwards I can remember being pushed along in my stroller and my perception of the world was that of and adult devoid of all memories. The only explanation to me is that perception to be an echo from a previous life it was only temporary what was not temporary is that memory it is still like it happened yesterday to me.

        We are definitely made in the image of God as God is not singular in his image but all encompassing, God is life it’s self scientifically known as the Universe.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Your concept of God, therefore, is not mine. I worship a personal being who created all things and gave me a savior in Jesus Christ. I don’t believe the universe is God, but that the universe is God’s.

          Reply
          1. Jeff Banks

            I never made an assertion that I said had anything to do with beliefs I certainly don’t want to tread on yours. I encourage you to believe whatever you feel is in your heart, God loves us no matter our perception or concept of him

            Christ is the manifestation of love it’s self in it’s purest form Christ is more than just a man or a name he is indeed the savior of all. The only belief I have is actualism, the actual processes of nature go well beyond that of our understanding only the mind of God himself truly understands those processes. I asked God years ago to show me the understanding of our existence and he showed me.

  9. Chris C.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah… I see that everyone has an opinion and great, if not good, ideas. But it really doesn’t matter to me what anyone has to say because…
    1it doesn’t matter how much one tries to be for the other if the other doesn’t appreciate it, want it, or care for it.
    2 how selfless does one have to be regardless of how selfish the other is.
    3 regardless of what one does the other does NOT enjoy it. Period.
    4 there’s an excuse for any day of the week to where I’ve actually been told… “Not tonight, my hair hurts.”
    5 its like this… This is a great love story of a man and a woman full of and with passion, understanding, commitment, sacrifices, honor, loyalty, everything that any couple would want in a marriage except for the physical activity of sex and being naked together.
    6 she doesn’t want it then he doesn’t need it.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Your comment breaks my heart. I pray something happens to change her attitude.

      In the meantime, answering (2) — consult the Bible for how extravagant our love should be. I don’t mean that you ignore boundaries — you don’t give others free rein to damage you, another child of God — but we usually have to do far more than seems fair or reasonable. Do I get this right with everything in my marriage? Nope. But I believe it’s God’s calling for me, so I aim for it again and again.

      Reply

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