By far one of the most eye-opening discoveries for me was when I realized that God and the truth of His Word extended into every single area of my life — including my marital bedroom. That revelation changed how I viewed sexual intimacy and my role as my husband’s lover.
It’s why I wrote The Gospel in the Bedroom — which remains one of my favorite posts about how Christ affects your sex life.
You could even make a case that the phrase “sex life” is a little silly, because having sex isn’t a life separate from the rest of the life you live. It’s all jumbled up together as part of who you are. You can’t shove God out of your bedroom as if your faith doesn’t reach into that part of your life.
You can’t pursue selfishness in your marriage bed, or withhold affection and intimacy from your spouse, or introduce sinful practices into your bedroom, and assume you’re a-okay with God because your sexuality is nobody’s business — private.
It’s not private to God.
‘Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord. — Jeremiah 23:24 (See also Psalm 139; Job 28:24.)
But honestly, it’s not entirely private to others.
Of course, what you do in your marriage bed should be kept private between you and your spouse. But since our lives are not compartmentalized and our Christianity should be infused into everything we do, how things are going in our marriage beds spills over to other parts of our life. And I believe people around us sense more than we realize.
I know this to be true of children. Oftentimes when parents — who thought they were keeping issues from their children — announce a separation or divorce, the kids aren’t surprised. Maybe they couldn’t put their finger on what was wrong, but they knew things weren’t right.
Our friends also note how we talk about our spouses. If we’re doing right and feeling happy in our marriages, including our sexual intimacy, we speak differently. We are complimentary not complaining, hopeful not hopeless, gracious not grudging. Even if it’s only in our tone.
I know for some of you, this is extremely hard because you don’t have the cooperation of your spouse. You know your marriage bed isn’t what God wants it to be, but you really don’t know how to make things better. I’ve written about how to talk to your spouse about sexual problems, but course you can only control you. You remain responsible to God, your spouse, your family, and those around you to demonstrate Christ-like love. And things could change — not on the schedule you want, but someday. Maybe a someday sooner than you think.
Regardless of where you are in your marriage, your approach to your marital intimacy says something about your faith. It sends a message to God, to your spouse, to your children, and to your friends.
We are constantly witnessing with how we live our lives — in all areas.
Which is why the Bible has verses like these:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:12
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
And it is this last one that I’ve chosen for our final January memory verse for your marriage.
Such a simple statement, but a reminder to all of us in marriage that our marriage and marital intimacy say something about our faith. And good, godly marriages can be a witness to a struggling world.Good, godly marriages can be a witness to a struggling world. Click To Tweet
Let’s work on improving sexual intimacy with our spouses not just for personal pleasure or to meet our physical or emotional needs. Let’s do it so that our marriages are solid, our lives are witnesses, and our children and others benefit from our commitment to God’s will.
Maybe others will never have any idea why our marriages persevere or why we are so content with our beloved, but they will sense that we are different. I truly believe this — that Christian spouses with close companionship and thriving sexual intimacy have a glow about them. They really do shine before others.
Memory Verse Help
Last week, nylse commented that she puts verses to songs to help remember them. That’s a great idea! In fact, I’d hoped to talk about that memory verse help, so here it is.
Here’s one version of John 13:35 set to music:
I’ve found quite a few Bible verses set to song on YouTube. You can simply enter a scripture citation and see what comes up.
But you can also do this yourself. Just about any lyrics can be sung to one of these two songs: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the Gilligan’s Island theme. I’m not kidding! Try it. You’ll have to work the cadence in different ways to see how it best fits, but I’ve tried this and can nearly always get one of these two songs to work.
And because I know you’re thinking, Seriously? This works? Here’s my proof! (Warning: You may want to turn down the volume before pressing play.)
To Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:
To Gilligan’s Island Theme:
This month’s memory verse theme has been about setting the right foundation for our marriages and sexual intimacy. I hope you picked one of these four scriptures to memorize!
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
10 thoughts on “What Does Your Marital Intimacy Say about Your Faith?”
Hmmmm…I have trouble with intimacy and sexuality because of sexual abuse. That is something that was done to me, not something I wanted to do. So I find it hard to say that a lack of faith is the cause for the problems in our marriage. I do have trouble trusting God though because I have trust issues due to the abuse, I cant fully trust my husband and I cant fully trust God because I’m afraid to be vulnerable. I guess I’m scared I might get hurt again…but our marriage is strong and we are very content with each other, even though we dont have sex. For two years I have burdened myself with guilt and shame for not being able to be a “good wife”. I have read so many articles on marriage and sex and I know what the bible says. But through all this I have been reducing myself to this one thing. There is more to me than sex. There is more to my marriage than sex. I am broken and I cant fix myself. All I can do is pray and go to therapy. I cant force myself, that would be abuse all over again. My husband is wonderful, he loves me like Christ loves the church. He loves me inspite of my brokeness, inspite of having to live without sex. Like Michael loves Sarah in Redeeming Love. I hate myself for not “being how I should be”, but I dont want to hate myself any longer. I will never heal if I do. I think God wants me to accept myself the way I am and trust Him to fix everything when the time is right instead of me beating myself up all the time. So I think we can have marriages that shine before others inspite of brokeness. You dont need sex for that. My husband loving me so much even though he cant sleep with me is a perfect picture of the love of Christ.
I’m so sorry this ever happened to you. So painful and wrong. I will be having some scriptures soon that deal with the ache of our sexual pasts.
I am so sorry that this happened to you. You didn’t deserve abuse. Not at all.
I thank God for this blog and I think it serves to provide a Biblical and godly view of sex that is healing and freeing. I am praying for you and that the therapeutic relationship provide healing for you so that you can experience all the joys of intimacy that are available to you and that you deserve. I totally resonated with your statement, “I am broken….” We are all whether we are aware of it or not. 😉 Blessings to you.
I love your series on memorizing scripture and applying it to marriage and I LOVE this post. Thank you for all that you do.
I have sometimes given an outburst of thanks to God when I’ve been overcome with love for my husband – I think it startled him the first time. This morning, at our grace before breakfast, my husband gave thanks for our food and for our morning activity that had just preceded. This seems perfectly right to me!
Yes! We do often thank God for the good gift of sex when we pray before our meals, and ask for His help when things aren’t going as we’d like.
A wise woman once said: “Show me a couple’s love life and I’ll show you the state of their marriage.”
It was her way of saying that couples who make love to each other on a frequent basis are more likely to have less personal strife between themselves. Oh, they’ll still have disagreements, but the fights won’t be as mean and spiteful as a couple who have stopped being sexually intimate with one another. I only know this from personal experience.
What I find sadly ironic about this topic is that there are many spouses, both man and woman, who withhold sex in the marriage because the other person just isn’t spiritual enough. Their argument being that if they just prayed more, and got more involved in the church, then I’d be more willing to make love to them.
That’s a good point. Thanks, Jim.
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