Sex seems purely physical to some, as if it couldn’t be associated with our soul. Frankly, the only time God is brought into many marital bedrooms is when someone yells “Oh my God!” in the heat of climax.
But while sex is physical, this act can also honor God and touch our spirit. Maybe you don’t always feel it, but do you believe it? When we make love according to God’s design, there’s spiritual depth to the experience.
Let’s look at why.
God the Creator designed sex and called it good.
Who thought up this crazy thing called sex? Well, that would be God. He could have made sex a fairly straightforward, reproduction-only event. But instead, He designed it for intimacy and pleasure as well.
Consider the pleasure centers of our bodies, the way humans often make love facing one another (not a feature of the animal world), and His words about husband and wife becoming “one flesh.” It was after God commanded humans to “be fruitful and multiply” (and we know how that’s done) that He labeled His creation “very good” (Genesis 1:28, 31, NASB).
God’s design for sexual intimacy in marriage was good from the beginning.
There’s a whole book in the Bible about sex.
God ensured an entire book celebrating marital intimacy—the Song of Songs—was included in His Word. This book is instructive to couples on what thriving intimacy looks like in marriage. It includes affection, affirmation, connection, and yes, sex.
Song of Songs even includes a passage in which the married couple engages in sexual intimacy, followed by the encouragement to “be intoxicated with love!” (5:1, HCSB). In other words, get the full amount of pleasure and excitement from this experience that a husband and wife can.
God is in favor of physically expressing love in marriage, and expressing it fully.
Sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is a metaphor for our relationship with God.
How can a physical experience between husband and wife relate to anything in the spiritual realm between God and His people?
Yet, that’s what God says. In the Book of Hosea, God promises to take His people as his wife, in that intimate relationship of marriage (see Hosea 2). And in Ephesians 5:31-32, the Apostle Paul expresses it in this way: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
God likens the one-flesh experience of husband and wife, that deep intimacy, to the relationship our Lord wants to have with His church. When fully making love with your spouse, you can’t get any closer physically. And this intimacy is a metaphor for how close God desires us to be with Him.
Sex is most intimate when we bring God’s commands and biblical principles into the marriage bed.
Sex by itself is a purely physical act, but we know that in relationship—in marriage specifically—it means far more. Sex becomes an expression of emotional closeness, of trusting another with your most private self, of covenant love.
As said before, it should be physically pleasurable. God created it to feel good. But if you want the very best in your marriage bed, you’ll approach it with God’s commands and biblical principles in mind. That is, with love, kindness, patience, honesty, goodness, and joy.
No, we’re not constantly picturing God while making love with our spouse. (That could be awkward.) But we shouldn’t leave behind the person God wants us to be when we enter the marital bedroom. Rather, we should honor Him there too, while having a fabulous time with your beloved.
God created our soul, and He created our body.
We can use both in tandem to follow His design. Indeed, as we learn how to approach our marriage bed with a more spiritual focus, sex can become even more physically exciting.
So yes, sex is physical. But God created it to go beyond the physical in your marriage. Even to embracing the spiritual in your life.
You likely won’t feel that sense of the spiritual every time, but it’s there—for all the reasons above and maybe a few more.