Tag Archives: what does the Bible say about sex

Launching the Conversation About Sex in Your Marriage (with Downloadable Sample Chapter of Pillow Talk)

A wife recently wrote to me saying that she’d had my book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples, on her list of things to check out for a while. But she thought it was just a book of topics to talk about and getting over the weirdness of saying words like “sex” and “naked,” whereas she wanted to go deeper.

Once she downloaded the sample, this wife was amazed how much information and communication the book included. She purchased her copy right away and thanked me several times over.

Yep, notes like those are really awesome! But her statement also gave me a V8 moment. (And those of you who don’t know that a V8 moment is suddenly realizing something you should have thought of before, you’re making me feel old.)

Why had I never shared a sample chapter on my blog?!

You can download a sample through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with a few chapters to try it, but I wanted to give my fabulous subscribers and readers a freebie here!

Ground Rules

The introduction to Pillow Talk is a guide on how to use the book. But right after that comes a chapter titled Ground Rules. Since it begins, “Whatever you do, don’t skip this chapter,” let me at least summarize what I said there.

Each conversation chapter consists five sections:

  • Introduction—a single paragraph introducing the topic.
  • Ask and Listen—three questions to ask of your spouse and then listen to their answers.
  • Read and Consider—scripture to read together and thoughts on that passage.
  • Touch and Pray—an invitation to hold hands or embrace and pray over what you’ve discussed and learned.
  • Go and Do—two activity options to help you apply what you’ve learned.

That second section, Ask and Listen, is where we can fall prey to misunderstanding our spouse, insisting on our perspective, and wading into arguments. To avoid that happening, follow some ground rules.

First, choose a good time and place. Pick a time when both of you can focus and don’t feel too tense, as well as a location that seems neutral and isn’t loaded with distractions.

When it’s your turn to answer.

  • Be honest and vulnerable. “There is no great gain in intimacy without vulnerability and authenticity.”
  • Consider how you express your concerns. How you express something matters as much as what you express.
  • Keep your requests reasonable. For example, don’t demand a strip tease if your wife won’t undress until it’s dark. Ask for progress that can reasonably happen.

When it’s your spouse’s turn to answer.

  • Listen. “Do not interrupt, do not correct, do not contradict, do not defend, do not criticize.” (See Are You Listening to What Your Spouse Says About Sex?)
  • Stay calm. Easier said than done, but the book has more tips on how to maintain a cool head.
  • Seek clarification. If you don’t understand or something feels like an attack, probe a little. Your spouse may not be saying what you think.
  • Accept their feelings. Just because you don’t or wouldn’t feel the same way doesn’t make your spouse’s feelings invalid. Even if their feelings are based on error, that doesn’t make them illegitimate.
  • Think through their answers. It’s tempting to react quickly, but let your spouse’s words sink in and mull over your response before you speak.

Each of these points is further explained in the book, but those are the basic guidelines.

Sample Chapter

The first chapter of Pillow Talk is about praying for your sex life. While I believe in the importance of starting there, I’m actually sharing chapter two below, because I think it’s more representative of the book as a whole. Also, this conversation could really help some couples open their eyes to their similarities and differences regarding sexual intimacy in their marriage.

Below is Chapter Two: What We Learned About Sex. Or click the button for a downloadable version you can print out.

Ad for Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples

How we grew up hearing and thinking about sex can make a big imprint on our perspective later in life. Unfortunately, few Christians report having received thorough, positive, Scripture-based instruction about sexuality. How has what you learned impacted your sexual intimacy?

Ask and Listen

  1. What’s your earliest memory of sex? When did you learn about it, and what did you learn?
  2. What messages about sex did you get from your parents, mentors, and the church as you grew up?
  3. What, if anything, that you learned about sex as a child has negatively affected your view of physical intimacy now?

Read and Consider

Read together Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God’s pronouncement to the Israelites in this passage involved teaching the children who God was, what He had done for His people, and how they should honor Him by living according to His commands. This foundational education was to be an ongoing practice, saturating their daily existence.

Within the law of Moses, they were expected to follow commands about sex which showed God’s desire for it to remain holy and mutually satisfying in marriage. But many of us weren’t taught what God’s design for sex really was. Instead, our parents and church leaders were silent, ignorant, or negative. Often they hadn’t received godly instruction themselves and didn’t know how to teach us.

It’s not too late to learn. God’s Word can still teach you what it means to experience intimate, meaningful, and pleasurable sex as God intended in the covenant bond of marriage.

Touch and Pray

Holy Father, You are the creator of sex, the designer of pleasure and intimacy in the marriage bed. But we have struggled with messages that make it difficult for us to fully embrace the gift You long for us to enjoy. Help us to align our understanding with Yours.
[Pray specifically for the issues you brought up in your conversation.]
In Jesus’ blessed name, Amen.

Go and Do

1. Take a sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down underlying messages about sex that you got from the teaching you received. Those can be anything from “sex is good in marriage” to “only bad girls want sex” or “sex is for the man.” In the right-hand column, counter any negative messages with your growing understanding of what God says about sexual intimacy. You don’t have to believe these yet, but record what you think is the right answer. Finally, put a star by those erroneous messages you struggle with most.

2. Trade lists. Yes, this is a vulnerable exercise. But let your spouse see where you’re struggling, so they can help and pray for you. In turn, promise to help and pray for your spouse.

Q&A with J: “Our Marriage Bed is a Mess” Part 1

My inbox is filled with questions from spouses telling me about their hardships regarding sexual intimacy in their marriage. I have maybe 100 such emails, and I often feel bad that I cannot get to each and every one. I imagine these individuals finallypainfully telling the details of their concerns and hoping to find some answer that will set them on the right path.

Yet my time is limited, my own marriage and family require attention, and God doesn’t expect any one person to do it all. I’m just one finger, or maybe just a toe, in the Body of Christ. I take heart that even Jesus sometimes turned away from the demands of people to keep His focus on the primary mission: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).

Since I don’t have the time and resources to answer each of those emails, I want to share six responses that come to mind when reading various stories of marriage bed difficulties. These are for the people who write me to essentially say, “Our marriage bed is a mess.”

Blog post title with unhappy couple in bed

I’ll cover three today, and three next week. Perhaps one of these touches on your particular situation.

And, by the way, I’m going to be really candid. No mincing words.

1. You’re married to a selfish jerk.

Sadly, some of you are living with a selfish spouse who dismisses your beliefs, belittles your feelings, and/or thinks your body belongs solely to them to be used as a sexual tool. Perhaps they also pursue sexually sinful practices and expect you to get involved or to look the other way.

If that’s your situation, you have to stand up for you! Set some boundaries. If you don’t know how to do this, go read Boundaries or Boundaries in Marriage by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Then follow through.

If your spouse’s attitude and behavior reaches the level of abuse — verbal, emotional, even physical — you have to stop allowing and enabling that. Even walk away, for your safety and wellbeing. And please no one tell me that suffering through abuse is somehow analogous to Christ suffering on the cross. Jesus allowed Himself to be mistreated then for a specific and higher purpose. But two other times, He escaped people wanting to physically harm Him:

At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:59).

Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp” (John 10:39).

A selfish jerk likely won’t change unless you throw a wrench in the gears, meaning you stop playing your part of the system. Instead, calmly oppose mistreatment wherever occurs, to others and to yourself. That’s biblical.

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17a).

2. You are the selfish jerk.

Sometimes the spouse who writes me is the selfish one. They complain about how they’re not getting everything they want in the marriage bed and explain how they’ve whined and argued with their “beloved” about how they’ve been mistreated without any progress. Wow, I’m sure that makes you a lot of fun to be around. 🙄

If you’ve given your spouse the clear impression your only interest in them is getting exactly what you want sexually, why are you surprised they don’t want to sleep with you? If you’re always complaining, often angry, or only touching them to get sex, you’re not an appealing lover. Kevin A. Thompson wrote a great post about this: I Wouldn’t Sleep with You Either.

Your answer is to remember what you did while you were dating, falling in love, first married. Are you doing those things now? What kind of person are you to be around? Do you need to focus on giving your spouse the gift of happiness? Are you making sex all about you? What about your spouse’s needs and desires? Ask yourself some tough questions, and then pray for God’s help and guidance on what you can do to be less selfish and move loving. (I’ll give you a hint: It looks more like Christ.)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus….” (Philippians 2:3-5).

3. You have a poor theology of sex.

Theology is “the study of the nature of God and religious belief.” More specifically, it can refer to “religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed” (Oxford Dictionaries). One core part of my ministry is correcting erroneous beliefs about sexual intimacy; that is, throwing out our wrong thinking about sex and replacing it with God’s design for sex in marriage.

Unfortunately, too many Christians still have beliefs about sex that aren’t in line with how God our Creator made sex. And those ideas of what sex really means, how it should practiced in our lives, and what to do when we face challenges impact our marriage beds. What plenty of spouses need is an adjustment in their theology.

So when people write me and say that they heard something was wrong or something was right when it’s really the opposite, I wonder if we shouldn’t simply open our Bibles more and see what our Lord Himself had to say about it all. Of course, some people don’t know where to look, and that’s something I’ve tried to address often. It’s also a problem that our churches and pastors don’t talk enough about sex and marriage. Sometimes what we spread is just off-the-mark, like my recent post for Crosswalk.com on 10 Myths about Sex You Heard in Church.

If this is where you are — not really knowing what part sexual intimacy should play in your marriage — then continue reading my blog and check out other responsible Christian marriage blogs like To Love Honor and Vacuum, OysterBed7, Heaven Made Marriage, The Forgiven Wife, Calm.Healthy.Sexy, Awaken Love, and the like. A part of me would also like to tell you which sources to avoid, but instead I encourage you to study your Bible more so that you will be “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Also, read books that cover this subject well, like my Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, Sheila Gregoire’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and Julie Sibert and Jeffrey Murphy’s The Pursuit of Passion. And listen to my podcast with three other marriage and sex bloggers, Sex Chat for Christian WivesGet others around you reading and listening these resources so that you have allies. Ask your pastor and/or elders to introduce more resources for married couples. In short, seek truth. I know there are a lot of voices competing for your attention, but truth is out there for those willing to pursue it.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it….” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Genesis 1:27-28, 31).

I have three more overall answers to many questions I’ve received, which I’ll cover next week.

If you’re one of the readers I haven’t specifically answered, please know that I appreciate you writing me, my heart does go out to you, I wish I could clone myself and do much more, and I’m praying for you and your marriage.

The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Poor in Spirit

In the course of my life and as I’ve grown this ministry, I’ve become convinced of this truth: Whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom as well.

Not only are there specific verses about marriage and sexuality in the Bible, but many principles can be applied to how we should treat our spouse when it comes to sexual intimacy in marriage.

Last week while I was at church camp (with 350 kids in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio), we studied the Beatitudes all week. These statements of blessing are at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and are found in Matthew 5:3-10:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The word translated blessed is “makarios.” This Greek word has also been translated as “happy” but carries the meaning of “fortunate” or “favored.” It’s perhaps the equivalent of someone who wins the lotto or marries a terrific woman, and others say, “What a lucky guy!”

Although, of course, blessedness isn’t pure luck, but rather the gift of our Heavenly Father. With the Beatitudes, I believe He’s stating both a truth and a promise: You will be happier if you live according to My principles, and I will bless you with My favor.

Being me, I got to thinking about how the Beatitudes apply to our marriage beds. What does being poor in spirit or meek or merciful have to do with how we approach sexual intimacy? Do any of these principles apply to our sex lives? Or are the Beatitudes solely about spirituality?

Since I believe our spirituality seeps out into our physical lives, I think there is an application. God wants us to love and honor him with our whole selves (see Luke 10:27), which includes our physical bodies on earth.

Let’s take the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? This is most often explained as the trait of humility; that is, understanding our spiritual poverty and need for God. The opposite, therefore, would be selfishness and arrogance.

How could “poor in spirit” apply to the marriage bed?

Someone who is selfish and arrogant might feel entitled to sexual pleasure, seek their own satisfaction, and/or blindly assert that they are great lovers, regardless of whether their mate is enjoying the experience. They justify their porn habit or sexual refusal or a myriad of other sins. Or perhaps they’re simply unwilling to discuss the problems that exist in the marriage, even blaming the other for miscommunication and dissatisfaction.

However, someone who is poor in spirit understands that he or she isn’t the be-all-end-all of the sexual experience. They recognize their flaws and need for improvement. They turn to God for help when things are tough, and accept help from their spouse when needed. They seek the best for their mate, not merely themselves. They pursue the spiritual health — and thus physical and emotional well-being — of their beloved.

Humility is among the toughest virtues to consistently pursue. Because we’re always looking at the world through own needs, desires, and perspective. We’re naturally selfish. And, as I’ve said more than once, if I didn’t believe my opinion to be 100% right, I wouldn’t have that opinion.

Humility requires a willingness to listen to your beloved and let go of your knee-jerk reaction to take care of your own needs. It doesn’t mean getting run over by your spouse (by no means!), but rather recognizing your own imperfections and submitting yourself to God.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

What a great promise. And a worthy goal for us to pursue in our marriage and marriage beds, starting right now.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer

What Are the Real Purposes of Sex?

What’s the point of sex anyway?

Historically in the Church and in our society currently, we often misunderstand the real purpose of sex. There are three basic reasons for God’s gift of sex in marriage.

What Are the Real Purposes of Sex?

Reproduction. Genesis 1:27-28 says: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.'” At that moment, He had created vegetation, animals, and humans — all with their own ways of reproducing. His design for us was a sexual relationship between husband and wife that had the potential to create new life.

When you really think about this process, it’s pretty incredible. Male and female come together, join their complementary bodies, and an egg the size of a grain of sand and a sperm 1/30th that size merge. From there, cells differentiate, a baby grows in the womb, and a full human being emerges months later. Let me tell you, when you look (up) at your man-sized teenage son, it’s particularly astonishing that this whole process started with a fertilized egg the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And all that . . . began with the sexual act.

The first direct mention we have of sex in the Bible shows this purpose of reproduction. And Eve understood how incredible this was: “Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 4:1). I can imagine her tone as she said, “I have brought forth a man,” like Holy canoli, how did that happen?!

And over and over, we see similar phrases:

  • “Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch” (Genesis 4:17).
  • “Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth” (Genesis 4:25).
  • “There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and made love to her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er” (Genesis 38:2-3).
  • “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son” (Ruth 4:13).
  • “Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son” (1 Samuel 1:19-20).
  • “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon” (2 Samuel 12:24).

Throughout history, the Church has had this reason down pat. Just like we understand that we need to eat to keep our bodies going, we understand we need to conceive children to keep our families and our communities going. This was the official teaching of the Church for many years — that sex was for procreation.

“The early Church Fathers of the Patristic Age did indeed teach that the marital act was solely for procreation and that spouses should intend children when they engaged in intercourse” (Catholic Online, Sex: Only for Procreation?). St. Augustine famously believed sexual passions to be a consequence of The Fall and thought that, if sin had been avoided, humans would reproduce “by a calm act of the will” (Christianity Today, What Would Augustine Say – On Sex: God’s Blessing or Humanity’s Curse?).

Procreation has been an easy reason for Christians to embrace throughout the centuries. The Bible’s message is that children are a blessing (see Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 17:6; Mark 10:13-16). Given the first commands to man to “be fruitful” and the many times God blessed His people with children, it’s not surprising that reproduction has been championed for centuries as a main purpose of sex.

Pleasure. I started to write, “this reason is more recent.” But I don’t think that’s true. It’s both ancient and recent. That is, in Bible times sexual pleasure in marriage appears to have God’s high blessing (see Song of Songs 5:1). In Jewish tradition, pleasure was seen as a woman’s right in the marriage bed. She was not to be deprived of it by her husband (see Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 24:5).

Through a culmination of influences (Gnosticism, an attempt to avoid the sexual immorality prominent in secular cultures, the rise of monastic societies in the Church, etc.), the Christian Church came to view sexual pleasure as opposed to spiritual purity. Indeed, the Song of Songs became viewed strictly as an allegory of Christ and His Church, with this view perhaps best espoused by Origen in the 3rd century. He believed that Song of Songs was the “meat” of scripture and could only be fully understood and appreciated by the spiritually mature. He worried about those who, “not knowing how to hear love’s language in purity and with chaste ears, will twist the whole manner of his hearing of it away from the inner spiritual man and on to the outward and carnal; and he will be turned away from the spirit to flesh, and will foster carnal desires in himself, and it will seem to be the Divine Scriptures that are thus urging and egging him on to fleshly lust!” (Origen, The Song of Songs Commentary and Homilies).

But I wouldn’t put much stock in that, since Origen thought the body was so evil that he also slept on the floor, owned no shoes, and reportedly castrated himself based on his interpretation of one line in Matthew 19:12: “There be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Not to be too graphic, but a guy who’d cut off his own nuts probably isn’t too bothered by not having sex for pleasure.

This perspective — but not self-mutilation — was the official stance of the Church for many years: that we Christians should be careful not to enjoy sex too much. Otherwise, it smacks of loving the flesh overly much and not being sufficiently spiritual. Of course, this view fascinates me given the physical acts that many such proponents took to display their spirituality. For instance, charity — a definite Christian virtue — involves the physical act of actually helping people with bodily needs, like food, water, clothing, shelter. Are we not to take pleasure in helping people around us? Must it merely be duty and nothing else?

Anyway, the Church has thankfully moved away from that in recent years, with an acknowledgment that we allowed outside philosophies to taint what the Bible really says. Just look at verses like these:

A loving doe, a graceful deer—  may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love” (Proverbs 5:19).

“I have come to my garden-my sister, my bride. I gather my myrrh with my spices. I eat my honeycomb with my honey. I drink my wine with my milk. Eat, friends! Drink, be intoxicated with love!” (Song of Songs 5:1).

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.’ May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine” (Song of Songs 7:6-9).

If you need more convincing — note our biology, ladies. That handy-dandy clitoris has no role to play in reproduction, solely pleasure. God wanted us to enjoy the sexual act and the intimacy that we feel when we’re physically one-flesh with our beloved covenant mate.

Intimacy. Speaking of intimacy, I tend to think this is the crowning jewel. Because, to be honest, you could reproduce and feel pleasure during sex without marriage. We see it in society all the time. But there’s something special about sex that makes it an act God intended to gift husbands and wives. Yes, of course he wants daddies and mommies to raise kids, but not every sexual act creates a baby. What’s the purpose of those other times?

Ephesians 5:31-32 says: “‘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.” Well, what’s that’s about? How is becoming united/one-flesh in marriage like our relationship with Christ? I think it’s about the deep, loving intimacy between lover and beloved.

This is not the only time marriage is compared to God’s relationship with His people. For instance:

“For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion” (Hosea 2:19).

God prizes intimacy. Between us and Him. Among His people. And certainly between husband and wife. In fact, He infused the sexual act with ways to make it feel especially intimate, like the vulnerability of nakedness and body chemicals like Oxytocin and Dopamine to make us connected to our lover.

And these effects are not seen in short-term bursts of sexual activity. Rather, the intimate feelings come when we are linked to a partner again and again, in longer-term relationships. As in marriage.

Sex is something to be uniquely shared with your spouse, and thus it creates a deep intimacy when you partake together regularly and lovingly. God intended sex for reproduction and pleasure, but also to nurture intimacy between husband and wife.

Those are the three primary purposes for sex I see in the Bible. What benefits have you seen from having sex in your marriage?

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.

Only a few days left!