7 Reasons Sex Is Important for Your Marriage
Imagine the beginnings the universe for a moment — out of vast nothingness, before space and time and even stars in the galaxy, the Spirit of God hovered above the surface of the waters and breathed creation into existence.
“Let there be light,” he said (Genesis 1:3).
In that moment, life for us began. He created seas and land, vegetation and fruit trees, the sun and the moon, and creatures upon the earth and in the air and water.
Earth swarmed with life, a beautiful cacophony of existence all in symbiotic, perfect relationship with him and with each other.
Then, into all of this, God spoke once more and created us, human beings. Scripture tells us God created us, male and female, in his own image — the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
When all of this was complete, God rested, noting it was “very good.”
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/dragana991
A Biblical View of Marriage
Ponder this, those first two people. The Bible elaborates in the next chapter on how they came into being at his command — how, after God created the man and put him in the Garden of Eden, he saw it was “not good” for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So he determined he would create a helper fit for the man, causing the man to fall into a deep sleep, taking one of his ribs, and then forming a woman from the man.
The man exclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (v. 23).
Because of this, the Bible tells us, a man shall leave his father and his mother and “hold fast” to his wife, and they shall “become one flesh” (v. 24).
What a beautiful, intimate picture of a marriage this shares — two people, parts of one whole, with God at the center.
Today, marriages are not always like this initial design. Men and women often fight to retain the self, forgetting they are supposed to be one wedded body. Distractions and worldly issues press in, threatening to tear apart what God united.
There is one important thing uniquely designed for marriage, however, that can help remind a couple physically, emotionally, and spiritually of their extraordinary, God-ordained marriage bond: Sex.
Whether we call it making love, bedroom intimacy, marital relations or any other name, sex within the boundaries of a marriage is a wonderful, God-orchestrated thing. God created sex, and like all things God created, it both glorifies and pleases him when it is pure and right.
The Bible is filled with much instruction about improper sex, from immorality and obscenity to sex outside the bonds of marriage, and with all the warnings about consequences of improper sex, sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to the good things God has to say about sex within a marriage.
But make no mistake: Sex is extremely important in a marriage, fostering intimacy and glorifying the Lord like nothing else.
Here, let’s explore seven reasons sex is critically important in marriage.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PeopleImages
1. Sex Is Part of What God Intends for a Marriage
As stated above, when God created man and woman, he intended for the husband to “hold fast” to his wife and for the pair to “become one flesh.”
The original Hebrew used for “hold fast” is dābaq, which translates also to “join with” or “cleave to.” It’s another way of saying the two will adhere, or stick, to one another. The original Hebrew for “become one flesh” is basar echad, also meaning uniting of the meat, flesh, or skin. Essentially, God is saying he fully intends for a husband and wife to join as one flesh, to unite in their bodies.
This is different from sex being merely “permitted” in marriage. Rather, God is saying sex is expected, proper, and an important element of a marriage.
Following this, the Bible notes that the man and woman were “naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25) — again, reiterating the idea that sex isn’t just allowed but encouraged and considered good and a proper part of marriage.
This is echoed much later, in 1 Corinthians 7, when the apostle Paul writes that, “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Corinthians 7:3-4).
The husband and wife, then, belong to each other. One flesh, as God intends.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Annette Sousa HW
2. Sex Helps Us “Be Fruitful and Multiply”
Sex does not always result in reproduction. But we do know that reproduction happens when a man and woman have sex. And while there are so many more glorious and beautiful reasons to have sex in marriage than reproduction, reproduction is part of God’s plan for his people. As he told the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
The original Hebrew for fruitful is to para, meaning produce, flourish, or increase. The Hebrew for multiply is raba, meaning to make numerous or cause to increase.
He wanted the people to populate the world and help to thrive, and sex helped them do this. Likewise, in a marriage, sex can produce children, thereby growing the family in size and creating a legacy.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Joao Silas
3. Sex Bonds a Couple
Life can be incredibly difficult. We might face illness, loss, financial hardship, famine, persecution, and more. Worldly cares and frustrations, not to mention temptations, can distract us from what is important in life and lead us astray.
But sex creates deep intimacy between a husband and wife. It’s a language and an act you share with no one else but your spouse, and it establishes a closeness we desperately need in our marriages, especially when dealing with life’s troubles.
When we leave our childhood families — our parents — to join with our spouse, a bond is broken, but a new bond is formed. That bond isn’t meant to be established once, or just for practical reproductive purposes but for intimate, relational purposes. Over and over again, as a married couple engages in sex with each other, they establish and deepen their bond. They draw closer and closer, one flesh, just like God intended.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PeopleImages
4. Sex Is a Loving, Pleasurable Act of Sacrificial Giving
Sex is never casual. When we engage in sex with our spouse, we are giving over the self. It’s an act of beautiful and loving sacrifice, serving and expressing love in a unique way only experienced in this one particular relationship.
In Romans 12:1, the apostle Paul urges us to present our bodies as “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In a marriage, when we give of ourselves sexually to our spouse, it’s much the same. We offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. It also ties in with Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7, that the husband has a duty to give his body to his wife and the wife has a duty to give her body to her husband. “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:5.
5. Sex Helps Us Resist Temptation
Of course, there’s another great benefit to frequent sex within a marriage. As Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 7:5, don’t deprive each other “so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Regular sexual intimacy keeps the bond strong between a married couple, and by doing so, it locks shut a door that sexual temptation can open. It also helps guard us against lust and sexual impurity.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages
6. Sex Is an Act of Love
Sex isn’t just a physical act. While physical actions are involved, it’s also an emotional and spiritual exercise. God designed it that way. It makes us happy and releases good feelings. It can help hard or broken parts of ourselves heal, or tear down emotional walls that might be rising between spouses.
At its root, while the physical is involved, sex is an expression of love and unity, a joyous and life-affirming act. As Proverbs 5:18-19 urges, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”
And as the husband says to his wife in Song of Solomon 7:6-8, “How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights! Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit.”
Ephesians 5:28 urges husbands to love their wives, reminding readers that God created man and woman to join to each other as one flesh.
Sex is a deep and profound act of love, he’s saying. Don’t withhold it.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PeopleImages
7. Sex Glorifies God
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we read Paul’s urging to the early church in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
But sex, too, can glorify God. When we give our whole hearts, all our passion, lovingly and sacrificially to our spouse, what a beautiful way this is to love them and honor the Lord. Not only is this passionate, pleasurable, and pure, but it helps our marriage relationship grow, keeps us on track spiritually by helping us have sexual self-control, and serves our spouse.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/mictian
What Are Some Other Bible Verses Honoring the Importance of Sex in a Marriage?
Besides the many listed above, here are a few other Scriptures that underscore the importance of sex in a marriage:
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4).
“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you” (Proverbs 5:15-17).
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).
“Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh’” (1 Corinthians 6:16).
“What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).
“Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers” (Song of Solomon 1:4).
Despite what culture sometimes says, sex is an extraordinarily important, life-giving, soul-quenching, relationship-establishing element. It is critically important to marriage and helps the husband and wife stay in love and committed for life.
Amen, and thanks be to God.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Ben White
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Her newest release is an Advent daily devotional for those seeking true closeness with God, which you can find at https://www.jessicabrodie.