Paul knew that the Corinthians had their ideas of sex skewed. I mean, the time that they lived in was full of people tying religion and sex together in this weird and sick twist. Not much different from today, the culture had turned something simply divine into an abdominal act.
But in I Corinthians 7:3-6, he starts talking to married couples and gives it to them straight. My kind of guy.
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempts you not for your incontinency.”
That’s a mouthful, right? Let’s make this a little easier.
To give due benevolence simply means, “If she/he wants it, give it.”
Now before you go wagging your finger at me and getting defensive, consider this. The day you gave your vows, I am sure somewhere in there you made the statement of being one. The husband and wife become one body, joined together until death makes them part. Would you deny your body food when it is hungry? No, of course not. Would you tell your body “No!” when it thirsted? I hope not. Would you tell a broken foot, “Not now. I have a headache,” when it needed medical attention? I highly doubt it. Then why is it so easy to deny our other half the very thing that they need:
I fully realize that there are exceptions to the rule at times. And I know that there are those that are in abusive relationships that other factors come into play. But for right now, I am talking to the average married couple.
You see that part in the passage that says Satan will tempt us for not often coming together? That’s legit. That’s a real thing.
Sex is a fantastic way to connect. It’s intimacy in its highest form
(Warning: If you are related to me or knew me before I was, say, ten, be warned. Personal sex talk ahead. Dad, that specifically means you!)
Let me just get real for a second.
When Peter and I were going through some struggles in marriage, communication being the main issue, we decided to do something extreme. No, we didn’t go to counselling, although I am a very big advocate for it. We didn’t do a bible devotion on marriage or how to talk to your spouse. We did something that required no words. We had sex for a month straight. No lie. We dedicated 30 days to our marriage to always say “Yes“. It was the easiest and most enjoyable way to reset our marriage and get on track.
When the part of the equation of ,“I don’t feel like it because he…” or “ I don’t want to because she…” was taken out, we were free to show love in one of the best ways. There was no wringing of the hands when we got into bed. “Will he want it tonight?” “Will she be willing to tonight?” It was always yes! We were free to just get into being together and not dwell on what the other did or said that day. It was like we came to the marriage bed already forgiving the other and just showing love in the purest form.
We walked away from that month changed. I mean really, really different… for the better. In fact, we were so happy with the outcome, we kept it going. (Insert a slight blush.) When new issues come into play in our marriage, we find that getting to the basics is what brings us back together. You can’t make love when you are angry or bitter. It’s not enjoyable when there is resentment. But it is so wonderful when you know your spouse is fully willing to be present, lay aside all strife and malice, and just enjoy this beautiful gift God gave us.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that sex is an amazing thing that God has given to the married couple. Why would we refuse a gift? Why would we take the thing a King has given and hide it in the back of the closet, rarely to be used?
Folks, it only gets better with use. It’s like that old college sweatshirt. The one that is your absolute favorite to wear. The reason it’s the best is because it’s fibers have been perfected and softened by much use. It’s the same with sex. The more you participate, the better it gets. And honestly, like the sweater, the more you’ll want to wear it.