This is not an easy topic. I’m sure you’re squirming reading this probably as much as I am writing this! However, Paul has something to say here, and there is an important message to be heard.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 spells our a husband’s and wife’s duty to one another physically stating:
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 tempt you not for your incontinency.
There’s a lot here to soak in.
It’s the duty of the husband and wife to meet each other’s needs.
There is no room here for argument. The husband first and then the wife are commanded to meet the physical needs of each other. And this isn’t just the physical needs of food and clothing, but the most intimate of needs. You came together in a vow to love, honor and cherish for the purpose of glorifying God and becoming one. That was becoming one spiritually, emotionally and physically. I think that it’s easy for us to focus on the first couple and miss the fact that they are a package together. A marriage that is strong will have all three components.
The husband and the wife are not to be selfish with their bodies.
Unfortunately, we as humans are quick to learn how to push each other’s buttons to get what we want. I see it in my two boys. The oldest (up to this point) knew exactly what to say to get the toy he wanted from the youngest. The youngest has since gotten smarter, though.
In marriage, sexual intimacy– because of how much pleasure and unity is derived from it– is occasionally used as a weapon to get the desires of one of the parties. I’m sorry to say this, but let’s be blunt– it’s usually not the guys that are holding out on this one.
Do you see the point Paul is making in this passage? Your body is not your own. Now, I’m not saying that it’s fine for abuse to occur. I’m not even saying that it should be there every time it is petitioned. What I am saying is that since your body is not your own, you should be looking for ways to use that body to build up, encourage and yes, even provide pleasure to your spouse.
Abstinence in marriage is not to be something that lasts for long periods of time because it leads to temptation.
Paul says it plainly. There is only one Biblical reason that two married people should not have consistent physical unity. It’s for prayer and fasting for both, and the two are to come together quickly so that temptation is not allowed to take hold.
Godly Wife, are you helping your husband resist temptation by showing him that he can count on being able to delight in your love? The attitude that you take toward being physically intimate with your spouse is going to color everything. If it’s a hassle, he’s going to feel it.
Let’s be honest. We live in a society out there that wants to tempt your husband in all sorts of ways. Our sex saturated culture is selling him the idea that sex is simply for fun, that there are many willing women out there that will gladly show him a good time, and they show up in all sorts of places.
You want your man to be faithful. You want him to love you and want to come home to you and be there to protect you. I’m sorry to say it this bluntly, but what are you giving him to come home to? Is the thought of being with you physically something he knows that you’ll both enjoy, or is it a chore? If it’s the latter, well… do something about it!
Question Idea taken from Questions for a Godly Wife
- Godly Wife: Is He Your Master?
- Godly Wife: Who Are You Seeking to Please?
- Godly Wife: Are You His Helper or His Obstacle?
- Godly Wife: Does Your Husband’s Heart Trust in You?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Handle When He is Wrong?
- Godly Wife: How do you Handle Disagreements?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Receive Correction?
- Godly Wife: Are You Drawing Him to You with Your Speech?
- Godly Wife: How Does Your Husband Grow?
- Godly Wife: Who Trains the Children?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Make Your Husband Feel?
- Godly Wife: Are You Intimately Available?
- Godly Wife: Do You Speak To Your Husband with Flattering Words?
- Godly Wife: Are You Helping Your Husband to Greater Heights?
- Godly Wife: Are You Keeping Your Wedding Vows?
- Godly Wife: Do You Dominate Your Husband?
- Godly Wife: Have You Cut the Cord?