Sex is holy (set apart for a specific purpose). In marriage, it is a beautiful gift, and we honor God, the Giver, when we accept the gift with joy and enthusiasm. A husband and wife honors Him when they cultivate physical, spiritual and emotional intimacy.
We miss His heart when we think, believe, and/or make statements such as: He gave us marriage just to make us holy, Sex is strictly for having children, Spiritual intimacy is what matters, and the like.
To be clear, marriage is not all about having sex. And the couple, or spouse, who clings to this expectation will be quickly disappointed. But sex needs to be a part of your marriage (God says so) and it needs to be understood if it is to be enjoyed.
Sex doesn’t create intimacy, it is a result of intimacy. You can’t fix a frail marriage by having more sex.
Intimacy is created and maintained mainly by your emotional and spiritual connection. This includes but is certainly not limited to: the way you speak to one another, how often you speak and how deep the discussions are, how you look at each other, how you spend time together, the things you share or don't share with one another (fears, dreams, pain, frustrations, unforgiveness, etc.), the spiritual disciplines that you practice together (prayer, fasting, worship, Bible reading, serving, etc.), and so on.
There are many things that can hinder this connection, some of which arise from the normal day-to-day activities and stresses of life such as work or family responsibilities, sickness, or physical exhaustion.
Don't be quickly discouraged or scared when you see that you have not been sexually active for a while. At the same time, don't neglect it! That can and will create other problems down the road.
Other factors to this emotional & spiritual intimacy may include impure thoughts or behaviors from one or both partners (pornography, fantasies, personal struggles), problems from the past that have never been addressed and resolved, or external factors such as issues at work, conflict with relatives, tragic or unforeseen experiences, or spiritual laziness/neglect.
Young married couples especially need to understand that a healthy sexual relationship has little to do with frequency. At the beginning of our marriage, that was my mindset - it's all about frequency. Frequency is important, but it is not the primary gage for the emotional health of your relationship. To give a negative example, consider the wife who agrees to having sex whenever her husband wishes, but she is never fully engaged. She does it just to get it over with. That does no good. The husband, in this case, should be sensitive to this, refrain from being led by his physical desires, and begin to focus his attention on cultivating emotional intimacy.
Sex has much more to do with intimacy than frequency.
Here are some questions and areas to consider:
Husbands and wives, want to be pleasing to God? Cultivate emotional and spiritual intimacy first and it will allow you to cultivate and experience physical intimacy.
Keep the fire burning,
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 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. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Cor.7:1-5)
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. 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. (Prov.5:15-19)
Short, Biblical lessons and free resources on all things love & marriage. A pocket-guide for married couples and for single adults who want Gods best for their life.