Marriage and Family Meditations XXVI
Psalm 104:34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD.
Cornerstone Ministries Napa Valley Marriage and Sexual Intimacy 5
Sexual Responsibility In and Out of Marriage
Dear Family and Friends,
As I continued to write about the issues of Marriage and Sexual Intimacy I have sent out some powerful biblical warnings about the destructive misuse of this very precious and powerful relationship that is meant to be between a husband and a wife. One thing is clear from scripture; sexual intimacy outside of marriage is immoral, but within marriage it is natural and proper and a mutual pleasure and responsibility. Another aspect that is clear from scripture is that God expects us to control ourselves and restrain ourselves from sexual intimacy until we are able and willing to take on the full responsibilities of marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:1 – 9 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman”, what a contrast to our cultural patterns from as early as Jr. High age where holding hands, fondling, making out, and all forms of intimate touching often lead to sexual intercourse before high school graduation. Boys and Girls bounce from relationship to relationship making commitments and breaking commitments multiple times. These cultural habit patterns seem to be a major reason that there is an irreverent and selfish outlook towards sexuality and irresponsibility in marriage, and to the marriage covenant itself.
“Do not deprive one another except with consent” In this verse in Corinthians God’s word teaches us that within marriage there is a mutual responsibility to lovingly provide affection for your spouse and to live under the realization that once married your body is not exclusively yours but is in a “one flesh” relationship which you and your spouse share together in mutual physical submission to one another. Also we see that God’s word clearly teaches us to marry and fulfill our sexual needs for one another or remain unmarried and abstain. And when you marry you are making a covenant with one another to fulfill one another and to be sexually intimate.
God’s purpose in the sexual union is clearly for procreation of children, and also to bind husband and wife together in mutual submission, it has a part in teaching us to be responsible for one another and to establish a foundation for raising our children in the stability of a committed, self sacrificial and loving relationship. Malachi 2:13 – 17; Deut 6: 5-9
A major problem today is that what God intended for good we, (many of us) even in the church, have allowed to be corrupted.
Outside of Marriage, sexual drives were not given to us for selfish, irresponsible, recreational use. Promiscuous sexual behavior is what the bible calls harlotry, or prostitution, and while we generally don’t think of sexual behavior outside of marriage this way that is exactly how God’s word describes it. God’s word does not really distinguish between the “girl and guy” on the street and the woman or man who sleeps around (has had multiple partners) or just “lives together” without committing to the covenant of marriage.
Within the Covenant of Marriage, some misuse or neglect their responsibilities for sexual intimacy and abuse it, even using it as a form of blackmail to leverage their partner and get what they want. Some have threatened divorce, have “withheld favors” and have some committed “adultery in their hearts” by lusting after another.
Let us pray earnestly that as “Born Again Believers” and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ we would repent of all sexual sin which grieves the Holy Spirit, and destroys our marriages, and stumbles our children. Let us stand firm in the Lord and ask for His forgiveness, and for forgiveness from each other. May we be faithful to flee temptation and resolve to honor God with our bodies outside of marriage and in our marriages and our homes.Trust in His mercy and grace and live rightly in Jesus.
Note: Obviously there is a whole lot more to marriage and relationships to be found in scripture, and it is my intention to bring out from the bible some of the many “nuggets” that have proven to be helpful to married couples and those contemplating marriage. Some of these also apply to relationships in general and so perhaps some who are unmarried will also be encouraged.
I hope that you have found these studies helpful and encouraging, please feel free to share your comments or call if you would like prayer or biblical counseling.
Counseling is available at the church office daily Monday – Friday or evenings call for appt.
Love and Blessings in Jesus Pastor Vince 707 738 1435