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  • Writer's pictureDJ and Lorrie Harry

God's Design for Physical Intimacy in Marriage


You can't be in the world without being overwhelmed by the constant pressure to elevate an unBiblical view of sexuality. The reality is that we live in a hypersexualized society that pushes sexual themes into every part of life.


On the other hand, if you grew up in a typical conservative church in America...and the got married at the age of 20-25... for 20 years you heard stern warnings about protecting yourself sexually, on avoiding the temptations of the strange woman, on keeping your thoughts pure... Honestly, I can't think of any time as a young person that I heard a sermon from a Scriptural text that lifted up the sexual relationship and elevated its God-designed purpose.


So then why are we surprised that young couples struggle with understanding God's design for sex and how to enjoy it within God's design?!?!?


Often the only knowledge that many young people have about physical intimacy is what they have learned from the world, movies, and television...all distortions of God's gift of intimacy.


So they struggle. They struggle to understand God's purpose for physical intimacy in marriage.




So far in this series we have studied...


...and now...understanding God's design for physical intimacy in marriage.

Growing More Intimate in Marriage


Physical Intimacy in the Bible


Genesis 2:24-25 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Proverbs 5:18-19 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

Song of Solomon...we will save those verses for another day!!!



An Important Question


If I were to ask you "why" are you intimate with your spouse, what would be your reason?

...maybe because it is expected

...trying to have kids

...it's just normal

...because we enjoy it


Did you know that while all of those are understandable reasons for physical intimacy, they fall short of understanding God's design!


4 Biblical Principles for Sexual Intimacy in Marriage


1. Sexual intimacy in marriage glorifies God

I Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."


Clearly not all things done by man glorify God...and we can't take just take anything we do and make the claim that we are glorifying God... However, if you are living in accordance with God's commands and how God has commanded, that brings glory to God!


2. Sexual intimacy in marriage brings unity

Genesis 2:24-25 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The husband and wife relationship brings unity to that marriage...brings them together in a one-flesh relationship


“Sex is perhaps the most powerful God-created way to help you give your entire self to another human being. Sex is God’s appointed way for two people to reciprocally say to one another, ‘I belong completely, permanently and exclusively to you.’

-Tim and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage


3. Sexual intimacy in marriage should be recurrent...normal part of marriage

How often? that is going to be something you and your spouse determine...but it should be a regular part of married life.


I Corinthians 7:1-5 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 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.


Paul is addressing a question that had been sent to him in a letter from the church of Corinth...the question was regarding the teaching that minimized the role of sexual intimacy in marriage

  1. Yes, it is critical that Christians abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage

  2. However, remember that sexual intimacy is a healthy part of marriage

  3. Sexual intimacy should not be withheld lightly


Nothing is ever said about frequency, but it is clear that it should be a normal part of married life.


4. Sexual intimacy in marriage is focused on serving your spouse

"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."

Neither the husband or the wife possessed ownership of our own bodies... This was a radical shift from the first century Palestinian culture where women were considered property...this puts husbands and wives on equal footing before God!


*My role as a husband is to make sure the sexual needs of my wife are met...selflessly

*My wife's role is to make sure that my needs are met...selflessly

-we give to each other

-sex outside of marriage is about what can I get

-sex within marriage is about how can I give, serve



This is transformational...physical intimacy is no longer just getting what I crave. It is giving to my spouse in a way that is a gift from God...something that we can enjoy and share together!


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