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How to Have a Satisfying Sex Life, Pt I

by Kim Harrington 

 

     Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4

     Have you seen the billboards that say, "People are talking to your child about sex--shouldn't you be one of them?" Most parents are deathly afraid to bring up the subject, and most pastors and Christian leaders are even more shy about this subject, and would never consider speaking publicly about it, though it's discussed frankly in the Word of God.

     The Christian community seems to be trying to be holier than God Himself when it comes to human sexuality--modern English translations actually soften the language of the original writers of Scripture so as not to offend us. It's a cultural carry-over from the Victorian era of the late Nineteenth Century, but now that we're entering into the Twenty-first Century, don't you think it's about time we got with the program? Most of the hang-ups Christians have about sex are cultural, not scriptural.

     Of course, I'm not advocating the liberal, free-love, anything-goes sort of approach that's been put forth by the secular world. The Bible has strict perimeters when it comes to sex--it's only to be practiced in the context of marriage... fornicators and adulterers God will judge! What I am advocating is a balanced scriptural view of the subject.

     In the Middle Ages, the church began to develop the same attitude my pre-teen children have about the kissing scene in a movie... Yuk, Daddy, isn't it yukky? In 1079 AD, the Catholic church actually made it mandatory for priests and leaders in the church to be celibate, to refrain completely from normal sexual relations. Sex was looked upon as a sin that God could overlook to some degree, for the sake of continuing the race--as long as you didn't have any fun while engaging in it--but nevertheless a sin. You certainly would have to go to purgatory and couldn't be meet the qualifications of the priesthood if you were married.

     In our present sex-crazed society, where everybody is talking to you and your children about the subject, it's imperative that we find out what God says.

 

     So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Genesis 1:27-28

     Sex is a wonderful gift of God. He created Adam and Eve, male and female, the Bible says, blessed them, told them to have sex and reproduce (be fruitful and multiply...), and declared emphatically that everything He had made was "very good." God blessed sex. Sex was ordained of the Lord before there was any sin in the world, and God declared it to be very good. He invented it. He also made it pleasurable. In the proper biblical context, it is one of the most beautiful gifts given to us.

     Romantic love and even some very specific aspects of the sexual union of the man and woman are celebrated in the Song of Solomon (poor John Wesley lamented that the book had no symbolism whatsoever that he could find; but was an embarrassment). Throughout the Scripture, sex is reaffirmed, and its boundaries defined. God cares about every area of our life--how much more one that wields such influence, and is so powerful a force for good and evil?

 

Why God Gave Us the Gift of Sex

1. To Create Life

Gen 1:28/ Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

What a wonderful privilege to share--that of pro-creation, along with the Lord, of the next generations of our kind! It is one of the basic laws of the kingdom--that everything reproduces after its own kind.

2. For Intimacy & Oneness

Gen 2:24/ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul reference this verse for New Testament readers. There is a true intimacy, a sharing on oneself, a knowledge of your spouse that is shared when you come together in the act of sexual union. When practiced within the God-given boundaries of marriage, that intimacy is infinitely more pleasurable than the physical gratification.

3. For Pleasure

Prov 5:15-19/ Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.

As already mentioned, God Himself made sex pleasurable. It is a gift to us. He wanted us to enjoy procreation, so He made it exquisitely satisfying.

4. For Defense Against Temptation

1 Cor 7:2-5/ 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.

The best defense against adultery is to keep the home fires burning hot. That's why the Bible commands husbands to love their wives, and vice versa.

5. For Comfort

2 Sam 12:24/ Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him,

The intimacy of sex, the coming together with your beloved mate, coupled with the physical pleasure of the act itself, serves as a great distraction to other sorrows and anxieties that may be preoccupying your heart and mind. This is comfort indeed.

 

God's Twelve Sexual Prohibitions

     God gave us the gift of sex, and He intends it to be enjoyed. However, the Word of God is quite specific that the context of legitimate sex is the marriage bed. here, nothing is defiling, but outside that context, this wonderful blessing is squandered and degraded. Specifically, the Bible forbids...

1. Fornication

Eph 5:3/ But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

Gal 5:19,21/ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, ...of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Fornication is a broad term (Gr. porneia) that covers the gamut of God's sexual prohibitions. Most frequently it is interpreted as sexual intercourse outside of marriage. If you're in love, treat your lover with dignity, and respect his or her virginity. Don't seek to go as far as you can with each other, but rather, to honor the God-given restrictions on your relationship until you enter into the bonds of matrimony. Even if you have stumbled in the past, make a new vow of chastity. There is a special blessing for those who obey the Lord in this--try it and see.

2. Adultery

Exod 20:14/ "You shall not commit adultery."

Gal 5:19,21/ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, ...of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Matt 5:28/ "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Adultery is breaking the marriage covenant, entertaining romance and sexual activities outside of your own marriage, or with someone who is married to another. Don't make excuses, citing the unhappiness or failings of your present relationship, but work on it. Seek spiritual counsel if you must, but do not break the marriage covenant--what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Mt 19:6, Mk 10:9).

3. Homosexuality

Lev 18:22/ 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Lev 20:13/ 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

Rom 1:26-27/ For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

The Bible forbids romantic love and intercourse with a member of the same sex. Contrary to the teaching of some fundamentalist Christians, this is not the unpardonable sin, and in many cases is no worse than any other sexual sin, but it is against the will of God and the natural order of creation, and to be avoided at all costs.

4. Impurity, Uncleanness

Gal 5:19,21/ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, ...of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Unseemly sensuous behavior, being overly flirtatious or seductive (outside of marriage) is behavior that will disqualify you from the kingdom of God, and is not to be taken lightly. It is the way of modern culture, but it is a deadly evil that has led many to destruction, nevertheless.

5. Orgies or Group Sex is also covered by the Galatians reference above, as well as breaking the biblical injunctions against fornication and adultery. A proper relationship and open sexuality between husband and wife will be exciting enough to satisfy for a lifetime without the introduction of other partners.

6. Prostitution

Lev 19:29/ 'Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.

Deut 23:17/ "There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel.

Prov 7:4-27/ With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, (vss 21-22)

Paying for sexual favors, or receiving pay for them is contrary to the spirit of tender and loving giving of oneself implicit in biblical sexuality. It is an abomination to the Lord.

7. Sodomy or Anal Sex

Lev 20:13/ 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

This is an unnatural act normally practiced among homosexuals because the anatomy of a man precludes the possibility of normal sexual intercourse. Why a heterosexual couple would practice it is a mystery. The woman cannot achieve orgasm in this manner, so it would appear to be a very selfish posture on the part of the man. Notice the strong terminology of the Bible.

8. Coarse, Sexual Jesting

Eph 5:3-4/ But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

The God-given gift of sex is degraded and sullied by coarse jesting--no self-respecting individual would drag this beautiful subject in the mud in such a way.

9. Incest, Sexual Activity Among Family Members

Lev 18:9-10/'The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness.

It seems to me that the worst kind of abuse has to be the betrayal and sexual aggression of a parent, who should have been the natural protector of the purity and innocence of the child. God hates oppression of the weak and helpless, and those who engage in it will not go unrewarded.

10. Bestiality

Lev 18:23-25/ 'Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.

Sexual relations with animals, another mystery to the uninitiated--what could possibly be the attraction? A sin and breach of decency that causes the harshest of judgments upon an entire land that allows it.

11. Pornography, literally, pictures or graphic representations of porneia, fornication. Pornography is a huge industry in the West today, especially with the advent of the internet. It can break all of the above sexual prohibitions, and effectively seduce those who never would have been attracted to sexual sins otherwise.

12. Masturbation is forbidden in certain circumstances.

Matt 5:28-30/ "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Actually, considering the unashamed and specific description of deviant sex given in the Bible, it's quite notable that this subject receives so little attention. It's mentioned only in the context of lusting after one who is not your spouse (the right hand reference above should be obvious). The inference is that between husband and wife, manual manipulation is normal and healthy--indeed, the only way that some women may achieve orgasm at all.

Notably Absent Among Biblical Prohibitions is Oral Sex. This is all the more curious because the pagan nations surrounding Israel routinely engaged in phallic worship, and honored gods and goddesses with exaggerated sexual organs. The Bible is not prudish, as we have seen, so within the context of the marriage bed, this practice must be legitimate and undefiling (Heb 13:4). It is something that each couple must decide among themselves.

Joseph and Linda Dillow* make a compelling argument in their respective books, Solomon on Sex (1977) and Intimate Issues (1999) for the presence of poetic references to oral sex in the Song of Solomon....

Song 2:3/ Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Song 4:16/ Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.

The Beloved's "fruit" and Shulamite's "garden" are symbolic throughout Solomon's romantic poem of the man's and woman's genitals, thus legitimizing this act of tenderness and intimacy between the couple.

 

Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.

Song of Solomon 2:5

 

Click here to go to Part II of this teaching, "How to Have Better Sex."

 

* I want to freely acknoweldge my debt to Linda Dillow (Intimate Issues, 1999, Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs) and to Ted Haggard's "Men Only" talks at New Life Church, Colorado Springs, for much of the inspiration and information contained in this article.

 

Copyright 1999 Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries. All rights reserved.

 

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