Biblical Principles for Christian Maturity

John H. Stoll, Th.M., Ph.D

Copyright 1996, John H. Stoll

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Chapter 36 - Toward A Balanced View of Sex

When God created Adam/Eve, he infused within them a normal desire for sexual relations (Gen. 1:22; 2:25). God saw that this was good, for it was His idea for sex to be enjoyed, as well as for propagation of the race. All of sexual enjoyment was to be within the confines of marriage. Furthermore, God placed no prohibition on whatever sexual desires or fantasies within this marriage bounds a couple desired to do (Heb. 13:5). Therefore, the greatest emotional drive, next to eating, sex, was to be indulged in to the fullest, without any prohibition whatsoever.

When sin entered the human race through the fall of Adam/Eve, they turned from being God centered to becoming self centered. Not only has the bottom line of sin (i.e. selfishness) adversely affected the whole human race, but it has caused all the problems of the world of mankind, through the centuries. Since the family unit, ordained by God to be the foundation of society, has been adversely affected by this sin of selfishness, it has left its scar on the God ordained delightfulness of sexual relations between husband and wife. Consequently, what many couples ardently desire in a fulfilling sexual life in marriage, has become an almost insurmountable barrier between them, as their selfishness has caused a continuing lessening of sexual relations, and a growing barrier between them, so that real intimate friendship and communication is broken down.

In order for a couple to enter into the joys of a fulfilling sexual life in marriage, not only do they need to realize the God ordained aspect of this in their relationship, they need to be freed from many of the hang- ups which have plagued many marriages when it comes to sex. Also, they need to understand positively how God created the man and the woman sexually, and how each desires to have the other one meet his/her needs sexually, without prohibition. Only in this way will each have their sexual needs fulfilled.

Selfishness on the part of the man demands that his wife submit to his sexual desires. But, this is not God's way, for in Eph. 5:21 it states that each is to submit to the other. Furthermore, in Eph. 5:25 the husband is admonished to love (i.e. to willfully project himself to meet her needs) his wife, just like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. However, the selfish husband, driven by passion, presses himself upon his wife, so that she not only is turned off, but ultimately despises her husband. He creates this within her, by selfishly coming to a climax before she is ready, by lack of tenderness, by being unclean, by demands when she is tired, by not treating her as his wife in a kind way day by day, as well as through other turn offs of various ways. He is somewhat like a hungry man, who sits down to eat his meal, and without regard to manners, plunges in with his hands and fills his stomach, as well as ignoring others at the table. This not only repells the others at the table, it shows him up for what kind of a person he really is. So, many a man treats his wife, in the confines of their bedroom where no one else sees him except his wife, like the man at the table, and it is no wonder that many a wife secretly despises her husband.

It is the husband's responsibility to lead his wife, i.e. to set a proper course by example before her. This is the way God ordained the marriage relationship. If he leads through example like the man at the dinner table, then he has only himself to blame for her being turned off sexually by his advances. If a loving husband sets a good example before his wife, if he not only loves her emotionally, but also willfully, by working at trying to understand her and meet her needs, then she has a responsibility to also project herself to meet his needs. Since God created the woman for the man (I Cor. 11:9), He has given her a desire to do just that. When a woman turns aside from meeting her husbands needs (note: most women who are turned off by their husbands will continue to do the cooking, keep the house, raise the children, but in the sexual intimacies of life they refuse, since their whole emotional being shut down due to his lack of projecting himself to meet her needs and by not being an example of Christ like love to her) then she does not give of herself intimately to her husband, and thus feels cut off from doing the very thing God ordained her to do.

There is no person who is either oversexed or undersexed, there is no basic element of being a frigid wife, and there is no person who is devoid of being capable of enjoying a full and free sexual life. True, there may be medical reasons for experiencing the above, but under normal conditions God has given us the capability of a full enjoyment of a sexual relationship. It is the selfishness of mankind, both male and female, that has created these abnormalities, and for whatever reason(s) any of the above are an inhibiting factor to a sexual life within marriage they need to be addressed, corrected and guided toward the enjoyment that each desires.

Many of the problems within the sexual side of marriage are due to misconceptions as to what is proper in the sexual relationship. In Heb. 13:5, it says, "marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled". God's principles are stated plainly and clearly. This simply means that within the bonds of marriage, anything sexually that a husband and wife wish to do, is perfectly acceptable in God's sight. The only prohibition is that one should not selfishly impose his/her sexual fantasies on the other one in a selfish way that would hurt their partner or cause one to be offended. There is nothing wrong with various positions in sex, nor is there anything wrong with oral sex, or a wife desiring to seduce her husband, or engaging in sex in a swimming pool, or taking showers together. If both enjoy these pleasures God gives His approval.

One of the great differences between a man and a woman, is that a man is turned on by sexual sight, and a woman is turned on by gentle touch and feel. She desires to snuggle and be held, to be caressed and feel secure in the strong arms of her husband. When a man projects himself to meet his wife's needs in this way, it may result in sexual intercourse, but then again, it may only go that far on a given occasion. For a giving, loving husband is sensitive to what his wife desires at that point, and does not selfishly press himself.

For a wife to meet her husbands needs, she realizes that her body, with its voluptousness, means much to him. He enjoys being titillated by her seductiveness, and her enjoys seeing her in various stages of undress, and provocatively being enticed by her in this way. This too would have its approval by God between husband and wife.

In my counseling dysfunctional marriages over the years, I have realized how great an impact the sexual area of life has in the relationship. I would even go so far as to say that the behaviors between husband and wife are directly proportional to their sexual life. If the husband has been sensitive, loving, and given to meeting his wife's needs, she will in turn meet his primary need, which is much sex. If he has not met her needs, she will be turned off by him, and if she does give in to his sexual demands, it is only because of duty, not desire. The conclusion is that the marriage disintegrates, communication breaks down, anger, hostility, and lack of trust sets in, and ultimately bitterness. Most of the husbands I see feel that their sexual life is seriously deficient; most wives do not trust their husbands. When this impass comes about, their marriage is in serious difficulty.

The only way to correct this great need is to not get into the problem in the first place, and for those beginning marriage to understand, through counseling, how each is constructed and how to project one's self to meet the other one's needs, and forego these problems. To those who are married, and through lack of understanding or selfishness have come into a dysfunctional marriage, they should get professional assistance, and come to counseling with an open mind, and a willingness to correct their behaviors, as well as project themselves to meet each others needs. I Cor. 7:1-16.

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