Romance And Sexual Intimacy In Marriage: God’s Expectations For Christian Couples

Romance and sexual intimacy among married Christians are not topics that are frequently taught or freely discussed, because sex is a general taboo area among Christians, and its discussion considered carnal and unspiritual. A lot of Christians therefore cannot openly ask questions about sex and romance, and a lot of marriages thus suffer from this ignorance of the role of sex in marriage. This article intends to candidly discuss the biblical view of romance and sex in the context of marriage.

Marriage, the union of a man and a woman for intimate companionship and sexual interaction, is the only legitimate avenue God designed for lawful sexual intercourse. Any sex outside the context of heterosexual marriage is illegitimate and sinful, and attracts divine punishment and sanctions. This is what the Bible teaches.

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers (NRSV).

One of the purposes of marriage is for lawful sexual intimacy, for it is in the context of sexual union that the man and the woman become one in marriage. The two literally become one during sexual intercourse!

Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed (NRSV).

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” (NRSV).

So, as we can see above, the oneness of the man and the woman is achieved through sexual intercourse. Sex unites a man and a woman and makes them become one flesh. This may or may not lead to child-bearing, which enhances this oneness, as the offsprings permanently make the couple one, bearing an equal portion of each parent’s genetic material in their DNA. Literally, parents are united in their children.

But, sex in marriage is not just designed for procreation. This is evident from the fact that partners can have the urge for sex outside a woman’s likely period of conception, and any sexual desires from a partner should not be denied by the other person, irrespective of the time the desire is experienced, except with mutual agreement and consent, when couples are fasting and praying.

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control (NLT).

How does the Bible view romance and love-making between married people? Is the Bible against romantic relationships between married people? We will be shocked to see how the Bible encourages romance among married people! God is not a sadist, and he actually expects married people to have fun and enjoy themselves romantically! Sex was meant for fun and pleasure also, not just for procreation!

Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife.

Proverbs 5:16 Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone?

Proverbs 5:17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers.

Proverbs 5:18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:19 She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 5:20 Why be captivated, my son, with an immoral woman, or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman? (NLT).

Yes, it’s in the Bible! A couple is supposed to enjoy each other and be intoxicated with love for each other. Yes, a woman’s breasts are not only to suckle a baby; they’re also to satisfy her husband! God is a God of romance, and expects his children to be romantic with their spouses! Marriage is a sexual and romantic relationship designed to be exciting and full of enjoyment! Religion may cage and limit people, but God liberates people and grants them joy! Saved people are joyful people, though religious people may be stiff and boring and always stern looking!

Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (NIV).

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (KJV).

The patriarchs and God’s holy people in ancient times were used to romantic love with their spouses. Isaac and Rebekah were even recorded to be cuddled up and loving themselves in a very romantic way. Infact, it was this romance between them that gave them out as husband and wife, because they had been living in disguise as brother and sister! Their romance gave them up as husband and and wife! Married couples should be distinguished by their romantic relationships!

Genesis 26:6 So Isaac lived in Gerar.

Genesis 26:7 When the men of that place asked about his wife, Isaac answered, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say “my wife.” He thought that the men of that place would kill him to get Rebekah, because she was an attractive woman.

Genesis 26:8 When he had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of his window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.

Genesis 26:9 Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “So she’s really your wife! How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “I thought I would be killed because of her.”

Genesis 26:10 Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us! One of the people might have easily gone to bed with your wife, and then you would have made us guilty of sin.”

Genesis 26:11 So Abimelech ordered his people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death.” (GodsWord).

In the Songs of Solomon, we see the expression of romantic love in mind-blowing ways. From beginning to the end, we see how married people should love and express their love to their spouses. In word and in deed, we see love expressed in sublime ways that should be the prototype of the love and romance in Christian marriages. This is the book of love for married people, which should be read together by couples and meticulously put into practice!

Song of Solomon 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth — for your love is more delightful than wine (NIV).

Yes, romantic kissing is lawful and is to be shared between couples in marriage. Every part of the body is a sex organ and should be used by couples to excite and please each other in marriage. We read earlier that the wife should satisfy her husband with her breasts. Now, we’re seeing here that kissing is part of love-making for married children of God! It’s not a sin for married people to kiss and romance! We saw Isaac romancing his wife. Romance is not a sin in marriage! Speak romantic words to your spouse and excite your spouse when it’s appropriate.

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 4:11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon (NIV).

Sex is a total experience that involves the body, the spirit and the soul. The entire body is a sex organ that should be explored and utilised to excite and please one’s spouse. Every organ system in a human being is activated during sex, making every organ system a sex organ. The entire senses are also involved in sex- sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch-and all should be employed to please and satisfy one’s spouse. How one dresses, how one smells, how one looks at one’s spouse, what one says and how one touches and tastes one’s spouse all have the ability to trigger sex hormones and spark as well as satisfy sexual desire. We see examples of all that in the Songs of Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!

Song of Solomon 1:9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Song of Solomon 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Solomon 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Song of Solomon 2:2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.

Song of Solomon 2:3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Song of Solomon 2:4 Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.

Song of Solomon 2:5 Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.

Song of Solomon 2:6 His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 4:10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!

Song of Solomon 4:11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 4:15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits (NIV).

God has left the details of the intimacy and love in marriage for married couples to spend an entire lifetime to explore and discover. The journey of love and romance between married people starts from the wedding day and doesn’t end until the marriage is legally dissolved. It’s a lifetime of adventure, where couples are expected to open up to each other and discover deep and enthralling secrets about each other, and use those knowledge to please one another. Marriage is all about discovering how to please your spouse and making one another fulfilled and satisfied emotionally, sexually and otherwise.

1 Corinthians 7:33 But a married man can’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband (NLT).

There is nothing that is out of bounds for couples while making love and playing with each other’s body, as long as it’s not dangerous to health and it’s not expressly forbidden by the Word of God. A married couple should not be ashamed in the presence of each other, and they should be comfortable and relaxed with each other in the most intimate way possible.

Genesis 2:25 Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame (NLT).

A couple becomes truly one in marriage and no man, not even a preacher, should try to separate or hinder this profound intimacy by teachings that tend to put false and hypocritical religious barriers between two people who have become one indeed!

St. Matthew 19:5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’

St. Matthew 19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.” (NLT).

No one should set limits or create artificial boundaries and limitations for how a married Christian couple should make love or what styles of love-making is appropriate or not appropriate. Scripture is silent about that, making whatever happens behind closed doors between married people a matter of personal likes, comfort and adventure. Whatever a couple is comfortable with and enjoy is okay. There is no style of love-making between married people that’s carnal or ungodly! To whoever is pure in heart and mind, all things are pure! Love-making between married couples is pure and undefiled!

Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled (AKJV).

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (AKJV).

Married couples should feel free to express themselves to their partners and make their emotional and sexual needs known. Couples should relax in each other’s presence and allow their partners the freedom to explore their bodies to find out what really excites them and bring satisfaction to them. In marriage, your body belongs to your partner!

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife (NLT).

Women should feel free to demand sex from their husbands! It’s not a sign of being carnal or being spoilt. Rather, it’s a sign of openness and the ability to communicate one’s intimate needs to one’s partner without any feelings of shame or guilt. It’s a sign of true oneness with one’s husband. Leah, Jacob’s wife, was open and free of shame to demand for sex, as well as initiate love-making with her husband!

Genesis 30:16 So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrake roots my son has found.” So Jacob slept with her (NLT).

Yes, a wife can initiate and demand for sex as much as the husband. Anyone in need should make her or his needs known to the other spouse, and the other person has an obligation to fulfill those needs, with no excuses! Marriage is about being ready to please the other person and meet expressed or perceived needs at all times! Don’t deny your spouse sex, as this amounts to creating room for temptation by the enemy to lure the denied partner into extra-marital relationships! One of the purposes of marriage is to avoid sexual immorality by having a legitimate means of satisfying one’s sexual needs. Being denied legitimate sex in marriage is an open invitation to extra-marital sex and marital unfaithfulness!

1 Corinthians 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control (NLT).

Under the law, prolonged and deliberate denial of one’s conjugal rights was a legitimate reason to terminate a marriage. Of course that makes sense, since one of the fundamental reasons of marriage is to provide a legitimate outlet for sexual intercourse and satisfaction of sexual needs. If the satisfaction of those needs is being denied, then the aim of the marriage is defeated!

Exodus 21:9 And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.

Exodus 21:10 If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.

Exodus 21:11 If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment (NLT).

Immoral and strange women can go to great lengths to make themselves and their environments romantic and sexually enticing, inorder to lure men into sexual sins. They do that to excite passions which exist in every man. Just imagine this scenario described in Scripture as an immoral woman goes about to lure a man into sexual sins.

Proverbs 7:10 The woman approached him, dressed seductively and sly of heart.

Proverbs 7:13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said,

Proverbs 7:15 It’s you I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are!

Proverbs 7:16 My bed is spread with colored sheets of finest linen imported from Egypt.

Proverbs 7:17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

Proverbs 7:18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,

Proverbs 7:21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him (NLT).

What an art of seduction, appealing to all the senses- smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch! No wonder the man subjected to this barrage of multi-pronged temptation fell so hopelessly into the seductress’ laps! Now, is there any reason why a wife can’t use same methods on her own husband? Why can’t a married woman dress to seduce her own husband when they are alone? Why can’t a married woman use pleasant perfumes, romantic words, tender touches and the right visuals to appeal to all the senses of her husband inorder to seduce and make love to him? A married woman has every legitimate right in the eyes of both God and man to do that, and it’s perfectly lawful for her because it’s her husband! The same way, a husband can legitimately use such seductive tactics on his wife! A married couple can use any seductive means on their spouses! In some areas like this, Christians have a lot to learn from the children of the world, because they’re sometimes wiser than us in worldly and carnal things. Even our Lord Jesus advised us to do so!

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light (AKJV).

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (AKJV).

Husbands are enjoined by Scripture to love their wives and express such love in tangible ways that can be seen and felt, just as Christ loved the Church and expressed it in tangible and visible ways.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (AKJV).

In a similar fashion, wives are to be taught to love their husbands in tender, affectionate and passionate ways, and are to make such love known and felt by their husbands.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children (AKJV).

In conclusion, the spousal love to be expressed by married couples to each other is unconditional (agape), passionate and erotic. The love between a husband and a wife is romantic, pure and undefiled, and the sex between them is godly and is to be enjoyed passionately at all times and not just for child-bearing. Nothing deepens the bonds between a couple more than regular and passionate sex, as this is one instance where the two become literally one! Enjoy all the fun and sex in marriage here on earth because in heaven, there will be no marriage and there will be no sex!

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun (HCSB).

Published by Dr. Ndubuisi E. Ojo

Dr. Ndubuisi E. Ojo is a teacher and an expositor of the word of God with an intense passion for doctrinal purity and the restoration of the Church to the original Apostolic faith.

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