Sex in Marriage: What’s the Purpose?

“Sex has become one of the most discussed subjects of modern times. The Victorians pretend it did not exist; the moderns pretend that nothing else exists.” – Fulton J. Sheen

Our kids–and their kids, and their grandkids–won’t remember what it’s like to wake up in a world where sex isn’t advertised around the clock. They won’t remember a time when pornography wasn’t readily available on every electronic device, for all ages.

And the truth is, it may be hard to recall a time like that ourselves.

That’s why it’s critical for us to remember and cherish God’s purposes for sex. Because in a world where unhealthy sex is depicted everywhere, the idea of healthy–even holy–sex gets lost in the fray. Let’s get clear on what God’s intentions were when He created physical intimacy.

Isn’t sex for having children?

Absolutely–but there’s a lot more to it than that. While it’s true that God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply,” He also gave us Song of Solomon: a book of the Bible dedicated completely to physical intimacy and pleasure between husband and wife.

The Bible also gives us clear directives regarding sexual fulfillment in marriage:

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other.” – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

God’s stance on sex in marriage is crystal clear: do it, and enjoy.

God made sex for physical pleasure…and more

If you take a close look at the animal kingdom, you’ll learn that most creatures only engage in sex when the female is fertile. (And, did you know that human women are one of the only female species on earth that experience orgasm?) Unlike animals, human married couples were created to enjoy sexual intimacy at any given time.

But intimacy is a gift that goes far beyond the feel-good sensations of a sexual encounter. It keeps us bound closely together, brings us comfort, and nurtures peace and security in our marriages. Sex is a way to romance one another, play together, or share a quiet moment. Far beyond physical connection, lovemaking creates and maintains a bond for husbands and wives that is soul-deep.

So let’s take this one step further: God created sex to make us holy.

How does sex = holiness?

When most people think of God and sex, “holy” is the furthest word from their minds. On the contrary, conventional wisdom says that God spoils the fun of sex. And in the past, the church perpetuated this misconception by creating irrational taboos around sexuality–even sex within marriage. But none of that is the case.

Beyond physical pleasure and procreation, sex deepens our relationship with our spouse. God designed human sex within marriage to be much more than sensation. Lovemaking touches our souls on the deepest level and fulfills our longing for connection. Sex can also serve as a reminder of our souls’ longing to be connected to our Creator.

These days, we’re more likely to forget that sex has a spiritual component, looking at it instead like it’s only a biological act or instinct. But when we realign the idea of sex with spirituality and holiness, it sheds a whole new light on intimacy. Why? Because when we think of sex that way, it becomes more about relationship. And that’s the key to sexual “holiness.”

Start the conversation

Is your intimate life both physically and spiritually fulfilling? What adjustments can you make in your daily routine to steer your lovemaking in a “holy” direction? How can you further fulfill each other’s physical needs? In the coming week, we encourage you to share this post with your spouse and talk to them about God’s purposes for sex.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the topic of sex and spirituality, grab a copy of the book Crazy Good Sex: Putting to Bed the Myths Men Have About Sex.

If you aren’t a current subscriber to our devotional, you can subscribe here and will receive a free copy of the The Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex!

Do you and your spouse speak openly about sex as a spiritual experience? If not, why not? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

61 Comments

  • Annette Anderson says:

    Please send me the Ultimate Guide to Crazy, Good Sex and your email.

  • John says:

    As a man who with his spouse has taught in our church marriage classes that open talk about sex and what it means to each other is a hard subject not only to start communicating but to continue in our busy lives to continue communicate especially when the house is full of children. Getting a sitter for the kids and going out, even away for a night works wonders in connecting. This not only is beneficial to each other but offers a template for the children as they go off on their own.

  • Jeff M says:

    Please send me the Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex, thank you.

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  • Claudia Kell says:

    A great add on for the questions and mentoring we already get to offer for personal and couple relationships.
    Please add us to the list for the Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex.
    Life is for learning n wisdom is gained!
    Thank you for your contribution to growth.

  • Ann Bost says:

    Sign me up please. We attended a seminar you conducted at Mt. Bethel UMC and purchased 3 of your books.
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  • Sign me up for the book Crazy Good Sex

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  • Larry Copeland says:

    My wife and I would really like a copy of your guide to Crazy Good Sex.

  • Megan Rice says:

    Please send me a copy of your book. Thank you.

  • I’m a Christian Sex Therapist and I have to say it’s refreshing that you’re taking this on. The church never talks about sex and we are desperate as a church body for learning Gods way of “oneness.” The enemy is sure having a field day adulterating God’s beautiful gift for marital love. I’d love a copy of your guide.

  • Jean Pressler says:

    Please send a copy of your booj. If you have it in digital that would be fine . Thank you!

  • Cheryl Moseley says:

    Please send be a copy of the guide. Thanks for all your words of wisdom!

  • Jim Olah says:

    It’s always nice to read a person’s conclusion that you come up with years before. I wrote a book called the Dynamics of Communication and Sex. My primos is that in the same way Communication touches the soul of a woman, so Sex touches the soul of a man. Sex is a powerful means of drawing a couple into a deeper relationship. That is only a picture of the intimacy God wants with us. Thank you for showing sex for what it is, a holy act Given to us by God so we could experience this unique closeness.

  • Cheryl Douglas says:

    i would like the guide.

  • Brian says:

    So appreciate your ministry. Already signed up so please send the Ultimate Guide. Thanks.

  • Christy says:

    I would love a copy of the guide. Sadly in my first marriage, I didn’t know about the scripture’s call to not deprive one another, and I was very guilty of that. This time I am taking that scripture to heart, not as some kind of grudging duty, but as a way to love my husband in all ways. Unfortunately we have some issues with positioning that make things difficult. I’ve read many christian books on lovemaking that talk about a lot of things, but they always make certain physical assumptions that aren’t always true and that makes it hard to find the answers we need. We can’t afford a sex therapist, so we struggle on and do the best we can.

  • Tammy says:

    I’ve the book, already subscribe to the blog. How do I obtain a copy of the guide?

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  • McArthur Dent says:

    Please send the guide to me

  • Anonymous says:

    I already receive your emails. Please send the guide. Thanks!

  • Troy Harring says:

    Please send me the ultimate guide to crazy good sex. Thank you and God bless you for all you do

  • Sandra says:

    Please send me a copy of the Guide. Thank you for sharing this!! It all makes sense now why my marriage of 25 years failed. 🙁

  • Celeste Thibeau says:

    Please send me the guide …. do I need the book as well !

  • Holly Cox says:

    How can I get the guide if I already subscribe?

  • Cheri says:

    I all ready receive your emails and I would also like a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex.

  • Eric says:

    I am already a subscriber. Please send me a copy of the guide. Thank you!

  • Kerry-Ann says:

    How do I subscribe? I would like the guide as well

  • Donna J Hawthorne says:

    May I please get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex. I would
    Also like more information about your book you are offering, too. Thank you.

  • Terri says:

    I am already subscribed. May I please have a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Crazy Good Sex?

  • Michele Balsamo says:

    Please send me the guide.

  • Lucia says:

    I hope your book touches on the fact that not only women are guilty of being cold, distant and uninterested on intimacy, but men are too.
    I have been married to this man for 32 years, I have known him for 34, and I have to beg him and after that wait a few more days.
    Men don’t take care of themselves and then blame women. He has a very poor diet, eats lots of sugar, doesn’t exercise, goes to bed at 3:00 in the morning after being in the computer for hours, is not romantic at all, but very good at being abusive and inconsiderate, and I guess I have to continue to be married because that is what the Bible says.

    • Terri says:

      Nope. If he’s abusive, don’t stay. If your life and health are at stake, don’t stay. That’s not what the Bible says.

  • Scott says:

    The only conversation we have is about how we have no intamacy.

  • Tim says:

    Rabbit Trail…
    In the introductory “Sex In Marriage” picture, which depicts a sweet young ‘married couple’, lying together; is it wrong/pharisaical of me to note…
    She is NOT wearing a wedding ring!?! 😉

  • P says:

    Thank you for offering helpful guides/tools to help improve/empower marriagw relationships!
    Please send me a copy of the guide.

  • Mike Clack says:

    Would love to learn more about this and explore options for our small group. Please send the guide if it’s still available.

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