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.


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