Let’s take a look into some myths about Christians and sex so we can understand that yes—resoundingly yes—there is such a thing as good Christian sex in marriage.
We will dispel these myths about Christian sex and sexuality with biblical truth much like Jesus did when He faced temptation in the wilderness at the hands of Satan (our very real and devious enemy who hates you, your sexual purity, and everything God stands for). Here is a list of myths that we, the Church, must no longer allow into our worldview of Christianity or our marriages.
The 5 Myths (Lies) About Christian Sex in Marriage
Myth #1: Sex is dirty.
How do most conversations on sex start? With a look around the room at who may be within earshot, a hand cupped over one’s mouth, and a whisper. Often it’s because we don’t want to titillate everyone around us! Sometimes we do it because we don’t want to let just anyone into our private world. Sometimes it’s because we’re embarrassed. But what other message could this lowering of the voice and watching out for who’s listening subconsciously send? It could send a message that what you’re whispering about, sex, is bad. It can take hold until it enters your conscious thoughts, causing you to feel shame when discussing it—even with your spouse!
Yet, what does God say about sex and sexuality? God created sex for marriage, and if God created it, how can it be dirty? In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul confronted false teachings on marriage. He urged believers to receive the truth that what God created, God deemed good. He further urged them not reject the pleasures found within but to wholeheartedly receive them with thanksgiving.
Furthermore, if sex in marriage is dirty, then why is Scripture so graphic in its forthright sensuality of sexual love? Don’t believe me? Then stand up right now and read aloud Proverbs 5:18-19. I’ll wait. … Did your voice suddenly go quiet when you began to read, “may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love”? I bet it did—especially if other people were around.
But there’s nothing dirty or shameful in Christian sex. God created man and woman the way He did so your spouse’s body would be delightful to you. John Piper says, “We are not meant to revel in [God’s] creation instead of Him or more than Him but because of Him, and because there is something of Him in all that is good and beautiful.” Remember this the next time you look at your naked spouse, and thank Him for the treasure He created for you.
Myth #2: Sex is for procreation and nothing else.
It is true, sex is more than an indulgence of the flesh, but it is also more than the act of procreation. Read Song of Songs 4:5-7. This Song is more than a metaphorical symbol between Christ and the Church. We cannot neglect the physical aspects of its words. This Song is also a call for a husband to take delight in his wife’s body and a wife to delight in the body of her husband. Now read Song of Songs 7:6-9. Have you ever caught the smile of your spouse and thought, “They are so beautiful”? Or, have you ever noticed them as they walked through the living room and said, “You look fiiiine today”? There should be no shame in looking upon your spouse with delight in your heart, thankfulness in your soul, and mutually choosing to engage in the act of sex because you desire one another. Yes, God made our spouse to be pleasing to our eyes and arouse our desires so we may be fruitful and multiply, but the pleasures of sex should not end there. We are missing out on one of the most blessed aspects of sex in marriage if we do.
Myth #3: Sex is to be done one way. There is no room for exploration.
We just unearthed the biblical truth that we are to take delight in our spouse, and mutually, in one another’s body. However, we are given the freedom through Scripture to enjoy and explore the gift of one another’s body. We can take delight in our sexual adventures with our spouse, while also holding true to boundaries set forth in Scripture.
When it comes to what is and what isn’t allowed in Christian sex, there aren’t a ton of details offered in Scripture. When a man and woman who are married follow God’s Word about treating one another with respect and devotion, they’re practicing God-honoring sex. It wouldn’t be godly to engage in a sexual behavior if it would hurt, embarrass, or be displeasing to either partner. It wouldn’t be godly to bring pornography into your marriage because that’s not following Jesus’ warnings about lusting after anyone besides your spouse. God’s Word gives a lot of freedom within the bounds of the marriage bed to explore and enjoy your sexual relationship with your spouse, but as you do, remember Romans 12:10 NIV Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Myth #4: Frequency of sex isn’t important.
Gulp! This is a controversial myth to write about. If I write this myth one way, the more sex-driven spouse will cheer with adulation while texting this article to the less sex-driven spouse saying, “WAKE UP AND READ THIS!” While if I write this piece in another way, the less sex-driven spouse will sigh in relief and feel justified in saying “Nope” to sex even more often. So, let’s let the Apostle Paul speak on this one. In 1 Corinthians 7:2-5, he said the act of sex is only between a man and his wife and neither should deprive the other unless by mutual consent. Husband and wife no longer solely “own” their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other.
At the same time, Paul also instructed, in Ephesians 5:25, that men are to love their wives, just as Christ loves the Church. Christ gave up everything for the Church. He wasn’t demanding or selfish. He considered our need for a Savior even greater than His own life. So, husbands, we’re called to an incredibly high standard. We’re called to lay down our lives for our wives.
Sex is a dance of mutual love and respect. The frequency of sexual intimacy that’s healthy will be different for each couple. Ask your spouse if they’re happy with your sexual frequency. If they say they’d actually like to have more sex or less sex, don’t just laugh it off. Consider how you can mutually satisfy and enjoy each other.
Myth #5: Sex should never be discussed outside the marriage bed.
Sex is a sacred endeavor between husband and wife. But, there are times that we need and desire the thoughts from our closest friends because we struggle to navigate the uneasy waters of the sexual conversation. However, our Christian culture has made the subject embarrassing or off-limits in far too many circles. We need trusted, Christian friends who are desiring a deeper spiritual connection to God and their spouse to talk to, to help us understand, and to encourage us in the truths of Scripture.
You’ll need a good support system to help guide you and give you encouragement in your walk with Christ and within your marriage. Guys, do you have a friend who honors his wife in a healthy marriage? Start there. Women, look for a friend who cherishes her husband and honors God with her marriage. Your friend should love God and be earnestly in pursuit of a relationship with Him. Who can you think of who has a solid history of fruitfully ministering truth to others, has a healthy awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses, displays self-discipline, and is unabashed in articulating the truths of God’s Word? It’s a tall list for sure. You might not know of anyone, but ask your other friends who they trust. Ask a pastor for help. Find a Christian counselor near you. Ask a couple who’s a little further down the road than you if they’d mentor you.
Often, symptoms such as depression and anxiety, exhaustion, and stress (just to name a few) can lead to individuals having little to no sex drive, and in the case of sexual trauma, individuals can have a mistrust of anything sexual. In my work as a marriage and family therapist, I have heard on countless occasions, partners stating things such as a “lack of feeling appreciated,” “no emotional connection,” and even “no romance” as reasons for having little to no desire for sexual intimacy with their spouse. *No matter the reason, if we love our spouses and are seeking to meet their needs, just as they are seeking to meet our needs, we should be willing to “do anything short of sin” and seek whatever help possible to increase the satisfaction and desire to connect intimately with them.
Remember, God intends sex within marriage to be sacred and blessed for both partners. He wants you to increase in emotional and spiritual connection with one another but these issues may widen the gap already present between you and your spouse. You are not alone, so find support and encouragement today.
So that’s it. Those five myths are some of the lies we might believe about Christianity and sex. They’re lies that will threaten the depth and intimacy God planned for your marriage. My prayer is that as you journey to become a fully devoted follower of Christ, you begin to see sex through the amazing and satisfying eyes of God Himself. His desires should be our desires. His pleasures should be our pleasures, so take time to pray this prayer with your spouse:
Whatever it takes, Lord, align our desires with Your desires, so that our dreams align with Your purposes. Let Your will be done through us and let our love for one another grow stronger each day, bringing glory and honor to You. Amen.
*It is highly recommended that if you have an aversion to sex, pain during intercourse, a past history of sexual trauma, a low libido, or feel unsatisfied with your sexual relationship with your spouse, that you seek help immediately. Professional counselors, along with medical professionals, can help provide emotional, relational, and physiological support.