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9. Strategy Nine: Guard Our Marriage

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Many enter marriage thinking that lust will no longer be a problem; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Satan is even more diligent in attacking marriages because the consequences of failure are greater. Moral failure in marriage not only affects the husband and wife but also the friends, the extended family, the children, and the children’s children. The consequences are drastic.

First Corinthians 7:2, 4-5 says this about sexual temptation in marriage:

But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own 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 except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Paul teaches that sex in marriage protects from immorality. For that reason, married couples are called to faithfully serve one another sexually. When couples are not consistent sexually, it opens the door for Satan’s temptations.

Here, I believe we learn something about Satan’s strategy in the marriage union. Before marriage, Satan works overtime to tempt couples into “sexual intimacy,” but in marriage, he works overtime to keep them from “sexual intimacy.” The strategy changes. Often, right after the wedding, couples find it difficult to be consistent sexually. The husband and wife are often busy at work during the day, and in the evening, they are too tired to cultivate physical intimacy. Temptation to neglect the sexual union becomes even greater when children enter the picture. Couples tend to focus on their children to the neglect of marital relations. In some cultures, the wives co-sleep with the children for several years which also tends to hinder the frequency of sex.

This lack of consistency opens the door for Satan to attack the marriage in many ways. Sometimes, women feel unattractive and less desired by their husband, especially after having a baby. Insecurities begin to creep in and negatively affect the relationship. If the husband is neglected sexually, the enemy often tempts him to find pleasure elsewhere—whether through pornography or through an emotional or physical relationship with another woman.

One way for couples to be more consistent in the sexual union is to talk openly about it and plan for it. The fact that it is not spontaneous doesn’t mean that it is not romantic. Just as in any area of life, “to fail to plan is to plan to fail.” Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

In marriage, couples protect themselves by faithfully practicing physical intimacy and closing the door on sexual temptation. In fact, Paul says if couples neglect physical intimacy, it should only be by mutual agreement for spiritual reasons—to fast and seek the Lord together.

Reflection

  1. Why is it important for married couples to practice sexual intimacy?
  2. What type of temptations does the enemy often bring when there is a lack of sexual intimacy?
  3. How can married couples strategically cultivate sexual intimacy?
  4. What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?
  5. In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

Copyright © 2015 Gregory Brown

Related Topics: Marriage, Sexual Purity

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