Sex really is that important

The bible celebrates sex within the context of wedded bliss, but you wouldn’t often know it from the way many churches or Christian media presentations address it. The reasons are both varied and comprehensible. According to David Schnarch, sex can be more than just a euphemism for making love. It can be the actual process of increasing love, of sharing it, of whetting our appetite for it, and of celebrating life on its own terms. Strange things happen when we have sex at the limits of our potential. That we hear so little about the spiritual side of sex reflects how few people ever reach their sexual potential. I have discovered that some men are afraid to be honest with their sexual needs. Their upbringing, history and/or their learning from the church may have fostered shame in them for having normal longings. Our culture has lost its mind regarding the value and responsibility of sexual activity. The world promotes pleasure without consequences, the church has countered by understating pleasure.

It is important to note that many women of this generation do not know early on just how important sex is to a husband. Some Christian husbands say that their wives do not perceive sexual intimacy as a key component to a man’s happiness and often treat it as a hassle or an extracurricular activity. Many wives have the right theology, go to the right schools, attend church regularly, and are well trained to raise healthy children, yet don’t see the value of regular sexual intimacy with their husband. Part of this, no doubt, is due to exhaustion, especially for mothers. Sometimes people feel they’re simply too busy to cultivate intimacy. You need to know this: sex is as fundamental a desire as food for most men. Something dies inside a married man when this desire isn’t met. Sex shouldn’t be the only reason a man marries, but it’s a biggie. If men, especially younger ones, say they aren’t getting married to have sex, they’re probably already having it.

An unmarried Christian man knows he could have sex with many women but he withholds and endeavors to wait. He fights back temptation after temptation to please God and to give his future wife the gift of purity. Then at last he marries and crosses the finish line, yet instead of fabulous banquets, he gets frozen dinners for years. Such men will tell you they feel robbed, resentful, that they’re victims of false advertising. Women, sexual intimacy tells a man that you care about him and him only; it’s how he feels special. it is to men what chocolate, diamonds, peaceful homes, and memorable vacations are to you. Sex is where they feel that all of their sacrifice is worth it, appreciated, and noticed. Sexual intimacy freely given somehow stabilises their universe. It’s their action to your words, their shelter from the storms of life. It is also the sharpest, most jagged knife in their backs when it’s not given or, worse, given without passion, focus and interest.

Attempting to ward off or at least cope with the hurt, Christian men try to joke about it. Here are just some of the names used to describe unsatisfying sex: check-her-pulse sex, did-I-detect-life? sex, refund sex, mercy sex, pity sex, I’m-tired-so-hurry-up sex, 50%-off sex, 9-1-1 sex, undertaker sex, wouldn’t-pass-lie-detector sex, jewelry sex, new-car sex (but rarely sex in the car), and bigger-home sex. What these men really want is There’s-No-One-like-You sex. That’s men’s physical and emotional Promised Land, and there are too few of them making camp there. These men need your help. On the other hand, these women need your help too. They need you to be open and honest with them and together we can accomplish sexual intimacy that glorifies God.

Some of you may think it is too late to begin the journey of sexual intimacy because you have tried so many times and failed or too old but I dare to submit to you that it isn’t and you are not. It’s no wonder why some Christian men fall under temptation and why some marriages fail to thrive. False piety tells us not to dialogue or ask about sex because such talk isn’t proper or “spiritual.” Falsely pious Christians eliminate sex when they speak about married intimacy, pretending therein to be making marriage “more holy.” This view is mistaken, anti-biblical, and built on lies (sometimes but not always intentional). The bible devotes an entire book, Song of Songs, to the goodness of sexual union, to physical and emotional intimacy. Song of Songs unabashedly makes the connection between sex and intimacy, a connection frequently lost within our churches and in our culture. Why don’t you dare to make this a journey from now on and I can promise you that you won’t regret it.

Adapted from the book “Married but not engaged” by Paul and Sandra Coughlin