God’s plan for marriage will lead to a beautiful, fulfilling relationship. Scripture teaches us how to find happiness in our marriages (Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-25).
One-flesh marriages create a powerful bond that will withstand the challenges that arise. We will be glued and cemented together for all-time in joy (Genesis 2:24).
In a one-flesh marriage, we treat our spouse, as we would expect to be treated. We do all that we can to bring joy into their lives. They are a part of our very souls and we cherish and nourish them daily (Ephesians 5:29).
Sadly, many Christian couples live ostensibly as roommates. Their passion has cooled into a form of playing house. The years have robbed the union of the bonds it once rejoiced in. Their arms become lonely and their connection frays.
In 1 Corinthians 7:4-5, we see a very important aspect of marriage that may be framed only in selfish terms for many spouses. However, in a one-flesh bond, this passage is vitally important.
Living in a sex-saturated society, we must do all that we can to protect our spouse from temptation. Spouses know if their mate is susceptible to temptation in this area. They need to do what they can to help their spouse remain pure.
Their body now belongs to their spouse and it must be treated with the same love, respect and gentleness that Christ demands (Ephesians 5:25).
Paul writes: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5).
“We are told in this passage that the husband and wife are actually robbing one another if there is not mutual pleasure in the sexual relationship.” /1
“In fact, “physical sex in marriage serves to reinforce spiritual fidelity by inoculating the mind against temptation.”/2
We have a responsibility to our spouse in this area. It may require special planning to accomplish these goals with a family and a hectic lifestyle. However, we need to do this in order to maintain a healthy marriage.
Our bodies belong to our spouses. Accordingly, we must keep them free from lust, pornography and adultery. Sanctify them to our spouse and our love.
We need to take care of our bodies so they will remain presentable. Letting ourselves go physically is unfair to our lover.
We need to have a big picture attitude toward marriage. When we do, we will make time for one another and realize that minor disputes pale in comparison with a lifetime together.
We will jealously guard our intimacy and nurture it, becoming educated in ways to thrive.
There are two areas where we must protect our spouse and far too many are failing to do so. First, we must do our part to keep our spouse from temptation, as we have discussed.
Second, we must protect their reputation by speaking well of them in public and with our friends.
If we will do these things, build strong communicative bonds, we will find ourselves in a special place where the one-flesh bond can blossom.
Our children and those around us will see us modeling God’s plan for marriage and Christ will be praised (Ephesians 3:20-21).
1/ Ed Wheat and Gaye Wheat, Intended for Pleasure (Fleming H. Revell: Grand Rapids, 1977), 30.
2/ Daniel R. Heimbach, True Sexual Morality (Crossway Books: Wheaton, 2004), 168.