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When God Designed Sex, What Did He Have in Mind?

Sexual adjustment takes time in every marriage. Enjoy the process—that was God’s intent when He created this awesome experience for intimacy in marriage.

By Dennis and Barbara Rainey

When you and your spouse married, I’m sure you expected to have a healthy and active sexual relationship together. That’s great—that’s what God intended. Unfortunately, the daily stress of life often gets in the way of sex, distracting the attention of a husband and wife from each other and from pleasing each other.

Sex can become a marital battleground, even in young marriages, because of emotional and mental baggage from histories of sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual behavior in past relationships (or even with your spouse before marriage), or pornography. Even if these experiences or issues do not apply to you directly, our culture’s messages about and portrayals of sex can unconsciously influence the way you and your spouse respond and relate to each other in bed.

To build an intimate marriage, husband and wife must be committed to meeting each other’s physical and emotional needs. Because most men and women have differing ideas, standards, and expectations about sex, it’s no wonder that many marriages suffer in this area. One of the best things you can do is learn about God’s purposes for sex. After all, He is the designer—He created our bodies. And you may be surprised to know what He had in mind.

God’s purposes

The designer of sex made numerous statements integral to the sexual aspect of marriage. First, sex is the process He gave us to multiply a godly heritage. He commanded us to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

But God also designed sex for our pleasure, to be enjoyed in the marriage bed. Sex is meant to be a bonding experience with your spouse. Scripture talks significantly more about enjoying the pleasures of sex than it does about being fruitful and multiplying! As Dr. Ed Wheat wrote, “God Himself invented sex for our delight. It was His gift to us—intended for pleasure.”

The Song of Solomon, though full of spiritual meaning and application, provides an excellent description of God’s intention for a husband and wife’s sexual relationship. According to Solomon, the man has the freedom to enjoy his wife’s body, and the woman has the freedom to enjoy his.

Here’s a sample of how the lover and his beloved expressed that freedom in the Song of Solomon. The lover (King Solomon himself) said, “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O noble daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. … Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. … How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights!” (Song of Solomon 7:1-3, 6)

These words give us three points on how to be great lovers:

1. Solomon readily praised the young Shulammite woman, his beloved. He told her how beautiful she was with vivid and picturesque language that communicated his admiration to her. I often ask the husbands at our marriage getaways, “When was the last time you wrote your wife a love letter that praised her and told her how beautiful she is?” Solomon understood how important this is in communicating love.

2. Solomon was romantic. His poetic words describe his beloved’s entire body as a source of delight. Some husbands have an easy time being creatively romantic, but the rest of us need help in this area.

3. Solomon’s focus was physical. A wife may be tempted to resent her husband’s sex drive and physical focus, but she should understand that much more than a woman, a man is stimulated by sight. And God designed him this way deliberately.

The bride’s approach