1 Corinthians 7:1-7
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband doess. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
Kevin preached on the passage above at Church on Sunday. Rachel, Andrea and I went to the 5pm service.
The first sentence of this passage is NOT a declaration from Paul on how someone should live their life but rather a response to the quoting the Corinthians were doing. The Corinthians had the idea that they should not have sexual relations with their spouses so they were going to visit prostitutes on their lunch hours. Paul was saying that he was going to discuss their point about not having relations with your spouse.
God loves sex. He created it. From the very beginning, page 1 of the Bible, Genesis Chapter 1, he commands Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply. He could have created a mechanical way to reproduce that wasn’t pleasurable and commanded us to do it but he didn’t. He wants us to enjoy it. We just need to enjoy it the way he intended for it to be, within the confines of a marriage.
The word “conjugal” makes me (and Pastor Kevin) think of prison (such a bad definition by pop culture). Conjugal actually means “what is owed.” So re-writing the sentence with the other definition of conjugal: The husband should give to his wife what is owed to her and likewise the wife to her husband. It’s interesting to think of sex as something you owe to your spouse but that fits with the definition of marriage Kevin went on to talk about.
Marriage is about self sacrifice and service to your spouse. It is about self-emptying into another.
“For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does” means you don’t get to decide when it’s available or not. Sex should not be used for punishment but rather as the joining of two people as one. Kevin did say you can help this cause by brushing your teeth and showering before you get into bed. This is comic relief but also that you owe your spouse fresh breath and a clean person when you get into bed.
“Do not deprive one another..” means it should happen frequently and in a recurring way.
There are three aspects of depriving one another of sex:
- Specific purpose – it should be used for prayer and regaining strength from God in a time of stress or anxiety.
- Decide Together – you don’t get to just pick. You should be communicating what’s bothering you and pray together.
- Limited Time – pick a date. Don’t leave it open ended.
Married people should not have to have self control sexually like single people should. You should be naked (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) with the other person and you should enjoy it, often.
Communion points us towards God and his ultimate sacrifice of his son Jesus and sex with your spouse should do the same thing. It should be a fullfillment of his promise to us and his favor with us. If it isn’t, then you are having the best sex you could be having…
His whole sermon made me extremely excited to be married and with the person God has planned for me. It even made me patient to wait.