The Christian Bedroom - Part 1

Feb 28, 2024

One of the most awkward five minutes of my life was when I was 13 years old and my dad said, "Hey, Trent, can you come into the living room? We need to talk." When that happens as a kid, you know whatever it is, it’s not going to be good.

My dad is a pastor. He spoke for a living in front of thousands of people every week, so for him talking was not an issue. But for this conversation he was struggling to find the words. He was blushing and stuttering, and the reason why was because he was having the sex talk with me.

I'm sure he had prayed about it and prepared what to say, but all I was thinking was, “This needs to stop now!”

When it comes to the topic of sex, conversations can often be awkward. Especially when talking about sex in the Christian bedroom. In 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, Paul is setting the record straight for the Corinthian church who had some misguided ideas about the importance of sex in marriage.

The people in the city of Corinth were very sexually immoral. It was common for sexual activity to happen before marriage. It was common to have sex with prostitutes at the Temple of Aphrodite. It was common for married people to have affairs and for men to have mistresses. These things were accepted, and they were rampant. So, as the church of Corinth was forming, people’s old habits and philosophies also made their way into the church.

With all the sexual immorality going on around them, some married couples in the church began to question whether any sexual activity was appropriate. They began to think that all sex must be bad, even sex within marriage. And if God wanted them to pursue holiness, they should abstain from sex all together. But Paul says that when it comes to sex, this is the exact opposite of what God wants and what they should be doing.

1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 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. (1 Cor. 7:1-5)

The first thing that we learn from this passage is marriage is good and it allows for sexual pleasure.

Sex is a blessing from God. It’s His way of allowing us to have children but also to experience pleasure. We see here that the only sexual relationship that is not considered immoral is one between one husband and one wife. The idea of two becoming one is a picture of husband and wife meeting one another's needs. It’s a spiritual union as much as a physical one.

Both a husband and a wife are equally responsible to meet the needs of their spouse sexually. Giving conjugal rights to one another simply means that we do our absolute best to please our spouse sexually. This doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everything, but as a couple, you talk about what is appropriate and healthy and comfortable.

In this way, a wife’s body doesn't belong to her, it belongs to her husband and a husband’s body doesn't belong to him, it belongs to his wife. Think about how amazing this idea would have been over 2000 years ago in a culture where women didn't have equal rights. They didn’t get to have a say in things. They were essentially owned by their husbands and were often degraded and taken advantage of.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ comes on the scene and tells women that they have authority over their husband's body. No other culture or religion says this. Christianity is the only religion that gives women equal rights and views men and women as equal in dignity, just with different roles in family and church. Every culture in the world today where women have rights, is because the Gospel has had influence.

Secondly, we see that married couples should be sexually available to their spouse.

Verse 5 says, "Do not deprive one another." When a spouse is not getting his or her sexual needs met, there's no legitimate option for them to turn to. Any alternative would be sin. Emotional needs such as encouragement, sympathy, friendship, and advice can often be met within relationships outside of the marriage. But when it comes to sex, there's no other person in the world besides your spouse who can meet that need according to God.

If you deprive your spouse sexually, you're opening them up to temptation from Satan. Paul says you will struggle because of your lack of self-control. He says you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to come back together.

Paul says the one exception is if you mutually decide to refrain from sex for the purpose of spiritual growth. And even then, it should only be for a short period of time. He doesn't say you have to do this. Or even that you should do this. He just says it’s the only legitimate reason why you shouldn't be having regular sex in your marriage.

Because of our susceptibility to sexual temptation, a healthy sex life within a marriage is critical. Maybe you’re trying to do it the right way in marriage, but your sex life just isn't great. You feel like you’re being deprived.

Read this scripture with your spouse and without condemning each other, talk about how you want to improve yourself first. In other words, instead of talking about how you want your spouse to change, start sharing how you want to change.


Sign up for the TSL 5 Newsletter

Bi-weekly resources delivered to your inbox.