Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 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. 6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
Paul's letter to the Corinthians was a letter of correction for the things that were taking place. All that is done in God's house is to be done decently and in order. This not only includes when the body of believers come together, but in our own individual lives.
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives within us and changes us from the inside out. Each day we are called to surrender our lives to the work and person of The Holy Spirit.
One of the ways that Satan desires to destroy what God is developing and producing within us is temptation. One of the greatest ways Satan finds to destroy a human life is sexual temptation. Paul when he received his correspondence about what was taking place in Corinth he was beside himself. This is what he described was taking place found in
1 Corinthians 5:1-5:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Sexual immorality had impacted the Corinthian church in a major way. But Paul shows the importance of sexual intimacy in marriage as he moves to the verses ahead. Sometimes we may come to believe that sex is a bad or dirty thing. But the truth is that God is the one who has created sexual intimacy. According to God's design laid out in scripture, sexual intimacy is to take place in the context of marriage between a man and a woman.
Our world and culture today is based upon the lies of Satan. Those who are lost and don't know Jesus Christ personally will base their world view on the lies of the enemy. Today it is accepted that anything goes as far as marriage is concerned. The world has tried to redefine marriage according to its wisdom and desire. But as followers of Christ it is important for us to based all that we do upon the truth of scripture.
God has given us sexual intimacy as a gift to be shared between a husband and wife. One of the books I would encourage anyone to read is the five love languages by Gary Chapman. Gary does an excellent job of breaking down the different needs that exist between husband and wife.
One of the things that often happens when two people come together is they compliment one another. They are different in many respects, but their differences compliment one another and as they grow together in marriage, they become one as God has designed in His word.
One area of marriage that can become an area of frustration is that of sexual intimacy. Within a marriage often one spouse has a higher sex drive and desire for sex than the other. This often is found with men, but it isn't always the case. The reason it can be frustrating is if sexual intimacy begins to wane as a couple moves through marriage, the spouse whose love language is physical touch can begin to be impacted by this lack of sexual intimacy.
In the verses from 1 Corinthians 7 Pauls makes it clear that the body of the wife and husband do not belong to them. There are times in our marriages when we may not feel like doing something. We may not feel like cleaning the kitchen or serving in some other aspect of our home. But there are times when we must make a sacrifice to serve our spouse. It doesn't mean that we are forced to do something concerning sexual intimacy. Forcing someone to engage in sex is what is known as rape, it is wrong, and it is against God's word.
But if we are truly desiring to serve our spouse and put their needs above our own there may be times when we may not feel like we are in the mood as some would say, but we are willing to serve our spouse. In Gary Chapman's book on the five love languages one of the love languages is quality time. If a spouse has quality time as their love language, and their spouse fails to make quality time to either spend together or as a family, it communicates to that person that they are not loved. Their needs are not important, and becomes a place of discord and contention.
But for the spouse whose love language is physical touch, the same exist when there is a lack of sexual intimacy. One of the greatest things a married couple can do is having open communication in their marriage concerning their needs. If needs are failed to be met it is important this is communicated. Being able to have open communication concerning sexual intimacy is important for the life of any couple. If communication is not happening one spouse may be hurting emotionally while the other may be totally unaware of what is taking place.
For the person whose love language is physical touch, a lack of physical touch simply sends the message they are unloved. One of the keys to having a strong marriage is taking time to understand the needs of one spouse and putting those needs before our own. When two people have built their marriage and their lives upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and truly take time to invest and come to know the needs of their spouse, it is a marriage that will grow into maturity and will be greatly blessed by the Lord.
God hasn't promised us happily ever after. In this life we will have tests and we will have trials. In marriage this is a real thing. A lack of communication can lead to a break down in marriage. When a person's emotional needs are not met in a marriage the statement they will often say is I don't love you anymore. Sadly it isn't that they don't love the person anymore, it is that emotionally they are drained and their needs have been neglected.
If we will take on the sacrificial attitude of Jesus it will benefit us greatly in our marriages. Marriage is not a sprint, it is a marathon. There is work that is involved to have a marriage that honors God and where both spouses are healthy physical, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Let's never forget that one of the great blessings we have in being married is to travel this journey we call life together with our best friend. The more we spend time with them and come to know their needs, the more we will be able to properly communicate we love them in ways they understand. For the person whose love language is physical touch, the spouse who goes out of their way to sacrificially meet this need will find it will impact the person they are married to and will bring a greater level of joy and intimacy in their marriage.
Father help me as a spouse to understand the needs of the person you have blessed me to marry. Father help me to put the needs of my spouse above my own. Help me to have an attitude that is not self-centered or focused on what I want, but instead to see the needs that exist in my spouse and meet those needs as I am able. Father I pray that our marriage would be built upon the foundation of you and your kingdom. Prune from our lives anything that would hinder our walk with you and our marriage. In the name of Jesus, Amen!