What Does the Bible Say About Sex in Marriage?

What Does the Bible Say about Sex in Marriage?

A lot of us seem to have the wrong idea about the Bible and sex. We tend to think that the Bible is so restrictive about sex that all the fun will be gone.

Well, the Bible doesn’t wait very long to bring up sex.

You don’t even get past the first page of the Bible before God is already blessing man and telling mankind it’s time to have sex:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 1:28

Most romance novels don’t get to the point as fast as the Bible does!

Notice it says “And God blessed them.”

God made sex a blessing. It’s a gift. When we treat it the same as he does, it’s a wonderful thing.

But that is the predicament we place ourselves in.

We don’t always treat our blessings with the same care God intended, so we don’t always get the enjoyment out of them that we could. As we will soon see, sex isn’t just about procreation.

By God’s design, it is so much more!

What Does the Bible Say About Intimacy in Marriage?

Marriage is ordained by God.

He said, “it is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) He made Eve and brought her to Adam. That was how the first marriage started.

The Bible did not reveal much about how Adam and Eve handled their marriage, but Adam was inspired to make the all-important declaration “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.

Adam was talking about intimacy in marriage. It is a mystery that God has ordained in marriage to make married couples enjoy the full benefit of marital union.

Intimacy means oneness.

By God’s ordination, God wants married couples to be one spiritually, emotionally, and physically. That makes a marital relationship to be stronger than any other relationship anyone can have.

Sexual activities are part of the intimacy in marriage, but that is not all. When husbands and wives enjoy real intimacy they form a strong bond that is very difficult for any third party to break.

Many people have made the mistake of going into marriage, mainly on the platform of sexual satisfaction, but they soon discover that marriage is more than having sex.

Oneness is a key to a lasting marriage. It sustained the marriage of Adam and Eve after they sinned and God sent them out of the Garden of Eden.

Despite all that happened, they remained inseparable till death.

What Does the Bible Say About Depriving Your Spouse?

The Bible warns that married couples should not deprive each other of sex. It is one of the reasons why God ordains marriage between a man and a woman.

“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time.”

1 Corinthians 7:5, KJV

Here we see that the Bible is very emphatic about marital sex. It is so strong in the wording that it says if either partner refuses to have sex, they are defrauding their marriage partner.

Husband and wife should have sex often. It is part of their obligations in marriage. The Bible admonishes that they should not deny each other except for the time of fasting.

During fasting, the couple should agree together to refrain from having sex till the period is over. The two of them should know that neither of them has the sole right to their bodies.

The husband’s body belongs to the wife, and the wife’s body belongs to the husband. They must willingly surrender their bodies to each other whenever the need for sex arises.

Today, many couples are in sexless marriages. For whatever reason, they have agreed together not to have sex, or one of them doesn’t have the time or desire for sex.

Couples who are in this type of marriage expose themselves to the temptation of the devil. When a man or woman does not have sexual satisfaction in marriage, he or she will look elsewhere to get it.

That is one of the major reasons for adultery.

Some people use sex as a means of settling scores.

They deny their partner because of a disagreement, thinking they can use that to spite the denied partner. Anyone doing that is toeing a dangerous line, because that may encourage extramarital affairs.

Notice we are talking only about what the Bible says about marital sex here.

The Bible does not endorse or permit any kind of sex outside of marriage, whether premarital sex or any other kind of sex outside a real marriage between a man and a woman.

How Important is Sex in a Marriage?

Sex is of great importance in marriage for the following reasons:

It makes procreation possible. God told Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply.” God wanted them to fill the earth with their kind. When Adam had sex with his wife, (Genesis 4:1) it led to the birth of Cain their first child.

Science has come up with ways of conceiving babies, but the only way approved by God for man is through sexual intercourse.

Sex binds couples together as one. For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:16. That makes sex a powerful tool that we should not toy with, but handle with care.

When married couples have sex they get more united, hence there will be peace and harmony in the home. When unmarried couples have sex, they violate God’s laid-down rule, It brings unholy unity that creates the right atmosphere for Satan to operate.

Sex makes love between husband and wife stronger. It makes them explore each other to a deeper level of feeling that words cannot express.

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!

Awake, north wind, and come south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.                                     

Song of Solomon 4:10, 16

That is the kind of wonderful feeling that is expressed on a wedding night between couples that are having sex for the first time. It seals the love they have for each other.

It opens them to a new life of joy, and peace, and makes them crave more intimacy together.

Is Having Sex a Sin According to the Bible?

Having sex is not a sin if it is done within the confines of marriage the way God intended it.

That is, a man or a woman can only have sex with another partner to whom they are legally married. Anything outside this is called adultery.

The Bible says “thou shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14.

Marriage is a holy union between a man and woman only. God does not approve of same-sex marriage.

He frowns at couples who are not married legally, yet they live together as husband and wife. He hates those who have sex with inanimate objects or those who engage in any form of sexual perversion.

Whenever sexual intercourse takes place in any of such unholy unions it is a sin.

It will incur the wrath of God. But when marriage is properly covenanted, God will be there to bless such a union and make it fruitful.

The havoc that unholy sex can wreak in the lives of people who engage in it and the society at large is very great.

The Bible (see my post on How to Choose the Best Study Bible) gives us an insight into this in Genesis 6:1-5. It breeds wickedness, violence, and all manners of evil, which will bring the judgment of God.

It is the major reason why God destroyed the first world with the flood.

It’s one of the reasons God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them. Also, it is one of the reasons why our world today is lurching toward judgment.

God has not made a mistake when He gave us sexual organs. Neither is He being wicked by telling us that we can only explore the pleasure of sex in marriage.

The truth is, that God knows what is best for us.

His thoughts towards us are of peace, not of evil, to give an expected end. Like He did for Adam and Eve in the Garden, when He told them not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

He simply wants us to obey Him.

If they listen and serve him,

they complete their days in prosperity,

and their years in pleasantness.

Job 36:11

Is it Biblical to Have Sex?

It is biblical to have sex with someone you are legally married to. But that does not include same-sex marriage.

In the Bible, Adam had sex with his wife in Genesis 4:1. Isaac had sex with Rebecca and was comforted.

Paul admonishes young people of marriageable age to get married and enjoy sex legally, instead of lusting in their hearts and sinning against God.

Paul also admonishes husbands and wives to have sex regularly to avoid falling into sexual temptations. 1 Corinthians 7:2-3

Some people have tried to paint sex as evil, and as what should be avoided. That is wrong.

If it were so, God would not have given us sex organs. He would not have allowed us to have sexual urges, and desires for it.

God will not deliberately push us into what can destroy us. But He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

He made Adam naked and brought Eve to him naked so that they can desire each other.

They were both naked and were not ashamed to see each other’s nakedness. God was not ashamed of that too, and it was not an oversight on His part. That was part of His perfect arrangement.

People Also Ask

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Prayer for a Prodigal Son or Daughter

What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?

Many ask “what does the Bible say about premarital sex?”

By God’s ordination, sex is not meant for people who are not married.

Our society today encourages sex between people of any age and relationships. There are all kinds of sexual perversions, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, and more.

Indeed, the Bible says, “And even as they refused to have God in [their] knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” Romans 1:28. That explains the reasons for all the madness that people call pleasure and fun today.

The Bible says “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” That is, young people must keep themselves holy and undefiled until the wedding night. That applies to both males and females.

God wants young unmarried people to keep their virginity till the wedding night.

Only the person they are legally married to should see their nakedness. Only his or her spouse should have sex with them.

That may be a very tough one for the youth of today who are constantly being bombarded with all manners of sexually explicit content from social media, ads, and just about anything our sense organs can relate to.

It is unfortunate, but God does not change His standards.

It is still the same till today. Any youth or an unmarried person who wants to escape the sexual pollution in the world today can only succeed through the help of God.

How can a young man keep his way pure?

    By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 119:9, ESV

“Flee also all youthful lusts.” 2 Timothy 2:22

The admonition is to flee, and not just to resist. Joseph was a young unmarried man. He fled when his master’s wife wanted to drag him into unholy sex.

He preferred to go to prison instead of hiding under the excuse of justifying himself by his mistress’s incessant and irresistible desire for him.

Joseph suffered greatly as a result of his action, but God rewarded him because he was faithful, and he kept to the instructions he received from his father.

Many marriages are suffering today because of premarital sex. Many have crashed, also because one or both members involved have “tasted” sex before marriage.

Young people can overcome all sexual temptations, desires, and urges if they take the right steps. They can keep themselves holy and unstained by the evils of sexual sins that are prevalent in our society.

Final Thoughts

Sex is a controversial subject. And it will continue to be so if we refuse to surrender to the will of God.

The God who created us, with all our natural endowments, knows the best way we can use them.

If we continue to disobey Him, if we refuse to follow His instruction, we will continue to have problems. Not only with sex but also with all other areas of our lives.

Sex in marriage is holy, clean, and much to be desired.

A Godly attitude toward sex will free our society from the menace of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, rape, abortion, fornication, adultery, broken home, untimely death, and more.

We must mortify the deeds of the flesh so that we can enjoy the glories of heaven.

Is your Faith Founded on Fact? Have you committed to follow Jesus?

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