What Sex Unlocks in Marriage
|Photo Credit: Maria Rosaria Sannino, Creative Commons, cc|
It’s a little bit like showing up to school with no pants on.
You’ve had that dream too, I’m sure. On a rushed morning getting ready for school, you dash out the door with your backpack and bag lunch. Not until you step out past the long line of orange school buses do you feel the wind on your thighs and realize that you’ve forgotten to put on your pants. Heart-thumping wildly, we all dash ourselves awake at this moment, our pulses racing as we sit up in a dark room.
I am honored to speak at an upcoming event this week, and love that they chose the “Ovens vs. Microwaves: Issues of Sexuality in Marriage” session of mine. It is one of my favorite workshops. Talking candidly about sex is a bit like showing up to school with no pants on. Yet it’s a topic that we Christians need to talk about more often.
Whenever we fall into the notion that “good girls don’t talk about sex or sexuality” we have forgotten how bluntly and unblushingly our God talks about sex. Sex was God’s idea. He invented it, and us, intentionally sculpting in bundles of nerves throughout our bodies. Nerves that are not needed for the purposes of procreation, but are essential for pleasure.
In Hebrews 13:4, God declares, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” The Greek word for bed here is koite, which in Latin is coitio meaning sex. Thus God says in Hebrews here that “Marriage is honorable in all, and the sex undefiled.”
In the Biblical book of Song of Solomon, a play with two main characters, a Beloved and her Lover describe in tantalizing detail their desire for each other. On their wedding night at the consummation, a third voice enters the fray, saying quietly, smilingly, “Eat, o friends and drink; drink your fill, o lovers.” Bible scholars wonder if this is their Creator telling them to enjoy what he has invented for them.
Gary Thomas, in his article entitled “The Power of a Pure Passion,” explores some wild discoveries about sex and marriage, after new research on the chemical interactions of our brain, including the chemical oxytocin:
The past decade has led to an explosion of understanding about the
chemical interactions of our brains, and many insights about love and
marriage have become more readily apparent. For starters, that
wonderfully transcendent, carry-me-away feeling of infatuation will not
last more than about 24 to 33 months. This sudden affection is
intense, but it’s a “sprinter,” not a marathoner; it has no endurance,
and will begin to fade about the time that most couples come home from
As the inventor of our brains, our Creator
knows this, so He also designed a follow-up act that literally renews a
couple’s affection: sexual intimacy. Here’s how it works. At any
given time, the female brain contains up to ten times more oxytocin
than the male brain. Oxytocin is the bonding chemical that creates
feelings of affection and empathy. You want to know why women tend to
be more invested in close relationships than men? Oxytocin is one of
There’s only one time in human experience when
the husband’s level of oxytocin begins to approach that of his wife’s:
immediately following an act of sexual intimacy. A man’s brain
literally re-bonds with his spouse, making him, at that moment, more
committed to his family, more satisfied with his wife, more invested in
his home. Wives, why do your husbands want sex with you so often
(whether they know this is the reason or not)? It’s because they never
feel closer to you than immediately following that encounter.
Need some oxytocin? Does your man?
Take a moment to look across the room at him. Study his broad shoulders and that strong back. Close your eyes and remember his cologne, or sneak up to him and sniff his neck. Feel your lips on his skin. Think about some of the things you love about him emotionally and physically. Then disappear, and know that God is saying, “Have fun. I made this for you.”
Hi friends. I love you stopping in. What do you think? What’s an aspect of marriage that Christians don’t talk enough about?
(And linking with Ann to count gifts— thankful for God’s invention here today.)