This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 18:00 minutes into the video.
I had been sitting in the car with him for about 10 minutes. I was in the driver’s seat, and God had put me there for a reason: He knew I couldn’t get in a good right hook or jab from the position I was in. And literally, that’s all I could think about at the moment—punching this jerk that was telling me about this new woman he was dating, which was funny, because he hadn’t yet broken up with me—AND he was still married! In a quiet moment between yelling, I realized something I had been too blind to see: this man never understood me or my intentions. He did not understand my love for Jesus, he did not understand how I wanted to be treated, and he did not understand my heart (all things that were my fault). Additionally, I also realized that I did not understand him or what he had really wanted from me—I had only understood what I wanted to know. We lacked understanding at its most basic level.
One of the biggest things that’s missing from sex these days is understanding. Not just understanding about what sex is and Who created it, but understanding your spouse and the marriage that you’ve entered. I certainly did not understand my ex above, and he did not understand me—which meant everything physical between us amounted to nothing except heartbreak and emptiness. However, to restore sex to what God intended, we must realize these three things:
- Understanding in sex requires communication. One of the top three things married couples fight about is sex. It’s usually about every part of sex: from the frequency to the likes or dislikes. That’s why married couples must communicate with each other both inside the bedroom and outside. How can you understand someone if you’re not communicating with them? Of course, this is quite simple in some ways, quite complex in others. It means listening to your spouse and really hearing what they say—that can seem easy. But it also means understanding when your spouse feels “in the mood” and understanding when they don’t. It is why sex outside of the marriage bed—e.g., one night stands, empty relationships with no commitment, even pornography—often leaves us scarred.
- Understanding in sex requires compassion. Again, your marriage outside of the bedroom will affect what happens inside the bedroom. Like communication, if you aren’t showing compassion outside of the bedroom walls, you likely won’t feel those same things within them. How do you respond to your spouse? How do you talk about your spouse to your friends, your children, your coworkers? How do you show your spouse you love him/her? How you treat your spouse, whether in private or in public, has an emotional impact on your sex life. When you unite yourself with someone physically through sex, you should show grace, mercy, and love in the most intimate of circumstances.
- Understanding in sex requires communion. I’m not talking about the bread and wine that you might get if you attend church. I’m talking about the unity that comes with marriage. The Bible says that when a man leaves his parents, he and his wife are joined together and become one (Ephesians 5:31, Genesis 2:24). This oneness is not just a physical oneness, but it is a spiritual and emotional oneness as well. It means that you stop living just for yourself, you stop thinking just for your own needs, and you begin to seek understanding about the spouse to whom you have been joined.
Sex can’t be used as a thermostat to control your marriage, as my pastor noted, and it can’t be used as a scheme to get what you want in your marriage. Instead, sex should complement your marriage and be one of many gauges to track the health of your marriage. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to begin practicing understanding—not just of sex as God intended, but understanding of your spouse and marriage through communication, compassion, and communion.