#MarriagePrayers: 1 Corinthians 7:4-5

#MarriagePrayers || 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Scott and Teri Lynne Underwood

#MarriagePrayers || 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage || Scott and Teri Lynne Underwood

As I look at the verses and prayers we’ll be sharing this week, I realize many who read these posts may be in difficult marital situations and/or have a history of abuse or trauma. We want to honor your experiences and be gentle with your hearts.  We both encourage anyone in an abusive or dangerous situation to seek immediate help from a trustworthy organization. For those who have suffered trauma or abuse, we firmly believe in the ability of God to heal those hurts and urge you to find a competent Christian counselor to guide you down the long road to wholeness.  ~ Teri Lynne

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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. 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 Corinthians 7:4-5

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Yes, this is exactly what I want to write about on Monday morning: sex! And if there was a sarcasm font, that whole sentence would have been written using it.

Let’s face it, for all the openness about sex in our culture, within our churches it’s still pretty much a taboo topic. We certainly are not going to share our struggles and fears and questions about it in our Bible studies or small groups. And even with our closest friends, this is a subject we just don’t touch.

But here’s the thing: we need to! Because in the sex-saturated culture where we live, the truth about God’s plan for our bodies and our physical intimacy gets lost in all the noise. Sex is good, people!

When Scott was still in student ministry, he did a lot of talking with teenagers about sex and God’s plans for them and their bodies and their future. I’ll never forget one week when he shared with the students that sex isn’t just for reproduction, it’s also for recreation. For many of them it was the very first time they’d ever heard an adult in church say how great sex is and how much God intended them to enjoy it.  That lesson has stuck with those kids who are now in their 30s and married with kids of their own. How do I know? Because we’ve heard from them about how much they enjoy a little “recreation” with their spouses.

Maybe it’s those of us who’ve been married for a few years who need the reminder now.

I believe it isn’t that we wake up one morning and decide we’re no longer interested in physical intimacy with our spouses. It’s actually more like this …

Babies need to be fed in the middle of the night and we’re sleep deprived. Stress at work keeps us distracted and exhausted. We fall into bed, sometimes not even at the same time, and honestly, even when we want to be intimate, we just don’t have the energy.

I get it. I promise. And we’ve been there. It happens.

But we can’t stay there! We just can’t. Because those urges and desires are hard wired into us — and ultimately sex will become an issue and, for many couples, a place of contention.

Consider these statistics:

55% of married Christian men look at pornography at least monthly {source}

35% of married Christian men have had an extra-marital affair {source}

20% of Christian women admit to a pornography addiction {source}

Stop and think about it: how many marriages do you know that have been affected by adultery or pornography? I can think of five just in the past few years — all of them people we are close to.

The Corinthian culture was also a highly sexual one. Paul wrote these words about not abstaining from sex within marriage to the church there because he was well aware of the temptations around them. The temptation to neglect physical intimacy within marriage isn’t new.

What is the best way to protect our marriages in this area? A commitment to regular sex. 

I know, you’re thinking, “Teri Lynne, are you suggesting we add sex to the calendar like we do dental cleanings and work appointments?” Yes, yes I am. Because if we don’t, I promise it will be far too easy to let physical intimacy get lost in the chaos of daily life.

I’m not suggesting we are somehow responsible for the use of pornography by our spouses simply because we don’t have regular sex.  Nor do I want to imply if you have a healthy sex life you marriage will be immune from adultery. The truth is, no marriage is beyond the reach of sexual temptations. Sex can’t break or keep a marriage intact.  Good communication, shared interests, and mutual respect are also vital. Nonetheless, we cannot deny the importance of physical intimacy.

Maybe you’ve been neglecting this area of your marriage. Maybe your spouse is using porn or had an affair. Maybe you’ve got a health issue that affects your libido.

There are countless reasons our sexual desire can be diminished. You may need to talk with your doctor or a therapist about this. Do it.

But maybe it’s just that you’ve gotten out of the habit or pushed sex down on your priority list … I have the same advice, “Do it!” 🙂

~ Teri Lynne

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Today’s Prayer

For all the openness about sex in our culture, within our churches it's still pretty much a taboo topic. We certainly are not going to share our struggles and fears and questions about it in our Bible studies or small groups. And even with our closest friends, this is a subject we just don't touch.  But here's the thing: we need to! Because in the sex-saturated culture where we live, the truth about God's plan for our bodies and our physical intimacy gets lost in all the noise. And in our marriages, we need to be reminded about it's importance and value in our relationship.

God, from the very beginning sex was an important part of Your plan for marriage. Sex is not just for reproduction, but also for our enjoyment. You intend us to become “one flesh.” Where we’ve lost the desire for each other physically, restore it. When we’re busy and neglectful, remind us. Sex is a gift, Lord, a good gift from You. May we make physical intimacy a priority in our marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

#MarriagePrayers: May we make physical intimacy a priority in our marriage. (2 Cor. 7:4-5) Click To Tweet

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Thank you for joining us for #MarriagePrayers: 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage.  Scott and I will be sharing a new verse and prayer every day throughout May, leading up to our 20th anniversary on June 1.  You can find every day’s post indexed here.  We pray you will be encouraged and challenged as you pray God’s Word for your marriage.

#MarriagePrayers: God, from the very beginning sex was an important part of Your plan for marriage. Sex is not just for reproduction, but also for our enjoyment. You intend us to become "one flesh." Where we've lost the desire for each other physically, restore it. When we're busy and neglectful, remind us. Sex is a gift, Lord, a good gift from You. May we make physical intimacy a priority in our marriage. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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