10 Worldly Myths About Sex in Marriage

*This article was discussed recently in Episode 12 of the author’s podcast, All Truth is God’s Truth. You can find the episode here (iTunesGoogle Play, or Stitcher). Subscribe for more interaction with culture from a consistent Christian worldview.

This article assumes that the Bible teaches that sex in marriage is a voluntary choice made by each person in the marriage. This article also assumes that most Christians are not having too much sex in their marriages. I doubt that’s a huge problem with many Christian marriages. The most important thing about sex in marriage is that you have sex with your spouse in your marriage. See 1 Corinthians 7:2-5,

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 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 (ESV).

In order to encourage sex within marriage, here are 10 worldly myths about sex in marriage that need to be rejected:

Myth 1. Being “in the mood” is a prerequisite for sex. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 refers to sex within marriage as a “duty” (opheil?n in Greek) that husbands and wives should provide for their spouses. The ESV translates opheil?n as “conjugal rights.” The concept of “being in the mood” is foreign to Scripture. Do your duty husbands and wives and have sex with your spouses when you are in the mood and when you aren’t.

Myth 2. The person with the lowest sexual appetite should control sexual frequency in marriage. No single spouse should “control” sexual frequency in marriage. Sexual frequency in marriage should be determined by both spouses. There needs to be “mutual agreement” according to Scripture concerning frequency of sex within marriage (1 Cor. 7:2-5).

Myth 3. Husbands should not seek to control or limit their sexual appetites. In most cases, husbands will desire sex more than their wives. Husbands should seek to control or limit their sexual appetites for the sake of their wives, remember Paul’s emphasis on “mutual agreement” (1 Cor. 7:2-5). Furthermore, Husbands should seek to exercise self-control due to this being a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Plus, there will be times in marriage of sexual infrequency due to health issues, work, spiritual reasons, etc. For example, the apostle Paul encourages Christians in Corinth to practice abstinence for a brief period of time based on mutual agreement for the sake of prayer (1 Cor. 7:2-5).

Myth 4. Wives should not seek to cultivate or increase their sexual appetites. In most cases, wives will desire sex less than their husbands. Wives should seek to cultivate their sexual appetites for the sake of their husbands; again, there should be “mutual agreement” concerning sexual frequency (1 Cor. 7:5). Sexual frequency in marriage is more important than our sexual appetite.

Myth 5. Sexual attraction is a prerequisite for sex in marriage. There may be times when you or your spouse are less or more attractive. This reality should be irrelevant concerning sex in marriage. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage.

Myth 6. Praise, appreciation, compliments, awe, etc. are prerequisites for sex in marriage. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. Granted, a nagging, unappreciative, complaining wife does not encourage a husband to give her conjugal rights, but nevertheless, you give your wife conjugal rights because she is your wife, not because she is the “wife of your dreams.” A sinful wife is still your wife. Do your duty; have sex with your wife.

Myth 7. Dating, listening, intimate talks, appreciation, etc. are prerequisites for sex in marriage. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. Granted, a couch that burps, who doesn’t compliment, who doesn’t appreciate you does not encourage a wife to give him conjugal rights, but nevertheless, you give your husband conjugal rights because he is your husband, not because he is the “husband of your dreams.” A sinful husband is still your husband. Do your duty; have sex with your husband.

*For anyone at this point who says, “What if your husband is abusing you?” If your husband is abusive, I believe you’re biblically free to divorce him. He has already abandoned the marriage covenant as your husband, since he is treating you worse than his enemy (1 Cor. 7:14-16; also see this helpful article from the PCA about the Westminster Divines’ views on the subject).

Myth 8. Feeling secure about your body, not feeling guilty, etc. are prerequisites for sex in marriage. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. Body image issues and guilt should not keep husbands and wives from being obedient to the Lord in their marriages. Do your duty; have sex with your spouse, even when you feel insecure.

Myth 9. Passion for one another is a prerequisite for sex. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. It’s more important that you have sex with one another than that you have passionate sex with one another. And if you’re not “passionate” about your spouse, you need to cultivate your passion instead of “waiting for passion” to happen to you. Take responsibility for your lack of passion for your spouse.

Myth 10. Sex must be spontaneous, wild, not planned. The only prerequisite for sex in the Bible is marriage. The most important thing is that you have sex with your spouse, not that sex with your spouse is spontaneous or wild.

There you have it friends! Now go do your duty; serve and enjoy the spouse the Lord has given you!

My site. I’m married with four children, an SBC pastor, a TA for Dr. Kyle Claunch & a PhD candidate at SBTS. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and Udemy. I host 2 podcasts: All Truth is God’s Truth (iTunesGoogle Play Music, and Stitcher) & Pop Culture Coram Deo (iTunesStitcheracastPlayer.FM).

A grown man in the girl’s restroom

We need to be better spokespersons on the issue of transgenderism. It seems the message from conservatives can be boiled down to one question. I’ve seen it all over Facebook, heard it in conversations, and saw that even Ted Cruz was touting it during his last-ditch effort to stave off a Trump nomination:

“Do you want a grown man to follow your little girl into the women’s restroom?”

In a world of sound bytes and 140 character limits, it’s not surprising that conservatives have settled on this as the summary representative of their argument, thinking that their position is so obvious that only a complete idiot would fail to be convinced by it. But it’s not winning hearts and minds, and instead it’s actually feeding the liberal belief that conservatives, and Christians in particular, are bigots and fear mongers who must be repudiated and silenced lest they acquire enough power to force everyone to adopt their restrictive ways.

The question above implies that allowing transgendered individuals access to their restroom of choice will expose others to child molestation and rape. It’s an argument based on fear, and a highly exaggerated one at that. After all, isn’t your little boy just as much at risk from a male sexual predator in places where people must use the bathroom matching their biological sex? Common sense tells us that people who commit such crimes try to do so without witnesses milling about. A man doesn’t have to pretend to be transgendered in order to sexually assault a woman in a public restroom. He just has to have sufficient opportunity to do so where there isn’t anybody around. Truth be told, that probably accounts for most, if not all, public restroom rapes, not someone pretending to be the opposite sex.

The real problem with this “enabling sexual predators” question is that it shifts the focus away from the real issue. The root of the problem is not that a pedophile or rapist could abuse the system. The root of the problem is that it allows and even encourages people to adopt a false reality that stems from and inevitably contributes to serious mental health issues and sin.

Our society says the liberal stance on transgenderism is about equality and fighting discrimination and oppression. Christianity says the problem lies with a society that is willing to deny reality for the sake of the right to self-determination. This is idolatry: the exaltation of self as supreme. Our culture is not really concerned for transgendered individuals. And if our argument can be reduced to, “Do you want a grown man to follow your little girl into the women’s restroom?” then neither are we.

As Christians, we should always occupy the moral high ground in our dealings with a corrupt and sinful society. We can do that by being better advocates for transgendered individuals than society is. We advocate for them by pointing out the cruelty telling people they can change reality to fit their feelings when this approach will not fix their problems and does not work in other areas of life such as finances, employment, or relationships. We advocate for them by affirming the inherent goodness of every individual’s biological sex. We advocate for them by providing and challenging the world to provide real mental health care that affirms that goodness and treats the mind, not “care” that involves mutilating a healthy body.

The next time you’re tempted to make that post on Facebook or throw in that zinger in your conversation, stop and refocus on the central issue of the inherent goodness of our biological sex.

A grown man in the girl’s restroom

We need to be better spokespersons on the issue of transgenderism. It seems the message from conservatives can be boiled down to one question. I’ve seen it all over Facebook, heard it in conversations, and saw that even Ted Cruz was touting it during his last-ditch effort to stave off a Trump nomination:

“Do you want a grown man to follow your little girl into the women’s restroom?”

In a world of sound bytes and 140 character limits, it’s not surprising that conservatives have settled on this as the summary representative of their argument, thinking that their position is so obvious that only a complete idiot would fail to be convinced by it. But it’s not winning hearts and minds, and instead it’s actually feeding the liberal belief that conservatives, and Christians in particular, are bigots and fear mongers who must be repudiated and silenced lest they acquire enough power to force everyone to adopt their restrictive ways.

The question above implies that allowing transgendered individuals access to their restroom of choice will expose others to child molestation and rape. It’s an argument based on fear, and a highly exaggerated one at that. After all, isn’t your little boy just as much at risk from a male sexual predator in places where people must use the bathroom matching their biological sex? Common sense tells us that people who commit such crimes try to do so without witnesses milling about. A man doesn’t have to pretend to be transgendered in order to sexually assault a woman in a public restroom. He just has to have sufficient opportunity to do so where there isn’t anybody around. Truth be told, that probably accounts for most, if not all, public restroom rapes, not someone pretending to be the opposite sex.

The real problem with this “enabling sexual predators” question is that it shifts the focus away from the real issue. The root of the problem is not that a pedophile or rapist could abuse the system. The root of the problem is that it allows and even encourages people to adopt a false reality that stems from and inevitably contributes to serious mental health issues and sin.

Our society says the liberal stance on transgenderism is about equality and fighting discrimination and oppression. Christianity says the problem lies with a society that is willing to deny reality for the sake of the right to self-determination. This is idolatry: the exaltation of self as supreme. Our culture is not really concerned for transgendered individuals. And if our argument can be reduced to, “Do you want a grown man to follow your little girl into the women’s restroom?” then neither are we.

As Christians, we should always occupy the moral high ground in our dealings with a corrupt and sinful society. We can do that by being better advocates for transgendered individuals than society is. We advocate for them by pointing out the cruelty telling people they can change reality to fit their feelings when this approach will not fix their problems and does not work in other areas of life such as finances, employment, or relationships. We advocate for them by affirming the inherent goodness of every individual’s biological sex. We advocate for them by providing and challenging the world to provide real mental health care that affirms that goodness and treats the mind, not “care” that involves mutilating a healthy body.

The next time you’re tempted to make that post on Facebook or throw in that zinger in your conversation, stop and refocus on the central issue of the inherent goodness of our biological sex.

Gay marriage may not be all bad news

In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling establishing gay marriage as a Constitutional right, many of us evangelicals are experiencing a wash of emotions. My initial response was one of fear. Fear that this will someday result in me being fired from my secular job like that fire chief in Atlanta. By my calculations I still have nearly 40 years to go before I can retire, and the possibility that someday it will be determined that people who think like me shouldn’t work with the public is scary. This fear, warranted or not, is sinful and betrays a lack of confidence in God and in the people of God. I have since repented of it, and I remain committed to serving God publicly, come what may.

Apart from my renewed trust in God, I’ve come to realize that this decision from the Supreme Court is not all bad news. Like Joseph being sold into slavery, this too may result in unimaginable blessings in the future. Here are some that I’ve thought of:

Reaching the unreachable
Do you know why Southern Baptists take advantage of the World Cup and the Olympics to share the gospel? One big reason is that it allows us to share the gospel with people who might otherwise be inaccessible to us either because of their home country’s laws or because of the lack of a gospel witness in their community. Just as Massachusetts became a hub for “gay marriage tourism” in the wake of their initial decision to allow it over ten years ago, so too the U.S. can expect an influx of homosexual immigrants coming to the States to be married and experience the freedom and protection that our laws provide them. Many of these people will come from places with little or no gospel witness. We must stand ready to share the gospel with the lost this ruling will surely end up bringing to our communities.

Refugees of the sexual revolution
Wherever there is marriage, divorce does not follow far behind. Proponents of gay marriage may have reveled in victory on Friday, but if they are anything like their straight neighbors, many will eventually experience the agony of defeat that comes from a broken marriage and divorce. Christians will soon see themselves in the position to offer life and salvation to those whom Russell Moore calls “refugees of the sexual revolution.”

The restoration of Christian marriage
The fight over gay marriage was lost long before Friday’s ruling. It was lost when marriage ceased to be honored by all, and churches stopped exercising discipline over unbiblical divorce. Although I hold that divorce is permissible in some circumstances, the vast majority of divorces in the U.S. do not occur under these circumstances. By failing to exercise church discipline in these instances, marriage was undermined. Marriage is no longer a question of gay vs. straight in the eyes of our country. It’s a question of religious vs. secular. No doubt there will be some Christians who buy into the culture’s view that marriage is nothing more than a matter of equal rights. But I anticipate churches will elevate marriage higher than that, showing that it is a living parable representing Christ and the church. I anticipate the return of church discipline over unbiblical divorce. This honoring of marriage will be confusing to the world, but they will know that gay marriage cannot replicate it. And that may open some to the truth of the gospel.

The culling of false churches
I expect that over the next year we will see more news stories about churches and parachurch organizations changing their view on marriage to accord with the Supreme Court’s ruling. The media wants to see this, so when it happens, they will report it. Whether those churches continue to exist or shrivel up and die (as I hope they will), we will have a better sense of who is with us and who is not. We will know who we can work with and worship with and who we must cut ties with. This will be painful, but the vine must be pruned of dead branches if fruit is to grow. And grow it will.

These are only a few of the positives that may come from this. Do you have any additional ones that you see?