Is it Okay for Christian Couples to…

Brad says…

Yesterday I was speaking at an event and we had “anonymous question” time. Every time we do this, I can guarantee that someone will ask the question, “Is it ok for my wife and I to do “xyz” sexually?” The xyz changes, but the question is always there. Is anal sex ok for Christian couples? Is oral sex ok for Christian couples? Is watching porn ok for Christian couples? Is video taping ourselves ok for Christian couples?

We’ve been asked each of these and more! Here are 2 simple guidelines to answer these questions. I know they seem like complicated questions, but when you look to Scripture for the answer, it actually becomes pretty simple.

Just the 2 of Us

Does this activity involve just you and your spouse?

Hebrews 13:4 says it best, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (NIV) Sex in marriage is just for the two of you to experience together. That is how God designed it. So things like multiple partners or even pornography in marriage are really against this standard.

I’m Up For IT

Do both you and your spouse desire to do this?

1 Corinthians 7:3 makes this one pretty clear. “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.(NLT)” I know that it is easy to read this and think, “well, if I want it then my spouse should want it too”, but that is totally forgetting the other part of the sentence. We need to put our spouses needs above our own, and pushing someone to do something they don’t want to do, doesn’t do that.

That’s It

If you can answer yes to both of those questions then the answer to “can I do it” is YES. Go for it.

What do you think? Have you had to wrestle with this question before? Why do you think so many churches teach something different?

Photo courtesy of painless and © photoxpress

10 Responses to Is it Okay for Christian Couples to…

  1. I realize lots of people will disagree, but I’d add a 3rd question: “Are we being open to life?” If yes, then you are truly one flesh. Withholding your fertility restricts your intimacy.

    • Thanks for your comment, I recognize that many Catholics and some other Christian denominations support the belief that birth control of any kind is against God’s plan for our lives. I’m aware of the belief, yet I don’t see that supported in Scripture. The passage that is often quoted is Genesis 38:8-10 where Onan “spills his semen on the ground” and displeases God. Looking at this passage in particular, I see two problems. First, the withdraw method is not actually a successful method of contraception. Any medical professional (and many couples) can attest to that. Second, the key to why God took Onan’s life was that he disobeyed God’s law by not giving his brother an heir. It had more to do with his heart, then it did with his action.

      I am unable to find any other Scripture that supports that God is displeased when we use birth control that would make me agree that “withholding your fertility restricts your intimacy.”

      That being said, there are many issues with contraception that many people are unaware of. In fact Kate wrote a post called, “Birth Control Killed My Sex Drive” which highlights some of these. I would recommend that every couple should read and carefully consider these factors in order to make an informed decision about birth control.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Thank you for your encouragement James. I was honestly expecting some controversy with this post, but it seems like most of our readers agree…

  2. In marriage the population is limited only to your spouse and for a good reason.Being that specially chosen has great benefits and responsibilities to each other. I personally would do anything I could to bring the most joy to this person in this position any way they would gladly desire it. Leaving out injury, pain, suffering , and anything that might destroy that person, God’s kid.

    Life is made up of some things some people like and some people don’t. Love is clear when each person is honored and respected. My spouse finds sex dirty and my parts disgusting a part of her upbringing and lets get it over with now. And my wife likes to receive cuddling very closely and a lot of caressing in all the playing fields. So what happens when there is not equal give and take?

    I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to love her and then turn it to a fun adventure looking to see how good I can make her feel. It does not fix the entire problem at hand but it makes sex (or outcourse if you will) a lot of fun. Is there any hope for equally adventuring? Maybe someday . But God as I continue to enjoy a deeper presence with Him has certainly proven Himself as a rewarder to those who seek Him. In radically chasing Him rather than anything else in life, the imbalances of life fade. So the answers to all the questions is YES,YES,YES so much in it that the answer echoes on both sides of the bedroom.

    • Hi John, great question when one person’s level of desire doesn’t match the others. You are exactly correct that takes a lot of seeking of the Holy Spirit. It requires grace on both sides and loving patience on both sides. Their is no simple answer like “meet in the middle”. Because the middle can be quite frightening to some spouses too. So it is best to start with the “low” side, and lovingly express your desires. Talk about them, and the fears around them. Get educated about the topic. Then in time you can decide if it is something you want to try or not.

      • I like the idea of challenging or teasing each other with grace and love in this arena .Keeping on eye on could be and enjoying what is and to trust God for the growth to come. Currently I get stonewalled when it comes to expressing desires and faced with “be happy for what you do have”.And the joy will come from His work in my spouse which I cannot do and my trust that God has my back side especially when you consider it all joy when you encouner trials.
        Meanwhile I will work on growing to become the best me daily and enjoy what God can do with that for those around me

  3. The first point about just being the two of you is certainly correct. The second point sounds really gracious and nice but it’s fraught with issues. It may not be in the low desire partner’s best interest to not push for growth and change. The status quo may be robbing both partners of something a lot more important than good or adventuresome sex! On this topic I recommend “Intimacy and Desire” by David Schnarch.

    • You’re right John the second part is more challenging. I wouldn’t say “fraught with issues”, but challenging. On BOTH sides. I know you are writing saying “how can I get my wife to do xyz” and I understand that side. But I also want you to consider the other side. If your wife isn’t comfortable with an activity, why does that have to be something that she adapts to and changes? Why does it have to be her accepting, rather then you accepting her limitation? I just wanted to represent the other side of the coin as a way to say, there is not one right answer here. I highly recommend that you check out Kate’s reply post, “Willing to be Adventurous“.

  4. Brad,

    Sorry it took me so long to get to this post.

    Really right on! As a speaker at marriage seminars, I can attest to your statement that these questions arise often.

    Part of the issue is some want to justify their sinful behavior, such as but not limited to – porn use “even when we both agree!” – which somehow seems to mean its OK for us.

    Another reason I see is that some are just lazy and want the “expert” to give them the answer.

    Finally, some have the sincere desire to ascertain God’s direction and need someone to help them.

    Thanks for your continued ministry!

Let Us Know What You Think