The woman of virtue shares her bed and body with only her husband and so she covers both.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4
Sexual intercourse is reserved for the wedding night because it spiritually and physically binds you to your husband/wife. Leviticus 19:4-26 is how you keep your marriage bed pure, for God has written down for all human beings what is sexually immoral and destructive to marriage and family:
“You must NEVER have sexual relations with a close relative. Do not violate your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother. Do not have sexual relations with any of your father’s wives, for this would violate your father. Do not have sexual relations with your sister or half-sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born into your household or someone else’s. Do not have sexual relations with our granddaughter, whether she is your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, for this would violate yourself. Do not have sexual relations with your step-sister, the daughter of any of your father’s wives, for she is your sister. Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sisters, for she is your father’s close relative. Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s close relative. Do not violate your uncle, your father’s brother, by having sexual relations with his wife, for she is your aunt. Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, for this would violate your brother. Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. And do not take her granddaughter, whether her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, and have sexual relations with her. They are close relatives, and this would be a wicked act. While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals. Do not have sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual impurity. Do not defile yourself by having sexual intercourse with your neighbor’s wife. Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech (abortion, satanic worship, prostitution, child pornography, incest, etc.), for you must not bring shame on the Name of your God. I am the Lord. Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, or a woman having sex with a woman. It is a detestable sin. A man or woman must not defile themselves by having sex with an animal. This is a perverse act.”
“Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people around you have defiled themselves in all these ways, and you must not do what they do. Because the land has become defiled by sexual immorality, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. You must obey all my laws and decrees, and this applies to everyone, to all people of the earth.”
Marriage is to be honored and protected “by all.” That means that marriage by GOD’s design is to be honored and protected by the government too, and is why we need to be paying attention to who is running for election. When sexual immorality is allowed to freely thrive in any land – the Word of God says that the land itself becomes defiled. When the land becomes defiled the earth fights back against these sexual perversions: the earth “vomits out its wicked inhabitants.” People die, and they die by all kinds of disasters and diseases.
God designed marriage specifically for one man and one woman who both promise to remain faithful and committed to one another until death parts them. If your wife or husband is unfaithful (attracted to and sexually active with someone else) then He allows you to divorce but with this God also says that you are not allowed to remarry anyone else or you become an adulterer as well. Why does God see it that way? He sees it that way because of His ability to heal and restore, and because of our vows so that we learn how to be faithful to what we say we will do. Adultery in any case is a sin, and God forgives sin. But sin has consequences in our lives; serious consequences that serve as God’s painful discipline that teach and train us.
Today we see a different type of wedding vow that leaves room to cancel their marriage contract for any reason. “I promise to be faithful to you until I find someone I like better.” “I promise to be faithful to you until you hurt me.” “I promise to be faithful to you until you can’t or won’t serve me any longer.” “I promise to be faithful to you until you stop making me laugh.” “I promise to be faithful to you until you stop doing what I want you to do.” “I promise to be faithful to you until you are disabled and completely dependent on me.” You don’t hear any of these statements in their vows, but God does.
God knows what is in our hearts better than we do. God sees our future and what every married couple has coming that could divide them. I look at my marriage when we made our vows to each other May of 1975 and all the issues that could’ve divided us over these years had we each NOT stayed close to the Lord. Our four adult children with their spouses are learning the same too, and oh how happy we are as GRANDPARENTS that they are!
Being faithful to our spouse, even in our thoughts, is not easy to do on our own, but….
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” (Philippians 4:13) Jesus Christ didn’t give up on us as He died to Himself, literally on the Cross. Therefore, I can die to myself with His strength in me. I can arrest my wicked thoughts and make my thoughts agree with the mind of Christ because His Spirit lives in me.
When a couple stays married “for the children,” this is not wrong but right. When we put our thoughts on what is best for someone else, we can change for the good. Divorce is rooted in self-centeredness, in almost all cases. Adultery is rooted in self-gratification. All sexual sins are rooted in self-gratification and defiles the body.
Even a bad marriage can turn good when ‘self’ gets out of the way. The reason a marriage starts to go bad in the first place is because ‘self’ wants its own way. It can change course by thinking God’s way, acting in right ways, and forgiving your spouse and forgiving yourself too.
Our vows are witnessed by our heavenly Father because marriage is His design and establishment. He watches over it. He holds us to our vows. This holy accountability to God is why we have so much guilt, and should have guilt, when we try to break our marriage covenant, and why we have unnecessary trouble and battles when we divorce and remarry.
God, your Father and Judge, will not ask you why you got a divorce. He will ask you why you let your marriage fail and your children suffer and go astray.
A long time ago my daughter told me that she was invited to a “divorce party.” Why should anyone want to celebrate a broken marriage and honor a divorce by giving gifts? Why would anyone want to make merry over children grieving over their mommy and daddy dividing? How selfish and insensitive! She did not go of course, but was just as shocked as I to hear of such a shameful thing happening.
There are boundaries we must see in our marriage that will keep us from seeing our husband (or wife) as someone who is there to accommodate our every need and desire: false expectations. Boundaries work to bring us before the Lord to receive that which only He can provide and protect for us.
The marriage bed is protected by both husband and wife remaining respectful of one another’s feelings and convictions. The body, which God designed, is not to be treated in a degrading or hurtful way; whether you are mistreating your own body or your spouse’s body.
In marriage God says that our body is not our own. “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. And in the same way the husband yields to his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:4) Both respect each other’s body, because “in Christ” my body is a member of Christ Himself. My body is His Temple. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) Nothing wicked is allowed in His Temple, or in the Body of Christ (His Church).
When God said that “the two will become one flesh” (6:16) it doesn’t just mean that they can produce a child together. In every aspect of human life they are to become one, inseparable and faithful to each other, just like when we become united to the Lord by His Spirit; we become one with Him in purpose. Nothing can separate us from His love!
If you entered a sexual relationship before marriage you need to confess and repent before the Lord. You need to confess to your fiancé that you had previous sexual relationships before you marry. This needs to be forgiven and under the blood of Christ from the start of your marriage.
The Holy Spirit teaches that the only time we are allowed to deprive one another sexually is when we need to be alone with God in prayer and even then we need to be sensitive enough to our spouse to have their understanding and support. God might call the two of you to a time of prayer and fasting [sexually] in order to gain more understanding of something lacking in your relationship that sex can not fix. (1 Corinthians 7:3-6)
“Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.” 1 Corinthians 7:5
So often men think that as long as their wife has sex with them – all is well in the relationship. It is not wrong for a wife to hold back sexually when her husband is disrespecting her. God tells the man that he should love his wife as he loves his own body (Ephesians 5:28), treating her with consideration as a delicate vessel, with honor because you both are fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life. (1 Peter 3:7) If a man does not treat his wife this way his prayers will be hindered. God will not listen to the man who dishonors his wife, nor will He listen to the wife who dishonors her husband.
Sickness and disease can also deprive sexual activity in a marriage, but it’s not your right to get your urges met by another person, or by masturbation, because both are about self-gratification, and self-gratification is wicked. Self-discipline and self-denial is what we need to work on with God’s help. God will help you with your sex drive if you go to Him and wait on His strength and wisdom. We have not – because we ask not.
If we selfishly deprive each other – we are inviting the enemy in to tempt and destroy. The Lord pardons every wicked thing we do when we confess it to Him as sin. Confession does not finish the work of repentance; obedience does.
We keep our marriage bed pure by staying away from people who talk about their sex life and the private parts of the body as if it was healthy or practical to do so. Be wise and discerning of movies, books, songs and websites too. Keep your mind and marriage holy because God is Holy and you are His Family.
If you have a weakness or addiction in the area of sexual immorality then confide in your spouse after you talk to the Lord about it. Get it out in the light so the devil can’t use it against you to keep you enslaved. Trust God with your confession. Pray with your spouse about it. Hold each other accountable, but do it in love and not with a critical or self-righteous attitude. Remember, we all have our weaknesses and the sin that so easily besets us.
Why is it so fundamentally vital for men and women to be inexperienced sexually before they marry? Two reasons why. One: Sexual intercourse connects you spirit to spirit. It’s not simply an act of the flesh. No divorce contract can void what is of the spirit. Two: Having no other to compare to keeps your sexual thoughts pure towards one another. Comparing sexual experiences (whether your own or what you watch in the movies or on computer) breeds disapproval and disrespect. It can easily destroy your marriage.
In a Song of Solomon’s (1:6) the new bride talks about how handsome and charming her lover (husband) is. She also sings: “And our bed is verdant.” This young bride expresses her delight in that she and her husband have both kept their marriage bed innocent and inexperienced by waiting till they were married to enjoy each other sexually.