Sex In Marriage - What's Okay?
In this over-sexed and under-loved world, people are looking for the real deal, the secret to lasting love with a vibrant sex life. Because of this pursuit for a purer passion, the most asked question we get when it comes to Red Hot Monogamy is, “What is okay with God?”
First and foremost, sex is for marriage. Ephesians 5:31-32 (quoting Genesis) "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 1 Thessalonians 4:3–8 reinforces this with the reminder,“It is God’s will that you keep away from sexual sin as a mark of your devotion to him” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, GW).
So the place to begin if you are single is to value your future sexual love by protecting your present integrity. Bill and I said “Yes!” to obeying God’s guidelines before marriage by wholesome dating with lots of safety, being together—in PUBLIC: walks on the beach, picnics in a park, lunch at sidewalk café, candlelit dinner by the fire in a nice restaurant—public places before marriage will protect private moments after marriage.
For married couples, God gives only a few clear commands on what is and isn’t permissible with the gift of sex he created. Instead of a list of “no-no’s” let’s look at his guidelines in the affirmative:
You can say YES if you:
Yield to one another. Everything done is agreed upon. The goal in intimacy is unity. In Red Hot Monogamy we look at the 8 areas of intimacy and give tools to build intimacy in each area. Colossians 3:1 encourages: And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. If you love, you will want to talk through and agree on expressions in sexuality.
Extend it in love. No one should ever feel forced or coerced in sex. The sex acts should reflect love, not demean or inflict pain. Sex is a relationship to be protected not a person to exploit. Hebrews 13:4 reminds: Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled.
Secure it with privacy. Sex should only be you two alone. Your marriage bed is yours and yours alone (no other partners, no pornography, no mommy porn, no fake imitations of body parts). Why settle for anything fake when you can create the real thing live and in person? When it comes to grey areas, things not specifically forbidden, applying 1 Corinthians 6:12 is a smart choice:
Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.
Permissible but not profitable: When making decisions for the bedroom, God gives you elbow room to make choices based on personal preferences, but never risk your life, your health or your reputation for a few moments of ecstasy. (More on God’s view of sexuality is found in our book Red Hot Monogamy, or Julie Slattery and Dannah Gresh’s Pulling Back The Shades)
Never settle for “shades of grey” when God’s plan for love creates a lifetime of RED HOT romance!
Red Hot Romance
Once you are in agreement with each other and God, then saying “Yes!” is a wonderful emotional investment that accumulates interest over time. Choose one of these fun ideas from Red Hot Romance Tips for Women as a way to say “Yes!” and invest in your love:
- Write Yes! on the sidewalk squares as it leads to the front door.
- Write Yes! on a poster board on the inside garage door.
- Get a red heart shaped balloon and have it delivered to the office or place on his desk, in his car, or on the front door and in the note write your “Yes!”
- Write Yes! on the steam on the mirror. Write Yes! in lipstick, and seal with a kiss on the mirror (or rearview mirror of his car)
- Write Yes! in full color and create a photo invitation using a website like picmonkey.com or your computer graphic program.
- Call his cell when you know he can’t answer and say, “If you ask me tonight, the answer is “Yes!”
- Make a series of “Yes!” sticky notes (you can get them in bright pink or shaped like hearts) and place them in random places along his daily path
Marriage educators Jay and Laura Laffoon, authors of He Said, She Said, have a creative “Yes!” they give out at conferences—a blinking red heart you can place on your spouse’s pillow.
- Family Life’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey encourage a clear “Yes!” by lighting a candle on their side of the bed to indicate interest. Bill and I and I collect candles from places we travel, so if we are “in the mood” one of us can light these candles throughout the house as a clear, “Yes!”
- If you have extra wedding invitations in a file, take out an extra one and write on it, “Still glad I said Yes!” or ‘”Happy today I said yes to you on our wedding day!—and it is Yes! tonight too!”
- Say “Yes!” with food. We have an excerpt from Red Hot Romance Tips for Women called YUMMY that explains what foods have historical, biological and scientific ties to love and intimacy (Grandmother was right, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!).
This is adapted from Pam and Bill Farrel’s Red Hot Romance Tips for Women. Also helpful for marital intimacy are: Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, Red Hot Monogamy, and for singles, Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti--all available on www.Love-Wise.com.
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