Ever heard this in your marriage? How about felt like that was the attitude of your spouse? It’s damaging to so many marriages. When we marry we marry “for better or worse” with the understanding that we’ll all work for “better.” Too many spouses are worried more about how little they can get by with (link to The Generous Husband’s post on this subject) that they don’t realize what the damage they are doing to their marriage and, when it comes right down to it, themselves. It’s “just sex’ until it’s an affair or porn then all of a sudden it isn’t “just sex” anymore. Sex goes from “just sex” to “SEX!” In scripture I’m certain there is no attitude of “just sex.” Sex is either blessed in marriage or a sin outside of marriage. The attitude of “just sex” comes from a world view that places mankind as little more than another animal. If sex were truly “just sex” then we wouldn’t have so many issues cropping up in marriage around the issue of sex.
The idea of “just sex” promotes premarital sex, “It’s just sex go ahead and do it,” and marital infidelity through the withholding of sex, “It’s just sex you don’t have to do it.” Yes, you read that right, marital infidelity. If fidelity is defined as:
- strict observance of promises, duties, etc.
- conjugal faithfulness.
Then withholding sex is certainly a form of infidelity. We make promises toward loyalty and conjugal faithfulness and then we see how little we can get away with giving. It would have been more honest if we had stood up before God and our community and instead of promising “for better or worse” we promised “for as little with which we can get by.” We know that it isn’t “just sex” because if it was “just sex” then it wouldn’t be that big a deal to give it or to get it but the frequency, or lack thereof, is a huge issues in too many “Christian” marriages. Part of the problem is that this tends to be a marriage’s best kept secret. If either spouse were fooling around on the other sooner or later it’s going to come out but with sexual refusal both spouses are usually content to keep the secret.
In Marriage and Class Five Rapids we took a look at 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Verse three says:
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.~1 Corinthians 7:3 (NIV)
The word translated duty in the NIV is the Greek word opheilō. This literally means that each spouse owes this specific debt to their spouse. This is exactly what you are signing for when you marry.
In the past we have talked about the high drive/low drive issues within marriage and we’ve also mentioned that this applies to more than sex but it applies to sex especially. Why do I say “especially?” Because unlike other things your spouse isn’t your only outlet. Conversation, emotional connection, there are valid, non-sinful outlets for these other than your spouse. I have interesting conversations with my sons and we connect on an emotional level. There is nothing wrong with that. My wife and her best friend have conversation down to an art form and there is nothing wrong with that. There are problems, and we all recognize and realize this, when we look for fulfillment outside of our spouse when it comes to sex. So, it isn’t “just sex.”
If it were “just sex” then it wouldn’t matter where the higher drive spouse got sex but we know that it does matter. First and most importantly it matters to God. Secondly it matters to the low drive spouse as well (if it doesn’t matter to the lower drive spouse where their spouse is getting the sexual needs met then there are bigger issues in that marriage). The reason that it matters to the lower drive spouse is deep down we all know that it isn’t “just sex.” Sex between a husband and a wife is more than physical. When done correctly it is emotional, physical and spiritual. It is designed to be a bonding experience between a married couple. That which God designed for bonding has been so corrupted that there are many issues surrounding the sexual relationship in many marriages. God’s design for sex has been so manipulated in our society that it is hard to recognize and a big part of that manipulation is this idea that any sex is “just sex.”