I recently sent out an email to my subscribers list where I said this:
Do you believe that sex is an important part of marriage?
I sure do.
In fact, as a Christian I believe that the Bible is all for sex…
As long as you keep it between you and your wife. Anything is fair game as long as you follow that one simple rule…
I had a reader email me back. She believes that this is a “formula for perversion and deceit”. I asked her to clarify what she meant by this, and she said that just because you’re married doesn’t mean you could engage in any sexual act. She said that God has guidelines for what married couples could do with each other.
Sex Acts The Bible Restricts
I agree that there are guidelines. What does the Bible say about sex in marriage? It tells us not to engage in:
- Adultery – Sex with someone other than your spouse (Exodus 20:14, Proverbs 5:1-20)
- Fornication – Any sex outside of marriage, like premarital sex or threesomes (1 Corinthians 6:18)
- Homosexuality – Sex with someone of the someone of the same gender (Leviticus 18:22)
- Lusting after someone who is not your spouse – including porn (Matthew 5:28)
- Bestiality – sex with an animal (Leviticus 18:23)
- Incest – sex with close relatives (Leviticus 18:6-18)
- Public nudity/sex (Genesis 3, God gave Adam and Eve clothing after the Fall)
These are all of the restrictions the Bible has against sexual acts. You can sum these up by saying that sex is only for husbands and wives.
The Bible is Pro Sex For Married Couples
But these aren’t the only guidelines the Bible gives about sex in marriage. These are just the restrictions. All of the other guidelines are very pro sex:
- Do not deprive your spouse of sex (1 Corinthians 1:1-5)
- Passionate kissing (Song of Solomon 1:2)
- Sexual passion (Song of Solomon)
- Oral sex (Song of Solomon 2:3 and 4:16)
- Enjoying your wife’s breasts (Prov 5:19)
- Being intoxicated by your spouse (Prov 5:18-19)
Also notice what the Bible doesn’t say about married sex. The Bible is silent on manual sex (hand jobs). It also has nothing to say about masturbation, or anal sex, or what positions are allowed, or using objects (like sex toys) for sexual stimulation. I think it’s safe to assume that a husband and wife can enjoy any sexual activity they want, as long as it doesn’t involve anyone else and there is mutual consent.
I am convinced that God’s design is for married couples to enjoy frequent, passionate sex.
Participating in a wide variety of sex acts and positions is a great way to enhance the passion and intimacy of sex.
In fact, limiting sex to a handful of “approved” positions and activities can be downright harmful to your marriage. Sex can become boring if you always do the same things, every time. Limiting sex can also cause frustration and bitterness if the other spouse wants more than what you are willing to give.
This is why I encourage married couples to talk candidly an openly about their sexual desires and fantasies.
Now, none of this gives you permission to be selfish in how you approach sex. In fact, I believe the Biblical model is to practice generosity. Being generous includes being open to new things, but it also includes putting your spouse first. If your spouse finds a certain act or position to be painful or uncomfortable, be considerate of that.
There can be incredible shame and guilt associated with sex, or certain sex acts, especially for someone who was raised in the Church or was abused at some point. Your job is to lovingly help your spouse overcome these difficulties. Not to selfishly demand he or she do what you want.
As a final note, take a look at Jesus’ warning to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:8-9:
These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Can Christians Use Sex Toys? – Sheila argues that there is nothing wrong with sex toys per se, but explains why she thinks they are less than ideal.
The Marriage Bed: Is Masturbation a Sin? – For teens and parents. The article explains how masturbation may help teen boys stay sexually pure.