Is sex in your marriage ecstasy or agony? Marriage is a covenant between the husband, wife, and God, and we’re to grow Spiritually as a couple to help us keep the romantic ecstasy of sex alive and avoid the agony that leads to a sexless marriage or divorce.
Is Your Sex Life Ecstasy or Agony?
Jack and Marta began their marriage romantically charged. Their sex life was electric. Within a couple of years, however, their romance was losing power, “Jack isn’t the man I thought I married,” says Marta. “He used to be so sensitive and romantic, but now all he thinks about is work.”
Jack’s response is similar, “Marta never used to complain. Our sex life was frequent and intense. Now it’s on the back burner. I really don’t know how we lost the ecstasy.” Jack and Marta’s story is not uncommon. We date for a season, fall in love, then decide to get married. But within a short time, the hot ecstasy of marital bliss slides into the lukewarm routine of a busy life. Money, job and family challenges preoccupy us and tax our emotions. We grow apart.
Does that sound familiar? Is your sex life ecstasy or agony?
Couples in Agony
It’s no wonder divorce rates hovers around 42 percent among Baby Boomers. That’s up from 20 percent back in 1953. It’s not that we don’t like the idea of marriage as nearly 85% of us marry.
According to a study by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, 94 percent of singles in their 20s who had never been married say they want nothing less than a soul mate. Though marriage is still popular some experts to believe that our desires have surpassed reality. But is it wrong to hope for a soul-mate in marriage?
Is it really possible to work through the agony in a marriage and recapture the ecstasy?
Yes, it is!
God not only created marriage, He has also given us the owner’s manual, the Bible, in order to know to make it work. And beyond that, He also desires to personally reside in each marriage.
God’s written Word and personal presence guarantee that any marriage can recover the ecstasy of those early years, even in the midst of the agony.
But first, each married couple must embrace two fundamental realities in God’s blueprint for marriage.
Marriage is a Covenant Between Husband, Wife, and God
First, marriage is a covenant relationship.
“[S]he is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Mal. 2:14).
“[She] leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God” (Prov. 2:17).
When God initiates a marital covenant relationship, marriage takes on a sense of the sacred, something uniquely set apart to Him.
By God’s design, marriage becomes a binding, contractual relationship, into which He commits Himself to a nurturing role. Husbands and wives are not left alone to hack out their marriage.
In reality, marriage is not a straight line with the husband and wife merely tethered together at the two ends of the line.
No, marriage is a triangle with the husband and wife bound together at the base of the triangle as well as to God who is at the apex of the triangle. Drawing near to Him will draw them closer to each other.
In other words, marriage is not merely the two becoming one, it is actually the three becoming one: a covenant arrangement of God, the husband, and the wife.
Marriage Helps Us Grow Spiritually
Second, marriage is a transformative relationship.
Knowing that God, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is not only a part of your marriage but wants it to succeed for the long haul is encouraging. Also important is understanding that the marital relationship is designed to help us grow spiritually.
The busyness of life can distract us from each other but our individual selfishness can drive us apart.
In a certain sense, every relationship is a transformative relationship, for better or for worse.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20).
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Cor. 15:33).
God has committed Himself to change us into nothing less than the likeness of His own Son (Rom. 8:29-30; 2 Cor. 3:18). And that likeness is the likeness of a servant(Phil. 2:5-11).
Marriage is God’s ultimate training ground for Christlike servanthood.
Most couples are not prepared for the shocking experience of meeting such selfishness in the early months and years of their marriage. Assuming that such selfishness is in their mate, and not in themselves,
They set out with a vengeance to change their mate, usually to no avail. That’s when the agony sets in.
But we can only recapture the ecstasy when we begin to realize that we need to be changed, not our mates.
You see, God uses marriage to work out our selfishness and to work in His servanthood. This is often a slow and painful process.
But God is faithful “who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20).
Moving From Agony to Ecstasy
That Jack and Marta’s sexual union faded from ecstasy to agony is not unusual. As one of the most intimate and unifying features of a Christian marriage, our sex life is often symptomatic of our spiritual life.
When we are one with each other and God, we are as close as we can be and sexual excitement is the natural expression of this. As we grow spiritually mature together factors like problems at work, family issues and the general busyness of life are easier to overcome and less likely to take a disproportionate amount of our attention and emotions.
Are your experiences ecstasy or agony in your sex life? Do you want to transform your marital agony into marital ecstasy? Then take the following steps:
Reaffirm your marital covenant relationship by committing your marriage to God and to each other in prayer and before another couple who are also living in a committed marital covenant relationship.
Confess to God that you have been trying to change your mate and that it has been a miserable failure. Also, ask your mate to forgive you for trying to play God in your marriage. Ask the Lord to transform you into a Christlike servant in your marriage, no matter what it takes
Make time to spend together in physical intimacy. Life can get busy, and we can get distracted. Plan times to block out all distractions and just focus on each other.
Finally, share your prayer requests with another couple who will not only pray for you but who will also encourage and hold you accountable to these new commitments.