Sex talks! This episode begins our series that’s all about sex. Today we talked about the 7 (Biblical) Reasons for Sex in order to set the stage for more granular—and perhaps tougher—talks in coming weeks. We hope that as you listen, we’re able to put words to feelings you’ve felt and give you tools to begin building a healthier, more Christ-centered sex life in your marriage.
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It’s a great way to build a solid marriage foundation get on the same page once and for all. It’s built for all couples—newlyweds, nearly weds, and those who have been married for years. Visit GospelCenteredMarriage.com to learn more.
Ryan: Selena Frederick, it’s the month you’ve been waiting for. [Selena chuckles]
Selena: Oh boy!
Ryan: This month we’re talking about sex. [both chuckles]
Selena: Don’t worry guys. There will be plenty of innuendos? And-
Ryan: We’re just going to… I don’t know.
Selena: Let it out. No, I’m kidding. This is your word of caution. This is your word of caution. If there’s little ears, go ahead and turn this podcast off or put your ear pods in. Because the next month is going to be-
Ryan: Sex talks.
Selena: Sex talks.
Ryan: Sex talks mainly between husband and wife. Not just talk between husband and wife, but we’re going to talk about sex, and we’re going to give you wisdom from God’s word about sex by His grace. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re going to share what we do know honestly and transparently, which is what we say in our intro. So that said, see you on the other side.
Selena: Welcome to the Fierce Marriage podcast where we believe that marriage takes a fierce tenacity that never gives up and refuses to give in.
Ryan: Here we’ll share openly and honestly about all things marriage—
Ryan: And everything in between.
Selena: Laugh, ponder, and join in our candid, gospel-centered conversations. This is Fierce Marriage.
[00:01:18] <podcast begins>
Selena: So Ryan decided to open the Fierce Parenting podcast episode because we are talking about sex as well-
Ryan: A different conversation.
Selena: Obviously a different conversation. But he’s like, “Do you remember when your parents talked to you about sex?” And I was like, “Well, that’s awkward.” So let’s just leave that there and-
Ryan: Go listen to the Fierce Parenting Podcast to-
Selena: To hear more. [chuckles]
Ryan: To hear more. So this is one of those topics that I think is always relevant, it’s always helpful, and it’s always necessary.
Selena: And there will always be innuendos.
Ryan: It’s really hard. There’s one right there. [both laughs]
Selena: Just brace yourself.
Ryan: It’s just difficult.
Selena: Brace yourself. Okay, people?
Ryan: Guys, just don’t be nasty. That’s all we’re saying. Don’t be nasty.
Selena: Keep it pure.
Ryan: Keep it pure. We’ll do our best to keep it the same way because sex is a gift. It’s something that is sacred in a sense. God has created it for a specific context. And here we are talking about sex within a Christian gospel-centered marriage. How can we enjoy this gift with the fullness that God has imbued it with, He’s given to us through it.
So I’m excited for this particular episode, because it’s called the seven reasons for sex. And a few of those reasons were a complete surprise to me when I first heard them. Anyway. Why are you looking at me like that?
Selena: Because I think you always say you’re excited to talk about stuff, where I’m like, “I think he’s really excited.” Just kidding. [laughs]
Ryan: It’s going to go well for the Fredericks this month. [both laughs]
Ryan: The more we’re talking about it, the better it gets. So hopefully, you’ll take us up on our conversation challenge at the end so that you too can have a sexy sex life. Sexy September.
Selena: It’s October. [laughs]
Ryan: Shoot. September when we’re recording this.
Selena: Yeah, I missed that.
Ryan: So anyway, sexy October doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well.
Selena: Anyways, moving on to-
Ryan: Before we get into the seven reasons for sex, we have a tool for you. It’s called Gospel Centered Marriage. And it’s an online learning platform we want to invite you to participate in that. Just go to gospelcenteredmarriage.com. You’re going to learn the biggest kind of grandest truths that we can give you from the Bible about marriage. And then from there, we give you these mini-courses that we encourage you to take one of those a month. And just to keep sharp and keep kind of God at the center of your marriage because we’re so easy to drift away from Him in this area.
So go to gospelcenteredmarriage.com, sign up for that. You’ll get the six-week core course plus all the ongoing learning library that we’re building there. I’m going to say, we’ll give you a special for this month, a sexy special.
Selena: Oh, dear. [both laughs] That already sounds sketchy.
Ryan: Should I make them type in something kind of…?
Ryan: Coupon code is “SEXYTIME.”
Ryan: SEXYTIME. That will give you 25% off.
Selena: Shouldn’t it be “married sexy time”?
Ryan: You’re signing up for Gospel Centered Marriage. So I like to think that sexy time is within the gospel-centered marriage. [Selena laughs]
Selena: Thank you.
Ryan: Use coupon code SEXYTIME and don’t blush a bit. Because I’ll be excited if you use it. [laughing] And we’ll give you 25% off. Selena, just grow up. Don’t be nasty. [Selena laughs] I’m going to say that a lot this month.
Selena: Oh, goodness. [both laughs]
Ryan: I’m getting clamped. Leave a rating and a review if you don’t mind. That would mean a lot. What else? Oh, Patreon. You can support this ministry. If you feel so compelled, go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. [00:05:00] We would greatly enjoy and appreciate that. Okay.
Selena: We’re going to try not to be teenagers here when we’re talking about sex. We got married pretty young-
Ryan: You can lighten up. Just lighten up, you guys.
Selena: That’s Ryan’s excuse for… Just kidding. [both laughs] Give me the freedom to talk about what I want to talk about. No, we are talking about seven reasons for sex. We got married pretty young. I don’t know how much you want to go into. You have our story here. It’s pretty vague. [chuckles]
Ryan: What I meant by that… This is just in the rundown with Charles Minor looking down on us. [Selena laughs] I want to talk about the seven kind of reasons. Four of them I think are very intuitive. Actually, no, three of them are intuitive. And the other ones we’ve had to learn. I had to learn.
Selena: I had to learn.
Ryan: We just celebrated 18 years of marriage. A few of them are really crucial to unlocking… and I hate using that term, because it feels like you have some secret. But it really does kind of put a word to maybe-
Ryan: …sex that you’re unaware of.
Selena: I think it untangles kind of the webs that can kind of blind us a little bit or just kind of our defaults and our shortcomings. And it can kind of just, I think, give us some freedom to understand, “Okay, there is more to this, and this is what it was. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now I understand it.”
Ryan: Freedom I think is a perfect word, and permission to go to your spouse and acknowledge one or more of these reasons for why you believe that you need sex in your marriage at that moment, while you enjoy one another for that specific purpose.
Selena: And we didn’t come up with these on our own necessarily. It’s scripture, but it’s also our community. I want to give a shout out to that because you don’t always think about community when you think about your intimate life with your spouse. And so I think that there is something to be said for being known and maybe your struggles, being known in, you know, maybe how do other couples deal with some of the stuff? Or how do they view sex in their marriage relationship? And so, yeah, it’s been a bit of a collaborative effort. Not intentionally. I think it’s just things we picked up.
Ryan: So these seven reasons, again, these are going to be kind of a flyover. I anticipate this being a fairly short episode because we’re not going to go into a lot of detail. But these are going to be a flyover that I think if we embrace these seven reasons, I think they are all-encompassing for… they’ll justify and motivate and allow us to grow closer together in this area to get better at it.
We talked in our last episode about the skill of being able to improve your sex life. I think these seven reasons undergird those skills. And so let’s just get right into them.
The first reason is probably the most obvious one, at least from a cultural standpoint. And that’s pleasure. Pleasure.
Selena: It’s enjoyable.
Ryan: It’s enjoyable.
Selena: It feels good. I like it.
Ryan: Yeah. Are you watching any sort of movie? Not those kinds of movies. But if you watch, and there’s romance involved, and it ends up going in a sexual direction, it’s almost always because of the physical pleasure of it. And there’s also emotional pleasure. Pleasure is not just a physical thing, but the emotional joy of knowing and being known.
And we’ll get into this one later. But even there’s a sense of spiritual joy, especially when you’re in a God-honoring marriage and you are offering yourself to your spouse in that way, and they’re offering themselves to you, and that you can say that this is a fully right and good activity for us to do right now and we’re the only ones who can do this thing. That’s an amazing privilege and a joy and a pleasure, I would argue. Do you have anything else to add to that?
Ryan: Are you sure? It’s going to be really short episode. [chuckles]
Selena: No. I was thinking of what you were saying in terms of… I don’t like alluding to movies. I think that- [chuckles]
Ryan: I don’t mean things like-
Selena: No, I know.
Ryan: …[inaudible] your sex scenes. But the romance of it is what Im trying to say.
Selena: Yes, the romance is very enjoyable. And I think we’ve taken some of that out. It’s become so physical as a culture. It’s been such a like… we’re trying to take it apart and deconstruct all of the purpose and the pleasure. They go hand in hand. You can’t really have, I think, the heightened pleasure and enjoyment without the purpose fully.
Ryan: Gosh, you just opened a can of worms. Because our culture has… they have totally dissected and taken apart the human existence. You have a physical body, which I’ve heard it referred to as a meat skeleton, it’s just a body, but who you actually are has to do with how you feel. Which is ironic because, within the same breath, that same person will advocate for hookup culture. Which again is all about your meat skeleton [00:10:00] and it’s all about just getting the physical pleasure, but totally detaching yourself from the emotional connection of it.
And so if then marriage within a gospel centered marriage, a biblical marriage, if we have an immense opportunity, and arguably… and I think no one could make an argument against this, and I’m just going to say that bold claim. But we have arguably a way better opportunity, vastly greater opportunity for pleasure in our sexual experience, to the chagrin of anyone who would say that basically when you get married, your sex life is immediately going to get more boring.
We’re saying that when you get married, that’s when it starts getting better. And it will keep getting better as long as you keep coming to the table to one another-
Selena: Keep attending to one another.
Ryan: Keep attending to one another. I don’t know.
Selena: Did you want to go into scripture about this one?
Ryan: Well, it’s in Song of Solomon. I mean, I don’t know that we need to convince people of the pleasure.
Selena: Oh, gotcha. Ryan wrote this rundown a little bit more, so I’m trying to follow along.
Ryan: Songs of Solomon is basically… for a while they tried to, especially like the monastic… the monks, they were… because they were… I’m not going to do this idea justice, but I’m going to do my best. I think they were trying to within the Catholic Church, within certain sex like monasticism and certain types of priestly orders and things, they didn’t want Songs of Solomon to be about sex. They wanted it to be an allegory about like, you know, maybe God’s love for His people are something that.
I mean, any scholar worth their weight and salt would say that, no, it’s a book about an idealized, romantic relationship between a husband and a wife. That’s what Song of Solomon is. And the entirety of the book is extremely informative for our sex lives and for our sexual experience. And it even gives us some really graphic-
Selena: Not pure.
Ryan: They’re pure.
Ryan: Not crude. Yes, thank you. But it gives us some really unexpected insight. That if you consider the Bible to be the sacred text, you might not expect it out of a sacred text. But here it is. God’s given it to us to say sex is pleasurable and it’s awesome.
Selena: And in an interview that we did with Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta, and we’ll talk about that a little bit later in their book, that married sex-
Ryan: That episode comes out in two days.
Selena: Yes. It’s an incredible book. It’s just really releasing. But he talks about Song of Solomon and how you see it as Song of Songs or Song of Solomon, but it’s like the Song of Songs. And the fact that it’s an actual book in the Bible and not just a chapter or a verse, there’s a tension to be brought to it.
It is a short book, which is so interesting, right? Because sex is, in terms of… when we talk to Scott Kedersha, he’s like, an actual how long it takes, it’s not usually very long. Like in the lifespan of a marriage, if you broke down the amount of time it takes to actually have sex, it’s not very long, but it’s such an integral part of marriage. And it’s interesting that the book of Song of Solomon is such a short book, but it’s also a very necessary book in the Bible.
Ryan: I have a theory as to why that’s the case. I think it’s just because you can only talk about it so much. And the experience is something that you can only share with another person. You can’t articulate it. It just it is what it is. So it’s a vast part because it is what it is.
Selena: If you know you know.
Ryan: Yeah, if you know you know. It really is a profound mystery. So that’s just the first one. It’s pleasurable. That’s one of the reasons for sex: physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, pleasure. And so we should drink deep of that well. And that’s okay. And it’s right and good within a biblical marriage.
The second reason that we’ll touched on today is procreation. Maybe this one’s even more obvious. I don’t know. Actually, in our culture, it’s probably not as obvious. Maybe it’s more culturally obvious to the Jews, I should say in ancient Israel [inaudible].
Yeah, Genesis 2, “They were naked and unashamed.” God said, “Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it.” This idea of being naked and ashamed and being fruitful, those two ideas have been intertwined since the literal beginning of time.
Selena: I think remembering the author whose words those are is super important. That the giver of life is now entrusting us to also create and give life. Those are some powerful images. To not just remember the ideas that have been spoken, but who is speaking the ideas in this instance. And so that authority.
And then the relationship that we have with the authority. Yes, He is God, but he’s God our Heavenly Father. And so that relational aspect that we can come to him with our struggles, we can come to Him looking and searching earnestly for the answers, and for His will and purpose and then submitting our own to that is very powerful. [00:15:00]
So, this is all on top of our minds. Because when you talk about procreation, we’ve commoditized… you know, you’ve heard us talk about it. Our culture and day has just commoditized kids.
Selena: Children. And you know, it’s just like the next step. I just want two. That’s good. And so how much agency…? You know, that’s a big can of worms, and we don’t have to necessarily open it. But it’s something to think about I think as believers, how much agency has God given us in determining like, a) if we can have children, b) how many.
Ryan: That’s a big can of worms.
Selena: We can elevate ourselves in some ways. So I’m just saying that sex is good and pleasurable. It is also for procreation and there’s a bigger and vast purpose within-
Ryan: I mean, the creation of a soul. Not just a human body.
Selena: It’s not a meat skeleton.
Ryan: But as you’re creating a soul with obviously God ordaining that process and allowing us to participate in that way. And you said just how our culture has commoditized kids. The dark side of that is the whole abortion debate. Not only do we not like… they’re an unwanted effect of sex. They’re an unwanted outcome. Like a culture just wants all the pleasure and none of the procreation.
Selena: Again, we’re dissecting, we’re deconstructing, and we’re dividing. I only want this part.
Ryan: And the only way to make that make sense is to dehumanize the embryo, that fetus. Of course, we are very pro-life. We believe that life begins at conception and that God has His creating life in the womb, and that life should be regarded as valuable, and somebody created in His image and to be protected. And the very cool thing about that is that science confirms the same.
This is a little bit of a sidebar, but I think it’s worthwhile. Any bioethicist is going to look at an embryo and say, “That is a human life. There’s no debate. Not in any serious scientific way. There’s no debate. That’s a human life.” But where the narrative shifts is they say, Okay, it might be a human life, but it’s not a person. It’s not a person, therefore, it’s not worthy of protection. We, of course, believe it is a person. We know it’s a person because science shows it and God tells us.
Selena: God says it.
Ryan: We experience it. So anyway, that’s a bit of a sidebar. The point is, procreation is an inbuilt feature of sex. And that’s a good thing. And we’re not getting down to family planning. We’re not going down that rabbit trail right now. We’re not going down how to-
Selena: I just think it’s something to be looking at when you are, you know… we’ve been given this gift of sex and procreation is not just this thing on the list of what to do when we get married. It’s a whole blessing, and it’s a whole life and fullness that God has endowed us to enjoy and to steward and to be sanctified in.
Like, there’s all of these layers that He’s put together that we can’t even understand. And here we are trying to dissect and divide and just take what we want. And God’s like, “Oh, you’re missing it. There’s just so much more to this that I want to give you.” Anyways, not to put words in God’s mouth, but there’s purpose and fullness and flourishing in His creations.
Ryan: So, first two reasons. Pleasure and procreation. And the third one is connection. We did talk about that a little bit on the pleasure side. But namely, connection between spouses who are feeling disconnected. Again, we see that in Song of Solomon as a longing. Run after me or come after me.
Selena: Chase after me.
Ryan: Chase after me, and let us run. That whole idea that I miss you, I want you. This is how we get close again is we offer ourselves to each other in this specific way.
Selena: And I think that goes in terms of like contrasting. You know, every sexual experience has to be at a level 10, it has to be crazy and adventurous and athletic or whatever. [chuckles] It’s like, no, sometimes it’s just about connection, and it’s about feeling loved. It’s about knowing that I am loved by my spouse, and I feel this love and I feel connected to him in this way. It’s important for our souls to know that, to feel that to be able to live into that on a day-to-day basis.
Ryan: Yeah. The verse was Song of Solomon 1:4. “Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers.” This sense of I just want to be brought together again with my beloved I think it’s just a wonderful thing.
Selena: And that connection is hard to get because sometimes the one thing that we [00:20:00] need to do to connect is to have sex. But it’s like the last thing you want to do because you feel disconnected. Right?
Selena: And so sometimes it is stepping boldly into, “Okay, I don’t really feel like this, I don’t know if I really want this.” But it’s pushing through some of those feelings, knowing and trusting even that, like, okay, we need to break down some walls here and I think this is just the way to go. [chuckles]
Ryan: Can I be honest in this situation?
Ryan: I’m usually the one that has to fight that battle. When you say that, I think most people go, at least in my head, outside of our relationship, I think, “Oh, it’s the wife who has to fight through that dilemma.”
Selena: I feel like I battle that too, but differently.
Ryan: Okay. Because when we have fights around this, like around our intimate life… and I say fights, some people hear that word-
Ryan: We have disagreements or arguments-
Selena: Some tension. Yeah.
Ryan: …and I feel hurt in this area, the thing that we need is to be intimate. That’s like the last thing I want because I feel hurt, and I feel wounded and I don’t want to trust you in that way. And you said to me more than once, “Just trust me.” Basically, you just said, “Trust me.”
Selena: It’s a learned trust. It’s been a learned trust for me too, I think because-
Ryan: It also means I have to resign myself to trusting you and let some of my pride go.
Selena: And we have to let some of our emotions go and how we’re feeling in the moment and trust that our feelings are not always- [chuckles]
Ryan: What? What? [chuckles]
Selena: They shouldn’t be at the helm all the time. Because, again, we talked about, you know, pleasure being one of the reasons why we get to have and enjoy this gift of sex. But it’s not just an emotional high. It’s a physical, it’s a spiritual… There’s all these connection points. And so being able to keep those together, I think, it’s really important not to just let one take the lead. I think maybe it’s okay in different instances. But again, there’s got to be a consensus and communication and clarity and I think humility around this, so.
Ryan: Yeah, okay. So the first three: Pleasure, procreation, connection. The fourth one is protection.
Selena: This was kind of a new one I think for us. I think we kind of understood it and had heard it, I don’t know, talked about. It’s like, yeah, you want to have sex to make sure nobody goes off the rails into a pornography addiction or something like that. But it’s so much more than that. And not to make light of anything like that, any addictions, because those are big, big things. And just because you’re having sex on regular basis doesn’t necessarily ward off.
Ryan: In our conversations beforehand, I wanted to make this clear in our thought. And I’ll just make it clear now, is that the reasons a husband or a wife struggles with an addiction to pornography is not just because their spouse hasn’t been available to them. Most often that’s not the case.
Usually, it amplifies the problem, and it creates different issues. And it’s part of maybe a whole suite of issues. But we don’t mean to say that if your husband is struggling with pornography, it’s because you haven’t given him sex. That’s not what we mean to say. Or you can flip it and say if your wife is struggling with pornography…
Selena: But this verse, 1 Corinthians 7:5 is extremely telling. “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer;…” And this is the part that sticks out. “…but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
There’s two things there. There is the temptation of the enemy or the attack of the enemy. It doesn’t have to be just sexual attack, or sexual temptation. But maybe depression or anxiety or whatever the lies are, that are being kind of fed into our ears or into our, you know, the ears of our hearts, so to speak.
There’s that. There’s the “so that Satan may not tempt you because of—the second piece—your lack of self-control.” So there’s an internal peace, there’s an external peace. There’s protection from my own kind of internal battles. That’s a sense of protection.
I will even say like you protect me not just from sexual sin. Because by God’s grace, like pornography hasn’t been a part of our story for many years, hasn’t been part of my testimony for many years. In other words, God has allowed me to find freedom out from that. But still, I can be going about my day. And if there’s like sexual tension or need or appetite that maybe we’ve gone a day too long or whatever, oh, boy, is it hard to be productive? [both laughs]
Selena: Oh, boy.
Ryan: Oh boy, is it hard to focus on anything! And so it’s a sense of protection that way too. That’s the internal side. The external side is when… I don’t know. I don’t want to speak things into scripture. I don’t want to read things in the Scripture, I should say. But there’s a very real sense [00:25:00] that when we’re together as a husband and wife, there’s a bond of unity that is almost impenetrable when you and I are walking in unity with the Spirit and with one another. And sex is a big part of that.
Selena: It contributes to our peace. That bond of peace and unity between our souls.
Ryan: So, I don’t know, there’s that protection piece. I kind of had heard that one.
Selena: There’s more to be explored. I think it’s been a renewed term in our vocabulary and in how we talk about sex.
Ryan: Just to add a third component to the temptation piece, you have other people that might come in. I hate to say, but… I don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram. I don’t check the messages. If you sent me a message on Instagram… not many have, but a few have. So if that’s you, I’m sorry.
And one of the reasons is, is because you get messages from these weird accounts, these bot accounts. And if you’re a guy, they’re semi-pornographic and messages, and they’re actually trying to get you to go through the pornographic material. I know if you’re a woman or a girl on Instagram, the types of DMs you get are different and have a different toxicity. Point is when we are walking in unity and I’ll say it’s reflected in our sex life, there’s a certain level of protection-
Selena: You can fight stronger.
Ryan: …from other people coming through and kind of piercing that veil of marriage and saying, “I want to insert myself now into your relationship as a wedge between you because I’m trying to get you to click on this website.” And so there’s a sense of protection against that too.
And it’s, again, not just because of physical urges. I’ve said this to you. As a husband, you feel almost invincible when your wife has shown you that she desires you, that you… obviously use this word is too brash a word, but you satisfy her not just physically but in every way that a husband can. Emotionally you know, you providing for her, and sexually that’s part of it, too. I’ll feel invincible. I feel confident. I have energy. I want to do things, I want to conquer. I want to take the hill so to speak. And then the opposite is true is when I feel rejected by you, undesired by you, inadequate, boy-
Selena: The battles are harder. It may be the same battle, but it just feels harder to you because you’re deflated and the battle hasn’t changed, right? The sights haven’t changed and the messages are still the same. But your ability to fight is less I think. There’s a lack of protection there and a lack of bolstering of confidence and security.
Ryan: In a sense, yeah.
Selena: That would be too far to take?
Ryan: It’s not deep security.
Selena: No, no, no.
Ryan: I know you know me. I know the Lord is good and I know my identity is in Him. But like I just don’t want to do anything and I don’t want to fight the fight. Now, by God’s grace, you still fight the fight, and the Holy Spirit leads you and helps you in that. And I think you could make the case that the opposite is true, too. I don’t know specifically for you, Selena. How does it protect you?
Selena: It just reorients me to us and to you. Not that I don’t find myself entertaining thoughts. I think as wives we may entertain thoughts of-
Ryan: Lustful thoughts.
Selena: Yeah, I guess being with someone else or I wonder what would it be like to be their wife or-
Ryan: It’d be the worst.
Selena: Yeah. I think just not entertaining thoughts of things outside of us in our marriage is how it provides protection at least I guess. That would be my two cents.
Ryan: I’m happy to provide that protection often. [both chuckles]
Selena: I know.
Ryan: So that’s the fourth one. Pleasure, procreation, connection, protection. The fifth one was new to me. Comfort. And to some that’s obvious. It depends on kind of what church stream you swim in. It was obvious to some of the guys in our community. And that’s where I started kind of thinking and learning about this concept even more.
But it comes primarily from Genesis 24. It says, “Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” Ain’t that just a sweet verse? Like he took her as his wife and he loved her. And he was comforted. It may not be overt in there, but they didn’t have sex. It doesn’t have to spell it out for us to see it.
Selena: Right. It gives you that picture of comfort. I think for us, I can totally see that. Sometimes, again, it’s hard to put into words this idea of comfort. I think it’s one of those things you just kind of understand. And if you know you know. And you if you can pinpoint it more, then be articulate about it, that’s awesome.
Ryan: I just never thought like I’m mourning the loss of my mother… [00:30:00] Do you know what I mean?
Ryan: …and this is how I can be comforted is by the embrace of my wife.
Selena: Right. And I think actually, even Gary was talking about this. Gary Thomas and his wife, their oldest daughter was going through a really hard time and she was sick. She was in the hospital. He’s like, “She was like basically on her deathbed.” And him and his wife had not been intimate at all. And so it had been weeks. And so just the very act of that familiarity and that, “Okay, like all things are okay, we are one, we are together,” it was a comfort to him to be back into this familiar rhythm for lack of a better term on this familiar relationship.
And so again, that brings security. That brings comfort. You feel, I think, a safety in that familiarity. That’s something that can only grow over time in a marriage.
Ryan: I think about the implications of that as somebody who needs comfort, I can go to my wife, or you can come to your husband, me, and say- [both laughs]
Selena: Yes, you’re my husband.
Ryan: You know that, right? [both laughs]
Ryan: Oh, right. And you can say, “I just need my wife right now.”
Selena: It’s a sweet need.
Ryan: Take it from me. I don’t just need you to sit with me. Like, I need to be known by you and I need to-
Selena: Feel loved.
Ryan: …feel loved by you sexually. And that’s not just a manipulative, weird relation. But it’s a biblical thing is what we’re finding. So that’s the one side of it. As the one who needs comforting to say, “You and you alone can comfort me in this way, will you comfort me?” And to have the wherewithal and the maturity and the knowledge to say that is a huge thing. And the other side of it is, as the spouse who can comfort, you have an opportunity then to in a way that only you, only you. Anyone can speak kind words-
Selena: Or swipe a card.
Ryan: Or swipe a card or sit with you or hug you.
Selena: Bring a meal.
Ryan: But only your spouse offered that type and that level of comfort. That’s profound. That’s the part I’m most excited about of all this talk, because that’s the newest to me.
Again, that does speak to the mutual service of a marriage and being available sexually out of a spirit of love and service, and self-generosity and selflessness toward each other. It’s just profound. Profound. You’d never find that in a relationship that’s not covenantal, it’s not covenantal marriage.
Ryan: Especially in the ones that are very transactional in the sexual piece. So, man, may we avoid all that at every cost.
So the sixth one is the gospel. The reasons for sex, okay, hear us out. Pleasure, procreation, connection, protection, comfort. And now the gospel. What on earth could we mean by that? Again, going back to Genesis 2, they were naked and unashamed. The idea that when you are utterly exposed in every way to your spouse, naked, literally, all your flaws, all your insecurities, all the COVID-19 or whatever [chuckles] so they say, the extra weight you put on for whatever season that you’re in in life, and your spouse looks at you and says-
Selena: “Hubba hubba.”
Ryan: “Hubba hubba. You are marvelous in my eyes.”
Selena: “You’re all that I want.” Yes.
Ryan: “I love you and I desire you. And let me show you just how much I desire you.” That to me is a… this is again, scriptural. It’s a foreshadowing, and maybe I’ll say a dim reflection of how we are utterly known and loved in the Gospel through Christ. The good news that we as sinners have, by the blood of Christ, been washed clean and presented now and covered with the righteousness of Christ-
Selena: We are now the bride.
Ryan: …before our Holy Father. And He is utterly known and still utterly loved. It’s a reminder. That reminds us of what it’s like to be loved by God in Christ. Anything else to add to that?
Selena: I was just thinking about how sex is within the marriage covenant and like, God is a covenant of God and then there’s these big pieces that He allows us to participate in. Just seeing the gospel and then the parallel that the church is the bride of Christ.
Just that oneness, again, is just such a dim reflection of what it will be like I think in the presence of God, is that… I mean, hear this with a grain of salt. When you and I are together, we’re not thinking about anything else. When we’re going to be in the presence of God, we’re not going to be thinking about it [00:35:00] anything else. This is it. And this is amazing. There’s so much I think that we can draw into and draw out of in terms of the gospel and sex. Which sounds a little bit ironic. But to the believer, I think it’s a very familiar idea.
Ryan: Well, it comes from Ephesians 5:31. “Therefore a man shall leave his father’s mother and hold fast to his wife, the two shall become one flesh.” This is Paul talking to the church in Ephesus. And he gets to the point of husbands loving their wives and wives submitting to their husbands. And he finishes with this: “The mystery is profound.” So this is verse 32. “And I’m saying that it refers to Christ in His Church.” That’s just it.
Now, he’s talking a lot about the church. More than I think people realize that he’s talking about the church, not marriages. But for our purposes here, I think it suffices to say that there is a parallel to be made between the love of a husband and a wife, the mutual love and the submission that happens there, and the love that Christ has for his church, right? It’s a profound mystery.
Selena: And the oneness. The oneness of husband and wife. And then we see the oneness and the Trinity. God is three persons in one God. And so you just see this idea of oneness being, within the gospel, modeled and gone forth.
Ryan: Yeah. I think there’s hints of that there. We don’t want to be too-
Selena: No, I don’t want to draw into too much.
Ryan: The pararells are not literal. They’re not super cut and dry.
Ryan: But there’s something there I think we’re trying to say. Because you don’t have to be in a marriage to have kind of that same unity with Christ and to experience…
Selena: Well said.
Ryan: Singles are just as loved and whatnot in Christ. So the seventh purpose. We’re running short on time here. We’ll try to find it.
Selena: The glory of God. The glory of God.
Ryan: It’s more of a reminder than anything else. But God created sex, and it’s good. So when we enjoy something that He created, we delight in it. And in our enjoyment of that thing, we can give glory and gratitude and honor to Him. That’s one of the purposes or one of the reasons for sex.
Now, God gets glory in countless other ways. Even the rocks cry out. The heavens declare it, they declare the glory of God. But even in this part of our life, it’s not like God is watching you, loving you, and then also He’s like, “Oh, they locked the door. Don’t look.” [chuckles] God is fully aware of the fact that you’re enjoying yourselves.
And you know what, as a loving Father who designed that thing, when you’re doing it within the context that He gave you, He is delighting in that and He is being glorified in that. And then by virtue of doing it, and putting it through these other reasons, or at least seeing these other reasons in light of His Word, by virtue of doing those things, we are able to glorify Him in new and profound ways. And then we’re saying that’s just for Him.
On the parenting side, we talked about the place for sex, and how when we get ready to talk to our kids about this topic, teaching them what God’s Word says about this mystery that it is. That it is in His design, it’s good, because He said so and because He is good. And when we resign ourselves to His design, we can glorify Him through that.
Again, as a quick recap, the seven reasons for sex. And we’re going to continue this conversation. So just continue with us over the next few weeks as we talk about the specific kind of out workings within a marital covenant. But the seven reasons are these. Pleasure, procreation, connection, protection, comfort, the gospel, and the glory of God.
Here’s your couples’ conversation challenge. I really encourage you to take us up on this one. Which reason of those seven reasons strikes you the most? Why? And talk about that. For me, it was the whole comfort piece and how I can offer you comfort, I can ask you for comfort in times when I’m emotionally sad, or just in need. I love that. That was profound to me. So for you listener, fierce listener, which reason have those seven strikes you the most and why? Selena, would you pray us out?
Selena: God, thank you so much for this gift that you’ve given us as married couples. I pray that we would steward it well. That we would not be afraid of it that we would learn more about it through other biblical teachers and resources that you’ve given us. May we always draw first and foremost from your word and the well of truth that it is.
I pray for the weeks ahead, that you would soften hearts, open ears, and use our feeble words, God, for Your glory. I pray that wisdom and clarity and freedom would be had. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ryan: Amen. All right, as a quick reminder, go to gospelcententeredmarriage.com. [00:40:00] You can sign up for a plan there and use coupon code SEXYTIME for 25% off your enrollment.
Selena: How dare you?
Ryan: We’ve never done a discount like that. So please take us up on it. It won’t be up forever. And so go use that code SEXYTIME and do so proudly. Proudly. [both chuckles] With that said, this episode of the Fierce Marriage Podcast is—
Selena: In the can.
Ryan: See you again in about seven days. Until then—
Selena: Stay fierce.
Ryan: Thank you for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. For more resources for your marriage, please visit FierceMarriage.com, or you can find us with our handle @Fiercemarriage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you so much for listening. We hope this has blessed you. Take care.