“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”—I Corinthians 7:3-4 (NKJV)

“Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder . The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again . Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.”—I Corinthians 7:2-6 (Message)

“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt everyday.”—Andre Maurois

“If marriage is your object, you’d better start loving your subject.”—Author Unknown


Oh, trust me. You ain’t the only one holding your breath on this one. Even as I am typing there is a part of me that’s like, “God, are you sure you want me to address this?” However, I know it must be done. If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t shoot the messenger or the message. The Word says that who God loves he chastens (Hebrews 11:6) and so if you end up feeling a little beat up in the end, just look at it this way: He must love you a whole lot.

Before I get started, let me also address a couple of other points. Interestingly enough, from time-to-time, I will get devotional requests. This particular topic was brought to me by a husband who has been having issues surrounding this area of ministry (and yes sex, with your covenant partner, is indeed an act of ministry, which is nothing more than holy service). However, I wasn’t completely at peace until I received a few more “head’s ups” surrounding some other couples who are struggling in this same area.

I remember speaking to one of my spiritual mentors and asking him if I was qualified to address marital issues since I am not (yet) married. He took me to the very author of the lead scriptures for today: Paul, a single man. Just last night, I was talking to someone via email. She was asking my opinion about something. What came out of my mouth, trust me, was not me but God (because Shellie loves to give her opinion…God’s been getting on to me about that lately, though): “You should be concerned with godly counsel, not human opinion.” (Proverbs 12:15) So, I guess, after doing some praying and biblical research for confirmation’s sake, that qualifies me to pen this devotional because I am going to do my very best to keep this as Word-based/Shellie-less as possible.

Oh, and one more thing: I debated on whether I should send this being that there are a lot of single people on here and I didn’t want to be a stumbling block (Romans 14:13) to anyone by tempting them with too much information on subject matter that they are yet permitted to partake in. But, if you are called to be married, this also means that you are called to be sexually active with your mate and once you enter in, both are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). So, with that said, if you are getting prepared in every other area to be a blessing to your future spouse, this is one that cannot be overlooked. I pray that you will read this will spiritually mature eyes so nothing will be carnally or prematurely ignited within you. Trust me, as I have been purging my own self of past sexual sin, if there’s one thing I’ve come to realize is that single sex ain’t nothing like married sex, anyway. Like everything else the Enemy brings to us, it’s self-centered and selfish (John 10:10): You can put him/her out of the bed when you want to, have sex when you feel like it, move on when you’re ready. NONE OF THIS APPLIES TO THE MARITAL BED.

Just yesterday, I heard a man say (shout out to Elder Peterkin), “Everything the devil tells you [to do] will be centered around you.” When you are married to someone, nothing, even the pleasures of sex, is about just you. This brings me (finally) to the message for today.

Since the Garden of Eden, the Enemy has done his best to defile two of God’s greatest gifts: The Seventh-Day Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset—Genesis 2:1-3) and sex. Now, one day, we’ll get into the Sabbath and how, like so many other things that we have used/abused due to our ignorance and convenience, it has been widely defiled. Keeping a commandment is a non-negotiable issue (I John 5:2-3, Matthew 5:19), but even if it were up for discussion, it’s amazing how many other “Old Testament doctrines” we adhere to (like tithing, for instance: Malachi 3). Please do not be wise in your own conceits (Romans 11:25—AMP) or caught up in the vicious cycle of man-made traditionalism. When God said to “Remember the Sabbath Day”, to “not work” and to “keep it holy”, it didn’t mean unless your pastor, grandparents or particular denomination says otherwise. I don’t find it to be the least coincidental that the Fourth Commandment says “Remember” rather than “Thou Shalt Not” (like the other nine). Something tells me God knew that the masses would soon forget his hallowed day. That doesn’t mean he did or will. When it comes to serving God, the majority rule rarely applies (Matthew 7:13).

But this isn’t about God’s first gift to mankind (rest). It’s about the second (sex).

Genesis 2:18-23 tells the story of the creation of the first woman, whose name before she sinned was actually just that: Woman:

“And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'”—Genesis 2:23 (NKJV)

Remember, Adam was given permission to name everything in the Garden, which is why he had the right to give “Woman” her name (Genesis 2:19). The story goes on to say that he was instructed to leave his father and mother, be united with his wife, become one body with her and that they were naked and not ashamed (Genesis 2:24-25).

Sex? Sex is good. How do we know this? Because God made it.

Godly sex? The Enemy hates it. How do we know this? Because God made it.

It would take more time than either of us have to walk through all of the horrors that came from ungodly/counterfeit sex after sin came into this world (Lot and his daughters, Samson and Delilah, Amnon and Tamar, David and Bathsheba, Solomon and the free world), but you can best believe that just like today, to defile this gift was one of the Enemy’s greatest missions because he was, and still remains to be, threatened by its power; not just because of what it does for humans spiritually (which we will get to in a moment), but physically as well:

“A good sex life is an important part of an individual’s overall health,” says Mark Schoen, Ph.D ., director of sex education for the Sinclair Intimacy Institute. “People who have a good sex life feel better [mentally and physically].”—( http://health.discovery.com/centers/sex/marriage/marriage.htm)

“Sex stimulates the immune system,” says Dr. Deborah Anapol, PhD, author of The Seven Natural Laws of Love. “Recent studies show that regular sex makes you less vulnerable to colds and flu. And for romantic types, tell your partner that prolonged, deep kissing has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the long term. In the short term, kissing releases bacteria that stimulates the production of antibodies, which help fight off infection. Even handholding, the New York Times recently reported, can bring immediate stress relief to loved ones.”

“Orgasm triggers oxytocin release, causing you to feel more relaxed yet energized with a clear mind,” says Dr. Jacob Teitlbaum, MD. “Sex [also] triggers the release of a growth hormone that aids in weight loss and pain relief, studies show that having sex three times a week will leave you looking up to 10 years younger,” he adds.

Remember when I shared awhile back that like the Holy Trinity (God, Son, Holy Spirit), we are apart of a trinity as well (mind, body and spirit)? When the Word says that the Enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy, but that Christ came so that we could have ABUNDANT LIFE (John 10:10), husbands and wives, do you think that means everywhere but your bedroom? I most certainly don’t.

I recently read that according to a Chicago study, married couples have sex about 61 times per year. Do you want to know the first thing that came to my mind? “Hmm, I always heard that the devil never takes vacations.” If there are 365 days in a year, and if the Enemy continuously seeks to steal, kill and destroy everything of God, including sex and marriage, I wonder if that is enough. Of course, there are always exceptions due to scheduling, age, illness, etc. but overall, if you read what Paul recommends as the dosage for sexual relations between a married couple (unless they are mutually praying and fasting), and if you trust that ALL SCRIPTURE is God-inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), I would have to say that America’s average is not nearly scratching the surface of sexual need.

Hebrews 13:4 says that marriage is honorable (of high rank, dignity, or distinction; noble, illustrious, or distinguished ), that the marriage bed is undefiled (free from stain or blemish; blameless; faultless; pure; wholesome; correct; respectable; trustworthy; guiltless) and that it’s only those caught up in the lifestyle of fornication or adultery that God will judge. Ironically, because God does all things well, Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation in Christ. Did you catch the last synonym listed for “undefiled”? It was “guiltless”. When you are married, Matthew 19:6 says that the two become one and because it is something that God has joined, it is something that no man can separate. This means that in the marriage bed, there is to be no guilt ( a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined), or condemnation (an expression of strong disapproval; pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable).

So why are so many couples going without this blessed gift that God has given them? Oh, to the carnal mind, I’m sure the list is longer than most of us realize, but in my prayer time, there was one essential thing that God continued to bring to me. Single people, many of us are not yet married because we have yet to master something that is the foundation for any and every healthy relationship, especially marriage:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.”—Luke 10:27 (NKJV)

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who love s another has fulfilled the law.”—Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

When you become one with another individual, God gives husbands a very specific instruction concerning love:

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”—Ephesians 5:28 (NKJV)

Married fellas, because some of you didn’t take the time to be patient, kind, humble, not rude (rough, harsh, or ungentle), or self-seeking (I Corinthians 13) during your singleness, it is hard for you to even comprehend how to love your wife as you do yourself—in the bedroom or out. Your wives are not simply sexual outlets to be used for your physical pleasure; they are blessings that are meant to bring favor to every area of your life (Proverbs 18:22 ). Some of you need to ask God to show you (James 1:5) how to love yourself in a godly way so that you can learn to love her better—in the bedroom or out. Remember what Paul said about love? It’s not harsh or ungentle nor is it self-seeking; again, in the bedroom or out (I Peter 3:7).

However, wives this “take heed concerning love warning” applies to you as well:

“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband .”—Ephesians 5:33 (NKJV)

God did not say “respect your husband” until it’s time for love making. No, he says that you are to do it, period, at all times. When it comes to sex, when you respect your husband it means that you give: “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person”; “deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment”; “show regard or consideration for”; “an attitude of admiration or esteem”; “courteous regard for people’s feelings”. To respect your husband is to “adore him”; “be in awe of him”; “regard and connect with him”; “admire, notice and revere him”; “cherish, delight, marvel at, wonder at, and treasure him”.

But I don’t know your husband? He’s off the chain to the point of completely turning you off and you feel like you are out of options? Oh, God’s got a word for that, too, love:

“The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.”—I Peter 3:1-3 (Message)

Now, other people probably have a different perspective on sex in marriage, but if you claim to be a Christian, a Christ-follower, a disciple (John 8:31), then you know that without faith, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). You also know that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Just today, my mother sent me a devotional entitled, “The Risk of Obedience”. When it comes to faith, it said:

“To many Christians, faith means sincerely believing something is true when you don’t have any evidence. In fact, faith is acting on what you know full well is true: God is able to keep his promise and can be trusted to do it. Faith that is only theoretical conviction isn’t faith yet. Real faith, living faith, saving faith does something about it.”—John Walker

James 2:17 tells us that if our faith isn’t backed up by works, it’s dead. Again, I Peter 3:1-3 says that there are wives whose husbands are not keeping the Word of God (may be in his finances, may be in how he manages his time, may be in his attitude, may be in the way he treats you), but you can win him over when you are good to him by responding to his needs. I don’t know one married man that doesn’t need sex. Again, Luke 10:27 says that we are to love God with all that we are and when we do that, we have the ability to love our neighbor. For a husband and wife, it doesn’t get more “neighborly” than marriage.

Which brings me to the final point for today.

I’m sure some of you were rather thrown by the title of this message, but it’s the truth, the truth makes you free (John 8:32) and some of you could stand to loosen up a bit in the sex department. The New King James Version of I Corinthians 7:5 states:

“Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Some of you don’t even remember the last time you had sex or prayed and you know what? YOU MIGHT AS WELL PUT A WELCOME MAT OUT FOR THE DEVIL TO TAP DANCE ON BECAUSE OF IT. According to the Word, you need both if this thing called marriage is going to keep the Enemy from stealing, killing and destroying your union. See, the thing is that oftentimes when we read this scripture, we think that going without will lead (only) to adultery. Yes, that is definitely a possibility and wives especially, if this consequence comes due to you ignoring this warning, your husband is not the only one to blame (again, don’t shoot the messenger). But actually, the Word doesn’t say that adultery is the only or automatic consequence. It says that you must come back together so that Satan doesn’t tempt you period due to your lack of self-control.

When you don’t have self-control, you are raging (Proverbs 14:16).

When you don’t have self-control, you are not operating in the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

When you don’t have self-control, you have the potential to become a lover of self and money, a boaster, proud, unforgiving, brutal, unloving, headstrong and haughty, a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

When you do not have self-control, you have confusion and EVERY EVIL THING in your space (James 3:16).

When you don’t have self-control, you have the potential to become a lover of self and money, a boaster, proud, unforgiving, brutal, unloving, headstrong and haughty, a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

When you do not have self-control, you have confusion and EVERY EVIL THING in your space (James 3:16).

And, when you do not have self-control, you are not able to develop things like perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 2:5-7).

Whoa. Husbands and wives, do you now see that it ain’t a game out here? Do you see why the Enemy hates marital sex as much as he does and tries his best to keep you from having it? Do you now see what I entitled this message “Sexless Marriages Are Demonic”? What does “demonic” mean?

Demonic: inspired as if by a demon, indwelling spirit, or genius; extremely evil or cruel.

What are some synonyms for “demonic”?

Demonic: bad, crazed, damnable, detestable, frantic, insane, mad, nasty, possessed, unpleasant, vicious, violent.

Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV) plainly tells us:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places . Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Galatians 6:8 (NKJV) says:

“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

Another one of my favorite points from the message on yesterday was that “Flesh is the soul of man that acts independently of God”. Married family, God didn’t ASK you to love your wives or respect your husbands. HE TOLD YOU TO DO THAT. He didn’t limit that to church while everyone’s watching you or in the home until the children are sent to bed, either. If you want to keep Satan from taking root in your marriage, it may sound simplistic, but HAVE SEX—soon!!! I am hoping that these 3,000+ words have revealed to you that doing so is so much deeper than the physical gratification; when you have sex with your partner you are in ministry (service), you are obeying God and mostly importantly, you are fighting the Enemy. Some of you are wondering why your spouse is so “crazed”, “frantic” and “nasty” and the truth that it’s nothing that a little sex (and prayer…for a season) won’t cure. Sometimes we can get so “deep” in looking for a solution, that we don’t see what’s right in our face.

Stop complaining about the marital warfare you are in when God has clearly given you a weapon to fight with. James 4:7 says that if you resist the devil, he will flee. Paul says that when you hold out on your partner, you give the Enemy room to come into your life. That would lead me to the conclusion that if you want to take the Enemy out, bring sex in, and DO IT NOW. He doesn’t take vacations, remember?

Even tonight. Get to fightin’.

©Shellie R. Warren /2007