God Invented Sex (1 Cor. 7:4-5)

While I was in seminary, Charles Wittschiebe, author of God Invented Sex, conducted a week of prayer. A student asked him, “At what age does the sex drive diminish?” Dr. Wittschiebe, then 82, responded, “I don’t know.”

Human sexuality has two functions: one as an expression of love, the other to propagate the race.

  1. Procreation. The Bible says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but also says, “Fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). This Scripture calls for responsibility regarding our environment, including the practice of birth control.
  2. Satisfaction. Sexual satisfaction, as with other communication in marriage, is a gradual achievement. True sexual fulfillment comes as a result of loving expression with one’s spouse, and the manner of that expression is not dictated.
  3. Reciprocation. For the Christian, the joy of sex is found not just in the receiving of pleasure, but also in the giving. “The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband” (1 Cor. 7:3, Message).

There is a four-stage process used to describe sexual response.

  1. The arousal stage. Arousal may come from a kiss, the tone of a voice, or the smell of perfume. The most direct stimulation, however, is touch. There are areas of the body which produce a sexual response when touched. These are called erogenous zones. “You have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes” (Song. 4:9).
  2. The excitement stage. With increased foreplay and the stimulation of the erogenous zones, this is a more highly aroused state of sexual stimulation, initiated by husband or wife. “When I found the one I love, I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him into the chamber of her who conceived me” (Song. 3:4).
  3. The climax stage. This is characterized by pleasurable sensations of release. “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song. 7:10).
  4. The resolution stage. This has also been called the afterglow, where body functions return to normal levels and husband and wife embrace. “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me” (Song. 8:3).

David Larson, of the National Institute for Healthcare Research, reports: “Couples not involved before marriage and faithful during marriage appear to be more satisfied with their current sex life than those who were involved sexually before marriage.”

Sexual fulfillment is the work of years, and God has designed that it takes place within the loving security of marriage. Lewis Smedes says: “The marriage of committed love is God’s design for sexual freedom…. Here, in this settled union, two people can adventure into sexual growth, work through sexual pain and frustration, [and] love through the rise and fall of erotic desire” (Sex for Christians).

Couples need to be reminded that, earlier in the relationship, quality time was invested in the whole sexual process in order to ensure mutual pleasure. The apostle John’s words to the believers in Ephesus may be directed to every married couple: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:4-5, NIV).