This video segment is one of five presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Intimacy” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, communication, finances, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

GCM-Intimacy05 from Equip on Vimeo.

Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.

  • When you think of sex, think of serving.
  • Marriage was not made for sex, but sex was made for marriage.
  • Sex is not sin; neither is it salvation.
  • Sex should be a gift you give each other not a tax you exact from one another.

Memorize: I Corinthians 7:3-5 (ESV), “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Give” – If we are going to have a biblical view of sex, we must focus on giving more than getting pleasure.
  • “Not have authority” – This clause in no way validates abuse; but highlights that spouses “belong to one another.”
  • “Do not deprive” – Sex is a gift that only you can give your spouse. Your neglect in this area would be absolute.
  • “Limited time” – The Bible does not speak to how often a couple should have sex beyond this – frequently.
  • “Tempt you” – The temptations that exist because of neglecting sex are greater in number than “just lust.

Teaching Notes

“If you feel confused when it comes to sex, you are not alone (p. 3)… A woman responds to accumulated touches in many parts of her body until she reaches the desire to be ‘filled up’ while a man quickly responds to direct touch of his genitals and feels a need to ‘empty out’ (p. 37).” Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus in Intimate Issues

“Sex in marriage is best compared to a thermometer, not a thermostat. It is the physical expression of what is true of a couple on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels. It is not a thermostat that, if turned up, will warm up your relationship (p. 218).” Dennis Rainey (editor) in Preparing for Marriage

“If you want powerful techniques and easy answers, you may be disappointed in this book. God’s plans often involve time, effort, and difficult changes… You’ll discover that sex is more about an exciting process and way of life that it is a simple acquisition of techniques. In God’s design, sexual fulfillment and intimate marriage can never be separated (p. ix).”  Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“Study your mate’s responses to know what is most enjoyable. No book can give you that information. Women, even more than men, vary about what feels good—even the strokes and rhythms that are most pleasurable. Be a lifelong student of your partner’s body and reactions (p. 15).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“Too many couples are guilty of sabotaging their erogenous zones and sexual enjoyment with ignorance, anxiety, and sheer effort. Intimate marital companions have usually never developed their sexual awareness to include even half of the erogenous zones on their bodies, and they often short-circuit their sexual reflexes (p. 24).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“Orgasms are such beautiful metaphors of uninhibited worship and giving up control to Christ. You are allowing your bodies and souls to soar with surrender. Apexes cannot be reached without letting go, which is built on a series of individual choices. I will trust you; I will choose to feel; I will choose to give up control in front of and to my mate (p. 48).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex