so don’t be immoral in matters of sex.
Respect and honor your wife.
Don’t be a slave of your desires
You must not cheat any of the Lord’s followers in matters of sex. (CEV)
Sex is primarily a spiritual act of oneness symbolized with a physical act. For it to be a blessing im marriage, there needs to be emotional and spiritual wholeness, free of domination, manipulation and control from either spouse. Emotional wounding or bondage in either person will damage and distort sexual intimacy. To have a healthy sexuality, you need complete trust, mutual respect and appreciation of each other which leads to oneness of body, soul and spirit. This creates a godly sexual soul tie.An ungodly sexual soul tie occurs when sexuality becomes a tool of control. Yes, there can be an ungodly sexual soul tie even in Christian marriage. There can even be sexual abuse in Christian marriage which gets covered up by insisting on the scriptural submission of women to the will of the male. It is a sin to dominate, manipulate or control a spouse in any way, including sexuality. It shows disrespect and treats the person as an object to meet the emotional needs of the other. Sexuality can be used as a tool of punishment or reward to control the other spouse. When it is used as a way of reassuring yourself of worth or acceptance, it can easily become an addiction that drives you for more. A very simple test of sexuality is to ask yourself this question, during sex are you lovingly giving yourself to your spouse or taking what you believe to be rightfully yours? If you are taking then you are on dangerous ground!In my observation, most sexual problems are emotional and spiritual, not physical. The solution is the healing of our wounds.
Heb 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous.
What “defiles the marriage bed”?
Apparently, normal women tend to shut down sexually when they are treated badly:
quoted from Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
I remember talking frankly to two Christian men once about the ideals of Christian marriage. I cracked them up when I freely confessed, “You bet I’ve swallow arguments because I wanted something from my wife later that night.” They both admitted, somewhat sheepishly, that they too had done the same thing. I’m not proud of the fact that I’m less willing to stand up for my beliefs when I feel “the urge”- and I particularly don’t like the fact that what feels like a physical need directly my spiritual attitudes- but I can learn to use that physical need for spiritual benefit.Let me put this succinctly: We can learn to use the sex drive to groom our character. Out of a need to be intimate with their wives, husbands may learn to show tenderness and empathy.
From 1Thes 4:3-8, it seems there exist choices in how one possesses “his vessel” (some translations render “vessel” as “wife”; some render “vessel” as his own body. I think GOD deliberately used a word which can mean wife or body- and the teaching of the passage applies to BOTH. John Piper thinks the RSV rendering “wife” is more accurate- link ).
Does he possess his wife/his body in “sanctification and honour”?
Or does he do so “in the lust of concupiscence”/”passion of lust”?
Engaging in the “passion of lust” is to “go beyond and defraud his brother”. I think “brother” can be his WIFE (or her husband). His transgression/ his lusting transgresses boundaries and DEFRAUDS HER.
Here is the passage in 3 Bible versions:
1Thes 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity;
1Thes 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: (AV)
4 that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor,
5 not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God;
6 that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you.
7 For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness.
8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (RSV)
1Thes 4: 3 God wants you to be holy, so don’t be immoral in matters of sex. 4Respect and honor your wife. [a] 5Don’t be a slave of your desires or live like people who don’t know God. 6You must not cheat any of the Lord’s followers in matters of sex. Remember, we warned you that he punishes everyone who does such things. 7God didn’t choose you to be filthy, but to be pure. 8So if you don’t obey these rules, you are not really disobeying us. You are disobeying God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (CEV)
Because this post is filed under “abuse” categories, I refer the reader to a collection of links which were helpful to me on the bottom of the following page: What if he is Abusive?