Putting It Together- Day 4
Dear Lord, thank you for marriage and the relationship you have designed within it. You are all that is good and You want good for me. Open my heart to hear Your good words about marriage. Amen.
Read: 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NIV)
“3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Some think that the Bible is filled with a whole bunch of rules that limit the fun mankind gets to have while on earth. Well, when we have verses like this, it seems more like encouragement to enjoy some of the sweetest gifts God gave us!
As we enter day 4 of this week’s devotion, we have more verses on the mutual submission and respect within marriage. This time it relates to one of the most intimate parts of the marriage relationship – sex.
Sex is a gift that is designed to be shared with only one other person inside a committed and God-ordained relationship of marriage. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians is calling us to ensure we intimately and consistently connect with our spouses in a way that that not only brings pleasure but also protects us from Satan. If husband and wife are called to find sexual intimacy with each other - and no one else - then they are called to give authority of their body to each other freely and humbly. This kind of submission will be yet another strengthening component of the marriage, protecting it from Satan’s temptations of infidelity and adultery.
Before some of you print this out and lord it over your spouse in the bedroom, be sure to fully reflect on the mutual nature of these verses. Each is giving authority over their body to the other. Neither is using their own body or the other’s body to manipulate, coerce, punish, or gratify selfishly. Instead each is giving authority to the other, knowing the importance of intimate connection and enjoyment of this aspect of marriage.
Take a moment and reflect on how you may have limited the authority you have given to your spouse over your body. What is stopping you from submitting fully? In what ways are you submitting well and helping to protect your marriage from Satan’s temptations? Discuss the answers to these questions with your spouse. Ask them to answer the same questions from their perspective. Use these answers to strengthen your marriage and the intimacy between you.
Dear Lord, your design of the marriage relationship is holy and powerful. Help us to protect it by submitting to our spouse in a way that honors You and fulfills Your call to me to be a great spouse. Amen.