We now turn to the sensitive topic of our own physical relationship in our marriage. I cannot go into great detail, but I will give you some practical exhortations related to your physical relationship with your wife. I would remind you again by way of review, that the purpose of your marriage generally and its physical relationships specifically, is to glorify God.
It is to be a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church, self-giving love. Of course, a physical relationship was also created for the purposes of procreation and advancing humanity. Children are a gift of God. A physical relationship is also to be for mutual enjoyment, benefit blessing and for mutual edification. You see our physical relationship is something of consummation and an ongoing recommitment of our covenant with our wife.
Just like a person joins the church, for example, and they are baptised and they identify with Christ in the church. And then following that they repeatedly take the Lord’s Supper to reaffirm their dedication and commitment by covenant to Christ and His Church. Marriage is similar. We have some form of ceremony, especially if it’s Christian marriage. That happens one time, and you enter into that covenant relationship. But then successively, and repeatedly, you have an ongoing physical relationship, which each time is to express your commitment and reconfirm your dedication to that covenant relationship. And a covenant, as you know, is a mutual agreement with both benefits and blessings and responsibilities and duties. And if you fulfil the duties and responsibilities, you will enjoy the benefits and the blessings. And your physical relationship with your wife is a consistent, repeatable, re-confirmation and commitment to your covenant love one for another.
And of course, it is also to promote purity and order in our lives, as a means of sanctification. And in society, as a means to keep society pure. But of course, when a marriage breaks down, you have the undoing of society, and we certainly see that especially in America.
But you’ll remember what the Apostle Paul said, now because of immorality, 1 Corinthians 7, ‘Let each man have his own wife and each woman has to have her own husband.’ Now listen carefully, verse 3, ‘the husband must fulfil his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. So stop depriving one another, except by agreement that you may devote yourselves to prayer and then come again together quickly so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.’
Marriage is to be a safeguard for the purity of your own sanctification and growth. Marriage is to be a means of grace, to keep you from the wandering eye and the lustful thought, and the vain imagination and the misplaced affection toward another woman, or in the case of a wife, another man.
Now you need to understand this about your physical relationship. It is within the context of marriage. It is a gift of God as well. The Bible says we are to rejoice in the wife of our youth. Let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Do not embrace the bosom of another but be exhilarated with her love. That’s a strong word in Hebrew. It means to be inebriated or to be drunk. There is to be a holy exhilaration in the context of your physical relationship. It is a gift of God, but men, if you do not lead properly and know how to cultivate a spiritual and romantic relationship with your wife, your physical relationship will suffer.
For a man, the sexual relationship with his wife is basically physical, but a physical relationship for the wife involves everything (emotionally, mentally, spiritually, romantically). And you have the responsibility to nurture it because your physical relationship is to be the fruit of a spiritual union and an expression of a covenant commitment, growing out of a deepening romantic affection, so that there is no hindrance in the context of your sexual relationship. Because many men are ignorant about how to satisfy their wives, many women are turned off or fearful or uninstructed about their own physical body and their sexual relationship with their husbands. And so the proper attitude, men, is one of self-sacrificial giving, not self-seeking. That is the essence of love seeking the highest good of another for their benefit or their profit. And therefore it demands patience, self-control, sensitivity, and tenderness towards your wife.
I guess you know by now there’s a difference between men and women and their creation, and their makeup and their emotions and their personality. For example, when it comes to physical relationships, men are stimulated by sight. That’s why pornography is such a big business. All a man has to do is look at a woman’s naked body and he’s almost immediately aroused. Men are very easily stimulated by sight. But a woman is not stimulated so much by sight. She’s not excited about your hairy chest or your big belly. She is stimulated by gentleness, by sensitivity, by sacrificial acts. Do not expect to jump in the bed at night with your wife and think it’s going to be wonderful if all during the day and week you’ve manifested no spiritual unity, no romantic affection, no gentleness, no tenderness, no sacrifice, no edification, no verbal visible manifestations of love.
You may have a functional physical relationship, but you will not have the physical relationship that God intended if you do not understand the difference. Men are easily aroused, quickly satisfied. Women are slowly aroused, and slowly satisfied. Hear me, it is often the case that men desire physical relationships with their wife much more than their wives do. But your wife is tired all day chasing kids, cooking food, caring for everything else, absolutely exhausted, then she gets sick and she’s worn out. Don’t expect that she’s going to be toward you sexually like the false fake pictures are of how men and women have a physical relationship that is now on the TV or on the movie. That’s not reality.
My question to you man is this, do you know how to lead your wife spiritually? Are you leading your wife spiritually? Do you know how to manifest romance toward your wife? And do you have any idea how to sexually satisfy your wife and meet her physical needs? We will spend time on this last question in the final part of this series on marriage.
This article is the transcript of the talk by Brother Andy H. in the meeting held in October 2021 entitled ‘The Pastor And His Marriage’.
Please click here to read Part 1 of the article on ‘Don’t Neglect Your Wife’ by Bro. Andy H.Please click here to read Part 2 of the article on ‘Your Wife’s Identity And Ultimate Purpose’ by Bro. Andy H. Please click here to read Part 3 of the article on ‘Cultivating Spiritual Unity In Your Marriage – Part 1’ by Bro. Andy H. Please click here to read Part 4 of the article on ‘Cultivating Spiritual Unity In Your Marriage – Part 2’ by Bro. Andy H. Please click here to read Part 5 of the article on ‘Cultivating Romantic Affection In Your Marriage’ by Bro. Andy H. Please click here to read Part 7 of the article on ‘Cultivating Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage – Part 2’ by Bro. Andy H.