Genesis 2:21-25 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
God made man, and then made woman from the same flesh as man. The physical connection between man and woman is natural, appropriate and expected. God made us to fellowship with him, so it’s natural for us to desire a connection with others. The physical connection between husband and wife is a blessing by God, only to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. In our corrupt society man and women have taken liberties that God never intended; liberties that instead of strengthening the physical connection will actually destroy it. Many relationships have been destroyed by an “old flame” of the past coming back to haunt the new relationship. Thoughts and images are never really erased from our mind and they often cause arguments and trust issues in new relationships. People who jump from one relationship to another are never satisfied and are often hurting emotionally inside. The bottom line is God has intended one man for one woman for life, and that man and woman were designed to connect physically. There are different ideas and aspects of the physical connection; I will briefly look at two:
A. The Quality Time Connection
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Time is one of the most precious blessings you presently have. The only time you are guaranteed is the time you are currently experiencing. Spending physical time with your spouse is important. Long distance phone calls, texts and video chats are fine to sustain short term separations, but they can never replace personal contact. Some people, especially military are forced to be away for long periods of time, (and I am grateful for their sacrifice and pray for their safety) but many couples live separated and have little contact, and they see each other every day. This is not healthy for the relationship. We live in an evil day with many devices and distractions, we must invest all the time we can into our marriages. While the evil in our day seeks to destroy your relationship, you should use time wisely to strengthen it.
The verse says “redeeming the time,” which means to buy it up or to rescue it from loss; we must use each hour wisely because when the minuets are gone they are gone forever. I was recently talking with my wife on this subject and we came up with three areas of time we needed to be aware of: neutral time, negative time and nutritious time. Neutral time is time wasted or time spent idle. This would include television watching, sitting on the couch looking at your mobile device, social media & web surfing, personal hobbies & recreation…just to name a few. Please don’t misunderstand me, not all of this time is bad, but it is not all good either, that is why it’s called neutral time. This neutral time could very easily be converted into nutritious time if you are using social media to encourage others or lift up the name of Christ; on the other hand it could be turned into negative time if you are gossiping and running down others. Negative time is time you spend engaging in sinful activities; arguing and shouting at one another, talking about people and spreading gossip, looking at sinful material and listening to ungodly music, selfishly using all your spare time for you and your hobbies while robbing your family of time with them…are just a few. Nutritional time is time which builds and encourages each other. This is the best time to invest in because it builds protective walls around your marriage & family, and gives much needed strength to your home. This is the time your family will remember and appreciate most for years to come. A few examples of this time would be: family bible time at home, church attendance together, serving Christ together, “couch time” talks, writing little notes to each other, making time for dates, encouraging words to family members…the list is endless and the results are wonderful.
B. The Intimate Time Connection
Gen. 2:24 says that the man would “…cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God intended for the man and his bride to enjoy the blessings of sexual intimacy as a way of becoming one with each other. The word “cleave” means to adhere, cling or stick to someone or something. It literally means to be joined together. One of the reasons sexual relations are so sacred and reserved for married couples only is because of what happens in this act. Sexual intercourse is an act which God designed to unite a man and woman together forever, making them one flesh. No other act makes two individuals one flesh. This act is not to be taken lightly or given freely outside of the marriage vows. Sexual relations within the marriage forms a bond, a unity and a closeness that cannot be matched or mimicked anywhere else in society; therefore, it is to be cherished, respected and private between a husband and wife. When this act is enjoyed within the marriage, the result is joy and contentment between husband and wife.
This privilege is not to be abused outside of marriage, but it should also not be abused within the marriage either. It should not become a bargaining chip or tool you use to control and manipulate your spouse. The bible is clear about this in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” The wife is to give herself freely to her own husband, and likewise the husband is to give his body freely unto his own wife. When couples withhold physical contact from each other, it makes it easier for Satan to tempt them and draw them into sin and adultery. This is why God allows us to have our own spouse, so we can meet each other’s needs and grow as one in Christ together. God wants us to honor him as we enjoy our marriage.
These biblical principals will help you safeguard your marriage. Here are a few helpful hints to put into practice as well that will strengthen your home and your relationship: loving embraces, holding hands while talking, revisit an old spot that was special to you before marriage, writing encouraging notes (we use Post-it notes and place them all over the house), words that compliment, unexpected flowers, prepare a favorite meal & make it special…. These are just a few, but use your imagination and pray for God to help you encourage your spouse and meet their individual needs. Your home will be happier if you do.
(look for part 4 coming soon)