July 30: Sexual Robbery in Marriage

Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-4

“Do not steal” (Ex. 20:15).

“A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does” (v. 4).

We got married on a Saturday morning. My favorite day of life so far, we gave our vows, offered our faithfulness and sealed it all up with a kiss. Then the work began.

The first few years taught us much about living life in light of the truth that our bodies now belonged to each other. We had given each other the sole rights to our individual sexuality when we stood on the altar that August morning and said “I will.”

When it comes to intimacy in marriage and the eighth commandment, the concept of stealing deals more with holding on to that which one no longer holds rights. Perhaps you’re like me and have never considered sexuality as something that could be stolen. But 1 Corinthians 7 makes it pretty clear that once we’ve committed to marriage, our bodies are no longer ours. Not for withholding sex from our spouses. Not for giving to any other.

This is not to say that God requires a “sex on demand” kind of arrangement in marriage. Quite the opposite, actually. In fact, God designed physical intimacy to be a deep and true expression of selfless love enjoyed within the context of marriage. It’s the same kind of selfless love Jesus Christ expressed when He carried a cross on His shoulders and let soldiers beat Him and kill Him on our behalf.

Apparently, the Corinthians had the idea that to “have sexual relations” somehow went against God’s design for life in Christ. So they wrote to Paul and asked his opinion. (See v.1.) But the Holy Spirit made it clear through Paul’s response that sexual satisfaction, the mutual giving and taking of physical intimacy between a loving husband and his loving wife, is actually part of God’s perfect plan.

It’s not necessarily the act itself as much as it is the love from which the intimacy is expressed. Following God’s way in marriage means pleasing each other and looking to meet each other’s needs. So stealing sexually does not work. Not only does it not work, it doesn’t match God’s perfect plan for real life as married people.



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