When the Bible talks about “one flesh”, it really means one flesh. It’s that in the intimacy of the marriage relationship, there is meant to be the most miraculous, tender intimacy that you could ever experience in human life; that it’s this moment where all protections are gone. “I am now literally naked, exposed in the arms of another human being and our bodies literally become as one.”
Now, it’s not enough to say that that’s what it’s about because that depth of intimacy, with all of its tenderness and with all of its needed protection and all of its mutual serving love, is only possible because there is a deep abiding relational unity that that couple has. You see, here’s how it works in marriage. You always drag the character and quality of your marriage relationship into the marriage bed.
“If you have been harsh and judgmental with me, if you have been selfish and demanding with me, why would I not expect that you would be that same person in the intimacy of our sexuality? Why would I relax? Why would I rest?” The wholeness of marital sexuality is only possible because of the wholeness of the spiritual relational intimacy of those couples.
I want to speak for a minute to men. I think it’s possible to treat your wife as an object for your own sexual satisfaction without little concern about how you tenderly love and serve her in the intimacy of marital sexuality. You get satisfied and you walk away. It’s almost like you’re treating your wife as a tool of your own masturbation. It’s horrific. It’s wrong. It violates “one flesh” because the love that I’m called to where I would love my wife like Christ loved the church, I would give my life up for her, I would serve her, that love is to make that sexual relationship, that “one flesh” in intimacy safe and tender and loving and serving and mutually satisfying.
You see, “one flesh” doesn’t begin with your body. “One flesh” begins with your heart. I am convinced that most sexual dysfunction isn’t in marriage. It’s not about biology. It’s about the heart. It’s selfishness and demandingness and entitlement and anger and un-forgiveness and bitterness that is wreaking havoc on your ability to enjoy the deepest, most beautiful intimacy that human beings can know.
I need to say something else – that in our culture, we have made a separation that was never supposed to be made. We separate sex from relationship, and sex just becomes “an act for my pleasure with whoever will give me pleasure whenever, however, wherever”. And it walks away from that the context of this by God’s design was this beautiful “one flesh” thing, where the souls that have been connected now become bodies that are connected in the deepest, most beautiful of human unity.
You want to fix your sex life? Fix your marriage relationship. Be committed to self-sacrificing love, so that person, when they are unprotected next you, knows that there, they will be loved.