Many Christian marriages are in the midst of some sexual struggle or dysfunction. Many husbands and wives in the church do not experience the beautiful, intimate sexual oneness that God designed.
Many professing Christian married men are living a double or secretive life online. Many Christian married women allow their minds to fantasize. And sadly, like Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, many of these brothers and sisters in the faith live in fearful secrecy, silence, and shame.
What about you?
In a world that has gone sexually insane, the church of Jesus Christ must do better. The silence must be broken. Biblical hope must be given. More marriages need to experience the forgiveness, freedom, hope, and courage of the gospel regarding sexuality.
Here are a few ways we can do that with your spouse:
Don’t be ashamed that you’re a sexual being.
The Bible teaches us that sex is not a problem; it’s a gift. Jesus didn’t suffer and die to free you from sex but to free you from sexual sin. Our problem is not primarily that we are sexual beings; we tend to love the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25).
Sex is a good and beautiful thing, but the desire for this good thing becomes a bad and dangerous thing when it becomes a heart-controlling thing. Sexual sin and struggle are not first a matter of what we do with our body but what we do with our heart.
Don’t deny that you’re a sinner who struggles with sex.
Sometimes our practical theology incorrectly puts sex in a different category. We believe that Jesus died for our sins and embedded in his resurrection is the promise of forgiveness and freedom, but we wrongly think that sexual immorality isn’t just sin.
The Bible never presents sexual sin as being of a different nature than other sins. Sexual sin may have different social and interpersonal consequences, but it’s sin, no more, no less. In Romans 1, Paul lists sexual sin along with envy, gossip, and deceit, even with something as mundane as disobedience to parents.
The deceitful, lying enemy works to convince you that the provisions of the cross can’t help you because sexual sin is different.
You don’t have to fight your battle alone.
The dark secrecy of sexual sin can make you feel alienated, misunderstood, rejected, and alone. If you are God’s child, it’s impossible for you to be alone!
Let me make this distinction: it’s not impossible for you to feel alone, but it’s impossible for you to be alone. You and I must distinguish between the power of what we feel and the biblical promises that should shape the way we act and respond (see Exodus 3:12, Joshua 1:5,9, Judges 6:12, 2 Samuel 7:9, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5).
God has also placed us in his church because he knows that our journey to sexual purity is a community project. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:16, it is “every joint” that does its part as the body of Christ grows to maturity.
If you want to be sexually pure, you need people to help you see yourself in ways that sin blinds you to. If you’re going to gain ground, you need people who will confront you when you are rebelling and encourage you when you are weak.
Preach the gospel to yourself, your spouse, and other married couples: Jesus has the power to produce permanent transformation in your broken marriage and sexuality.
Paul David Tripp
1. How is sex a gift from God? In its holy, unadulterated form, how can sex deepen the love and unity in your marriage?
2. Was sex a taboo topic growing? How did your upbringing or previous experiences with sex shape how you now approach sex with your spouse?
3. Where and how do you regularly set yourself up for failure by exposing yourself to unhelpful things?
4. Are you honest with your spouse or others when it comes to questions regarding sex? What are you hiding and why?
5. Have you created an environment where your spouse (or kids) are afraid to confess sexual sin or struggle to you? How can you be more gracious and Christ-like in your response without compromising what the Bible says is sinful?
6. What things do you say to yourself that allow you to remain hopeless? How can you preach the gospel to yourself in moments of weakness and failure?