Want a great sex life for 20–30–50 years of marriage? Here are some principles that will affect the end results! After many years working with youth and counseling families, my husband and I have seen the devastating results when one chooses to violate God’s principles; yet we have seen the wonderful freedom that comes when someone understands what went wrong and then works to correct the problems God’s way (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
Jon and Mary dated and were certain they were headed to a blissful marriage since they were so in love. Their affection turned to prolonged petting and eventually to frequent premarital sex. Both knew this violated 1 Thes. 4:1-8 and felt ashamed. They tried to regain self-control and avoid fornication, but kept failing. Neither knew how, and began to blame the other. Fights got worse until they eventually ended their relationship, both devastated and feeling life and ministry were ruined forever.
Defeated, Jon came for help first. He didn’t understand how something that had started so beautifully could have ended so ugly. Mary was slower to reach out for help because she carried such a heavy burden of guilt and shame. She had used birth control to avoid a pregnancy, but had an abortion she had not even told Jon about for fear of her reputation. Jon and Mary did eventually get back together, but had a lot of baggage to work through before they could have the blissful marriage they anticipated as teenagers. So much pain could have been avoided by just following God’s design for their engagement and marriage!
Ignorance of Biblical Sexuality
Sex was God’s idea from the beginning (Gen. 2:23-24), and it is good. Throughout Scripture, sexual purity is God’s plan. Yet our culture has ignored that standard. Instead, many view sex as recreational, to be casually enjoyed by any willing participant, having nothing to do with a covenant relationship.
See What is Biblical Marriage? Foundations, Definition, and Principles.
God’s plan includes a covenant of marriage with a binding commitment to love, serve, honor, protect, and provide for one another’s needs in every way possible. Culturally, living together before marriage has become acceptable. Yet statistically, a much greater percentage of couples that cohabitate end up divorced than couples that wait until they’re married to sleep together.
Sue and Bill were both from progressive families that encouraged them to be independent and to move ahead in their careers. When they moved in together, it was celebrated as maturity. They had an exciting career and love life. Then with a child on the way, they decided to take the next step and get married.
That’s when the trouble began. Bill complained Sue wasn’t as much fun anymore. Sue complained Bill wasn’t taking his role as a husband and father seriously, he still wanted too much time out with the guys. Soon Bill was spending time at the bars instead of helping Sue with the baby, and then he met someone else that brought the excitement back to him. He left Sue and their daughter for another woman.
Sue was crushed, but came to see how God used the divorce to bring her to Christ. She came to understand how the foundation laid in cohabitation wasn’t strong enough to weather the storms of marriage and parenting. After years of growth and healing, Sue is now married to a godly man in a solid and satisfying marriage.
When we talk to teens about building beautiful and healthy relationships, we compare it to building an ice-cream sundae. The bowl is the foundation to give shape, just as the spiritual is the foundation to relationships–two believers walking together through life in agreement (Amos 3:3; 2 Cor. 6:14). Ice cream represents the social–sweet fellowship, enjoying common activities together. Fruity or nutty toppings may give one a clue as to how the mind works, the intellect, communication, and conflict-resolution.
With these three spheres, we have the making of a great friendship, and we encourage teens to focus on just that. In time, adding the whipped cream represents an emotional and long-term commitment to that friendship. Then in the covenant of marriage, the cherry represents the consummation of that relationship through a physical, sexual union. It is a beautiful relationship, constructed in the correct timing and order!
Unfortunately, we see many relationships built upside down, built on emotional, ooy-gooy whipped cream that has gone flat, with smashed cherries, served up on broken hearts. When the proper order is ignored, it can get ugly fast! It is very difficult to recoup what has been so very damaged, yet God gives hope that even the worst of sinners can be redeemed (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Lack of Self-Control
Youth are repeatedly warned in Proverbs to avoid bad friends (Pro. 1:10; 6:24; 13:20). Connecting with the wrong crowd corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33). The presence of bad companions encourages an unrestrained lifestyle. Some pitfalls in youth start patterns that, if continued, prevent a happy marriage or fulfilling sex life later on. Bad company encourages these behaviors. Modern electronics only magnify the possibilities of bad friends, bad morals, and bad marriages.
Viewing pornography may begin without much thought to the future, but it puts images in the mind that are very difficult to ignore. The lack of eye control (Job 31:1) may be the reading of erotic materials and fantasizing about the forbidden. We are clearly commanded to focus our thought control on that which honors God (2 Cor. 10:5; Phil. 4:8). The law of diminishing returns pulls the porn viewer deeper and deeper into a very destructive pattern that destroys healthy marital relations in the long run.
Related: 4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage
Masturbation is a lack of body control that often begins in youth, but carries devastating effects into marriage. God’s plan for sex is mutual satisfaction in marriage, but masturbation establishes a pattern of selfishness that diminishes sexual satisfaction for one or both. Rather than immediate gratification of lust, God teaches patience and self-control which enhance sex in marriage. The body belongs to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and to one’s spouse (1 Cor. 7:2-5), so masturbation has no part in a God-honoring marriage.
But There Is Hope!
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-24) and can be matured through dying to self and learning to live out God’s Word (Rom. 12:1-2). Patterns learned in youth may be hard to break (require death to self!), but by God’s grace, anyone who desires to can learn to put off patterns of the old life and put on godliness through discipline.
Related: How to Quit Porn–6 Essential Steps
A verse I learned as a teen that has helped me throughout my life is Philippians 1:6. I still cling to the promise that I don’t have to live this life alone. Christ Jesus has committed to complete the good work in me that He began so many years ago. That work is making me more and more like Jesus, and less and less like the sinner of my fleshly desires. In Christ, I am free to love my husband and to enjoy our married life just as the Lord planned!
Wow! This article was truly written by the Holy Spirit through Sherry Allchin. I’m sure plenty of us disciples of Christ and even non Christians and youth need to read this. Thank you so much.
Thank you Sherry for this wholesome article. Thank you for the verses that you have included. It has made a lot of sense! God bless!!!
BTW I am going to bookmark this page for furure reference!!! Thanks again!!!
I don’t entirely agree with your view on masturbation, but knowing its a scruple, I certainly respect it.
Otherwise, a great article!
I came across this article while googling masturbation and I felt compelled to respond to this ridiculous attitude toward masturbation. I say this because I recently recovered from prostrate cancer and my doctor advised me to have sex or masturbate regularly to prevent carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) accumulating in the prostate gland to reduce the chance of prostate cancer recurrence. Since I’m not married (most likely never will), masturbation, along with porn, is my only recourse. If I had taken advice from misguided Christians like you, I’ve no doubt I will have cancer again and probably end up on my deathbed.
If Christians wants to remain relevant then they need to change their attitude toward sexuality and if necessary reform the bible in a massive manner. Christianity is declining because people (including myself) are tired of listening to archaic nonsense from you and your ilk.
Sorry Christianity is not declining, But America is actually declining. Only God knows what happened to your ” in God we Trust” See, come to Africa, Our voodoo is declining; and Christianity is on the increase, go to China and see what God is doing. let me tell you, God will not Change his Standard, he is the same yesterday, today and forever. America is departing from the path that made it a great nation, that’s the path of righteousness, and you are saying Christianity is declining? The Bible Says ” Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach” we Christians are increasing In Nigeria. We need to pray for AMERICA!!! Especially for your next generation before they inherit the Wrath of God for the Immorality in you guys are joking with. .
Jesus can heal you of that Cancer, the path of Masturbation is not the solution, For how long do you want to keep masturbating? First you masturbate to normal porn, then you graduate to hardcore, then fetish of all sort, then rape porn, then gay, then Animal porn then what’s next? FRUSTRATION, EMPTINESS, DEPRESSION, and ERECTILE DIS-FUNCTIONAL for males. Just think,Cancer is what a simple prayer will resolve. Jesus Still Loves you, he wants you to experience him personally, Give your life to him today and experience the Joy.
Pierre, you are certainly entitled to your own view. What you are not entitled to are your own facts. When you make utterances like “archaic nonsense” “misguided Christians” “If Christians want to remain relevant” you are doing so from the bandwagon of the narrative of the 21st century where it is simply assumed that spiritual pursuits are hokum. It is no secret, and it is something that so-called progressives like yourself, happily ignore, that ever since the early sixties when people like Timothy Leary and his ilk started to rail against “oppressive Christian values” the world has been on an unprecedented moral decline. With respect to you, but when you claim that Christians are not relevant (I know what you think you mean by that) you unmask your own woeful ignorance of Christianity and the Bible. It is the world, not Christians, that has become irrelevant in its immoral pursuits and its celebration of all that was once considered, at best, to be aberrant behavior. Do you know that God can, and has, cured people of cancer? Before you roll your eyes and mutter under your breath: “There it is, this idiot actually said this” think seriously about that. Do you really think that every single person the world over, all through human history, who has ever reported a miraculous event was either mistaken, crazy or lying? Really?
I challenge you to take just once such event, that is quite relevant in the world today – the issue of Islam. Research the following for yourself and disprove it, if you can: You would agree, I’m sure, that for Christian missionaries, today, it is nigh impossible to get the word of God and the Good News of Jesus preached to our Muslim brothers ans sisters, especially in the many Muslim countries where one risks one’s life when attempting this, yes? Now, open your browser and type into your Google engine the following phrase: Muslims dream of Jesus” and see what happens. If you can honestly tell me that you steadfastly refuse to accept that so many hardened Muslims in staunch Muslims countries, who grew up fanatically Muslim turn to Jesus because he appears to them in dreams night after night – something diagonally opposed to their world view – then you will do so not based on evidence!
This is one are of my life which I really struggle I am single aged 71 and find myself involved in masturbation I know that the Lord helps me to have self control but it is so difficult is it wrong to do it maybe the act is ok but the thoughts whilst doing it are wrong. I need guidance so that I can tackle this problem which I know is becoming a barrier between me and my saviour
@ Alan findell thank you for having the courage to bring your struggle into the light. You are on the right path. Identify those trouble zones, times of day, and redirect that desire. This is as much a heart change as it is changing your brain to disconnect the connection between masturbation and fantasy (here is a great book that helps explain chemically what happens in our head: https://www.covenanteyes.com/science-of-porn-addiction-ebook/). As a believer, it seems you are depending on God’s Word which is great. Maybe 2 Corinthians 10:5 can be an encouragement and strength for you.
Press on! Chris
Adams Omoloye, I will not respond to rest of your drivel except your quoted part which is a load of nonsense! Only doctors can heal you of cancer, not Jesus. Once again, you proved that I’m right about Christians like you in general.
It can be difficult for me to imagine marriage as anything other than an oppurtunity for the husband to grind his wife up under his jackboots. I grew up watching my grandparents, who raised me, engage in verbal slug matches. When my grandfather was driving, it could get hair raising in the back seat as he stepped on the gas where cursing grandma who fought back. Years went by and they didn’t stop fighting until just before he died of Black Lung, a disease common to coal miners. She knew she would outlive him and benefit from his pensions, Black Lung and Social Security. She outlived him 19 years. Mom, that’s what I called her and him I called Dad, was always the hero.
As for Christian marriage, it seems to enshrine the abuser’s position to make his wife and children miserable. Love?
I find that hard to believe. Something for Christian romance novels where the sole purpose of the heroine is to marry the right man. My family were overachievers and my mother had the hell of a first husband who cheated and the second husband who beat her for many, many years and probably, that drunk of a stepfather thought that being a husband entitled him to get drunk and beat his wife. Husband number three was successful though and she has outlived all three. My mother is smart and so are her kids either very good in studies or very good athletically. We are long since grown up and all but myself married, had children and had divorces. I never saw in my family anything to recommend marriage as anything other than legitatized by the Church as slavery for the wife and power for the husband.
Most Christian marriages seem to be the husband wins the bread and the wife tends the kids and the home. Are there any Christian women who were allowed by their second class status by the Church to become engineers, medical doctors, scientists, architects? Not any that I’ve read about with one exception. Oh, and I believe that I am falling in love with my female friend who wisely does not want anything other than friendship.
As to masturbation, I would like to see the data for the assumption that masturbation is a bag idea. What proofs do the naysayers have other than their own statements? Present them.
For myself, the long, long association with pornography that I’ve had, ruined that practice for me. I maintain that if your fantasies and you are unmarried, as I am, don’t involve real people or images of real people,did not involve evil sexual acts or attitudesm but are imaginary and controlled, than it would be okay. It has been many years since I was able to masturbate with controls, now, it just more porn. I am 60 years old and never married but I’ve have agreed with much of what feminists spouted but not fornication, adultery or abortion. Just equal rights and the same oppurtunites that men have. I have such anger and bitterness. Being mentally ill for most of my life hasn’t helped either.
God, He is different. He doesn’t want power for power’s sake. He died for His creation. All the other gods that man invented over thousands of years never died for their alienated and evil creation like Christ did. As my mental illness involved religious fanaticism, my relationship to Him has a long road to being normal. But I have hope and someday I’ll understand better what this thing called marriage and love are.
Hey Thomas. I think you said something so wise at the end there: God is different and he doesn’t want power for power’s sake. I think that is the key to understanding love and successful, happy marriage: two people who refuse to use power over each other, and instead lay down their power for one another and for any children they may have.
I agree with you that there’s a really common and sad interpretation of marriage preached in many churches that promotes power for the man and subjugation for the woman, and I think you’ve put your finger on EXACTLY why that’s so wrong: it completely ignores the example of God who lays down his power and his life for us. Anything we do in relationship, and especially in marriage, has got to reflect that. Men claiming power for themselves, or women claiming power for themselves, never reflect the character of God.
I think you are understanding it pretty well!
And you know what, I think you’re going to find that the more you live in that love God has for you, the less power porn will have over you. Even when you’re doing porn, though, God loves you. He always will. You are precious to him, valued, and beloved. His love never fails. We fail. He doesn’t.
Blessings to you, Kay
What a wonderful piece , thanks sherry for such an eye opening article.
Praise be to Jesus and Mary
In my circumstances, the rural area I live in, support groups for porn addiction are out of reach. I do have secular counselors, but they view porn differently, from a secular position and all of them are female. Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Supportive Living, Psych Rehab, Mobile Psych Rehab and Blended Case Management. They are there for treatment of my mental illnesses: panic disorder, unspecified personality disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder, scizoaffective disorder-bipolar type(obsolete category, schizophrenic spectrum disorder now). As they are mental health providers, they view porn differently then we Christians do. Christian that are qualified to treat mental illnesses are in short supply, as in not available in Huntingdon County, PA.
We know that porn is a spiritual problem but until I started reading Covenant Eyes, I never understood that there could be psychological and emotional problems that contributed to porn addiction. I don’t know how to deal with those aspects.
I am a lonely person who will turn 61 this month. I’ve had only a handful of relationships in my life and have problems socializing. I have only two close friends and some acquiantinces. I spend most of my days in my my seventh floor apartment. As I have a fear of heights along with suicidal thoughts, it is only by God’s strength that I am able to use the elevators, trash chute and laundry room. This bldg. has a long balcony and you therefore access your apartment from the outside along with trash chute, elevators and laundry room. My apt is set back into the bldg. where there is a short, open hall so that at least I can use elevators and access m apt. Riding the elevator can be difficult do to self harm thoughts of blinding my eyes. Same can be true when I walk to anyplace in town and I don’t walk very far from home. I live an isolated existence. My ocd manifests itself in ruminations that can consume my day. I read books and comic books, I guess you could say that I’m a small time comics collector. My income is SSI disability since 1975. I do have a 1980 associate degree in accounting. I’m interested in science, technology and naval and air military. Ocd can make me obssesse about anything I’m interested in. I have a female and a male friend and my last relationship ended a few years ago and it was one sided anyway. I am tired much of the time and need to walk more now that winter is about over. It is a very unsatisfying life but I do have a good local church that I attended morning and evening services with my female friend who is not interested in relationships, just good friendship. We are both mentally ill. I have no car. You can’t do that on SSI unless you have a job also and restrictive SSI work rules take half of your pay over A$65 a month. I am very unhappy with living with mental illness and while my church accepts the reality of and attempts to minister to the mentally ill, the Church at large seems distant and uninterested in the mentally ill. Stigma I guess.
Someday that may change but for now the Church is content to not speak about the subject and you find few books that address it. Ministers don’t have mental illness in their counseling courses either, it appears. So the silence continues but there are bright spots such as my two pastors, who are both women, eager to learn about mental illness and help out, and one has been a foster mother and now works in RDS, which helps the mentally retarded and who can sometimes also be mentally ill, like the deceased founder of the local MH drop in center who started with an idea, looking for support door to door. The county MH/MR program now gives them $78,000 a year budget plus contributions and the center gives the MH and the dual MH/MR folks a place to go and socialize but my schedule and other problems have kept me away from there.
I think God has brought me to all these resources for a reason and may be He has a plan for me.
He never lets me down but the many times that I’ve left Him down weigh heavily on me.
A very poor self image is not helped by each time I yield to pornography temptations. I do not like the person I turn into when I view porn on the computer. It is hard to fight it effectively. Fortunately, most of the time I’m on my computer, the thought never enters my head so I can go for days without temptation and yielding to temptation.
So far, I haven’t paid for porn, going to free porn sites but I hate myself when I do.
My family is mostly in Ohio and those in the county are 30 miles away and I only have phone contact with my mother in Ohio and transportation is a little scarce here.
God doesn’t give up on people though and that is a comforting thought.
Thankyou, Kay Brunner for your comforting words.
Thomas, you have shared so openly, right from your heart. That kind of transparency is refreshing. You are correct that mental illness is often ignored by so many, but it is so real, to so many people.
I like where you said, “I think God has brought me to all these resources for a reason and may be He has a plan for me.” I have no doubts God has plans for you! Even in the midst of struggle, He uses us in mighty ways. God never wastes our hurts. He won’t waste yours. Our struggles are often great evangelizers and encouragement to those around us. Thomas, you definitely have a story that can encourage others, as you take life one day at a time.
In Romans 8:1, Paul tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” You mentioned that the times you’ve let God down weigh heavily on you, but please take heart! You are not condemned. God is for you! You are justified because of Jesus. Your actions don’t change that. God’s mercy is fresh every day.
Press on, my friend!
There is a book by Dan Allender that has helped me tremendously in dealing with overcoming spiritual battles concerning sexual issues. It is called Healing the Wounded Heart. I pray it blesses you.
You should consider contacting Harvest USA (http://www.harvestusa.org/). Though they are based in Philadelphia, they do offer remote counseling via the Internet. Their approach is sound and biblically based. May God grant you peace in your struggles.
I am 19 years old and continue to struggle with porn and masturbation. This marks six hard years I’ve been wanting this to be over. I had a good week last week where I had almost no issues, but then all of a sudden it’s back and I’m left feeling empty. I’m most of all scared out of my mind for the future that I’m on pace to live when I get married. I want the best marriage with my future wife and will do everything I can to put this in the ground. I’m constantly reminded of the testimony from one of my youth leaders who has been married for a decade and has struggled with the same issues from when he was a teenager up until today. He practically gives up and says that he will probably never be victorious over porn. That’s exactly where I don’t want to find myself and am afraid. I know it’s possible to overcome it all, but for whatever reason I can’t be consistent! Loneliness, depression, and just a plain lack of motivation I think are the reasons why. About a month ago I became fed up to the point where I went straight to my pastor and asked him to help me and he suggested I install the site blocker from here and have him become my accountability partner. I have to say this has been a crucial step, but I have relapsed. I’m lonely and depressed because of my lack of success in finding a girlfriend and it leads to a perverse way of dealing with the problem by being apathetic and giving into lust. I hope God will put a beautiful Christian woman in my life. He knows what’s best for me, so I’ve got to be content with his answer no matter what. I will be victorious if I give it everything I have, but I can’t do it alone. I know I need Jesus’ help! I could use advice and some serious prayer please!!! Thank you brothers and sisters.
Hi Ethan, I completely understand where you’re coming from, having been through some of the same ups and downs, and the same short-term victories, and then defeats, as you’ve explained. It is such a hard cycle to be stuck in.
You mentioned the youth leader who has basically given up, saying that he thinks he may never be victorious. Please hear me when I say that his is belief does not have to be your belief! Victory is always possible with our God. Hope is always present with our God. This is what I believe! Will it be easy? No. Nothing that’s important ever is. But, possible? YES! Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Another item is something that you didn’t say outright, but alluded to. It sounds like you’re hoping that the arrival of a “beautiful Christian woman” will be part of your solution. Ethan, if this beautiful Christian woman arrives (which I hope she does), she will not fix the porn issue. A woman can’t be your Holy Spirit and sex won’t fix it. Deep, deep down, there’s distortion that should be dealt with. Somewhere, porn and masturbation have taken the place of trusting that God has your best interest in mind. Imagine this – what if when this woman arrives, she sees that God is your #1, and that you’ve come to believe that sex and intimacy are gifts to offer each other in the loving confines of marriage? That would be amazing.
Here’s a great blog post to inform and encourage you in your fight: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/01/14/masturbate-without-lusting
Ethan, God is for you! Peace, Chris
check out singlevsporn.com
For about a year now I have overcome pornography addiction, as a single guy. I have read and done everything the christian community has suggested and none of it helped, so I went to the Bible and the Bible makes it clear that singles who are saving sex for marriage are facing very different sexual temptation and addiction than married people. A singles battle with porn is a very different battle than a married persons. I argue that every christian who tells singles how awesome sex is, is putting a stumbling block in their way. Check out the website singlevsporn.com.
Pierre Pritchett, I’m sorry to hear about your medical situation, my grandmother had breast cancer and we moved to her house to help her with all that she was going through.
As Christians, we aren’t called to remain relevant to any culture, we believe that the scriptures are from God and that we don’t need to try to reinterpret them, all I can say is that porn is strictly prohibited, if you’re watching it you need to repent, it’s better to life a short life here than no life in Heaven, my best friend was 18 when he went to Heaven, he’s the lucky one, his decision to save his friends from drowning at the cost of his own life was biblical, and he is with Jesus now, I can’t prove it until I’m with him.
Point being, obey God, eternity is what matters, where are you going when you die, if you are calling the scriptures ridiculous then the answer is evident, trust in God and know that if you receive Him as Saviour you’ll not regret it. God bless.
Perhaps Christians should stop lying. About everything. About love, honor, sex, masturbation, lust, happiness, joy and fulfillment. It’s just empty talk using empty words. There is nothing about the lives of Christians that makes them better, happier, more peaceful, healthy and joyful. Just like everyone else, there are ups and downs, there is luck and there is misfortune, there is health and there is sickness. Those who fall for placebo effect think spirituality is a bliss, those who don’t are dreading every moment of their lives that they have to waste going through pointless religious ceremonies, paying lip service to each other and to that void in the sky. Those happy Christian marriages and blissful love stories only exist in Christian books. The occasional happy stories are just lucky combinations of good DNA, good looks, healthy brains and being born in the right place at the right time.
There is a huge difference between Christians and secular people though. Christians have an additional burden of wasting their lives constantly repeating nonsense they don’t understand, fighting windmills (satan, demons etc) and making each other feel miserable.
Hi Vic, sure, I know Christians that act like what you’ve described, but I know plenty more who don’t look anything like it. I’m sorry you feel this way. What exact experience with Christianity has caused these feelings? Just curious. What specific lies about love, honor, sex, masturbation, lust, happiness, joy and fulfillment have you heard? I’m always open to hearing other opinions.
And all i ever wanted for a good single man like me was to have a good wife and family that i still Don’t have today.