The apostle Paul wrote these verses in Corinthian not as a commandment but as guidelines so that we could have a better understanding of our commitment to each as husband and wife. Fully understanding what these verses mean could have a significant impact on our love life and help us to really enjoy our time together in this area. Take time to understand the importance of giving your bodies to each other.
Before we get into what it is let’s first take a look at what this does not mean. It does not mean that a man (or woman) can take their spouses body whenever they want to without invitation or consent. This is rape. Violently forcing someone to do what they are not ready to do is not loving and therefore cannot constitute making love.
“...does not have authority over her/his own body…” is explained nicely in the preceding verse where it says that we are to give each other the affection that is due. It then goes on to say how we can render affection and that is by giving our bodies to each other. Your husband’s pleasure is your concern and your pleasure should be his concern. It is not about what you can get from each other but what you can give to each other. It is a common theme throughout the Bible and the principle remains the same in our sex life. We are designed to serve not to be served. Don’t see you how can get pleasure from your husband; rather see how you can give him pleasure. If both of you are set on pleasing each other, the result will be wonderful. Even if one party is less serving than the other, their heart will quickly crumble when they see the effort that the other one is making and will hopefully respond accordingly.
Understanding this principle can have a significant effect on your pleasure and intimacy with your husband. You see, the Bible says in Acts 20:35 that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” and this principle applies to our sex lives too. It is far better to be a lover that loves to give than a lover that likes to receive. Do you just lie there and take it or are you actively involved, looking for ways to please your husband? Don’t expect him to constantly be pleasing you and certainly don’t expect the things that you need to feel love in or outside of the bedroom if all you ever do is lie there and take it.
Women, if you want to be blessed, you really should become generous in the bedroom! 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Do you have all sufficiency in all things? These principles are applicable to every area of life including our sex lives and if you want all sufficiency why not please your husband by sowing bountifully in the area that makes him feel most loved. Express your love by serving him with your body. Take delight in his body. Understand the importance of these principles.
If you marriage is a bit stale may I suggest that you spice it up by being creative with your sex life? This is the heart, the core, of your marriage and you would do well not to neglect it.
Do not deprive one another. His needs are your responsibility and your needs are his responsibility. You may not deprive one another and you may not withhold sex from him to control him or be mean to him. Your body is not your own and so you should freely give it to your husband regularly. It is not a rule that you have to do so and he most certainly can’t demand it from you but if you truly love each other as you should then he should be able to make love to you pretty much whenever he wants to and vice versa. Why not love each other in a way that you both freely give yourself to each other so that you can both be fully satisfied?
The only exception to this suggestion is when you have a time of fasting and prayer. It’s not a rule that you cannot have sex during a fast but it is acceptable that if you are both in agreement that you can abstain from sex during a fast so you can focus on being intimate with God. A caution is provided though and we are advised not to abstain for too long or else Satan might tempt us into sin because of our lack of self-control.
Marriage problems will result the second that we start to withhold the affection that is due to our husband. We need to understand his needs and satisfy what we are meant to satisfy as a wife. Unsatisfied men don’t flourish in life and some are event tempted to sin or end up trapped in sin. Although he can’t fully blame his decision on his wife he most certainly can find himself struggling when he does not receive the affection that he needs. Have compassion on your man, don’t make him feel empty, alone and unloved.
Most importantly, don’t expect him to keep you filled with love and affection while he is trying to get by on the minimum. You take care of his needs, he will take care of your needs, and all will be well in your marriage. Don’t make the mistake of demanding attention from him as you wouldn’t like it if he demanded sex from you. If you are not satisfied in any area, lovingly explain your needs and I can assure you that he will do his best to satisfy you. A man who loves a woman will do just about anything to make her satisfied, all you need to do is make your needs known and be reasonable about what you need.
Can he come to you with his needs though? Is he ‘allowed’ to tell you what satisfies him and will you do just about anything to make him satisfied? Men tend to feel like a failure if their wife isn’t satisfied but women don’t seem to have the same problem. Women are more likely to be harsh with their man and make his lack of satisfaction his own fault. This disables a man and in time he is unable to satisfy his woman. Don’t do this! Allow you husband to express his needs freely and do your best to give him what he desires if you can. Make an effort to understand these fantastic principles so that you can have the best possible sex life that is growing from strength to strength. The more you sow into each others life the more you will reap. It sounds like a win win situation to me!