Theology of sex

I have sat before an empty screen for a long time. Pondering the words to say to you today that would draw your hearts out. Praying that my tongue would indeed be the “pen of a ready writer”, and that my words would have the power to pull on both your heart and your mind.
A reader recently asked me a question regarding orgasm, and it’s importance in marriage. As I ponder this question, I find myself turning in my heart to deeper and deeper questions. The importance of orgasm – importance for whom? The wife? The husband? Is orgasm important to oneness? To contendedness?
These questions lead me deeper still, to what is really the foundational question we must ask ourselves here. What is the purpose of sex? Until I know its purpose, I cannot begin to answer a question regarding the importance of an orgasm (or any other question, really).

I am writing, today, dear friends, because I cannot escape this question of the purpose of sex, and because I believe that in order for us to really understand some of the finer details regarding our sex life (orgasm being one), we must first begin to think about the foundational theology of sex. Our sexual makeup and our desire for the marriage bed is deeply spiritual. Deeply theological. I am here to make a plea with you today – will you engage your heart and your mind towards a healthy, God-oriented theology of sex? Will you dig deep into what it means to have a healthy sexuality in the light of the truth of Christ?

In the center of the Bible is this beautiful little book about the joy of sexuality. It’s called “The Song of Songs”, and it celebrates erotic love in marriage. God has so much to say about sexuality. He cares about it. He created it. He called it good.

There are many who say that the purpose of sex is to bear children. Others who celebrate the physical enjoyment (read, orgasm) that sex brings us. Still others who say that sex is meant to bond us with our spouse, to create a oneness between us. So who is right? Are they all right? Is there a hierarchy of purpose in sex? Is there anything else missing from our theology of sex?

It is my hope over the next few posts to dig into some of the most radical and beautiful teachings I have ever come across regarding a healthy theology of sex.Β  I am praying that it is a heart-opening and God-glorifying experience. I hope you will come along, and join in the conversation.

Here are a few questions I want to leave you with today :
What is your theology regarding sex?
Have you ever stopped to consider just what the purpose of sex is? Why did God create it? What is it for?
How does your belief in God’s purpose of sex shape the way you approach it, experience it and think about it?

Please feel free to journal about this, or pray, or share your thoughts. Here is a community of women who love each other & are not afraid to ask the hard questions. I am excited to find some answers with you.

I hold a trembling pen in my hands as I consider what feels like a monumental undertaking. Please pray that I have the right words to share with you my thoughts about this important topic. Because the truth is, I really wanted to just write about orgasm – and instead I find myself digging deeply “where angels fear to tread”.

Trusting you will tread with me,

17 thoughts on “Theology of sex

  1. Very thought provoking! Good job……
    On a side note ~ that little book tucked away in the middle of the Bible
    is the very reason for our Song of Solomon Women’s group. Pray for our ministry, that women & marraiges be helped, and that God is Glorified!

  2. I was the one that originally asked the question about the importance of orgasm during sex. My question stemmed from the fact that although I’m a higher drive wife I have a hard time reaching orgasm during lovemaking with my husband and I was beginning to question whether I was putting.too much emphasis on having one rather than just enjoying the closeness with my husband. And those feelings stemmed from often times reading that women shouldn’t try so hard to reach orgasm especially if it is difficult, but just focus on the other good feelings that do come from making love with her husband. Even early on my husband would make the comment that it was okay if I didn’t climax each time and that eventually it would just get easier, but I admit I would often times feel resentful of those type of statements especially coming from a man who obviously can climax each and every time without much effort, kwim?
    Note: my husband is so very loving and caring, he tries hard to please me in the marriage bed and out. I love him to death. πŸ™‚

    I believe the purpose of sex is obviously to procreate, but I think God designed it first and foremost as a way to create a bond and closeness between husband and wife that helps make them inseparable. After all, having sex in marriage is the most intimate way we can know one another and it bonds us in a special way to our spouse.
    So, having stated that I suppose I answered my own question…orgasm is not what is most important during sex with our spouses. But it sure feels amazing and makes the whole experience feel a little more satisfying.
    When I don’t come during sex I often times feel it wasn’t complete in a way and especially knowing that it could be days or even a week before we make love again since my husband does not want sex as much as I do I guess I feel the pressure to make it happen.

    Anyway, I do need to run for now. Maybe I just need to pray that I can have peace whether or not I have an orgasm during lovemaking and just focus unselfishly on my husband.

    I loved your thoughts Annabel and will check back in later today. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Aimee,

      Thanks for commenting on this one. I actually am really excited to get to the orgasm question because I think it’s really, really important, and one that many wives ask. I do think that a lot of times the answer has to be reached within the context of individual marriages, but as I was thinking about the question I just couldn’t avoid the deeper questions I kept getting to…

      So really, I need to thank you for pushing me towards these series of posts & then getting to the orgasm question, which I can’t wait to hear other people’s thoughts on, too.

      Praying for you as you wrestle with the orgasm question, and encourage you to talk to your husband about it. Whatever the decision, it should be one you both agree on!

      Thanks for being my friend here.

      • Good morning, Annabel. I’m sitting here with all kinds of jumbled thoughts going around in my head and a few tears in my eyes. I wish I had someone like yourself to actually sit down with and talk about this stuff over coffee. It’s Thursday and for me I’m usually starting to feel pretty down by this time each week since the sexual intimacy with my husband usually only happens on the weekends. Guess I should be getting excited that the weekend is coming, huh?! LOL But going days without any sexual intimacy really does take a toll on me. And yes, I have let him know how I feel, but he just does not seem to want it more than once or twice a week and usually only on weekends. Anyway, I’m praying about it and just hoping I can find a peace without becoming resentful or bitter.

        Anyway, on to the thoughts re: your post. As I stated in my reply above I believe that one of the main reasons God designed sex is to draw husband and wife close to one another, to experience that “one flesh”, in order to create a bond that hopefully is too strong to be broken easily.
        Therefore, regarding my original question about the importance of orgasm, I do not believe that orgasm is necessarily needed in order to have that closeness with our spouse through sexual intimacy, yet I would say that it may further strengthen that bond that we have with one another.
        Allowing each other the extreme pleasure experienced through orgasm may take some work, as was part of my original question, and I think it’s through the time it takes to get there that creates that stronger bond. In other words, taking the time to help our spouse achieve orgasm requires each of us to be very vulnerable and let our guards down, to expose ourselves in a way that can be very hard unless there is trust and acceptance of one another, to be naked with one another and not be ashamed.
        There is a surrender and giving that takes place during our lovemaking. The one being pleased needs to completely surrender their body to their spouse and strip away all inhibitions that can block an orgasm from occurring. And the spouse giving of pleasure needs to let go of all selfishness in order to completely give to their spouse the time they need to achieve an orgasm. And it’s in this surrender and giving process I believe that we learn how to trust and love our spouse fully, whether we achieve orgasm or not.

        So there are a few jumbled thoughts. Now it’s.time for another cup of coffee as I continue to ponder your questions while getting some much needed housework done. πŸ™‚

        • Oh Aimee,

          Seriously, girl, we need to have coffee one day. Just so we can give each other a huge hug, if nothing else. And then cry. And then laugh. And then eat a scone. And then pray, pray, pray, pray for our husbands and our marriages and give the enemy a serious kick in the *%&. Amen.

          I have no answers for you, but thankfully I know someone who does. Keep going to Him. Keep pouring out your hurt and your heart to Him. Keep praying over your husband, and your marriage bed. Prayer matters, sweet friend. Prayer makes the difference. It changes us, changes our outlook and our responses. And Christ is the only one who can change your husband’s heart. I pray He does so.

          In the meantime, soak in what gifts you get, and know that I am warring for you & your husband in my little house. These knees are getting a good workout for you.


    • Aimee, I can totally relate. I get so frustrated when I can’t climax because I don’t know when I’ll get a chance again – it could be weeks or even a month later. This pushes my husband away even more and makes him want sex even less because I am so “intense” about it and I make it into such a big deal. Really looking forward to what Annabel has to say about this topic!

  3. Looking forward to your thoughts on this. I for one am one that the Lord has deeply changed-both my heart and mind on this subject. I wish I had realized earlier in my life how deeply spiritual making love and even orgasms were to us as humans. I look forward to your thoughts here, hoping you can articulate what I can’t seem to when i try to talk to people πŸ™‚

  4. I like to parallel the sexual relationship of a husband and wife to worshiping God. I know people can get weirded out by that analogy,but hear me out. Consider Ephesians 5:31-32. Paul compares the uniting of a husband and wife to Christ and the church. Consider also Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge (submit to) Him and He will make your paths straight” The original Greek word for “acknowledge” here is “yada” which is the same word used in Genesis 4:1.. “Adam, knew (yada) Eve, and she conceived.” The same word is used for Adam making love to his wife as the word for how we are to relate to God. hmmmm…..
    We are to know God intimately, we are to worship him with abandon, we are to be completely “naked” before him. We are to trust him fully and completely to meet our every need and bless us with an abundant life. We are in essence to become one with God as we surrender our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I’m not comparing my husband to God here, but I’m comparing our complete abandon during lovemaking to the way we are to serve and worship God.
    To answer your question, what is the purpose of sex?… I believe the purpose of sex is to make a husband and wife one. To know each other as intimately as two humans possibly can. Yes, procreation is a result of sex, but sex has a much deeper purpose.
    To touch on the importance of orgasm, I do believe that it is important. It is work, yes, but work that causes a couple to perhaps take their mind off their own pleasure and learn how to pleasure their spouse. Can a sexual encounter be fulfilling without an orgasm?.. yes, it can. But I really don’t think a sexual relationship can be complete without both partners experiencing fairly regular orgasms.
    Gosh, didn’t mean to ramble on so long. Sorry about that πŸ™‚ I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject!

    • This comment is one I agree with a lot. In my won words, I think sex is a picture of our relationship with God and the marriage itself. In sex we are completely open and vulnerable, we give ourselves completely, just as we should in our relationship with God and in our marriage. I think in sex we should focus on pleasing our partner rather than ourselves. I think this is a picture of the selfless, sacrificial love we’re called to display. I also think it’s a picture of my submission both to God and my husband. I think it’s not just a picture of these things but also an avenue for expressing them. I could go on with more thoughts, but I really just want to read the rest of these posts and comments.

  5. I believe the ultimate purpose of sex is intimacy in all of its dimensions: Emotional, mental, spiritual & physical. Just as God wants His children to be one with him (thus the “at one ment” of His Son, Jesus Christ) so he wants us to find exclusive and eternal unity with our spouse. If we are only focused on the physical dimensions of sex, we are missing out on much of it’s real and supernal powers. Thanks for all you do to further the conversation.

  6. Annabel – I am looking forward to this series! The protestant chruch has long avoided developing a theology of sexuality, and we are much the poorer for that.

    I have my own thoughts (surprise) but what I really want to do is sit back and watch the discussion. We need this discussion, and we need to be doing it in many places. I look forward to seeing how a group of wives who want more sex reason through this.

    (And know I am praying for you!)

    • Thank you! I have just kept coming back to this very large and serious topic again and again in my heart. I am hoping that I will write effectively, and to the glory of God. I am praying that many would begin to delve into the riches of who He is, and find solid ground for their feet to stand on.

      And, of course, I am excited to hear your thoughts as well!


  7. I am a little surprised that I read these comments with tears in my eyes. I can connect with so many of you who said they get frustrated when they don’t have an orgasm not only because of the lack of fulfillment in the moment but also because they don’t even know when they will have a chance to try again. I can so relate!!! There is that deep down almost panic that can get you and then the guilt you feel for being focused on yourself. Boy doesn’t Satan love that routine? Ultimately though, I think it does speak to the intimacy that sex is supposed to bring to marriage. I personally believe that the deeply personal intimacy is the primary purpose for sex. You can see how much this bond is damaged when there is a broken marital bond (in an affair, divorce, pornography use, etc.) In al cases, someone or something is brought into that relationship. That soul deep level of knowing and understanding is meant to be in a circle of two. I also believe that for those of us who have a higher sex drive than our husbands, we are not only dealing with the immediate need of sex but also the need to be felt deep down that our spouse wants to know us on that deep level and in that deep place that only one other person knows. I think that is why the pain is so deep. We feel unknown.
    I laugh as I say that though because our two college age children just came home and all I can think of is that it will likely be after they go back to school (in January!) before we have sex again. Finding any time for ourselves when they are home is so difficult. We go to bed early and get up early…they go to bed really late and pass our bedroom multiple times in their going up and down the stairs. Just another reason to not have sex…they might walk in on us. You have to laugh.

    • Jenny,

      Praying for you & your marriage today. It is so, so painful to know that there is potentially weeks until you and your husband will be intimate again. And I want you to know that I do not believe that this is right. It hurts your marriage and your heart, as you said, on such a deep level. May you experience the overwhelming grace of God as He walks with you in this situation. May you find the words to say that will reach your husband. May your husband repent and turn towards truth.

      Your sister,

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