Sex for Knowledge – Part 1: Knowing Your Spouse

Did you know that God intends for us to learn through sex?  It’s true!  One of the reasons that He gave husbands and wives the gift of sexual intimacy is for knowledge.

The Hebrew word for sexual intercourse is “know.” Genesis 4:1 tells us that “(Adam) knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain…” Sex is a means of knowing and being known.

For the betterment of our marriage and ourselves, God gave us the gift of sex to know our spouse, to know Him and to know the perfection of eternity.

God designed us to know our spouse and to be known by him or her. The exclusivity of sex allows spouses to know each other in ways that no one else can. We are designed to be made into One – body, mind and spirit – with our spouse.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were One. And they were naked and unashamed. It was only when sin entered the world that they hid – and shame became connected to our sexuality and our body. But all is not lost for us in this broken world. We can choose not to hide in our marriage and work together to find our way back to a garden of delights in our marriage bed.

We can bravely answer God’s call to go on a journey of discovery with our spouse that stretches us and builds intimacy in our marriage as we work to better understand each other’s body, needs and desires. But this takes intention, and honestly, it can be downright daunting. When I make a point to reveal more of myself to my husband – whether that’s sharing feedback or expressing what I want to try or praying over past hurts – I feel vulnerable and exposed.  Yet, I realize that peeling back the layers of who I am and sharing them with my husband is part of the journey of becoming who God created me to be.  Deeper intimacy and knowing through sex are tools God can use in the sanctification process.

When husband and wife are both intentional about revealing who they are, then the results are a deeper connection – which quite frankly leads to better sex. But knowing one another through sex is a choice. We can choose to have sex where we don’t get to know our spouse or allow him or her to get to know us. But there are big consequences.

First, if our spiritual and emotional connection is not deepening alongside our physical connection, then we will likely form a very narrow definition of intimacy and stop having sex when our physical responsiveness drops off in our later years. This isn’t God’s design. Even the maturity of their marriage, Solomon’s bride invites him to go away with her to the countryside where she has stored up for him “every delicacy, both new and old.” (Song of Songs 7:13) They didn’t stop getting to know each other.

Second, if we just oblige when our spouse desires to connect with us, then we will get bored. When we are just racing to the finish line to get it done, we are missing out on what God intends to be a gift and a blessing to us. Or if we are just following a routine – touch here, rub twice there and boom – we simply lose interest.  Sex is about relationship, it’s not a separate part of our life or a to-do list item.

However, when our spouse can read us –  when they know our mood and sense whether our body is relaxing or tensing in response to their touch – then we can go somewhere new.  We feel loved.  For my husband to read my body and switch courses without me saying, “Hey buddy, I know that worked on Tuesday, but today’s Friday and it’s a whole new ball game” lets me know that he is fully engaged and values getting to know me. We have the privilege of getting to know our spouse so that we can read them and meet them where they are like no one else can.

God wants us to be crazy in love with our spouse and to better know him or her over time.  He wants us to make intentional choices to grow closer to our husband or wife. God calls us to bravely reveal our self – and here’s the kicker, this is true whether our spouse is doing the same or not.

Next week we’ll talk about how sex leads to knowing God and eternity. Until then, I encourage you to ask yourself how you are getting to know your spouse through sex? Is God calling you to know and reveal more?

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