Intimacy in Christian Marriage: Your Key to Good Sex

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I grew up in the church. Preacher’s kid over here. One thing I learned early on is that there’s almost no info from the pulpit about what it takes to have good sex  or deep intimacy in your Christian marriage.

Sermons on waiting until marriage: check!
Sermons on being faithful to your spouse: again…check!
Sermons on actually having good sex with your spouse… ummm…not so much. 🙄
Sermons on how intimacy and sex are deeply connected… pretty sure I NEVER heard this one in church.

That’s one reason why I really love to teach about this as often as I can. You’re never too old and you’ve never been married too long to not benefit from some fresh teaching or a few reminders. That’s exactly what I have for you now! Read on, friend.

Preparing for good sex

I knew a lady once who would give a simple gift to girls at their wedding shower: a small bag with candles and bubble bath. She would explain that having a candlelit bath together was a great way to relax on your wedding night prior to making love for the first time.

She was and is still right. And, the candle-lit bath doesn’t have to be just for the first time. That’s a nice little touch you might even consider adding tonight.

Mood setting really is a great way to enhance your sexual relationship. In fact, for couples who are struggling to connect, emphasizing more of the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) can really help.

But, that still doesn’t really talk about how intimacy in Christian marriage is more than just how good sex actually feels. Even so, just in case you came here looking specifically for sex tips, I’ve got a little handful of those here:

Behaviorally-Based Tips:

  • Learn your body and what turns you on
  • Learn what turns your partner on
  • Exercise and lower your stress levels
  • Turn the TV off (so you go to bed earlier)
  • Improve your diet

Environmentally-Based Tips:

  • Use mood music
  • Remove the distractions from your room

Problem-Solving Tips:

Now, what I’ve just shared some things that can be really helpful for couples looking to feel better in sex, I want to spend some talking about feeling more connected during sex.

Good Sex Isn’t Just About the Orgasm

We live in a culture that equates good sex with a good orgasm. If there are not fireworks and toe curls, or if the sexual relationship is not one that HBO would show on screen – then it isn’t worth having. But, the truth is, a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship is only partly due to whether or not one or both of you orgasm.

Now, please understand that I am not against orgasm. Not at all. I believe couples should enjoy their orgasms with one another. And, if you’re finding it difficult to reach orgasm, here is a list of 35 (yes, 35!) helpful blogs about reaching orgasm. And, if that’s not enough, I also have an hour-long teaching on types of orgasms and how to reach them (mainly focused on female orgasm) in my community group.

Even though I believe orgasm is good and something you should have in marriage, scripture elevates intimacy in the Christian marriage beyond just the physical act. In Genesis 4:1, we read that Adam knew Eve. ‘Knew’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘yada.’ And while this certainly indicates sexual intimacy, the definition of this word is actually much deeper than simply “Adam had sex with Eve.” Yada is used throughout Scripture to also talk about a deep knowing. That’s why I love this word and how it shows what intimacy really is.

There are five dimensions of intimate knowing that’s explained by the word yada that help you build that deep connection:

Yada to Build Intimacy

Intimacy = Knowing in Complete Detail

Psalm 139:1 gives us another example of this form of knowing. “You have searched me Lord, and you know me.” Clearly, we’ll never know one another as deeply as God knows us. I mean…surely you’re not going to try to count the hairs on your spouse’s head, right?

Even so, it is important that you work hard to know your spouse and that you recognize that your spouse will change over the years. This means that you can always be learning.

I’ve stolen a phrase from a friend of mine: “You should get a PhD in your spouse.” In other words, make it your aim to know their goals, dreams, hopes, annoyances, prayers, and the things that make your spouse feel loved. Honestly, if you don’t know these things it will be pretty hard to feel connected to one another.

To yada your spouse, you need to be completely familiar with them.

You’ll know that you’re getting closer to that when you can give your spouse the perfect ‘I’m thinking of you’ type of gift, you can say the right thing at the right time, or you can know just by looking at them if they’ve had a bad day.

Is it starting to make sense how “knowing in complete detail” leads to deep intimacy for married Christians?

Intimacy = Having a Technical Knowledge

That yada relationship you’re looking for goes beyond just knowing what makes your spouse feel loved. You’ll also want to work on knowing why something makes your spouse feel loved.

This is the type of ‘knowing’ that King Solomon asked for when he asked God for wisdom. And, he proved he had that knowledge when two women came to him each claiming that they had given birth to the same child. In his wisdom, he ordered that the baby be cut in half so that each woman could have a piece. He made this ruling because he knew how motherhood worked.

A mother would do anything to save the life of her child. The true birth mother was ready to let her child live with another woman to keep her baby from being murdered. Solomon had a technical knowledge of ruling the land and making decisions.

In marriage, this technical knowledge means understanding how your spouse is different from other men and women. It means not just understanding that your wife likes to have dinner at the table with the TV off, but knowing that her parents almost divorced when she was 12, but rebuilt their marriage by committing to family dinners around the table with no interruptions. Dinnertime is not just a meal to her, but a symbol of commitment, security, and stability.

Have you learned these things about your spouse?

Intimacy = Knowing by Personal Experience

Psalm 9:10 explains this type of knowing – “Those who know your name trust in you, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who trust in you.”

The idea here is that those who have experienced God, know that he is trustworthy. He has not let them down. On the other hand, if you’ve never actually personally experienced the Lord, it’s pretty difficult to believe that you can trust him in all things. After all, even when we do know we can trust him, we can still struggle with that. It takes a great deal of spiritual maturity to really believe and act like we trust him completely.

In your marriage, you can only truly have an experiential knowledge by spending meaningful time with your spouse. The more experiences you have with your spouse (pleasant, difficult, and ordinary) the more you will have this experiential type of knowledge. By the way, overcoming struggles and conflicts in ways that actually make you feel more connected is a great example of building the intimacy in your marriage.

Intimacy = A Face-to-Face Encounter

In John chapter 17, Jesus prays for himself, his disciples, and for all of the people that his disciples will eventually speak to. The longest part of that prayer is his prayer for his disciples, those that he had the face-to-face interaction with. Because of his face time with them, there was a special relationship built with them.

In marriage, couples can find themselves so busy throughout the day and in their time with one another that much of their communication comes when they are not even looking at one another. It may be in front of the TV, while chasing down children, or laying in bed right before they go to sleep. Face-to-face time with your spouse is one key way to build your knowledge of and intimacy with one another. Make time for this daily!

Intimacy = Good Sexual Connection

Song of Solomon is by far the best portrayal of an enjoyable sexual relationship that we can read in scripture. And, in marriage, the sexual relationship is certainly a very important piece. But, this can also be a place of struggle for people. Sometimes, people mistakenly believe that if they can improve their sex lives (which may mean actually having sex) that their relationship will improve also. In actuality, the opposite is usually true. Improve your relationship, specifically your intimacy, and your sex lives will improve as well.

I hope by now that I’ve made a good case for having deeper intimacy in your Christian marriage if you want to have better, more fulfilling sex. But, I also know that you may really want some of those actual sex tips. Well, I’ve got a mix of both sex and intimacy tips in my guide that was created just for married Christians. It’s not “preachy” at all and will have the same basic feel as this article you just read. Get Enhancing the Dance right here.

Take some time to consider the 5 forms of intimate knowledge. Are there certain ones that have been missing from your marriage? What will you do to work on those?

Blessing on you, your marriage, and your sex life!

Dr. J.

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