Sexual Parameters within Marriage

God created sex for two reasons. First, He wants us to procreate. Second, He wants us to experience pleasure in marriage. As we pursue the latter, we need to feel free to explore the realms of sexual pleasure while also knowing our boundaries.

As you might imagine, during my years teaching and counseling couples, I regularly get asked, privately, about these boundaries. What is allowed sexually within marriage? What isn’t allowed? Is it OK to experiment?

Couples ask these questions because they fear any sexual experimenting might somehow be wrong or sinful, especially when it comes to certain sexual positions, sexual enhancements or “toys,” and other fantasies.

In addressing these issues, I first tell them that God wants them to enjoy sex. Then I tell them that when something isn’t specifically forbidden in Scripture, that’s generally because it is allowed.

Need an example? Consider oral sex. I’ve heard a good number of preachers over the years talk about how it’s a sin. But there is no place in Scripture that forbids it within the context of marriage.

The same guidelines apply to other practices. While I am not necessarily endorsing or recommending particular sexual aids or positions, I don’t believe a preacher or anyone else has the moral authority to tell husband and wife what they can or cannot do in the privacy of the bedroom—especially if the Bible hasn’t forbidden it.

When it comes to the question of whether to allow or disallow any sexual practice, I recommend asking these questions:

• Is it forbidden in the Bible?

• Does it violate my conscience before God?

• Does it violate my spouse or is it against his or her will?

• Is it physically safe? Does it cause harm to me or my spouse? Are there health issues or risks involved?

• Does this treat my spouse in a disrespectful manner or damage our relationship in any way?

Use these questions to help you and your spouse discover your sexual parameters. As for me, I believe the boundaries for sex in marriage are broad. Remember that God wants you to have fun and enjoy intimacy with your spouse.

When it comes down to it, my advice is this: If it feels good to you and isn’t against God’s Word, you should consider it.

The best marriages are those in which two people enjoy each other and make each other feel good. Approach sex from this perspective and don’t let the opinions of other people dictate your sexual practices.

After all, other than God, you know better than anyone what you like and what is best for your marriage. When properly practiced, sex builds your relationship and binds you to each other. It creates an atmosphere of pleasure and delight.

And within that garden of pleasure and delight, a marriage flourishes.

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