Well I have to be honest. I don’t know if you’ll believe me.
Prior to marriage, I probably wouldn’t have believed what I’m about to tell you.
Indeed, it wasn’t until almost 10 years into marriage where I finally understood the secret I’m about to share in a way I could never doubt. And could thus finally deeply delight in.
And that’s sad, because the hope of an epic sex life was probably the primary marriage motivator for me.
Though never openly professed, buried in my subconscious was this assumption:
If I’m not going to have great sex, WHY GET MARRIED?!?
How I wish someone would have challenged me prior to marriage with these words:
It’s not that sex isn’t a big deal. It’s not that it isn’t wonderful.
Sex has proven to be very important in my 25+ year marriage to my best friend.
Just not for the reasons I thought.
A Sexual Foundation
I used to think the sex would make the relationship work. I heard it described as relational glue and, indeed, scientists can now explain all about the bonding chemistry of sexual contact. However, though it may be irrefutable fact that sex can emotionally bind you to someone…
The evidence for great sex making a relationship great all the way around can only be found in Hollywood; in the stories they create and then share with the wishing world.
No. That really isn’t evidence.
But here’s the truth I’ve found:
- Instead of making a relationship work, sex reveals whether the relationship is working.
- Instead of a thermostat which regulates the health of a marriage, it’s more of a thermometer which merely reports the health of a marriage.
- Instead of an epic sex life being the root of marital happiness, it’s the fruit.
It’s that simple. A great marriage makes for great sex. And this reality formulates the foundation for understanding the secret to an epic sex life.
Prepare for Greatness
In light of this, wouldn’t you like to know BEFORE you fall in love what makes for a great marriage? Maybe even before you start dating (if it isn’t already too late)!
Yes you would.
This is why we encourage purpose-driven dating where you seek to grow in intimacy, and by “intimacy” we mean the art of learning how to know and be known by others.
Intimacy is what your soul is truly longing for. Not sex.
Intimacy is what sexual intercourse is supposed to support and represent. It’s also what marriage is all about. It’s what Jesus means by “two becoming one.”
And a Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:3-6
You see, when Jesus said the two would become one, He didn’t say sex would do it.
Did you catch that?
Before the two become one flesh (the sex part) it says the man shall first hold fast to his wife. The Greek word, translated as “hold fast” literally means “to glue upon; to join one’s self to closely, cleave to, stick to.”
That’s not sex. That’s commitment, and it is this sort of “glued together” commitment that is required to build intimacy.
What Will You Do Now that You know?
Admittedly, the marital covenant doesn’t promise epic sex. Instead, it is a vow to love, honor and cherish the other for life, which is how you establish a strong marriage.
However, as if God actually knew what He was doing when He created marriage, it is in the safety of that life-giving, life-long relationship where you create the environment in which your sex life can grow and thrive. In essence, sex is about the relationship, instead of the relationship being about sex.
So now you know the secret.
The secret to an epic sex life is found in committing to the relational intimacy necessary to build an epic marriage.
Would you like a marriage where you and your beloved are “one flesh” in every sense of the word? Then first you need to learn how to “hold fast;” how to commit to the adventure of growing in relational intimacy with your spouse for the rest of your life.
And dating is the perfect time to begin that process, don’t you think?
Next week, we’ll begin sharing some specific suggestions for doing just that on your next date.
This post is one in a series on Purpose-Driven Dating which we define as follows: Intentional time invested in one other person for the purpose of growing in intimacy that might lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage. Our current focus: …for the purpose of growing in intimacy… The series begins with this post.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it![originally published: 6/3/15]