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Scripture Memory: Trust
Psalm 91:2 
"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

22 July 2012
8 am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (Lydia: The Lord Opened Her Heart, Acts 16:13-15)
1045am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Lydia: The Lord Opened Her Heart, Acts 16:13-15)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Mark Chen (Pleasant and Good Unity, Ps 133)

29 July 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:

Dr Paul Choo (You’d Better Be Sure! Jn 3:1-15)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (The Blessed Man, Ps 1)

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THE IMPORTANCE OF ENJOYING SEX IN MARRIAGE

We do not really like to talk about sex in church. But church is the best place to address it. We live in a highly sexed world and there is much disinformation about it. But the Bible reveals God’s mind on sex. And while some may think it is a private matter, there is sufficient cause to discuss it openly.

Firstly, the Bible is very open about it – the Song of Solomon is a book filled with sexual allusions, and 1 Corinthians, which addresses sex, would have been read aloud to the whole church. Hence, we should never be ashamed to talk about it openly, but to do so carefully and considerately.

Secondly, there is a need to address this issue openly because of increasing marital problems. The pastoral team has noted (without particulars and names), that along with coldness, miscommunication, and child-rearing issues, married couples in church have admitted to being less or not even sexually intimate – with some sinfully perpetuating this drought for months and years! For every couple that we counsel, there are plenty more who do not come forward.

May this article be used to spur couples on to enjoy sex in their marriages as God intended.

Sex Is Good

For Marital Companionship

Scripture teaches that sex is not evil – it is actually very good, but ONLY in marriage (Hebrews 13:4). In fact, God created us to have sexual desires, so that we would seek marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). God created Eve to be a companion of Adam. Physical intimacy promotes marital companionship. This is the first and foremost reason for the sexual drive.

For Children

Sexual desires are also given so husband and wife can procreate. Marriage was instituted because God desires a godly seed (Malachi 2:15). Sex is required for the growth of the church.

For Pleasure

But sex is also intended for physical pleasure. Some would say that sex is a necessary evil in marriage – solely for procreation. But it is a blessing! God is not against the human body – but commends it especially for romance. We are to be wholly satisfied with the body of our spouses. "Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love" (Proverbs 5:19).

Sex Is a Happy Duty

Sex Is Something We Owe

In speaking about sex, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:3, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband." The spouse is commanded to "render" or "to pay a debt." The debt to be paid is "due benevolence" or "affection." In the context, the affection is not merely emotional but physical! We owe our spouses sexual affection, and such satisfaction can be fulfilled only by our spouses.

The husband is duty bound to please his wife physically and the wife is duty bound to please her husband physically. What is more is that the verb "render" is in the present continuous tense. It means that you can never fully pay off this debt. Hence, sexual relation in marriage is a life long happy duty as long as we can perform it (Proverbs 5:18).

Sex Is Something We Desire to Give

The reason why we cannot deny sex from our spouses is because we do not own our own bodies. 1 Corinthians 7:4 says, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife." One cannot use this verse to demand sex, but taken in context, it teaches us to place our spouse’s sexual satisfaction ahead of our own.

Always aim to satisfy our spouses rather than ourselves; in this we will find our greatest satisfaction. So fight fatigue, stir up romance when it is lacking, study our spouses – their needs and desires, and prepare ourselves to perform this duty.

Let husbands be tender towards their wives and woo them as they once did – it is vital to be romantic towards her, and ONLY her. Let wives seek to attract their husbands once again – it is a good thing to be sexy for your husband, and ONLY for him. In this light, let us remember that sex and sensuality, as much as possible, is a private display of intimacy.

Sex Is Something to Be Done Frequently

One of the contributions to extra-marital affairs is that sexual intimacy dies down after awhile. This happens because of a myriad of reasons – from busyness to fatigue, from the kids to our own distractions. So sex has to be a matter of the will and not only of the mood.

Paul tells married couples not to rob or deprive one another of physical intimacy. 1 Corinthians 7:5 says,"Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (i.e. uncontrolled sexual urges)." The word "defraud" means "to rob." Since physical intimacy in marriage is good and a duty, denying it from your spouse is considered theft in the eyes of God.

There are many sinful reasons why people would deny their spouses sex. When this happens, it opens the marriage up to sexual temptation. Sex outside marriage is bad; but no sex within marriage is just as bad! God intends for spouses to come together frequently! Does your job take you away from home too often? How often are you making love?

Sex Complements Emotional Intimacy

A Lack of Sex Is Not the Only Problem

While sex is good and a spousal duty, unless there is love, the physical act is meaningless. God never intended sex to be merely an act. That is what the world and Satan have reduced it to be. And as a result many lives are destroyed because of unloving, selfish, and sinful sex.

Unless there is true emotional intimacy and companionship, sex is not fulfilling its purpose in marriage. Many couples do not have sex anymore because they have grown cold and distant. Unforgiveness, bitterness, communication problems, etc, may have crept in and led to a lack of physical intimacy. A lack of sex is symptomatic of a deeper problem.

Purposefully Love Your Spouse

So the solution is not to have less sex because of a lack of emotional intimacy; but the solution is to build up that emotional intimacy to promote sex. Spouses must render due benevolence! While the context refers to physical affection, emotional affection is implied!

Hence, we do not only show affection when our spouse is pretty/handsome, submissive/loving, nice, affectionate, etc. We show affection because he or she is our spouse.

Remember, "love" in the Christian’s vocabulary is not simply an emotion; it is an action – "For God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son!" We do not love because we feel like loving – we love because we must.

That is why there must be forgiveness, seeking of forgiveness, intentional love, resisting bitterness, etc, in a marriage. This is owed to one another. Without this, spouses will have less and less affection for one another, more and more impatience, leading to separate bedrooms, and the end of physical intimacy.

Purposefully Communicate with Your Spouse

One vital aspect of emotional intimacy is communication. 1 Corinthians 7:5 says, "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time…" Because of certain other duties, like fasting or prayer, or the occasional travel, spouses are apart from one another. But there needs to be agreement – consent – on how long and when.

Far too often, those who are married do not talk. It has been said that if husbands and wives would simply learn to talk to one another about their needs, fears, worries, lives, etc, it would go a long way toward solving much of the trouble in our homes. So talk about your love, the problems that exist, your past and current hurts, the solutions required, your sex life, etc. And talk to God together about it.

Conclusion

Sex is good. It is a happy duty. It complements emotional intimacy. Hence, it is a requirement for married couples physically able to engage in it. Enjoy the spouse of our youth, love him/her to the glory of God, and woo and attract him/her. Let us rekindle that romance again!

If your sex life is not where it should be, ask yourself if things are right between you and your spouse. Perhaps they are not right, and if you converse about it, you may find out what the hindrances are. The God who created sex will help you to overcome them.

There are many issues related to sex that this article cannot address because of the constraint of space. We invite you who still have questions and struggles, whether you are married or single, to contact members of the pastoral team for an honest, shame-free, discreet, and God-honouring discussion – Mark Chen

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th July 2012

Topic: You’d Better Be Sure!

Speakers:
Dr Paul Choo (English Service, 8:00 am & 10:45 am

Pastor Willy Ng (Hokkien with interpretation to Mandarin, 10.45am)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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1) Family Worship at the home of Mr & Mrs Lee Theng Kiat, Friday 27 Jul 12, 8 pm. Address: 21 Cluny Hill, S259660, Tel: 6255 0357. Speaker: Rev Colin Wong.

2) Church Camp English & Chinese message CD & Photo CD are available in RTL Office after Service time. CD at S$1/- per copy.

3) John Ching and family want to thank all in church who had prayed, visited and encouraged them one way or another during the bereavement of his son Benjamin, who passed away on 15 Jul 12.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25