Intimacy is a really important part of marriage. Notice I didn't say "sex". It's taken us quite a while to understand the difference. It's even more complicated when you are married to a recovering sex addict AND you have childhood sexual abuse baggage.
I believe God created sex to be something you share with your spouse alone.
I believe that sexual intercourse is the fruit of knowing and being known by your spouse. This "knowing and being known" is not exclusive to the bedroom. This can be deep, heartfelt conversation, non-sexual touching, spending quality time together, and being loving to one another (thru actions and words) -- all of which can ultimately culminate in intimacy in the bedroom. When you feel loved, connected, cared for, and safe it creates an atmosphere for trust and vulnerability which I believe naturally leads you to God-glorifying physical intimacy.
I believe that all things, including and especially your sex life with your spouse, need to be God honoring. And I believe you know whether it is God honoring when you truly understand and are honest about what is motivating you during the act of making love. If it is for self-gratification or just to make your spouse happy then I don't believe it is God honoring.To glorify God in sexual intimacy it cannot be about using each other...using for a release or using to feel loved or so they won't leave you.
Intimacy includes being respectful of your spouse and not asking them to do things that make them feel uncomfortable, confused, objectified, or unloved. It's about mutually loving one another. It is me loving and putting his needs before mine and him loving me and putting my needs before his. If sex is a means to getting off, whether it's with your spouse or not, I don't believe that is intimacy (atleast the way God intended it to be). Intimacy is definitely a heart thing and intimacy is about LOVE.
Marriage is not a free ticket to sex anytime, anywhere, any way you want it. You are not an object. You are his wife and should be honored above all. You should be his treasure and treated as such.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (the message) "There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever - the kind of sex that can never "become one". There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? They physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."
Sex has and continues to be one of our biggest struggles in our marriage. And it's only been until recently that we have made some major strides in this area. A sexual addiction makes sex an idol. Whatever the means by which they get the sex they so desperately want (even if it's with their spouse), it is still an idol. Until they turn to God, instead of sex, to fulfill all of their needs, it will be a struggle for them (and you).
Reading the book "Undefiled" by Harry Schaumburg has helped tremendously with our understanding of biblical intimacy and biblical manhood and womanhood. Another resource that has been helpful to us is a sermon series by Pastor John Piper of Desiring God ministries called "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ". To listen or to download a copy of the sermon click the links below.
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Part 1 -- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Part 2 -- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
1. This Is My Solemn Vow