Yesterday, I mentioned the biblical notion that a husband or wife is to be "fully satisfied" in his or her sexual desires within marriage. The trouble for many people is to determine what this means, because it is not, actually, a biblical phrase at all. 

For too many women, the command that men are to be "fully satisfied" in their sexual desires through marriage means that they are to "be satisfied" by whatever they get. In fact, when preachers preach to husbands, this seems to be their message far too often. "Be satisfied" in marriage, after all, can sound like a command to be "content with" whatever the situation may be. In our culture, "satisfaction" is often used in this way. Someone will say they are "satisfied" with a meal because it was not really bad, but was not really very good either. A customer will be "satisfied" with a haircut that is not quite what they wanted. We even do surveys where "satisfied" is a lower category rating than "excellent," because, for us, "satisfaction" means "not really mad about it."

But the Bible does not teach that men are to be "satisfied" in this negative sense, but in a very positive sense. Read Proverbs 5:19 again: "Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." This does not sound like what we call satisfaction. It means that he is "always" to be intoxicated with her love and that her breasts are to "fill him with delight at all times." It is not possible for a man to be "satisfied" in a biblical sense with occasional sexuality. 

The sexual desire (like the desire for food or sleep) is a daily desire. A man might fast for a short period (as Paul says a couple may abstain from sex for a short period), but he must eat again soon, just as a person must have sex again soon. Any longer delay raises the danger of sin. 1 Cor. 7. 

The Bible does not command married Christians, men or women, to be "satisfied" with anything less than they actually desire. Whatever modern English may do to the language, the Bible is clear --  whenever a man desires sex he is to turn to his wife and she is be available to him. Likewise, whenever a wife desires sex she is to turn to her husband and he is to be available to her. This is Paul's whole point in the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7. 

Where are you, sexually, in your marriage? For most couples, there is an early stage of excitement (the first year or so of marriage), then a gradual decline (during childbearing) and, too often, a complete loss of frequent sexual pleasure thereafter. Couples become roommates, to the great loss of joy and the increase of sin. We see too many divorces and too much pornography and too many on-line dalliances among older, married Christians, most of which could be avoided if the sexual desire were satisfied at home, as God intended.



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