Embracing the Sexual Union
Communication plays a vital role in a sexually satisfying marriage. First Corinthians 7 is often considered to be the marriage chapter in the New Testament. Here, husband and wife are instructed to provide sexual pleasure to each other within the confines of their marriage. Sexual relations are an obligation, a responsibility, and a privilege. Husbands and wives are to embrace the sexual union willingly and without inhibition or reluctance. They are to fulfill the sexual needs and desires of their spouse enthusiastically and joyfully. This will be impossible without open and honest communication between husband and wife.
In an emotionally connected marriage, husband and wife will be each other’s best friend. They will have love, as well as honor and respect for each other. There will be a deep abiding trust that will enable them to speak frankly about sexual issues. Both husband and wife are to be more focused on each other’s pleasure than on satisfaction for themselves.
Willingness to Communicate
Having a greater focus on sexually satisfying your spouse is fulfilling the biblical mandate of selflessness. Both parties must find their greatest pleasure in giving, not in receiving. In order for a spouse to know what pleases their mate, there must be open communication on the subject. For example, both spouses might consider making a list of what the other person can do that would be sexually gratifying and then exchange the lists. This, of course, will be difficult for a couple who are about to be married as hopefully neither one of them has previously experienced sexual gratification and does not know what they enjoy. For this reason, a willingness to communicate even during intimacy is very helpful. Gentle guidance and encouragement when one does something their partner finds gratifying or enjoyable goes a long way toward opening up the kind of communication that translates into your partner providing the kind of physical pleasure you desire in sex.
It is not wrong or ungodly to communicate your desires, but it is wrong and selfish to demand that your desires be fulfilled. This is an important point, as one might come into marriage thinking that because I am to be focused on my spouse’s pleasure and gratification that I will be sinning if I ask for gratification for myself. It is not sinful to ask. It is sinful to demand, and to then withhold and manipulate when demands are not met. Demanding is selfishness and violates the biblical principles being discussed.
Carving Out Time
Another area in which communication is critical is the timing of the sexual relationship. Both husbands and wives often lead very busy lives and have demanding schedules that include activities that go well beyond the normal work day, especially if there are children involved. Carving out the time necessary to maintain a sexual relationship is going to be a matter of communication. A husband or wife communicating tiredness as a reason to delay sexual interaction is understandable. However, when either party is simply too tired or ill to fulfill their obligation to their spouse, another time should be arranged and kept. If both husband and wife are truly considering the other as more important than themselves (Philippians 2:3,4), they will communicate their desire to be available for sex at that future time, or they may even be willing to invest sacrificially by having sex for the sake of their partner.
Communication is extremely important for a couple that desires to honor and glorify God in this aspect of their marriage.