Here are seven Bible verse about the marriage bed with commentary.
Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
What is crystal clear in Scripture is that sex outside of the holy bonds of matrimony is sexual immorality. The marriage bed must be held in high honor in the church, even though it’s not esteemed in the eyes of the world, and certainly the media (i.e. Hollywood). In one sentence, God says through the author of Hebrews that He has a high view of the marital relationship and for those who don’t hold to that He says “God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
First Corinthians 7:1-2 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
The Apostle Paul understands how we are made. Some can live a life of singleness but apparently, not all can. It is not much different in Corinth than it is today in the world. Sexual morals have slipped badly in the last fifty years or so. What used to be obscene is now posted on billboards. Paul’s point is that it’s not good to have sexual relations with a woman or a man, meaning outside of marriage obviously. We know this from the context because he follows that verse with the next, where he writes, “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
Jesus clearly said more than once that “that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matt 5:32), but adultery or sexual immorality can happen in the heart too, without the actual physical act occurring. Jesus said, “that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28).
First Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Sometimes couples get in arguments and then use sex as a form of punishment or “getting even” with their partner but this is clearly sin. It is not their call to make (1st Cor 7:3-4). When a spouse withholds sex as a result of a disagreement, then that spouse may make it more tempting for their mate to seek a relationship with someone else. Of course, they would be responsible for their actions, but none of us need any more help being tempted, therefore we shouldn’t withhold sex from our spouse for long periods of time. It’s just not biblical.
Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Here is where Jesus was addressing sin where it begins; in the heart. When we look at someone other than our spouse and lust after them and have a sexual fantasy about them, then that’s the same thing as adultery, as far as God is concerned. The only difference is you might not be able to get away with it, but if you could, you possibly would. All sexually immoral people must repent of this and turn to Christ and put their trust in Him (Rev 21:8).
First Corinthians 7:3-4 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
This is in the context of Paul saying that couples should not withhold themselves from one another as a result of anger or bitterness over a disagreement. The Bible says that husbands have a right to be satisfied just as wives have that same right of course. Interestingly, Paul says that they don’t have sexual authority over their own body when their spouse seeks to be satisfied.
Genesis 2:24-25 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
I find it interesting that outside of our own spouse’s presence, we’d be mortified to be seen naked, but inside marriage, it is perfectly natural and there is no absolutely no shame in it. Don’t you think people feel shame when they’re seen in public without clothes? We know it’s naturally wrong. Why are there such laws against exposing oneself in public if it wasn’t decent? In marriage yes, in private yes, but not in public. There seems to be a natural shame associated with it in the general public. Not so between Adam and Eve and any other man and woman joined together in marriage. One more thing about these verses is the fact that God says a man shall leave his father and mother, meaning, I believe, leaving his (and her) parents out of the marriage relationship, and then to cling to his wife as they become one, so much as to be seen as “one flesh.”
As the author of Hebrews wrote, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb 13:4) where it ends as such; “as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev 21:8).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.