Last week we discussed Genesis 2:24, which describes God’s plan for marriage to be a complete union: “And they shall become one flesh.” In marriage, what was once owned individually is now managed jointly, without exceptions. I call this the Law of Possession.
Legitimate jealousy occurs when the Law of Possession is violated—when a husband or wife holds onto something outside that union.
I saw this with Fred and Marilyn, a couple I once counseled (their names have been changed). They were on the verge of separation when they came to my office. One of their problems involved their sex life.
Fred wanted to be intimate and enjoy sex, but Marilyn would withhold it when he did something that angered her. “I’m going to cut you off for a week if you do that again!” she’d threaten.
Marilyn was aware of his strong sex drive and used it, along with her body, to punish and manipulate him. Fred told me how she even used sex to bargain for material things, like the time she offered him sex twice a day for a week if he’d buy her a dress she wanted.
You might think that scenario would be any man’s dream, but Fred resented it. “Why can’t Marilyn make love to me because she loves me and wants me?” he asked. “Or at least because she loves me and wants me to be happy and satisfied?”It was clear to him that Marilyn used sex as a weapon, and not as a way to honor him and meet his needs. She was holding her sexuality outside the marriage. She was keeping it for her own purposes.
It was causing severe damage to their relationship.
First, I want you to understand this: There are certain times when a woman’s body may not be available for intercourse. And a man should never sexually abuse his wife through physical force or mental anguish or by making her do something that violates God’s Word or her conscience.
However, a wife should never communicate to her husband that her body is not available to meet his sexual needs. In marriage, a wife’s body no longer belongs exclusively to hr. A husband’s body no longer belongs just to him.
We must give our bodies to our spouse for the purpose of mutual sexual satisfaction—and it works both ways (marriage counselors report that both wives and husbands equally have struggled with a spouse who withholds sex).
The key to being able to give your body to your spouse—completely and unconditionally—requires trust. Trust is the foundation that promotes and protects the ability to give oneself to another person.
If you cannot trust your spouse with every area of your life, at some point, you will feel violated. You will have difficulty becoming “one flesh” in the truest sense of the word.