The Importance of Marital Sex: A Biblical View

A couple sits on a rock looking at a high mountain range
Is sex really that critical to a healthy marriage?

My husband tells me that sex is a sacrament and a holy mystery — that it needs to be central to our relationship. But I don’t agree with the importance he gives it. After all, there’s a lot more to marriage than just sex. And sometimes sex seems like a chore.



You’re right in one sense: There is much more to marriage than sex. However, the sexual act is the focal point, the symbol, and the physical expression of the leaving, cleaving, and becoming one flesh that define the very essence of marriage.

The Bible says, “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” It goes on to declare, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mark 10:6-8, ESV, quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24).

So it seems natural to assume that sexual union is central to that process.

Sex bonds a husband and wife

Sexual union places their relationship in a category apart from any other human relationship. And the apostle Paul says that husbands and wives need to learn how to put their spouses’ needs and interests ahead of their own:

A husband should satisfy his wife’s needs. And a wife should satisfy her husband’s needs. The wife’s body does not belong only to her. It also belongs to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong only to him. It also belongs to his wife. You shouldn’t stop giving yourselves to each other. You might possibly do this when you both agree to it. And you should only agree to it to give yourselves time to pray. Then you should come together again. In that way, Satan will not tempt you when you can’t control yourselves. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, NIRV)

In other words, Christian spouses should explore ways of giving sexually to each other — to see their union as ministry and connection, not a chore.

Want to talk more?

Sometimes what looks like a simple difference of opinion can mask deeper issues. Would you let us help?

Call our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation at 1-855-771-HELP (4357). They’d be glad to talk with you, and they can give you referrals to trained therapists in your area who specialize in sexual issues.

You May Also Like