While some people use the terms “love making” and “making love” synonymously, they have different meanings. Married couples can do both, but there is a deeper level of intimacy to love-making. Deep love making will assist couples in having a healthy and fulfilling marriage.
When it comes to love making in the Bible, it is often spoken of in the context of marriage. There are some Christians that feel that the only reason for love making in marriage is for reproduction and there are others that believe that there are higher reasons for love making. This includes the ultimate joining together of a married man and woman – joining their two spirits, joining their two minds, and joining their two bodies. How do Christian couples practice love-making and exemplify true love? They can turn to the Bible for answers.
Rather than prohibit love making, the Bible shows that it is a gift from God that should be gratifying for both partners. The act of love making is symbolic of physical love in marriage. This is beautiful to God. Ephesians 5:31-32 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” The relationship between a man and a woman in a loving marriage is sacred and exemplifies God’s love.
There are a number of valuable lessons on love making that we can pull from the Song of Solomon. One of those lessons is that biblical love is a beautiful thing. We also see that love making provides mutual pleasure. Song of Solomon 6:3 says, “I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine.” At a time where a woman was often considered to be a possession, we read of total love between two partners with shared desire.
In the Old Testament, the term for sexual intercourse was “to know” a husband or a wife. The most intimate knowledge of a partner comes through this joining. Contrary to the belief of many Christians, God allows much freedom for love making. We are just called to be wise about the decisions we make, even within the realm of marriage.
God places marriage in an honorable place. God wants us to remember that marriage requires love and commitment. When marriage is respected, sexual love can flourish. Proverbs 5:18-19 says, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer…may you ever be captivated by her love.” We see here how sexual love is expressed between two loving partners.
The Bible reminds us that love making should be done in such a way that there is no shame. Hebrews 13”4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure.” Proverbs 5:18-23 calls to question a man’s lust of another man’s wife: “Why, my son, bed intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly” (Proverbs 5:20-23). Many people experience shame in regard to love making. Sometimes shame is the devastating feeling we bear because we have been sexually sinned against. Other times, we have not sinned or been sinned against but feel shame because we have wrong thinking and feelings about love making in general, or a love making act in particular.
There are a number of sexual activities that may not be explicitly forbidden in the Bible, but they are still unwise to practice for physical, health or practical reasons. Even if it’s not explicitly forbidden by God, we should use wise judgment when introducing certain things in the bedroom. You should shy away from activities that put you or your spouse at risk of injury or illness. Sending explicit photos between each other puts you and your spouse at risk of those images falling into the wrong hands. Any activities that will put you at risk of infection and damaging tissues can put your body at risk.
We know that marriage is a covenant relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians) and that marriage leaves all others and cleaves together (Genesis 1) so any behavior that steals from this covenant is off-limits. Going outside of marriage for sexual gratification is a major violation of the marriage covenant. Including others in your relationship is also a violation of the marriage covenant. This includes pornography. Anything that becomes a point of obsession or necessity in the bedroom is also problematic as it takes away from the true intimacy we are called to share with our spouse. These things previously mentioned are used by the enemy to distract us and separate us not only from our spouses but also God.
The way we think about pleasure and about sin has an impact on our understanding of love making. Many Christians have long thought of temptation to pleasure as the work of the Tempter when pleasure is really a gift from God. However, it is important how we interpret that pursuit of pleasure. Love making does not always mean turning away from God. Love making pleasure does not always incite lust or incline us toward sin. As Christians, we don’t have to interpret that pursuit as sinful and worthy of shame. Pleasure is itself a good – not the good, but a good. Love making within marriage shouldn’t make you feel shameful. Moral discernment can often lead us to better love making.