1Cor 7:3-6 Sex - an escape from temptation

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May 29, 2023, 4:41:50 AM5/29/23
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Sex - an escape from temptation

1Cor 7:3-6  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  I say this as a concession, not as a command.

The particular "marital duty" he's referring to here is to have sex. Sex is part of what constitutes a marriage. Those who refuse their spouse's request for sex are not fulfilling their marital duty. Marriage imputes this kind of responsibility. Neither spouse owns their own body. Their bodies are mutually owned. There are those who may put on a nice appearance and may even engage in sex  to get married, but afterwards "let themselves go" as if their body no longer matters or refuse to have sex in marriage, having prostituted themselves to get what they wanted. But this is not the way the saints are to behave.

Sexual deprivation should only be according to mutual consent between the marriage partners, and even that should be temporary depending on the degree of one's self-control. While in the short term abstaining from sex in marriage can help in focusing one's attention to spiritual matters, long term sexual deprivation can have the opposite effect. So  while the grace of God "teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:12), best to keep oneself from circumstances which lead to temptation.

However while the general principle applies, Paul is giving advice concerning a possible way to regulate sexual urges.  It is not a command. Christians are free to develop their own regulations as they are led by the Spirit. But one would be remiss if they did not take into account wise counsel.

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