The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. (1 Cor. 7:3)
In Ephesians 5:21, Paul urged husbands and wives to live in mutual submission to each other. Here, in his first letter to the Corinthian church, he applied that principle to the marriage bed. Because “marital duty” is mutual, each marriage partner should consider the other’s needs, including physical needs, above his or her own; because God is the true head of the home, there’s no place for coercion or control. The principle of mutual duty to one another provides protection against sexual temptation as well, since it’s impossible to give priority to someone and hurt them at the same time.
The goal is not doing what we please. The goal is pleasing the Lord, and he is pleased when marriage partners love enough to give priority to one another in this and every other way. A healthy sexual relationship within marriage is a major line of defense against temptation to break the marriage covenant. The enemy works daily to destroy Christian marriages in that way.
When we respect our spouse and our marriage journey as a whole, then giving priority to each other can become second nature to us and we can know what it means to live in a state of holy submission to one another under God.
Consider how giving priority to one another honors God, our highest priority.
Rachel Reigard is a NextGen Pastor at Bethany Wesleyan Church’s Palmerton Campus (PA). She serves alongside her worship and youth pastor-husband, Josh.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.