Perhaps lechery is a word you are not familiar with. If you look into its meaning the dictionary states, “…unrestrained or excessive indulgence of sexual desire.” I have come across this “desire” within some marriages. Usually, it is the man who relentlessly pursues an inordinate desire for sexual relations, but this is not always the case.
Let’s be clear by stating that sexuality is something God has said “yes” to within the boundaries of marriage. It is something we should “desire” and “indulge” in regularly, but who defines “regularly” for you and your life mate and who then defines “excessive?”
Well, you both do. You find what works for you. You find what you both can agree to and enjoy. You find what honors, respects and blesses your spouse sexually and you purposefully and unselfishly pursue that. You also find what might be the cause of “…unrestrained or excessive indulgence.” We need to discover what is at the core of our lives that promotes something which is bringing harm to our marriage bed. Why? Because God’s gift of sex is never forced or abusive to another.
Let me give you some harmful effects of sexuality that can make their way into marriage.*
- Sex can be harmful if it is demeaning to another.
- It is unhealthy if it makes another person feel less valuable or used.
- It is unhealthy when it is purely selfish, used only for physical gratification.
- It is unhealthy when it shames another.
- It is damaging when forced or coerced and the law of “love does” not rule.
- Sex is not healthy when used as a replacement for affection or tenderness.
- Sex is unhealthy when it violates someone’s conscience.
- Sex is unhealthy when pornography is involved in any form.
Sexuality within the confines of marital commitment actually increases the marital bond. It fosters the growth of intimacy. It serves to reduce stress and anxiety by providing a special tone of togetherness and a release of tension. It provides a private and intimate shared experience and a bond of emotional security. It promotes a sense of well-being and happiness within the marriage and, of course, it is a gift given to us by our Creator to enjoy through many years of married life together.
(*Some of the above points are adapted from the book, The Sexual Man by Archibald Hart.)