Are there any sexual activities between a husband and wife that are ungodly?

A number of scriptural principles apply. This, of course, comes from an understanding that there are many passages that speak of sex as only being between a man and a woman, being married to each other, exclusive from all others...

Mark 10:5b-9 Jesus replied. 6 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (NIV)

The example of Scriptures is not only that sex is for procreation, but also as something pleasurable for both.

Proverbs 5:18-19 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. (NIV)

Song of Solomon 7:5-10 Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. 6 How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights! 7 Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. 8 I said, "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit." May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, 9 and your mouth like the best wine. May the wine go straight to my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth. 10 I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. (NIV)

Song of Solomon 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. (NIV)

A few more passages help set additional principles for both husbands and wives...

1 Corinthians 7:33, 34b But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world — how he can please his wife — ... a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world — how she can please her husband. (NIV)

Ephesians 5:28-33 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife , and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 7:3-5a The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 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 . 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent... (NIV)

In quick summary, this leaves all sexual acts between a husband and wife as:

  1. Something that is by the consent of both

  2. Something that is seeking to please each other

  3. Something that would not harm the other

  4. Something that encourages respect

  5. Something that shouldn't be withheld from the other (except by mutual consent)

Scriptures does point out an area that should be guarded against in a marital relationship...

Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. (NIV)

The word translated into English as "sexual immorality" is the Greek word "porneia". While it has broad meaning including adultery, incest, etc., it is also the root of our modern word "pornography". Pornography, brought into the marriage relationship, is equivalent to bringing another individual into the marriage -- something that is not permitted by God and is, in fact, a form of adultery. Any fantasy of the husband or wife should involve only the other.

1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2 Flee from sexual immorality [porneia]. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. ... since there is so much immorality [porneia], each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. (NIV)

(c) 2006 Brent MacDonald/LTM. Duplication is permitted as long as the source is cited.