In its Vol. 6 No. 2 edition, published way back in July – August 2006, LifeWay Magazine’s team of writers (Pastor Peter Unoarumhi, Jackson Ekwugum and Yinka Jackson) attempt to answer some of the frequently asked questions about sex.
How many times should a couple make love in a week?
Pastor Peter: I have seen people say that they make love two, three or four times a week. I know that making love every day for a week may not be feasible because God did not create sexual love as the all binding force for marriage. He is the one who holds a marriage together, not sex. The Spirit of God will lead you to know your stamina without abusing your spouse because there should be an agreement. When I just got married, I needed healing in that area and I was prayed for. At that time, I was excessive; I thought it was manly to make love all the time. I did not know it was a demonic thing. The demons were cast out and I was set free. Right now, I discovered that two or three times a week is a reasonable thing; it is never an everyday affair. In my church, we invited a doctor to give us a talk on this area and he also said that ideally, it should not be more than three times in a week. And if perchance, it has become an everyday thing, you should invite a doctor in to check whether it is healthy. The Spirit of God will guide us and let us know how often we should engage in lovemaking.
Should lovemaking be restricted to particular times of the day?
Pastor Peter: I don’t believe in that. I think we need to see God as the God who gives time for his purpose to be established. There are people who believe that when you make love in the afternoon you give birth to an albino. I think that is of the devil. You can make love any time – morning, afternoon and night. Whenever you have the time is God’s time. It is my considered view that people who still believe lovemaking should only take place in the dark of the night need deliverance.
Can there be great lovemaking without money?
Pastor Peter: People often say that there is no romance without finance. I disagree. You don’t need money to make love; you need God. Of course, I understand that when there is scarcity, it could affect the love relationship. I mean, somebody who is very hungry is obviously not in a position to engage in lovemaking as strength is needed. But at the same time, I don’t think God’s children will be faced with a situation where there will be absolute lack; there will always be manna from heaven because He is Jehovah Jireh. Couples facing financial pressure should confront the situation with the reality of Scriptures. I also believe that a happy couple carrying out the will of God in lovemaking could trigger our financial blessings. Your obedience to God’s injunctions for sexual love can actually begin the process of a financial miracle. Do not let the devil trick you into abandoning your conjugal obligations by becoming bitter and resentful over a situation of relative lack. You must strive to keep being one and enjoying your togetherness – and it takes faith to do that!
As a pastor, do you subscribe to the notion that a preacher should abstain from lovemaking 48 hours before ministration as advocated by some people?
Pastor Peter: I do not subscribe to that because it is not in the Scripture. If anyone says that he does not make love to his wife 48 as to any ministration, the question I would like to ask him is this: does he eat during that period? If he eats during that time, then he has no reason to deny his wife sex if she wants it because eating and lovemaking are both clean acts of the flesh. Lovemaking does not make you impure and neither does it make you a better person. I think some people still have this mindset of, “I’m purer without sex.” It is not true. And even if you are going to take such an action, there should be an agreement with your wife because while you may be able to bear it, your wife may not have the capacity to do the same. The Bible is clear that the wife has as much right to the husband’s body as he has to hers (1 Corinthians 7:4).
Can a couple make love during fasting?
Pastor Peter: The only time we are enjoined to abstain from lovemaking is during fasting, and even then, it is by agreement and should be for very short periods (1 Corinthians 7: 5). I think what you want to know is whether a couple can make love if the spouse that is fasting breaks his/her daily fast at 6 pm. Yes, they can, except again, it is by agreement. Let me give an example of a husband who is on a seven day fast but breaks it every day by 6 pm. Fasting is a period when you dedicate yourself to pray and meditation and abstain from acts of the flesh. Even after 6 pm, the man eats. It is very lawful to engage in lovemaking because like I said before, both eating and lovemaking are clean acts of the flesh. However, the couple can agree to wait out the entire seven days if they so desire. This clarification is necessary because many wives are being sexually starved by their “spiritual” husbands who are perpetually on a fast, some for as long as hundred days at a stretch.
What is wrong with using pornographic materials for sexual arousal?
Jackson: I am aware that many Christian couples are unfortunately using erotica to attempt to spice up their love life. But such a practice is dangerous for three major reasons I will outline here:
- Sexually explicit pictures, involving real persons in books or magazines, no matter the author or how well-intentioned, can easily desensitise you to pornography. I always tell people that if you can watch real pictures of copulating people in a book or magazine, before long you won’t see anything wrong with hard-core pornography because there is hardly any difference between the two. Secondly, exposing yourself to pornographic videos means exposing yourself to the unclean spirit behind them. A man who makes a habit of watching these videos will soon become dissatisfied with his wife as he compares her to the women in those videos. What he doesn’t know is that those women have surgically enhanced bodies, and worse still, they are acting!
- Those pictures breed lustful thoughts. Over time, as you entertain those thoughts, they begin to occupy a space in your mind. Soon you begin to fantasise about erotic moments with some imaginary person. Always remember that real fornication takes place in the heart (Matthew 5:28).
- The real danger of these erotic materials is that they could become a substitute for your spouse. Instead of looking to your spouse for sexual stimulation, you begin to look to those images far arousal, thereby eroding the intimacy between husband and wife. Before you know it, those erotic materials have become strongholds in your mind.
Is masturbation sinful?
Jackson: Masturbation (sex with self or auto sex) is usually carried out with the intention of releasing tension and getting sexual satisfaction without “sinning” with another person. Apart from the fact that it violates a basic rule of lovemaking which is genital union, masturbation is often in response to a sexual fantasy. That sexual fantasy could be borne out of exposure to pornographic materials. We learn from Philippians 4:8 on how we are to use our minds. Within that context, masturbation qualifies to be called a sin. It also creates problems in marriage. When such people marry, they may not enjoy lovemaking as they are used to during masturbation. I read the story of a Christian woman who complained that her husband could not ejaculate during intercourse but often did when he masturbated. Similarly, women who masturbate hardly derive pleasure from sexual intercourse. It has also been established that masturbation is harmful contrary to the claims of those who indulge in it. A pastor told me of a case he knew of where the man was bleeding profusely because he masturbated thrice daily. Both medical signs and spiritual deliverance had to be employed to help him out. Research has also indicated that those who masturbate are in love with themselves. They love themselves more than they love God and other people. As a result, they often manifest the withdrawal symptom. Finally, as with every other sin, masturbation leads to spiritual weakness and loss of intimacy with God.
How can I maintain sexual intimacy during breastfeeding and while raising children?
Yinka: We cannot deny the fact that breastfeeding can seriously interfere with our lovemaking routine. What is required is wisdom to make the necessary adjustments. I will suggest as follows:
- Schedule your time properly. In an extended family system, family, friends and relations can put a heavy strain on our schedules. Cut down on all those naming ceremonies, weddings, and birthday parties and find time to be alone together.
- Don’t be rigid in your lovemaking routine. If for instance, your child sleeps more at daytime than at night, then as often as possible put him down once he’s asleep, grab your husband, bolt the door and enjoy each other for a “noonie.”
- Be wise and practical. I often hear of spouses, especially wives, who see nothing wrong in keeping their two or even three-year-old babies on their marital beds. In many such cases, it has often resulted in the distance between the couple and unfulfilled sexual expectations. It would do your 10-month-old baby no harm to keep him/her in another room with the older ones overnight so that you can have fun together. If you are still breastfeeding, use your breast pump to provide milk for the baby.
Who should initiate lovemaking?
Yinka: This has become an issue these days, especially with many men complaining that they women are always waiting for the men to make the first move. That is how it should be. Women like to be chased, and it shouldn’t stop just because you are married. The art of chasing brings excitement to the woman in much the same way man is excited when the wife makes the move. But it has to be said that the latter is an exception rather than the rule. The rule is that men should chase after their wives. When a man complains often about the wife not making the move, then all is not well with the love relationship. I can safely assume that the marriages sick. It is only when we are sick in our bodies that eating, which used to be a delight, becomes a burden. At such times, we even loathe the sight of food. In much the same way, I feel that when a marriage is sick, it becomes a burden for the man to chase after his wife. In such a case, healing is required so that the man can joyfully play his part very well.
Is it okay for Christian couples to try other coital positions?
Pastor Peter: For a long time, many Christian couples felt the only way to make love is by having the man on top; what is usually referred to as missionary style. But over time, the church is becoming more aware of the various styles that are available for the mutual enjoyment of both husband and wife. Couples should prayerfully seek ways they can give each other pleasure. However, whatever we do must conform to the three basic rules of lovemaking, i.e. there must be agreement, it must not bring pain and it must involve the union of the genitals. The key thing here is to remain open and receptive to whatever the Holy Spirit may be revealing to either of you. Some people may want to capitalise on the fact that there must be agreement to become unnecessarily difficult. For instance, I heard of a woman who told off her husband to “please go and try that your nonsense with those girls outside,” for daring to suggest something outside the missionary style. And just in case you are wondering, that was a Christian woman speaking. We forget that even this so-called missionary style is not stated either in the Old or New Testament. So, what is the fuss about? While in theology school, we were taught that the rear entry position (wife kneeling and backing the husband) and female superior position (woman on top) have been known to bring mutual pleasure and satisfaction to couples. There are several other positions/styles you could try as you ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in this area.
Does the size of the male organ determine pleasure?
Pastor Peter: This is one question that singles always keep asking. It is also a major reason why many of them wrongfully engage in premarital sex because they want to test their sexual compatibility. I must admit that it is also a cultural thing. Here in Nigeria, many of our ungodly parents actually push their children into premarital sex for the purpose of sampling and compatibility. I heard of a fine Christian lady whose father stopped talking to her because she refused to heed her father’s advice to find out if her husband-to-be was “okay.” Once we are born again, we should know that sex before marriage is a no-go area no matter who is pushing us to do it. In any case, this attitude is mainly based on ignorance. It wrongly assumes that it is the sole job of the man to bring sexual pleasure in marriage. Secondly, it presupposes that the size of the male organ determines the pleasure derivable from lovemaking. Please note it now that God has designed a female private part as an organ of accommodation. God has made both the male and female private parts to adjust and accommodate each other, no matter how big or small either is.
Should couples engage in intercourse during pregnancy?
Yinka: Although certain cultures forbid it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making love during pregnancy if the couple so desires. Medically though, some women’s anatomy become very fragile during that period and the doctor may advise against any strenuous activity including sex. The man needs to show understanding, cooperation and tenderness in a situation like that. What the couple should do is to creatively explore other areas of giving romantic pleasure to each other. On the other hand, when the body of the woman can handle it, regular intercourse is encouraged. This is the time to actually try out other coital positions. Medical practitioners have said that making love during this period helps the elasticity of the birth canal. It also deepens the intimacy between husband and wife. Finally, psychologists have observed that the love expressed during that time has a way of being transferred to the unborn child. For many women who always complain of fatigue and discomfort, my response is, where there is a will, there is a way. And the just shall live by faith.
How do you handle differences in libido between husband and wife?
Pastor Peter: Let me speak about my testimony in this area. When we got married, I discovered that my libido was a higher than my wife’s and I wondered if she would be able to cope with me. That high libido was not normal. I got my deliverance through prayer and matchmaking. What God did was to regulate my libido by granting me patience for her because one of the attributes of love is patience. When you are in love, you will be patient. However, where the libido of one spouse is too low and not meeting the needs of the other, the couple should seek professional help and counselling. In a situation where one spouse out rightly dislikes lovemaking, counsel must also be sought. There was a woman who said she hated sex; that if not for the purpose of making children she would not make love to her husband. We prayed and discovered that she had experienced traumatic sex before she got married. She needed to revisit the issue, forgive herself and the person who did that to her. That was how she received deliverance.
Can a couple engage in anal sex?
Pastor Peter: No. We must be careful not to go into perversion. It is not right for a couple to engage in anal sex (inserting the male organ into the rectum) because it is unscriptural. God is a God of purpose. He did not create the anus as a sex organ. Besides, this practice violates at least two of the basic rules of lovemaking. It does involve the union of the genitals, and it has been known to be very painful. A doctor told a friend that he was convinced that much of the rectum tear they treat in hospitals mostly resulted from anal sex even though many of the young ladies deny it, blaming it instead on a hard stool.
What about oral sex?
Pastor Peter: My basic instinct is to shy away from this question, but being the mature, broadminded liberal that I am, I have taken time to examine this issue more carefully. By oral sex, I suppose you mean the stimulation of the sexual organ with the mouth. It is an open secret that many couples, including Christians, engage in this act and so there is no use pretending it doesn’t exist. What we need to do now is to bring the light of God’s word into the matter so that we can check excesses and deliver people from guilt and bondage. For instance, I refuse to say like some pastors have done that oral sex is “satanic and demonic” for the simple reason that I honestly don’t have the scriptural ground to take such a stand. That attitude is religious, and I believe that Christ came to deliver us from religion. The argument has been made that the mouth should not be used for such an act. But the mouth is not only meant for eating, it is also used for talking, kissing (including breast and other parts of the body), singing and making noise. Again, we use our hands to eat but also use it generously during foreplay. Songs of Solomon 5:5 says: “I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.” As one author put it, “love has to be the guiding principle for deciding what sexual behaviours are right and wrong for a husband and wife.” This is very important because the Bible contains no specific teaching on how husband and wife are to enjoy each other sexually. As a theologian, my position has always been that couples would do well if they stick to the three cardinal rules of lovemaking viz:
- There must be agreement.
- It does not bring any pain (physically, emotionally and spiritually), and,
- There must be a union of the genitals.