Applying the Fruit of the Spirit to Your Sex Life 1

How can we apply the Fruit of the Spirit to sex with our spouse?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

The Fruit of the Spirit is written in the singular form — there is one Fruit that manifests in nine ways. The Fruit of the Spirit is grown in the life of the believer by the work of the Holy Spirit, not by human effort. Being Fruitful is not a matter of trying hard, it’s a result of walking by the Spirit (v. 16) through the power of the Spirit.

So let’s take a look at the nine manifestations of the Fruit of the Spirit and consider what a Fruitful sex life with your spouse will look like.

Love. “Affection, good will, benevolence.” Fruitful sex is built on genuine affection for your spouse, not only physical pleasure. You pursue what is good for your spouse and look out for his or her best interests. Fruitful sex is intentional and consensual, not manipulative or domineering.

Joy. “Gladness, cheerfulness, calm delight.” A Fruitful sex life is bright and delightful. You cultivate a grateful attitude for your spouse and enjoy sex together.

Peace. “Harmony, concord, quietness, rest.” Fruitful sex is rejuvenating and harmonious, a refuge from the stress and frustrations of life. You and your spouse pursue agreement and compromise.

Patience. “Endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs.” A Fruitful sex life is a rock of stability and confidence, never wavering even in challenging circumstances. You wait on each other and serve each other without haste or grumbling.

Kindness. “Moral goodness, integrity, moral usefulness and excellence.” Fruitful sex is a fountain of goodness and blessing for your marriage. Fruitful sex edifies the spirit, body, and mind of both spouses.

Goodness. “Uprightness of heart and life, beneficence.” A Fruitful sex life is honest, virtuous, and excellent. When your sex is Fruitful it is one of the best parts of your marriage. Fruitful sex is a strong foundation for your relationship. You value your sex life and protect it.

Faithfulness. “Fidelity, the character of one who can be relied on, moral conviction.” Fruitful sex is dependable and steady no matter what else is happening in life. Fruitful sex is devoted and committed. Fruitful sex can be relied on in any storm. You are quick and eager to invest in your sex life.

Gentleness. “Mildness of disposition, meekness of spirit, humble.” A Fruitful sex life is generous and giving, focused on the good of your spouse. Fruitful sex does not make demands; you are focused on nurturing and caring for your spouse.

Self-control. “Temperance, the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.” A Fruitful sex life is passionate and sensual, but it is ruled by the Spirit rather than by physical demands. Fruitful sex is not reckless, but uses our words and bodies carefully. You discipline your mind and body to make your sex life the best it can possibly be. You put in the effort required to be a sexual blessing to your spouse.

Consider praying through this list with your spouse and ask God to grow the Fruit of the Spirit in your sex life. Don’t berate yourself and promise God to try harder — this Fruit doesn’t come from you, it comes from the Holy Spirit. Repent of any sin in your life that may be hindering the work of the Spirit, and then wait on him and see how he works.

How have you seen this Fruit in your sex life? How have you and your spouse grown over time? Leave a comment and let us know!

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"Conjugal Rights" in Marriage 2

How often should you and your spouse have sex? From the Bible, the answer is basically “as often as your spouse wants”. Here’s the most directly relevant passage; check it out, and then we’ll talk about “conjugal rights” other than sex.

1 Corinthians 7:1-7

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The literal interpretation of this passage is pretty clear: your spouse is entitled to “conjugal rights”… but what does that mean? It’s more than sex.

In addition to exclusive sexual relations, conjugal rights also include affection and companionship, shared property, presumed legitimacy of offspring, co-habitation, domestic and labor services, and affinity with your spouse’s family. The Greek word is opheilē and it refers to a an obligation or a debt that is owed to another. When we choose to get married, we voluntarily take on this obligation to our spouse. If we deprive our spouses of these rights we are in sin and need to repent.

Let’s also consider the use of the word “authority” in this passage. The Greek word here is exousiazō, and it means exactly what you think: “to have power”, “to be master”. You are the master of your spouse’s body, and your spouse is the master of your body. When you got married, you gave up control of your body to your spouse.

Now, this should be obvious but I’ll say it anyway: God expects you to use your authority in a Christlike manner.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

There is no place for coercion or manipulation in a Christlike marriage, only for mutual self-sacrifice and love.

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