Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage

By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church

Marital Copulation

Marriage counselors report that the four most stated causes of marital conflict leading to divorce are sex, finances, time spent together, and children.  Actually, these are symptoms more than causes of marital conflict leading to divorce.

Lesson Worksheet











As a counselor of Christian marriages, the six most reported areas of conflicts regarding marital copulation are as follows. Which of the following can you identify as areas of conflict in your marriage?

• How often to have sex

• Different opinions about sexual acts

• Need for mutual pleasure

• Importance of romance and intimacy

• Acceptable reasons for abstinence

• When to have children


How has romantic foreplay changed with your mate?

We teach single believers six signs of affections: “Above all else, guard your heart (affections), for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov. 4:23).  The last four are for marital copulation: “His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.  Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you; do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (Song of Solomon 8:3-4).

• Holding and hugging

• Kissing and caring

• Necking and caressing

• Petting and fondling

• Sexual intercourse (marital copulation)

• Holding and hugging

Because marital copulation is occasional and LOVE is constant, both the husband and wife should be more oriented to LOVE than lovemaking.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4)

Marriage requires the entire romantic love package. Marital copulation is one way of expressing it. “When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.” (Gen. 26:8)

It is not just for the honeymoon and the first year of marriage.  The husband and wife need to learn to be romantic apart from sex.  We need to learn how to please our mate in all the rooms of our house and not just the bedroom.

Paul's instruction regarding copulation

Paul instructed Christians that all sexual arousal is limited to the marriage relationship. “It is good for a man (single) NOT to touch (hapto) [to sexual arousal] a woman (single). But because of immoralities (porneia) [illicit sexual behavior], let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7:1-2)

“But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Cor. 7:9)

When you read that all sexual AROUSAL should be limited to marriage and you laugh, you realize that the Christian church has not influenced the American culture toward change for the past 25 years. Christians have lost the influence upon our culture and we must be willing to regain it by addressing our own problems with the truth of God’s word and the desire to effect change in our lives. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2)

This was Paul’s advice to the Christians at Rome and Corinth whose pagan cultures were heathen and engaged in sexual promiscuity. “Flee (pheugo / p.a.impv 2pl) [command] immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:18-20)

Stop here for a moment and think about one way you can glorify God in your body:• Joseph of the Old Testament is an example of fleeing fornication: “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God.” (Gen. 39:7-20).I do not need to cite statistics of a promiscuous American culture to you.  John called the Church of Thyatira by the name, Jezebel, and warned that the church had become worse than the heathen culture she was sent to change (Rev. 2:18-29).

“Let marriage be held in honor among you all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:4)

8 Principles for Biblical Copulation

There are eight aspects of martial copulation that will help Christians have mutual pleasure in their marital relationship.

1. When two Christians marry, they commit themselves to God’s teaching regarding all aspects of marriage as a divine institution (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-12; 1 Cor. 7; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).  Jesus told his generation that their ignorance of biblical teaching on marriage was one reason for the rise in divorce (Matt. 19:3-12).

2. Sexual compatibility can be marred before marriage by sexual promiscuity and on the honeymoon by not being sensitive to sexual compatibility (1 Cor. 6:12-17).  It is estimated that one million sexual diseases are transmitted each year and 60% of those are by promiscuous teens.  Promiscuity also builds scar tissue (hardness) on the Christian’s soul that can affect other areas of his life as well as other relationships in his life (Prov. 6:32-33; Eph. 4:17-24).

3. Couples who live together before marriage have a 50% greater chance of divorce than those who don’t (Jeffrey Larson, USA Today, 1996).  Larson’s study revealed that most couples that were cohabiting did so because they were poor marital risks.  In 2000 the US Census Bureau reported six million unmarried heterosexual couples living together.

4. Marital copulation is not the source of love, but rather the expression of it. “Couples described as having happy marriages made love three times more often than couples who were unhappy.” (Psychology Today, 1980)  Since copulation is occasional but a couple’s interaction is constant, the development of one’s capacity for soul love and the development of soul compatibility are more important to marital happiness. The husband is commanded to agape love his wife in Eph. 5:25 (godly love).  The wife is instructed to philos love her husband in Titus 2:4 (friendship love).

5. Marital copulation was divinely designed for both recreation and procreation (Gen. 1:27-28; 3:16; 4:1).  Medically, we learn that there is a difference between the female reproductive system and her sexual system. We learn that a wife does not have to be sexually aroused to become pregnant. We learn that menopause delivers the woman from cursing to blessing (Gen.3:16). It is reported that couples between the ages of 72-90 enjoy sex at least four times a month.

6. God designed marriage to be the playground for mutual body, soul, and spiritual pleasure as two people merge into oneness (Gen. 2:23-24; Eph. 5:28-33; 1 Cor. 7:1-5). In a healthy male the sperm manufactures every 2.7 days and in a healthy female, the egg manufactures every 3.2 days.  This means that in a healthy couple, copulation would naturally occur 2 or 3 times a week.  Merging or cleaving (intimate togetherness) helps a couple unite emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and sexually.  It helps you and your mate overcome inhibitions and inexperience (Gen. 2:25; Heb. 13:4). The American Journal of Gynecologists reported that 75% of women receive no pleasure from copulation and 40% have never experienced an orgasm. This seems to suggest that there is enough communication to mutually have sex, but not enough to mutually give and receive pleasure (1 Cor. 7:3-5).

7. In a Christian marriage neither mate is at liberty to do as he/she pleases with his/her own body sexually. – “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.” (1 Cor. 7:4) In marriage, the issue is interdependence and not dependence or independence.  This eliminates all sexual activities that do not involve both consenting partners.  Sexual deprivation must be only by mutual consent and by agreement upon time and purpose (1 Cor. 7:1-5).

8. Marital copulation conflict can be a source of angelic conflict: “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Cor. 7:5)  Satan can get into your Christian marriage through this area because sex originates in the soul before the body (foreplay) (1 Pet. 3:7). It is reported that the average person thinks 4000 thoughts each day and that only 1% is sexual.  Marital copulation is enhanced by the “fragrant memories” of romantic pleasures.  It is reported that romantic and satisfied couples think more about copulation than couples who are unsatisfied

“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” (Eccl. 9:9)

Series on Marriage: Pastor Ron Adema
audio 1
audio 2
audio 3
audio 4

Marriage Conference 2014: Associate Pastor, Al Rosenblum
session 1, notes
session 2, notes
session 3, notes

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By Ron Adema,  Pastor of Doctrinal Studies Bible Church