Intimacy in marriage must be built and fueled like fire. The Bible teaches that a great deal of the burden for successful marital intimacy lies with the husband. In the Bible’s Song of Solomon, the pursuing man “works” at creating an environment that is suitable for combustion! Growing intimacy is be a natural by-product of healthy marriage.
The Book of Proverbs teaches that there are many things that will rob marriage of intimacy. Those things vary from financial insecurity, to nagging words, to alcohol abuse, to negative or hurtful speech. If these things are prevalent in a marital relationship the level of intimacy will erode. Debt affects sex. If a couple is struggling to make ends meet due to poor financial choices, intimacy will suffer. If a wife is critical of her husband, he will withdraw. It all works together. The Book of Proverbs readily warns men and women to beware of intimate thieves.
Perhaps the greatest of “intimate thieves” is the adulterous woman. Statistics show that over half of men in America and in the church are addicted to pornography. If statistics are taken of men who may not be addicted to pornography, but do sneak a peak, the numbers soar dramatically. Many men, and strangely some women, believe there is nothing wrong with viewing nudity, amongst other things. Some make the case that various forms of pornography can actually serve to enhance sexual intimacy in marriage. The Bible teaches that such thinking is dead wrong.
Pornography and viewing nudity are wrong simply because if it isn’t your husband or your wife, it isn’t yours to view! The Book of Proverbs and Song of Solomon is replete with the possessives “your” and “mine.” Intimacy has the greatest potential to grow in a relationship that is well defined, protected, and committed. Biblically that relationship is covenant marriage.
Outside of viewing something that is not “yours,” why is pornography and sexually suggestive images or movies an intimate thief? These things are intimate thieves because they do not require a man or a woman to work at marriage. It is instant gratification with no pursuit, no compliments, no studying of your spouse, and no sacrifice or sharing of the self. These things are the essence of intimacy. Pornography is gratification without commitment. Interestingly, pornography is intricately linked to homosexuality (and is often a gateway into homosexuality). Think about it. Romance novels that target women are written by women, for women, and feature men that behave according to female expectations and fantasies. It is in essence a man’s body and a woman’s eros. It is the same with pornography geared for men. Pornography for men features women’s bodies behaving according to the male eros.
With these truths uncovered it is easy to see how pornography, the male or female version, robs marriages of intimacy. Proverbs 5:15 uses the metaphor of a cistern to speak of marital intimacy. Within defined and committed boundaries, intimacy grows deep and is life giving. You can partake often and enjoy fully. There is no guilt, but total freedom. If you are seeking sexual gratification outside of marriage, you are not only sinning, but you are allowing a thief to invade your home. Repent of your sin and return to the safety and fidelity of covenant marriage.