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(David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net)

We’re surrounded by a very confused culture—a culture of disorder. It seems as if everything is out of whack.

Sexual promiscuity is now the norm rather than the exception. Magazine headlines shout in bold letters the amazement that this season’s “Bachelor” is a virgin. Wow! What an utterly victorian concept—in the world’s eyes.

While singles are living it up sexually, another amazing thing is happening within marriages. It’s a phenomenon that has become a common joke: married couples abstaining from sexual intimacy.

I recall when it was revealed to me in a counseling session that a married couple had only had two nights of sexual intimacy in their nine years of marriage. I wish I had a picture of my face when they told me that. I could not withhold a stunned look.

“Are you kidding me?" I blurted out. "What? You mean this week. Right?”

Recently I read several comments on the ManUp app after a husband revealed he and his wife had withheld sexual intimacy for months. Other men revealed they were in the same circumstance.

Men, this is not healthy, nor is it scriptural. Sexual intimacy is a requirement in a healthy marriage. The apostle Paul even warned that we should not be deprived by that lack of coming together.

“Do not deprive on 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” (1 Cor. 7:5, ESV).

The word used for deprive here is pretty strong. In fact, it can mean "to be defrauded." It's used to describe a person who is not present at the right time, someone who is withdrawing, who causes to fail or to take away from. If a husband or wife deprives their spouse of sexual relations, it is a serious breach of the marriage and could have devastating results.

Paul warns that our nemesis, Satan, looks for this as an opportunity to gain advantage over us. Satan looks for gaps in our relationships, and abstaining from sexual intimacy gives him room to take advantage of the marriage.

Marriage is the unity of two people becoming one. It is a decision to serve and care for the other as yourself, whether in bed or not. What is actually done in the bed is not for public discussion—that should remain holy and intimate. But the fact that couples are withholding from one another is not only strongly warned against, it is also simply not healthy in marriage.

The only exception for a withdrawing of intimacy is for a short season that is devoted to prayer and fasting—yet Paul warns us to not make this a prolonged season. Do not fall prey to the fads and whims of this world.

For the original article, visit fivestarman.com. Fivestarman was founded in 2008 by Neil KennedyHe has passionately promoted God’s Word for 25-plus years of ministry. He is known for practically applying biblical principles that elevate people to a new level of living. As a business, church, ministry and life consultant, Kennedy has helped others strategize the necessary steps to reach their full potential.

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