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Are sexual instructional videos appropriate within Christian marriage?

My husband wants us to try out sexual instructional videos to make our relationship better. Is this kind of material appropriate for a Christian marriage? I’m afraid I would be sacrificing my integrity to please my husband. Do you have any biblical insight into this issue?

Robin's Response
I can see where a couple could stray into this arena, with largely good intentions. Certainly, the world tells us that our worth is bound up in our sexual performance. And, sometimes well-meaning fellow Christians give the impression that anything that happens between a married man and woman in the bedroom is legitimate. However, in these times, we need to be very discerning about Satan's attacks on our purity. This is as important for married couples as for singles.

As Christians, we look to God for our standard for sexual purity. Basically, Biblical sexual purity is a man or woman receiving 100% of their sexual gratification from their spouse.

In the Amplified Version, Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous."

In God's eyes, only what happens between a married man and woman is sacred.    And because it is of such great value, we need to protect it at all costs.

So the question would be, "Can you watch a sexual instructional/performance video without a sexual response?" I think if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. Having a sexual response to anything other than your spouse in God's eyes is impurity. Ephesians 5:3, "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality..."

This is a great question for women as well... "Can you read that romance novel without a sexual response? Are you seeking a "love-high?" In my mind, using a romance novel, or erotic literature, to stir up sexual desire for your mate falls short of God’s glory.

The point of making love is connection—a husband and wife connecting deeply with each other. If you look to something outside of your relationship with your spouse (on the television, a book, or images in your head) to get aroused, than you're missing the glory of sexuality—the deep acceptance and communion between two people. God intended for our heart of love, reflected in our eyes, to be the center of our intimate union.

God's tool to make sex more pleasurable is communication—a man and woman expressing their needs. Whenever we use the world for our guide on any matter that has to do with marriage, I think we set ourselves up for heartache.

With time, Dave and I have changed our whole paradigm on sexuality. Now we both agree that the most precious part of our intimacy, is looking deeply into each other eyes. With the pressure gone (that the world and it's bondage imposed on us), we're free to enjoy every dimension of being together intimately including laughing, talking and enjoying each other.

In reality, the whole sexual performance industry goes hand-in-hand with the pornography industry. You'll find plenty of this kind of material in x-rated bookstores. And for many men, looking at a sexual performance video or picture book, can act as a trigger to lead them towards other sexual temptation, including pornography.

The advertisements for instructional videos in men's magazines come bundled with a big lie from Satan, that's as old as the Garden of Eden. They picture a woman who looks like a Playboy model, with a come-hither expression and hardly any clothing, seducing a man. Satan whispers to men, "You can be this man and have this woman, and have it be entirely legitimate--in your own bedroom! You won't surely die." And to women he whispers, "If you can only act and look like this woman, then you'll get the love your heart desires." Then when we bite into his lie, and fall hard, he stands by ready to heap shame on us.

In our experience, videos and other sexual "enhancement" tools put men and women on a road that can lead to dark places. Watching other people have sex (which I think Jesus would call adultery, Matthew 5:28) has a desensitizing effect that can numb the conscience (Ephesians 4:7-19 talks about how when we lose sensitivity, we become captive to sensuality and impurity).

So what if a married couple would like some to explore how to enhance their sexual relationship? We’d do well to heed the Bible's advice, to shun anything that comes bearing bad fruit (Matthew 7:16-18) and look instead for avenues of help that are proven to bring good fruit. There are some wonderful Christian resources available. Two that I would recommend are:

Sacred Sex—A Spiritual Celebration of Sex in Marriage by Tim Alan Gardener and Scott M. Stanley

The Five Senses of Romantic Love: God’s Plan for Exciting Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Sam Laing

We can also help each other, by talking openly about sexual struggles with another Christian couple that can give guidance and encouragement.


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