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What’s Your Motive?

“I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7:10

Let’s face it: Sex is a topic on the mind of just about every husband and wife. (Some wives claim their husbands think of nothing else!) The physical union of man and woman is one of the most pleasurable and meaningful aspects of marriage. Yet when a couple engages in sex for the wrong reasons, intercourse quickly loses its significance and can become an empty obligation. The late Dr. David Hernandez once offered some common, “non-loving” motives for sex:

  • To fulfill one’s marital duty,
  • To repay or secure a favor,
  • As a conquest,
  • As a substitute for verbal communication,
  • To overcome feelings of inferiority,
  • As an enticement for emotional love,
  • As a defense against anxiety and tension,
  • As a form of self‐gratification without seeking to satisfy the other.

God designed sex as an intimate expression of love between husband and wife. Anything that fails to meet that standard leaves one partner feeling unsatisfied and exploited.

Just between us…

  • When was the last time you thought about making love?
  • Does your motive for sex ever fall into any of the above categories?
  • Have you ever felt sexually “used” by me?
  • How can we move from “having sex” toward “making love”?

Heavenly Father, You have blessed our union with sexual expression. Bless us with emotional and sexual intimacy as well. Thank You for the pleasure and wonder of married lovemaking. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Sexual motives from What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women by Dr. James Dobson (Carol Stream, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1975).
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