Question: “How frequently must we have sex in order to comply with 1 Corinthians 7:5?


1. NAU  1 Corinthians 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” You may recall that I pointed out that this verse taught us that sexual abstinence in marriage should be 1) by mutual agreement, 2) temporary, and 3) for spiritual reasons (though not all contingencies are envisioned here such as medical issues).

2. It could be argued that the better question is, “How frequently are we allowed to abstain from sex”? 

3. This question thus assumes the clear suggestion that sexual intimacy should be “regular”; abstinence being an exception. The creditor/owner teaching of vs 3-4 implies the same thing.

4. But, how often is “regular”? (An aside: I find it amazing and refreshing that I, a pastor, am asked these kinds of questions). The real answers are, “I don’t know.”; and,” it varies from couple to couple”. It is up to you to figure it out!  Here are some calculation factors/questions for you to consider: 

a. It should be frequent enough to promote self-control so that temptation to sin is thwarted.

b. The decision should be mutual. However, both the husband and wife should be committed to first satisfying the needs of the other. This sets up the neat possibility of the one who wants less insisting on more because the other wants more and the one who wants more settling for less because the other prefers less.  

c. Does our frequency qualify as doing things in moderation?

d. Does our frequency demonstrate consideration for the other person and his/her circumstances, schedule, mindset, and etc.? 

e. Is our intimacy characterized by a robust sexual satisfaction?  

5. Also, I think it is fair to acknowledge that frequency wishes changes as a couple progresses through the phases of marriage (pre children, with children, post children, grandchildren) and correspondingly as the body changes with age.