It may come as no surprise to you that the number one need for men is for sexual pleasure.

No doubt, some men reading this right now are thinking, Wait a minute, that's not true for me. But those men are the exception, not the rule. In the overwhelming number of cases, sexual fulfillment is a man's primary need in a marriage relationship.

That isn't to say that the wife has no need for physical fulfillment, because she does. It is simply farther down on her list of priorities.

I see evidence of just how vital the physical part of the marriage relationship actually is to men almost every time a couple with marriage problems walks into my office for counseling. The man's unfulfilled sexual needs are a trouble-making issue in nearly every case.

That trouble can take many forms—extreme irritability and belligerence on the part of the husband, for one. He may not even be aware of it, but the sexual frustration he feels can produce resentment toward the wife.

Another even more disastrous result of a husband's sexual needs going unmet is that it can lead to his involvement in sexual fantasy. On the surface, this may seem like a harmless activity. It's not. Fantasy will invariably lead to adultery. Why? Because, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

No wonder God's Word says in 1 Corinthians 7:
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer....
(vv. 4-5)
This verse is the only place in all of Scripture where God makes meeting the needs of another person an absolute mandate. He is saying, "This is so important that you don't have an option. When you're not meeting that need for your spouse, you have defrauded him or her."

I realize the subject of sex very rarely is discussed in Christian circles. It has generally been a taboo subject. That's probably one reason the Devil has been having such a field day in this area.

We haven't been shining the light of God's Word on it. But it's time we changed that. It's time we began viewing sex in light of God's plan.

One reason the Devil works overtime to mess things up in this area is that, in marriage, the sex act is the literal physical manifestation of two becoming "one flesh." Of course, the spiritual aspect of becoming one flesh is important, but so is the physical outworking of that spiritual reality.

You need to understand that when you express your need for sexual fulfillment, you're not being carnal or worldly. You're expressing something God put within you.

One of God's commands to Adam was to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." A man's sexual needs make up the drive that compels him to bring eternal life into existence.

It's an awesome thing when you think about it. We are the only beings other than God Himself who can create eternal life. When a child is conceived, an eternal being who never existed before comes into existence. That child will live forever, either in heaven or in hell.

Once you begin to see your desire as a God-given and vitally important part of the divine plan of creation and honor it as such, your marriage will take a giant step forward.

Source: Heirs Together by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers