Sex in our marriages is difficult. Trying to keep it in bounds, trying to keep it kindled — it’s not as easy as we all thought when we first got married.

Things change when you have kids. If you’re both working. If you both get over-committed. You can go full days without hardly seeing one another. Then you’re at work in the middle of the morning and you get a text from your wife: “I’m not wearing any underwear…because you forgot to put it in the dryer!”

Things change. And we’re all so stinkin’ busy. The TV and streaming and cell phones and kids and schedules and work and vacations all get in the way of a God-proclaiming, Christ-forming, sexual relationship in your marriage. We’ve got a lot working against us.

The biggest problem, though, is that we all bring our baggage into the bedroom. Our individual sexual scripts get shaped by a trillion different influences and experiences, many of which we have no control over. When we get married, we don’t just join together our bodies and body parts, we join all the baggage. Sometimes one or both of the spouses are dealing with guilt or shame because of sexual sin or some past trauma that’s not even their fault. That’s when the marriage bed can be like the cross. That’s where a couple finds love and understanding, grace and forgiveness and acceptance.

If your marriage has slipped into a place where the sex is not regular, it’s not frequent, maybe it’s not happening at all, don’t just shrug your shoulders and yawn about it. That’s a full-blown attack on your marriage by Satan himself! He doesn’t want you to experience what God wants you to experience. The devil is trying to separate and keep apart what God has joined together. And he’ll use every kind of distraction and circumstance and attitude to do it. Satan’s been doing this since the very beginning when he tried to drive Adam and Eve apart by fostering shame and guilt and mistrust. That’s his game. He exploits our sin and uses it against us in our marriages.

All of us have committed sexual sin, whether in heart or in deed. We’re all guilty on some level. And Satan wants to use that against you and your spouse. Maybe it was a long time ago, but you still feel trapped in shame and guilt and you feel distant from your spouse because of it. And distant from God.

No! Look at the cross! All of us are forgiven at the cross! All of us have sinned and all of us are still susceptible to sin, but our Lord Jesus has taken care of that at the cross.

Maybe if there were such a thing as pure people and impure people, we could divide the world into the two groups and marry accordingly. But that’s not the case. We all stand together under the same mercy and grace of the cross.

Jesus was a virgin. His bride, the Church, was decidedly not. He loved us anyway. He died for us. He forgave us and brought us into righteous relationship with our God. And one of the best ways to communicate that unconditional love and acceptance and belonging and grace to your husband or wife is to keep your sex life going together.