I am not, nor do I claim to be an authority on the marriage relationship. I have not perfected my marriage. Generally when folks ask me questions about having a successful relationship, I tell them that I can’t help them; because, I married the perfect woman and she makes it easy! Intimacy is a marriage benefit and obligation because of the different needs of the man and woman. Intimacy includes verbal, emotional, and physical communication. You have probably heard this before, but marriage is not a 50:50 effort, it requires a 100% effort from both man and wife to create a happy union.
This issue of authority is very important. Married people no longer have control over their own bodies; according to Scripture we must surrender authority over them to our spouses. Again, marriage is a partnership. The Bible stands in sharp contrast to the prevailing cultural norms in the first century, when the only sexual rights that mattered were the man's. Based on their practices, women were there to serve men. So Paul is being radically counter-cultural when he talks about this mutuality. “Defraud ye not one the other” which means we should willingly do our part in the relationship. Intimacy should never be used as reward for good behavior, or as something to be withheld as a threat or punishment. Husbands and wives alike need to be sensitive to their spouse's emotional and physical needs. The reason for this is, “That Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” If we as husbands and wives refuse to meet the emotional and physical needs of our spouses we are becoming a potential stumbling block for each other.
I Corinthians 7:3-5:
3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4. 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.
5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.