When couples hear the words scheduled sex, many just laugh and say, "You’re kidding, right? Sex is supposed to be spontaneous! Nobody schedules sex!"

Reality check

First things first: Yes, couples do schedule sex! In fact, in a recent Elle magazine and MSNBC.com survey on sex and love, online readers were asked if they make date nights for sex. Half of the nearly 80,000 people who responded said yes!

The idea that sex always has to be spontaneous comes from our culture – movies, TV shows, magazines, romance novels – and not from the Word of God. But we can’t let our culture set the tone for our relationship with our spouse. We have to let our relationship with Christ set the tone for our marriage relationship!

The proactive sex life

OK, now that you know that couples do schedule sex, let’s hit on the big why: Why would you ever schedule sex? So many couples find themselves overextended and too exhausted for sex! That’s where scheduling a "sex date" with your mate comes in! If you have a busy schedule, you can’t just put your sex life on the back burner. You need to be intentional and proactive!

Though now you can see why it’s important to schedule sex, there’s probably a big concern on your mind right now that’s common when we suggest couples schedule sex: It will take all the fun out of sex and make it boring! But here’s the good news: Scheduled sex isn’t as boring as you might think.

In fact, scheduled sex can be one of the best things you can do to stay connected with your mate. It will get you and your spouse talking more about your sexual relationship, and it can help strengthen your bond as husband and wife.

Plus, counting down the days until you have sex can serve as a unique kind of foreplay. Flirting with your spouse and planning your night together can really heighten your anticipation! Also, when you have sex more often, the more you’ll want it! Scheduling sex can increase your desire, which then opens up the possibility for more spontaneous sex!

Here are some ways to begin making changes in order to make your sexual intimacy a top priority:

  • Evaluate yourself. Some people hide behind activities. Ask yourself, What am I getting out of this pace? What’s the payoff? Am I a pleaser? Am I a perfectionist? Does it keep me in control? The answer can be key to why you’re keeping your spouse at a distance sexually. Marriage calls us to give everything, to commit completely. It isn’t about the payoff; it isn’t about what we get out of the marriage or what our spouses can do for us. Marriage is a choice to live a God-honouring life. It’s about growing and maturing spiritually. The only way that can happen is when we understand the sacrifice involved in our marriage commitments.
  • Replenish yourself. What activities replenish you? Is it a bubble bath alone at the end of the day? Is it watching a baseball game uninterrupted? Replenishing needs to be a daily routine. Take time to unwind so that when you’re with your family you can focus on them.
  • Reprioritize. A couple needs to recognize that they have a mutual problem that requires a mutual solution, and that solution may require mutual sacrifice for mutual benefit. Sit down and tackle the problem together.

    We hear this statement often: "Sex isn’t high on my priority list." If you don’t nurture your sex life now, later may be too late. The further apart a couple grows, the longer and more difficult the path back to intimacy becomes. And it isn’t just about sex; it’s about creating the environment of sex and sexual intimacy in marriage. If you want your marriage to be God-honouring, if you want a solid and trustworthy marriage, you need to agree that no matter what, you will carve out time each week just to relax and have fun with each other.
  • Schedule regular times for sex. Scheduling sex is particularly important if you feel overextended. Realize that sex is not going to be as spontaneous as it may have been in your honeymoon years. But your busy schedules mean you need to be intentional and proactive. Put it on your calendars. Get into a pattern; otherwise, you aren’t going to do it. If that’s what it takes for a season, then do it.
  • Put Sabbath back into your week. God built it into His schedule – and ours – a time to rejuvenate. He knew that we would become so caught up with our "important" stuff that we would neglect times of refreshment and joy. We all need to understand that God has provided rest, refreshment and fun when spouses nurture their sex lives.
  • Plan a getaway. Don’t use a financial crunch as an excuse. Save up for a getaway! Once every month or so, go somewhere. Go to the motel down the street. Go to a campground and rent a cabin. If your friends are going to be away for the weekend, ask them if you can use their house. Getting away takes creativity and intentionality.
  • Turn off the television. One big time-stealer is the television. Instead of turning it on in the evenings, why not sit outside and listen to the birds? Take a walk. Go to the bedroom and mess around!

Start scheduling regular times for sex tonight! Mark off every Thursday night or Saturday morning – whatever works for you – for a month. Think of it as a date night. Send the kids to a friend’s house for an evening or over to Grandma’s house on a Saturday morning. Have dinner or breakfast at home and enjoy each other! You need to get yourselves back to remembering, "Oh yeah! This is really fun!"

Married for over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touches people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counselling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and Biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families through their interactive daily radio program, conferences and marriage and family resources.

Portions of this article were adapted from The Great Marriage Q&A Book, © 2006 Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg. All rights reserved. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. To order this resource or to find our more about the Rosbergs, visit Drgaryandbarb.com.

If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below.

Our recommended resources

Join our newsletter

Advice for every stage of life delivered straight to your inbox

View comments ()