On Sunday, a Texas preacher sat on a bed near his pulpit and offered an unusual challenge to the married couples in his congregation: Have sex every day for a week.
"Sadly, the church has been silent over a topic that God is not silent about," said the Rev. Ed Young, founder of the nondenominational Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. "And when you think about it, God is the one who made love. He invented it, and he wants true believers to make love."
For some couples who practiced what he preached, the challenge improved their marriages by helping them to show forgiveness and to make time in a hectic day.
"You think, 'Wow, this will be great and it's going to be easy,'" said congregation member Brad Slawter. "But I think it would be easy on a seven day honeymoon. It's been a lot more challenging than you would think."
Amy Waddell said the challenge had been a great boost to her marriage and a way for her to help forgive her husband, Cody, for cheating on her just three months into their seven-month marriage.
"It's been an opportunity for me to really live out and show Cody that I forgive him on a daily basis and that we are in this together," she said. "We're working through it. The sex is actually my physical way of being able to show that to him."
After 22 years of marriage and three kids, Brad and Debbie Slawter said they find it hard to make time for the bedroom.
"The energy level is probably No. 1," Debbie Slawter said. "And that's one of the things I've tried this week to focus on -- you know, just making sure I don't spend my last energy doing housework. It's about reconnecting and rekindling."
According to the Kinsey Institute, frequency of sex declines with age from around 112 times per year in the 18 to 29 age range to 69 times per year in the 40 to 49 age group.
Though the reverend's challenge had been a positive experience for many, not everyone agreed.
"Trying to do it every day actually took away from our sexual relationship," said one anonymous comment on the Fellowship Church's Web site. "We were no longer 'doing it' out of love and desire but because we were told to."
But a majority of the comments praised the sexperiment.
"My wife and I found that we had lost a bit of the romance that we began our marriage with," one comment read. "When it came to sex, it was, 'You wanna do it?' This revelation allowed me to begin wooing my wife again, like she deserves!"