As common as it is to the human experience to think about sex, in many Christian circles it’s almost taboo to talk about it aloud. That said, it’s no surprise the statistics on marriage in the Christian community often compare to those of other religious and nonreligious communities.
It’s time we face the facts. Sex is a big deal to us humans! It’s one of the most valuable and powerful gifts God gave to mankind.
What makes it so powerful?
To nonhuman species, intercourse is pretty straightforward in its purpose. It guarantees the continued existence of their kind through procreation. However, for Homo Sapiens, God gave us sex to do much more than just extend a bloodline. Through sex, couples can multiply themselves, communicate, heal and protect one another.
Sex that communicates
When communicating our emotions to each other, it’s a common practice to use words, tone, inflection, volume, distance and body language. What’s uncommon is to intentionally use sex as a way to communicate one’s heart. However, within the bonds of marriage, there is no clearer way to communicate one’s trust and security in the other than through sex.
When a couple is in complete unity, sex is a symphony of verbal and nonverbal dialog between the two. Verbal expressions that were once made flat through vague similes and adjectives now burst forth with full clarity. Giggles and wordless expressions find a common playground in these moments. This is a pure moment between wife & husband where guilt and shame find no room.
Conversely, when couples are living disjointed, sex produces a grating monologue that often leaves both parties with hollowed satisfaction — only panting for more because the feeling was fleeting. This invariably leads to self-gratification, seeking comfort in outside sources, bitterness, resentment and, finally, divorce. Self-centered sex and communication is a slippery slope that leads great relationships to their death.
But, thank God He also created sex to help us heal one another — when used correctly and in the right context.
Sex that heals
If you’ve lived long enough in the human experience, then you’ve encountered the many lenses of distortion through which sex is presented to us. Be it hard core, soft core, animal, fetish, masochistic, humiliation or child pornography; we have normalized and accepted a gross deviation of the beautiful communication instrument God gave us in the beginning.
As a result, many of our relationship experiences have left us wounded and stripped of our innocence, because their sexual expectations derived from a contorting of love — which then is not love at all. Likewise, many of us have accepted these distortions, because its perceived pleasure, and have yet to see the death spiral we’ve locked ourselves into because of its fleeting comforts.
Sex, as we’ve learned it, has left many of us wounded. Rejection, fear, loneliness, feelings of worthlessness, shame; you name it and distorted sex has done it. That’s why we have to give sex markedly different than what has become normal — even for us Christians.
First, sex must be given inside the bond of marriage to reach its potency. Second, no matter how much you may want it, it has to be consensual (Yes, this is an issue within marriages as well). Third, it has to be selfless. And finally, it has to be connected to something deeper than physical desire. This is how sex can become a continual overflow in your marriage.
It’s sex that is wholly a reaction of being consumed with the joy of one other’s presence that has the greatest power to heal places inside of us that we didn’t even know were broken. Sexual healing is not just a nice song to play when we’re trying to set the mood. It’s what God intended for marriage.
Sex that protects
In some of the same ways that we need sex to bring healing inside of our marriages, we also need the protection it can provide.
Sex can be a much needed shield for our marriages — warding off the advances of outside influences, mindsets and people. When sex becomes a tool for binding our hearts to our spouse’s — instead of as a weapon to punish undesirable behavior — we are establishing a canopy of protection, contributing to the longevity of our marriage.
Living out the human experience, unfortunately, affords us a daily encounter with two major appetites: the insatiable desire for self-gratification and the drive to preserve self. Although a clear distortion of what God originally intended for us, we very often succumb to their draw without much contention, when we’ve not aligned ourselves with His desires.
Spending dedicated time surrendering our hearts to God, as well as to our spouse, causes our temptations to lose a great deal of its magnetism in our lives. Our spiritual, mental, emotional and financial agreement to them both brings a level of transparency and vulnerability that produces a deep trust. It’s when we’re submitted to each other at this level that we start to use sex as a way to reiterate our connection and oneness, as well as reveal another level of transparency and visibility into each other’s heart. e.g. intimacy
A loving spouse, giving selflessly, willfully communicating their hurts, weaknesses and desires, has all the power needed to bring healing, protection and restoration to their marriage.
Furthermore, what’s equally as important is for us, as loving spouses, to never misuse our knowledge of our spouse’s weaknesses. For us to do so would be an act of abuse.
(To be continued…)