There I said it: sex. A word not often heard from the pulpit of a church on Sunday. A word often used as a weapon against Christians to deride their values and beliefs and falsely accuse them of being prudes or (worse) hypocrites when sexual misconduct takes place.
The truth is that God created us with the ability to engage in love and sexual activity, for procreation and for pleasure. There is no sin in sex for a Christian. There are some boundaries that God expects us to follow, and those boundaries are logical and for our best interests.
Love and sex outside of an existing marriage violates God’s desires and plans for us. It violates the marriage contract, pledged before God, and strikes at the very heart of the intimate and trusting relationship every man and woman enjoys and expects in a marriage. The sacred nature of the marriage relationship, which involves sharing your very essence and soul, innermost feelings, hopes dreams and fears with another, is so deeply personal that to violate the trust that is required to be so exposed is devastating. This is why so many people never get over such a betrayal.
Love and sex without marriage also violates God’s desires and plans for us. The beauty of physical love and attraction combined with the marriage commitment is the intense splendor it brings to our soul. The unique mixture of friendship, physical attraction, soul matching and family-building is like the perfect cocktail mix of all the best that there is in life. It is the perfect mix of love. Sex without love is just an act, appealing to our physical and emotional impulses. Once it is over feelings disappear. Sex with love satisfies our souls and enriches our lives. The good feelings last forever.
The greatest physical pleasures I have ever enjoyed were those I have experienced with my wife in a marriage filled with friendship, physical attraction, spiritual bonding and mutual love for the Lord. God planned it this way and it is the perfect combination!
The Bible offers us the Song of Solomon which in quite explicit detail discusses the beauty and joy of physical love as God planned it for us. Solomon, whom God tells us was the wisest man of his day, was clearly as brilliant about love as he was about faith, conflict and human nature.
This Valentines Day forget the cheesy Hallmark Card…pull out your Bible and write a love poem to your soul mate that speaks of the depth and breadth of true love made possible by the deep love God has for each of us, and the spiritual, physical and emotional pleasures that we are blessed to enjoy in a true loving relationship:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out. From Song 1
As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. From Song 2
On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?” Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. From Song 3.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young. Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil. Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies. Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, I will go away to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. From Song 4
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. From Song 4
My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool. His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires. His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold. From Song 5