Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sex & Romance

"I hear with my ears that God delights in me. I understand it as knowledge, I even comfort others with that truth on a daily basis. Yet somehow, at the end of the day, I still feel like I have missed it in my heart."
She reacted to the honesty of her admittance as if she had swallowed old milk, certainly not something she enjoyed. She followed with a shameful sigh as she reflected on all the ways her lack of heart revelation overflows into the lives of the ones she loves. Her poor precious best friend is constantly a victim of her moodiness. Her family members endure her pride. But more than anything she can't shake feeling bad for the way her inability to understand God's love is negatively impacting her marriage. Worse too- this great void of love is affecting her sex and she has been too ashamed to admit it. Who would understand that? Attempting to keep back tears, she went on to describe her inner torment. During sex she imagines herself being someone else, or being with someone else, because even after all she has learned about the goodness of sex- she still struggles with comprehending that sex is anything other than dirty. At this point she just wept because she couldn't take it. She was exhausted from always talking about God and yet constantly feeling desperate to simply be with Him.

In Song of Songs (a great book in the Bible) God uses Solomon to illustrate, in extravagant detail, the passion between a man and a woman. As I decided to really read into this book this morning (using the New Living Translation), I felt as if I had uncovered a hidden treasure. God's word really is alive and active and the revelation of truth that I gained as I started my day is one that I pray will lead you into being further rooted and established in God's love.

All throughout Song of Songs we see a kind of dialogue between this couple. In reading the first few chapters I was struck by how much these 2 lovers delight in each other. Starting from the beginning the woman says, "Kiss me and kiss me again for your love is sweeter than wine". (1:2) My pastor, Brian Sumner, said that the word used for love here in the Hebrew means: chemistry, romance, or erotic attraction. So this woman is extra excited with romantic feelings of love toward the man.

Then the man responds a bit later in the chapter by telling her how gorgeous and amazing she is. He says, "How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves." (1:15) So they go on to lavish love on each other by expressively adoring every part of each other.

I love the picture of God's design for romance that Song of Songs portray. We are to be outward about our love for our romantic partner. Why? Well, ideally we have sought God about if we are supposed to in a relationship with this person. Then once He confirms it, which He really does, then we can be confident that our relationship is His best for us. Once we know that then we know that God is going to be giving us His heart for that person. We will see the other person with an increasing awareness of the love of God for them. We have eyes to see their gifts, their strengths, the beauty in their physical features, and all sorts of amazing wonders about them will stand out to us. If that is how God feels toward them, then who better to communicate the love than you, their committed romantic partner and friend? *However everyone is different in how they receive love so I encourage you to look into the "5 Love Languages" so that you can be most effective in showering your sweetheart with the love they need.

In my understanding of Song of Songs the couple gets married in chapter 4. Then we are able to read into their sexual experience. So again we see the man pouring out romantic compliments over his new bride. He begins with her head, her face, and her smile. Then he moves downward and affirms her in a more sexual tone- offering loving acceptance of her breasts and her thighs. He says in the midst of this, "You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes." (4:9)

As the man praises the magnificence of his new wife, he speaks of the sacred perfection of her sexuality. He recognizes the privacy of this moment, he acknowledges that this precious woman is about to give him a very expensive gift. Her sexuality does not come cheap- it is a "treasure", a "private garden", "a secluded spring, a hidden fountain". (4:12)

How amazing! As women our sex is a treasure- not something to be treated as trash. In a culture polluted by divorce, pornography, and adultery- God declares sex a private treasure. Not to be broadcasted or shared with strangers. We are to actively delight in our spouses and not allow images of anyone else to replace them.

In 4:16 the woman invites her groom to fully enjoy her. She says, "Come into your garden, my love, and taste its finest fruit." She has declared that her sex is now his.

We see the man's response, "I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride!" (5:1) He has received her sex as his own.

There is so much to love about sex and romance, but we will only ever be totally satisfied in it if we trust God with it. God created it. He knows exactly where the greatest pleasure is in it all. Sex and romance done the way God intends us to do it, is to be an example of His relationship with us. We, the Bride of Christ, delight ourselves in Him. God, the Groom, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, delights in us- His Bride, His Children, His Creation.

We open ourselves to Him, standing before Him, hiding nothing, presenting all that we are to Him, and we welcome Him to be physically present within us.

God beckons us to Himself in Jesus Christ, and as He overwhelms us with His perfect and passionate love, He teaches us how to be passionate about our loved ones.

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