Sex (Song of Songs Introduction III)

Sex.  What does this word mean to us?  If many of us were to see the word on its own we feel like blushing.  There is a lot of shame and embarrassment associated with sex.  God and sex don’t seem to go together.  We are eternally in the presence of God yet we think he is blocking his ears if we talk about sex.  The idea that God is with us in the bedroom would cause a lot of embarrassment to some. 

Sex.  Male and female.  Man and woman.  Adam and Eve.  From the beginning mankind has been two sexes that were designed for each other.  From the beginning they are to desire each other.  They were designed to share with each other.  Sex is not merely a physical act.  Sex is the meeting of minds and the open communication of emotions.  Men generally find speaking in terms of the mind easier and women often engage in more emotional expression.  However, both sexes are constantly feeling and constantly thinking.  Sexual intimacy is at its height when the mind, body, soul and emotions are shared with an open attitude.  Sin and fear have driven us away from each other.  Both sexes are looking for control, and fear of losing control destroys intimacy.  Both sexes are looking for safety, and past hurts cause us to be defensive.  Both sexes want to be accepted, but they want the other person to accept them first.

Erotic love risks.  It dares to be naked.  God has designed us to disclose ourselves without fear.  Each lover needs to find a way to open up even, if they are beaten back by their spouse.  Each lover needs to create a safe place where the desires of their fallen, broken spouse are well received.  The desire to come together in sexual union is neither a place for a man to merely unload his sexual tension – nor is it merely a place that a woman stereotypically endures for the sake of bringing children  into the world.  Sex is a disclosure of fears and desires to one who is distinct in the eyes of the lover from all of their gender.  We are given one by God to whom we must allow ourselves to express our feelings.  We are given one by God in whom we must confide our fantasies.  We are given a confessor who will accept us with our flaws and the acceptance will cause us to well up with pleasure  and passion.  However, to obtain the pleasure of acceptance, we must accept.  To obtain the unity of submission, we must submit.  To receive a tender hearted whisper, we must whisper truths about the loveliness or the dignity of the one God has given us.  Too soon do we let ourselves obsess on one facet of our spouses imperfections and we let that cloud the fact that they are created in the image of God and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We seethe about how we are abandoned rather than walking through the hurt and into their isolation.  This is sex.  It is a journey.  It is not a journey of five minutes and forgotten names.  It is a journey of a lifetime that scales disappointments, distraction, and dissolution.  It is a journey that walks into a headwind and swims upstream.  It is a story that reveals a heart corrupted by sin and brings healing balm.  It is a story that can only be lived in the strength of God because he has already been living it.  Christ has pursued his bride, the church and won her through death.  We give up the pursuit of our closest love with no scars from nails, thorns and lashes.  When looking for strength to pursue we need to look to the wounds.  We were unlovely when Christ loved us.  He saw us as we were created to be and he paid the price for us to get there.  Sometimes we see the unloveliness of our bride or groom as the years have hurt them or life has scarred them – we are to pay the price for their healing.

Song of Songs speaks of a passionate love through literal meaning and allegory.  It speaks os a burning desire of two lovers to be lost in each other.  However, it also speaks of God’s love for his people.  He desires us to be open, transparent, and dependent on him.  He gives us a spouse to apply what he teaches us.  He gives us Song of Songs to teach us the way.

Questions

  1. What do you look for in a spouse?
  2. How does your spouse disappoint you?
  3. How do you pursue your lover when they seem unlovely?
  4. How does God interface with your romantic life?
  5. How does the above writing challenge ‘sex before marriage’?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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