Friday, March 30, 2007

sexuality redeemed

Click here for Mike's advice for men (AND women) who struggle with the temptations of pornography.

I would like to add to his list by saying that I find it beneficial to develop a redeemed perspective of sexuality.

1. Begin by viewing men and women as individuals who bear God's image, thus deserving respect for their person, body and soul.

2. Put away the guilt-invoking fear of sex that you harbor because the church's efforts to keep you sexually pure have also caused you to equate sex with sin.

3. Understand God's purpose in the gift of sex as being wonderful and pure, knowing that you can share yourself fully with your spouse in love.

4. Sexual intimacy is not meant to gratify self ... nor is it more holy to put aside one's own pleasure to only please the spouse. Intimacy is meant to be enjoyed by both husband and wife as they serve each other in love and become one flesh.

5. Sex is not a flippant joke. It's solemn importance lies in that it is a creation of God. However, this does not mean that to discuss sex is taboo. Single women ought to feel free to discuss questions and seek the advice of married women in regards to the joys of sex and/or temptations. Pray together and rejoice together.

6. There is no shame in sex between a man and his wife. Instead, one would do well to give thanks to God after enjoying each other's bodies.

7. God, the Creator, enables man and woman to experience the joy of creation through the act of sex to bring about new generations. There is not fullproof contraception. With sex comes the possibility of new life. May husbands and wives always find delight in the news of a new life brought about by their act of love.

8. The human body is wonderful as God created it, to be enjoyed by one's spouse. Solomon's Song of love, romance, and sexuality reveals God's condoning of sexual pleasure.

9. Selfishness, unfaithfulness, and lack of control seek to destroy the wonder of this "one flesh". 1 Corinthians 7 urges those with sexual desire to be honorable and marry. In addition, husbands and wives are exhorted not to deny each other the pleasure of sex. Hebrews 13:4 demands that marriage be honored and kept pure, devoting one's self exclusively to one's spouse, placing all sexual desire in him/her excluding all others, real or imaginary.

Proverbs 5:15-23
15Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he ponders all his paths.
22The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.

10. God created the body in such a way to give amazing sensations.

11. "We have come together in [God], called by him, creating a family, serving him, he living in both of us, we are now expressing, physically the spiritual truth that he has created--we are no longer two, but one." (Otto Piper)

12. The physical body as well as the soul is good. God does not turn his eyes when a married couple enjoys his gift of sex. "He wants us to run into sex, but to do so with his presence, priorities, and virtues marking our pursuit." (Gary Thomas)

13. Sex is "knowing" someone intimately ... not for lovers, but for companions who wish to share their soul, mind, and body with another for a lifetime. When God created a companion for Adam, he chose to add sex to that relationship. How wonderful! The generosity of God is overwhelming.

Useful books on the subject:

One Flesh by Amerlia and Greg Clarke
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas


GloryandGrace said...

What would you say are some of the strengths and weaknesses (hindrances, really) on the Church's part in putting forth this beautiful picture of sexuality and marriage? I wonder if these things are particularly addressed in such settings as pre-marital counseling, or other means by which congregations desperately need to hear this in the midst of a world that so distorts the sanctity of marriage.

Sidenote: Your friend/my downstairs neighbor just loaned me the book by Gary Thomas :)

ckhnat said...

Thomas' book is revolutionary. Completely turned my paradigm of marriage upside down often reducing me to tears, having been confronted with my selfishness and sin.

The Borg said...

Awesome post Christine. It is so important to have a redeemed understanding of sex and marriage.

Aaron Plunkett said...

Fantastic post. Very helpful

ckhnat said...

I have RARELY encountered these principles in a church setting outside of listening to podcasts of sermons by Mark Driscoll (Song of Solomon ... EXCELLENT!) and CJ Mahaney. My pastor occasionally talks about his "hot" wife.

In the last few years a number of books have come out promoting a view of sex that seeks to glorify God.

By and large, however, I think the typical church has not provided believers with a healthy view of sex.

Remember signing those True Love Waits pledge cards when you were 13? That whole movement left me with a dirty perception of sex. Sex is bad. Sex is filthy. Sex is ... sin.

The Borg said...

So true, Stine. Church leaders hardly ever espouse a hearty, integrated (into the Christian worldview) view of sex. Our own understandings of sex are heavily tainted by the world, much more than we think. Hence we need a whole paradigm shift.

GloryandGrace said...

Pastor Ryan at Immanuel has been preaching a series on men and women. He discussed the passage from Proverbs that you quoted, and I must say, the sermons are truth-saturated and just excellent for building up and encouraging the body. Would you be interested in a copy of any of the CDs? There are CDs for each week's sermon.

Anonymous said...

"Single women ought to feel free to discuss questions and seek the advice of married women in regards to the joys of sex and/or temptations."

do you think there is a limit for how much is okay for a single women to discuss these kinds of things, not from a taboo element, but just to protect their hearts?

ckhnat said...

i believe the married woman ought to use discretion in discussing such a topic for the protection of the single woman (particularly if she struggles with sexual sin) and also her own husband.

I am thankful for my own young married friend that feels free to discuss these things in a frank manner.

Anonymous said...

Hi CJ & MJ

I need Help & accountability the longest I have gone I think is 4 Weeks with out typing 4 letters into Google I like when I'm there Hate my self after. I Know I need to talk 2 some one but I Don't like talking about personal stuff to people I don't feel any connection to and we don't talk about this type of stuff at home. Some times I Feel that having A GF would help as I Would feel compelled to tell Her about It BUT I don't talk about my feelings well and the person i would ask in not advalible now. so that removes 1 of the 3 options 1:GF 2:talk 2 some one 3:Die but 3 is not an option either cause it dose not fix the problem it just causes more problems for the people that are left and as a person you Give in to the weaker side. so that only leaves me with one option #2 so that means I need to talk 2 some one but that means talking about personal things so I come full circle and because of this I take the easy road more 4 letters and Google playing once again into the plans of the devil. Would have dome this on MJ blog but cant be Anonymous so mate a blank message may be me CUOS

ckhnat said...

would you consider emailing, mike? his email is "jollym" through gmail.

Anonymous said...

thanks done CUOS