(Perhaps it is just the third grader in me, but I was a bit uncomfortable putting the word "sexual" in the title!!)
However, sex is what we're talkin' about today, so I guess I better get it out there! And, you might be surprised to know how very much the Bible has to say on the subject (and I am not just talking' about the do's and don'ts!).
Now, you may think there is nothing in the Bible about sex except for the "rules" (who you can and can't have sex with, when you can and where you can't, etc...). But, there is actually one entire book of the Bible - Song of Solomon - that reads more like a romance novel than an instruction manual! This book tells of the pleasure that the author found in the body of his wife, among other things. Because, you see, God knows our every need, and that includes our sexual needs. And filling that need is intended to be a beautiful thing. It is one of the greatest gifts that God as given us.
Unfortunately it is also one of the many things that society has cheapened and brought a level of shame to. How it must break the heart of God to see that happen. Something that was given out of love, to be shared in only the most intimate of human relationships, is now used as a threat, taken without consent, shared too thoughtlessly, cheapened by the media and used outside of it's intent as much, if not more, than what it was created for.
But sex is intended to be a gift only shared with one other person - the one that we pledge our life to. It is part of the act of becoming one flesh. We share our bodies with our mate, as well as our love and devotion. It is an act intended to bring greater unity, emotional bonding and physical devotion. All the things that God created marriage to be. Including one man and one woman. That may be a political statement to some, but to me it is a Biblical one. And the fact that it is now considered "politically incorrect" is just one example of how society has brought it down to a level never intended by the Creator.
However, in an effort to NOT get on my political soapbox, we will keep our discussion to sex within a marriage. So, here we go with that...
Sexual marriage is intended to be kept pure. It is not to be shared with anyone except your love. I have seen the effect that the breaking of this vow can create. Now, to be fair, I have seen marriages recover from that, but more often I have seen marriages destroyed by it.
Romance and sex are to be given as a gift between the man and wife, not used as a tool. Meaning that sex is not to be used as a weapon - withheld to get your way. Instead, any forfeit of it's pleasure is only to happen as a result of a MUTUAL decision. And, even then, only for a time so that you are not tempted to stray.
Sex was created to be the Hallmark of marriage. A romantic and beautiful act that is given out of love and devotion. However, we all know that, eventually, there will be an imbalance in the need department. One partner will feel the drive a little more than the other. So, how do we handle that? This is where the give and take, devotion and gift aspect come in. Sometimes we just have to give a gift that we would not have chosen for ourselves. And sometimes, even though it is the furthest thing from one partner's mind, we are called to willingly meet the other partner's need. Because, if we don't fill that need (which doesn't just go away!!), there may be cause for someone to look outside of the marriage. And that aint good!
However, the one with a deeper need for sex also needs to be respectful! The act can be cheapened within a marriage almost as easily as it can outside when one person is required to give it so often that it loses it's intended meaning. A balance has to be found and the romance has to be kept in the act.
So, whether you are the one who is feeling deprived, or the one who is depriving your mate, we all have something to learn from this lesson. Know that God's plan is for meeting in the middle and finding a solid ground to base your love - and romance - on. But also know that you will not get there by pouting, sulking or "holding out", you will get there by open communication and following God's will. LOVE is the only way to establish (or re-establish) a lasting union.
Every other part of the love dare that we have gone through so far - patience, kindness, selflessness, thoughtfulness, protection, honor and forgiveness - will aid in renewing your sexual intimacy. When your love is centered around the love of Christ, there is a level of friendship, romance and , yes, even sexual pleasure, that will be unmatched by anything else on earth. You will discover the true, PURE beauty of sex when it is used the way the Lord intended.
Remember, this is supposed to be a FUN part of the dare, not a chore. I am praying - really hard - that this is a beautiful, pleasurable and mutually enjoyable part of your marriage. And that if it isn't now, it soon will be.
See ya tomorrow!