Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love! Song of Solomon 5:1
Many commentators feel the author of the line above is actually God, encouraging Solomon and his bride to take their fill of sexual intimacy in their marriage. This shouldn’t seem as a surprise to us, as the New Testament is abundantly clear that the marriage bed is undefiled (Heb 13:4), and Paul’s admonition to not be apart for long (unless it be for prayer–1 Cor 7:5). In fact, we had a running joke in our newlywed small group that sex was actually worship. It wasn’t so much of a joke as it was a practical application of Scripture!
I hope this encourages you that our spiritual formation should be fun! Jesus came to give us life and to give it to the full. Wouldn’t it make sense that something that can be as awesome as sex would have come from God and be a part of worshiping Him? I suspect at this point, many of you (actually probably most of you) assume I’m completely crazy, because you have found sex to be difficult or painful in a variety of ways, even within a strong Christian marriage. Don’t despair, I understand that, and there isn’t anything wrong with you. Remember, the curse has touched all areas of life, and we should expect something as spiritual as sex to be deeply under Satan’s attack. Perhaps that’s all the more reason for us to seek to redeem sex through the gospel. As hard and painful as it may be, working through the sexual challenges we face in marriage is a part of our spiritual formation.
For those of you who are in a strong marriage with no sexual tension…enjoy the worship. Seriously, praise God that things go well for you, and recognize that the intimacy you share with your spouse is a picture of the intimacy we share with Christ. Draw from that to deepen your relationship with Christ. For the rest of you (and I suspect it’s the majority) that struggle in various ways, look to the gospel. Remember that the marriage relationship is a picture of Christ and the church. Seek to deepen your relationship with Christ, and as a result, your sex (and worship response to God) will improve. Obviously, there is MUCH more that needs to be addressed here, but that will be in another post.