My maternal grandmother had 12 children. My paternal grandmother only had six (which I say tongue-in-cheek). They were both farm girls back in the early 1900s. I’m sure birth control never crossed their minds.
When I was a teenager, I asked my paternal grandmother how she prevented getting pregnant back in the day. Horrified, she turned to me and replied, “I just didn’t do the evil thing!”
I laughed. She didn’t.
No disrespect to my grandmother, but if anyone says that sex is dirty or shameful, we have an entire Bible to contradict them. God created the gift of sex for a husband and wife to enjoy in the safety of marriage and called it good (Genesis 1:31).
A good thing
We are to “honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband” (Hebrews 13:4 MSG). To honor something means that you put a high value on it; you esteem it as valuable. Sex within marriage is a good thing; it’s a God thing.
The Bible opens with the marriage of a man and a woman in the Garden of Eden and concludes with the marriage of Christ and the church in the New Jerusalem. It’s clear that marriage and intimacy are important to God. Even Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding in Cana where He turned water into wine.
How fitting that God nestled one of the most passionate love stories of all time right in the middle of His love letter to us. Tucked in between the introspective book of Ecclesiastes and the prophetic book of Isaiah, lies a work of poetry that memorializes mutual attraction, romantic love, sexual desire, and enduring marriage between a man smitten and a woman bedazzled: the Song of Solomon.
Let’s talk about sex
Even though the Bible does, the church hasn’t talked much about sex. It’s pretty much said, “If you’re not married, don’t do it. If you are married, don’t talk about it.” Not very helpful!
Growing up in my family, I was the only Christian. And we just didn’t talk about it at all. But God talks about it. So we need to talk about it, too.
It can be confusing for a newlywed who has been taught all her life: Don’t do it. Then all of a sudden on her wedding night, she’s expected to become some kind of sex kitten. She may wonder, how does something that was supposedly bad, all of a sudden become something good? That’s a hard shift to make.
The problem is, sex was never bad in the first place! And sex isn’t an evil marriage permits. No, it’s a gift marriage protects.
We are not “less holy” when we are passionately loving our husbands. And as wives, we should never be embarrassed or feel guilty about our sexual desires or enjoyment. I honestly think the Enemy who comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10) has done a pretty good job of distorting what intimacy should be between a husband and a wife. Let’s not let him win.
Sex is holy, too
It’s easy to think of marriage as a holy union designed by God. But we must remember sex is also a holy union designed by God.
The oneness that occurs in physical intimacy is not matched in any other way. If you strip away the spiritual and emotional significance of sex, it becomes a physical source of pleasure that lasts for a moment.
When you grasp the God-intended dimension of the physical union, sex becomes a renewal of the marriage covenant that lasts for a lifetime. Eugene Peterson, in his paraphrase of the Bible (The Message), says it this way: “There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact” (1 Corinthians 6:16 MSG).
When you consider physical intimacy from God’s perspective, rather than the current culture’s perception, you begin to comprehend the depth and breadth—the weightiness and incredible value—of the gift. It’s not that our culture focuses on sex too much, but that it values sex too little.
Go ahead, enjoy it!
What we think about sex will determine whether we enjoy it or endure it. God isn’t a spoilsport who wants to keep people from having sex. He’s a loving, masterful Creator who wants husbands and wives to experience passionate, physical intimacy for a lifetime.
God went to a lot of trouble to create the sexual parts of a man and woman, and much of what He placed in us is not necessary to make a baby. It’s simply His gift. When a married couple experiences passionate lovemaking, I believe God cheers!
God created a husband and wife to enjoy a level of sexual intimacy most of us aren’t even comfortable talking about. But we must always remember, He is not the enemy of sexual pleasure; He is the Creator of it.
Copyright © 2019 Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Sharon Jaynes is former Vice President of Proversb 31. She has authored over 20 books, written multiple online articles and devotions, and co-founded Girlfriends in God. Sharon has been encouraging women through ministry for over twenty-five years and has had a passion to equip women to live fully and free.She and her husband live in North Carolina. You can find her online at SharonJaynes.com.