Let's Talk About Sex...
By Eileen Slattery Berglund
I've been wanting to write this for YEARS! 3,2,1, here we go!
I want to start off loud and clear: Sex is not the end-all, be-all, most superior and transcendent experience.
It’s not. And yes, before you ask, I have had amazing sex. Lots of it.
The end-all, be-all, highest, superior, transcendent experience is to know God and to tangibly feel His love for you. The love of God is higher than any high, wider than any wide, more thrilling than any thrill and more pure than the purest motive or heart of man/woman. It is an all fulfilling, all transforming, all powerful, all covering love. It is the very core of our true existence.
So when it comes to sex, it is up to us to put it in its proper place. We are not to make sex an idol. We are not to make sex a reward. We are not to make sex a right. We are not to involve ourselves at all with sex if we haven’t first completely saturated ourselves, our desires, our selfish motives, in the transcendent and completely satisfying love of God.
It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, gay or straight, young or old, divorced or separated, man or woman...SEX is not and should not be your aim. God’s love should be your aim. To be covered by it, transformed by it, and then walking in it. These priorities must be in the proper position or what was created by God to be a beautiful expression and experience between a man and woman will become riddled with problems and hurt.
Sex is not something you “get”. Sex is a gift that you can offer to someone else. If they do not want that gift, you must respect their answer.
If you become frustrated because you want to have sex with someone who does not want to have sex with you, you should really stop and check yourself. What would be the point of that experience? Would that be an encounter covered and saturated in the love of God, where each person is voluntarily yielding and preferring the other over themself? No. It wouldn’t. So it shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t happen IN marriage and it shouldn’t happen OUTSIDE of marriage.
A better approach would be to work toward a better relationship, where the other person eventually would feel ready to accept the invitation. This comes by putting God’s word and character into action. Not just for a couple days where you “behave” so now you can get what you want. No, that is still an entirely selfish approach. What is needed is to allow Holy Spirit to transform you into a selfless person who prefers the other over him/herself. This true transformation will become evident and will give the relationship the best chance to get on the same page as far as sex.
Also, it is important to understand that there are many happily married Godly couples who no longer have sex or may have never had sex. Before you feel sorry for them or jump to judgement, understand that there are reasons why they don’t. Good reasons. Oftentimes there are physical injuries or disabilities, sometimes there are deep emotional wounds. Other times there are hormonal imbalances or even a same sex attraction that is being brought under God’s authority. These couples have all found a way through honest communication to find a love that exceeds and surpasses that which sex could fulfill. They may all feel and even grieve the loss of sex in their lives, but since they haven’t made it an “idol” or a “right” or a “highest high”, they are able to defer this desire to one that prefers their loved one above what that loved one can or cannot give them. Together they have allowed God to show them a way to love with a greater love and to understand that everything we do must flow out of God’s love for us and then, for one another.
Sex is a beautiful thing. It is a powerful thing. However, it has also been an ugly and scary and damaging thing for many.
The Church needs to stop elevating sex in marriage as the greatest element of that marriage. GOD is the greatest element. GOD is to be Number One. GOD is to be modeled and imaged and represented and even felt first and foremost in a Christian marriage. If you don’t have that down, then don’t get hung up on the sex. If you’re having it and it’s going well for BOTH partners, great. But if you’re not, and you want to be, then maybe go back to making God Number One. Turn your attention and your focus to Him and let His love fill you and begin to flow from you. Be patient, be kind, be humble...you know, all those qualities that LOVE is. (1 Cor 13)
Now I know that not everyone will agree or even condone what I’ve written here. But I’m not writing expecting the whole world to applaud. I’m honestly writing this to blow the lid off the whole stupid lie that “sex is the greatest barometer of how healthy a marriage is” and to free those who the enemy is keeping shamed because their “love life” has been hijacked to be defined by their “sex life”.
I do want people to enjoy sex in the way that God intended it. I do want people to feel the passion and the intimacy and closeness and all of it. But I also want you to know that if your story is one that doesn’t include that “picture perfect” reality, God can still make you and your relationship whole. He is enough. And He must be first. It doesn’t matter if its sex or money or fame or anything, God must come first.
So please, if you’re in a relationship or about to be in a relationship where SEX will be an expected part of it, TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF NOW. You don’t have to live in fear or shame or lack. Allow Holy Spirit to truly lead your relationship and I promise you, everything will be okay.
While some may think this verse out of context, I think it definitely applies. “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you” Matt 6:33