August 7, 2019
It’s not a Dirty Word
*This devotion might make you a little uncomfortable. It makes me a little squirmy. But I encourage you to read it, save it, and maybe print it out. There is going to be a daughter, granddaughter, or friend who is going to need to hear it one day. It might even be today.
“Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25 NLT).
Friend to Friend
My maternal grandmother had twelve 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 Grandma, but if anyone says that sex is evil, 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. We are to honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband (Hebrews 13:4). 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.
Sex has been used to sell everything from movie tickets and clothes to shampoo and corn chips. Advertisers refer to the sleek and seductive allure of certain cars as sexy. They tout the tingly freshness of a certain toothpaste that will supposedly make the opposite sex want to lean in for a kiss. Commercials show a man’s electric razor enticingly sliding over his chiseled jaw, promising irresistible sexual attraction. Advertisers agree: sex sells.
I don’t want you to get me wrong. I don’t think sex is a bad thing. God created sex, and he considers what he made “very good” (Genesis 1:31). I believe the problem is not that our culture focuses on sex too much but that it values sex too little.
Sex is meant to be so much more than a physical act of carnal urges. Sex was created to be a sacred union between a husband and wife, designed by a holy, ingenious, and immensely generous God. He isn’t a spoilsport who wants to keep people from having sex, but a loving, masterful Creator who wants husbands and wives to experience passionate physical intimacy for a lifetime. When we understand the weighty worth and sacred significance of sex, we treasure and enjoy it even more.
We are not “less holy” when we are passionately loving our spouse, and we should never be embarrassed or feel guilty about it. 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.
It is easy to think of a marriage as a holy union designed by God. But we must remember that sex is also a holy union designed by God. The Bible says about Adam and Eve: “Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25 NLT).
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, it becomes a renewal of the marriage covenant that lasts for a lifetime. Peterson’s paraphrase 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, The Message).
Solomon understood the gift and the Giver—and he was thankful for both. After he and his bride had consummated their marriage, they glowed in the aftermath.
I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk. (Song 5:1)
He was a happy man. No shame. No regret.
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.
Dear Lord, I am saddened at how the world has distorted what you have created in sexual intimacy. Help me to keep a godly perspective of intimacy, and remember that the gift is sacred and sanctioned for marriage.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Why do you think that God made sure that a book about romance, marriage, and sexual intimacy is in the Bible?
How does knowing that God created and celebrates sex between a husband and wife affect the way you view intimacy with your husband?
More from the Girlfriends
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Originally published Wednesday, 07 August 2019.