The sermon Sunday (Sep 2, 2012) about “Oneness” from Genesis 2:20-25 never got to talk about sex. But sex is surely at the very least implied in the Genesis 2 language — “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
And the apostle Paul goes further to make the implication of Gen 2:24 clear in 1 Corinthians 6 when he writes “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.'”
So what does sex have to do with oneness? Everything. If oneness is intimacy, what is more intimate than the sex act? If isolation is the enemy of oneness, what is celibacy but isolation?
Again, the apostle Paul speaks to the close tie of oneness and sex when he writes …
…each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
Notice a few quick observations in that paragraph. First he states the obvious: a man should have sex with his own wife, i.e. not someone else’s wife, and likewise each woman with her own husband. In a culture of “friends with privileges,” premarital sex and living together, this seems old fashioned, even difficult or impossible.
But it’s not impossible. Ask Tim Teabow, the famous NFL quarterback, follower of Jesus, and virgin who is waiting for marriage to have sex. Ask Lolo Jones, the 29 y.o. Olympic track star, follower of Jesus, and virgin who is waiting for marriage to have sex.
The problem with sex outside of marriage is that sex was designed by God for the ultimate in intimacy, “They were naked and not ashamed.” And you can’t have sex without sharing some part of you, often more personal and deeper than you notice at the moment. God knows that. He designed sex to be that way. Close. Personal. Intimate.
I mean, God could have designed humans to procreate like worms; cut off a finger and grow another person. Or like fish; sprinkle your eggs and any passing male can fertilize them. Or like most mammals who mate from behind, not face-to-face. No, God designed sex to be pleasurable, intimate, very personal.
Second, meeting her sexual needs is a duty that the husband has to his wife. That might take more time and thought than is obvious since “sex begins in the kitchen” — the intimacy of your relationship begins with the conversations and interactions of the day, not just when the lights go out in the bedroom. That’s pretty simple to understand: guys shouldn’t expect their wife to be interested in sex if he has not been interested in her throughout the day.
Third, Paul talks about “no authority over her/his body” meaning that we have no right to withhold sex as a tool to manipulate or control or punish our spouse. This is tricky. There is no place for abuse in a Christian marriage. No abuse of control and manipulation by withholding sex. And no abuse by subjecting your spouse to unwelcome, offensive or unpleasant sex. Unfortunately, in our sex-saturated, porn-filled culture, some detestable acts and attitudes have crept into the Christian bedroom that degrade and demean all involved and betray the trust that should be at the center of sex between a wife and husband.
Finally, Paul says that there is really only one good reason to avoid or withhold sex from your spouse. And that’s to have a time set apart to pray! Wow! That’s a foreign thought in our culture. Give up the time you would have set aside for sex and use that time to pray! But — and this is a BIG but — be sure to resume normal sex in your relationship when you are through praying. Cool.
Do you want more intimacy in your marriage? Sex is a huge part of that. Do you want great sex? Fight the isolation that pulls you apart.
Resting in Him,