Recently a notable former mega pastor told Oprah that those who quote 2000 year old letters for their authority in life will be even more irrelevant. I don’t doubt that many driving cultural movements today hope that becomes true However, I couldn’t disagree more.
This week’s message focuses on the first half of one of those letters: 1Corinthians chapter seven. It is interesting that in Paul’s time they had two conflicting extremes. One had no sexual boundaries because their view of life did not value the physical as significant for anything but the moment. The other boundaried sex out of the equation to the point where the only good sex was no sex even for married couples. They completely missed God’s point.
Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19. See also vv. 15-17
We continue to miss God’s point today and see great brokenness as a result. Without boundaries, few attach sex exclusively to marriage any more. That is looked on as backwards, uninformed, prude, weird, etc. Any kind of sex for pleasure is OK. It does not have to involve love or commitment of any kind. It is reduced to a physical release or experience of pleasure in the same category as going eating, belching or farting.
Men seek sex to validate themselves. Women sacrifice it to feel close or loved. Both end up disappointed & wounded. Some women offer sex too soon in order to get and keep a man. Then after marriage, it disappears of fades much to his frustration. Both have gone where they should not have and now they struggle to find a way back to the love & respect they imagined marriage would bring. Instead of naked and unashamed, most in this life find themselves clothed and deeply ashamed.
In response to the brokenness of their experience others recoil from it entirely. Sex itself is viewed as sin if not the original sin. Even in marriage, it can be viewed as a necessary evil. The scars of previously broken boundaries bring fear that prevents too many from entering into the good garden God intends married couples to share.
God designed sex for good between husband and wife with an exclusive lifelong commitment to actively love each other. His way really is best. Save sex for marriage. Embrace sex within marriage. Enjoy sex in marriage! That is the only environment where sex can be safe, significant actually healing instead of wounding. God’s direction is about offering oneself to the other NOT taking the other for oneself. It is about meeting the need of the other, not manipulating them to meet yours. It is based on committed unconditional love and grace not performance, accomplishment or even result.
Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1Corinthians. 7:5
It’s time for Christians to take back marriage. I don’t mean in the courtroom or even the newsroom. I mean in the living room, the locker room and yes… the bedroom. It’s time to take back sex. We have the directions straight from the Lord. Our failure to follow His direction have been a contributing cause of why it is so easy for the lost world to look right past us for other options.
What if we did something about that. What if Christian marriages, families, singles and couples actually embraced, honored, and followed the directions of Jesus. What if His way really is best. What if when people saw us they saw love unexplainable except for the presence of God Himself. What if they came to see that Jesus really does make all the difference?
Its time it quit complaining about the sin of the world and get our own house in order. If we want to make an impact, then line up with Jesus and make one! Join us this weekend as we consider 1Corinthians 7:1-24 together.