This is Part II of last week’s blog. You may want to catch up with that blog first.
I admitted last week that I am going to ruffle some feathers with this blog. I don’t do so for the sake of ruffling. But it’s usually God’s ruffling that initiates change, so, I’m ruffling.
I submit that sex is not a need. I realize that Catholic priests and monks are possibly not the best examples because they’ve lately gotten a big, black eye because of sexual sin. But contrary to what the media wants us to believe, I believe they are the exceptions. There are many more men and women of God who have sworn oaths of celibacy and have learned to put God before their physical lusts and live long, healthy, holy lives. I believe God built in a fail safe system to address this. There is such a thing called a wet dream – men’s bodily release of pent up seminal fluids roughly on 30 day intervals. Secondly, if it were a need, why then would almost every professional recovery system recommend, on average, a 90 day window of celibacy from love making with their wives (and obviously not masturbating and acting out!!)? The point of this intentional celibacy is to help us addicts sort out who is in control – me, my brain, God, the Holy Spirit – or our lusts? Scripture reminds us that self-control is a Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).1 Some of you reading this will simply shake your head at this next admission because you’ve never experienced it. If you’re a struggling addict you’ll understand: I remember the day the Holy Spirit told me, “You surely will not die without sex.” It was a revelation. An “AH HA!” moment. Not to be trite but it was life-changing. I had indulged the delusion that if I stopped acting out, stopped getting my rush, I would surely die. Insane? Incomprehensible? Welcome to the mind of an addict. Indulging delusions – need – is entirely selfish, self-centered self-absorbed, egocentric. Is sex a need? No. And I believe this so strongly I’ll go even further – hold on to your feathers. As long as you consider it a need you will fall short of God’s BEST for your marriage.
Is it a want? Most definitely. It feels good! It’s everywhere. “Sex Sells.” If it weren’t pleasant and desirable it wouldn’t have the appeal that it does. In His infinite wisdom God designed it that way; to draw men and women to each other. It is desirable. But then it became a tool to sell things. Marketing and society has perverted it and positioned it as a right. It’s my right. I want it. I deserve it. It is now abnormal if you’re not sexually active, married or not. Society’s approach is literally everywhere; and in that context it’s nothing more than lust.
I wish I could say otherwise but that attitude has slipped into our Hearts in the Church. A few traditional misunderstandings, or possibly selfish misinterpretations, of Scripture (see my Ephesians 5 blog) and suddenly a wife has a duty to perform. If she isn’t “performing her duty” to whatever nebulous standard her husband concocts, then he feels justified in pouting, justified in railing at her, justified in emotionally and spiritually blackmailing her and, eventually, justified in committing adultery. God created us to want this union with our spouse. It’s good. It’s a powerful force. But on this level, the flesh’s level, like trying to make it a need, it’s lust. Only lust.
So I definitely do not think it’s a need. At all. I do think it’s a want and very good inside its intended context but is most often used outside of that context. So what do I think it’s all about? It’s a Gift. In the context of a loving marriage, it’s a GIFT! A God-created, God-ordained, God-sanctioned gift with a deeper, wider, higher calling than most of us understand. I certainly didn’t. I’m definitely beginning to. It’s SPIRITUAL. The physical motions of ‘sex’ are founded in, supported by, blessed with an intimacy that is truly Spiritual. Truly the BEST. God intended it to be a union between a man and a woman that draws them away from their mother and father into a bonded, covenantal relationship that mirrors the intimate relationship He wants with us (Prov. 5:15-20).2 It’s love-based. It’s selfless. It’s eyes open, face to face, fearless intimacy. 3 It’s not about frequency. It’s not about release. It’s not about expectations. It’s not about duty.
It’s relationship. It’s open. It’s fearless. It’s vulnerable. It’s transparent. It’s honest. It sees schedules. It sees life circumstances. It sees age (sorry but that’s a ‘thing’). It sees the needs of your spouse every day and meets them. It’s faithful. It’s dedicated. It’s Grace in action. It’s SELFLESS. It’s a whole world of things that don’t have anything to do with the “act.” It’s a mystery. It’s intimacy personified. It’s God in your marriage. It’s holy. It’s amazing. It’s BEST. It’s God’s BEST for your marriage. Who wants good or even great when you can have BEST? And who better to determine BEST than He who created it?
Need? Nope. Never. Want? In God’s context, yes. Incredible Gift? Without doubt.