Diluted Senses

38844163 - vector peerless decorative feather, tribal design, tattooLet him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!

For your love is better than wine;

your anointing oils are fragrant;

your name is oil poured out;

therefore virgins love you.

Draw me after you; let us run.

The king has brought me into his chambers. (Song of Solomon 1:2-4a ESV)

A Cabin in the Woods

As we write this, we are on vacation visiting family in northern Idaho. We’re at an AirBnB cabin in the country near a lake and an evergreen forest. The cabin has no Internet, cel reception, or cable. We have to drive 10 miles  to the local library for WiFi to catch up on our emails, texts, blog statistics, and the latest Yankees’ game.

It’s a big adjustment for these city folk!

We sit on the patio each morning. We taste the coffee, see the rabbits at play, feel the sunshine, hear the birds chirping, smell the the pine forest, and hold hands. All our senses are at work taking in all of God’s goodness to us. God intended our senses to experience the glory of his creation and to give thanks to him for his incredible gift of the five senses.

Our Five Senses

We have, to varying degrees, exchanged the richness of our God-given senses for the counterfeit in our postmodern, digital world. Of course, we can’t get away from our senses altogether but a large part of our experience is screen-centric including smartphones, flat screen TV’s, and streaming music services.

There is a movement to get back to an analog life but it’s like spitting in the ocean. The net result of our cool digital life is that we lose the ability to feel, truly feel, the way God designed us to use our five senses.

Our five senses are most alive in the act of love making, nothing is as rich or as satisfying to the senses. You may say a fine wine, an ocean sunset, a Mozart concerto are the most satisfying stimuli to our senses. God says making love to your spouse is the most satisfying stimuli to all your senses. Is there anything on this planet that engages all five senses, in the same way, at the same time, than the act of marital love? Not really. Sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste come alive in sex unlike anything else.

Solomon and His Bride Got It

Our passage today isn’t even talking about the act yet, our lovers are still in the preparation phase and all the senses are already fully engaged. The handsome king (sight), the kisses of his mouth (touch), his fragrant oil (smell), speaking his name is like “oil poured out” (hearing), and a love that is better than wine (taste).

Our five senses are a gift from God. Why did he give us this marvelous gift? Because when we are fully immersed in one or more of the senses that is when we feel most alive. God wants us to feel alive to the fullest. Jesus calls this the “abundant life”. (See John 10:10)

When we get immersed in our various “screens” to satisfy only what our God-given senses can satisfy, we dilute the experience of life and feel less than truly alive. We exchange true life for a postmodern dullness. We ultimately dilute the senses to our harm. Pornography is the most diluting form of digital dullness.

Feel Truly Alive

God has given most of us a wonderful ability to truly feel alive through the natural use of our five senses. Drink fine wine, go to the ocean and see a wonderful sunset, hike in the mountains and hear the sounds of nature but there’s nothing that engages all the senses, at the same time, in the same way, like making love.

The irony that you’re probably reading this post on your smartphone has not escaped us. So put the phone down, step back and take a walk in the woods, or better yet, find your husband or wife and give them a big kiss!

Bible Thought: God has given most of us a wonderful ability to truly feel alive through our five senses.

Prayer: Father, help me to understand the wonderful gift of the five senses and give you thanks for these glorious gifts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just do it,

Rene & Gloria

Men and Women are Different

IMG_2510Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!

For your love is better than wine;

your anointing oils are fragrant;

your name is oil poured out;

therefore virgins love you.

Draw me after you; let us run.

The king has brought me into his chambers. (Song of Solomon 1:2-4a ESV)

A Difference

The world says that men and women are essentially the same and that women can do anything a man can do – only better. This may or may not be true but when it comes to sexual desire and perspective the Bible tells us that men and women are different.

Husband, this may come as news to you, but your wife does not think about sex the same way you do. And the more you try to get her to think about sex the way you do, well, let’s just say it won’t help. And wife, your husband does not think about sex the way you do either.

For example, in Proverbs we get a man’s perspective, “Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” (Proverbs 5:19b previous post). This verse encourages sexual intoxication and desire in a husband. God has gifted men with an indiscriminately strong sex drive. Now hopefully social pressures, and for the Christian man, the Holy Spirit, mitigate their wild sexual desires or they may end up in another #MeToo story.

The Difference

These two verses, Proverbs 5:19b and Song of Songs 1:1-4, give us insight into the different perspective of sex and desire between men and women. Notice both find sex intoxicating but the man is drunk with desire while the woman is intoxicated with being desired, “For your love is better than wine”. She reinforces this idea of being intoxicated with being deeply desired:

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth”

“Draw me after you, let us run”

“The king has brought me into his chambers”.

She is intoxicated with the intoxicating passion of her lover and his intense desire for her and her alone. This is not to say she doesn’t also feel a strong sexual feelings but she looks at the relationship from a different point of view.

They both love sexual intimacy but the man is overcome with desire while the woman is overcome with being desired. But the goal is the same. The path is different. God created man and woman, husband and wife, to complement one another – desire and being desired. There may be the occasional overlap and reversal in a marriage from time to time, but generally, men and women differ on sexual desire and perspective.

A Complicated Sexual Dance

Of course, we are looking at a young couple where the passion is rich and unreserved. One thing to keep in mind though is that as a marriage matures the sexual desires seems to merge; that is, the differences are less pronounced. We think particularly of Sarah who laughed at the prospect of sexual “pleasure” at her advanced age of 90 or so. (See Genesis 18:12)

Marriage is a complicated sexual dance and the longer a marriage goes on the greater chance of a misstep. We suspect one of the major problems in a lack of sexual desire is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness leads to resentment and bitterness and the death of desire or being desired. Sexual intimacy is complicated enough without adding unforgiveness. Beware of missteps. Forgive quickly.

The Ideal Marriage

However, our young bride is living the ideal marriage in our love poem. She delights in being desired and values her lover supremely. She can’t wait to consummate their relationship and delights in her husband’s passion for her. As her marriage progresses we would encourage her to beware of snares and obstacles along the way that could get in the way of sexual desire. But for now she is enraptured with passion and waiting for her lover’s kisses.

Bible Thought: Beware of snares and obstacles that could undermine desire and being desired. Forgive quickly.

Prayer: Father, help me to understand the view my spouse has of sexual intimacy. Help me to remove all obstacles that would hinder sexual intimacy in our marriage. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just do it,

Rene & Gloria

How to Be Sex-Positive

How to Be Sex-Positive

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.
She
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
(Song of Solomon 1:1,2a ESV)

Song of Songs is Sex-Positive

The Song of Songs is a love poem extolling the joy of sexual intimacy in marriage. God wants us to consider it as a picture of an ideal marriage. It is no accident God included this curious book in his canon of Scripture.

We call it curious because many Christian don’t want to think about sex, let alone talk about it. God has other ideas and let’s us know by putting a book all about sexual intimacy in his Word. The reality is that Satan wants us to think about sex in his terms of depravity and vulgarity.

The culture of the Middle East at the time of the writing of the Song of Songs was sex-positive. God wants us to think about sex his way as the glorious center of a covenant marriage.

Sex Gets a Bad Rep

Sex started to get a bad reputation at the beginning of the church age. A few early church fathers went so far as to castrate themselves in the name of holiness. This was the beginning of a love-hate affair with sex in the Christian community.

Satan has taken advantage of fanatical Christian sexual ideology ever since. It’s not a coincidence that the number one most vulgar word in our culture is a description of the sex act. Satan, the god of this world, wants anything God holds in esteem to be denigrated. Sexual intimacy is no exception; in fact, the devil majors on polluting what God has declared as “very good”.

It’s also no coincidence that the second most used profanity in our culture is our Savior’s name. It’s almost as if Satan says, “Yes, one day every knee will bend to the name of Jesus, but in the meantime it will be a curse word.” The two most used profanities concern sexual intimacy and our Lord’s name. No surprises from the god of this world.

It should tell us something about Satan’s strategies to pollute our sexual intimacy in marriage and our spiritual intimacy in Christ.

Taking a Stand

So when we are, at best, ambiguous about sexual intimacy; and, at worse, repulsed by sexual intimacy then we are aligning ourselves with the devil’s doctrines of polluted sex. It’s only when we think correctly about married sex will we be able to do married sex as God intended.

The Song of Songs is sex-positive because God is sex-positive. It’s time we take back the territory that Satan has stolen from us for 2,000 years. Married sex is God’s idea and he thinks it’s a good one.

Bible Thought: God’s Word celebrates sex in a committed covenant marriage.

Prayer: Father, help me be sex-positive as God is sex-positive and stand against the cultural lies of the evil one. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just do it,

Rene & Gloria

SOS & SEX

13376301 - education in the books

SOS & SEX

This is Part 3 of a five part series based on the “5 False Assumptions about Married Sex”. Part 1, can be found here The Only Reason to Get Married. Part 2 is here Sex & Sanctification.

False Assumption #3: We say sex is primarily for men and secondarily for women. God says sex is for both husband and wife equally.

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;

    your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
therefore virgins love you. 

Draw me after you; let us run.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
(Song of Solomon 1:1-4 ESV)

S.O.S is an international signal of distress. S.O.S, or Song of Solomon, is God’s remedy for marital distress. This fascinating book of the Bible may not be easy to understand but it’s Principles of Sexual Love are loud and clear. Married sex is for both men and women – equally. However, this book also makes it clear that men and women view sex differently but that’s for another post.

The Word never even hints that sex is primarily for men and secondarily for women. Leah and Rachel fought over Jacob’s sexual attentions. Sarah laughed after being told she would have “pleasure” in her old age, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12 ESV) The woman in the Song of Solomon is “intoxicated” with sexual desire for her husband (v2).

Today many, both men and women, see sex as primarily for the husband and a duty for the wife.

So what happened?

Here are a few wrong ideas about married sex that have undermined God’s intended purpose.

  • The culture demonizes men’s natural sexual aggression and calls it “toxic”. (It is toxic if misused but joyful if used with love in marriage.)
  • The church agrees with the culture and promotes a “toxic” view of a strong sex drive often calling it “lust”. (A strong sex drive is a wonderful gift from God.)
  • The church promotes sexual restraint in marriage as a sign of greater holiness. (The opposite is true: sexual restraint in marriage promotes sexual sin, not holiness. See 1 Cor 7:1-5 ESV)
  • Christian wives are encouraged to “help” their husbands control their unwieldy sex drive by suppressing all sensuality. (Again, the opposite is true: Wives are to encourage their husband’s strong sex drive and fan it into flames to the delight of them both. See SOS 4:9-10 She “captivates” his heart with her sexual love.)
  • Men and women don’t see sex as a primary reason for marriage. (Sex is the only reason to get married in the first place according to the Bible.)

As we are influenced by these non-biblical ideas, we will correspondingly think sex is primarily for men. The closer we get to God’s model for sexual love in the Song of Solomon, we will see that sex is a fountain of joy for both men and women.

As we mentioned in the last post, a biblical view of married sex has to be learned, it is not naturally acquired as we may think. The first step in learning about married sex is to unlearn our false cultural and religious assumptions.

Bible Thought: God loves passion and encourages husbands and wives to fan it into flames.

Prayer: Father, help me to get closer to the sexual love model in the Song of Solomon. I turn to you, and your grace, to help me to understand you are for sex and not against sex in marriage. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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