“And God saw everything the he had made, and…it was very good.”~ Genesis 1:31
How can thinking of the goodness of sex be of help to anyone whose mind and heart has become a toxic waste dump? Actually, it’s quite a powerful thought.
For those struggling with sexual sin, recognizing the basic goodness of our sexuality will hopefully free us up to talk about it more openly than we do. Getting it out in the open is what we need to do to find healing. Marriages and churches that treat sexuality as a beautiful, ordinary part of life create a healing atmosphere for people to come forward with their struggles and hurts.
Yet if we act as though sex is that which shall not be named we will insure that people remain hidden behind walls of shame and fear.
Understanding the basic goodness of sexuality should also give those on the listening side of things some perspective and grace when the one who is struggling opens up. A wife first hearing of her husband’s porn struggle naturally feels betrayed. But there are usually vast steps of separation between the sin of pornography and an actual flesh and blood affair. The lesser sin (which is still sin, in that it separates us from God’s fellowship, hurts others, works to enslave us, requires repentance, and is liable for judgment) puts the offender on the road toward the greater sin if left unchecked. But it is not the greater sin. A leaking pipe has likely been found, not a broken one.
A wife who is willing to learn more of masculine sexuality, and why it is that men by nature are so vulnerable to the power of visual images, can give to her husband a great gift. A husband likewise who learns the uniqueness of his wife’s sexuality can learn to ‘die to himself’ and give to her his own gift of sacrificial love.
Thinking of the goodness of sex also can give us a potent new approach to facing temptation. I have found it incredibly liberating in moments of weakness to shift in my thinking from – “Oh no! There’s a gorgeous woman over there! Don’t look! Ugly! Evil! Danger!” – to “Look at the beauty you gave to that woman, my Lord. You’re quite an artist.”
With the old thinking, I’d invariably send the drone of my eyes circling back for another look. And another. With the new thinking, I could turn away and resume whatever it was I was doing.
This was especially helpful as Janis and I struggled in our marriage in our early years. It was an epiphany to my heart to realize that sexual attraction comes with the package of being human. I came to realize that there was a particular type of woman that I was drawn to – and Janis was a card-carrying member of that group. Furthermore, it dawned on me that Janis was not the ‘only woman in the world for me’ but that in fact there were dozens (Hundreds! Thousands! his male ego says) of other women out there I could have married.
One day when Janis and I were fighting, and I was decorating my heart with balloons and streamers for the awesome pity-party I was about to have, God spoke to my heart. “My son, you married this woman. Not the woman of your evangelical dreams. This woman.”
“But what about that other women that I have warm fuzzies about?” I asked.
“What of it?” I heard in reply. “It’s how I made you. That type of woman will always give you warm fuzzies (especially when you’re fighting with my daughter). But you married this woman.”
What a revelation. The feelings of attraction I was having for someone else were not proof that I had married outside of God’s will, or a sign that he had something better in store for me. They were just good, ordinary parts of my inner circuitry. But wires don’t decide when to turn the lights on and off. That choice comes from somewhere else. God was telling me to control my good inner circuitry, and get back to the business of loving my wife.
Of course you want to turn on the computer. Of course you want to look. Of course you enjoy talking more to the new Prince Charming you’ve found at work than King Humpty Dumpty waiting back at home. Of course an orgasm feels incredible. Of course you are drawn to pleasure and recoil from pain. What of it? God made you to feel these things. And they are good.
It’s good inner circuitry. That you now need to learn how to control.
What ideas in this reading did you find helpful or challenging?
Recognizing the basic goodness of sexuality has at least three benefits discussed in this reading. What are they? Can you think of any others?
How do you respond to the thought that finding love is not about finding your “one and only” but learning to ‘love the one you’re with’ (do…do…do…)?
Prayer and Worship
“Father, I thank you for…”
“Father, please help me with…”
“Father, please be with…”
“In the name of Jesus, who died for my sins, who rose from the dead and who is with me now through the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Today’s Worship Suggestion: “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” (Robert Robinson)
This Week’s Memory Verses
(We encourage you to memorize both the verse and the reference, in any version you are comfortable with.)
“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” ~ Proverbs 24:16
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” ~ Job 31:1
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4