Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Many months ago, Pastor Tim approached me about writing a blog for the church website. I told him that this sounded great, while balking at the idea on the inside. Not only was I experiencing some pretty harsh difficulties at the time, but I hadn’t even kept a journal since high school and I had no idea what I would even talk about. Tim gave me a few ideas of books and parts of the Bible he thought I would find “bloggable.” When my life settled down some, I began reading some of his suggestions, but I was getting no inspiration from anything.
Fast forward to two Thursdays ago, my husband asked me to go to the Christian bookstore to look for a couples’ devotional for us. I think he’s come to regret that request because I left the store with almost $150 in various devotionals and even a Veggie Tales video. Just a hint, don’t ever ask me to go shopping at a bookstore for just one item!
As I was browsing the devotional section, my eyes fell on a book I thought was somewhat unusual find in a Christian bookstore. The book is Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse and by Pastor Ed and Lisa Young. I decided to take it home simply because it sounded fun to me. As it turns out, this book was almost written for me and the challenges Paul and I have been attempting to overcome.
You might be tempted to ask, “What exactly does sex have to do with the church or even God and Christianity?” I wondered the same thing. As it turns out, there’s quite a lot in common. Let me preface my review by saying that this book is not just for married couples. The Youngs also included sections in each chapter for engaged couples and single people, so it’s a good read for everyone.
Have you ever noticed that your relationship with your spouse has started to take a turn for the worse? Maybe the communication has lessened, maybe there’s the feeling of a huge gap between you and your spouse, maybe one or both of you are thinking of wandering in different directions, with someone else, or even talking about divorce. Maybe a busy schedule, work, or kids (this is an acronym for Keeping Intimacy at a Distance Successfully) are eating up more and more of your time. If there’s a mutual feeling of being lost and separated, first I would suggest either going to your pastor or finding a good Christian counselor for marriage therapy. Second I would recommend picking up this book and putting it into practice!
Pastor Young contends that the church, in general, does not talk about sex enough and I agree. In fact, in most churches the subject of sex is almost taboo. In fact, Pastor Young says that God truly wants humans to enjoy intercourse. God has made men and women diametrically opposite so that in marriage we may come together as one. Without a healthy sex life, many marriages falter and end in divorce. Sex is more than just procreation; it is a married couple communicating love and unity through intimacy. He even goes as far as to say this is a perfect representation of the male and female sides of God.
Lack of communication from the church leads Christians to feel that sex is a dirty little negligee that you hide in your closet. You only bring it out on special occasions when you are being bad and you never talk about it. Pastor Young proclaims that sex is actually one of the most beautiful forms of worshipping God that Christians can perform. References to sex ar found throughout the Bible. However, the most explicit accounts are found in the book Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), where King Solomon (son of King David and Bathsheba) and his Shulamite wife write candid love poems to each other. This book is full of allusions and word visuals that would make a sailor blush:
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. Song of Solomon 1:15-16.
Sex is what binds the marriage together, and I have never quite understood why society and the church have twisted it into one of the darkest and most embarrassing acts we as humans could perform. Spouses cannot hide secrets or hold animosity towards one another and have good marital intimacy. Pastor Young stresses that we must bring all of our baggage to the table and unload it, in a loving manner, in front of our spouse. It is all about giving the gift of forgiveness towards your spouse as Christ gave the gift of forgiveness to us through His crucifixion.
This book is not a how-to guide for sex. Rather it is a guide on loving your spouse, your life, and worshipping God through that love. Pastor Young insists that we first go to our spouse with our issues, so that there is nothing in the way of enjoyment. Afterward, the “sexperiment” is to carve out time to have sex with your spouse every day for an entire week. Obviously a week’s worth will not solve our family problems, but it points us in the right direction to complete openness with our spouses and starts us on the road towards healing and a strong bond with each other and God.
A good sex life also extends out into our daily lives. It creates loving intimacy through touch and tenderness between husband and wife that shows children what a good marriage is like and what they need to look for in a future spouse.
This article was written for Anchor Church’s online newsletter.