Last week, I explained that I’d recently gone to church camp where we studied the Beatitudes. Since I believe that whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom, I wondered if these principles had any application to the marriage bed. I then covered my take on “poor in spirit.”
Here’s the passage of the Beatitudes found at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Remembering that the Greek word for blessed, makarios, carries the connotation of being happy, fortunate, or favored, it seems odd that the second Beatitude talks about mourning. Isn’t that the opposite of being happy?
Perhaps in this case, blessed or fortunate really is a better perspective. Because mourning is bad enough, but doing so without comfort?
I’ve often thought what a struggle it must be for atheists to lose a loved one, believing that’s the last time they’ll ever see that person. But I have the comfort of believing that this isn’t the end — so despite my sadness, I’m blessed to have this confidence in God.
I’m not sure how mourning could apply to our marital intimacy, but I’ll take a stab about some options in which divine comfort could play a role.
For those who mourn that sex in marriage has not produced the children they desired. One of the reasons for sexual intimacy in marriage is procreation, and those who’ve had the challenge of infertility know how that pain affects their marriage bed. What was once viewed as an act of intimacy can begin to feel like a chore and the bedroom a reminder of unfulfilled dreams.
I truly believe that God is there with you in those times, and that husband and wife can do so much to comfort one another. Including through sexual intimacy, just for the sake of that connection and closeness. I haven’t been through this, so I’m not going to pretend to know what it feels like. But it’s important to find comfort, in God and in your spouse. Continue to remember that sexual intimacy blesses you in other ways.
And I sincerely pray that the child you long for becomes part of your family someday. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
For those who mourn that sex isn’t all they expected it to be. It’s okay to grieve that things didn’t go the way you anticipated. Perhaps you have pain during intercourse or your husband turned out to be the lower-drive spouse or simply finding time to engage is a challenge. Let’s get past the anger and frustration that we sometimes show outwardly and realize that we’re actually mourning the loss of the smooth sex life we desired and expected.
But there is comfort. Many of us authors and speakers do what we do in hopes of giving you answers and practical advice on how to proceed. Christian support organizations and counselors can help you work through issues. Mentors and friends can provide a private ear, a warm hug, and a heartfelt prayer for you as you struggle forward.
There’s also comfort in knowing that God wants so much more for you. He is in your corner and longs for you to take hold of His blessings in the marriage bed. Let His tenderness and hope infuse you with the comfort you need.
For those who mourn their sexual sin. If you’ve committed sexual sin in the past, or you’re engaging currently in practices you know are against God’s will, you need to fess up and admit your wrongdoing. When you really feel the depth of your sin, there is mourning.
Just read Psalm 51, written by David after his sexual sin with Bathsheba. Here are the first four verses:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
That’s a guy mourning about what he did, feeling true remorse.
But indeed, there is comfort. When David and Bathsheba’s son died, 2 Samuel 12:24 says, “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her.” And the rest of the verse says, “She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him.” God did not hold that sin against David forever. By no means! Mourn the past, repent in the present, and let God give you comfort.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
What other applications for the marriage bed do you see from this verse?