I’m back with my series on the Beatitudes in the Bedroom, addressing how these verses relate to our marriages and marriage beds. As I’ve done so far, let me remind you of the whole passage of the Beatitudes from 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.”
I suspect the number one question youth ministry workers still receive from teens about sex is “How far is too far?” I know that was true when I was growing up. Good Christian teens wanted to know where God had drawn the line and then, they reasoned, they’d just make sure they didn’t cross that line.
Of course this doesn’t work. When you’re in that moment of burgeoning sexual desire and your hottie is in your arms, all the lines go fuzzy. Not to mention that it’s the wrong question, because it’s essentially asking, What can I get away with?
Now fast forward to marriage, and the same question comes up in different ways. We still want to know what we can get away with.
Some want to push the envelope in their marriage bed. I’ve received questions from readers wondering if they can engage in everything from watching porn to pegging (don’t read it if you don’t want to know) to watching their spouse have sex with someone else. These are Christians who want to be okay with God but also want to figure out how to do what they want to do.
Some spouses want to know how little sex they can get away with having. Is once a month enough to shut him up? How about once a week? Surely, she can do with once a week. Or if they can demand the lights off, covers-to-your-necks, no-frills sexual experience and still high-five themselves for meeting their mate’s sexual needs.
Some people want to know not whether they can ever masturbate, but if they can do it often and without their spouse’s knowledge. Or what they can think about during sex: Is picturing someone else okay? What about imagining their craziest sexual fantasy during sex?
We even wonder about our choices of shows to watch and books to read that involves sexuality. How much is too much? What about a romance novel? Or erotic romance? What if the story involves a married couple? What about Sex in the City or Game of Thrones? Are R-rated films automatically off the viewing list?
Look, some of these are good questions, and I don’t mind answering them. It’s important to know where the boundaries are. God certainly set out both Dos and Don’ts in His Word, so He gets the importance of saying, “Do this,” and “Don’t do that.” We need clear lines sometimes.
But I’m bothered when someone’s whole attitude rests around the idea of simply what’s okay and what’s not in the marital bedroom. Because it misses this concept: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
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Do you long for everything God wants you to have with your mate when it comes to sexual intimacy? Do you seek out ways to show greater love to your husband? Do you consider what would make your wife a more confident and satisfied lover? Do you look for ways to honor your beloved as you make love?
Do we even understand that God’s design for sex in marriage is righteousness?
And what about the beauty of God’s promise: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Yesterday, my husband, “Spock,” and I were talking about how different the sex experience is in our marriage than anything we experienced before. As we’ve pursued righteousness in our marriage, we have been filled. Our hearts and souls have experienced intimacy we can’t describe. I’m not saying that every single time we head to the rafters in soulful rapture, but our hungering and thirsting for what God wants us to have in our marital intimacy has resulted in us being filled overall.
And even if you’re the one hungering and thirsting for righteousness, while your spouse isn’t quite there, I believe God fills you. The blessings may not come fully in the marriage bed, but they come in other ways — an inner peace of knowing that you are seeking His ways, a hope that things can get better, a sense of God’s hand upon you.
Let’s hunger and thirst for righteousness. What could you do today to bring your marriage bed one step closer to God’s plan for sexual intimacy?