Lately, I’ve been taking on the Beatitudes and how they relate to our marriages, specifically our marriage beds. You see, I believe that whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom.
Let’s review the full 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.”
I think the word meek is a bit like the word submit in the Bible — hard to define and often misunderstood. Merriam Webster says it means, “having or showing a quiet and gentle nature : not wanting to fight or argue with other people,” and Oxford Dictionaries defines it as, “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.” Well, that sounds awful — “easily imposed on.”
But the original Greek word, praus, doesn’t mean being a weakling, a pushover, a doormat. Some have explained it as gentleness or strength under control. But apparently, the word was used secularly to refer to a wild horse that eventually gives in to the bridle. That is, tamed and controlled.
Unbridled sexuality isn’t really the point of God’s design for sexual intimacy. Rather, He wants us to exert some control over our passions. And by “exert some control,” I mean “surrender to His bridle.”
Wild animals can resist bridling by rambunctiously trying to go off in their direction or they stay put like a mule that refuses to budge. I’ve definitely seen both of these scenarios in marriages struggling with sexual intimacy.
Some spouses want to pursue their own pleasures without regard to their mate, or pursue activities that God frowns upon. Others are sexual refusers or gatekeepers, trying to keep control by being the one in charge of the marriage bed.
And both attitudes are not meekness.
Rather, the meek give in to God’s will for their marriage, to His superior plan for intimacy with our spouse, to His gift of sexual delight in the marital bedroom. Maybe they are indeed quiet, gentle, submissive, and easily imposed on — but only by opening themselves up fully to God’s taming. Letting the Creator of sex show us the way.
Meekness is what Christ Himself possessed, as spoken in Matthew 21:5 about Him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey: ” ‘Say to Daughter Zion, “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ‘ ” Jesus was definitely within the will of God, surrendering Himself to His Heavenly Father.
I also find it fascinating that Matthew 5:5 mirrors a scripture from the Old Testament: Psalm 37:11 says, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” And this is the very chapter in which the psalmist David tells us to “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (verse 4). We begin with taking delight in the Lord and His vision for our marital intimacy, and once we understand how good He is, it’s far easier to become meek in the marital bedroom. To let God guide our decisions and our attitude toward our husband, or wife.
Have I mastered this? Let’s just confess that no one fully has. We are constantly fighting our own selfishness. Which is why we need to think intentionally about the quality of meekness.
Begin by aligning your desires with His, throwing off anything that is clearly against God’s plan, and letting Him guide you to something better. The Bible says the meek will “inherit the earth.” I won’t try to break down exactly what that means, but the attitude of meekness in the marriage bed can also help to bring an inheritance of healthy sexuality and intimacy.
What other applications for the marriage bed do you see from this verse?