The Beatitudes. Lately, I’ve been covering how these principles can be applied to our marriage and marriage bed. However, I’d be surprised if some of you haven’t thought of an image like this during this series on my blog:
(Yes, I used to work in Children’s Ministry.)
That’s really not a bad way to think about these commands from Jesus: They are attitudes that we take and people we want to be, whether we’re dealing with fellow church goers, co-workers or friends, or our spouse. And the be-attitude we adopt impacts how we view our world, including sexual intimacy in our marriage.
One more time, I want to give you the passage from the Sermon in the Mount that we refer to as The Beatitudes. If you’ve been following this series, you may be tempted to skim these familiar verses, but I encourage you to really read through them and let each sink into your mind and heart.
“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.”
There are two more verses that complete this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” They expand on the final beatitude of “Blessed are those who are persecuted….”
Now I firmly believe that God’s commands reach every aspect of our lives. But His promises delve into every crevice as well. What if, living according to the Beatitudes, your marriage experienced these promises? What if your marriage itself:
- belonged in the kingdom of heaven
- was comforted
- inherited the earth
- felt filled
- received mercy
- saw God
- was called a child of God
- knew the kingdom of heaven
Sounds pretty good, huh?
In wrapping up my own study of this passage, I read a little further in Matthew 5. Now the Books of Matthew and Luke both give an accounting of Jesus’ sermon, and while there is a great deal of overlap, their different perspectives give us a slightly take on what was said and when. No, this isn’t a problem in verifying the truth of what Jesus said; rather, it’s how eyewitnesses report the same incident — with main points that agree and enough variations in detail to conclude they didn’t rehearse a false story. But Matthew may have chosen what came next in his account, rather than this being the order in which Jesus delivered his words.
Still, I was intrigued when I read:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
That’s how I often feel about the godly sexual intimacy. While it’s a very private affair, how we conduct ourselves in this area can become a public testimony to the world about our Christian commitment and our spiritual fruit.
As you pour yourself into sexual intimacy, as one of several forms of intimacy you can have in marriage, some of that goodness overflows and shows. Your relationship is holier, heathier, and happier. Your friends and family may never fully know what all is behind your better, stronger, sweeter marriage, but your light shines.
My prayer for you and your marriage is that you will be blessed. That you will be salt and light. That you will experience God’s promises.
Blessed are those…
Let’s be those. Let’s be blessed.
6 thoughts on “The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Experiencing God’s Promises”
Hi J. I saw your statements about the accounts in Matthew and Luke being different and as one of your apologist commenters, I wanted to say something. It’s quite possible for instance that these were two different sermons. Why is that? Because ask anyone who is an itinerant speaker (And I’m sure you’re familiar with this) and you know they give the same talk in different locations, though it is never absolutely the same anywhere. There are always variations depending on the audience or any other details. What we need to see is if there is any radical disagreement in content, and there isn’t.
Also, Matthew is laid out in a style like the Pentateuch. There are five sections of action and five of narrative. It could be the Sermon was not given all at once but was a compilation of many different teachings Jesus gave. I’m not sold on that idea, but it is one some evangelicals look at.
And as for sex, yes. It would be wonderful if sexual intimacy followed this more often. I posted this morning that women need emotional crisis in difficulty and men should not see that as an inconvenience. Their women married them because they wanted them to be their man. In the same way, men experience the most love through physical closeness, especially sex. This should not be an inconvenience to a woman. A man married her because he wanted her to be his woman. The mistake I think is when we treat each other like an inconvenience. Of course, we shouldn’t take advantage of one another and be lazy, but we should be delighted to get to serve one another in love.
The other thing to remember is that, while Jesus was SPEAKING Aramaic, the authors of the NT were WRITING in Greek! So they had to make the kinds of decisions every translator has to make when moving from one language to another — do I keep the sense of the meanings, or the order of the words, or some combination? How do I translate this pun or joke or idiom? How do I make sure my audience understands what Jesus MEANT as well as knowing what he SAID? I teach NT Greek and I come across decisions like that constantly. That helps me a lot when I’m making sense of the wording of the gospels.
Another beautiful meditation. Thank you.
Great series, J.
J, I love your blog & how you word your posts.
However I find sex something I have grown to despise. I had bad experiences in my teens, and my husband brought porn and lust into our marriage for many many years.
Yes I have tried counselling.
My husband and I have had sex twice this year and the last time was so awful that I have not wanted to do it again. My husband says other women are more beautiful than me. Its not something he says a lot, but I have no desire to be with him sexually after such comments.
I read your blog in awe – that people can actually enjoy something I truly despise.
My husband doesn’t bring up the fact we don’t have sex. He just doesn’t seem to care.
I think you two should look for a marriage class in your area, which can have better results than counseling for some couples. You also should talk to your physician about why sex feels so awful and see if there are any issues there you need to address. Your husband needs to get some help for his porn habit if he’s still engaging, and you can be supportive with that plan.
Regardless, you and your hubby need to address this lack of sexual intimacy, because it’s important to a healthy marriage. You don’t have adore it just yet, but God wants this to be a beautiful experience for you. Take a baby step in the right direction. Praying.
Comments are closed.