Tag Archives: gospel in the bedroom

Does Your Church Know?

Q&AOn Mondays, I’m working my way through the questions left in the comments section of Q&A with J at HHH. I still have several fabulous ones to get to, and I appreciate your patience. If yours hasn’t shown up yet, I promise it will.
Today’s question, however, is a bit personal:

HAPPY: Aloha, J! You had mentioned earlier that you told your mother about your blog – how about people from church? If so, what sort of response have you received?

The quick answer is no. However, my pastor has known for a full year what I am doing and is supportive. He agrees that the church needs to foster healthy marriages, including biblical sexuality within them. Beyond that, I don’t speak for him, as he might or might not agree with everything I’ve written on my blog. He and his wife do have the web address and can access my posts at any time.

Why haven’t I told my church? First, I have chosen to remain anonymous for the time being, simply going by the letter J. I have personal and family reasons why I have not yet revealed my identity, but I do expect to at some point.

Even if I was ready to tell my church, it’s a small world. For instance, I have more than once discovered that two of my personal Facebook friends knew each other when I didn’t know they had any connection. I have also visited churches where within a few conversations I have found mutual acquaintances. Moreover, I am three degrees of Kevin Bacon. Really. The point is, once the cat is out of the bag here, it’s out of the bag everywhere. So I will likely tell the church just a few days before I tell all of you.

I have considered how my church will react when I suddenly announce, “Hey, you know how I said I didn’t have time to teach any extra classes, and you wondered what on earth I was doing with all of my time? Well, I was super-busy writing a blog about sex. And yes, it’s ministry.” And what about when someone from my church Googles the blog name and finds posts on shaving, fellatio, and sex and bunnies? Maybe there is some way to direct them first to The Gospel in the Bedroom.

What I expect is that my church will be much like The Church — some will ignore it, some will be supportive, a few will be thoroughly encouraging, and a few will be in my face giving me an earful for discussing something so very private in such a public way. I do suspect that my church will have far more of the supportive and encouraging types than detractors (which would explain why we chose it as our church). However, I have no doubt that someone will think I have stepped every single toe over the line and wiggled them in the direction of hell.

In that case, I’ll take heart from one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Of course, I’m not trying to make enemies. Far more important than Prime Minister Churchill is the Word of God which says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

But I’m not keeping my identity a secret for fear of retribution from a few detractors. Hey, I already have detractors in the blogosphere. I get a little friendly fire from time to time as it is. My reasons are focused less on me and more on certain people in my life.

Still, when I do tell all of my friends and family what I’ve been doing with this blog, those closest to me won’t be surprised. I’ve been talking about godly sex for a long time. I recall sitting at a table with some women who were talking about marital intimacy like it was a chore and one of my friends said something like, “Well, we can’t talk to J about this because she’s likes sex.” I might as well have been a flying purple people eater at that moment. (See also Intimacy in Marriage’s great post called 5 Reasons I Like Sex: Confessions from a Christian Wife.) However, I bet that I wasn’t the only gal in the room who loved having sex with her husband; I was simply the only one who had spoken up.When I finally add a bunch more letters to the “J” and give you a full name, I would love to also speak about God’s gift of sexuality. But perhaps God wants to groom me a little while longer. For now, my ministry to equip marriages for thriving physical intimacy largely takes place through one-on-one conversations as the subject arises and this blog. Indeed, that may be part of God’s refining of me: I gain information, encouragement, and wisdom from my interaction with others on this subject. In particular, some of you have left comments that make me reflect, study the Bible deeper, and simply keep me going.

I wish I could thank all of you in person. But of course, if I did that, the cat would not only be out of the bag, he’d be yowling all night.

But I’m not so silly as to think that whether I speak up or not is going to be the make-or-break moment for the church and sexuality. I agree wholeheartedly with Mordecai from the Bible when he advised his cousin Esther: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.” My perspective on the blog is what Mordecai follows up with: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” I started with a “Who knows? Maybe God really can use me here” attitude. But if I don’t do it, someone else will. Indeed, if Christians are going to effectively fight against Satan’s attacks and reclaim God’s gift of sexuality, it will take more than one blogger or one speaker or one preacher anyway. But maybe I can do something from this blog — and someday in other ways.

Regardless, the Church needs all of you talking about godly sexuality where you are and in whatever way you can. It may be giving encouragement to a friend who is struggling with porn or lack of interest or coordinating a marriage class at your church or instructing your own children about God’s plan for marital intimacy. It may be writing or speaking on this subject. It may be commenting here when you have some wisdom to add.

My church doesn’t currently know I’m writing this blog. But the church knows that I stand for godly sexuality. What about your church? Do they know what you stand for? What small or big thing can you do to foster godly marital intimacy where you are?

Be sure to come back next week when I’ll answer a question about what the church can specifically do to foster biblical sexuality.

The Gospel in the Bedroom

Did that title catch your eye? We don’t usually see the words “gospel” and “bedroom” in the same sentence.

The Gospel is the central point of Christianity. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, entered the world in human form; lived and preached among us; sacrificed himself as the ultimate blood offering for our sins; and conquered death through His resurrection so that we can live with our LORD eternally . . . that is definitely good news, or gospel, to the whole world.

Cross with wedding rings

by AnonMoos via Wikimedia Commons

The Gospel calls us to higher principles, purposeful lives, and servant hearts. Often, we don’t allow it to permeate every area of our lives. The Gospel should impact what you choose to do with your time and money, which thoughts you dwell on and which ones you resist, how you treat your friends and the restaurant drive-through employee, and — believe it or not — how you approach the marital bedroom.

The Gospel matters a great deal in every aspect of life, including the intimacy you experience with your husband. These are just a few of the aspects of the Gospel that affect your married sex life:

Because of Christ, you can trust that God can redeem your brokenness.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7

If you have sexual baggage from your past — an addiction to pornography, an affair that wrecked the trust in your bedroom, or whatever other sin you can think of — Jesus Christ died for that sin. He brings forgiveness and healing when you confess and repent.

Because of Christ, you can forgive your spouse and give grace.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Has your husband mistreated you sexually at some time? Sought his own pleasure and ignored yours? Ignored your sexual needs? Demanded sexual satisfaction or refrained from giving himself fully? Quite honestly, most of us can think of a time when our spouse was selfish regarding sexuality. But regardless of what has happened in the past, you can be generous, give grace, start over.

Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. For instance, maybe he awakened you to have sex last night at 3:00 a.m. not because he doesn’t care how exhausted you were after taking care of a sick child yesterday or working on a job project with a looming deadline; maybe he was restless and started thinking about how beautiful you are to him. We can’t know exactly what our spouse’s motives are, so lean toward the most positive possibility. And forgive past sins, as you have been forgiven.

Because of Christ, you can have hope for your future.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:18-20

Think about that. The same power that God used to resurrect His Son is working in your life. You have hope for better things — in the life after this one, and in this life as well. We know that Jesus wants our lives and marriages to be full (John 10:10), loving (Ephesians 5:2), and fulfilling (1 Corinthians 7:3). When we know that God desires for us to have intimacy in our marriage and then shares His power with us, we have hope! Maybe your marriage and sex life isn’t everything it should be. Continue in prayer. Continue in faith. Continue in hope.

Because of Christ, your body has intrinsic value.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Your body is valuable and has the capacity to honor God. The verse prior says to “flee from sexual immorality,” and then gives the above reason. But if you are fleeing from sexual immorality, where should you run to? Well, to sexual morality of course! Welcome to God’s plan for marriage. You honor God with your body when you follow His plan for it in marriage; when you delight in the mate your Father has given you; when you seal your commitment and intimacy with physical bonding.

Because of Christ, you know what true love is.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

I teared up while looking for passages for this one. There are SO MANY to choose from. We know what true love looks like because Jesus modeled it for us. He was patient with disciples, gentle with sinners, humble before God, and serving and sacrificial above all. Imagine taking the perfect love of Jesus into the bedroom and being patient, gentle, serving, and sacrificial. Imagine both of you approaching physical intimacy that way. Now tell me how fabulous that would be for your sex life.

Because of Christ, you know that your intimacy mirrors and symbolizes what the Church has with Jesus, her Bridegroom.

“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32

Isn’t it amazing that the verse chosen to reflect Christ and the church ends with “the two will become one flesh”? The unity of a husband and wife is like Christ’s unity with His people. I desire one day to have with my LORD the intimacy that mirrors the intense closeness I experience with my husband in the midst of sex. How I long for it! And when I experience such pleasure and bonding with my husband, I know that it is a mere taste of what God has waiting for us in Heaven.

If the Gospel is true, the implications move into every aspect of our life. Our marriages are affected by God’s steadfast, redeeming love. Our physical intimacy with our mate is affected by His example and sacrifice.

We Christians need not approach the bedroom as the world does. Sex isn’t merely physical or all about oneself. The apex of intimacy is not multiple orgasms or more and more kinky sexual acts. The goal isn’t to have sex when we want, with whom we want, however we want, wherever we want without regard to others. We have the ultimate instead: a Gospel-driven life that shows a better way in every area — including the marital bedroom. And guess what? With God’s perfect design, we can end up having the most amazing sex! (See Spiritual Intimacy While Making Love from Sheila Gregoire.)

I pray for each married couple to experience the Gospel in their bedroom — to know the overwhelming love of Christ and to share it with their spouse.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

My sincere thanks to Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard who said something that inspired this post. Be sure to check out her marriage blog!