Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Defeating the Idol of Sex

Here is a follow up to last week's post. It is directed mainly to married couples. I will address singles later this week or next week. 

How do we fight the idolization of sex?

1.      Worship the living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Believe that only He can provide everlasting satisfaction and joy. Bow down before God and you will be less tempted to bow before sex.

2.      Remember sex is intended to be act of love between a man and woman married to each other. The point of sex is not so you can experience something, though this will certainly happen. The point is to give. That is what love is. Again, C.S. Lewis, “Say your prayers in a garden early, ignoring steadfastly the dew, the birds and the flowers, and you will come away overwhelmed by its freshness and joy; go there in order to be overwhelmed and, after a certain age, nine times out of ten nothing will happen to you.”  His point is that if we do something primarily to have a certain experience then what we will often be disappointed. But if we go to do what we are supposed to do then we will often be satisfied.  So too with sex.

3.      Sex is a gift from God.  Like any gift it must be used to love God and to love our neighbor. These two commands put fences around our sex life. Any act or thought which does not love God or love my spouse is sin.

4.      Sex is a gift from God. Sex is to be enjoyed within the bounds of the marriage bed. Sex is not evil or wicked or perverse. The idolization of sex will not be defeated by treating sex as dirty or bad.

5.      Sex is a gift from God designed for certain purposes, including conceiving children, providing pleasure, protecting one’s spouse from temptation, and making a man and woman one flesh. It is not designed to provide a transcendental, spiritual experience. It is not the pinnacle of human experience. It was not supposed to give you some dramatic encounter with God. As Mrs. Elizabeth Elliott said, “Sometimes sex is a sandwich. Sometimes it is a steak.” If you can’t enjoy sex as a sandwich then sex has become an idol.

6.      Beware the danger of always wanting more from your sex life. Beware of the slow creeping lie that there is something better and if you just do this or buy that or watch this then you can have a better sexual experience. Pull that weed up immediately and learn to be content with what God has given you.

7.      Beware comparing your sex life with someone else’s.  Most of us have seen numerous examples of sex on screen or read about sexual experiences in books or magazines. The temptation is to compare our sex life with what we have seen or read. To put it mildly, this is devastating to a real, enjoyable sex life. It does not matter what the world or other people are doing in their beds. Enjoy your spouse.  Make love with her/him without a single thought for the expectations of the outside world. You will be happier.

8.      Be content with what you have. This is the positive side of numbers 6 & 7.  Unless something is not working physically, your sex life is just fine and your spouse is just fine. The grass is not greener. 

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8