Intimacy: A Christian Frontier Conclusions

What is Gods opinion about sexual pleasure and intimacy? This is the question we have been exploring these past few weeks. What can we reason from our exploration?
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Intimacy: A Christian Frontier Part VIII

How can we express intimacy in our marriage and relationship? How can we have a clear definition of what we are to do with so many differing opinions on the subject of intimacy and sex? I remember having a debate in college on the structure of government, rights and the United States Constitution. When suggesting we look at what the Constitution stated members of my class stated, “we are not constitutional scholars. How can we know?” I replied, “regardless, it is the owners manual of how the country is to operate and we should consider the source.” The Bible is the owners manual for every christian and wishing to have an answer of the subject of sex and intimacy, we need look no further.

Is intimacy and sex good for us?I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where God clearly says “no” to things like sex toys, masturbation, or oral sex. In fact, you’ll find very different opinions from Christian leaders on all these topics. The Corinthian church had questions about this area and other grey areas too. Instead of telling them exactly what to do, Paul gave them guidelines of how to use good judgment when the Bible doesn’t clearly state something as right or wrong.

In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul tells them that everything is permissible, however it may not be beneficial nor become our master. A few chapters later, Paul seems to repeat himself instructing the church that everything is beneficial, so long as it does not become our master, and nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. What I conclude from Paul and his instructions in 1 Corinthians is there are many things in life that you are free to do and enjoy. When you are not sure whether something is okay, put it through Paul’s filter:

  • Is this beneficial? Is it good for me? For my spouse? Is it good for our marriage?
  • Does it master me? Can it be habit-forming or addictive? · Is it constructive? Does it help me grow and mature? Does it build our marriage?
  • Is it loving? Does this action show love towards my spouse or is it selfish?

This means that for some couples, a certain sexual act will be fine and, for another couple, the same sexual act isn’t right for them. Do you wish God had given you a list of sexual acts with a clear “yes” or “no” by each one? It sure would make things a lot easier. But God, in His wisdom, has left some things open for a husband and wife to talk and pray through. You have to seek his wisdom for your own marriage. If you and your spouse disagree on a “grey area,” you will have to listen and learn to love each other through the decision. What “grey areas” regarding sex are you struggling with in your marriage? After all, sex is a lot more than just sharing your body—it’s a journey of intimacy. However, beware of temptation. Growing intimately does not mean one spouse can take advantage of the other bringing the marriage down an unrighteous path and temptation. How can Paul’s advice help you sort this through together? Figuring out the boundaries together gives you a great opportunity to seek the Lord’s wisdom and to learn how to love each other more deeply.

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Intimacy: A Christian Frontier Part VII

So far I have discussed and observed intimacy as part of Christian life. We are to be intimate with God and our relations with each other. We are not to limit our intimacy with our spouses and grow together.

However, with all of this talk we must discuss temptation and when we are tempted.
A Strategy When You Are Tempted

Notice what I said there? When we are tempted. Not if but when. Many married men and women are surprised when they are sexually tempted. They falsely assume that marriage will solve the “purity” problem. Because they are allowed and encouraged to have sex, external factors won’t be an issue any more, nor will the attention of another man or woman.

Almost every married person will at some point be tempted. Maybe that temptation will come in the form of an attractive co-worker or rekindling a friendly relationship with an old lover online. Or maybe you will simply be tempted to fantasize about “what if I had married… instead of my husband/wife?” Remember, temptation comes in many forms.

Paul challenged us that we are “not unaware of Satan’s schemes” so let’s not be outwitted by him. Whether you are currently facing temptation or not, be prepared.

1 Corinthians 10:13: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

What are your first thoughts? What does this verse speak to you? To me, this verse reminds us of three important things:

1) It is normal to be tempted. Everyone, even Jesus, faces temptation. To be tempted is NOT a sin.

2) God is faithful to provide you the strength to stand and a way of escape.

3) It is up to you to choose the way of escape!

In Psalm 101, David records a list of choices he made to be prepared for temptation. Each one begins with the words, “I will.” Just as Paul, we must remember that temptation is there and God is faithful. How can we prepare? Now we must be like David. Using Psalm 101 as a guide, write your own list of “I will’s” addressing how you choose now to guard against sin and respond to temptation when it comes.