I was skimming through my blogroll as I do many times when I check out my page to make sure things are running correctly, and I came across the latest post for a blog called "Happy Harper Stories". Its written by Jamie, who is a chick who goes to my church, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship, natch) and who I... well, let's be honest, we barely know each other. Ask Jamie, and I'm sure she's tell you the same thing. That, however, doesn't mean I don't enjoy her writings.
Now, sometimes she discusses things that don't really curry my interest, some kid stories, some mommy stories, things I can't relate to (yet--give it another 10 months or a year, and I'll be lapping those stories up with a "yep!" and a "that's me!" and a "wow, there now!" attitude) but many times her writing is comforting, fun and always with a twinge, if not a full on display, of the power and love of Jesus Christ.
So, being a stupid boy, naturally when I saw her latest post was entitled "Biblical Submission and Worship in the Bedroom", I had to click over.
Here is the first paragraph of her post...
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21... I have these really great Christian women friends who I get to see once every 3 or 4 months. They are godly women who sharpen me in my spiritual walk. Every time I see them, they make me want to go home and have sex with my husband, so I am sure he loves them. Sound odd? Let me explain.
Her post is about being a Christ Follower and...
(looking around still)
(no one is listening)
...being a Christ Follower and having sex...
SHHH!!!! Don't say that out loud! Did you hear me? No? Okay, I said... being a Christ Follower and having sex. I know, scandalous! Don't you know that Song of Solomon doesn't really exist in the Bible according to some congregations!?
Actually... it does exist. I would invite you to read the rest of her post, which you can go to here (but please, do come back, I'm not done with you yet), which discusses the joy of such marital fruit that He has given to us.
And it made think about something I wrote on October 31st, 2001 (I was married in 2004, so this predates that)... before you read, understand something--this is not a judgemental piece. I mean to point no fingers, nor lay guilt on anyone, myself included, for toes that might be stepped on... its just a little slice of God's love and His purpose.
Anyway, out of the vault of Dave's Encouragement...
"Sex, Love, God and Gifts"
In our Life Connection--Sunday school as it was called for 25 of my 26 years--class at Valleydale Baptist, we've been studying Song of Solomon. The first several weeks this summer were all about dating and courtship, something I will never master, to be honest with you. We took a break in August and September, and started back a few weeks ago in the midst of Solomon and his wife's marriage. We've looked at keeping marriage fresh, the "art" of dealing with conflicts and lately, the "art" of romance--or dating your wife. Okay, we've talked about sex.
Its so strange that we've grown up in a world that has taught us that sex is such an easy thing to do and a casual thing to take part in. Why? Because it’s treated so lightly... Ross and Rachel on Friends had "casual sex" months ago, and now they are having a baby... and though I think the show is hilarious--btw, I'm dealing with that--the whole situation is being treated as a punch line. Instead of seeing this as a degradation of God's gift, we laugh, because the world tells us, "Hey, if you are going to do it, then you might mess up a little."
Somehow, we keep forgetting that God says, "Hey, if your gonna do it, be married."
God created sex. It’s not something that Cinemax created for their late night episodes of Passion Cove, or something Hollywood came up with so they could make Showgirls. God made it. God made it for love. God made a him and a her, and instilled in said him and her a passion and love for each other so deep that they would consummate--sex--and make him and her a "them". Make sense?
Of course, we know sex shouldn't be a byproduct of a date or a night of wanderlust, but a result of marriage and love. Which is the plot line of the latter chapters of Song of Solomon. The entire book is merely a dozen pages or so long, but it far outweighs the world's idea that love is dead, that love is weak, that love is something we generate. We are weak. We are spiritually dead until we meet the source of Love... God. God is Love.
If we say that I am part Hispanic, then it stands to reason that I look it. If we say that Jennifer Pritchett is petite, then by common sense, she should look the part. So, if we say that God is Love, God would look as such... do you follow me?
So what does Love... or God... look like?
As we read Song of Solomon on Sunday, something came to my mind that I read from Rich Mullins. Every word of the Bible is God-breathed, which means He loved us enough to include the poem of Solomon and the details of what God intends in a relationship. But does God just give us the gift of sex in a marriage and then sit back, turning his eyes when we enjoy it? Laura DeGarmo can sing her head off, so when she lifts praises in song, I picture God smiling. Rebecca Glassco glorifies God on stage, Drew Morris with a guitar, Meredith Quintana with her writings... when Becca acts, Drew plays or Merdi writes, I picture God smiling. What about when two godly people are consummating a marriage? Does God smile? Feeling a little edgy reading this? Ha!
Could it be that God "feels"? Maybe God is capable of the same sort of passion. Could God be excited or must He be that reverent picture of a large bearded man on a huge throne? Are we comfortable with the image of God as Father and nervous about God as a Lover? Personally, I think of God as a Parent, which is less personality and more role playing than anything. Are we happy to have God as our Creator, but get a little weirded out as being Creative? God is a great Engineer, but what about an Artist? Being Sovereign comforts us, but I think sometimes being a Poet makes us tense. Do we enjoy the glow of God's light but hide ourselves from the heat of His flames?
Does the idea that Jesus tolerated the sinful woman's anointing of His feet, but enjoyed John resting his head on Jesus' chest make us squirm? Rich Mullins laughingly said "How is it we can accept that Moses saw a bush on fire and was not consumed, but we doubt that God can love in a rage and never cool?"
For those of you out of the Song of Solomon class, read the book when you can. For those of you in the class, pay more attention to the love that God has provided Solomon and his lover to share with each other. Either way, try to take a look at God as a Lover of our souls, not just a provider of our needs.
Enjoying the Lover of My Soul...