Updated: Apr 17
By Jon Reeverts
"On '3' say what I tell you to say." As an experienced photographer, I know that usually a group of teens or adults caught in the frame of my camera lens will consistently wind up with a great group photo of mixed expressions, though it may take a second or third attempt of, "1-2-3 say, SEXXX". Photos with the “X” sound will have produced a broad grin and a picture-perfect, memorable group photo.
But, it won’t necessarily leave people feeling that way inside.
The quarantine has produced a wide variety of Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube and other expressive content, and some of that has been about this new freedom in our lives - Sex.
I read an article yesterday about a couple that, at age 73 and even after 40 years of marriage, expressed that they were taking full advantage of their extended, uninterrupted time together. I truly admire their energy and commitment.
This may not seem like appropriate blog material at In Christ Ministries, but I guarantee you it is. When you’ve worked with teens all your life (38 years of teaching - 20 years of youth ministry), counseled individuals, couples and families, for years and through crises, some of the topics sometimes buried, however eventually revealed include intimacy, fear, betrayal, misunderstanding, personal history and/or forgiveness AND Sex. Pretty much, these areas can all be highly interwoven with our topic.
I’m no authority on sex, but as my Flatirons' friend Jim Burgen has said from stage,
“I vote yes - God had a good plan!”
If you’re really looking for it, here’s the point - God has a good plan, which invariably and definitely means that Satan - the father of lies, the deceiver and the accuser also has a plan.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Can we believe that this verse only applies to other parts of our lives, but not sexual intimacy?
If there is an area that Satan loves to destroy, it’s what goes on behind the bedroom doors. Remember that, “The battle is for the mind.” How we are created* “Spirit, Soul and Body,” puts an important emphasis on all three being affected in experiencing sex. And, understanding our Identity in Christ becomes an essential part of confidence, calling, completeness and freedom to express love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness-strength under control, and self-control
in perfect ways.
That being said: I can’t handle this topic in one blog. There’s too much here, so, expect a series of messages that reach into this area. Trust that Jenny and I have had our issues and challenges in our 35-year marriage, and certainly before we ever came to know each other, but, trust also that one reason I value, hold on to, treasure, and rest in
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” is that I am not who I was.
If you knew me before age 38 (22 years ago) please understand that I did not know the message of The Exchanged Life - I was like anyone else who has not been through one of our conferences, or advanced training or counseling sessions - I was trying to get my needs met in any way that seemed like a good idea at the time (even as a believer) doing the best I could, but without the knowledge and revelation of what God could do through His Son Jesus Christ in every area of my life. P.S. I’m still learning and growing, still letting go of my past mistakes and regretting the choices I made that hurt others.
So... short beginning thought: Sex is a great healer, and many of you, in your marriages, have experienced “healing sex”... even after a big fight. Sex is also a deceiver; outside of marriage it will subtly write messages on your heart and soul that might take years to express themselves, but also years to contend with, AND, will show themselves at some very painful moments, causing us to feel hurt, betrayed, guilty, angry, complacent, apathetic, co-dependent, and downright lost in the swamp of emotions that all brings.
So, while “healing sex” is not the only kind of sex,… today, I’ll start here - but we may also have to go full-circle in this series and revisit it before closing. Even though this starts with a verse - READ ON men!
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
This is the Apostle Paul (Refer to blog, “I Will Fear No Evil”) giving a command. It is not a suggestion, idea, good intention, or pick-up line.
Paul is giving spiritual-depth teaching that will lead to an abundant relationship, marriage and life and great sex. What he is saying is not only going to help you, husband, to bring good grace to the table or your marriage, it is going to help you armor up against the attacks of the deceiver tied to your childhood, pre-teen, teen and adult experiences of “I’m not enough” thinking or “I’m in it for me” or “I do what I want” or other belief-ridden, flesh mindset thinking.
First, “Love your wife!” Love is an action made through a choice. It is not a feeling. We don’t wake up and ask ourselves, “Do I feel like loving my wife today?” Nor, do we only think about loving our wife. No, we choose to. We chose that at “I do - to the exclusion of all others.” We choose; which makes us think; which lets us arrive at our feelings. That’s why love is an action, not a feeling. Feelings will mislead us - they are last, not first.
Second, love, leading to great healing sex, comes from giving - not taking. A boy only wants to take sex from his girlfriend or that girl!* There has been no covenant bond of marriage - he’s out to get away with stealing sex - which eventually may have some romantic, sentimental memories attached to our first loves, … that eventually beat the shit out of us later in our marriages - attached to lies, guilt, pain and unforgiveness. (Another P.S. Jesus can resurrect this - but that doesn’t give us license to begin here.)
In the bedroom, we should be bringing the romance, comfort, intimacy and playfulness of sex to our wife. Our love is for her! Simply ask yourself, apart from that ridiculous drive we have of now, and now and now - what’s my motive? Is it self-fulfilling or bonding?
Third, verse 27 makes Paul’s command arrive at an outcome. She should feel released to make love. There should be a fullness and satisfaction in being desirable to her husband - that was from the beginning.
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ … Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh... 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
Genesis 2:18, 25
They were naked and unashamed. Naked is different from nude. To be naked is fully exposed, open, unafraid, and transparent. When we LOVE our wife, she can be naked and unafraid because we are joining with her, not forcing, demanding, or intimidating her. Our spiritual bond with her, reveals her unique soul (personality) and releases her body to/for us. She/we can enjoy the passion, complexity and freedom of sex without fear, AND we can enjoy sex separate and protected from the deceiver whispering lies in either of our minds.
Finally, this all arrives at our wives being holy (set apart) without any spot or blemish. Forgiving our past, receiving our new selves (2 Corinthians 5:17) and bearing ourselves to one another - trusting and developing a trust bond that “you - the other person, will never use the bedroom to reduce me to a one or two part being.*”
And let’s face it, being completely who we were created to be (three-parts) brings about passionate, delicious, fulfilling, healing sexual intimacy. That’s both steaming hot and innocent because each new sexual encounter and experience is in a new spiritual love language.
“It’s complicated” - gets replaced by “It’s complex!” The first expression suggests regret and feelings of falling short of all expectations; the second emphasizes the fullness of an aroma, taste and fulfillment that goes beyond words.
God had and has a good plan. So,... 1 - 2 - 3 ...
In our ministry, we work from the understanding of being created in three parts: Spirit - Soul - Body. Scripture bears this out (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23 , Hebrews 4:12 and Genesis 2:7 - “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground [physical body], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [Spirit]; and man became a living [soul].”)
If you have ever been treated only as one dimensional (a body) - you just meet my momentary and physical needs - I’ll take from you what I want and discard you when I have no use for you or choose to use the next person for my desires - you can see where the abundant life is missing or the deceiver/Satan is reigning.
Then again - If you have been treated like a body and soul, two dimensional, maybe call this consensual sex, hooking up or just playing around - we like screwing each other literally and figuratively - but there is no covenant bond between us. (We both knew what this was and that eventually there would be hurt, scars and hard-feelings.) - but, we agreed to go on with this anyway. You may have called it "good sex", but the reality is/was apart from God’s Spirit being in this - it’s never going to be truly healing sex.