Today I’m feeling angry. Not at you, dear readers, but at the mess that our culture has made of sex.
On Monday I wrote a post about how our church culture has made too many people dead inside–dead to the passion and creativity that God made us for, and thus dead for what real sex was supposed to be in our marriages. Yes, sex can be hot and holy at the same time, but too many of us think that to be Christian means that we must be reserved, boring, dispassionate
That’s so wrong. No one should have a dead sex life.
And I’m angry because everyday I wake up to more and more emails and messages from people whose marriages are so messed up, usually because of wrong views of sex.
This post was originally part of the 29 Days to Great Sex series that I wrote on this blog a few years ago, and I’ve recently edited that and removed this post, so I thought it was worth rewriting it for today, because these issues are still with us.
Sex has become such a difficult part of so many couple’s lives. It’s become twisted, or dirty, or shameful, or simply non-existent. And as I read these emails and comments I get everyday, I think: why are we letting something that God made to be beautiful become a negative thing in our lives? Why are we settling for a dead sex life?
Do you know what one of the tell-tale signs that something is from God is? Life.
Being alive is from God.
Being teeming with life is from God.
And so the opposite–death–is not from God.
Think about this: when evil triumphs, it’s not usually categorized by luscious trees or plants or beautiful things. It’s ugly. And even if it starts out beautiful, the ugliness takes over.
Isn’t that beautiful? Jesus came to give us an abundant life–not a dispassionate one. That verse also tells me that whenever something is killed or destroyed or not teeming with life, then it is not of God. That is an area of your life where God is not working; where you have blocked God out in some way. Because God is love and Jesus is Life!
When the Mongols rampaged across Asia and the Middle East in the thirteenth century, they left behind them devastation. And desert. Many places that were not formerly deserts became deserts over the next few decades because the Mongols burned everything. And without plants, the land dried up. Destruction kills what was alive.
For all of you Tolkien buffs, do you remember how bleak the land of Mordor looked compared to the land of the shire? All sharp rocks and crags and darkness and emptiness, compared with lush green fields and laughter and lots of food and lots of children and lots of singing.
The Shire is alive; when Sauron took over Mordor, he made sure everything that was living died (except for his minions also bent on destruction).
I noticed this phenomenon in 1989 when I visited East Berlin. West Berlin was beautiful, with trees, and parks, and art, and lovely buildings; East Berlin was spartan. The people didn’t smile. Everything was utilitarian. Joy was gone.
Evil doesn’t just propagate evil, you see; it also tries to destroy that which is beautiful.
And that’s why there’s a powerful force working to destroy what is beautiful about sex. I know it’s not polite to talk about the devil, but I firmly believe that the devil wants to destroy sex. He wants to make it into something that is ugly. He’s happy when we turn to porn and debase real intimacy. He’s happy when we think sex is too much hassle and start to refuse sex altogether. And he is happy when instead of feeling fully alive, we feel somewhat dead.
This morning I was reading in my devotions the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones, found in Ezekiel chapter 37. Basically God calls on Ezekiel to prophecy over dead bones, and as he does the bones begin to rattle. They form together. Sinews grow on them. Then flesh. But they’re still dead until God breathes into them.
We’re not excited about it. It doesn’t grow our relationship; it eats away at it. So what’s our response?
I think this story shows two things: one, those bones listened to Ezekiel’s prophecy and joined together and grew. But second, they weren’t fully alive until God breathed into them (I know I’m taking liberties with it here, but bear with me!)
So what does that mean for you?
God wants you to be ALIVE. With God, life is teeming, abundant, lush, tropical, beautiful. If your sex life is not like that, then listen to the fact that this is how God wants it.
All of us need a breath from God today–even those of us who don’t feel particularly bad about our sex life. All of us need more passion. And when we let God in, and feel closer to Him, and let Him work, we will feel so much more alive, both spiritually and sexually. When we feel dry spiritually, we often feel dry sexually. And the opposite is also true.
If you want to be fully alive and fully passionate, you need to be passionate about God first, and let Him move.
And that will have major ripple effects in the bedroom.
Do you realize what would happen if all Christian couples became fully alive and fully passionate? Can you imagine the difference that would make in our families, in our churches, in our communities? If we were fully passionate and fully alive, we’d have energy to invest in others. We’d be excited about life and opportunities and possibilities. We’d be able to love everybody more fully. But when we are stuck, both sexually and spiritually, everybody suffers.
I firmly believe that our spirituality and our sexuality are linked, as I talked about on Monday.
And that’s why I believe that a dead sex life is often (and usually) a sign of a troubled spiritual life.
When we run away from intimacy with our husbands, we’re likely running away from intimacy with God, too. And if he’s running away from intimacy and running towards porn, I can guarantee you he’s running away from God as well.
I talk to so many women who have just given up. Their libidos are low and they figure, “it’s not a big deal; sex is boring anyway.” So they live very ordered lives, with to do lists and responsibilities and tasks at hand. And they miss out on the passion!
They may think they’ve given themselves totally over to God–homeschooling their kids, keeping a nice house, serving at church–but if they’re running away from passion then it doesn’t have power. Do you know what I’m saying?
I know so many people have issues with sex; I did, too! I’m not trying to belittle those issues. But I do believe that if we settle for that–if we say, “My sex life is just dead”–then we’re also, in a way, cutting ourselves off from a great big abundant life with God. You can’t cut yourself off from your sexuality; you were created to feel passion and to feel intimacy and to be able to totally let go. If you choose to run away from that, I believe that you will completely stifle your spiritual life, too.
Readers, that’s why I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. If you’re a regular reader and you’re having issues with sex, there’s so much more in the book than there is on this blog. I’m glad you’re here, I really am. You don’t have to buy the book. But I wrote it to help people like you–I really did. If you haven’t ordered a copy of The Good Girl’s Guide to Sex yet, will you? And with Christmas coming up, it’s an easier and less awkward time to give a book like that to someone you know. Will you give it to a wife you know who is struggling? Or to a woman whose about to start her marriage (or who has just gotten married?) If we can get this stuff RIGHT–if we can start running towards passion instead of away from passion–I really think more than just our marriages will be transformed. Our faith will be transformed. Our churches will be transformed.
Because we’re alive again, and we’ve stopped keeping God out.
And that matters.
Please let me know in the comments if I’m making any sense! Have you ever found that your spirituality and your sex life are linked? I’d love to talk about this more!
Sex is supposed to be stupendous–physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it’s not, get The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex–and find out what you’ve been missing.