I recently came across a discussion on the UW Facebook page within the comments of an article I had posted – an article that talked about sex and intimacy in marriage. It was a creative article, written by my friend J, a new spin on a well known Christmas poem, “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” The last few lines are really powerful in my opinion, which was my biggest motivation to publish the article:
You laughed with joy, he responded with a whistle,
“Now that was a Christmas Eve with some sizzle!”
And then he spoke with whispered delight:
“Thank you, God, for the intimacy we’ve had tonight.”
My hope for this poem was for a wife to read it and be inspired to keep sex and intimacy in marriage a priority, especially through the busy holiday season. However, as I read some of the comments in response to the poem, my heart broke.
I was transported back to a time when the overwhelming voice of condemnation pressured me to keep silent about sex in marriage. Somewhere among the Christian culture it has been drilled into our hearts and our minds that it is not appropriate to talk about sex. Perhaps it was or wasn’t an intentional agenda to squash the word sex out of the Christian vocabulary, but in my experience it has happened and I am not the only one who has noticed. Even now, in a time when believers with influence are trying to add depth to a very important and necessary conversation, those other voices still oppress.
The world talks too openly about SEX/INTIMACY when it should be a totally “sacred” act of God only discussed between married couples. If we need a change in intimacy God should be our advisor/counsellor in the prayer closet, not poems disguised as Christianity,,,,, just saying,,, too many Christians are compromising God’s word and not experiencing the fullness of God’s guidance alone. – A wife on Facebook
Sex should be kept private in a marriage. You don’t discuss it with friends and you don’t write about it on Facebook if you’re a woman who fears The Lord and has any class. - Another wife on Facebook
My heart breaks. These women are not the only ones who feel this way. There are others in our communities who share the same feelings. With cutting remarks or glares and cold shoulders they make known their disapproval.
But I am a Christian, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus and I believe that marriage is a beautiful and sacred covenant. However, I also believe that we as Christians should talk about sex and here are my two biggest reasons why:
1. To let others hear the good news about it.
The conversation about sex has been circulating for thousands of years. With the enormous leap in technology and media, the discussion has exploded and it has been exploited. The world has accepted a very open and perverse conversation about sex, but Christians chastise each other in the name of God, suppressing even the most modest of desperately needed talks about it.
I look around at our culture today, unwilling to list examples for you in sadness of what the general society deems acceptable, but take one small glance around and you will in some way be exposed to sex. If you and I are exposed to it, so are our children. What scares me so much is what life will be like for future generations, especially if Christians do not in some way share God’s great Gospel, including what He says about sex.
If Christians do not speak up about God’s great design of sex and intimacy in marriage, those who hear the very loud conversation going on will only hear the world’s point of view. We need to step into the arena and share the good news about sex, the truth about sex.
2. To help married couples who struggle in this area.
Married couples do struggle in the area of sex. My husband and I did. We suffered for years. Just like the comment mentioned above, I was convinced that sex in marriage is so sacred it should never be talked about and that God would fix any issues we had. Although, I still believe God can fix any issues, I also believe He often uses people to help. As much as we prayed for God to help us in this area, one of the greatest impacts He made came after we gathered the courage to break the silence about our very personal issues. We shared our struggles with Christian friends who cared about us and cared about our marriage. Once we opened up, we were encouraged, we were prayed for, we were advised and we were challenged to improve. Our marriage grew and sex in marriage became less of a burden because we had friends to help us carry the load. The friends we talked to about sex in marriage are also Christians, faithful, Jesus-loving, sanctified Christians. And they let us know it was ok to talk about sex in marriage, in fact in some cases – like ours – necessary.
We did not have to feel shame or embarrassment any longer, instead we found freedom and healing. From the moment we began opening up about our struggles with intimacy, things seem to get better. I truly believe God used people to help us in this vital and significant part of marriage as my husband and I gained understanding from hearing others teach us about it – and not just sex, but how that area of marriage affects all of marriage. Our freedom led to other couples feeling liberated to talk about their struggles – thus launched Unveiled Wife to help spread the freedom of Christ and His impact in marriage.
If Christians are not willing to discuss sex in marriage than those who are struggling in the intimacy area of marriage will continue to suffer.
If you have been burdened by the notion that Christians should never talk about sex, I am writing this to disband that lie and set you free!
Christians should talk about sex. Christians need to talk about sex – God’s design of sex.
I want to caution you that if we do talk about sex, stones are going to be thrown, unfortunately some of the ones throwing stones will be Christians. But that’s ok, we are all imperfect. My encouragement to you is to dodge as many of those stones as you can, but if they hit you, extend the same grace that Jesus did to His persecutors. We all need grace. The important thing to remember is that God’s will is to seek and save the lost, who are present in conversations about sex and intimacy. We need to be there…just like Jesus sat with the disciples and disreputables, His presence, His peace, His wisdom, His healing needs to be there…His Holy Spirit, through us, needs to be there.
And just because we join the conversation about sex and intimacy, does not mean we abandon our righteousness or compromise our Christian values, quite the contrary. The goal is to be a light, God’s light, navigating the discussion of sex through God’s Holy Word and illuminating the world with His truth.