god, sex, service

One of the things that really stuck out to me this week was learning about sexuality, and the Bible’s view on sex and our sexuality. I’ve known before now that the Bible has a really positive, in fact a very beautiful view of and vision for sex, rather than the negative stereotypes of prudishness it’s often lumped with. Anyone who thinks that the God of the Bible frowns on sex should read Song of Songs!

What stuck out to me is the reasons given for why God gave us marriage and the gift of sex to be enjoyed within it. Procreation is of course one reason, and companionship another. But we were taught that companionship isn’t the ultimate reason for marriage. God made Eve as a helper to Adam…that is, marriage is primarily about helping each other to serve God.

When I first heard that, I didn’t like it. It sounds so functional. I would never have thought that procreation is the ultimate view of marriage and sex because it seems to reduce our fundamental relationships down to a task, no matter how good a task. And serving God, as good as it is, also seemed to make life about what we do rather than our relationships. Don’t relationships lie at the heart of the world? I’ve always thought then that companionship and intimacy is at the heart of marriage and sex (by the way, I’m writing this as a single guy). So I felt kind of uneasy about it all, but as I thought about it, it made sense. Became something of a paradigm shift. My whole life is meant to be about serving God. It goes way beyond just doing some tasks…it’s about showing something of God’s character to people, however far short of that I’m bound to fall. It’s inherently relational, it’s all about how I love people in a way that points to his love for us. As my teacher said, the procreational and companionship aspects of marriage go towards serving God together, and you can’t be a blessing to others if you’re not a blessing to each other. So if serving God is all about love, then serving God together will be all about love as well. But a marriage that sees its companionship as an end in itself becomes stifling, self-seeking and self-destructive. I guess in a healthy marriage the couple look beyond themselves, but they do that together. It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to realise again that your life is bigger than you, that your life is all about serving God. That this is a good thing, a gift from God, not a punishment, because he’s good and this is what I was made for. If I find someone to do that with, great. But it’s not what my life’s about, nor is the fulfillment of my life based on that. I reckon my thinking’s been heading that way, and it does become stifling.

Life is to be enjoyed. God bless.

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