4. Sex is holy
When you read Song of Solomon 4:12–15, you see a master gardener comparing his wife to a garden full of the most treasured spices and “choicest fruits” some of which are impossible to grow in the same place. He was comparing her body to something no one had ever seen before, something beautiful and valuable and unique—all using other things he loved, cared about, and invested in.
“But this was bigger than just a myth found to be true,” Chandler says. “It was a parallel discovery to the wonder of God’s glory. The freedom of the marriage bed is seen here to be a correlation of, for instance, entering the Holy of Holies after being forbidden access for so long.”
Sex is an earthly pleasure—but it points us to something other-worldly. It’s not just about what feels good. It’s not just about the potential for procreation.
“And that is why sex is holy—it is meant to remind us of the God who gave it to us, who takes joy in union with his people. We don’t need to overspiritualize sex to see it this way; we just need to approach it the way the Bible ordained it and be grateful for it.”
5. Sex is reciprocal
“Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow” (Song of Solomon 4:16).
Matt says that in Jewish tradition, the north wind represents strength and the south wind represents gentleness.
“What we see here in an ideal sexual encounter between husband and wife,” he says, “is a mutually enjoyable and mutually expressive love. And it can remind us that men desire for their wives to desire them too.”
Matt goes on to say that he believes intimacy issues often result from one spouse being unable to reciprocate this desire. This inability to reciprocate, he believes, comes from a distorted understanding of sex—when one spouse sees it as dirty, forbidden, or still somehow sinful (which could be the result of past sexual sin or trauma).
But I think the inability to reciprocate desire can just as often stem from a different lack of reciprocation. Here’s what I mean. If men and women do in fact naturally enjoy sex in different ways, and we are more likely to naturally do what feels good to us, that could drastically change how your spouse understands you when you say that you want to have sex.
You might mean that you want to do something mutually enjoyable and fulfilling, but if that isn’t what sex has been in the past, it’s certainly understandable that one spouse might not desire that as much as the other.
If sex is always about you, you can’t expect your spouse to desire it with the same frequency that you do.
And the reality is, mutually pleasurable sex is more enjoyable to both individuals.
Drawing from extensive surveys, Shaunti Feldhahn concluded in For Women Only, “even if they were getting all the sex they wanted, three out of four men would still feel empty if their wife wasn’t both engaged and satisfied.”
“The truth is,” Matt says, “for men, sexual reciprocity is extraordinarily pleasing and satisfying in ways mere sexual release is not.”
Throughout Song of Solomon, the attraction is mutual. The passion is mutual. The sexual fulfillment is mutual. Each spouse is pleasing and being pleased.
6. Sex is fulfilling
“I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk” (Song of Solomon 5:1).
At the end of their time together, Solomon and his bride were full—or rather, drunk(Song of Solomon 5:1)—with love. They feasted, and they were satisfied.
Lust always wants more. It’s an appetite that’s just as insatiable as the “hook-up” culture is unsustainable. Sooner or later, it collapses along with the broken people left in its wake. Lust steers us towards a desire for more, but without the emotional and spiritual commitment of marriage—without love—it cannot serve the purpose it was designed for. It cannot lead us to the moment when we are full.
“If you want to see sex as God created it to be, Song of Solomon 4 is it,” Matt says. “When you bring in the context of what led to this moment in the Song as well as the Bible’s teaching on sex in other books, you can see that God is not stingy with joy when it comes to sexuality. If he gives you a gift, he wants you to enjoy it as it is designed to be enjoyed, which will ultimately lead to your satisfaction—not only with the gift itself but also with himself as the Giver.”
7. Sex is about the Gospel
For some, comparing their marriage or sex life to Solomon’s can be as disheartening as comparing their life to Jesus. Chandler calls the Song of Solomon a picture of God’s ideal marriage—two broken people becoming one flesh as they express a profound love for each other.
Ideals are a double-edged sword. Striving towards something we know we can never reach takes us closer to perfection, while at the same time, leaves us with that haunting feeling that we’ll never get there.
At least, not on our own.
“Intimacy is hard for broken people,” Chandler says. “We need Jesus. We need his help. But when you’ve gotten closer and closer to the incredible reality that God chose you, forgave you, and approved of you despite your sin, all because of Jesus Christ, that grace is satisfying and empowering, and it can be carried over into your marriage. It can be carried over in the way you respond to your spouse, confident and free because of Christ’s work in your life. It can be carried over in the way you forgive your spouse’s sins and overlook his or her imperfections, as a way of sharing what God has given you.”
You are not perfect. Your spouse is not perfect. You are both broken, flawed human beings, brought together by a covenant, and a physical act with a divine purpose.
This post was taken from Ryan Nelson. You can find his original, complete post here: https://blog.faithlife.com/blog/2016/01/7-things-the-bible-says-about-sex/