Twenty years ago, I wrote my first book about why women can't "have it all," or at least not all at once, despite what the culture tells them.
At the time, the so-called Mommy Wars were raging. Women
God created sex for physical pleasure between a husband and wife. In the context of marriage, sexual intimacy is a good. Beautiful. God-honoring. Holy. In fact, it's worship. While many Christians view sex as bad or dirty, a woman of true, godly beauty delights and rejoices in her sexuality as a God-given gift to be shared with her man. It's time to redeem our sexuality.
In the Word
• Read Song of Solomon 7
"How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with all your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, 'I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit…' " Song of Solomon 7:6-7
For centuries, Bible scholars didn't know what to make of the little book in the Bible called Song of Solomon. It describes a beautiful, sensual love between a man and his bride, but the vast majority of scholars couldn't handle it. They claimed it's an allegory of Christ and the church, or an illustration of Israel's relationship with God. Perhaps it is. But Song of Solomon is also a highly sensuous, beautiful poem of passionate affection. In Chapter 7, Solomon takes great care to describe in detail the beauty of his bride's body…from her sandaled feet (vs 1) to her flowing locks of hair (vs 5)…and everything in between. Starting with verse 1, take a moment to write these descriptions out:
Example: Legs like jewels
• A navel like
• A waist like
• Breasts like
• A neck like
• Eyes like
• A nose like
• A head like
• Hair like
Some of these terms may be a bit confusing because they describe Jewish culture, but one things is obvious: Solomon treasured his bride. He delighted in her body…every intricate detail of her sensual beauty! And his beloved was delighted to give herself to him. Wholly. Completely. Without shame. "I am my beloved's," she exclaims, "and his desire is for me."
I can't help but notice as I read this passage the beauty of unfettered intimacy. There's not a hint of guilt or shame in this couple's words. No embarrassment. No hesitation. No fear. Just pure delight in the beauty God has created in each other's bodies.
Sex is a gift of God to be enjoyed by a husband and a wife with complete freedom, creativity, and pleasure. Far from being dirty or shameful, sex was God's idea in the first place! In marriage, the joy of sex enables the couple to "become one flesh": one in heart, mind, and body. Far too often, however, Christians settle for something less—often far less—than the pure beauty of God's design for their sexuality.
Make it Real
In a culture that devalues the mystery and beauty of sexual intimacy, Solomon reminds us of the freedom and joy of sex as God intended. Today's study isn't just about the physical, biological act. God created you as a uniquely sexual being. Your sexuality is precious to Him…not dirty, evil, or unimportant. Understanding our sexuality biblically is critical.
All of us have a slightly different view of sex, based on our family, experiences, and culture. Maybe you've experienced sexual abuse of some kind and wonder if you'll ever be able to actually enjoy sex. Maybe you've engaged in sexual experiences outside of marriage, and struggle with guilt and shame. Maybe you are sexually pure, but are hesitant about actually enjoying sex because you tend to view it as
"dirty" or "wrong"…something to be endured.
Our God is a God of healing, hope, and redemption. Whatever your sexual experiences in the past, and whatever you feel today as a result, I want you to know that God longs to heal you, restore the sanctity of your sexuality, and give you beauty for ashes. In the context of marriage, God longs for you to fully enjoy the beauty of sex without inhibitions, doubts, fears, or regrets.
Great sex begins long before the couple enters the bedroom. Treating each other with affection and respect during the day is the foreplay you and your husband need to be relaxed and excited about enjoying sex together. What are some creative ways you can show him respect and affection throughout the day?
Read Proverbs 5:18-19. How would it feel for your husband to delight in you this way?
Read Hebrews 13:4. An undefiled marriage bed begins with an honorable marriage. How could you be more honoring in order to bring sexual freedom?
What would sex look like in your marriage with no inhibitions, doubts, fears, or regrets? Do you and your husband need to work on your communication, your experimentation, or your understanding of one another?
Take a moment to read each one of these verses and think about how they apply to your life.
Wherever you can do it, insert your name in the verses. Pray these passages over your heart.
• "My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies." Song of Solomon 2:16
• "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…" Hebrews 13:4
• "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine. Take me away…Let the king bring me into his chambers." Song of Solomon 1:2,4
Heart to Heart
Like many women, I often struggle with self-esteem. Satan whispers the lie that we are "ugly" or "plain" or "no good." This is simply not true! God wants us to delight in our sexuality.
If you are married, I encourage you to talk to your man about your desires, hopes, and fears about sexual intimacy. I'll be honest. It's hard sometimes...even awkward. Maybe we're afraid he'll be disappointed. Or we're afraid of making ourselves vulnerable. But communication is essential to experiencing great sex, so our fears be replaced with tenderness and understanding.
Some of us have had traumatic sexual experiences in the past, so we "shut down" when we try to talk about sex. Some of us feel ashamed of our bodies or our performance. Some of us don't fully understand how God created the female body to experience sexual pleasure.
But the pressure's off! Don't be ashamed or embarrassed to explore the sensuous beauty of great sex with your husband. If you find yourself struggling, see your doctor or a professional Christian counselor. It is time to delight in God in this area of your life...God made sex for you and your husband to enjoy!
Lord, thank you for creating me as a woman and as a sexual being. Bring healing in my heart in any places where I feel shame or hurt. Free me to be able to enjoy sexual intimacy in all of its beauty as you intended it to be…