“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” — GENESIS 2:24 – 25
Were you aware that God has a purpose for pleasure? Did you know that sex is a spiritual experience first and then it is a physical act? Within the framework of marriage God masterfully designed sexual attraction to be at the very core of that union. It is called romance. In doing so, He formed the strongest bond that could ever exist between a man and a woman.
God created a spiritual romance to be a uniquely human experience. Furthermore, it is as old as human history. We learn from Scripture that Adam and Eve were joined together as one flesh. And the Word also suggests that God caused them to engage in sexual relations (Genesis 2:24). Because God called everything good that He had created, the man and woman were not ashamed of their nakedness. They were free to enjoy the purest form of pleasure known to man. There was no shame in Adam and Eve’s game. There was no blame in their game. They were naked and it wasn’t a big deal. God even placed them in an environment where everything that surrounded them reflected His goodness.
Therefore, from the beginning it was all about a spiritual romance. Adam and Eve were comfortable with their lives and their blissful surroundings. It was all good in the garden because their lives and everything they represented was in alignment with their Creator. And so it was under these circumstances that the God of all wisdom and knowledge ordained the marriage covenant.
Yet, He didn’t stop there. God shared in the experience and became an intrinsic part of the state of matrimony. By appointing Himself as the One who watches over the vows made between a husband and wife, He sanctifies the couple by setting them apart to enjoy each other’s presence. Ultimately, God’s plan is for the union of a man and woman to become an exclusive reflection of the sacred communion that is shared between the three Persons of the Trinity. You should consider yourself immensely blessed when you and your spouse hold romantic pleasure in a sacred and prominent place in your marriage. In God’s eyes, you look like the image that He created you to be. When your relationship includes a healthy dose of romance you have created a climate that will strengthen your marriage and enable it to thrive.
In the Beauty of His Holiness
The Bible further speaks of the wonder of the sexual act and compares it to the mysterious nature of various things that are found in the human experience. One writer described it this way:
“There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.” — PROVERBS 30:18 – 19
As humans, we are instinctively compelled to find ways in which we can relate to what we have come to understand as the work of God’s hands. In other words, we recognize the things of nature as exquisite and beautiful. For example, most people find pleasure in gazing upon an exquisite flower, an exotic bird, a brilliant sky on a sunny day, the vastness of an ocean, and so on. Although we cannot readily understand all that God has done, we can appreciate it just the same because we know that God is the ultimate Creator whose creations demand our admiration and respect. Thus, when God sanctified the sexual act and fashioned it around a spiritual romance, He filled it with a sense of splendor and deep intimacy where marriage partners could enjoy each other in His presence. It is a thing of beauty.
Allow me to emphasize this point because you and your spouse need to really get this: With God at the center of your marriage, you are living under the auspices of His blessings. Scripture sends a comforting message to those who have the wisdom to keep the Lord close to them. As a result, you and your spouse would do well to acknowledge the presence of God in your marriage. Listen to these words of divine inclusiveness that are sure to bring great rewards.
“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” — PSALM 16:11
This is what makes sharing a life together so incredibly good. When you put your focus on God, you will understand that wherever God is, the path of goodness and mercy will follow and lead you in building a sound marriage. All married couples need the goodness of God and His enduring mercy. In fact, I cannot even imagine how a marriage can be successful without the constant exchange of genuine love and affection that is also devoted to loving God.
And part of that overall experience is to find pleasure in each other. This is what I tried to convey to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. With all that she had in her favor, she didn’t recognize that God has given each of us the capacity to absorb a great deal of pleasure over the course of our lives. And for that we should be thankful. Mrs. Smith needed to understand that God looks at the beauty of the sexual act and considers it an offering to Him. That offering then becomes a sacrifice of worship.When we worship Him, we are giving God His rightful place in our lives. It is the highest form of reverence and devotion. Scripture speaks of worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness, giving to God something that is due only to Him (1 Chronicles 16:29 KJV). Brothers and sisters, this is serious business to God. The Lord placed such a distinction on the act of lovemaking that nothing else on earth compares to it. If you really want to honor God with your marriage, you need to consider sexual pleasure as a special act of kindness from God. In return for God’s favor, give your spouse the highest level of love and devotion.
Excerpt from Seven Reasons Why God Created Marriage, by James Ford.
Copyright © 2011 by James Ford, published by Moody Publishers, used with permission.