Reforming Sexuality Part 2: Sin and Sex

April 29, 2007 Series: Reforming Sexuality

Passage: Song of Solomon 6:3–6:3

 

Reforming Sexuality Part 2

Sin and Sex:  Separation

Sam Ford

4/29/07

 

Introduction

We're talking about Sex again.  The title of this sermon is Sin and Sex.  I am sure many might guess that I would spend the bulk of time identifying the different sins that we find in our culture and how to avoid them.  Honestly, that is all that my church experience included.  I don't plan on doing that.  What I want to talk about is sex in the larger story of redemption.  As I talk, I hope to draw a picture of our sexuality from the perspective of something that was created beautiful, became deformed through disobedience to God, but is now being reformed, rebuilt, renewed, restored to its original glory through Jesus Christ the perfect husband of them all. 

 

Now, one thing I am going to do is talk from God's perspective

  • Sex is God's idea:  He invented.  He makes it work. 
  • God wants us to enjoy Sex:  One word, Orgasm.  He is not a celestial party pooper
  • Sex is most enjoyed within covenant relationship we call marriage.  You see, we have a God that values marriage (which he does), and uses such terms to describe his own relationship with his people, then he values sexuality too-and he also uses those terms to describe our relationship. 

 

But, because we don't let God's word understand our sexuality, people are confused today.  No one knows what words mean anymore because we're using our own experiences to define them! 

  • LOVE = It's something you can't control...you fall in and you fall out.  
  • ROMANCE = Romantic Comedies where the hot guy runs off with the hot girl and saves the marriage.  Of course they have wonderful sex for the rest of their lives and live happily ever after. 
  • COMMITMENT = Commitment for us today is I'll love you as long as you love me.
  • SEX = Women it's duty.  Men it's entitlement.

 

The moment you let creation redefine what the creator already defined-you get chaos.  That is what has happened with sex. The culture has gone so far as to completely hijacked sexuality, claimed it as their own idea, and now use and redefine it according to what they feel at the moment! GREAT IDEA.    So, like their father Satan in the Garden of Eden who said, "DID GOD REALLY SAY THAT...THAT'S NOT TRUE...", we walk our own way, do our own thing, and preach freedom to expression and from oppression.   The world teaches that MORE must be BETTER.  Like some some sort of twisted ad campaign, they try to convince you to buy something that you didn't even know you needed...don't be satisfied...want more...better...the grass is greener...

 

I'm here to say, that's a bunch of crap.  The church has been silent too long and it's time that we proclaim exactly what God plans for our sexuality.   To that end, we will spend much of our time today in the Song of Solomon...the closest one of the most poetically erotic books God ever breathed out.  The Song of Solomon is a beautiful and powerful picture of the love and sexuality that calls us to.

 

Genesis 2.18-25

18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

     "     This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

     she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man."

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

 

We were designed for intimacy.  When we fell, several relationships were destroyed. 

  • Our sin became an insurmountable obstacle to a relationship with the holy God

 

  • That we were a creations made in the image of God was forgotten and our relationship with our selves, or our identity, became muddled in self.  Even a cursory examination of our culture reveals that people really don't know who they are. 

 

  • Our relationship with creation became one of cooperation to one of confrontation as the ground was cursed and we now had to work hard for it to produce fruit. 

 

  • And finally, our relationship with each other was destroyed.  Instead of living with another, experience intimacy, openness to the extent that we are "naked and unashamed" was lost. 

 

Now, we are filled with shame...slow to build any sort of relationship. And that is where we live, in this tension between wanting to be loved and yet not wanting to be rejected.  Our lives balance between the extremes of FEAR and DESIRE-and sin feeds one or the other.  We either feed our desires in ungodly ways leading to wildest of experimentation and ungodliness, or we cower in fear and avoid relationship to ensure ourselves we do not experience disillusionment or other sorts of pain. 

 

The Search

Just like our first parents, instead of turning to God's word for direction and meaning, we try and figure it out on our own.  It's like trying to fix some machine you broke without a manual, without ever using it, when you could just as easily ask the inventor himself.   So we search for all kinds of different pleasures to fill that loneliness void that God says we are designed for.  And in our search we walk further and further away from God for all kinds of reasons. 

 

"Everyone who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God."  GK Chesterton

 

Our culture has continued this spirit of separation in the creative order.  Sin has led to a separation of the creation with the creator-and destruction has ensued.  And, even though I think we are in one of, if not the, most sexually saturated time in history, this separation has been active since our first parents took that first bit.  Nevertheless, any cursory examination of our culture will reveal how the separation has played out...

  • - The Pill separated it from Reproduction
  • - Pornography separated it from Reality
  • - Masturbation separated it from Relationship

 

Reform the pieces

Today, let's allow God's word to reform how we define love, marriage, and sex.  Just for a moment, let's shut off our confusion in words and look to God's word. 

 

The Words that work together

As we go into the Song of Solomon, we must understand that the Hebrew language is very rich.  As an English teacher, I spend a ton of my time asking students to be descriptive, be specific, because our language is too easy to abuse and in the process, lose its meaning.  In this case, the word "LOVE" has no meaning.  In fact, I haven't a clue what any of the terms mean.  Gone are the days of check this box "I LIKE YOU" for today we have LOVE, DATING, GOING OUT, GOING STEADY, INFATUATED, FRIENDS, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, GIRLFRIEND, BOYFRIEND, PARTNER, the list goes on.

 

Hebrew words for love = building blocks of intimacy 

 

Song of Songs 4.9-10

9      You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;

          you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,

          with one jewel of your necklace.

10      How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!

          How much better is your love than wine,

          and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!

 

MY SISTER

  • 1. Rayah = Companionship/ friend, someone to hang with

 

Song of Songs 5.16

16      His mouth is most sweet,

          and he is altogether desirable.

     This is my beloved and this is my friend,

          O daughters of Jerusalem.

 

 

  • § Raya is the friendship/companionship love.
  • § CLOSE FRIEND LOVE: It's the love that you have with lots of people that you consider to be your "close" friends, the ones to whom you can tell anything. I have lots of raya in my life and I'm so thankful for it. If you don't have friends, life is difficult. No one to cry with or laugh with. That is what becoming part of community is about.
  • § I SEE YOUR DIRT....but I have decided to walk with you in relationship
  • § FOUNDATIONAL aspect of life and deep friendship as it is a depth of knowledge
  • § CAN'T HAPPEN DURING ROMANTIC STAGE: Never happens on a first date (past romanticism into love). We fake it for a while until we find out some dirt
  • § DISILLUSIONMENT HITS: It's what happens after the Romanticism hits and disillusionment (or reality) kicks in. When the baggage is discovered...or I don't like it when they do this...they think differently about this...that is when Rayah is created. I know this..but I will continue on

 

Proverbs 17.17

A friend loves at all times,

                    and a brother is born for adversity.

 

  • § VULNERABILITY is scary: ...to be part of community is almost easier than opening up on a deeper intimate level. At some level you can be fake or superficial in a community, but not long in an intimate relationship. We all have a fear of rejection
  • § NECESSARY: w/o Rayah, the other two words cannot be built.
  • § Young guys: You want to know what is too far...what would you do with your sister?

 

MY BRIDE

  • 2. Ahavah = A love of the will/ love of commitment, dedicating oneself to someone

 

Song of Songs 8.6-7

6      Set me as a seal upon your heart,

          as a seal upon your arm,

     for love is strong as death,

     ï»¿     jealousy is fierce as the grave.

     Its flashes are flashes of fire,

          the very flame of the Lord.

7      Many waters cannot quench love,

          neither can floods drown it.

     If a man offered for love

          all the wealth of his house,

          he would be utterly despised.

 

  • § Ahava is the commitment love-the vow of THROUGH sickness and health.
  • § TRUE COMMITMENT is based on me-not the other.
  • § I WANT TO BE HERE that feeling you get when you're with someone that says "I'd rather be here than anywhere else in the entire universe." It's the love you can only give and recieve if you put your whole self into a relationship. There is no place I'd rather be than right here.
  • § WHEN THINGS get fierce, fiery, angry, hard, disastrous, painful...I will be here!
  • § I CHOOSE TO BE HERE: TODAY'S ROMANTIC COMEDIES: Don't come close (Notebook almost) I'm not going anywhere, no matter how crazy things get, no matter how poor we are, no matter how bad your day is...I will be there until death.
  • § This is not a physical love yet.

 

MY LOVER

  • 3. Dod = Physical (not necessarily intercourse)/ physical, sexual love

 

Song of Songs 6.3

3     I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;

(there is a confidence, a security, an intimacy there)

  • § Dod, on the other hand, is the physical portion of love, the sexual side of love. Obviously this is important but, as we'll see in a second, it is nowhere near as important as having all three combined.
  • § Paul's definition of love in 1Cor 13 shows us that in order to have a powerful relationship (with God or with a significant other), both raya and ahava are required. You cannot be friends with someone and hope it will work out and you can't be commited to someone without ever wanting to talk to them or without having some measure of trust in them. Dod follows from these two
  • § ONE FLESH-the mingling of souls
  • § Companionship leads to commitment stronger than death, which leads to the deepest possible level of intimacy and SEX. Pornography, cybersex, promiscuity, cannot offer this type of love. THIS IS A LIVE PERSON, not an object.
  • § The ‘live' person probably has cellulite; the live person possibly had a bad day at work; the live person may have a father who has cancer and when you have sex with that "live" person, the bad day and the cancer and the cellulite all become part of the sexual experience."

 

The WORLD'S OPTION

It doesn't take much to recognize that God's way has more to offer than the world's plan.  This doesn't mean that God's people are living out God's plan perfect.  There are people in the church and outside the church who are broken, disappointed, dissatisfied, frustrated, and lost. 

 

I believe this is largely because they want the dod without the raya or the ahava; but this just leaves you empty. It's not a relationship, it's simply an act. I already said last week, GOD INTENDED Sex to be more than just a physical act.  IT IS MORE than just a physical act whether you think so or not!  It is a spiritual experience of intimacy intended the model the nature of God himself. 

 

When Sex is completely divorced/separated form God's expectation of relationship, are you are left with is some superficial physical experience.   And the only thing that we can do with the physical is to try and perfect its technique.  Look at any number of articles in Cosmo, Glamour, Men's Healthy, etc. ... (PICS)

 

That technique does not cure loneliness or satisfy the intimacy that we are all search for.  It only leads us further and further away from what we are intended to be.  It is a tragic irony that our pursuit of intimacy, apart from God, has only resulted in less intimacy...Pornography, promiscuity, self-sex, cyber sex.  Sex is the easy part...the relationship is the tough part. We're having more sex than ever with more people than ever-including ourselves.

 

Sex can be restorative:  We come into a sexual relationship with baggage.  This can be from experiences, teaching, lack of teaching, and issues about intimacy with another person.  The marriage and especially the sexual experience EMPHASIZES what you are!  .  People struggle in their sexual relationship not because of technique, but they struggle because of where their soul is.  The sexual relationship is meant to bring us into the intimacy that we are designed for. 

 

BUT....if not done in the proper context, Sex can be destructive:  It is destructive in a specific way.  It works against the very thing it is intended to do-Promiscuity, pornography, addictive self-sex teaches our soul the very opposite of what we are supposed to learn. 

  • Pornography teaches us we can get some satisfaction THROUGH getting separated from others. 
  • I can treat people as objects. 
  • Detachment in fact leads to satisfaction...wrong. 
  • IT will take you further away just like adultery.  The same reason the bible teaches about premarital sex.  It teaches us things about intimacy that are not correct and takes us farther away from where we are supposed to be. 

 

Sex w/God

This issue with sex is really much more than just a relational issue.  It really mirrors our broken relationship with our creator.  Sex, is supposed to point us back to God...consider Ezekiel 16 where God describes sex as a picture of the redemption story

 

Ezekiel 16.1-14

Again the word of the Lord came to me: 2  "Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3 and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.

6 "And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!' I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!' 7 I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

8 "When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. 9 Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.

 

 

"God created us with sexual passion so that there would be language to describe what it means to cleave to him in love and what it means to turn away from him to others." (RYAH, AHAVAH, and DOD)