"Intimate Issues" is the title of a brilliant book I picked up whilst in Ballito (and echoes something of the heart of what I wrote here -Taboo or Not Taboo?). Written by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, (Christian women have been married for over 45 years), it is an incredibly heart warming look at christian women and the way they view sex, and answers to some twenty one of the most pressing questions asked.
I've chosen, again, to share the nuggets that have stood out for me. They've been deep, light bulb moments, illuminating the recesses of my heart where I have just grown tired of asking the same questions and not hearing God answer. But I have reached a turning point, and as I look steadily into his face and take his hand and follow where he leads, I am renewed. Refreshed. Hopeful. And I want to take you along - so that you too can be refreshed...
Chapter One is a very necessary foundation all of us should examine: What does God really think about sex? The authors begin by outlining some of the most common voices women listen to when asking what sex is all about...these conflicting voices cause such confusion! Can you recognize any of them?
- the voice of Victorian era eg "Don't talk about it; stay under the covers with the lights off" (laughable now, but imagine, this was so many women's reality!)
- the voices of sexual pioneers like Freud, Kinsey, Virginia Johnson whose tone offended our sensibilities eg do x, y and z, program your body and it will orgasm.
- voices of certain church fathers like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and even Martin Luther said things like as long as sex was without passion or enjoyment, then it wasn't considered a sin (gulp - can you imagine? I'm mighty glad I was born when I was!)
- voices of mothers - some give wise advice, others have given negative messages like "Only those kinds of girls enjoy sex"or "Sex is man's thing, you just endure it", or simply, sadly, silence.
- Voices of some older married women - "Wait until you've been married twenty years, it gets old"
- Voice of the media - the greatest lie of all, sex just happens naturally. Both the man and the women know everything, do everything just right and are instantly perfect lovers. Sigh.
- I gave the gift of sex that you might create life (Gen 1:28)
- I gave the gift of sex for Intimate Oneness (Gen 2:24, Eph 5:31-32). As they point out, it's as if God is saying "through your lovemaking I've given you a visual picture so that when you experience the beauty of physical intimacy, you will have a glimmer, an earthly idea, of all I desire for you spiritually, a sweet union of your spirit with mine". Food for thought huh?
- I gave the gift of sex for knowledge (Gen 4:1 in the NKJV, the Hebrew word of sexual intercourse ins the word 'to know'. Isn't that beautiful? There's an intimate knowing we get to have of our husband that no one else has...
- I gave the gift of sex for Pleasure - Song of Songs, a whole BOOK of the Bible is dedicated to God trying to show us this. I've heard it said that Hebrew boys weren't even allowed to read this book until they were considered men because in the original Hebrew it was erotic! I think our English translators squirmed in their seats when they tried to translate it, and as a result we have this watered down version of it! I'm loving finding more accurate translations as it really is renewing my mind as to God's intention. Other passages that speak of the joy of married love include Proverbs 5:15, 18-19)
- I gave the gift of Sex as a defense against temptation. (1 Cor 7: 2, 5)
- I gave the gift of sex for comfort 2 Samuel, 12:24 - lovemaking is rich with compassion and love, and it can bring such solace, often speaking far more than words can.