Identity Relationships

Sex and the Warrior

Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a trilogy on the Art of Husbandry.

Yes, I know. We all want sex. Our hormones crave it, our minds imagine it and our bodies are ready to experience it. 

Sexual Philosophies Galore

There are a lot of sexual philosophies in our world. Most, if not all are grossly lacking compared to God’s view of sex. Just a quick sampling of Scripture gives us a sneak-peek into His view of sexuality: “Be fruitful and multiply…enjoy the wife of your youth…may her breasts satisfy you greatly.”  In fact, the inspired Word of God called, Song of Solomon is wholly devoted to the sexual encounters of a newlywed couple. In fact, most of it is written from the women’s perspective. Our English translations of the Bible are shy when it comes to taking the original Hebrew in Song of Solomon to its real meaning. We tend to soften it. 

God Loves Sex!

In Song of Solomon 5:10 and following, you see the woman describe her naked husband’s body, from head to toe. She starts with his overall appearance-radiant and ruddy. Then, she begins with his head and moves downward:

  • Hair
  • Eyes
  • Cheeks
  • Lips
  • Arms
  • Body (verse 14)
  • Legs
  • Then in verse 16, she goes back to his mouth.

Did you catch verse 14? The word “body” in English is too generic for what she describes before and after. The word “body” is our English word to soften the reference to his genitals, which are “bedecked with sapphires”.  Now, I don’t think that means he pierced anything, but that the sight of his genitals to her is like the beauty of jewels.

In Song of Solomon 7:1 and following, the husband starts his description of his bride. He begins at her toes and works up. 

  • Feet
  • Thighs (Verse 1)
  • Navel
  • Belly
  • Breasts
  • Neck
  • Eyes
  • Nose
  • Head

Now, look at the order he describes her. A guy’s eyes do not skip what is between a woman’s thighs. Her navel and belly are a reference to her genitals. 

“OK! Stop! My warrior mind struggles enough with thinking of sexual purity. Now, your narrative just created a word picture that messes with my mind.”

Core to the Soul

I write from a biblical perspective because in the end, whether you remain single your entire life or marry, your sexuality and your view of it is core to your manhood. Core.

Body Awesome!

Contrary to virtually every sexual philosophy out there, sex is good!  No! Newsflash! Sex is GREAT! God created us male and female from the beginning. Your body, from head to toe, is designed by God and every part, including your genitals, is to be stewarded well.

Adam and Eve were “naked and not ashamed.” Sin brought shame. We read about it in Genesis 3. That sent an avalanche of corruption into every aspect of life, including sex. 

Change is Good!

I grew up in the era of the sexual revolution but in our house, we never spoke of sex. Not from a biological to a moral or even a spiritual perspective. By the time I was in 5th grade, the appeal of girls started to enter my radar. Back then, girls had cooties. To be touched by one meant you were contaminated. To get clean you had to touch someone else. It made recess a chasing game.

Like most guys, middle school brought un-requested body changes. Height, muscles, voice, and yes body hair. Sexual development is all part of how God made you, and none of it is sinful. 

Luke 2:52 references Jesus from age 12 on. It says that he grew in wisdom (mind), stature (body), and in favor with God (spiritual) and man (relational). I can guarantee you Jesus went through normal adolescent bodily changes, including his sexuality. Regardless of your age, God’s purposes and view of sexuality is good, great, and holy!

Where We Stub Our Toe

If there is a bone I have to pick with the Church, in general, it’s our skittish, backward approach to preaching and teaching about sex. Several years ago, I was leading an adult Sunday School class on a series about the Song of Solomon. Our attendance nearly doubled (we had to move to another room to meet fire code). We became known as the “Sex Class”.  “What better place to learn about God’s view of sex than at church?”  Ultimately, parents are responsible to teach their children about sex. This is rooted in Ephesians 6:4. But, the Church’s role is to help equip parents in that calling.

All Too Common Sex Education

Too many of us good Christian boys learn about sex from our buddies in the locker room or worse, from the internet. Statistically-speaking, you probably saw your first pornography about age 11.  I was 13; about a year after I trusted Jesus. Seeing porn sent me into a tailspin. It opened the door for sinful lust to grip me. I struggled with everything from fantasies to masturbation. Shame piled on so high I would have been mortified if anyone knew. I was very duplicit in my faith. Faking it on Sunday’s and struggling the rest of the week with raging hormones. 

All I heard in middle and high school were flamboyant sex talk. Dirty. Girls treated as objects to score with. I’m not sure how many of my so-called friends actually lost their virginity or were just pumping themselves up, all I knew was with my raging hormones, if I even got close to a girl, my pent up sexual drive would forever spill over to her and somehow she’d get pregnant and I’d forever be a teen dad.

Change Can Happen

Changes happened for me when I realized sex is not a taboo subject, but good!  God’s purpose is for having babies and mutual enjoyment in the covenant of marriage.  As Tim Keller says every time a married couple has sex, it is a renewal of their covenant vows. 

From a scientific perspective, sex with another person releases hormones that glue you to each other. It’s why Scripture discourages sex outside of marriage. Sex without the covenantal bonds of marriage creates relational dysfunctions.

Sexual Baggage

Sometimes a person brings sexual baggage into a marriage. Honeymoons are to be a time of intimate discovery; the Song of Solomon type enjoyment. Unfortunately, even good Christian couples can struggle with sexual oneness. For various reasons, some newlyweds don’t consummate the marriage sexually during the honeymoon. It might take months, even a year or so before they have sexual intercourse.  Past sexual abuse, unbiblical views of sex, porn addictions, even coming out of a homosexual relationship, and now choosing to marry a woman can create tons of pain that, to be honest needs Gospel-centered counseling to help work through things.

God’s Gift of Sex to You!

Here’s why God gave you sex. Beyond having babies and mutual enjoyment, marital sex is to be a deeply spiritual experience. Your soul longs for someone to delight in you. “Does anyone love me without condition?” The bonds of covenant marriage give you the closest opportunity to experience God’s unconditional love from a human perspective. When you have sex as a married warrior, you are to be communicating a level of love that is safe, pure, and unconditional.

Single Warrior Sex

When you, as a single warrior take on God’s view of sexuality, you are holding on to God’s promise that sex is to be held in the highest regard, and part of you preparing for the day you too may be married is to treat your body with the utmost purity.

If you carry sexual baggage such as a porn addiction or sex outside of marriage, then you need to address not just the actions but the heart cry behind it. This is where the Gospel does its best restorative work; if you are willing to face the shame instead of hiding from it.

What’s Your View of Sex?

Every person on the planet has a view of sexuality. It falls somewhere on a spectrum from innocent to healthy/biblical/clear to immoral/perverted.  What’s yours?

______________________________________________________________________________

INNOCENT, CLEAR/BIBLICAL, IMMORAL/PERVERTED

Innocent means anatomically, you have little to some understanding of how sex functions between a man and a woman. You see it to make babies. 

Clear/Biblical means you understand how the male and female bodies function together sexually and you see God’s purposes for sex. It’s good, great, and holy!  To be enjoyed as an expression of covenantal marriage. 

Immoral/Perverted means you see sex for personal gain and satisfaction regardless of the cost and how it makes the other person feel. You see porn and any sexual act outside of marriage as fair game. In fact, you might even see sex as a coping mechanism for unresolved shame and rejection in life. 

Regardless if you are a single or married warrior, you most likely have to one extent or another, a skewed view of sexuality.  Even we who love Jesus can struggle. That’s part of my story. The issue is less about the struggle and more about your willingness to bring all things, including your body and your sexuality under the Lordship of Christ. 

Does He have your heart?  

A heart given to Christ is the first step in experiencing sexual wholeness.

Warrior On! 

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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