A Counter-Cultural Love Affair
Editor’s Note: This is Part 3B in Let’s Talk Sex series – God’s Design for Sex
We don’t often talk about sex in a positive way in Christian circles, especially among unmarried women. I spend a good portion of my time on this blog addressing topics relevant to married women, but for the next few weeks, I want to focus on unmarried, dating, and engaged women.
Far too often in the Church you hear messages like, “Wait for marriage,” but there’s no guidelines, no explanation as to how to wait for marriage in a sex-saturated culture. You may hear a message like, “Sex is gross – it’s just your duty to please your husband.” This is a grossly misguided and unBiblical message to the young women of the Church and the world. You may hear a message from your nonChristian friends like, “Those Christians… they’re prudes. They suck the fun out of everything.” I’m here to tell you that’s not true for all Christian women either. But so many young women are confused by the mixed messages swirling about them that they either a) give up completely and are turned off to sex, even after marriage or b) engage in sexual activities because they are curious, want to be loved, or don’t know what else to do with their raging hormones.
You Are Lovely
Psalm 139:13-14 says,
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Dear lady friend, you were uniquely designed and created by God. He didn’t just give you sexual parts because He didn’t know what else to put there or just because you needed them to please a man. You would have been incomplete without them. God specifically designed a woman’s body to be breathtaking and lovely. The Eldredges of Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul even go so far as to say, “a woman’s breasts are among the loveliest of God’s creation.”
God finely shaped every little detail about you when He created and designed your body. Knitting is not a fast activity. It takes time and patience and a skilled hand. God “knitted” you inside your mother’s belly, patiently, delicately, and beautifully. You are wonderfully made – every detail on you from the hairs on your head to the color of your eyes to the shape of your lips to the curves of your body. You were and are a masterpiece – a captivating and lovely woman!
Just consider the way the man describes the woman in Song of Solomon. Many have been disturbed by this book appearing in the Bible. Some have tried to write off the book as a metaphor between God and Israel or between Christ and the Church. But these interpretations would be sorely overlooking the obvious, and misreading the point. The book is to be a love song between a man and the woman he loves who becomes his wife. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a sermon preached from Song of Solomon. Why? I’m not sure. But teachers and pastors shouldn’t be afraid of teaching from a book in the Bible, particularly on a subject as basic and essential as sex. We, the Church, cannot continue to severely ignore something as beautiful, intricate, and important as sex.
You Are Precious
Song of Solomon 2:2 says, “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.”
Here the man is saying that this woman is precious to him. As evidenced in Hosea 14:5 which says a repentant Israel will “blossom like a lily,” lilies are symbols of beauty and purity. This woman is better than any other woman this man has known, and he loves only her. This is how God has designed you to be – gorgeous, treasured, and loved more deeply and powerfully by only one man. This is who you hold out for, dearest sister!
Song of Solomon 4 begins with a statement by the man about his bride being beautiful: “My dear, you are beautiful. Oh you are so beautiful!” (vs. 1). And he reiterates in verse 7, “You are beautiful, my dear! How perfect you are!” In verse 5, he says, “Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies… ” Gazelles and fawns in Hebrew culture were viewed as graceful animals with much energy. She is equally a woman of grace and strength.
In verse 8, he calls to her to “descend from the crest” of the mountain. She has been high on a hill and this is symbolic for her virginity. A woman’s purity is priced high and it’s a precious gift that can only be given once.
In verses 9-10, 12, he says, “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love , my sister, my bride!…You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.”
The Eldredges write, “Beauty is what the world longs to experience from a woman.” This is woman’s greatest gift to her husband. She is like a treasured secret garden revealed to her lover on their wedding night, filled with all sorts of glorious and fragrant “flowers.” She is like a sealed fountain, bubbling below the surface, ready to be unveiled on her wedding night. God didn’t make a mistake. He didn’t give you “lady parts” and then hope you’d figure out what to do with them. He specifically and purposely made you a beautiful crown of creation.
This is why there is so much shame and guilt associated with sex before marriage because deep down you know… you know that you were created for something better. You know you deserve better. You know you were designed for a beautiful and glorious unveiling and yet you have thrown that away. It doesn’t matter that you’re “in love.” It doesn’t matter that you’re going to get married…someday. It matters that you didn’t wait. You can never get that precious, priceless gift of yourself back.
You Are Known By God
Psalm 139:1-3 says, “You have searched me, LORD, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.”
Why should you glorify God with your body?
God knows you! He knows your thoughts and your feelings. He knows every action you take, every thought before it proceeds out of your mouth, every inner desire. Vs 6 says this knowledge is too lofty for you to attain, or the NLT version says “too great for me to understand.” This is crazy and a little scary, but also an amazing blessing to read this! God knows you and all your failings and still He chooses to love you.
Why should you stay pure?
God knows you more intimately than anyone ever will know. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines to know as “to perceive directly, to have understanding of, to recognize the nature of.” God personally and directly perceives and understands everything there is to know about you. He recognizes you. He knows your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs and knows your sexual desires. He designed you to be sexual. He knows details about you that your future husband will never know! God loves you with a fierce passion and longs to protect you as a mother hen protects her chicks and He wants you to have the best of the best, to be united to a man who will love you more than he loves himself.
3 P’s to Staying Pure
Remember the 3 P’s to Staying Pure
1. Prepare yourself to be known in the fullest, deepest, purest way by seeking after the Lord daily and committing your body to Him.
2. Protect yourself (your body, heart, spirit, mind, words, and actions) from impurity.
3. Prove your love and respect for your future husband by choosing to wait and entering the wedding chamber, pure, completely free of regrets.
Dare to have a counter-cultural love affair with Jesus – to go against what the world says and wait, and while you’re waiting serve the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, trusting God with your heart until He brings the right man along who will love you passionately and purely and will protect you fiercely, trusting God with your body until He brings the man you will marry into your life and on your wedding night will give you over as a proud Father to the man who will “know” you and experience you in a way that no other human will!
**Please know that I’m not trying to guilt trip you or place the entirety of the blame on your shoulders. It does take two to tango and your significant other is just as at fault, if not more so than you. God created the man to be the head of the woman, to be the spiritual leader. It is his responsibility to care for you, protect you, and love you even more than his own body (Ephesians 5), and he fails you as a man if he doesn’t uphold his end of the bargain. However, precious daughter of God, you have also been given a responsibility and a conscience. You have the power to say, “NO,” and “Let’s wait.”
***Also, please know that I’m not trying to dredge up further pain for those of you who have been victims of sexual abuse or make you feel like you are at fault. What was done to you was a crime and an offense to God and you are by no means less precious to the Lord or less beautiful in the sight of God!! Any man who violates a daughter of God is not really a man because he does not control his own body when he uses it to hurt and abuse a woman. If you haven’t been sexually abused, chances are you know someone who has. My heart goes out to all the women who have been taken advantage of sexually. Please seek professional help to begin the process of recovery and restoration, and know that there are those out here in the world praying for you.
I’d love to hear from you…
I highly encourage you to read through the entire chapter of Psalm 139. What other thoughts about your sexuality and how God created you pop out when you read this passage? How does knowing you were created to be lovely, precious, and known by God change the way you look at sexuality? What other aspects of sex would you like to see discussed on Becoming His Eve?
To read other related posts in the Let’s Talk Sex series, click here.
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