Though Nancy doesn’t describe the various ways women can sin sexually, or the “how” to have better sex, it is a subject that should be handled sensibly. Please use discretion when considering to read this post.
I’ve read many articles and a handful of books on the subject of sex, and I thought Nancy handled this topic well. She was abstract yet personable, always gentle yet bold, discrete yet explicit, theological yet practical, and as she always does, expressing the ideal yet acknowledging the reality.
The reality to start with is that we often come to marriage with some pretty goofy ideas about sex. Some still live with the guilt and shame of sexual immorality in their past, and yet others, still painfully carry the burdens and scars of sexual abuse. All that can put a damper on the bliss that we’re supposed have in the marriage bed.
To help overhaul, if you will, some of the baggage women can bring to the marriage bed, Nancy takes us back to the basics. The way I see it is that if we truly want to be salt in this world and promote biblical sex and purity for the marriage bed, we don’t need radical thinking. We simply need to have a good biblical understanding on the matter. Christianity 101, you can say.
So here are a few basics:
God came up with this idea of sex, not Adam or Eve.
It is a gift, not a punishment, or a dirty act, and it should be received in faith, too, that it is good just like everything else God created.
It is for our enjoyment. That’s right, to be enjoyed. We’re supposed to take that gift and truly take pleasure in it.
But, like with every gift, there are responsibilities and ways in which to use it properly. I get that now that I am a mother. I give gifts to my kids and I do desire them to enjoy them, but with my gifts there is always a need of giving boundaries to use and maintain. Same thing with our Father in Heaven. He gave us this gift and we need to learn (and teach) its design, purpose, and duties, to honor Him with it. So yeah, God created this gift and he designed and wired us to desire intimacy. Therefore, we should not be shocked that a couple attracted to each other naturally would want to go there…
The problem comes when we don’t take God at His word, and like Eve, we ask ourselves, “Did he really say…?” Marriage is the prescribed context for sex, and marriage is what saves us from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). It is quite acceptable nowadays to live with your boyfriend, but it is truly sad that women would agree to such a living status. There is no real commitment, no real protection, and for sure no real intimacy, just the lust of the flesh. The world around us doesn’t help either. I had a very short engagement (three months) precisely because Jon and I didn’t want to completely burn in lust…To my surprise and dismay, bridal gown shops are not into promoting purity. They needed at least six months to guarantee me a dress delivered on time; many shops literally turned me away. Nancy suggests that it is better to hurry up the wedding than engage in immorality (1 Corinthians 7:9). If we don’t, Nancy notes, there may be long and short-term consequences. “The short term consequences of immorality are guilt, loss of joy, lack of self-control in other areas, and muddled thinking. The long-term consequences are a lack of respect of a wife for her husband…, regret and shame, as well as a wife’s concern over her husband’s faithfulness in the future.”
But hey, you are now married and you want to delight in all the goodness this physical pleasure can bring. Nancy wants us, again, to go back to basics and start with Song of Solomon. Here, the bride is referred to as “a garden enclosed” (4:12; 5:1).
So, in this garden scene:
Only the proper lawful owner of the garden can enter. The only way you grow in intimacy is by keeping what happens in that garden – intimate. Delight in the memories only known to you and your husband.
That’s right, see yourself as gardener. Treat it like an oasis of sexual refreshment for your husband.
The only walls that can protect this garden are that of marriage. And your job, and mine, is to guard these walls from all intruders. So don’t let real or imagined lust of men come trample in your garden.
On the inside of those walls, we must cultivate that garden, by weeding and watering it regularly. Nancy recommends a great fertilizer, “Keep your garden free from bitterness and resentment. These are foul weeds which choke out your loveliness. An atmosphere of cheerfulness and openness and humility will allow your husband to feel welcome in his lovely garden.”
We never change all at once, so we also don’t need to swallow the whole teachings about sex in one sitting and gulp. So let this gardening mindset take root in our hearts today and come back tomorrow and discuss the steamy subject of “Satisfaction.”
I’ll leave you with a very appropriate (and cheesy) poem Jon likes to recite for me: (lol!)
There are tulips in the garden
and tulips in the park,
but the tulips I like best
are your tulips in the dark.