Our culture has gone through a gigantic shift when it comes to openness about sex. My grandparents’ generation could hardly whisper about it, but today, unless you’re Amish, you can’t go any significant amount of time without being boldly confronted by it via billboards, commercials, movies, music, magazines, social media, etc., etc., etc. I think pretty much the only exception is the pulpit. For whatever reason, believers in general still find bedroom activities fairly taboo.
Apparently God missed the memo that sex is inappropriate to discuss openly, honestly, and without shame. Poor God. He keeps breaking religious rules. It’s like He can’t help it. I’m being cheeky here, but if we are going to develop a deeply biblical worldview, we have to be willing to experience our own gigantic shift when it comes to talking about sex. If the wise, loving, and good Creator of sex wants to shed some light on it, why would we feel too pure and precious to have the sex talk?
And talk about it He does. Oh, goodness, does He. The first story in Scripture requires sexual encounters to fill the earth with the abundant life God intends. The curse includes childbirth, acknowledging the crucial role of sex in marriage. It seems like the very first thing Adam and Eve do when leaving Eden is to make a couple of babies. By the time Song of Songs rolls around, the little old ladies in the back pew are blushing their teeth out; even a few scholarly commentators have engaged in some amusing hermeneutical gymnastics trying to make the book an allegory of Christ and His bride. (Slightly difficult and super creepy to do, given the graphic nature of the symbolism of many elements.)
So how should we think about sex? The Proverbs 31 woman must have some helpful insight here. Surely her domain doesn’t stop at the bedroom door?
As we saw last month, this fabulous lady’s inclusion in Scripture isn’t about creating a to-do list, wearing out the souls of countless women ever since. She is meant to inspire courage, nobility, virtue, and valor by exemplifying character traits we can incorporate however we choose, however the Lord has wired us. This is about freedom, not about a B.C. Stepford Wife.
Women of valor are to exercise purity outside of the bedroom (i.e., with anyone other than their husbands), but inside the bedroom is a completely different ballgame. The Proverbs 31 woman shows creativity, selflessness, spunk, diligence, and love to those around her. We can put those characteristics into practice in a variety of ways, and every couple’s love life will be unique. But we’ve got to understand that pouring out our energy into healthy (and—gasp!—fun) sex with our husbands is one of the holiest things we can do as wives. God doesn’t take a coffee break when things steam up, excusing Himself due to embarrassment or revulsion and wondering why we can’t get ourselves under control. He created us this way.
Because she’s designed to spark ideas that infuse our lives individually, the Proverbs 31 woman might practice courage in the bedroom, wearing something silly to love her husband well. She may put her creativity to use, texting him throughout the day about what fun she has planned for that evening. Or selflessness could come out as she decides to put her husband’s needs ahead of her preference. Each characteristic can manifest in tons of different ways and can even evolve as the marriage changes over time. The main point is to be mindful of loving him well. (And I understand, there are a bazillion issues that contribute to conflict and fear and hurt within marriage. Assuming your relationship is free from abuse, though, God has lots to say to wives about sex.)
The American church must lose her squeamishness when it comes to this good gift from a good Dad. It’s time to suck it up, snowflakes. We only lose ground to the enemy when we force our culture to dialogue about it without speaking truth into the conversation. And really, the best weapon we have against evil in this arena is a hot, healthy, fun sex life with our husbands that honors them and honors Christ. Believe it or not, that’s what God has had in mind for us all along.