Love and Sex: The Perfect Combination
Contrary to popular belief, Hollywood did not
invent sex. According to the most ancient Jewish
writings, the Book of Beginnings, God looked at
the man he had created and said, "It is not good for
the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable
for him." The Creation narrative continues, "God
caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while
he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and
closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God
made a woman from the rib he had taken out of
the man, and he brought her to the man." The man
exclaimed, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh
of my flesh; she shall be called `woman,' for she was
taken out of man." Then the Creator declared that
the two would "become one flesh." The account
concludes with these words: "The man and his wife
were both naked, and they felt no shame."
SEX IS BEAUTIFUL
Based on this ancient Creation account, Jews and
Christians have always viewed marriage as a sacred
Relationship between a husband and wife, instituted by
God. The sexual union between the husband and wife
Is seen as a living symbol of their deep companionship.
That Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed indicates
that from God's perspective, sex is beautiful.
Throughout the Old and New Testament Scriptures,
God repeatedly affirms the beauty of sexual
intercourse within the marital relationship. While
the Bible records incidents of polygamy, fornication
(sex outside of marriage), adultery, homosexuality,
incest, and rape, these distortions of sexuality are
never approved by God. Sexual intercourse from
God's perspective is an act of love that binds the
souls of a husband and a wife to each other in a
lifelong, intimate relationship.
THE PURPOSE OF SEX
It is obvious that one of the purposes of relating to
each other sexually in the context of marriage is for
reproduction. God himself said to Adam and Eve,
"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth
and subdue it." Husbands and wives who love each
other and express their love sexually provide the
healthiest context in which to rear children. It is
interesting that contemporary research supports
this ancient biblical pattern.
However, procreation is not the only purpose,
nor the primary purpose, of sexual intercourse
within marriage. Far more basic are the psychological
and spiritual dimensions of making love. As
a husband and wife give themselves to each other
sexually, they are building a psychological and spiritual
bond that unites their souls at the deepest possible
level. Together they can face the challenges of
life because they are soul partners. Nothing unites a
husband and wife more deeply than making love.
On the other hand, if the married couple is
simply having sex without love, this bonding does
not take place. Thus, the couple becomes estranged,
and their union will eventually dissipate. For some,
divorce is the culmination of this estrangement.
Having sex without love builds resentment and,
God intends marital sex to be an experience of
extreme pleasure. This pleasure is not limited to
the physical sensation of orgasm. It also involves
the emotions, the intellect, and the spirit. Sexual
intercourse within marriage is designed to give us a
taste of the divine. It involves the total person and
brings waves of pleasure as we make love.
AN ANCIENT EXAMPLE
The books of Hebrew poetry found in the Old
Testament seek to capture this pleasure. Here are
the words of a husband speaking to his bride: "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! How much more
pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance
of your perfume than any spice! Your lips drop
sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and
honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of
your garments is like that of Lebanon.... You are a
garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming
down from Lebanon." His bride responds, "Let
my lover come into his garden and taste its choice
A short time later, the wife says of her husband,
"My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among
ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is
wavy and black as a raven.... His cheeks are like
beds of spice.... His arms are rods of gold.... His
legs are pillars of marble.... His mouth is sweetness
itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover,
this my friend."
Obviously, these ancient lovers are finding great
pleasure in relating to each other sexually. They are
discovering what it means to make love, not just
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE
Notice particularly in the passages above that the
husband and the wife each accentuated the positive
characteristics of the other.
Contemporary couples, in contrast, often tend
to focus on the negative. Even though there were
many, many positive characteristics that drew them
to each other when they first met, when conflicts
begin to emerge, they focus on the negative. They
verbalize these by saying such things as, "I can't
believe you are so lazy." "I have never known anyone
as selfish as you." "You are just like your father. No
wonder your mother left him." Such statements
create hurt, anger, and resentment. And typically
an offended spouse reciprocates with more negative
statements. When we focus on the negative, we
draw out the worst in our spouse.
On the other hand, when we choose to focus
on the positive, we stimulate a positive response.
The wife who says, "Wow. Do you ever look tough
tonight!" will likely receive not only a smile but
also positive words about the way she looks. The
spouse who says, "Thanks for cooking the meal; it
was delicious," stimulates warm, positive feelings
in the heart of the one who prepared the meal.
When we focus on the positive and verbalize our
appreciation and admiration for each other, we create
a climate in which sex can become a genuine
expression of love.
Sex was designed by God to be a mutually satisfying
experience whereby husbands and wives express their
love, intimacy, and commitment to each other. A
husband and wife may engage in sexual intercourse
without feelings of love, intimacy, and commitment,
but this has never been God's ideal. God's intention
is for couples to make love, not just have sex.
PUTTING THE PRINCIPLES
1. How would you explain the difference
between making love and just having sex?
2. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest,
how would you rank your success at
"making love"? How do you think your
spouse would rank you?
3. What would you like your spouse to do (or
stop doing) that would make the sexual
relationship more meaningful for you?
4. What could you do (or stop doing) to make
the sexual relationship more meaningful for
5. Would you be willing to share your answers
to the above questions with your spouse?
Excerpted from "Making Love: The Chapman Guide to Making Sex an Act of Love (Marriage Saver)" by Gary Chapman. Copyright © 0 by Gary Chapman. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.