I am so encouraged when someone “gets it.” But when the “light bulb” came on in this couple’s life, it was almost blinding! And what flipped the switch actually surprised me.
As I was preparing for another session in our small group study, Sacred Marriage, I could only wonder at how the couples might receive some of the statements Gary Thomas makes in this session on, “Sexual Saints.” He opens up the scripture in an enlightening way and paints such a passionately beautiful picture of God’s design and purposes for sexual intimacy in marriage. But he also includes some pretty radical ideas.
We all watched the video together, me glancing around the room to see reactions. After the video I asked if anyone had any comments or observations they might be willing to share. One couple, only married a few years, almost simultaneously said, “Well, this changes everything! Why didn’t anyone show us this sooner?” It was not a response I ever anticipated hearing so I pulled the string: “What exactly changes everything?” In total agreement they shared two concepts from the video.
Gary spent a lot of time developing the idea that “a healthy sexual relationship grows a spirit of giving.” The young husband has been a college student and an athlete; he has lived in world of male discussion that often centers on sexual exploits and routinely includes the phrase, “Did you get any last night?” The awareness that sexual intimacy is often viewed as “something to GET” rather than “something to GIVE” was powerful. This is a fine man and he does not have a predatory attitude towards his wife; but he suddenly realized he was not very intentional in viewing his part in the sexual relationship as a valuable gift to be given. His wife agreed that it was the same for her.
The second thing that rocked their world was when Gary asked in the video: “If the Lord were to use only how you treat one another in the bedroom – not your time in worship or teaching in children’s ministry or attending Bible study – but just your attitudes and behavior in the bedroom, how would He evaluate your relationship with Him?”
There was clear understanding in this couples minds that in moments in the public domain they can often behave well and appear more spiritual than they are. But isolate them to the intimacy of the bedroom and whom they are in Christ and how determined they are to reflect His character are evident – either to His glory or not.
I applaud this couple for being so boldly transparent. The ensuing conversation around the table was enlightening and extremely beneficial – which is exactly why we choose to do the spiritual journey together with Jesus.
If you are married and are looking for a means to help you evaluate the state of your relationship with Jesus, the two “thermometers” above might be valuable tools.