As we talked about last week, God designed sex as a means for us to know our spouse and to reveal ourself so they can get to know us. Sex helps us know God, too. Marital intimacy is a picture of the relationship that God wants with us – He wants to know us and be known by us. We are created with a desire to know God and to be known by Him. Psalm 46:10 instructs us to “Be still and know that I am God.” This is the same “know” as in Genesis 4:1 when Adam knew Eve. God desires us to be in a profoundly personal and intimate relationship with Him.
Knowing God is essential to knowing our spouse and being known by our spouse. We need God to be our stronghold trust so that we can risk being fully vulnerable and loving our husband or wife with abandon. The surety of God’s unquenchable love allows us to share our innermost thoughts and feelings and gives us the freedom to love without restraint. I can’t stress it enough, knowing God is the foundation of revealing ourself to our spouse. If we are not jumping in with both feet with God, then we simply can’t go deeper in our marriage.
There is no way that I can operate in my own strength and risk opening myself up to my husband…
-to love him out of an overflow of God’s abundant love – not because he earned my love.
– to ask God to give me that extra push to move closer to where my husband’s desire is and then walk in faith that God will provide in that very moment.
– to extend forgiveness to the amazing, yet still imperfect, man that I married because I know that I too am imperfect and that God fills in all of those gaps.
– to ask my husband to pray over my hurts and insecurities and trust that his love and acceptance is not diminished by my baggage.
– to graciously and unashamedly share my needs and desires with my husband – I need to hear your words, can you move your hand here, please just hold me – and be responsive without self-consciousness or apology.
I can’t do any of these things without intimately knowing God. Neither can you. I’ve sure you’ve already discovered this, but our spouse cannot meet all of our needs. Only God can. When God is our first love, then we love our spouse even better. When God designed an all-day, every-day love affair between husband and wife – this passionate, physical, and vulnerable marital relationship – He knew it would move both spouses toward a deeper relationship with Him.
For me, the deeper I go with God, the more capacity I have to dive in with my husband. I’ve seen it happen again and again. When I say yes to whatever God wants to do in me, then I grow and have more to share with my husband. There’s more for him to know about me.
When I opened up and shared my sexual baggage with my husband, and sought healing with his support, it was only by standing on the secure foundation of my God Who loves me forever, Who will never leave me and Who has infinite power to heal, that I could even risk being completely honest – being truly known – with my husband.
Knowing our spouse and revealing ourself to him leads us closer to God – because ultimately our revealing is motivated by knowing God well enough to trust Him.
Sex according to God’s design also foreshadows what is to come for us as Christians. Sex within marriage is morally permissible ecstasy – a foretaste of the unimaginable delight of Heaven that we will experience when we, His bride, are united to Jesus in perfect Oneness.
In the book, the Sexually Confident Wife, author Shannon Ethridge says, “Perhaps sexual climax brings us closer to God than anything else on earth. Isn’t a powerful and pleasurable sexual connection, when freely enjoyed between husband and wife, a sweet foretaste of the connection we’ll one day experience in the afterlife? When we can intimately know God as fully as we are known by Him…?”
Scripture tells us to set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2) and a great sex life can point our thoughts toward Heaven again and again.
In what ways do you see God calling you to know Him more? How does that impact your marriage?
Next time we’ll talk about how to be fully known.