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Real Relationships 1 (Pure Sex - Whether You're Married or Single)

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REAL RELATIONSHIPS

(THE LOVE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED)

#1: Pure Sex – Whether You’re Single or Married

Pastor Greg Henneman

April 15, 2007

Text:          1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Key Idea:   Sex is spiritual.

Goal:                   To become more spiritual!

INTRODUCTION

·       Promote BASE Classes…

We’re starting a new series today called REAL RELATIONSHIPS: THE LOVE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED.

And today we’re talking about sex: Pure Sex – Whether You’re Married or Single…

Sound interesting? This may be the only sermon all year long that you won’t mind if I go a bit overtime!

You’ll see on your outline that we have three major questions:

·       Why is sex such a big deal?

·       What do women need to know about men?

·       What do men need to know about women?

A. Why is Sex such a Big Deal?

          1. Sex is about connection.

Sex is so much more than just the physical act of two bodies coming together. It certainly includes that, but it’s so much more.

Rob Bell, in his book “Sex God”, says that the word sex comes from the Latin word secare, which means to sever, to amputate, or to disconnect from the whole.” It’s where we get our words sect, section, dissect, and bisect.

Our sexuality, then, has two dimensions. First, our sexuality is our awareness of how profoundly we’re severed and cut off and disconnected. Second, our sexuality is all of the ways we go about trying to reconnect. (p.40)

And so this guy always has a girlfriend. It’s become a joke with his friends that the day he loses a girl he finds another. And he talks about the great sex he’s having all the time. They even joke, “Oh, he’s traded her in for a better model.”

The question is, “Why does he need all these girls?” Is it really that he’s just a party animal and it’s all instinct? Or is there something more to it? What’s his real need? And if we could get at that, maybe he wouldn’t need all those girls? (p.14)

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

God creates mankind as male and female. The whole idea of sex is God’s idea! Sex is not dirty. Sex is not bad. Sex is spiritual! Sex is holy! Why? Because God created it; it’s his design!

Genesis 2:24-25 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

The story of mankind begins with a man and a woman connected. They are naked. They are “one flesh.” They are transparent and open and vulnerable –and they feel no shame! When they have sex they come together physically. The man penetrates the woman –and their physical one-flesh-ness is a reflection of their emotional and spiritual harmony. They are connected –with each other, with God. Their physical oneness expresses the spiritual and emotional oneness that they’re enjoying!

I love that phrase “they were naked and felt no shame.” They weren’t just physically naked –they were totally naked! No secrets! No baggage! Nothing to hide! Nothing to fear! They were known and loved and connected.

So sex is God’s idea. It’s good. It’s right. It’s wonderful. Did you know that one entire book of the Bible is given to sexuality and romance?

Song of Songs 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.”

I wish we had time to some passages out of the Song of Songs…some pretty racy stuff in there!

So the Bible holds sex up as a wonderful gift of God. Jesus spoke of the beauty of marriage and sexuality. But there is one thing that Jesus said that has bothered me a lot and bothered my wife a lot. Until recently when I started to see it in a new light.

Luke 20:34 "Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels."

My wife and I used to talk about this. “Honey, I can’t imagine being in heaven and knowing you but not being married to you! Do you mean that we’ll actually lose this special love relationship that we have? I’m not sure I like heaven! No marriage, no sex in heaven?”

I’ve come to see it in a better light –I think in a more biblical light.

When the NT writers talk about Christ coming again, they oftentimes use the language of a wedding banquet. Christ is the groom and we, the church, are his bride.  When Jesus comes back it’s going to be like a wedding party. We’ll have a huge dinner reception and we’ll be so close to God it’s like we’ve married him!

Revelation 21:2 "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."

It’s like a wedding day –and God and we are going to be married! If you read on in Revelation 21 it says that God will be with us. God and Jesus will be so close and personal that we won’t need the light of the sun because they will be our light.

In the light everybody is fully known. Isn’t that what people crave in sex? To be known. To be embraced and accepted and loved.

Revelation 22 says that the curse will be lifted. Right now we live in a cursed world. Even the best of relationships have some problems. And we all know that one of us is going to stand over the casket of the other one someday.

Sex is that brief moment when everything is ok with the world, even when it’s not. Sex is a retreat from the pain and brokenness of life. It’s an expression of the newness and freshness and creativity and hope that we all yearn for!

In Revelation, God says, “I am making everything new! I am lifting the curse! I will be with you and you will enjoy my light and life and healing!

Here’s what I’ve come to realize: Could it be that marriage and sexuality now –point us to the ultimate connection and relationship that we will enjoy in heaven?

So I think, on the basis of Scripture, perhaps the reason there will be no marriage or sex in heaven, is because we will be so connected, so “at-one” with God and each other. (Rob Bell “Sex God” 168)

I know we spent a lot of time on this first point, but it’s critical that we understand how powerful and how important and how wonderful sexuality is. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s just a physical act that makes you feel good, and it doesn’t matter how you handle your sexuality.

Sex is so much more than physical. And God’s intention is that marriage and sex symbolize his love for us and our love for him and the closeness and intimacy that we will experience in heaven with him one day.

The second reason that sex is a big deal is because…

          2. Sex reveals our fallenness.

We live in a cursed world, the Bible tells us. This world is messed up. We are messed up. And we are messed up even in our sexuality. Adam and Eve were naked and they felt no shame. They were connected and all was well.  Then what happened? They disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. Suddenly their eyes are opened and they realize they are naked. They hide from God. They blame each other. They are no longer connected!

They’re fearful. They’re distrustful. They get into power plays and blame-shame games. And ever since then our sinfulness affects our sexuality!

Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery…drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”

Why do people like to have parties where they get drunk and have sex with whomever? They’re trying to get connected –in all the wrong ways. They’re trying to escape the pain of loneliness –for at least a little while.

Why is the biggest, baddest word in the English language the “F” word? You can hardly watch a movie without the “F” word sprinkled throughout it! The “F” word is cool! The “F” word is spicy!” When you think about it, it’s absolutely stupid and it adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence!

Could it be that the “F” word reveals our sexual dysfunction? Could it be that we have taken God’s good gift of sex that was meant to express our connection, our love, our harmony –and we’ve twisted it into something selfish –where it’s about me trying to fix my disconnection and frustration by using you in a way that God never intended?

Sex is such a big deal because we’ve messed it up so badly.

A third reason sex is a big deal is because…

          3. Sex for singles is confusing.

 

A single guy said, “My sexual needs are just like all my other needs. If I get hungry I drop by McDonald’s for a Quarter Pounder with cheese, and if I feel the need for sex I get a date with a girl who is willing. What’s wrong with that?”

Lots of people say, “Nothing.” Fast food. Fast sex. Casual sex. No big deal!  Even as Christians we’re finding it more difficult to come up with good reasons why sex outside of marriage is wrong! All the traditional reasons seem so quaint, so silly. And the urge to connect with each other is so powerful.

Before we talk about “why wait for marriage”, let’s clear up what the Bible says about…

          The Status of Singles

The status of singles in our society is so confusing; and even as Christians we seem confused about it.

On the one hand, if you’re single, it seems that people are always saying, “When are you going to get married?” As if something is wrong with you if you’re single.

On the other hand, singles are supposed to be swinging and having all this fun that married people are not having.

Years ago somebody on TV was interviewing the famous Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. Roger was a Christian and a faithful husband. The interviewer asked him, "Roger, how do you feel when you compare yourself with Joe Namath, who is so sexually active and has a different woman on his arm every time we see him?"

Roger answered, "I'm sure I'm just as sexually active as Joe. The difference is that all of mine is with one woman."

But we have this image of the swinging single who’s free to express his or her sexuality in ways that married people are not.

And yet we call girls “whores” who act like that! We aren’t as tough on guys but even then we call them “players” when we think they’ve crossed the line.

So there are all these mixed messages and it’s confusing!

Let’s get a biblical view of singleness…

·       Jesus was single! The only perfect person who ever lived was single!

·       Paul was single!

·       In heaven, we just learned, we will all be single!

Nothing wrong with being single! However, the Bible does say that…

          1. Singleness requires gifting. 1 Corinthians 7:7

The Apostle Paul was single and says in 1 Corinthians 7, “Each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”

God’s intention is that most people marry. We are created and designed to connect with another man or woman and experience “one fleshness.” But God gifts some people not to need that experience.

Jesus was single. Paul was single. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul says its actually better to remain single if you can so that you can serve God in greater ways and not worry about all the responsibilities that come with being married.

Jesus says in Matthew 19 that…

          2. Singleness requires calling. Matthew 19:12

He says that some have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. I know of some missionaries that have stayed single so they could be involved in difficult and daring adventures for Christ.

So single people…being single is not “second rate.” Being single or married really doesn’t matter to God. The important thing is, are you following your giftedness and your calling?

Now let’s talk about singleness and sex.  Why is sex outside of marriage wrong? Is it just old-fashioned legalism? Or are there good reasons not to have sex outside of the marriage covenant?

I put on your outline…

          Traditional Reasons for keeping Sex in Marriage:

The traditional argument goes like this…

          1. To obey God.

          2. To raise children.

          3. To not have children indiscriminately.

          4. To not get diseases.

What has happened the last 50 years –especially the last 10 years?

First, more and more people don’t care about obeying God. That just seems so intolerant!

Second, lots of people are starting to question whether marriage between a man and a woman is the best way to raise kids. Why not gay marriage? Why bother with marriage at all?

Third, we now have condoms and birth control pills. You can have all the sex you want without getting pregnant –at least in theory! Before birth control came along, you were risking pregnancy every time you had sex. So “don’t have sex unless you’re married” used to be a good argument. But now with birth control, it not as risky. Besides, you can always get an abortion if you do get pregnant.

Fourth, we have condoms and medicine to help you have “safe sex” so you won’t get diseases.

So all the traditional arguments to keep sex within marriage don’t sound as compelling anymore! If I really don’t care what God says about sex, and if I’m not going to get pregnant or get a disease, what’s to keep me from enjoying sex whenever and with whomever I want!

I would argue that the traditional arguments still hold true. You should care what God has to say about sex. After all, he created it and knows how it works best! And in spite of condoms and pills, lots of people get pregnant accidentally and lots of people have all kinds of venereal diseases.

But if you need even more reasons to save sex for marriage, let me give you two reasons…

          Why Wait?

          1. Sex frees and sex enslaves. 1 TH 4:1-8 READ & COMMENT.

Used properly sex frees us and connects us. Used improperly sex twists us and enslaves us.

There are women who have encounter after encounter. They’re not free! They’re slaves! They’re desperate to connect! They want to know and be known, to love and be loved. And it never lasts –not for very long.

There are men who are addicted to porn and to one night stands. Some of them would rather surf the net and have self-sex than engage their wives? Why? Because it’s easier to enjoy their lust privately than to engage in the hard work of connecting with their wives and dealing with the issues so that their sex life expresses harmony rather than frustration.

And it started when they were single and sexually active. They have developed the habit of thinking that sex is all about them and they are used to a variety of women and so one woman just isn’t enough.

If you do not “control your body in a way that is holy and honorable” to God when you are single, it’s likely to bring memories and baggage and issues into your marriage, if you get married. Sex frees and sex enslaves.

          2. Sex connects and sex isolates. 1 C 6:12-20 READ

Remember how Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame? Their nakedness was spiritual and emotional –not just physical!

It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex with somebody. People do it all the time. But opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your thoughts and fears and future and hopes and dreams…that is being naked.

And that is what we’re really after! We want to know and be known, to love and be loved. To be open and vulnerable and naked –without any fear!

But when we misuse our sexuality and or reduce it simply to something physical, rather than connecting it makes us even more isolated!

You may have heard of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Prostitution is legal there. People are having sex there all the time! Yet I believe that those people are sexually repressed! They are very un-sexual! Why? (Sex God 43)

They’re having sex all the time but never connecting. They feel just as isolated, just as lonely as they did before they had sex. In fact, they usually don’t want to even know each other names.

“But Greg, I’m not like that. My boyfriend and I love each other. And I’m pretty sure we’re going to get married someday. So what’s wrong about connecting and enjoying our sexuality now?”

Good question, and we’ll answer that next week. Next week we’ll also talk about what men need to know about women and what women need to know about men. LET’S PRAY.

Father help us to realize that sex is a big deal. It’s your idea! You created us male and female. The whole idea of love and marriage and sex is your idea. Help us to realize that sex is a spiritual issue. It’s your physical design to help us connect emotionally and spiritually.

Help us to deal with our fallenness. Our baggage and our issues. Give singles the courage to be countercultural. Give them the conviction to direct their sexual energies in ways that will honor you and heal them.

Help the woman who is searching in all the wrong ways to find connection. Help the man who is addicted to porn. Help all of us to express our sexuality to connect rather than isolate, to free rather than enslave. For your glory. Amen.


 

B. What Do Women Need to Know About Men?

1. Fulfilling sex makes him feel loved and desired.

Illust: “For Women Only”: charts on p.93-94

Illust: Feldhahn “For Women Only” 106…love languages…

Illust: Ergun Caner…Man, at the wedding ceremony…shut up! Woman, during the honeymoon, shut up! Stand where he wants you to stand!

2. Fulfilling sex gives him confidence.

Illust: Viagra and chart on p.98…

3. Saying “no” makes him feel rejected.

C. What Do Men Need to Know About Women?

1. She has a lower sex drive than you –and she’d change it if she could.

Illust: Feldhahn “For Men Only” 125, 130 : charts on screen

2. Your body does not turn on her body.

3. For her, sex starts in the heart.

Illust: “For Men Only, p.129: guys and gal are opposites at this point…

          Guys: sex can take away the headache, exhaustion, anxiety

          Gals: can’t enjoy sex until headache, etc. go away

Conclusion:

Resources:

For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn

For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

Sex God by Rob Bell

Sacred Sex by Tim Alan Gardner


REAL RELATIONSHIPS

(THE LOVE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED)

#1: Pure Sex – Whether You’re Single or Married

Pastor Greg Henneman

April 15, 2007

Text:          1 Corinthians 6:12-20

A. Why is Sex such a Big Deal?

          1. Sex is about connection.

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Genesis 2:24-25 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

Song of Songs 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.”

Luke 20:34 "Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels."

Revelation 21:2 "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."

          2. Sex reveals our fallenness.

Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery…drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”

          3. Sex for singles is confusing.

          The Status of Singles

          1. Singleness requires gifting. 1 Corinthians 7:7

          2. Singleness requires calling. Matthew 19:12

          Traditional Reasons for keeping Sex in Marriage:

          1. To obey God.

          2. To raise children.

          3. To not have children indiscriminately.

          4. To not get diseases.

          Why Wait?

          1. Sex frees and sex enslaves. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

          2. Sex connects and sex isolates. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

B. What Do Women Need to Know About Men?

1. Fulfilling sex makes him feel loved and desired.

2. Fulfilling sex gives him confidence.

3. Saying “no” makes him feel rejected.

C. What Do Men Need to Know About Women?

1. She has a lower sex drive than you –and she’d change it if she could.

2. Your body does not turn on her body.

3. For her, sex starts in the heart.

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