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Real Relationships 2 (Pure Sex - Part Two)

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REAL RELATIONSHIPS

(THE LOVE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED)

#2: Pure Sex – Part Two

Pastor Greg Henneman

April 22, 2007

INTRODUCTION

·       Promote baptism

Last Sunday we talked about Pure Sex – Whether You’re Single or Married. If you were here you remember that we only got part way through. In fact, we only discussed letter “A”…

A. Why is Sex such a Big Deal?

 

          1. Sex is about connection.

          2. Sex reveals our fallenness.

          3. Sex for singles is confusing.

 

          The Status of Singles

          Traditional Reasons for keeping Sex in Marriage:

 

I told you about the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Prostitution is legal there. People are having sex there all the time! I told you that I believe that those people are sexually repressed! They are very un-sexual! And you were probably thinking, “Greg, How can you say that? They are having sex all the time! (Sex God 43)

Yes, but they’re 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.

I ended last Sunday with a cliff hanger –a question. Somebody says, “But Greg, I’m not like that. I’m not running around having sex with everybody. 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? Why would God frown on that?”

So let’s pick it up here. So you’re a 9th grader, or a 12th grader. Or you’re in college. OR you’re 40 years old and divorced and you’re in a new serious relationship. If you really love each other and are committed to each other, although you’re not married, why not enjoy the beautiful gift of sexuality that God gave you?

What About Affectionate Boyfriend/girlfriend Relationships?

The most obvious reason, for us Christians, at least, is because that is God’s will for our lives! It amazes me how often people ask me this question, “Greg, does the Bible really teach that it’s wrong to have sex if you’re a single? I know that the Bible says that adultery is wrong because you’re cheating on your spouse. But if you’re not married, then you’re not cheating on anybody, so what’s wrong with having sex if you’re single?” I’m asked that question with amazing frequency! Look at…

Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

“Marriage should be honored by all.”  Stop right there. How do we honor marriage? What does it mean to honor marriage? It means that we recognize and honor the fact that marriage is God’s idea and that his plan is one man, one woman, for life! It means that our sexuality is intended to be enjoyed within the context of commitment and faithfulness and connection of marriage.

And it means that you not just recognize that truth but you live by it! So having sex outside of marriage is to dishonor marriage. To live together without being married is to dishonor marriage. To redefine marriage to include a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman is to dishonor God’s design for marriage!

Marriage should be honored by all!

Look at the next phrase, “and the marriage bed kept pure.” What does that mean? It means that our sexuality is to be enjoyed and expressed in ways that are in harmony with God’s design for marriage. Sex should bring husband and wife closer, not farther apart. Sex should connect them, not isolate them. Sex should free them, not enslave them.

It also means the next phrase, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

God will judge who? The adulterer AND ALL the sexually immoral. Who’s the adulterer? The husband or wife who cheats on their spouse, right? Ok, then who’s ALL the sexually immoral? Everybody else? Well who’s that? Single people who express their sexuality outside of the marriage covenant. The Greek word there is porneia, where we get our word pornography and pornographic.

Hebrews 13 is saying that God’s will for us is to express our sexuality only within the covenant of marriage and even then only in such a way as to honor God’s design for marriage. A married person can dishonor marriage by using sex the wrong way –whether it’s through pornography or adultery or through selfish lust and kinky stuff that makes the partner feel shamed. A single person can dishonor marriage by having sex outside of marriage.

So let’s be absolutely clear: 9th grader or 12th grader who is crazily in love with somebody…college student who’s met the guy or girl of your dreams…or 40 year-old divorced person who is finding such joy and refreshing laughter in a new relationship…GOD WANTS YOU TO REFRAIN FROM HIS WONDERFUL GIFT OF SEX UNTIL YOU ARE IN A COVENANT OF MARRIAGE! The Bible is absolutely clear on this…

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.”

Believe me, I understand how counter-cultural this is! Society snickers at us for talking like this! But be absolutely clear! This is God’s will for us! And this is God’s will NOT because he is mean and doesn’t want us to have any fun! This is God’s will precisely because he wants us to have the most fun in life that’s possible! And the smartest thing you can ever do is to follow and obey Christ –if you want to enjoy God’s blessing and power in your life!

 

So why should you wait? Because it’s God’s will. But that’s part of the traditional argument, so let me give you some fresh ways of looking at this…

9th grader…12th grader…college student…40 year-old single…let me ask you some questions. If all it takes is some affection and some level of committed relationship to enjoy sex together, even though you’re not married, then…

          1. How affectionate?

If you have five different boyfriends during high school and college, does that mean that it’s ok to have sex with five different people during those years? After all, you had affection for them?

          2. How committed?

Do you have to be engaged? Or maybe just date for one week. I won’t kiss you on the first date but on the second date; and on the third date we’ll have enough affection and commitment that it’s ok to have sex. What I’m getting at is to help you realize how…

          3. How manipulating?

…these relationships become when sex enters the picture. Studies show, sadly, that guys will generally go as far as the girls will let them! Sadly, this is true even of Christian guys! So if all it takes is a little affection and little commitment, well sure, “Honey baby darling! I love you! You’re the only one for me! If you loved me you would show me!”

Ladies, how many times have you heard that? (Don’t raise your hands!) What happens when sex enters a relationship without the covenant and commitment of marriage is that it usually becomes manipulative.  “Honey, I have such affection for you! Sure I’m committed to you.”

Oftentimes the relationship stops growing because their energies are now turned towards sex; so instead of spending their evening getting naked emotionally and spiritually, their getting naked physically. And usually it’s the guy who’s saying whatever needs to be said to reach his goal!

And then after a while, the girl gets…

          4. How depressing?

…because she’s figured out that the guy is just manipulating her for sex! A study was done in 2005 of teenagers in grades 7-11. They found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later.  They’re more apt to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of future commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs.

Why? Because they gave themselves to this guy! He said he had affection for her! He said he was committed to her! And he manipulated her! Now once in a while it’s the other way around but the great majority of the time, this is how it is.

Now you have memories. Now you have baggage. Now you have comparisons. And you wonder why this guy doesn’t want to get married. Why would he? He’s enjoying the benefits of being married without the responsibilities of being married.

And then, if and when you do get married, can you really trust each other…

          5. How trusting?

If all it takes is a little affection and a little commitment to have sex, what happens when your marriage relationship is a little strained and not quite as happy as it should be. And that time will come to almost every marriage. And there’s this guy or gal at work who’s showing you a little affection. And he or she is showing a little commitment, a little sympathy for your side of things.

If you don’t have any habit of controlling your affections, then how can you trust each other? Studies show that people who have sex before marriage or live together before marriage get divorced more frequently than those who don’t. [Family Research Council (http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS06B01)]

So God says, “Please don’t have sex outside of marriage! You’re apt to get manipulated. You’re apt to get depressed. And you’re more apt to get divorced if you do get married.”

This is reality! This is the way it is! God’s will for you life is not some stupid or naïve or irrelevant thing! Doing God’s will is the smartest and healthiest and happiest thing you can do with your life!

Does this make sense?  Ok, finally we get to letter B!

B. What Do Women Need to Know About Men?

Almost everything I’m going to say here comes from Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn’s books “For Women Only” and “For Men Only.” They’re referenced at the bottom of your outlines. I encourage you to read those two books –lots of good advice there that will help your marriage. And even if you’re single, it will give you insights into relationships.

The first thing that women need to know about men is that…

1. Fulfilling sex makes him feel loved and desired.

I think it shocks no one to say that typically men want more sex than women. Agreed? But ladies, do you know why? Is it just that he’s an animal with huge amounts of testosterone that needs to be released? That’s part of it.

But for whatever reasons, God has wired guys so that sex is their primary love language! Fulfilling sex makes him feel loved and desired!

Now of course you ladies want to feel loved and desired too; but you can feel loved and desired in all kinds of other ways. In fact, for most of you, if your husband just listens to you and enters into your emotional life and does nice things for you –that’s how you feel loved and desired. Listen: You don’t NEED sex the way he does to feel loved and desired!

Wives, I want to speak for the men at this point. Your husband often feels isolated and burdened by feelings of inadequacy. He may look big and strong and independent and quiet and self-sufficient, but underneath that rock is a guy who wants to be wanted! He needs you to need him. He needs you to desire him. And yes you work and have your own set of stresses and needs. And you cook and clean and raise the kids. But what your man needs from you more than you realize, is to be loved and desired. And the best way you show your love and desire for him (in his language) is by making love with him.

Can I get an amen! If we were to take an offering right now men would be emptying their wallets! “Preach it Greg!” Men would be donating their cars to the church!

Look at these charts… [CHART:   66%, 31%, 2%…]

This is amazing. Women, you are tempted to think that men are totally physical. They want sex just because it feels good; and they are not emotional or sensitive like you. They’re just physical. Not true! They are emotional. They are sensitive…but in a different way. Look at this chart…

With regard to sex, for some men it is sufficient to be sexually gratified whenever they want. For other men it is also important to feel wanted and desired by their wife. How important is it to you to also feel sexually wanted and desired by your wife?

 

·       Very important                                                            66%

·       Somewhat important                                                  31%

·       Not very important, as long as I get enough sex    2%

·       Irrelevant, as long as I get enough sex          <1%

Wives, look at this! 97% of men said that sex, by itself, isn’t enough. They need to be desired and wanted by their wives!

Here’s a similar chart: [ CHART: 26%, 74%]

Imagine that your wife offers all the sex that you want, but does it reluctantly or simply to accommodate your sexual needs. Will you be sexually satisfied? (“For Women Only”: charts on p.93-94)

 

·       Yes                       26%

·       No                        74%

Look at this, ladies! Your husband wants more than “just sex.” As much as men want sex, most of them would rather go out and trim the hedges in the rain than make love with a wife who’s just fulfilling her duty!

One husband put it this way. “I think that my wife after twenty-some years of marriage knows how important my need for sex is, but I wish she knew how important it is to me that she needs me sexually. She probably does not need sex so much, but I need her to want and need sex with me.” (p.94)

Wives, please understand. Your husband is not just a physical sex machine. God has wired him in such a way that his primary love language –remember when we talked about the five languages of love? For most men, his primary love language is words of affirmation: “Honey I respect you. I admire you”…and physical touch, sexual intimacy. That’s how you communicate to him that you desire him and love him. He needs that more than you know.

2. Fulfilling sex gives him confidence.

You’ve seen that Viagra commercial where this guy is walking confidently through the office and through the parking lot and his friends ask him what’s different about him. New haircut? Been working out? Promotion? Nope, the man just smiles. (p.98)

Wives, when you make love to your husband it’s so much more than physical! You are pouring into him confidence and esteem!

Look at this chart: [CHART:  23%, 77%]

Imagine that your wife was an interested and motivated sexual partner, and you therefore had an active love life.  How would having sex with her as often as you wanted affect your emotional state?

 

·       It would have little or no effect - sex seems unrelated to my emotions or how I feel about the rest of my life.   23%

·       It would have a positive effect - it would give me a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction with life.    77%

Wives, you understand what all this is saying? Simply put, love-making is a key way for you to turn your marriage around and take it up several notches! You would be amazed how your husband would come alive and start being the man that you want him to be –just by pushing that one button!

I’ll talk more about that in a second, but first…

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.

[SHOW CHART ON SCREEN: 60%, 60%, 48%]

Answered by women who said they wanted less sex than their husbands. (Feldhahn “For Men Only” 125, 130)

 

I think I just have a lower sex drive than he does. 60%

I'm sometimes simply too tired or stressed.                        60%

It's not that I don't want to be with him - it's just that at the end of a long day it is sometimes hard to make the transition to wanting physical intimacy at that moment.                             48%

Men, here’s the reality. Women simply are not wired to need sex the way we are. They have less testosterone and a different chemical make up. They tend to get tired more easily. They don’t get turned on visually as easily as men do. This is why the pornography industry is basically geared towards men. Most women don’t get turned on looking at pictures of naked men.

Here’s the point: Husband, when your wife says no, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. It probably just means she’s tired. And yet, wives, you need to realize that when you say “no”, it’s so easy for your husband to interpret that as a personal rejection. He thinks you don’t desire him and want him. And so the cycle of misunderstanding and low-grade hostility sets in.

Husbands, understand this[SHOW CHART 82%, 18%]

(Answered by women who said they wanted less sex than their husbands.)  If you could magically change your sex drive and/or some of the reasons you don't want sex as much as your husband does, would you?

 

Yes             82%

No              18%

“I love my husband and would like to please him more sexually, and if I could change my sex drive to match his sex drive, I would!

The simple fact is, guys and gals are different. Wives don’t NEED sex the way husbands do. Guys are like microwaves. Press the button, bam, they’re hot. Gals are like crock pots. Plug them in and they warm up slowly.

If a guy’s had a bad day at work, a little love-making that night is a great stress reliever. If the wife’s had a bad day at work –it ain’t gonna happen! If the guy has a headache, making love will take it away! If the wife has a headache, it ain’t gonna happen!

I don’t know why God made us so different –perhaps to complement each other and to help us grow up and mature and not be so self-centered!  And finally, men…

2. For her, sex starts in the heart.

Your wife’s ability to respond to you sexually is tied to how she feels about you emotionally. If your relationship is strained, if you’re being rude and having these little power-plays, your wife cannot put that to one side and engage in love-making with you. She cannot segment things the way you tend to do.

Which leads me to my conclusion:

I believe God wants every married couple here to enjoy a better sex life. If you’re 90 years old that might mean just holding hands and smiling at each other. I don’t know. But God designed us to enjoy pure sex. Fulfilling, enjoyable, sexuality that connects us and frees us and deepens our relationship.

“But Greg, you don’t understand. My wife is cold and frigid. She doesn’t respond to me. She doesn’t even seem to like me.”

“Let me tell you, Greg. My husband is so rude and so insensitive. He distant and uncaring most of the time, and then he wants to hop into bed as if everything is fine!”

Here’s what I believe God is saying today: 

Stop demanding your rights. “But Greg, if she would just….if he would just…”.  No. Stop demanding that they change before you change. Can’t you see, that’s where the problem is? You’re both demanding that the other change first?

Husband, stop grinding your teeth about how little sex you get, and start loving your wife the other 23 ½ hours of the day! Maybe she wouldn’t be so tired if you helped around the house a little more. Maybe she would warm up a bit if you actually listened and entered into her emotional life.

Wife, realize that if you withhold sex from your husband, it’s no little thing! You are stabbing him in the heart! And instead of demanding that he first change before you make love with him, maybe he’ll change a lot quicker if you make love with him?

My prayer is that God’s Spirit will work in our marriages and fill our homes and our bedrooms with such overflowing love, that CCC will have to build a bigger nursery just to hold all the new babies! LET’S PRAY.

God, thank you for the gift of sex. I pray for single people that you would give them the courage and conviction to not have sex until they are married. Help them to divert their sexual energies in other ways that will help them connect and experience love. And I pray for married people that you empower them to enjoy pure sex –sex that connects and frees and never isolates or enslaves. How we desperately need your Holy Spirit to empower us and transform us so that we stop standing on our rights. Help us to pick up your towel, and genuinely serve each other in this most intimate of ways. Thank you for your grace and mercy and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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


----------

Extra material:

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!


REAL RELATIONSHIPS

(THE LOVE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED)

#2: Pure Sex – Part Two

Pastor Greg Henneman

April 22, 2007

Text:          1 Corinthians 6:12-20

A. Why is Sex such a Big Deal?

          1. Sex is about connection.

          2. Sex reveals our fallenness.

          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

What About Affectionate Boyfriend/girlfriend Relationship?

Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.”

          1. How affectionate?

          2. How committed?

          3. How manipulating?

          4. How depressing?

          5. How trusting?

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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