Being a Passive Husband

husband signI get it. An author sits down and writes a book about marriage. He takes a moment to pray and consider how he will assist couples through the difficult waters of marriage. He wants to encourage men to be leaders in their homes who are worth following, but he has to be careful. He doesn’t want to encourage an abusive husband to be even more abusive. It would break this author’s heart get a letter from a wife who was beaten by her husband after reading his marraige book.

So he writes his book and it is a best seller. It really breaths life into many a marriage and shows many pushy jerks of husbands how to be compassionate and thoughtful husband who hears his wife. Many marriages are helped by his timely and thoughtful words.

Except mine.

You see, in my marriage, I am the wimp. Many of you who know me are scratching your heads, “What, no way! Chip is pushy if he is anything.” You’re right to say that, but this is true in almost every relationship except with my wife. The way I have learned to work with her is under the very reliable code of “Don’t Do Evil.”

This plan looks really good on paper. The author mentioned above can rest assured that I will never beat my wife or abuse her. In fact, many societal ills would be helped if more guys were passive like me. Much of the crime and violence in the world would be much reduced. Sounds great, right?

It’s fine unless you are my wife. She was hoping to get a husband who was assertive enough to lead in our home. She didn’t ask for a passive husband who simply didn’t make waves. God will not judge me simply on the evils I failed to do, but on the good I did.

So, ever ready with the marriage book, I can hear the real answer, Leadership!

That is a fine answer, I just don’t really know what leadership is. If I were fundamentally more capable at most of life than my wife, it would be easier, but I married the lady who is really good at life and family and just about everything else. She is driven and capable and were she to enter the corporate world, I would soon be working for her.

I am very grateful she has taken all of that superior talent and drive and is an amazing mother and wife. Not every guy is so blessed, but it does leave me in a bit of a lurch. I am not confident in my own abilities and judgement compared to hers. Sure I am competent, but in most of life, she is excellent.

Is the competent guy really going to forcefully challenge the excellent lady?It is easy to just let it ride. Really, peace is much better than being right. Whatever it takes for peace. I may not know what it is to be a leader, but I know that this is not it. So I am back to where I started, trying not to fail. Wouldn’t it be great to be trying to succeed and not simply avoiding failure? Maybe I should read a marriage book.

But every author is so concerned with not setting off Mr. Abuse that many of them don’t have much for me. Where is the marriage book for the wimp? There aren’t any. In addition, many Christian Marriage books seem like manuals for suffocating my wifes wonderful talents and gifts. That can’t be the way marriage was meant to be: the place where my dear wife goes to be less than she can be.

So, to all the wimps out there, I don’t have all the answers for you. I know you are out there because I know many of you. We have bought into the lie that avoiding failure is the most important thing. So here are the few answers I have found in my few years of marriage. I hope that they are helpful to you.

You are Loved by Your Daddy in Heaven

This may feel like a non-sequitor, but I think the most important thing we need to do is be willing to take a risk of failing. It is easy to say, “take a risk” and it is hard to do it. What has helped me? It is knowing that my God will honestly, tenderly, kindly, and sweetly love me if and when I fail. He will not be angry with me even if my wife is. If God is for me, who can be against me.

This has been a source of immense courage. Jesus went to God when he was afraid and asked for the pain to end or the courage to face it. This should be a common prayer for us wimps.

Leadership is the Same Thing as Initiative

Leadership is a painfully vague word that makes me imagine a general commanding an army with confidence and boldness. This is totally unattainable for me. I can’t be that guy, particularly at home.

Fortunately, I don’t think God is asking me to do that. What he is asking is for me to bring my thoughts and concerns forward? To be the first to say something. In fact, I think he is asking me to bring up things when I am not sure I am right and where my motives are clouded. One of the most paralyzing forces in my life is my introspection of my motives. Sometimes, I need to just say how I think and feel and take the risk of being completely wrong.

Leaders Apologize

One of the mantras of leadership is that it takes responsibility for the situation. I’m not sure what the means. I’m responsible enough. I mow my lawn and hug my kids and wash the dishes. I show up to work and come home.

Certainly part of taking responsiblity is to go press on through the requirements of life to care for my family, but taking responsibility is more than that. It is the feeling that the problem is my problem. It is the urge to correct the problem and maintain the solution. It is the drive in my heart to make Earth just a little more like Heaven.

In a real sense, taking responsibility is the same thing as the urge to apologize for the failure and weaknesses of my life, my home, and my community. It is the sense of ownership of the problem that does what is necessary to fix (or at least try). My natural bent is to avoid problems because I can then be blamed for the failure to solve them. If my fingerprints aren’t on it, then when it goes wrong, no one can blame me.

This is yet another variety of avoiding failure and not seeking success.

Recognize the Strengths of Being more Passive

There is a myth that I have believed that passivity is all weakness. Many Fruits of the Spirit give the appearance of weakness: gentleness, kindness, patience, and self-control. Many passive men and women excel in these virtues and far from being weak, they are a serious strength. My family is well-served if I am steady and reliable, gentle and affectionate.

Recognize the Weaknesses of Being more Passive

As with every character quality, passivity has a dark side. Much of maturity is to capitalize on your strengths while blunting your weaknesses. To effectively blunt the harms of my passivity I must know what they are!

I need to face the fact that many times my family needs me to resist my overly cautious nature and do what I think is right. Some men are too quick to act, I am too slow to act. Maturity for them is to slow down and think. Maturity for me is to consider and move forward even when I am uncertain.

Look for Contexts in Life Where You are More Confident

While I am more passive at home, I am much more confident and assertive in certain church contexts and at work. What’s the difference between them?

In exploring why I am more comfortable in some settings has been quite fruitful. It is good to see places where my natural leadership strengths show themselves. It is confidence building to just know that those places exist.

A Few Final Thoughts

I fear that someone will read this article and conclude that my wife is a battle-axe of a woman. She has her sins, but I feel immensely blessed to have her in my life. No, the main problems lay with me. She has been a thoughtful, gracious, forgiving, and wise friend for our marriage.

My hope is that you, the passive man or woman, will be given hope and encouragement. God loves you as you are and he made you to be a gentler soul. He also calls you to be more than just your natural self. He is refining you into something much more than you are today. Jesus didn’t come to make you mediocre. He came to make you a precious and fully redeemed bride for himself. He really loves you. He will continue to work with you and love you.

You may be passive, but he is actively pursuing you. We are so blessed to have him.

-Chip

The image above is courtesy of Keoni Cabral and is used with permission

Advertisements

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 23, The Great Smog

the great smogFrom February 5-9, 1952, London had a problem. A prolonged period of windless conditions caused the cities to be covered in a thick suffocating smog. The source was not mysterious, the many coal-burning factories in the area along with personal coal use to heat houses was the source. But for those several days, the wind didn’t take it away.

The problems it caused were numerous. Public transport ground to a halt as driving became quite dangerous except in the subway system. Ambulances stopped running. Film screenings and shows were canceled because even the indoor air quality was so poor that people couldn’t see the stage. In some places, visibility dropped to as low as three feet.

That would mean that I couldn’t see my toes.

The people of London were frustrated by this, but not alarmed. Smogs had happened before and they dealt with it. Smog masks were used by those who could afford them and small charges were placed on railway lines to warn everyone that a train was coming when it hit the charge and they would explode. This was the price of progress and London was willing to pay it.

What London had no prepared for was the days following the smog. The death rate in London skyrocketed. Modern estimates are that about 12,000 people were killed by the smog (4,000 is the low estimate, 25,000 is the high one). That got people’s attention. Much of today’s environmental movement get its spark from those few days in London.

We live in a similar situation today. Pornography is so endemic that it is considered normal. Possibly a little shameful, but it is a private matter. Many people have spoken against it, but the vast majority don’t feel it is a big enough problem to address.

That is until we see the growing consequences of the smog. Today more American children will be born outside of marriage than within it. Japan is facing a demographic crisis because porn is easier to acquire than sex, so there are many young people giving up sex and certainly giving up on the idea of children. American men are increasingly averse to taking responsibility for their family.

We are in the midst of a great smog today and the negative effects of this smog are about to take center stage. It will be our responsibility as Christian men to stand up and call it what it is. The world will not know that children are delightful unless we show them. Young men will not know it is good to serve our wives unless we show them. Young women will settle for marrying losers unless we show them that they should expect more from men. God will not be shown as deeply satisfying unless we stand as a breath of fresh air in a dying, congested world.

-Chip

Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 8 Marriage

The Count Vicegrim LettersThe Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 22nd Year

Mudpot,

No, No, No! Why is it that every day you keep trying to crush your patient in a single stroke? That technique has gone through extensive testing and found to be risky at best. Crushing your victim with temptation only works if they don’t turn to the Enemy for help. As it is, your patient is primed to do just that. Calm down, slow down, and be ready for the long game.

An old mentor of mine once told me, “Vicegrim, outlast your vermin. If they win today, make them win a thousand tomorrows and you have a real chance of getting them.” This is excellent advice for you Mudpot and I am giving it to you despite how repulsed I am by you. Please do not interpret this as fatherly affection. It’s not.

Well, not that my system is cleared a bit, on to your review.

The Good

There is precious little that went well this year. The only positive development is that you have gotten him into one of our most promising seminaries. We have worked for centuries to infiltrate the seminaries as they are key battlegrounds for us. This was working well until several churches started opening their own. It is easier to corrupt an ongoing institution than it is to destroy these upstart seminaries.

One of the strange qualities of the vermin is their ability to compartmentalize. They can honestly go to a school for teaching their pastors and then not be that interested in the church. As if education about the Enemy has nothing to do with relationship with other vermin. The Enemy is crafty, but I think he may have gotten a little to artistic when he built the vermin that way.

Fortunately for us, your patient is willing go to one of our institutions. We have worked hard at this school to emphasize “helping people” to the point that they don’t care that much about the Enemy’s Book. Remember the five Anything Buts, we have really gotten them so obsessed with “loving people” (by that I mean, not making people angry) that they are afraid to challenge sin. It really is so delightful to watch the mental gymnastics the staff goes through to even pretend they are honoring the Enemy’s teaching.

That said Mudpot, be careful. The Enemy’s Spirit is very, very subtle. There are still classes on the Enemy’s Book and verses on the walls. This is treacherous territory. You never know when the Enemy’s Spirit will spring a new trap for you. Be vigilant.

The Bad

As I mentioned in my last annual review, almost every tempter in the world can pull off getting their vermin to fornicate. Seriously, much better the 90%. Yet here we are, just a few weeks before your patient’s wedding and he has still not fornicated. Mudpot, I may roast you for this.

It’s NOT HARD. You get the female to wear something revealing. You get the male to think he is strong enough to be alone with her. You put them in a private place and let hormones do their thing. Many tempters don’t even need to tempt. They just wait and watch. This works Mudpot! I have seen terrible tempters pull this minimal requirement off. What kind of lazy, fat, putrid, ineffective, vermin loving, moron are you!!!

I….I….I’m speechless. How am I ever going to become a Lord again if you…

I have taken a short break from writing. My secretary, Vice-Count Penwort, will be writing the rest as I dictate. It seems in my rage I have turned myself into a roach and I am in no mood to change back.

Let me summarize by saying that if (I mean when) this goes badly and I am blamed for your incompetence, I will personally rip your into little pieces and burn them in my fireplace. You are an idiot and you’re taking me down with you.

We need to prepare for his upcoming wedding. It is likely too late, but anything you can do to derail this wedding, do it. She is too solid in the Enemy’s camp (I checked with her tempter) and she will be an asset to your patient against us. How could you let this happen?

So we need to be prepared for him to be married. Because they have not fornicated, you will need to change your focus. As soon as they are married, we need to do whatever it takes to prevent sexual relations. The Enemy has built into the vermin a special and deep bond that develops between sexual pairs (pardon me while I vomit). This bond can be deepened between them should they enjoy sex with each other. So if you can prevent sexual encounters, do it.

But what can be more fruitful than preventing sex is to poison it. This is dangerous territory Mudpot, but we must go there. We must make his sexual relationship with his wife like the one he has with those pornographic images. Make it solely for his enjoyment. If both partners can be solely pursuing their own enjoyment, we can poison it and make sure that neither enjoy it.

Generally, the male is the key. They are more easily persuaded to be  self-centered. One good trick to try is to get him to try to get the female to do those ridiculous things that he learned in the pornographic images. Help him to feel entitled to sexual enjoyments that she does not enjoy. Make sex as burdensome for the female as possible. This can be a spike to drive between them.

It is key that he never suspects that the pornography is not normal. A cursory review of the sexual literature that the humans have would show him that the pornography was extreme in every way. Don’t ever let him suspect it or he may discover what a fool he is.

Finally, make sex a right. There is a verse in the Enemy’s book that says that married vermin should have regular sex. Make sure he interprets that to mean that they will have sex whenever he wants. Make sure he ignores the verses about serving and loving her. If you can do this, sex will become a chore for the female very quickly.

By the way, if I didn’t have enough reasons to despise you, how is it that your patient is not using pornography any more. Again, every other tempter on the planet seems to pull this off except for you. There are a growing number of tempters with female patients who are succeeding where you are failing. You really are my punishment from the Enemy. As if the Hell he threatens isn’t frightening enough, I have to deal with you in the mean time.

You have been fostering a fear of commitment and responsibility for many years. Make sure to  extend this to being a terror at the idea of having infant vermin. Separate sex and reproduction from each other as if they are wholly unrelated. I have seen males paralyzed with fear and sadness over the prospect of an infant they created. Their tempters were so effective at separating sex and infants that the males are honestly surprised and afraid. Make this happen with your patient.

The other main area to focus on is degrading trust between them. Of course, the best way to do this is to make him untrustworthy. But even if he is acting honorably in most situations, make sure they have miscommunications that are interpreted as lacking trust. Sometimes it is good enough to simply have the appearance of distrust. Drive a wedge between them and slowly expand. Hear me now, I mean do it very slowly.

Mudpot, be patient. Though it looks dark today, it is only through patience that this High Risk will be brought under control. I feel pretty hopeless right now but when I think long and hard about what you can do if you will just be patient….

Nevermind. It is hopeless.

-Count Vicegrim

Image created by Cavin and used with permission

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 20, What if He Won’t Change?

Man using a laptopA recent commenter to the article My Husband is Looking at Porn, What Should I Do asked a very important question. She had tried bringing the problem to her church and it hadn’t helped. She asked, “How on earth does someone (have hope)?” 

I pondered on this for some time. This usually means that I didn’t have a simple answer for her. It also meant that if she asked, there were a hundred women who had the same question. The topic needed to be addressed.

Everything I mention below assumes that you have confronted him about his sin in a gentle and firm way, that you have prayed for him, that you have brought it to your church, and he continues to look at porn. Those are the first steps. But what if those don’t work? It is certainly a complex question so forgive me if my answers don’t apply to your situation. The details matter. I hope to offer some help.

A Brief Theology of Marriage

Biblical marriage is a life-long covenant between a man, a woman, and God. It comes with obligations and benefits. It is meant to somehow present a picture of Jesus and the Church. The connection is so clouded that Paul says “this mystery is profound.” Within that picture, the husband stands in the position of Jesus and is commanded to love and serve his wife in a deeply sacrificial way (see the book of Hosea for even more on that). The wife, in the position of the Church, is to respect her husband and submit to his authority.

The Bible repeatedly refers to a married couple as “one flesh” and Jesus is insistent that God has made it this way. “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” Within that, Jesus does teach that if there is sexual unfaithfulness, divorce is permitted but not required.

One final clarification, despite Jesus’ discussion of lust being adultery (Matt 5:27-28), lust by itself is not a Biblical ground for divorce. The sin in the heart is profoundly evil, but the act of infidelity is the grounds Jesus allowed divorce.

Now, what can a wife do if her husband will NOT stop looking at porn.

Keep Praying

The fact is that God alone can change his heart.

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1Jn 5:16 ESV)

There can be some debate about what a “sin that leads to death” is, but it would be a small category of sins (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, unbelief, etc…). Pornography on its face would not be such a sin.

So we are left with the instruction to pray for our spouse’s sin. Don’t give up. Sometimes God pushes us to the end of ourselves precisely because he can then be given the glory for what he is about to do. You have a Father who loves you and wants to grant your prayers, keep asking him to bring your husband to repentance.

Be Gentle and Firm

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2Ti 2:24-26 ESV)

To correct a husband who is looking at porn and won’t stop, the wife should not be quarrelsome but should be challenging her husband with patient and gentleness. Take note that God is the one responsible to “perhaps” grant them repentance. I love how Paul describes that they “may come to their senses.”

Know that There is Justice for You

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:18-21 ESV)

I have more often heard Christians say, “Don’t get bitter” but then fail to explain why you should not be bitter.

If your husband is not a believer when he dies. He will awaken facing the God of the Universe. He will be accused of every sin he ever committed. The evidence will be certain, overwhelming, and damning. He will look and no one will come to his defense. As he raises his eyes to see the Judge, he sees a deep rage: a profound indignation for every single time he failed to love you. The almighty God of all things will loudly declare to all living things that he is condemned.

He will then be dragged, screaming to a lake of fire. As he stands on the brink of that lake, he will know without a doubt, that he will never escape it. As he falls toward the flaming waters, he feels the dread of his last moments of comfort. The pain of contact will sear him to his bones and as he screams, unable to bear this for even a second, he despairs knowing that it will never, ever end.

I think that is sufficient justice for what he has done to you. God will make sure that every sin is avenged.

If your husband is a believer when he dies, then all of that suffering mentioned above was pour onto Jesus. Jesus was so afraid of this that he begged God for another way. Yet, he loves you and your husband so much, he willingly went to the cross. He endured an eternity of Hell in a few hours. For the only time ever, he was rejected by God. He loves your husband that much.

Your husband was the one who stayed up late looking at porn, Jesus was the one who was declared guilty. Is it fair? Of course not. It speaks to the profound character of God that he would choose to suffer for sinners like us.

If Jesus has taken your husband’s sin away, who are we to say that justice has not been done. It is that same mercy that holds you and I out of Hell as well.

So rest in the fact that justice will be done. At some point, you will look at the depths of Hell or into the eyes of Jesus and say, “that punishment is enough for what he did to me.” Trust God that he is not a wimp but a warrior who will see all of this made right. In that trust, don’t be bitter. Surely God’s justice is so severe that we would have compassion on those who will suffer so much at his hands. God does the justice so that we are free to love.

Have Hope

Back to the original question, how should we have hope? The answer is that our hope can never be in a husband, child, church, or friend. Those are good things, but if we hope in them, we will be stunningly disappointed. No, we hope in a sweet and kind Father who loves us so much. He will never, ever fail us. Your hope is in your true husband, Jesus, who knows what you are going through and has “been tempted in every way.” He loves you. He will set this right.

Some trust in chariots (or husbands) and some in horses (or friends),
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright. (Ps 20:7,8 ESV)

I know this is hard. God never promised that it wouldn’t be. He just promised that it would be worth it.

-Chip

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 19, Bibles, Husbands, and Abuse

gun-on-bible-spritual-abuseAbuse is gross! And the absolutely slimiest and most putrid kind of abuse is abuse using the Bible. To take the good word of God and to use it as a weapon against your wife, disgusting!

So imagine my surprise when I found myself unknowingly contributing to such abuse. To be sure, I don’t know of any specific case, but someone may have read my blog and walked away with a false and dangerous belief.

I would like to correct that today.

As God does sometimes, he smacked me around. I was innocently reading the Desiring God Blog, minding my own business. I saw an article by Jonathon Parnell call When Sex Should Stop. The title piqued my interest. Then God began the beating. Jonathon lays out the case that we as a people (and I as an individual) has been misinterpreting 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Let’s look at those verses.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The verses are fairly straightforward. married couples should make sure to have regular sex unless there is a need to separate to “devote yourselves to prayer.” As a guy who is a big fan of sex, what a boon. Now I have a verse for my wife!

Jonathon (and the Holy Spirit) don’t let me get away with that. He clarifies that this is not Paul saying, “My body is mine AND your body is mine!” This is saying that we each have authority over each other’s body. Far from verses I can use to manipulate my wife into more sex, these are verses that press me to serve my wife with sex. She has authority over my body. My body is there to serve her.

That hit me hard. I have pressured my wife before. It was very hurtful to her. I wasn’t treating her as a fellow heir in Christ but as a body that I had a right to. Rather than asking why she doesn’t want sex, I became irritable and entitled. Remember, the Bible does say her body is mine, right? The fact is, I didn’t marry a body. I married a person. She wants to be loved as a whole person, not as the only body the Bible says I can have.

Gentlemen, we have felt entitled to our wives for too long. I feel that because I believed wrongly about sex, that I may have lead you to use the Bible as a bludgeon for your cravings. God expects us to be like Him and to love her sacrificially like Christ loves the church. For my part in leading you away from that, I’m sorry.

Please read the article. Jonathon Parnell has challenged us to love our wives by being their servants. He’s right. We can do so much better.

-Chip

Married People Don’t Have Sex…in the Movies

I have a challenge for you. Name for me three movies where a married couple have sex with each other.

No, I mean it. Think of three movies.

Nope, they weren’t married in that one, try again.

Sorry, in Rocky they weren’t married yet,

Tougher than you thought, isn’t it?

Times up. Here are all the movies I could think of.

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  2. 300
  3. Don’t Say a Word
  4. The Sixth Day
  5. Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

And that was after thinking about it for a while. Clearly, single people have the most and best sex, right?

Wrong!

Study after study after study has demonstrated that married couples have more sex than singles or couples who cohabitate.  The numbers on the quality of sex are a little less clear. Most of the studies I found showed married people having better sex, but there were some that contradicted that.

So popular culture would lead us to believe that the path to passion and lots of sex is to be single and in serial relationships. No sooner does a couple get married in a movie than they seem to hate each other. It’s like the focus in a movie is on all the positives of the passion of a young relationship and only on the negatives of a long-term relationship. It is a misleading image.

The fact is that both younger and older relationships have pluses and minuses. My wife is still irritated when I leave laundry on the floor. But it is not up to debate as to who has more sex. Married people have more and (most likely) better sex no matter what the movies say.

-Chip

Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 11, Tastefully Placed Bushes

The Bible is really clear, Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. This has created a problem for the writers of the children’s picture books. How to be faithful to scripture yet have pictures of the Garden of Eden? So every picture of Adam and Eve has some tastefully placed bushes. Seriously, if there were nude pictures of Adam and Eve, I wouldn’t buy that children’s book no matter how good it was.

So, I am NOT advocating nudity in children’s (or adult’s) books. Far from it, we have enough problems with nudity in this culture to start with. Pro Tip: Do NOT google image Adam and Eve. I had no idea how much Eden porn there is out there. 

But there is a message we could get from our children’s books that we should be aware of. We could come to believe that the naked human body is bad. The feeling that sex and nudity are of themselves dirty or evil.

When God made Adam and Eve, he made a good looking guy and a good looking girl and put them naked in a garden together. He then officiated a wedding between them. Do you think he was upset or irritated out when that they had great sex after that? Absolutely not! God is delighted in great sex. He invented it. Far from being anti-sex, he is more fond of it than you are. God wants you to have sex with your spouse often and for you to deeply enjoy it! I’ve even got a command for it.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:3

Now guys, I know many of you just about got up to quick show your wife that verse. This is one of the coolest commands in the whole Bible. But calm down. If she is reluctant, it is likely because you aren’t loving her well. Figure out how you are trampling her and most women will respond very well to that. She is a sexual creature too. And guess what, the most likely way you are trampling her is with your stupid pornography addiction. I bet you are a lot less attractive when you are checking out other naked women all the time.

But I digress. God is such a fan of sex, He put the whole book of Song of Solomon in the Bible. I think he chuckles at us sometimes because he knows that if he didn’t put it in the Bible, we would condemn it as dangerous erotic literature. You want to see someone squirm, go ask your pastor to do a series on Song of Solomon. For the adventurous among us, Mark Driscoll did do a series called The Peasant Princess that I would highly recommend.

The problem is that we often don’t know quite what to do with sex, so we push it to the side and don’t talk about it. Like food and wind and trees and the sun, sex is a profound sources of joy. Part of the reason that we have such a serious pornography epidemic is because for decades the church’s message has been a a list of don’ts about sex. Don’t look at naked girls. Don’t have sex with her until your married. Don’t have sex with anyone else after your married. Don’t have sex with someone of the same gender.

All of these are true, but painfully incomplete. It’s like giving someone a delicious cheesecake with a large list of rules for how not to eat it. Don’t rub it on your ears. Eat it after the main course. Don’t throw it at the guy across from you. Don’t stick it up your nose. All of these are also true, but what really should have been written on the top of that list is, ENJOY THE CHEESECAKE!

So, I am going to now add a note to the top of the list of sexual rules. Ladies and gentlemen, REALLY ENJOY SEX! God made sex so very good and we should drink very deeply of that joy. Your wife has a great body for you to enjoy. Your husband has muscles for you to enjoy. God rejoices with us in sex. Thank God for a holy, sweet, and delightful way for married people to enjoy each other. He is more prosex than anyone you know. God loves sex and he filled the Bible with key instructions for how it is to be safely and deeply enjoyed!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go romance the husband or wife and get them into bed. Hurry!

-Chip