Disclaimer: In this post I discuss critical subjects surrounding sex and sexuality. I do not dodge popular issues. The Church and sex-ed, for the most part, have done enough dodging. If this sort of candor causes you to feel discomfort or offense, I lovingly encourage you to spend your time elsewhere.
I climbed into bed sporting my mom uniform: some over-worn yoga pants and a stained nursing tank. We were exhausted, yet hungered for connection. The mere fact that every recent night had ended in some trivial argument served as our reminder: we needed to connect intimately.
Ryan leaned in and gave me a soft kiss on my cheek. He said, “I love your momgerie,” and we laughed. I could not help but reflect on our funny, sacred, and ever-changing sexual journey.
There was a day when I cared what I wore to bed – there was an era when the time of day mattered – and there was a day when I cared how the room looked and what music hung in the air as we fell into love-making.
That day was not today.
This morning, while I folded towels in the bathroom, I returned to our bedroom to find the room draped with an assortment of dog toys and lingerie. Summer had opened one of my drawers and proceeded to decorate the entire room with patterns of silk and lace, and her fur brother’s toys – of course.
I could not help but laugh. It was God’s way of reminding me that in the midst of messy chaos, we must always make space for intimate connection in our marriages. We must notice and celebrate our sexuality.
Sex is fun! And it is extraordinarily powerful. God uses sexual intimacy as a way to heal, restore, revive, sustain, and enliven marriages. Within the context of marriage, sex can be used as a weapon against the enemy and as an instrument to bring our spouse comfort and empowerment. It is the one gift only you can give your spouse.
The church has done a horrendous job discussing the wonder of sex. They have chosen to avoid the topic, or to use indirect language in an effort to not offend or cause discomfort. As a result, many people have watered down this gift, and misinterpreted its intended purpose.
People are experiencing brokenness and continual disappointment as a result.
The purpose of sex is not for you to have an orgasm. Though that may be a part of the experience, it is not the ultimate purpose of sexual intimacy. The intention of sex is to deeply bond two individuals, beyond the tangled sheets and tingly feelings.
The first time sex is mentioned in the Scriptures it is called “yada,” which is the Hebrew word for “to know, to be known, and to deeply respect.”
Yada is a secret-less, shameless, passionate knowing of another person.
God-designed, sexual encounters draw our souls into connection with another person – not just our bodies. In the security and safety of a life-long covenant, we enter into an unhindered expression of passion that awakens our hearts. These experiences help carry us into our role as wife or as husband. They challenge us to be continually transparent, sensitive, and vulnerable with our mate.
The watered-down and perverted version of sex is also mentioned in Scripture. The word used for these shallow (and often, gross) sexual encounters is shakab (frequently paired with sikba), which means “an exchange of bodily fluids.”
God’s desire for us is much greater than these shallow experiences. His design of covenant offers the most exhilarating sex – because He is the creator of sex. He would never want anything less for his children than beautifully bonding and fun sex.
God imbedded in our hearts a desire to deeply connect with another person. We want to be known at this yada level – and that is a gradual process.This process often begins with dating.
I can remember the first time I felt known by Ryan while we were dating. We were on our way back from a hike in the Appalachian Mountains and he pulled into a rugged, country gas station. He ran inside to pay for gas and emerged with a Coke Zero and a Reese’s cup: my favorite treats at the time.
This process of becoming known by Ryan and learning to know him was gradual. It began at a surface level and moved inward based on our level of commitment to one another.
We reserved the most profound and passionate manifestation of knowing and being known – sex – for marital covenant. And, in this covenant, we have enjoyed the exploration of learning and knowing one another.
Ryan and I are babies – having only been married about 6 years. So, as I began considering the highs and lows of our journey, I decided it would be awesome to reach out to women who I admire to gain from their wisdom, insight and experience. These women all stand in different spaces of life’s journey, and have all been married anywhere from 9 to 30 years. Some have babies, some have elementary aged children, and some are empty nesters.
In my next blog entry, I am going join these women and my husband in answering 6 common sex-related questions and qualms. Stay tuned!
The word “yada” is used over 900 times in Scripture to describe sex between a man and a woman, as well as intimacy between God and mankind. This shows us the profound symbolism associated with sex, and how it reflects a much deeper meaning:
Below are some examples from Scripture
Between man and woman:
Adam lay (“yada”) with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. – Genesis 4:1
Cain lay (“yada”) with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. – Genesis 4:17
Adam lay (“yada”) with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth. –Genesis 4:25
[Rebekah] was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain (“yada”) with her. – Genesis 24:16
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay (“yada”) with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying “Because I asked the Lord for him.” -1 Samuel 1:19-20
Between God and man/woman:
Be still and know (“yada”) that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know (“yada”) you by name.” –Exodus 33:17
But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew (“yada”) face to face – Deuteronomy 34:10