Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with the sermon manuscript and resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
In a continuation from last week’s sermon, Pastor Andrew gave the church two more characteristics for a God glorifying marriage. These characteristics are found under the umbrella of the big idea for these two sermons: God is delighted to see us delight in each other in marriage. Marriage and sex are ultimately about God, but both the world and the hyper-religious want God and sex to have nothing to do with each other. The Song of Solomon says that Christians who pursue sex within the confines of a godly marriage enjoy both God’s approval and joy in their sex life.
Last week’s sermon looked at communication and exclusivity; this week we look into centrality and the ultimate approval.
- Centrality: The entire focus of the Song of Solomon is verse 5:1 (the sexual union). Because sex is the centerpiece of the book, it is central in marriage. And because of this we should be just as concerned about telling married people to have sex as we are telling single people not to. Here are two reasons why: (1) sex in marriage is an obedience to God issue. All throughout the Bible, God is telling his married children to have sex. A marriage without sex is just as far outside the design as sex without marriage. (2) Sex in marriage is a spiritual health issue. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says that for one spouse to deny another’s conjugal rights gives room for Satan to tempt the denied spouse. Neglecting God’s design in marriage opens us up to spiritual warfare. Coming together in sexual union helps the spouse who is also a brother or sister in Christ fight temptation to find affection, words, and sex outside the marriage. Sex in marriage is not only the product of spiritual heath, but it creates it.
- The ultimate approval: In verse 5:1, God approves of Solomon and the woman’s marriage by saying, “Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love.” God approves of sex in marriage because it pictures his ultimate approval of humanity in the gospel. The book of the Song of Solomon is not ultimately about Solomon and his wife but Jesus and his bride, the church. So, here is the point: what we do with each other in marriage pictures what God will do with us in the end (Revelation 19:7-8). God has a perfect marriage and union planned, and he has given us marriage now to point to it. That’s why any distortion of marriage God’s way should grieve us: every step out of God’s design moves us away from the gospel. But many of our marriages are broken and in chaos and near death,—what do we do? Just like God sent his Spirit to create a living army out of dry bones by his Spirit, so he can resurrect dead marriages. Let us repent and pray to the one with power to restore our marriages to life and health.
Resources on Sex in Marriage
Brad Hambrick is the pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. He is also becoming a big name in Christian counseling. On his website (which is a goldmine of resources), he has compiled his favorite resources on sex and sexuality in marriage here.
I ran across this blog post this weekend. It highlights everything we’ve been talking about in this series and gives affirmation to the importance of preaching through the Song of Solomon.
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy & Kathy Keller
The Meaning of Marriage has become a modern day classic and is truly a culmination of all the best bits of knowledge found in other biblical marriage books. “Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that your spouse is there to help you realize your potential; that marriage does not mean forever, but merely for now; and that starting over after a divorce is the best solution to seemingly intractable marriage issues. But these modern-day assumptions are wrong. Timothy Keller, with insights from Kathy, his wife of thirty-seven years, shows marriage to be a glorious relationship that is also misunderstood and mysterious. The Meaning of Marriage offers instruction on how to have a successful marriage, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.” – From Amazon
Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund
This is a wonderful little book that unpacks all the bible has to say about marriage.
“Marriage reveals something of eternal significance. From the beginning, God designed marriage to convey a greater reality―the passionate, unfailing, redeeming love of God for sinners, the eternal romance between Christ and his bride. In this volume, Ray Ortlund traces marriage throughout Scripture―from the first marriage in the garden of Eden to the ultimate marriage in the book of Revelation―laying out a transcendent vision of marriage that dignifies our own imperfect unions as a display of the gospel. This book offers insight and hope to every married person today.” – From Amazon
Download the graphics below for use on your own social media accounts this week to share the sermon with your friends and family!
-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator/Community Groups)