Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with the sermon manuscript and resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
In picking back up our Sex by God’s Design series, Pastor Andrew gave a sermon from Song of Solomon 4:9-5:1 about God’s enjoyment of healthy marriages. In fact, the main idea was that God is delighted to see us delight in each other in marriage. While many of us have our own thoughts as to what marriage is for, the Bible says it’s all about God’s glory. The following are biblical characteristics of a God-glorifying marriage.
- Communication: In verses 9-11, we see Solomon going out of his way to express how he feels about his bride. The importance of communication in marriage shows us that sex is about more than just the physical. In fact, in marriage, our union must be affirmed outside the bedroom before it is affirmed inside the bedroom. We miss this when we don’t communicate at all, for sexual union is preceded by communication of the union verbally. We also miss this when communicate using wrong, hurtful words. Words matter as to whether spouses delight in each other.
- Exclusivity: In verses 12-19, we see the bible sets boundaries for sex which create the freedom to enjoy sex for a lifetime. God designed sex to be practiced exclusively in marriage. This almost doesn’t seem natural to us but much of what comes natural to us is sin. The preponderance of what comes natural to us shows us what’s wrong, not what’s right. And people tend to think that stepping outside of the boundaries is wise, but with no boundaries, sex is destructive and painful. We see this in gossip and social media, abuse, divorce, and someone giving themselves fully in a relationship only to see the other person find someone else.
The deeper reason not to pursue sex outside of the boundaries is that God’s intention to provide his children with sanctuary and rest is pictured in sex. God has promised us so much more than sex, how can we not trust him with sex? A Christian looks at the cross and sees that God has a plan to bring us goodness; how can we not trust his plan for marriage? We must trust God with our past and entrust him with our future.
Resources for Marital Communication
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 communication in marriage here.
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)