Taking the
out of

The Miracle of Recreating Sexual Love

Paulís first letter to the Corinthians encourages a rich sex experience within marriage. Paul did not say, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman"! The Corinthians wrote it in a letter to him. See 1 Corinthians 7:1. Rather, he firmly advocates that husband and wife enjoy each otherís bodies, but with the principle of unselfish agape enriching and ennobling the experience. In verses 3-5, he says, "The husband must give the wife what is due to her, and the wife equally must give the husband his due. The wife cannot claim her body as her own; it is her husbandís. Equally, the husband cannot claim his body as his own; it is his wifeís. Do not deny yourselves to one another." NEB.

Sex is Godís gracious gift to a married couple whom he desires to make "forever one." Sexual union is an intimation of the happiness which is the prelude to lifelong happiness.

The name of love is so fragile that it can easily be quenched by the mistakes of marriage partners. Guilt can paralyze us, as can the corrosion of jealousy and resentment. Sexual love can be like Humpty Dumpty. Once broken, all the kingís horses and all the kingís men canít put it back together again. So it seems; but here is where the Lordís grace can do what seems impossible.

There is one situation in which it is even difficult for Godís grace to avail to mend a broken marital relationship, and that is what Jesus called "fornication" (porneia) in Matthew 19:9. This is a legitimate ground, although not a command, for dissolving a marital union, because it destroys the foundation of confidence on which such a union has to rest.

The barriers to renewal of physical love are generally emotional. God is the "Wonderful, Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6), who notices when a sparrow falls and takes infinite care in doing what no one else can do putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart." Psalm 27:13, 14.

He who notices the fall of a bird is also concerned that His childís sex life be happy. Some seem to have the old Dark Ages idea that sex is intrinsically shameful, that God turns His back on it. He who invented all the delightful intricacies of sex also provides healing. But His healing lies in contrition.

Pride and self-righteousness can kill the tender plant of love as surely as an icy blast of a freezing wind can kill spring flowers. "Terribly sinful you have been unfaithful; righteous I am innocent! You deserve hell; I deserve heaven." These sentiments, said out loud or expressed in demeanor, are unjustified, for "all have sinned." Romans 3:23.

The true record of our sins is not our own conscious memory, but the record in heaven, where with X-ray vision the dark, unconscious evils deep within are exposed to view. The books of heaven record the sins that we would commitógiven the chance. God is concerned about our hidden motives. A so-called "innocent" spouse who would have been unfaithful had he or she been tempted is not "innocent" in Godís sight. Both need the grace of forgiveness. And until both can sense this, the healing that God is ready to give cannot take place.

Loving an unlovable spouse may appear to be impossible. But agape-love may illuminate with hope a situation that has otherwise appeared dead. There is creative power in the word of God. He created the world out of nothing, for He "calleth those things which be not as though they were." Romans 4:17. Can He not do the same for a "dead" marriage? Of course He can.

Jesus met a paralyzed man by the pool of Bethesda. The sufferer had been a withered wreck for 38 years. "When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ĎDo you want to be made well?í" John 5:6, NKJV. The man hardly dared to say Yes. His response was like ours when we find it almost impossible to believe good news: "Sir, I have no man to help me. Others get blessings, but Ió" I can almost imagine him sobbing at this point.

Then Jesus "said to him, ĎRise, take up your bed and walk.í" Verse 8, NKJV. The paralytic could have argued how impossible this would be. But he chose to believe the good news. Like Abraham, "against hope [he] believed in hope" and thus showed himself a true child of Abraham. "And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked." Verse 9, NKJV.

We have spoken in delicate language about a delicate problem. But the One who created the delicateness of a fragile rose petal can create in you and in your spouse something beautiful, beyond your wildest dreams. When He does, give glory to Him, and remember that the happiness you discover is something you donít deserve. It is something purchased for you by the sacrifice of Christ upon His cross. Yes, the gift includes happy, life-long sexual love.

Five Truths That Can Save a Marriage.

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