Godly Intimacy - Brian Taylor

 


It was the winter of 1986 when I first laid eyes on my future wife. Now, when I first spotted this radiant beauty, great confusion followed. For it was like I was seeing double, because I was seeing double. My wife is an identical twin. A little counsel for any young fella considering dating a twin: make sure you know which twin you want to go out with before asking one of them out. Otherwise, you might end up asking both of them out, as I did. Trust me, your beautiful bride will never let you forget the “mistake” of going out with her twin sister, as long as you both shall live. Well, all that took place in 1987, the same year that lovely girl became my bride, the wife of my youth. Thirty-five years later, I can affirm that a man finds a good thing when he finds a wife and has obtained favor from the Lord. I can likewise affirm the wisdom of Proverbs 5:18-19:

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”

Wisdom here instructs men to delight in the wife of their youth. Lest we misunderstand the meaning, the author is not speaking generically about the joys of marriage, but specifically about the delight one finds in marital intimacy. As one honors the marital bed (Heb. 13:4), one discovers the joy and delight of sacred union. So wisdom says to us to delight in the wife of our youth, and in her alone. So the ladies will not feel left out, wisdom declares the same message to you as well. Delight in that man of yours all the days of your life, and in him alone. 

Indeed, we must keep utilizing that word “alone,” for vv. 18-19 are set in a broader context, which warns against adultery. The author in vv. 1-14 and 20-23 warns men about the “forbidden woman.” That is the woman willing to engage in an adulterous relationship, a seductress who desires to use her sexuality, not as a gift to delight a husband, but as a tool to trap a victim. The author acknowledges the allurement of her seduction, but also warns against such an illicit relationship: 

“Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray” (Proverbs 5:20–23). 

So, just as we must rejoice in the spouse of our youth, we must keep watch over our life. We must keep watch even over what we watch. As I suspect all will agree, ours is a society drunk on sexual immorality. Not just adultery, but all sorts of sexual perversions. It is a great challenge to keep watch over our lives because so much in our lives seeks to promote a forbidden life. One need but type a few letters on a computer and one will find a world filled with pornographic images. Actually, one need not even expend that much energy, as a simple drive on a major highway or a walk in a public area will present a variety of seductive images, attempting to allure the heart toward a forbidden life. While nearly impossible to escape all such public images, we nevertheless must keep watch over our lives by guarding our heart’s affections. Let us make sure that we do rejoice in our spouse alone, even as we remember our Lord for the goodness of the gift he has given us.

Indeed, I do not want the last word on this subject to be about how wicked man has corrupted this good gift. We recognize that he has so corrupted this gift by his misuse of it, including not only adultery, but other sexual perversions like pornography, fornication, inappropriate sexual humor and, especially, homosexuality. Yet, he has likewise corrupted it by sullying its reputation. Wicked man has successfully propagandized society’s view of physical intimacy to the point that, whether we speak of the good gift or its misuse, we think it dirty or impure. By such misrepresentation, he denies the goodness of the good gift by associating its good and right use with its perversion. No, physical intimacy enjoyed between a man and woman in holy matrimony is not dirty or impure. Such intimacy is an expression of the goodness of our God, as he, the Creator, did make man and woman for such delight. 

Christian, do not fall for the lies of wicked men. Rather, this gift should speak to us of God’s kindness and beneficence. Like the food in which we delight, or the drink in which we enjoy, intimacy between a husband and wife should lead to the praise of God, as we remember our God in the goodness of his gift. 

Wisdom does declare to us certain important truth regarding marital intimacy. It declares to us that we must rejoice in our spouse alone, watch over our lives and remember our God. Yet, should you have failed to hearken to the voice of wisdom, hear now the good news of Christ’s redemption. Perhaps, you have fallen to the forbidden life. Perhaps as a believer you have allowed sexual perversion a foothold in some way. Perhaps, you are not a believer and are engulfed in sexual perversion. The good news of the gospel is that in Christ Jesus there is remedy for your sins, even sexual sins, as declared in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

So, unbeliever, look to Christ today, believing in him and receiving his redemptive work for your salvation. By believing in Christ, you will be washed, sanctified and justified. Likewise, believer, renew your faith and repentance, turning from your sinful conduct and embracing Christ as offered to you in the gospel. Sexual sin might be what you were, but in Christ is it not who you are. So, cut it out. Turn from the misuse of this good gift and engage in its rightful use. To the glory of God and the delight of the heart, rejoice in your spouse alone, watch your life and remember your God in the goodness of his gift. 


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