Christians get really weird when you talk about sex.
So I’m going to talk about sex. Why?
Because God invented sex. Holy men and women in the Bible had sex. Heck, we’re all here because someone had sex in the beginning.
I'm also talking about it now because a bestselling book-turned-into-movie is hitting the theaters on valentine's day and the internet is in a little bit of an uproar over it. While I certainly have strong opinions about the movie, a friend of mine captured my sentiments best when in response to an article titled, "Why I'm not mad about the 50 Shades of Grey Movie", she wrote, "Let the world have the world. Let the people of God have God!"
But this article is not even about that. Rather, I felt a need to have an open honest DISCUSSION WITH DUDES about sex. One guy voiced the concerns I'm about to address this way, "We're told our whole lives as Christians, Don't touch! Don't look! Wait till marriage! But on my wedding night, I felt completely clumsy and clueless, and frankly, it was over much quicker than I'd hoped as we both fell asleep feeling a little discouraged. So I can understand why some people, even Christians, might want to explore this book for some insight."
I didn't share this with him at the time, but I wish I would have told him that Christian Grey is NOT the guy he wants to model his marriage bed after because his approach to sexual fulfillment doesn't translate well into intimacy with one's spouse in real life! I wish I would have told him that over time, sex with his wife would become more fulfilling as they grew in their relationship, (and as students of each other's bodies). I also wish I would have told him the even better news, which is that God actually wrote a manual for newly wed couples on how to have awesome Biblical sex. (Never thought you’d hear those two words in a sentence huh?).
But yeah. Seriously. The manual is in the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon.
Now, to be clear, though this is intended for ALL dudes, I am writing it to be implemented by married dudes ONLY. (If you're a lady and you've snuck in here, it's fine. When you're done reading, pass it on to your husband or to your friend who's husband might benefit from this). I'm emphasizing the "married" part because the scriptures tell us that sex is most fulfilling when it is enjoyed in the context of a monogamous whole-life union between a man and woman. I didn’t make that up, Genesis 23-24 did, and Jesus reiterated it in Matthew 19:5.
With that said, back to Solomon (lessons from one Bible dude to another).
In the fourth chapter of his book, we find him and his new wife in bed, on their honeymoon, in their honeymoon suite. Before they get down to the sex, Solomon spends an extraordinary amount of time speaking to her heart and complementing her body. Smart move! Especially when you consider the fact that she expressed some insecurity about her body earlier in chapter 1:5-6.
So, lesson one: great sex starts way before you get naked in bed. Dude, you need to speak to your wife’s heart through the course of the day so that she’s mentally ready when it’s finally time to “get it on” later in the day. Whereas sex is mostly physical for you, it starts in the mind for her (and stays there a long time before her body begins cooperating). It's been said that when it comes to sex, men are like microwaves and women are like crockpots. I'm not really big on crockpot meals, but this much I know; if you want a crockpot meal for dinner, you need to start cooking dinner sometime around 10:00 a.m.! (Take a hint fellas!)
Secondly, contrary to the media's portrayal of sex as always being hot and heavy (and Christian's Grey warped violent sexual fantasy that millions are apparently buying into), we see an incredible amount of gentleness on Solomon’s part with his new wife. This picture of gentleness in sex is best captured in chapter 4:5 where he describes her breasts as “two fawns, like the twin fawns of a gazelle.” A fawn is a baby deer, right? I’ve never actually seen one, but I know enough about newborns that when you pick one up, you don’t just grab it or rough it up, you have to be gentle with it.
See where he's going with this?
Okay married dudes, here’s what gentleness in sex looks like practically, (and I’m totally borrowing this from a relationship sermon by Matt Chandler from the Village Church). On your wedding night, (or any night after you’re married), before you get in bed, make a playlist of all your favorite love songs on your digital device. Since I'm a 90's man, might I suggest some Boyz II Men, or Keith Sweat? Maybe a little bit of Soul For Real? I seriously digress. Whoever you choose, here's the deal; during the first two songs, (which might be anywhere from 6-8 minutes), focus only on everything from the crown of your wife's head to the base of her neck.
During the next 3 songs, (anywhere from 10-12 minutes), focus on everything from her shoulder to her navel. You’re a student at this point, not a sumo wrestler. Think fawns! (the idea, not the animal.)
At this point, she will more than likely give you instructions on what to do or where to go next. Listen, and FOLLOW her orders! In Solomon’s case, this is the point where his new wife responds to him and says, “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” (Song of Solomon 4:16). I don’t know much about the weather patterns in the Middle East, but I’m guessing this is her approving of everything Solomon has done thus far, and giving him permission to GO ALL THE WAY.
There’s a lot more in there about goat hair, sheep teeth, fruit gardens, water fountains, and north/south winds blowing on stuff. Suffice it to say, they were both having a ball.
Communication is key. You both need to agree up front what you’re comfortable with in bed before ever getting naked. That way, you have an idea where you’re going when you do get naked. Perhaps you've perfected the whole "Gentle Fawn" thing and you and your wife feel you'd like to get into some Sumo Wrestling? Hey, it's your marriage! The key however, is to TALK ABOUT IT FIRST!
This certainly isn't everything there is to know about sex in marriage, but it's what I wish I would have told that guy when he expressed his frustration about not having a clue about sex. It's what I wish I would have told him when he was considering introducing Mr. Grey's sexual antics to his marriage bed. It's what I wished mature Christian men had sat me down and talked me through before I got married. Hence, it's what I intend to let every married dude know about God's beautiful game plan for sex in marriage.
Okay, Pause. Breeeeathe.
If you're a married dude, I pray that God would bless your marriage bed as you work on honoring your private times with your wife. It won’t always be perfect, nor will you always hit a “homerun”, but over the years, as you listen to one another, you both will become learned students of each other’s bodies and find greater joy in the wonderful gift of sex.
If you’re a single dude, I know I just got you needlessly excited, so I want you to picture this in your minds eye right now. Ready? Trucks! Alligators! Saddam Hussein! Leprosy! Math! Grandma! (Sorry, I’m trying to deescalate whatever this blog post might have started in your mind.)
Someday, (prayerfully soon), you'll be decked out at the altar and will watch your sweetheart walk up to you. On that day, you will find that SHE WAS WORTH THE WAIT! On that day, all you just read here will be implementable, and you will find that God knew what He was doing all along when He designed the gift of sex for married couples.
On that day, you shall truly GET YO' GROOVE ON!