Category Archives: Desires

What’s Missing From Sex: Intimacy (Part 2)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 16:00 minutes into the video.

ID-100140529

image courtesy of ponsulak / freedigitalphotos.net

He really didn’t know anything about me. Not because we hadn’t spent time together, but because I had not really shared anything with him. We had met and become friends through an Internet chat room about hockey. And while he was nice enough, he did not understand my struggles, and he did not know about my past. Mostly, even though he claimed to, he didn’t share any kind of spiritual connection with me—he was a non-practicing Catholic, and I was a Protestant youth pastor. He didn’t understand my desire for a personal relationship with Jesus, but I wanted so badly to be loved, I ignored our lack of true intimacy and believed that if I just gave in a bit sexually, the intimacy would come. He was my first boyfriend as an adult, and I just wanted to make it work.

Intimacy has been defined as “in to me I see.” When I think about that definition and about the men with whom I’ve been sexually intimate, I realize there was always something missing. Our culture has done a great job of valuing the physical act of sex, but not given much to valuing intimacy itself. We know about everyone’s sex tapes, but very little beyond that. It is almost like we are scared of being intimate with each other, afraid of being seen and known. As my pastor noted, this type of intimacy that we long to experience—being fully known and loved for who we are, faults and all—cannot be separated from sex. And here are two things my past has taught me about the intertwining of sex and intimacy:

Physical nakedness is not complete without spiritual or emotional nakedness. Have you ever noticed that when you leave a sexual relationship, you don’t necessarily leave with physical pain but instead have emotional pain? That’s because sex cannot be separated from intimacy. We cannot give or get sex in order to give or get intimacy. I have tried to do this many times: with my first boyfriend as mentioned above; with another non-Christian man when I was out of community with other believers; with a couple of hook-ups in college. In each case, I thought that I could get the intimacy I desired by giving of myself sexually. Every time, the result was brokenness, because intimacy is not just physical, and sex is more than just an act. This lie that “sex is just a physical act” pervades our culture. But let me assure you: when you connect your physical body to someone else in the act of sex, you are connecting to them emotionally and spiritually whether you realize it or not. Sexual activity with another person creates a soul tie with them, a physical, emotional, and spiritual tie that God created for a special circumstance.

Complete intimacy—spiritual, physical, and emotional—happens in only two places. The first place and best place for you to find total intimacy is with Jesus Christ. Being seen and known by the One who created you is one of the most precious gifts you can get. And not only did God create you to be in complete intimacy with Him, He also created the one place where you could find total intimacy—including sex—with another human: within a godly marriage. The intimacy between a man and a woman joined together in marriage under God was meant for this total and complete union of the body, soul, and spirit. How do I know this? God calls the church “His bride”—He uses that imagery many times in Scripture (Isaiah 54:5, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25, etc.) because He wants to be as close to us as a bride and groom are to each other. He wants that complete spiritual, physical, and emotional intimacy that is reserved for marriage to be prevalent in His relationship with each of us.

Are you looking for total intimacy? Look no further than Jesus Christ. He not only can see you the way you want to be seen, but He can teach you how to find deep connections with others while reserving total intimacy—especially sexual intimacy—for your godly marriage.

The Struggle Is Real: Dare I Desire?

Growing up, I never heard anyone discuss a Christian woman’s desires about sex. They talked about women wanting to be loved and treasured, but never about Christian women actually wanting sex. As I said before, growing up in a Southern Baptist church with a single mom, sex was never discussed with me and never addressed in a safe setting except to say, “Don’t do it until you’re married.” I never knew if the feelings that I had were normal or if my longings were God-given. My mother and father divorced before I was born, so healthy, loving, sexual relationships were never modeled to me by my parents, and no other adults I knew talked about it with me. This left me stranded in figuring out if, as a Christian woman, what I felt was okay. In my mind, I questioned if Christian women should even like sex, because I had never heard my mother or any other Christian woman talk about their own feelings and desires. I knew that I liked what I felt, but I also knew that because I was not married, it was wrong. Did that mean even feeling the desires was wrong?

desire by idea go

image courtesy of idea go / freedigitalphotos.net

Maybe your parents had the talk with you. Maybe your church openly discusses these issues. If so, that is awesome! But maybe you’re like I was as a young woman: wondering and struggling about having sexual desires. And if that is you, let me assure you of two things:

Sexual desires are God-given. God created everything in this world. He created each one of us and He gave us needs, desires, and longings. In addition, God created sex! The Creator of the entire universe created sex—not just for procreation but for enjoyment and to fulfill these desires we have. Some of these desires have become perverted by our world and culture (see: pornography, sex addictions, prostitution/trafficking). But Psalm 139 assures us that God created every part of us, our inmost beings, and He created each of us with desires—even sexual ones. Even the apostle Paul talks about sexual passion (1 Corinthians 7). The Bible was written by men but inspired by a God who created sex and created us and the desires we have.

Sexual desires are normal. Ladies, it is normal and okay for you to feel sexual urges and desires. When I was young, I felt shameful and guilty about my desires, because no one was talking about Christian women having sexual desires and urges. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I heard from the church that sexual desires were normal for Christian women. By then, I was 20 years old and had struggled with sexual feelings and pornography for half of my life! Even though my reassurance came late, late is better than never. A quick trip through Songs of Solomon shows how normal it is for even women to want sex. So if you have struggled with feeling “normal” about having sexual desires, please know that it is okay—and so are you.

Please note that this post is only addressing the desires we have for sex, not how we act out on those desires. The desires we have are God-given and normal; sometimes, the way we act them out are not. My next blogging series will address the act of sex and how we act out on these desires. Over the next few weeks (except for the week of Mother’s Day), I will be blogging alongside my pastor as he preaches a sermon series entitled, “What’s Missing From Sex.” He is going to cover topics such as intimacy, commitment, and love as he focuses on what culture has stripped from sex as God intended it. I will include links to the weekly sermon each week as well. I’m looking forward to continuing this important and powerful conversation with you via social media and my blog.

“Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…” –Salt-N-Pepa