You & Your Family

Vital to nurture a loving relationship

May 2012    

LET ME BEGIN WITH A BRIEF WORD about the choice of this topic. Some might think it rather inappropriate for a Christian magazine. Others might feel rather uncomfortable about reading it. Still others might wonder if the topic of having sex should even be accompanied by the word good.

All the renowned Christian writers that I have read (Collins 2007, Wheat and Wheat 1981, Worthington Jr 1989, and Smedes 1994) seem to agree that God made sex good for mankind. Having sex, in the manner that was designed by Him, can be a satisfying and fulfilling experience.

Sex was not given to us as a test or as a way to entrap man to sin. Sex did not enter the world because of sin. Adam and Eve were created as sexual beings and although it was not stated, it can be safely deduced that they had good sex, perhaps until their fall to sin.

Sexual intimacy is usually one area that suffers when couples are experiencing problems. Even happily-married couples
report having some sexual problems. So meeting couples, be they Christian or otherwise, who are not having good sex is an encounter that marriage counsellors must be ready for.

Let me reiterate that sex between two individuals can only be good if it is experienced in the manner that the Lord has created it to be. In traditional Christian understanding, this is between a man and a woman, who are united in marriage. However, the fact that so many married couples seem to be having sexual problems indicates that merely being married alone is not enough for a satisfying sexual relationship. e marital union must be a close and satisfying one.

Here is one of the key requirements to make one’s sexual experience good: that it is kept in the context of an intimate loving relationship. Sex can never be good (in the full sense of the word) between strangers, or between a client and a sex worker.

Good sex requires both individuals to be ready to be united not only physically, but emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually. e metaphor of Christ the Groom seeking to be united with the Church His Bride is a powerful one and is used to illustrate how intimately close the Lord wants to be with His Church.

Such a complete union and total intimacy does not happen overnight. It takes time to nurture. us good sex cannot be experienced after a “one-night stand” or a brief relationship. It often crowns a close loving relationship that has grown with time. us couples who hardly know each other will do well to develop their relationship first before committing their bodies to each other.

In today’s world, where we are bombarded by sexual images and fast-shifting sexual norms, Christians have a “gold standard” to share with regard to this important topic. We need to reinstate sex to its rightful place for it to be a wholesome, affirming and life-enhancing experience between two individuals.

Benny Bong, a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, is a family and marital therapist.

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