Beloved Sex – A New Covenant Sexual Life

Photo by John Ragai

Photo by John Ragai

A Blog Series – God’s Hope in the Gift of Sexual Desire and Sexual Expression
Blog Seven of Eight

This is the seventh in a series of eight blogs which share powerful SEX POSITIVE stories from our Judeo/Christian heritage. God gave us the delicious experience of sexual desire and sexual expression on purpose – with the intent that we would experience greater understandings of his abundant and extravagant love. He also hoped that we would experience abundant aspects of what it is to love deeply – both the giving and receiving of love. To have our own experiences of loving a beloved other.

Beloved Sex – A New Covenant Sexual Life
What happens when we believe we are loved … fully and completely loved by God, just as we are, failings and accomplishments … in absolute truth? Can you remember a time when you began to really believe you were truly loved? The natural response is often overwhelming gratefulness, hope, healing and joy. There is a deep peace in knowing we are seen for all that we are … and in all that we are, we are fully and completely loved. If you feel you need a little reminder I invite you to watch this You Tube of “The Woman At the Well”.

While sexuality was not a central focus of Jesus’ ministry, how all people were to be loved and treated was. Sexuality finds it’s most erotic, dynamic and satisfying experience inside the context of love, trust, safety, commitment and desire. Combined with the Hebrew beliefs about the sanctity and erotic beauty of sexuality, Jesus gave us all we need to understand how to be a fabulous lover. I invite you to think about these core values in the context of a deeply satisfying erotic and sacred sexuality. If the expression of sexuality could be honoring to your devotion to God, you, and your beloved—what would it look like? Here are key elements of Christ’s character, values and ministry that I believe need to be integrated into a true Christian sexual ethic:

• A constant New Testament theme is a set of values that reflect God’s nature, love, grace and justice revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How does committed love and sexual expression look when each person treats each other with love, grace and justice? When each person touches and shares pleasure with love, grace and justice? How do you know if a touch is loving? Graceful? Just? Have you talked about it?

• Jesus’ ministry had at its center the compassionate offer to commune with God and to understand that we too are precious children of God. How does romantic love and sexual expression look when you and your beloved believe the depth of your value? How do you express how you value your partner? How does your partner express how she/he values you?

• Jesus vigorously opposed the misuse of power practiced by those in political and religious power. Jesus’ many forms of confrontation were more than acts of subversion. He demonstrated a new religious code of ethic, involving positive practices of invitation to and inclusion of all—rich, poor, Jew, Gentile, weak, sinful, man, woman, of minority or dismissed status. He left no room for the abuse of power by the religious or political elite on those with less status. He demonstrated that all people were of equal standing with God. How does committed sexual expression look when lovers realize each is as precious as the other in God’s eyes? When does sexual touch feel dismissive? When does sexual touch feel honoring?

• Jesus demonstrated a fervent intention to love and draw others into the face and love of His Father. How is committed love sexually demonstrated when love-making is seen as a holy communing in God’s love? What is shared when every part of oneself seeks to both see and reflect the image of God within their beloved? When does sexual touch feel spiritual? When does intimacy feel somehow bigger than just the two of you?

Each of these core concepts in Jesus’ ministry in combination with what we have learned from our Jewish ancestors gives us the essential ingredients to build a deeply intimate, erotic and spiritual connection with our partner through all forms of sexual intimacy. They also highlight relational and emotional skills that take years to understand and practice. Ask yourself these questions:

1) How would I approach my lover if I wanted him/her to feel God’s presence, love and justice in all the ways I touch her/him? How would I want my lover to approach me to help me better experience God’s presence, love and justice – to help me know I am chosen by God?

2) How would I approach my partner if I wanted him/her to experience the image of God within them and God’s desire to be an active participant in how they receive my love? How would I want my partner to approach me—bearing in mind the same wish to experience God’s image within me, to know God’s desire to love me?

3) How would I approach my lover to show my desire to share and serve one another, versus expecting my needs or their needs to trump or silence the others?

4) How could I express my hope and intentions in our love-making? How can I open my heart to be a channel of God’s love? How can I open my heart to receive the loving intention of my partner?

A beloved partnership is God’s daily invitation to learn the nuances of loving in word and touch. This loving expression is seen in all forms – including sexual touch. In word and touch we seek to impact our lover’s heart and body like Jesus impacted the woman at the well. When this level of intention, attention, presence and love is brought to our sexual life … this is what I call Beloved Sex.

[1] Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics, Lisa Sowle Cahill

One Comment

More Naked Truth About the Purity Movement … continuing the conversation | Musings by Candlelight • Tina Schermer Sellers • Life, Relationships, Sexuality, Faith

[…] Like I said to Micah, it is a great gift and blessing that you and your beloved were guided to each other and able to unfold intimacy together in a sweet way.  The credit however, in my opinion, needs to be given 100% to a gracious and loving God who protected your hearts and spirits.  I would not in a minute, give the credit to the Purity Movement as your title suggests.  This kind of message from Richard Ross, Founder of True Love Waits is all I need to remind me how the core message of the Purity Movement gave permission to men to judge women as damaged goods if ‘he’ deemed her not ‘pure’ enough.   We see that echoed again in the sentiment of this pastor whose assumed entitlement of the husband to get sex on his wedding night. Where is the Jewish teaching of the Vow of Onah that says sexual pleasure is the right of the woman not the man? It is the husband’s responsibility to know and bring her pleasure? Where is the compassion in the message of this pastor? The fact that this is still being preached and taught fills my practice and keeps me up at night. The Purity Movement set us back decades in our walk toward developing a New Covenant Sexual Ethic. […]

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