Ever have to move a couch from its accustomed location, only to discover an astonishing amount of dirt underneath it, not to mention lost pens and kid’s toys, gum and things better left unidentified? There’s a certain joy in bringing into the light of day the things that have been allowed to disappear into the darkness under the sofa!
This joy — bringing into the light things that have been allowed to be hidden — certainly applies to the joy of seeing how spiritual truth illuminates areas of life and custom that have been needlessly hidden for way too long. One such area which “comes into the light” when considering the freedom Jesus Christ has brought to us is that of sexual customs.
It’s amazing what traditions and social customs have been allowed to parade as “godly” or “Christian” when they are neither. Well — “amazing”, as well as depressing and even dangerous. Like the dirt and trash building up under a sofa long undisturbed, so the ideas of what kinds of sexual positions and roles and interests are “acceptable for Christians” is largely rubbish as well. In fact, much of what is considered mandatory for Christians is actually YAFOL (“Yet Another Form of Legalism”, pronounced, “Yay! Foul!”) Anytime one’s standing with God (or with church people) is measured by one’s performance or behavior, it has left God’s Kingdom and entered into the darkness of legalism once again.
Looking first at a broader picture, Believers are typically confused about what their freedom in Christ actually looks like. For example, activities that should be of no concern regularly dominate entire congregations, typically provoking sinful judgment, malicious gossip & misplaced feelings of guilt.
The activities which should be of no concern whatever could easily include such things as choosing what one wears, frequenting bars or not, smoking tobacco or weed (or not), attending church on Sundays, Saturdays or not.
For Believers, these & many other practices shouldn’t define “sin” any more than keeping days offeast or fast, in choosing what to eat or drink, or celebrating a particular festival or a new moon or sabbaths — or not. [i.e., Col 2.13ff.]
Amongst the practices that are of no concern are those concerning “the marriage bed”. Briefly, how husbands & wives choose to pleasure themselves is only of concern to them. What follows is a more explicit explanation of how or freedom in Christ affects the spiritual relationship of lovers. This “exhortation” is quite practical even though it rates no more than an “R” rating.
First — when tempted to rationally & cold-bloodedly evaluate what practices you will or won’t “practice” with your mate — don’t. Don’t try to think about how you might feel about sex until you’re in the middle of doing it! (And whatever you do, don’t let your fellow church members do your thinking for you!)
For example, try this experiment: The next time you spot your lover on the street or in a store, walk up to each other and without hesitation, stick your tongues in each other’s mouths for a minute or so.
For most people, even the THOUGHT of doing that (“cold turkey”) is unacceptable. In fact, for many, the mere thought of doing so without a bit of smooching or necking ahead of time would be gross!
But given some privacy mixed with some cuddling & bingo! French kissing seems like the most natural & exciting thing around!
Now, lets focus on one of the strangest examples of cultural legalism — oral sex. In oral sex — for either partner — kissing, licking or sucking on their lover’s genitalia OFTEN seems “gross” — until they’re in the middle of an insanely passionate & erotically explosive Moment — and THAT’S when kissing your lover’s most sensitive & volatile places seem perfectly reasonable! What adds to the pleasure is that when you see how your lips & tongue can skyrocket your lover into places of joy & ecstasy never experienced before, it boosts YOU into greater places of ecstasy then YOU’VE ever experienced.
In other words: thinking about it apart from the Moment of intense passion can easily engenderfeeling of repulsion — not thinking about this practice until the Arousal of Love allows a person to choose in the right environment.
But it’s of the UTMOST importance to understand that NOWHERE in the Bible are any sexual positions or practices between lovers prohibited. ALL such prohibitions are man-made & vary from culture to culture. The only Law governing how lovers play together is the Law of Love: “What pleases my Lover pleases me; what does NOT please my Lover does not please me.”
Underlying all of this for Believers are two fundamental, spiritual realities: (1) that of the Freedom Jesus brought to us & (2) the nature of the marriage relationship as portraying the Love Relationship between God & those who make up the Bride of Christ.
First freedom. In Gal 5, Paul warns us to not let go of the freedom Jesus secured for us on the Cross. In line with this is his teaching in Rom 14 that what defines “sin” for Believers is their own consciences. That is, if one person feels that a particular act issin, then it is sin for him. If another person doesn’t feel that that same activity issin, for him it is not sin! In Christ we are no longer bound by the rules & regulations of the Law (which was nailed to the Cross with Christ) but have been made free from the Law of sin & death. We now live under a new “Law” — the Law of Love.
Second, as shown to us in Eph 5, earthly marriage reflects the spiritual Marriage of Jesus Christ & His Bride, the Church. The relationship of the husband & wife is that the wife is to allow her husband to nurture her in every way,& the husband is to care for her as he does for his own fleshly body. Implicit in this is that their relationship will always be mutually edifying — including their sexual relationship. The idea that “sex is dirty” is from the pit, not from Heaven. God is the Creator of sexual relationship, and it’s a physical representation of the degree of intensity with which Jesus desires for His Bride — the Church.
So the combination of a passionate desire to edify your beloved & the freedom in Christ to do all that does not violate the conscience of either, forms a strong foundation for lovers to pursue ALL that edifies each other. There is truly not more restriction nor restraint than whatever lovers choose for themselves — in Christ!