Last time, I wrote a post about how we need to reconsider the ways we think about our sexuality, because we’re too busy shading sexual desire in a negative light too often. Sex is a gift from a good and loving God. I’m sure most of you have heard that before, but here’s something you may not have: Sexual desire is also a gift from a good and loving God.
Our sexual desires are God’s way of reminding us we are created for loving, committed relationships. When we look across the room at someone we are attracted to, it’s that electric jolt of desire that awakens us and moves us towards them. Dating and relationships are hard and awkward and messy – it’s the spark of healthy desire that keeps us in the game.
And what does healthy desire in a relationship look like? In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus says that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, so I’d imagine it looks something like that. The way two people navigate their desires towards one another must be mutual. Thus, if one person’s desires is outpacing the other’s, they need to talk about that disconnect and find some sort of compromise.
Now does that mean that if both people’s sexual desires are in sync that anything goes? Well there, I would point to the first greatest commandment: to love God with all of one’s heart, soul, and mind. Our sexuality is a gift from God and because of that, just as individuals in a relationship need to communicate their desires with one another, they also need to be communicating them with God and if there is a disconnect, then adjustments need to be made.
Again, this is a huge topic, and while there are a number of books out there in the Christian world that talk about sex, a lot of them aren’t helpful (and some of them are downright awful). One new book that I heartily recommend is God Loves Sex by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III. Both these men are experts in their field (psychology and biblical Hebrew) and their book talks about God’s design for sexual desire by taking a detailed, yet accessible, look at the Song of Songs.
Sex and the desires that come with it are powerful. The damage they can cause is the reason this site exists: to mitigate that damage. However, sex and its desires can also be a source of great healing and blessing and if we are to honor the wholeness of how God has created us, we need to talk about the brokenness as well as the goodness of sexual desire.