When we are pursuing sexual integrity, we all experience this mental combat between sexual sin and our desire for sexual integrity.
It’s not just an experience we have in our thought life alone.
We feel it in our bodies when they become aroused by things we see, the thoughts we have, and by the longings we have.
One of the ways we try to combat and move away from our sexual orientations is by thinking about good things.
And so we take our sexually sinful thoughts, we try to train them out for pure thoughts, good thoughts, thoughts about beauty, thoughts about truth. But I think a lot of us when we do that, we forget that there are good, pure, true thoughts about sex.
And so we go from thinking sexual thoughts that are sinful to thinking about anything else besides sex.
We try to get our thoughts in other places. And that’s good, because sex is not everything in life. But there’s so much good about God’s design for sex, that can actually help us to grow in sexual integrity. And so as we think and allow our minds to be transformed by God’s God’s good, holy, and beautiful design for sexuality.
But, what do we mean?
Like, what does the sexual relationship between husband and wife in a lifelong loving marriage convey about the image of God?
How does the wife convey God’s image? How does the husband convey God’s image? What can we find about his beauty, his goodness there?
Let’s answer these questions together today in this podcast.
- The battle between sexual sin and desire for sexual integrity.
- There is so much good about god’s design for sex.
- How to define sexual integrity?
- Why did you choose for sex to be like this?
- A picture of god’s heart for us.
- Our bodies tell god’s story.
- The mystery of God’s heart conveyed through sex.
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Everybody, welcome back to this week’s podcast. I’m so grateful that you are here. listening. I hope these podcasts are helpful for you. As always, if you got a question or topic you’d like me to talk about this podcast, please let me know. And if I can, I will. So one of the things I think a lot of us experiences were pursuing sexual integrity is this kind of combat mentally between sexual sin and our desire for sexual integrity? And we all experience it. We don’t. It’s not just an experience we have in our thought life, although it’s certainly there. It’s also an experience we feel in our bodies, because our bodies are aroused, and we can feel our bodies being aroused by things we see, by thoughts we have by by longings we have. And one of the ways that we try to combat and try to move away from our sexual orientations, is by thinking about good things. So we’re all many of us are familiar with Paul’s admonition to the church in Philippi. When he says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. There’s any excellence, there’s anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Great admonition, they’re from the Apostle Paul in Philippians. We also many of us think about what he says in Romans 12, to about being transformed by the renewing of our minds. And so we take our sexually sinful thoughts, we try to train them out for pure thoughts, good thoughts, thoughts about beauty, thoughts about truth. But I think a lot of us when we do that, we forget that there are good, pure true thoughts about sex. And so we go from thinking sexual thoughts that are sinful, thinking about anything else besides sex, we try to get our thoughts in other places. And I want to encourage you, that’s all well and good, because sex is not everything in life. But there’s so much good about God’s design for sex, that can actually really, really help us to grow in sexual integrity. And so as we think about and allow our minds to be transformed by God’s good, true Holy design, beautiful design for sexuality, you can actually ramp up our journey towards sexual integrity. So think about this for a minute. If all you know about dealing with your sexual desire, is that you don’t want to sin sexually, then where are you moving to? What are you moving toward, you need to have a better place to move toward in regards to sexuality. But that’s not all. That’s not all. The other thing that’s really, really important here is that God has designed human sexual physicality. He’s designed sex between husband and wife, to be an image of him. The church, Father Athanasia, Saint Athanasius, in the fourth century, wrote a lot about how God created human beings, to be image bearers of him so that they would know him. In other words, he is saying that the reason that God created us to share in an aspect of his image is so that we would have some context as we’re living and breathing and relating with each other, to know what God is like. Now, we can’t flip that all the way around and say that everything about human sexuality tells us something about God. That’s not true. That’s the reverse things. But it is to say that God’s good, holy, beautiful design for sexuality is meant to point us to God. And so if our only thoughts around sexuality are the bad sexual sin stuff, then we’re missing a great opportunity to know God better. And, man, if there’s one thing I want in my life, it’s to know God better. So Lord, would you open our eyes, open our hearts, open the eyes of our hearts, Lord, to perceive to know to see your goodness in your design for sex between husband and wife? Come, Lord. So brothers and sisters, what? What comes to mind for you think about God’s design. Okay. So, recently, somebody asked me to define sexual integrity and, and I think kind of the classic answer is like, Okay, well, sexual integrity is when you reserve sex between a husband and wife in a lifelong loving marriage. That’s kind of like, you know, textbook answer. It’s, it’s pretty basic. There’s a lot more to be said about that. But, but let’s dig in there for a little bit. Let’s take it out of the textbook and say, what do we mean? Like, what does the sexual relationship between husband and wife in a lifelong loving marriage convey about the image of God? How does the wife convey God’s image? How does the husband convey God’s image? What can we find about his beauty, his goodness there? And I want to give just a little bit of an answer to that question. We could I mean, we could spend literally hours and hours talking about this. But mostly what I want to do is I want to encourage you to muse on this topic. Muse on it, consider it, wrestle with it, ask God about it, dig into it, pursue it seek knock, ask for answers to this question. Because as you ruminate on it and reflect on it, and consider it for yourself. I think it’ll help to be really clarifying. And it’ll be a really incredible prayer exercise for you. So do it engage in this question. It’s actually something early on in my recovery, I remember thinking like, God, what, what is going on here with this? Why did you choose to for sex to be like it is? Why did you choose for this to be the avenue through which new life would be created? Why sex? God, what’s this about? Ask those kinds of questions. Ask the question, God, what does human sexuality say about you? What is your design, for a man for a husband and wife, for the husband to penetrate his wife, physically, for the wife, to open herself to her husband? For them to have that sexual embrace, for his seed to go into her? For her to receive that into herself? For to implant in an egg in her to create new life? What
does that say about you? What does it say about you? That a little baby a new life grows inside of the woman inside of the WAV, why did you choose that? Remember, people, he could have chosen to do this any way he wanted, but he chose to do it that way? What? Why? Why does he say it like that? Why did he choose to do it that way? Why a lifelong covenant just between one man and one woman? Why not multiple men multiple I mean, you know, we live in an age that’s that would suggest, first of all, like marriage doesn’t have to be lifelong. Second, sex doesn’t have to be reserved for marriage. Why not? Lots of people? Why not people the same sex? Is it just a rigid, arbitrary rule that God created? Or does it say something about what he is like? So let me just just to kind of prime the pump a little bit, let me go right to the to the sexual act itself. The and we may change the rating of the podcast when I say these things, but the man’s penis goes in the woman’s vagina, the man’s penis becomes erect, filled with blood, goes into the woman’s vagina, releases semen, the man’s seed into the woman. He can only do that as she trusts him as she opens herself to him. I mean, I think what we’re talking about there is is a picture of the gospel of a picture of God’s heart for us. That’s not to say that God is sexual, not to say that God wants to have sex with us. That’s to meet God in our image rather than the other way around. But it is to say that there’s something about God’s heart for us, that He longs to enter us and give us his life. If we would open interest ourselves to Him. His desire is there, his desire is there. And it is strong, passionate, desire to be one with us, to impart life to us. Why? Out of love, he wants to impart his life because he loves us. Now, it doesn’t take I mean, that’s, that’s a picture of the gospel. And we can flip it all around and say, Well, so what is what is pornography? What is sexual sin convey there? What does sex outside of marriage? What does being expendable to somebody, you know, like, Yep, I had sex with this person. And then this person, this person and this person, what kind of image does that convey? What kind of God would that be if that was God’s image? And I think as we as we muse on these things, and consider these things, we start to get a greater clarity about why God has said no to sexual sin and why he says yes, to his design for sex. This is part of what Christopher West writes about. And I want to recommend this book to you. I’ve got a copy here in front of me. It’s called our bodies tell God’s story. Our bodies tell God’s story discovering the divine plan for love, sex and gender written by Christopher West. And Christopher is a friend of mine, he’s Roman Catholic brother. In this book he has written specifically for non Roman Catholic Christians, who who desire to go deeper into this mystery that that Paul writes about in Ephesians, five when he says that the husband and the wife the marriage can husband, wife and a husband, loving his wife is really a mystery that is pointing to Christ, the bridegroom loving his bride, the Church. And Christopher does a great job in this book, expounding on it. And I want to read just one portion of this just to give you another taste of this. He writes, let’s be more specific. How does Genesis 224 And that’s where the Jesus quotes is actually in Matthew. Genesis 224 says, For this reason, a man shall leave his father mother be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. He says, How does Genesis 224 refer to Christ and the church? Christ, the new Adam, left his father in heaven. He also left the home of his mother on earth. Why? To give up his body for his bride the church so that she might enter into holy communion with Him. In the breaking of the bread, quote, Christ is united with his body, as the bridegroom with the bride. All this is contained in the Letter to the Ephesians, especially Ephesians. Five. In that beautiful, there’s something about God’s heart for us that is conveyed through sex. And so if we categorize our own journey towards sexual integrity and our desire to think about pure thoughts, as we can’t think about sexual things, then we miss this whole mystery. First of all, we remove for ourselves, what we’re aiming for. And then equally or more important, we remove from ourselves our capacity to begin knowing God more deeply through the mystery of what he has created, what he’s sewn into our bodies as male and female, and what He has given us in His Word about his design, that sex be between one man, one woman in a loving relationship for life. Lord, continue to open our eyes and I pray for those listening, that this conversation today would be something that just kind of prime the pump increase their curiosity, to explore this more deeply with you for their good that they might know you better, Lord, that I might know you better through this mystery that you have sewn into our bodies as those who bear your image male and female. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.