Monday, January 18, 2010

How Spiritual is Sex?

“Let my lover come into his garden

and taste its choice fruits.”

~Song of Songs 4:16c (NIV).

The Soprano wants her lover, badly. The time is seasoned with the faint though pungent smell of hope, the bed with myrrh and aloes. She waits for her lover to return and she has sumptuous designs of him on her mind and heart. Her breath expectant, her skin aglow—she knows that tonight they will make love long and hard into the darkest hours.

A sexless Bible? Never! Can sex be spiritual? Of course it can.

Spirituality and sex have co-existed since the very dawn of creation, if only love is concerned. We know God is love and that the best sex is to be founded in love. That these loves are different loves is inconsequential. Its premise is the same.

Sex is power, a good power, notwithstanding the evils. With it is mystery; a quasi-religious power.[1] The power of love in sex is made as true in every sweet couple returning from a thirtieth wedding anniversary outing to consummate the occasion as it is with a newly wed couple ‘going at it’ for the very first time. Performance has nothing quite to do with it. It’s earnestness of intent in its purest form. It is one given for another; a folding, turning resplendence of utter devotedness.

For the Soprano and the Tenor they sing their love to each other. Their ways are poetic; a profuse majesty; a symphony of splendour—an art form. Outdoing each other in love is a selfless act at the extremes.

Each has their garden (their bodies) and has offered it freely to the other—to pick, eat and drink extravagantly, wantonly, lusciously—until the heart’s content, and beyond. No limits find this sexy love. It creates and inspires and knows no bounds. It gives and gives, then gives some more, and travels in any direction it cares to choose.

If sex is so spiritual, where is God? Good question.

He gives his blessing to the love. Where there is good love there is good sex. But it’s even more fundamental than that. God issued a command right at the beginning that “a man will... be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) This means many things, spiritually, but it also means they will literally become one flesh. I don’t know about you, but I read “sex” into that.

But, it’s even more fundamental. God is present in all ways. He is even present during the act of sex. He is even more present (in our mindfulness) if we invite him in; into the act itself.

God blesses it and it becomes a spiritual event to the accord we give it that meaning.

So, the answer to the question, ‘How spiritual is sex?’ You answer it. Only you and your partner can.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Duane Garrett & Paul R. House, Song of Songs/Lamentations – Word Biblical Commentary (23B) (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004), p. 201.

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