Vail Daily column: The Bible and sex
Ryan Summerlin January 15, 2014
Did I read that correctly? Does the Holy Bible actually speak to the issue of sex? It does. It actually commands men to get drunk. It does. Want to know more? Well let’s get nerdy for a moment. The phrase literally says, “Be intoxicated always in her love.” The term for intoxication means “to swerve, meander, reel, roll, be intoxicated, err (in drunkenness).” The phrase comes from the wisest human who ever lived, King Solomon of Israel. It is in the book of Proverbs chapter 5, verse 19. OK, now that we have the scholastic portion out of the way, we can safely say, yes, the Bible commands men to be drunk. But it is not a debauchery that comes from too many cold ones consumed at one’s favorite watering hole. It is intoxication, but it is in “her love.” Reading in context you see Solomon is teaching his sons about manhood. He is showing them that men should pursue marriage with a woman and then be exhilarated in the love of his wife. She is “wife of his youth” and her breasts are to satisfy him with joy at all times. It says that, too.
That fact that this might be a surprise to some shows that we need to hear more about sex from another point of view, a biblical one. We live in a world today that is truly confused when it comes to love, marriage, romance and sex. When left to our own wisdom, we look for love in all the wrong places. The confusion results in broken lives. When it comes specifically to sex and romance, what was meant from the beginning to unite a man and a woman tears them apart. What was designed by God for pleasure and with purpose has become painful and purposeless.
And let’s be honest, the church has not helped. A brief look at church history on the subject of sex shows us some crazy ways to avoid the topic. In 200 A.D. the church by decree encouraged people to fast from sex almost weekly and for long periods before major holidays. If followed, one could only have sex 44 days a year. Parts of Victorian England banned the showing of ankles — ankles, not breasts, but ankles. If that isn’t enough, a pastor’s wife from that era once wrote, “Give little, give seldom and most of all give grudgingly.” She said this to a young woman the night before her wedding. Thank you for that premarital counseling.
Late ’50s TV doesn’t give us much advice. The Cleavers had twin beds in the master bedroom. That’s weird. Thus, it is no surprise, the 1960s generation said to hell with the church. They wanted their sexual freedom. Anywhere, anytime, and with anyone; no one could tell them what was right or wrong. All you need is love. Tina Turner came along and sang that love was a second-hand emotion. Robert Palmer followed with, “I might as well face it I’m addicted to love.” And thus, I got married in an era when Christians trying to do the right thing told their youth sex is dirty, wrong and dangerous, save it for the one you love.
So where are we now? Today we see “Friends” as our models, the “Modern Family” on the rise, and all of this in a culture of “The New Normal” of “Two and a Half Men.” Well, guess what? The church decree isn’t the Bible. The pastor’s wife didn’t train the next generation in the truth. The sexual revolution of the ’60s succeeded in overthrowing morals and destroying lives. The Cleavers didn’t help. The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Mr. Simply Irresistible were wrong. Who’s right? Where do we turn? God. His word. He created sex. He wrote about it, and it needs to be preached.
This Sunday, Eagle Bible Church will be opening God’s word to Song of Solomon chapter 1, verse 1. Over the next six to eight weeks, we will walk verse by verse through the whole book. It is our prayer that God would be honored, lives would be changed and marriages strengthened. It’s the greatest song ever. And it is about sex and romance to God’s glory. We invite you to be there. We want you to see the beauty of the Bible and all it has to say about the subject. All are invited. Single, engaged, married, young or old, all are welcome. If your marriage is troubled or terrific, the Song of Solomon addresses an issue we all need to grow in. The service begins at 10 a.m. at Brush Creek Elementary in Eagle. We hope you join us.
Judd Rumley is lead pastor of Eagle Bible Church.