â€œTalk to Wisdom as to a sister.
Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptressâ€”
that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductressâ€¦
Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
not knowing that its flying life is over.
So, friends, listen to me,
take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.â€—Proverbs 1:4-5 & 21-27 (Message)
â€œPower without responsibility—the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.â€—Rudyard Kipling
â€œSex without love is violence.â€—Eric Jerome Dickey
Last Tuesday (February 26), the animated version of â€œBeowolfâ€ came out on DVD.
When it made its debut in theatres this past November, against my personal preference (just because Iâ€™m a scaredy cat with limited knowledge of Old English folklore), I went with a friend to see it. And you know what? Iâ€™m glad I did because the message was powerful and to this day, it still remains with me on a lot of levels.
Iâ€™m sure most of you are aware of the tale of Beowulf and the several characters that he encountered in this poem/story/movie, but who I want to focus on today is the, if you ask me, main antagonist, Grendelâ€™s mother. In the trailers for the film, this character was played by Angelina Jolie and she definitely did it justice. She was everything a man (and sadly these days, some women) would want a temptress to be: beautiful, seductive, soft-spoken and focusedâ€¦very focused on her prey (bookmark that). (Proverbs 31:30)
OK, just a headâ€™s up, she was also naked (along with some semi-graphic violence that took place in the movie) so before some of you (and you know who you are!) write me to ask why I said â€œgo and rent itâ€, Iâ€™m not necessarily recommending that you see the film (Matthew 18:9), but if you want the spiritual message that I got from personally experiencing it—especially if you are a man—please, keep reading.
Itâ€™s amazing the power that sex has. When used for good (love), it is very good (Genesis 2:18-25). Oh, but when it is bad (lust), it is so unbelievably destructive. Jude: 5-22 describes people who are motivated by lust as apostates who have a grim future ahead of them. They are people who â€œcause divisions, not having the Spirit.â€ (Verse 19)
We will get deeper into that in just a moment.
Anyway, if any of you read the â€œSex Education 101â€ email that I sent out last week, then you know that my current favorite author is Tim Alan Gardner (author of â€œSacred Sexâ€). If you are a single person, know that when John 10:10 tells us that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that Christ came so that we could live an ABUNDANT LIFE, this means he wants us to have the very definition of the (underlined) word: â€œpresent in greater quantityâ€; â€œmore than adequateâ€; â€œover-sufficientâ€.
That being said, since God made sex (yes, amazing to some but true) and he gave us his son so that we could have a â€œplentifulâ€ life, that would cause me to believe and accept that for those of us he called to be married (Jeremiah 33:3, I Corinthians 7:7—Message), this includes having an abundant sex life.
But if, like me, you have misused the gift of sex (whether physically, mentally or emotionally), you need some time to de and reprogram yourself before accepting such an amazing gift (Luke 12:48). As a matter of fact, in my prayer time recently, that is what God revealed to me: Far too many people are taking single sex (a curse) into the marital union (which he designed to be a blessing—Hebrews 13:4) without spending some time in â€œsexual detoxâ€. I mean, how insane would it be for two crack heads to get married without going into a treatment facility before hooking up? Would you be surprised if they robbed each other of house and home, if not killed each other two weeks after the ceremony?
It sounds crazy, but this is what single people who irresponsibly join together in marriage do all of the time. They take the poor sexual education they received before covenant and then try and apply it to â€œthe real worldâ€ of their married lives. It doesnâ€™t work and because of this, many fail miserably. Right now, I am working on an article called, â€œSingle Sexâ€ and I am listing all of the things it does to a person. One of the top consequences is that it makes you very selfish. Everything is about what you want, when you want it, how you want it. Why? Because the focus is you. Why wouldnâ€™t it be? When you are single, you are usually the top priority, right? I mean, if youâ€™re really honest with yourself (John 8:32), even the things you do to someone else is mainly for your ego. (Proverbs 16:18) God never intended for sex to be seen from this perspective:
â€œBut because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights].â€—I Corinthians 7:2-4 (AMP)
Sex is supposed to be a mutually loving and beneficial experience, but you canâ€™t â€œmake loveâ€ unless there IS love to begin with. There is a Montenegrin Proverb which states, â€œFor where there is love, there is no sin.â€ I just love that because it reminds us that for love to exist, God must be present (I John 4:8). I know we donâ€™t want like to talk about it, but where there is fornication (and adultery), as much as we may want to deny, ignore or not accept it (Galatians 5:17), God cannot dwell (Galatians 5:19-24) and where there is no God, death is pending.
Want proof? Just this morning, I was rereading Romans 1. If youâ€™ve never checked it out, it is a very sobering revelation. This is just a sneak peak, but you really should make the time to read the entire chapter on your own:
â€œClaiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).
For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, and the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another–men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.â€—Romans 1:22-27 (AMP)
Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that Godâ€™s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. I Corinthians 3:19 says that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. God made sex and so he would know how best to use/have it. However, the moment we take it upon ourselves to put our lofty opinions above God—in other words, the moment we say â€œscrew itâ€ and do what we want to do, thatâ€™s idolatry (Colossians 3:5) and it makes us no better than Lucifer (i.e., Satan) himself (Ezekiel 28). I know, right? That takes â€œsleeping with the enemyâ€ to a whole â€˜nother level!
Which brings me back to the story of Beowulf, Grendelâ€™s mother and why I think this message is especially for men (although Iâ€™m benefiting from it even as I write it out). In Chapter 7 (pages 134-137) of Tim Alan Gardnerâ€™s book (you really do need to get it, yaâ€™ll), he says a few things that must be quoted:
â€œWhen fun becomes the goal of sex, we pursue it at the expense of intimacy, passion, and long-term commitment.â€
â€œSex is to be fun, for sure. But if we make the fun the measuring stick by which we judge our [marital] sexual relationship, then we fall prey to the law of diminishing returns. And weâ€™ll never find true passion.â€
â€œOur culture has sold us on three lies about sex. First, pleasure and fun are the highest goals of sex. Second, passion is sustained by variety. And third, sexual freedom means doing what I want when I want. The lies have created a culture with an insatiable sexual appetite—insatiable because of the law of diminishing returns. Weâ€™re in the same situation that Paul described when he wrote about those who are separated from life in God: â€˜Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for moreâ€™ (Ephesians 4:19, emphasis added).â€
â€œEach new level of sexual excitement will fail at some point, only to be replaced by something else that also will run its course and prove boring in the end. Making pleasure our goal will guarantee that we never reach that goalâ€¦Passion is actually conceived and enhanced through commitment, serving each other, and seeking the welfare of your spouse. Efforts to increase variety in a coupleâ€™s sex life might temporarily starve off boredom, but it does nothing to create and deepen a coupleâ€™s passion. True passion is built not on the continual pursuit of more variety, but on the enjoyment of all the little pleasures that sharpen the anticipation of being together.â€
â€œTrue freedom is experienced when both partners enjoy sex within the boundaries of respecting one anotherâ€™s needs and preferences. IN HOLY SEX, WE ENJOY THE FREEDOM TO SERVE OUR MATES, NOT THE LICENSE TO EXPLOIT OUR MATES.â€
Exploit: to use selfishly for one’s own ends; to make use of selfishly or unethically; use or manipulate to one’s advantage.
â€œLet nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.â€—Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)
Iâ€™ve never been married, so Iâ€™ve never had holy sex, but Iâ€™ve had lots of single sex and there has been plenty of exploiting going around! For whatever reason, the Church and society tends to focus on how much men exploit women on a sexual level, but the movie â€œBeowulfâ€ so candidly depicted how when men settle for compromised sex, they too are manipulated.
â€œGod honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power. Until that time, remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not.
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than everâ€”the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.â€—I Corinthians 6:12-20 (Message)
Recently, I read an article entitled, â€œThe Value of Semenâ€ by Swami Sivananda Saraswati. In it he says, â€œSemen nourishes the physical body, the heart and the intellectâ€¦Semen is the quintessence of food or blood. One drop of semen in manufactured out of forty drops of blood according to modern medical scienceâ€¦Semen is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body. Just as sugar is all-pervading in the sugar-cane, butter in milk, so also, semen is pervading the whole body. Just as the butter milk is thin after the butter is removed, so also, semen is thinned by its wastage. The more the wastage of semen the more is the weaknessâ€¦Falling of semen brings death; preservation of semen gives life. Semen is the real vitality in men. It is the hidden treasure in man. It impartsâ€¦to the face and strength to the intellect.â€
Wow. It would appear that spiritual principles stand regardless. Many of us have been taught that fornication is wrong and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and unfortunately, some of us have chalked it up to some â€œreligious or outdated misinterpretationâ€ and here is a modern-day Indian homeopath who says the exact same thing that the Good Book does. What does all of Romans 6:23 say?
â€œFor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.â€Sex is a gift from God. When you have sex in the confines of marriage, it brings forth lifeâ€¦shoot, ABUNDANT LIFE. When a man is with his wife, because they are one, the semen is preserved. When a man goes into a woman that is not his wife, the semen falls and brings forth death. The vitality of a man, the hidden treasure of a man, the face and strength of his intellect are all severely compromised when he has sex outside of marriage.
Which is why (finally), the tale of â€œBeowulfâ€ is not as fictional as many of us would want to belief. In the film, this Scandinavian warrior came into a village and witnessed what a foul-spirited woman could do to destroy an entire kingdom. In this story, the very thing that brought King Hroogar temporary pleasure was the very thing that led to his unfortunate and untimely demise. The ironic thing is that even though Beowulf saw the kind of destruction Grendelâ€™s mother brought upon the people that he was called to protect, he too fell for her seductive whims, ultimately weakening him and leading him to his own obliteration.
Hmm. Again, we often want to belittle the power of biblical tales, but who does Beowulf sound a lot like? It rhymes with â€œMamsonâ€. 🙂 Here was a man who tore a lion apart with his bare hands (Judges 14:6) and yet lost his life in the lap of a woman (Judges 16:4-31), but not before the â€œfalling of semenâ€ at the hands of a prostitute right before meeting her (Judges 16:1-3).
The Bible goes on to say that Samsonâ€™s purpose was indeed fulfilled (Proverbs 16:4), but again, on this earth, Godâ€™s children are not just called to fulfill a purpose, but to live an abundant, â€œmore than we can ask or thinkâ€ (Ephesians 3:20) life! Fellas, I wonder how many of you are, at the very best internally chaotic, and at the worst totally bewildered all you canâ€™t push the â€œhoochie plateâ€ back. On the flip side, I wonder how many of you are working on Wall Street, driving a beamer, heading up a non-profit, living out your version of your dreams and thinking that you are the cream of the crop when the truth (John 8:32) of the matter is that your lack of self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) is keeping you from even scratching the surface of what God has in mind.
Just last night, I was talking to one of my favorite male friends and he was explaining to me how heâ€™s gotta have sex because â€œheâ€™s got needsâ€. I wonder how many of his true needs are going unmet because he canâ€™t get a hold of his flesh. Deeper yet, I wonder how much of his â€œneedâ€ is really a legitimate need and not just a junkie fix? In a poem I wrote over ten years ago, thereâ€™s a line that says, â€œGod promised to give me the desires of my heart, not the aid to my addiction.â€ (Psalm 37:4). Since sex was never made with single-partakers in mind, I wonder how many of us have taken the time to consider if itâ€™s not so much about â€œneeding itâ€ as it is we are cursed, drunk, addicted to our own flesh; something that God has told us would destroy us if we didnâ€™t (with his help) get (and keep) in check.
Am I saying that having sexual desires are wrong? Uh-uh. As a matter of fact, if you had none, that would cause reason for concern. As Iâ€™ve been saying to a few people as of late, â€œdormant is not deadâ€. Iâ€™m just saying that I am getting to a place where Iâ€™m tired of settling for what I can get in my own power, which at the end of the day and a list of â€œguys who ainâ€™t mineâ€ later, really ainâ€™t all that much. I Corinthians 2:5 says that our faith (Hebrews 11:1) should not rely on the wisdom of men, but the power of God, and the power of God is pretty powerful:
Weâ€™ve all heard and/or quoted: â€œEye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.â€ (I Corinthians 2:9). But, look at what directly follows this wonderful promise:
â€œBut God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.â€—I Corinthians 2:10 (NKJV)
The flesh canâ€™t get you access to the blessings of the spiritual. One of the blessings of the spiritual is godly, marital sex. Just last night, I was reading the February 25 issue of â€œNewsweekâ€ (itâ€™s the one with Michelle Obama on the cover). The entire piece is good, but there is one part that applies to this message:
â€œOnstage, Obama has introduced Michelle as â€œmy rockâ€—the person who keeps him focused and grounded.â€
The Proverbs 1 woman is a far cry from the Proverbs 31 wife. Ladies—and I am preaching to myself, PLEASE BELIEVE ME, the seductress does nothing but bring forth destruction. Itâ€™s the wife that keeps a man focused, grounded, loved and cherished so that he can be vital, strong and intellectual. We are not meant to drain men; we are to revitalize them. As singles, through our friendship. As wives, with our mind, body, soul and spirit. No matter what the â€œjunkieâ€ says that he needs, once he â€œsobers upâ€ he realizes that his â€œdrug of choiceâ€, even if itâ€™s illicit sex, was not good to or for him; it was killing him. And when a man realizes that something is killing him, if heâ€™s sane, he wonâ€™t stay around for long. (See why a lot of premarital sexual relationships donâ€™t last?)
Hey, donâ€™t take my word for it. Samson and Beowulf will vouch for me, Iâ€™m sure. Everything about you, fellas, is powerful. Get some self-control and TAKE YOUR POWER BACK. Youâ€™re gonna need it and your (future) queens are gonna expect it.
Â©Shellie R. Warren/2008
Speaking of â€œtaking your power backâ€, whether married or single, take a moment and check out this website: www.relevantchurch.com. Iâ€™m about a week off from sharing it, but I think what you see just may surprise (and encourage) you!