Posts tagged sex
It is poetic, full of passion and, at times, even erotic. It contains themes that are not exactly PG. In fact, if text similar to Song of Solomon were introduced into public school curriculum, most parents would be up in arms – especially Christian parents. So, why is this in the Bible?
Well, I think the answer requires some self-reflection. In fact, the better question might be, “Why are we so uptight about human sexuality?” Let’s face it, we were made this way. As Cherith Fee Nordling famously tells her seminary students, “Jesus had a penis!” (For an absolutely compelling talk from Cherith, click HERE.)
With his “Song of Songs”, as it’s called in some Bibles, Solomon seems to confirm what we’ve suspected all along. Those feelings – emotional and physical – that we experience when we are initially attracted to, then in relationship with and eventually married to another person – those are perfectly normal and legitimate. In fact, rather than discouraging them, Solomon seeks to put those feelings into proper perspective.
One thing that you’ll notice as the book goes along is that the actions of the “She” and “He” escalate. The first few chapters of the song are full of observation, with some physical touch. Lots of looking and dreaming with a little bit of kissing and embracing. Sounds like high school!
Then, in chapter 3, Solomon comes to make the woman his bride. It is an engagement of sorts. And the language changes. All of a sudden there is more longing, more expectancy of what is to come. Again, this is a very familiar feeling for those who have ever been engaged. You get the sense from reading the passages that thee two are just about to explode.
Then, in chapter 4, the language changes again. Solomon begins to call the woman, “my bride”. This is a transition into marriage, which is quickly followed by chapter 5:
I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk. (Song of Solomon 5:1)
The “deed” has been done. And you notice the friends celebrating the consummation of the marriage (something that was common back then, but might be a little awkward today). From that point on, we see this back and forth where the “He” desires the “She” and vice versa whenever they are apart.
It has been suggested that Song of Solomon is an allegory for the church and our relationship with God. Some will insist on this fact (primarily, I believe, because they are so otherwise uncomfortable with the subject matter). Indeed, it may have been intended to serve that purpose. But even if it isn’t, I think this song serves a wonderful purpose. It reminds us how relationships should progress, the way that we become one with each other and the way our initial attractions and emotions blossom into unquenchable love.
In some ways, Song of Solomon points to a connection between the deepest desires of human beings and the deepest seeds of the creator. Everything good and every great pleasure comes from God and, on this occasion, Solomon seeks to remind us that to ignore the obvious pleasures of our human condition is to ignore a part of what God has created in us.
I guess Solomon had a penis, too!
The story of Samson and Delilah is one that has been told countless times in children’s classrooms in churches all over the world. And, as it’s told, Samson is a very strong man with one incredible weakness. The weakness, according to the teacher, is that if Samson’s hair is ever cut, he loses all his strength.
Now, while that’s technically true, I think the kid version of this story usually misses the point. You see, shaving Samson’s head may have made him physically weak, but he had a glaring weakness long before Delilah had those locks removed. Samson’s downfall and his biggest weakness was his lust for sexual fulfillment.
In the words of Rick Joyner in Every Man’s Battle:
You got into this mess by being male; you’ll get out of it by being a man.
You see, Samson had a guy problem…and his guy problem was women. He was intoxicated by beautiful women. Just prior to the Delilah episode, the writer of Judges reveals to us (seemingly just to indicate a patter of behavior) that Samson spent the night with a prostitute. Now, I’m pretty sure that Samson’s dedication to his Nazirite vow did not include sleeping with prostitutes!
Nevertheless, Samson’s “maleness” and his inability to control his own desires would ultimately lead to his capture, imprisonment and eventual death. What’s troubling is that thousands of years later, that same desire and lack of control leads to the imprisonment of so many men and women today.
One only has to look at the flourishing pornography industry to see that there is a problem with humanity. Sure, our lustful desire may not end up with us being physically captured and thrown in jail (although some have taken paths that led them that direction) but there is a mental prison that people get locked up in.
Sexual addiction is like any other addiction in that is will destroy you and your family, cause you to loose your job and loose friends and, every often, lose money. But unlike most other addictions, in today’s world, sexual addiction is extremely easy to “feed.” The internet is loaded with options for those seeking unsavory material. It’s graphic, free and abundant. And so, unlike the junkie who can’t get their next fix because they don’t have the money, the sex addict can hop on the net any time day or night, without money, but with a whole lot of anonymity and indulge in whatever world they choose to indulge in.
So, how to we fight it? How do we keep from falling into the trap that Samson fell into – one where his desires became his undoing. I think, in the words of Rick Joyner, that we have to “be a man.” Fortunately, just as there are all kinds of sexual traps on the web, there is also help. If you or a friend find yourself searching for the former, here are some sites that offer the latter:
Peer Accountability & Filtering
These services offer not only the ability to filter what websites are accessible to your computer, but also offer the option of inviting friends to join you as you work through this issue in your life. Let’s face it, knowing that your friends will see what you’re surfing is a pretty solid deterrent for most people. Here are some good options for this type of service.
Covenant Eyes – www.covenanteyes.com
X3 Watch – www.x3watch.com
For those not quite ready to “get personal,” these sites offer a good first step. Some are more easily circumventable than others, but the reality is that if you want to access something badly enough, you will. However, consider this the double combination lock on the liquor cabinet. The services below offer a good amount of resistance to keep your impulses from getting the best of you.
Integrity Online – www.integrity.com
K9 Web Protection – www.k9webprotection.com
Happy surfing! May the internet be a place of spiritual refreshing along your journey instead of a minefield.