Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sex and Worship: the doctor(s) are in

I'll be talking about this subject a lot from time to time. Just remembered a great article I read not too long ago with some great insight. The author interviewed 4 sex therapists who are in private practice together in Atlanta. One of the therapists is the oft-quoted Dr. Rosenau whose book happily resides on my recommended list. Here's what they had to say:

Q: You talk about worshiping God through sex. How can couples embrace that idea?
A: Christopher: Connect it to the scriptural principle of feasts. In the Old Testament God ordained feasts to celebrate his glory. What's a feast? It's eating sumptuous foods, drinking fine wines. If you do that without the right spirit, you get gluttony and drunkenness, and God is certainly not going to be worshiped. But if you worship in a feast while still having discipline, still having boundaries, God says he's greatly glorified.
Marital union is meant to be a feast—look at the Song of Songs. There's so much metaphor that is about feasting and fine wines and good rich foods. See it as another type of bodily feast as the two "consume" each other. It's the consummation of their oneness. They offer themselves for consummation, and God is glorified.

A: Doug: And that requires making sure couples give themselves permission to learn those disciplines—the discipline of feasting, of playfulness, of sensuality—and give themselves permission to be erotic, to be truly naked and unashamed.

A: Michael: A couple can really drink in and enjoy each other. But that means they have to slow down. They have to tune in to the sensuality of it, which is part of the beauty of it all.

Q: So just to bring this all back around. Playful sex can be worshipful sex?
A: Debra: Oh, yeah.

A: Michael: Very highly.

Q: Comfort sex can be worshipful sex.
A: Debra: Oh, yes.

Q: Quickie sex can be worshipful sex?
A: Debra: Yes, yes.

A: Christopher: Because we're talking about making love, not simply having sex, and it's flowing out of the rest of the spirit of the marriage. If they've been playful throughout the day, with little kitchen hugs, and notes in the lunch, or phone calls, or e-mails, or anything that is playful and loving—not necessarily sexual—then it naturally connects.

A: Doug: Structured optimal time for sex, such as every Friday night, can be worshipful like going to church from 10:30 to 12:00 on Sunday morning. But if all we have is structured time with God and never just hang out and "waste" time with him, we're probably never going to have the worship we'd like. Sometimes you have to do more than that 15 minutes or 45 minutes and have that wasting time together. It's all worshipful, but sometimes to get the connecting, intimate worship, you've got to do the extended time, too."

Dontcha just love that? Those guys and gal have got it goin' on! Heads and hearts in the right place and some counseling and marriage experience to boot!

The emphasis on Christopher's comment was mine, when he said "and it's flowing out of the rest of the spirit of the marriage." I think that's important. For many reasons. First of all, it's important that we are loving and enjoying and honoring and caring for our spouse all the time, not just while making love, and that we do so with an attitude of thankfulness and joy towards God. Second of all, I'm a wife and I write about hot married sex from that perspective. When I've experienced unfettered joy and worship during sex it was sex with my husband. Funny the details I forgot to mention when I was all starry-eyed and typing a mile-a-minute! -SW

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