As I mentioned in my last post, this month, the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association is hosting a challenge to it’s members: four topics to write about during the month of October. I got my Words of Wisdom from Family in a bit late, but I did get it done. So, we’ll see if I can get this one in on time. This week’s topic is “Words and wisdom from the Bible”.
You know, when you become a marriage (and sex) blogger, something happens…you are focusing on marriage (and sex) a lot more. You start to see advice, parallels, analogies and such, where you never did before. And you start seeing a lot more advice in the Bible too. In fact, you can open up just about any book in the Bible and find something (if you find an exception, let me know), because if you look at the relationship between God and His people as an analogy to the relationship between a husband and wife, then you can’t help but draw parallels in every passage. But there are some books that stand out in particular:
Genesis is an incredible book which name literally means “beginning”, and while many major denominations now claim the story is a myth, I personally still believe that it is a true accounting of our creation. Starting with Genesis 2, we see “the man”‘s purpose in creation (to protect the garden, which he failed at). We see “the woman”‘s purpose in creation (to be a “helpmeet” for “the man”). We see the hierarchy within the household (“the man” naming his wife, signifying dominion). We then see how families are to be structured in verse 24 (a husband and wife as their own family unit), and to finish off the chapter, we see “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.” How is that for a statement of how God esteems sexuality within a marriage? He created them to be comfortable naked in front of each other.
Genesis 3 further explains our purposes in creation and the hardships we would face due to our fallen nature. These simple statements from God in verses 16-19 can shed so much light on our marriages that books could be written about them. But, right over that, we see love abound. Adam renames his wife, showing his taking responsibility for her. God clothes his children, showing He still loves them. What an amazing message for our families, that even in our, and their, weakest moments, we should show love to our spouses and our children.
And we can learn more from Genesis. Abraham taught us a lot of the lessons are what NOT to do. The story of Abram and Hagar shows us, among other things, the devastation that an affair can bring to marriage, even if your spouse wants you to sleep with someone else. Genesis is the first book to teach us to find spouses whose beliefs match our own, that multiple wives only brings discord, even though it happened so often in that book.
It just keeps going on. Nearly every marriage in this book can teach you something, even if that something is what not to do.
Jumping ahead, we get to Solomon’s writings. Proverbs again has a wealth of insight on a great many topics, not least of which is about marriage. They are mostly short little passages with almost no context, but if you take the time to study and learn them, they can bring incredible wisdom. Each little phrase has enough in it to write paragraphs on.
The Song of Solomon is an entire book devoted to married sexuality. It is an incredibly deep work of art. A manual, of sorts, on how sexuality should be treated in a Christian marriage, while still being able to hide it in plain site if the kids should read it before they are ready. If you want a good book to study this with, I highly suggest Intimacy Ignited (review coming soon).
Lastly, I want to touch on Paul’s writings. He doesn’t have one book on the subject of marriage, but rather his marital advice is spread about his writings like seed cast across a field. There are the staples like 1 Corinthians 7, Colossians 3, Hebrews 13, 1 Peter 3 and Ephesians 5, but there are more as well. Laced throughout his letters to the churches and to his fellow evangelists are little tidbits dealing with marriage, household management, and sexuality.
Of course, this is not a complete list and I purposely left out Jesus, because I think most people know His words best. In short, I think the entire Bible (with the possible exception of large chunks of Numbers) has practical advice for marriage. I highly suggest reading it cover to cover. It’s not as overwhelming a task as you think, you can do it, I’ve managed it a 3 times in the last 5 years. I say this not to brag, just to say it can be done.
What are your favorite lessons about marriage and sex from the Bible?