Sex and the Glory of God . . . talk about a paradox! And yet is it? An entire book of the bible dedicated to deeply satisfying sexual intimacy. Something spectacularly beautiful created and designed for His Glory and our enjoyment . . . tainted, corrupted, perverted by sin. It’s time to reclaim the conversation about sex that the church has abdicated to the culture.
This post includes a excerpt from C. J. Mahaney’s book Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know. I would recommend this book to every man (there is a word for wives towards the end of the book written by C. J’s wife, Carolyn).
A smile crossed the king’s face as he dipped his quill into the inkwell one last time. With firm, smooth strokes the final lines flowed freely onto the parchment. Pushing back from his writing desk, he sighed with satisfaction. The project had gone very well. This was some fine work. Rising from the chair and lifting his hands to heaven, Solomon, the son of David, offered thanks to the Lord. Here, complete at last, was his greatest song, one of the most important pieces of writing he had ever done. With satisfaction he lowered his eyes to the finished work spread out before him. Today we call it the Song of Solomon(or the Song of Songs).
It’s about sex. In his lifetime Solomon would produce three thousand proverbs and more than a thousand songs and hymns. The son of a legendary king, and a great king himself, he would be esteemed in Scripture as the wisest man who had yet lived. And his Song of Songs is nothing less than an explicit and unblushing celebration of sex within marriage. To Solomon, this may have been simply a deeply personal reflection on love. But really it was much more than that. Because one day, as we know, it would be counted among the perfect and infallible words of Scripture, inerrantly inspired by the Holy Spirit and intended by God as a primary source of guidance for mankind until the return of the Son.
That’s right, gentlemen. Solomon’s Song of Songs is an entire book of the Bible devoted to the promotion of sexual intimacy within the covenant of marriage. It’s an eight-chapter feast of unbridled, uninhibited, joyous immersion in verbal and physical expressions of passion between a man and a woman. Not a couple of verses. Not a chapter or two. God didn’t consider that enough. He decided to give us a whole book!
But can the Song of Songs really be about sex? Isn’t the Bible about, well, spiritual stuff? It sure is. And sexual intimacy within marriage has profound spiritual significance. In fact, in the next chapter we’re going to take a quick look at what the Bible says about marriage. We’ll see that, above all else, marriage is spiritual. For now, though, let’s put ourselves back in King Solomon’s study. As husbands, we need to be clear about what this book is telling us. And when you want to understand what the Bible really means, you have to start with what the original writer actually meant. So I want us to take a moment to try to see through Solomon’s eyes.