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I remember when my husband and I were dating and engaged and would have discussions about money.
One thing he said back then (and we both still believe today) is that money is a tool. It is something entrusted to us by the Lord and we can either use it to bless or use it to harm.
Same could be said about sex.
When it comes to sex, we can either use it to bless or use it to harm. This tool of sex, when used in it's right context of marriage in a way God intended we use it, is indeed a blessing.
It blesses us individually and together as a married couple. Orgasm, bonding, endearment, spiritual and physical oneness. Yeah, I can't think of many marital blessings better than those.
As with any thing that is great provision from the Lord, it also has the potential to do harm.
To understand this, the example of money gives us a good picture.
I always find it fascinating when people rail against other people simply because they are financially wealthy. No other reason. They just don't like them because they are rich.
The people lofting judgment toward these rich people rarely ever know them, yet they are quick to write them off as being selfish or greedy or indifferent to the needs of the poor.
But the money itself is not the problem. It's how we use it.
There are many financially wealthy people who do indeed use the blessing of money to honor God. They honor Him in how they put funds behind the feeding of the poor, the care of the widow, the spreading of the Gospel, the building of churches and ministries. And they honor Him in how they conduct their business lives with integrity, fairness and ethical consideration.
Are there financially rich people who are careless or harmful with their money? Well, sure.
Couldn't all of the same be said about sex?
Sex is not the problem. It's how we use it.
And just like with money, the degree to which we can use it for harm is often revealed most when we comprehend the degree to which it can be used to bless.
All the sexual devastation in our society can be summarized this way: People using sex to harm.
Promiscuity. Sexually-suggestive advertising. Infidelity. Friends with benefits. Vulgar references to sex. Prostitution. Pornography. Pedophilia. Sexual abuse. Rape.
Those are the obvious ones, right?
But what about the more subtle sexual devastation happening in marriages?
Sexual refusal. Sexual manipulation. Sexual indifference.
Those of us who have spoken wedding vows can never realize the full blessing of sex until we reconcile these struggles.
We can use sex to bless. Or use it to harm.
Oh the irony that we would ever use it to harm the person who we sacredly vowed to love and honor. And the deeper irony is that in harming the person we love, we indeed are robbing ourselves as well.
And if you think there is an acceptable middle ground between "bless" and "harm," I've yet to find a loophole that we married folk can slip through.
I don't see in God's Word that He is well pleased when we handle sex with mere obligation.
Simply going through the motions.
Checking it off the ol' to-do list.
Just enough to keep our spouse's sexual aggravation at bay, but not quite enough emotional and physical investment to honestly say we handled with genuine care.
Just like with money, we can use sex to bless. Or use it to harm.
How are you using sex in your marriage?
Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.