Successful Family Life, Sex and Romance part I
I want us to begin this series on sex and romance by dealing with The Gift Of Sex And Romance.
Did you ever consider the fact that your sexuality and the ability to express it as a male or female in romantic and intimate ways is a gift from God? Similar to the usual situations that all of us are familiar with, any gift can be abused or misused. The abuse of the gift of sexuality in mankind, in addition to the misuse of the gifts of freedom and the use of our will to make choices, probably rank together as number one on the list of misused gifts throughout history.
God created sex as a very strong, physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental means by which you and I can express and bond to the opposite sex in a permanent union called marriage. The sex passion is the strongest in the human body, and can therefore do the greatest damage to our bodies and relationships as well, if it spins out of control. We have to understand that every human being is actually made up of three primary components --- body, soul, and spirit. Most people do not know, understand, or consider that when you have sex with someone, your spirits actually enter into each other and engage in intense interactions that create a soul tie between the two people. At the end of the act, each of you leaves some part of you in the other person. It is quite difficult to understand and believe this, but I suppose when we die and become spirits outside of this physical body, we will gain better insight (but then it will be too late to return and make any amends or improve upon or sexual lifestyles).
God designed sex to be complex and spiritually-oriented the way it is, in order for it to be used to form a spiritually exclusive bond between one man and one woman in a holy, sacred institution of marriage. That is why fornication and adultery are terrible acts that destroy the body, mind, soul, and spirit of the perpetrators, because you force an alien bond that tremendously damages the real bond in your marriage, or disrupts the bond when the time comes to bond properly and legally with your legally accepted and appropriately chosen mate. It is like sticking a tape or plaster carelessly to places and removing them thoughtlessly until its capacity to bond is so reduced that when you now need to use it properly for its intended target and purpose, it is unable to bond well or cannot even bond at all. We shall discuss the details of this in another article, but the misuse of our sexual desires and instincts (including pornography on the internet and in magazines) is a major contributing factor that has caused the failed marriages, dysfunctional families, and frivolous carnal minds that plague society today. Too many people are marrying and romancing images and fantasies of other men and women in their minds and hearts instead of focusing on and enjoying their real spouses and partners. This is a major cause of dissatisfaction, weak bonds, disunity, mistreatment, callousness, lack of focus, disagreements, sexual un-fulfillment, separations, wasteful spending, dysfunctional families, and ultimate divorce for many marriages.
The human body is a gift from God, including all the attributes that go with it. Reproductive organs, sexual desires, and sexual expression, are therefore essential parts of God's gifts to mankind. We need to make some definitions clear here, before proceeding with our discourse, in order not to get our facts and conversation fuzzy along the way: 1) Sex refers to male or female gender, or the physiological and functional differences between the two genders. It is the third definition that is extra celebrated, stirs up excessive curiosity, sound alarm bells that draw ultimate attention, and whets all the appetites around the environment ---- sex also means sexual intercourse between a male or female (also known biologically as coitus or copulation). 2) Romance implies a love affair. It carries the idea of your whole mental, physical, and spiritual attitude and behavior towards someone you love. In my opinion sex is meant to make us more loving, romantic, tender, compassionate, and caring towards the one we have sex with. Sex should make us accept our spouse more and become content with him or her. That is why both parties must have the same best attitude towards sex, and play their part equally well in the process. If all these do not happen, then we have misunderstood and misused our gift of sex.
Romance goes hand in hand with affection. Affection is a fond or tender feeling towards another person, and can be expressed in many tender ways (gentle touch, a kiss or peck on the cheek or hand, a hug, a pat on the back, gentle words of love and appreciation, looks and facial expressions of love and affirmation, etc.) Later articles will deal with in-depth matters of affection. Some men and women are so unaffectionate that pieces of timber logs are not different from their manner of life in relationships! They are exactly like dead tree trunks everywhere in the house including their behavior on the marriage bed! Oh boy! What a life!
When someone or something is sexy, it implies that the person or thing arouses sexual desire. It can also imply over-expression of sexual instincts and desires. Another word is: erotic. If that is true, then for a general balanced life, we are to be romantic as the need arises, or have a romantic attitude in our marriages and love relationships. We are not to merely focus on being sexy beings in our lifestyle, since the state of being sexy should be exclusive for a properly defined sexual relationship within the context of marriage, or can refer to overuse and over-expression of our sexuality (even in our dressing, words, gestures, attitudes, entertainment, and way of thinking).
Romance involves the expression of your love for someone, which does not necessarily have to involve any sexual act at all. Some people erroneously think that the best (and only) way to exhibit romance to a man or woman you are courting is to have sex with him or her in order to “deepen” the love in the relationship and thereby show him or her that you are romantic. I beg to totally disagree (and many decent and principled individuals, especially morally upright and truly spiritual persons also think and agree that such a notion is wrong, and even sinful as well a violation of the person you have sex with outside of marriage.
I know that in some quarters I have violently shaken a huge beehive down the road, and the angry bees are scattered all over in a ferocious mode to sting and attack such an idea But when you sit and ponder constructively, don't you agree with me that you will not want a man to have sex with your daughter or romance her (as we sometimes say) before you hand her over to that man in an honourable and godly way that confers value and respect on your daughter, confer distinction on the holy institution of marriage that befits your honorable family, and promote sanity and godly progress of your society?
There are many people (especially men) who are very sexy but very unromantic! Several women are very traditional, legalistically bound by their outmoded culture, or too sanctimonious to express any love and affection. But the statistics I have obtained after counseling thousands of people across nations, clearly indicates that men are more unromantic in the arena of verbal and bodily expressions of love and affection, than women. They jump on their wives like an airplane making an emergency landing at a remote airport on a very cloudy day when the runway cannot be seen, without any real expression of love and tender affection towards the person they are having sex with. Their selfishness does not make them consider the welfare and satisfaction of their mate even for a minute! As a matter of fact they often leave the woman bruised, hurt, and unfulfilled ---- sometimes even angered.
Pitiable wives have shared distressing stories of husbands who now try on their wives, all the sexual enhancement drugs on the market plus the exotic styles they have fed their minds with in pornographic websites, videos, movies, DVD's, and magazines, and make the poor ladies guinea pigs in experiments of rough sex. Several of them lament as to how they sometimes even cry in bed with hot tears streaming down their faces, while the men simply bulldoze on inconsiderately. Some of the women also do not help the men at all, and simply refuse or neglect to be flexible and romantically participate to make the whole process meaningful and satisfying for their intimate relationship.
I know that it is not easy to talk about these matters publicly, but society is tragically suffering in homes and families behind the scenes, and these matters must be properly addressed by churches, fellowships, communities, organizations, and in discussions on the air, so that we know the dangers involved, and offer the teaching necessary for us to know how to handle our sexuality decently, appropriately, and productively. Sometimes some of the leaders in our churches and society who should address these issues are themselves struggling to keep their heads above water in their own bedrooms and marriage affairs! Lord, please help us!
Let me say something here --- Are you ready for this one?? I wish to point out that God almighty Himself is romantic and affectionate. Wow! It does not mean His mouth is watering after His wife or lady! No! It means God willingly and genuinely expresses his love and tender care for His creation, especially humans that He created in His express image. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (St. John 3:16) is a romantic statement. God is expressing His love, tender mercy, compassion, and desire for the well being of men and women that He loves, in a very passionate way. That is why the Bible even speaks about “giving a holy kiss to one another” (which is an affectionate peck on the cheek or hugging that has nothing to do with sex).
Sex and childbirth are two words that draw delightful attention in every culture under the sun. They form the skeleton to which the meat of marriage and family life is attached. Sex organs, sex desire, and sexual intercourse are vital for our survival and well-being, especially because they form an exclusive and sacred attribute for special enjoyment and bond of marital love that intricately weaves a man and a woman together in a mysterious, covenanted bond, whose by product is life in the form of a child, which further portrays the principle of two (husband and wife) becoming one (a child resulting from the mixture of two individuals). Sex is the vehicle on which humans ride to enter the world, and should be revered, deeply respected, cherished, engaged in at the appropriate time and by the authorized persons, expressed only in the way it was designed for, learned about, well performed, absolutely enjoyed meaningfully, and allowed to fulfill its God-intended role.
We all know that sea water and huge waves are intended to remain within the boundaries of the shore. Right? In December 2004 when circumstances were significantly and adversely altered in the originally designed environment in the ocean in Asia, the waters and the waves subsequently rose and raced above their normal limits and went beyond the prescribed boundaries in a catastrophic way. What did we get? Tsunami! How many sexual tsunamis have we had so far that have devastated marriages, homes, and families in our society? How many “sexual lions, tigers, and foxes” are rampaging in our communities and tearing uncontrollable old and young folk apart at this moment? How many sexual storms are presently gathering momentum to explode and shatter us to annihilation tomorrow?
Question: Single or married --- are you properly and wisely managing your God-given gift of sex and your general sex life, sexual desire, and sexual expressions with sensible self control and selfless expression, looking out for the best interests of those you relate to, and not being an unfortunate part of the sexual tsunamis, moral decadence, sexual violation of young people, sexual abuses in marriages, and general sexual abuse of today? How sexually faithful are you in your marriage or love relationship, by fulfilling the sexual needs of your mate or refraining from violating him or her sexually? Pause and thinks about it, make appropriate changes as necessary, then encourage and teach others to do the same. Allow the Lord to be your primary helper, and seek for further assistance from godly, wise, experienced adults as well as your peers who have your welfare and interest at heart.
About the author: Rev. Dr. Samuel A. Kisseadoo (Professor of Biology, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, USA); Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Inc (Evangelistic & Teaching Christian Ministry). Write to: 6 Red Robin Turn, Hampton, Virginia 23669, USA. Or, call: 757-7289330
In Ghana call Fruitful Ministries at: 233-20-8126533 or 233-276-322982 in Accra or 233-244-786658 in Kumasi.
E-mail: [email protected]
More information can be obtained in Dr. Kisseadoo's books: “Choosing a spouse and living a contented family life”, “Differences between men and women”, and “Fundamental and special needs of men and women”. Contact Dr. Kisseadoo directly, Fruitful Ministries, or Challenge Bookstores for copies.
Tune in and listen to: “Hope For Your Family” broadcast by Dr. Kisseadoo on JOY 99.7 FM every Sunday at 8:30pm (Ghana time)