Sex in Marriage & the Single Life

 
 
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Today we start this series, “Ummm… Stuff the bible says about relationships you didn’t know” and we are starting off with a doozy!  Today, I’m conquering the topics of sex in marriage and what about being single?  Tune in this week and each week in February to get some of God’s advice for making your relationships killer! Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (https://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (https://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)

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MEMORIZE: Romans 12:1-2SCRIPTURE STUDY: 1 Corinthians 6 & 7 ————————-
OPENING ILLUSTRATION:Have you ever been thoroughly shocked?  One of the times I was completely shocked was in High school, I had gone to a school dance.  I needed to go to the bathroom, and my school was huge, the dance was being held in an area of the school that I didn’t normally go to.  I ran out of the dance, not wanting to miss anything and ran into the bathroom.  I found an empty stall and did my business.  I came out and when I came out, I noticed something really weird.  There weren’t any urinals.  I remember thinking to myself, “why wouldn’t they put any urinals in here…”  I walked out and I thought, “you know it’s weird, this bathroom is on the other side from every other bathroom in the school”.  Then I turned around and looked at the sign by the door.  Yup, you guessed it, I was in the women’s restroom.  Ahhhhh! 
I was mortified.
Over the past few years, I’ve started to feel that same feeling about the world that we live in…
Like, I’m in the wrong place…
Let me explain what I mean. Our world has changed drastically over the past couple of decades and a few years ago I felt like I woke up one day and realized that the room I thought I was in was not the room I was in at all…
It has struck me as significant that the culture of America is not the culture of the Kingdom of God
As a matter of fact, I would say if you live according the culture of Jesus you will be looked at as weird, out of touch, misunderstood and a whole host of other things.
The problem is, I’m not sure YOU know that…One of the huge areas this is the most prevalent is in the way we deal with sex, marriage and sexuality.
Opening up the culture divide:here’s the deal, if you have chosen to follow Jesus, what I’m about to lay out is the biblical expectation for these things.  My guess is, it may have some of you going, ummm… Because you are claiming to know God but living completely contrary to what we know about God…
So, today, we are going to hit three different areas – buckle your seatbelts, because we’re gonna hit this
What does the bible say about the marriage relationship and sex?
1 Corinthians 7:1-7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever had a friend who makes you thankful for your life?  I mean you talk to them and everything’s horrible, their dog died, their wife left, their pickup truck fell apart?  You get done hanging out with them and you think, “I’m glad I’m not that guy!” 
The Corinthian church – the people this letter is being written to – they are that guy…
Actually, a big part of the letter is written to deal with the fact that a guy was having sex with his fathers wife. 
They were a mess, not only were they doing crazy things like that, but Corinth also had the temple of Aphrodite in it… You could go to the temple and pay to have sex with one of the prostitutes in worship of Aphrodite This was such a big deal that sailors who came to Corinth had a little saying:Not for every man is the voyage to KorinthosIt’s into this culture that is over sexed and full of lust that Paul writes his words…“since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband.”
Paul’s solution for the married person to their sexual immorality – the word here is Porneia – some scholars think he’s talking about the prostitution – that men were not getting sex at home and going to the temple to have sex Men, get out your pens, because you are going to want to write down what I’m about to say…Pauls practical advice for these Christians was to have sex with their spouse – Regularly
5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.In verse 5 he even says to not deprive each other for too long, except to devote yourselves to prayer – I have NEVER had someone say, “We’re not having sex in our marriage so we can pray more…
What Paul says very clearly is – you need to engage in caring for one another sexual needs…
Did you notice that I skipped a couple verses though? I wanted to get you excited and then give you a reality check -before Paul tells you that you should be having regular sex to avoid temptation he says this:3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.
Paul’s admonition to the married person is that You are not your own.Men, I believe it is your job to lead in this – to yield your body to your wife -some of you are thinking, done, easy -but I believe Paul is talking more than about you giving yourself for sex whenever she desires it
I believe Paul is talking about treating your wife in a way that makes her want to have sex with you-men, when was the last time you held your wife and prayed over her? -When was the last time you sat down and asked her how she was doingCheck her RPM’s How she’s doing Relationally, Physically, Mentally, Spiritually
Paul is saying to you, as the husband of your wife, your body is not your body, it’s hers – you have become one in flesh…
So, takeawayWives, have sex with your husband regularly – it will help keep him from temptation, men, make it easy for your wife to want to have sex with you by being a man who leads her well.
What does the bible say about Singleness?
ILLUSTRATION:I was single till I was 27 years old, and I’ll tell you, in the church – it’s not easy to be single.  Most of what what churches focus on is on married people.  But the reality is singleness in our culture is growing rapidly.
“In 2017, the U.S. census reported 110.6 million unmarried people over the age of 18—that’s 45.2 percent of the American adult population.  In 1960, 72 percent of adults were married. Among today’s growing single population, 63 percent have never been married, 23 percent are divorced, and 13 percent are widowed. Of that staggering single population, the majority of which are living independently of their own accord, 53 percent of singles are women.”
What does the bible have to say for the person who is single?Single by choicethere was a time when Jesus was talking about divorce – we’ll hit that next week.  But basically, He said, “it’s not God’s way”.  His disciples crack me up, because they are like, “why would you ever get married then if there’s no escape clause”  To which, Jesus answers this…  Listen…  Matthew 19:1212 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Jesus says this peculiar thing about there being eunuchs who are born that way Eunichs were servants of royalty who had been castrated-this would protect you from them wanting to do things to the women in the family and it would alleviate them of family – they would be completely devoted to the kingdom
Jesus is saying, some people are born without body parts, some are made that way but there is a special group of people who choose to live like that in order to live for God completely
The one who can accept this should accept itCan I just speak to those of you who are single?
You are not less because you aren’t married
Jesus wasn’t married and what He is saying is that your life can be completely devoted to God when you are single and if you can accept it you should
Our world is SO crazy obsessed with sex that we miss using your body for something even greater, as a living sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.this is why Paul says 1 Cor. 7:32-35, 39 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. 39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
Just a quick side note, for those of you who are single and want to get married, Paul’s instruction is Marry who you want, but they must belong to Jesus-stop fooling around with people who don’t love Jesus -you are dividing your house and I’m telling you, that is a difficult road to walk
So, what about those who would say,Single and NOT my choice ILLUSTRATION: this is where I was as a single person.  I wanted kids like crazy, I wanted to share my life with someone else.  I craved just human touch.  I used my singleness for God’s kingdom – I would work all day and sometimes all night on things for the church I worked at, but inside, there was a deep sadness. 
Pauls words were true for me1 Corinthians 7:8-9 8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
burning with passion and not just for sexual fulfillment, but for all of the companionship, and children.  I struggled.
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: So, I was struggling, and I’ll never forget the night that I was reading my bible.  I had been really dealing with the idea that I might be single for the rest of my life.  Struggling with it.  and I read this passage…Isaiah 56:3-5 Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,    “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And let no eunuch complain,    “I am only a dry tree.”4 For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,    who choose what pleases me    and hold fast to my covenant— 5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls    a memorial and a name    better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name    that will endure forever.
In that moment, I read God’s word and it hit me.  He knew me.  He knew that my heart ached to have children.  That I was like a dry tree, but He was saying to me – that if I love Him, he will give me something better.  He will give me an everlasting name that will endure forever. I thought this whole time I was alone, that I was unknown, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. 
God was watching and knew me…
Look, sexuality is one of the most pervasive, hidden sins in our country today – because we’ve been taught we are animals with animal instincts – sexual people.
And some of you have bought into that lie and it’s killing you -I want to offer to you today the life that Jesus offers – that you can be made new in Him and find true life in him.  Dying to yourself and recognizing that Your primary identity is in being an image bearer of God, not in being a sexual being.