Your life and your sexual stewardship are testifying to a divine narrative. Whatever role you are currently filling—whether by choice or circumstance—submit your all to His glory and trust His loving design for your fulfillment in every stage.
In singleness, our lives represent the verb form of hope—an active waiting, serving, growing, becoming. Adam and Eve began single before they were joined. God’s people were “single” before our “betrothal” to Christ where we now stand and await total and final union. The Story cannot be told without a compelling origin symbolized by singles and the meaning they carry in their very being. Single men and women, young and old, whether they desire to marry or desire to remain, have a distinct opportunity to show the world a physical picture of what it looks like to rest in the love of the Father, to work diligently at reaping a glorious harvest of souls, to use their bodies to run and jump and build and express life.
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.”
Think of those you know who are engaged or think back on your own engagement. Forget the table linens, the invitation font choices, and all of the inane details and think instead of the real preparation. There were important tasks to attend to, people to celebrate with, vows to recite and keep, suitable living arrangements to find. But more than that, think of the deep longing to finally be completely together, making yourself ready to become one—heart, mind, body and soul—with another person. When a man and a woman are engaged, they are in constant pursuit of one another, fighting for unity. Everything seems to bubble up during this time: buried family drama, past baggage, misaligned hopes and expectations. And yet there is great joy in moving hand in hand toward that day with the love of your life. This is where we are. We are one body, The Bride, and we are progressing toward That Final Day when we will be with Him forever.
“Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready”
In marriage, we are living, breathing depictions of the noun form of hope. The object of all of our waiting and longing is to be with Him. This is why marriage and the marriage bed are to be held in honor among all. The sexual union of husband and wife is the coming together of two image bearers of God. Pause for just a moment: the union of husband and wife is the union of two image bearers. There is no more concentrated reflection of God than this! Is there any wonder why the enemy attacks our sexuality and our unity like he does? Though we’ve marred the experience almost beyond recognition with our brokenness and wickedness, the intricate, intentional design of every body part, every quickened heartbeat and every aspect of how man and woman fit together is meant to testify to a potent truth: marriage is the full acceptance of another’s absolute nakedness. Where there are flaws and wounds, we cling to one another with a deep sense of beauty and belonging. This must be kept sacred, this must be the goal and this must be contested for with tears and ongoing repentance, with sweat and ongoing fervor. Marriage and the sexual union within marriage imperfectly, but powerfully reflect the radiance and completeness of our future oneness with Him.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
To read the full article about God’s Story of Sex and upgrade your coffee table into a place of profound ministry, get your copy of A World Free Vol. 3 / Deeper. This one is especially rich and timely for Valentine’s Day!