Real Marriage Conference – Session #4: Can We [insert something sexual]? with Q&A

Real Marriage Conference – Session #4: Can We [insert something sexual]? with Q&A

HAHA… I hope the double entendre of title isn’t too much!

This is the last post in the Real Marriage Conference series and covers the final session… “Can We __________? (fill in the blank with your sex question)”. Christian married couples often wonder, “Can my spouse and I [do some specific sexual activity]?” This question is NOT uncommon. This discussion in popular culture is also NOT uncommon… it is just uncommon in church and/or in public forums related to church.

Part One of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #1: Friend (Not Plural!) With Benefits.

Part Two of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #2: Sex: God, Gross, or Gift? with Q&A.

Part Three of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #3: Selfish Lovers vs. Servant Lovers with Q&A.

After extensive Bible study and prayer, the Driscolls created a compelling framework for answering this question. Their goal was NOT to create a list of YES or NO answers to everything that can happen in the marriage bedroom. The reality is that scripture does not do that. Therefore, the framework is meant to assist couples as they discuss, pray, and consider their interests and curiosities. Pastor Mark and Grace are also clear to note they are explaining what a married couple MAY do, NOT what they MUST do.

In the book, Pastor Mark and Grace talked about the framework for answering sexuality related questions. They also go through a collection of specific questions related to: masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, sex toys, menstrual sex, role-playing, birth control, cosmetic surgery, cyber sex, sexual medication, and marital sexual assault. At the Real Marriage Conference, Pastor Mark only talked through the framework, NOT the specific activity questions. Buy the book if you would like to read the answers to the specific questions.

This is the chapter of the book that caused a LOT of controversy for Mark and Grace Driscoll. More liberal folks complain they didn’t “go far enough”, while fundamentalists charge they “went to far”. It is important that Christian married couples have appropriate information and context for Biblical decision making related to sexuality. Christians make a lot of conclusions and accusations on this topic, often without sound Biblical reasoning.

They have also been negatively charged by some for not more thoroughly discussing the “heart motivation” aspects of this sex conversation (more related to the specific activities mentioned in the book). Most of the book and conference is about how the Holy Spirit transforms the heart, and that our intentions and heart condition matter in everything we do. Therefore, I will trust that principle extrapolates into this discussion.

The unfortunate reality is that in popular media and many sharky (and snarky) Christian circles, this chapter also somewhat eclipses / out-shines the rest of the book. For example, check out the full interview Mark and Grace did about this book as guests on Dr. Drew’s TV show:  http://pastormark.tv/2012/01/12/dr-drew. This is the fault of the media who mostly desire villify pastors (or Christianity) and sensationalize these discussions.

Again… Overall, the book is about celebrating God’s intentional design and purpose of marriage. Most of the book is about friendship and servanthood! Technically, this chapter is also about that, but just within the context of sexual intimacy between a married man and woman.

Now… onto the conference notes!

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Real Marriage Conference – Session #3: Selfish Lovers vs. Servant Lovers with Q&A

Real Marriage Conference – Session #3: Selfish Lovers vs. Servant Lovers with Q&A

Selfish is innate to the human condition! Due to the nature of sin, we are ALL sinful. That usually manifests itself as different types of selfishness. Pride is the default of the human heart. Selfish and “alive” are synonyms. That includes YOU and ME!

Under selfishness is pride. We think that whatever we want, desire, or are doing is more important than others’. We think, but don’t say… “Don’t inconvenience me with you… you and I should both agree on how important I am”. Selfish people get married and have miserable lovers… that’s just the way it works.

On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is Jesus… how would you rate your selfishness?

Our world and lives encourages selfishness.

Martin Luther said “Sin is the self bending in on the self”.

Part One of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #1: Friend (Not Plural!) With Benefits.

Part Two of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #2: Sex: God, Gross, or Gift? with Q&A.

Part Four of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #4: Can We [insert something sexual]? with Q&A.

Selfishness & Pride

Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”

Proverbs 16:5: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

  • “In pride… we don’t love or serve our spouses… we USE them for our desires and purposes.”
  • “Self esteem”, “self activation”, “positive self image”… all are pride.
  • In American culture, pride has become an extolled virtue, not a vice.
  • God’s Plan A is humility. His Plan B is humiliation.
  • We should pray to be clothed in humility. This enabled us to put on the cloak and disposition of Christ.
  • In Western  culture, pride is something that should be aspired to instead of repented of.
  • You can never be proud of your humility…. that defeats the reality of humility! However, you can be someone humbly pursuing humility.

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Real Marriage Conference – Session #2: Sex: God, Gross, or Gift? with Q&A

Real Marriage Conference – Session #2: Sex: God, Gross, or Gift? with Q&A

This second session of the Real Marriage Conference with Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll focused on the topic of sex.

It must be interesting for Pastor Mark and Grace to talk openly so often in front of thousands of people on this topic! All of the sessions were incredibly insightful, and this session was definitely not an exception.

Part One of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #1: Friend (Not Plural!) With Benefits.

Part Three of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #3: Selfish Lovers vs. Servant Lovers with Q&A.

Part Four of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #4: Can We [insert something sexual]? with Q&A.

The Beautiful Purity & Design of Sex BEFORE Sin

Genesis 2:18-25 contains the story of sex before sin.

Genesis 2:18-25:” 18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adamthere was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

The core message here, is that sex without shame, anxiety, pain, baggage… it was pure.

Below are a few other observations from this text:

  1. God made us male and female with equal dignity and differing roles.
  2. Love is more like a song than a math equation.
  3. Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design.
  4. God created our bodies and sexual pleasure “very good”.
  5. All sex outside marriage is a sin.
  6. Sex is to be without shame.
  7. Your standard of beauty is your spouse.

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Real Marriage Conference – Session #1: Friend (Not Plural!) With Benefits

Real Marriage Conference – Session #1: Friend (Not Plural!) With Benefits

Yesterday and today, my lovely wife and I went to the Real Marriage Conference, with Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll, at Crossroads Church in Corona, CA.

This post and the following posts are my notes from the event. After all the posts, I will also post general reflections.

Part Two of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #2: Sex: God, Gross, or Gift? with Q&A.

Part Three of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #3: Selfish Lovers vs. Servant Lovers with Q&A.

Part Four of the Real Marriage Conference Series –  Session #4: Can We [insert something sexual]? with Q&A.

  • Across all major research, the #1 thing that couples say they want is friendship.
  • Friendship is an eternal attribute of God. The God of the Bible exists in eternal friendship. Jesus had close friends and lived in community while on Earth. Another way to think about it… God is a friend who has friends.
  • The real problem in all relationships and in the world is sin, and the answer is Jesus.
  • Friendship with Jesus is the key to and the only way to have real friendship in your marriage. 
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