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.

Your Standard of Beauty is Your Spouse

This is a simple, but wonderful and well articulated idea. By default, when you are married… your standard of beauty is your spouse. That means that whatever he/she is… is exactly what you love, like, want, and desire. God does not give us a standard of beauty, he gives us a spouse. 

Note: I LOVEEEEE this idea, and much more important, this reality!

If she is skinny… you LOVE skinny. If she is Asian, you LOVE Asian. If she is “formerly” skinny… you LOVE “formerly” skinny.

Sex as God…

Romans 12:1: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

1 Corinthians 10:7-87 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

  • In this perspective, sex is basically your identity, idol, and the dominating aspect of your “self”. Many people with this perspective probably won’t admit it.
  • This is typically common for men.
  • Scripture tells us, and God intentionally created, that what we do with our body is SPIRITUAL… and is our sacrifice.
  • To single people that are living together or having sex… their idols are sex or each other, and as they have sex, they literally turn their bed into a pagan altar, and their bodies into living sacrifices to the demonic.
  • We are all idolaters in various ways… the question is how… we should repent.
  • God uses hard words to create soft people. However, if a person only hears hard words they turn into hard people.
  • We worship the creator and enjoy / steward created things… Idolatry is worshiping the creatED instead of the creatOR.
  • The apex and crowning achievement of God’s creation are man and woman… there’s nothing more compelling, majestic, or magnificent in creation.

1 Corinthians 1:18-19,23-27: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them… made like corruptible man – and birds and tour-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of what woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving tin themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

  • This passage is clear and unapologetic about God’s design for man and woman as it relates to homosexuality.

The Proliferation of Pornography & Statistics

Check out these extremely alarming stats on pornography… additionally, these statistics are SIX YEARS OLD!

  • Annual pornography revenues are more than $90 BILLION worldwide!
  • Annual pornography revenue in the USA is $13 BILLION. That is more than ALL combined revenues of professional football, baseball, and basketball OR the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (only $6.2 BILLION!).
  • Porn sites account for 12 percent of ALL internet sites.
  • 90 PERCENT of children between the ages of eight and sixteen have viewed porn on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally.
  • The average age of first Internet porn exposure is ELEVEN!
  • The largest consumer category of Internet porn is 12 – 17 year old boys.

Sex as Gross…

Short Story on Song of Solomon

  • The Biblical text Song of Solomon is an extremely intimate account of a sexuality between a husband and wife.
  • In early Judaism, only married couples or people over 30 years old were allowed to read Song of Solomon because of it’s overtly and understood sexual content.
  • Early Christianity asserted an odd and incorrect allegory of Christ and the Church in an attempt to remove the sexual poetry from the book.
  • We can’t deny, ignore, or fabricate alternate reasons / excuses the book’s content… it is in the Spirit-penned Bible!

Sexuality: Dualism, Conservatism, and Unbiblical Ideology – “Sex as Gross”

  • This is typically common for women..
  • Dualism comes from ancient philosophical (and errant early Christian publications) ideology. Dualism essentially separates the spiritual as GOOD, and the physical as BAD.
  • Some conservative people are more conservative than GOD! Sex was created as a beautifully intimate and intensely pleasurable experience between a husband and wife.
  • In conservative Christianity and in teen/college church, some people teach sexuality as ONLY gross. That is BAD.
  • Single people are not supposed to turn off their sexuality… they are supposed to practice self control and redirect their focuses and energies.
  • Human orgasm affects the same parts of the brain that heroine and cocaine do… God intended it for pleasure!
  • Sometimes tragic life experiences make people have horribly negative associations / experiences with sex. Christ redeems that pain.
  • Pastor Mark shared a story about teaching at a church where he had multiple married couples who had been married for 1-2 years come up to him to ask him when it would be OK to consummated the marriage. OH WOW!!!! That is horribly sad… he said jokingly… “You leave this conference right now and take care of that!”… but that tells the story of the power teaching sex as ONLY gross! It is incorrect theology!

Sex as Gift… 6 Biblical Purposes

There are six specific purposes for sex in scripture

1. Pleasure (Song of Songs)

  • Song of Songs unequivocally teaches that sex is supposed to pleasurable.
  • This pleasure can lead to sin or can lead to appropriate worship of the Creator.

2. Children (Genesis 1:28) 

Genesis 1:28:  “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

We are called to populate the Earth and that children are blessings!

3. Knowledge (Genesis 4:1)

Genesis 4:1: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

Trust and intimacy are sacredly built between husband and wife, and couple and God.

4. Protection (1 corinthians 7:2-5)

1 corinthians 7:2-5: “2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Sex between husband and wife definitely safeguards against lust and sexual temptation!

5. Comfort (2 Samuel 12:24)

2 Samuel 12:24: “Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him.”

Sometimes in marriage we just want to feel safe, connected, vulnerable, special, intimate and alone together. Sometimes when bad things happen in life and we can’t “fix it”… we just want to be with our spouse.

6. Oneness (Genesis 2:24)

Genesis 2:24: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

  • In sex, two separate beings become one. That is a divine mystery only physically experienced in sex. This is also why premarital sex is so harmful to the soul, emotions, mind, and other relationships.
  • When women have sex a chemical is released into the body that is only experience otherwise when a woman breastfeeds. This chemical is intended to increase the connection between the woman and the baby… likewise, the presence during sex is intended to intimately connect the woman to the man she is having sex with.
  • Married couples should be ONE… connected theologically, emotionally, mentally, financially, biologically… increasingly grow into oneness.
  • It typically takes 7-9 years for a couple to mentally go from “me” to “we”. We are selfish for a long time…
  • The majority of divorces happen around year 7 of marriage… there is sociologically / statistical confirmation of the 7-year divorce itch in typical American marriages.
  • Couples who have been married 35 years or more report the same levels of joy, happiness, and pleasure as couples on a honeymoon!… because for 35 years they have become one.

Questions & Answers with Pastor Mark and Grace Driscoll

“Why are some guys scared to make the first move?”

  • Without the question or context… let’s assume this a single guy who doesn’t have the courage to pursue a gal…
  • You may need to have the courage to take the opportunity to be rejected. Be a man and approach the gal.
  • As a man, take the risk, introduce yourself… make it something simple, say “you seem nice, I would like to get to know you… yes or no?” And ladies can practice a godly witness and say yes or no. If no, the guy can respond and say “Thank you very much… please tell your girlfriends I was honorable”.
  • Ladies shouldn’t feel bad about a godly rudeness… and guys shouldn’t feel bad about being honest.
  • In a dating relationship, the guy should not make ANY move… there shouldn’t be any hint of sexual immorality. 
  • The goal in dating relationships is not “Where is the line?”… but, “When is the time?” Song of Solomon says to not awaken love before its time. 
  • Once you are in marriage… man or woman can initiate romantically and sexually.
  • Some women can be intimidating… but that isn’t always bad. However, women can be friendly.
  • The guy should explore why he does not have the courage to step out.

What if the friendship is there but the sex isn’t?

  • Assuming in the context of marriage… if it isn’t in the context of marriage… praise God, keep it like it is.
  • Sometimes there are underlying variables that can cause a couple to not be friendly with each other, such as “sex as God / gross”, fear, sexual assault, etc.
  • We should not see our partner’s sins as worse than ours.
  • As we are convicted, we should repent and not wait on the other.
  • There may be physiological problems, secret sings (e.g.: porn), abuse, life is too busy and the couple doesn’t take time away for face to face.
  • Sometimes we are afraid of intimacy because we are scared of being known. We can be afraid of rejection or honor lies from the enemy.

“As a single man pursuing Jesus, what is the best way I can prepare for when God brings my wife into my life?”

  •  Much of marriage is about serving… continue working on your relationship with Jesus, but also intentionally grow your serving gift… volunteer at church.
  • We tend to make a list of what we want in a spouse… instead make a list of who you see God wants you to be in a spouse… and grow in those so you can serve your future spouse.
  • Practical thing for single guys: journal and pray for your wife sometime. Use that as a way to have appropriately oriented affection and devotion even though you haven’t met her yet. Journal like crazy… and then when you meet, get to know, and get engaged to that girl… give her the journal! She would love that.
  • Just because you are single doesn’t mean you can’t be loving your wife right now… you just have to meet her eventually, that’s all.
  • This is a good question on how to intentionally get ready!

“How do I get my husband to pursue me more?”

  • Start with repentance.
  • Ask “How can I get you to pursue me?” … “Are there things that are keeping you from pursuing me?” … “What are things I can do that can help you want to serve / pursue me?”. Asking these questions also actively serves your spouse.
  • Explore the 5 love languages so you know you are showing love as the other person receives it.
  • Study your spouse to see what he/she likes… and do it!
  • Sometimes we want someone to pursue us, but we are pursuing.
  • Often people ask their friends what works… but that doesn’t work because you are married to someone else.
  • Ask your spouse! Talk TOGETHER… face to face! Go to him/her and say: “I like to be pursued… I pick you… what can I do to encourage you to do that more?”
  • This conversation does not need to be all serious… make it fun and playful. This invites your spouse to tell you!… and have open ears for feedback.
  • In conversation, get to the roots of the problems… and move on.
  • Be gracious and continue talking about it… over time, things can change. (e.g.: after kids). Learn to ebb and flow through the seasons of life, and don’t feel rejected.
  • Your spouse is NOT your enemy… he/she is your ally in your war against the enemy. You are aligned together as one.

“How does a wife heal from her husband’s sin of viewing porn?”

  • “This is a huge question that I don’t want to give a bumper sticker answer to.”
  • #1: Pornography is sin. Jesus said it is adultery of the heart. It needs to be viewed as a SIN… not a “mistake”, “fault”, or a “guy thing”.
  • #2: The husband needs to repent, tell the truth, and apologize to his wife. The wife needs to forgive her husband… not because it is OK, but because it is such a bbad ig thing that Jesus died for it. It is such a big deal, so much so that it killed God. Because Jesus died for it, you can put the sin to death and you don’t need to let the sin kill your marriage. This is a process and a decision… this is a decision you make and a process that you feel emotional.
  • Women are the fastest growing consumer of porn. It is a male and female problem!
  • Pornography creates a psychological and biological addiction cycle that is similar to heroine. It is VERY serious.
  • If someone hates it and wants to stop… it is like an addict getting off drugs. It will be painful.
  • This will include accountability, but may include software on the computer and godly men speaking into his life, involvement with community, etc.
  • For the wife, this is a deep betrayal.
  • Pornography is mentioned in a majority of divorce proceedings.
  • You probably need to get a Biblical counselor or a pastor involved. You need help healing from this.
  • Men don’t want to do this because they feel shame. Jesus takes the shame so we can be honest to get the help needed to live as God would have us.
  • Porn is an unfortunate and tragic epidemic… there is hope, help, and healing… through a process… with Jesus… together.

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.

Buy the Book: “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together” by Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll


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