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 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!