Scripture can Serve as a Father to the Fatherless
If ever there was a time when we needed fathers to be available to talk to their children, and particularly sons, about the topic of sex, it is now. With all the confusion, heartache and broken lives created by our misuse of sex, particularly among young people, we need a father to explain what this is all about.
Thankfully, on the topic of sex, the Word of God offers the advice of a father to his children. Even if we have no father we can let the Word of God be our father to us and speak to us.
Scripture can do three things a father does even if we have no father:
- Warn us
- Encourage us
- Educate us
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge…For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.” Proverbs 5:1-2; 22-23
- Opening Story
Perhaps the most awkward, yet telling, conversation Bob ever had with his father took place when Homer decided to share his version of “the facts of life.” For some reason, Homer chose a car dealership sales lot to have this “father/son” discussion when Bob was in sixth grade. From the very beginning, Bob sensed his mom was behind the whole thing, since his dad was typically quiet and stoic.
A few weeks prior, in front of Bob’s older, teenage sisters, his mom had suddenly blurted out, “Has someone told you about sex yet? Do you know how babies are born?”
“Uh, yeah, sure,” Bob stammered, not wanting to display his total ignorance. His sisters snickered nonetheless. There must have been just enough hesitation in his voice to convey the truth: Bob was all but clueless when it came to sex.
So as brightly colored balloons tied to the antennas of factory fresh cars danced and bobbed in the wind, Homer proceeded to give Bob the Greatest Generation version of sex.
He began by describing the differences in male and female anatomy in the vaguest of terms. The Dow Jones Awkward Index in the car suddenly spiked. Bob knew his Dad didn’t want to be having this conversation. And Bob, for his part, was desperately praying it would mercifully end as quickly as possible. Both knew they were sitting on a conversational dead skunk.
Moving on from Anatomy 101, Bob’s father then decided to warn his twelve-year-old son about the dangers of sex. In the Army, Homer calmly explained, he and his fellow recruits were forced to view “training movies” that depicted the various stages of sexually transmitted diseases. Despite what his father might have been trying to say, in Bob’s mind, the message was clear: sex would lead to certain death.
Homer further illustrated the point by telling Bob that while overseas, the unit with the largest numbers of newly reported cases of STDs was forced to fly a humiliating purple flag with an eight-ball painted on it. It was a banner of shame intended for all the world to see.
With that cheery thought in mind, his father saved the best for last. Without warning, he changed the topic to his own sex life—with Bob’s mother. That was it. Bob knew they had reached the point of no return. He seriously considered bolting the car and running blindly out of the lot, hands over his ears, screaming, “No! No! Please, anyone—tell me it’s not true!”
But somehow, he managed to stay in the car beside Homer, wondering what bombshell he’d drop next. Then his father said something Bob would never forget, “And men and women both derive much pleasure from doing this.”
Suddenly, the fifty-five-gallon drum of awkwardness in the car began to drain away. “Wait a minute,” Bob thought as he slowly absorbed the full import of his father’s statement. “My parents actually enjoy doing this together.” Bob’s emotions shifted from fear and dismay to assurance and comfort. “Maybe they really do love each other,” he thought. “Maybe they are happier with each other than I ever realized.”
Despite Homer’s unconventional, inelegant, and convoluted journey to the truth, he had nonetheless arrived where Scripture would have him go. Despite his generation’s legendary embarrassment regarding the topic of sex, he had described for his son, in one sentence, the beauty, power, and joy of the Ecstatic Heart. It was a gift that Bob treasures to this day.
III. The Six Hearts of Intimacy Presented by Scripture
Again, the Word of God can be a father to the fatherless. And when it comes to sex it tells us that the heart – where we give and receive love – is the most important thing about sex we will ever understand. And Scripture presents six hearts that are vital to our enjoying God’s gift of sex for a lifetime:
- The Romantic Heart
Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride: I have gathered my myrrh and my spice.…I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. —Song 4:16, 5:1
The Romantic Heart gives and receives love by bonding with our eyes, stirring our spouse’s emotional imagination with our words, and creating intimacy with our time alone together.
If you create the right atmosphere for sex, then you create the desire for sex.
- The Worshipping Heart
But for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and become one flesh. This is a profound mystery but I am talking about Christ and the church. —Ephesians 5:31–32
The Worshipping Heart gives and receives love by rejoicing in God’s holy presence in sexual intimacy as a couple offers one another sacrificial love and extraordinary honor.
If the God who created us is holy, then you can enjoy His gift of sex as holy.
- The Companion Heart
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. —Genesis 2:22–24
The Companion Heart gives and receives love through deep soul-ties, emotional camaraderie, and undying loyalty.
If you live life as close friends, then sex will only deepen your bond.
- The Giving Heart
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 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. 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. 1 Corinthians 7:3–5
The Giving Heart gives and receives love by joyfully providing for their spouse’s sexual needs and offering themselves in loving surrender.
If it’s true giving is better than receiving, then offer sex freely, frequently, and generously.
- The Ecstatic Heart
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? —Proverbs 5:15–20
The Ecstatic Heart gives and receives love by reveling in the exquisite pleasure of sharing the sexual act with their life-long spouse.
If shared pleasures are the best pleasures, then mutually rejoice in the delights of sex.
- The Guardian Heart
You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?”…Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. —Malachi 2:14–15
The Guardian Heart gives and receives love by keeping vows of faithfulness, protecting oneness, and drawing future generations to God through sexual integrity.
If good fences make for good neighbors, then great hedges make for great sex.[Q2]
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