In the first sermon of the series, Pastor Mark Driscoll gives an introduction detailing the sexual sin that saturates our culture. Sex can be viewed as either a god, as gross, or a gift. The Bible teaches us that sex is a gift that is to be stewarded wisely.
1:1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
3 your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
therefore virgins love you.
4 Draw me after you; let us run.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
5 I am very dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
they made me keeper of the vineyards,
but my own vineyard I have not kept!
7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
beside the flocks of your companions?
You are listening to the Peasant Princess Sermon Series, where Pastor Mark Driscoll takes us through the poetic book, Song of Songs. For more audio and video content please visit marshillchurch.org.
This is going to be fun. This is going to be very fun. Welcome to Mars Hill. We’re live across most of our campuses tonight. Wanna welcome especially Mars Hill West Seattle with their first official evening service tonight. If you’re new my name is Mark, one of the pastors here at the church. We’re starting our new sermon series The Peasant Princess that will take us a few months to examine. I’ll go ahead and pray because I’ve really got to thread the needle on this one, and we’ll get right to work. Father God, you are a God of love and we are grateful for that. God we thank you that you have demonstrated your love for us through the life, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus.
Father God as we study issues related to sexuality and marriage and gender and passion and pleasure, we ask that your Holy Spirit would teach us the Scriptures; that we might learn and have a Biblical life and understanding, and, God, for those who are single, I pray that they would live in holiness and purity and celibacy as Jesus did, and we ask for all of this wisdom in his good name. Amen. Well we’ll get right into it. We’re going to spend a number of months together in the Song of Songs, Song of Solomon, and the big idea I want to begin with is that historically speaking there are three basic ways that people have viewed sexuality both in and outside of the church. The first is that sex is basically God, and it’s to be worshiped.
You give your life to it; your money to it; your time to it; your energy to it; your identity comes out of it; and your whole life if given in large part to sex. The second perspective is that sex is gross: kind of the classic sort of Fundamentalist church youth group ideology. It’s dirty, nasty, vile and wrong, so save it for the one you love; that kind of sort of bad over reaction to the first position, and then the third position we’ll look at is that sex is a gift that God gives us to treasure; to cherish; to steward; to enjoy; to protect; and within the context of marriage, to share. And so I’ll start by saying that when it comes to sex as God, this is a long-standing problem; that in the days of the Old Testament, God’s people were surrounded by false religions and false ideologies that basically treated sexuality like religion, that kind of devotion.
The Canaanites, for example, surrounded God’s people in the Old Testament, and as we study the Song of Solomon, you need to know that God is speaking to them in the midst of Canaanite religion, which had vile imagery regarding their Gods and Goddesses. The paintings and drawings of their Gods and Goddesses were naked. The poetry that surrounded their instruction was very crass and very vile. They also had Astropolis. This is where people would gather around for various kinds of illicit sexuality calling it worship in church. They had temples with prostitutes for false religions where they would go. All of this to say that God’s people in the Old Testament lived in culture that was just as perverted and confused as ours; fast-forward to the days of the New Testament.
Greek culture was dominant in the days of early Christianity and it was prevalent throughout the Roman Empire, and Greek culture had much perversity. It was accepted that older men would be with younger boys in inappropriate ways. It was just sort of accepted in that culture, that kind of basic pedophilia. In addition, many of the religions in the Roman Empire and from Greek culture had as part of their worship, Temples. Like for example, in the city of Corinth, there was a temple to Apaphrodite, which had a thousand prostitutes that worked at the temple. You would go there for church. Well, if you read I Corinthians, now you understand why Paul keeps having to correct for them their misunderstanding of sexuality. They lived in a very grotesque and defiled culture.
He says, “You can’t have sex with your mom. You can’t have sex before marriage. You can’t have sex outside of marriage. You can’t sex with somebody of the same gender.” He has to lay down all of these rules because they had all of this confusion, and you fast-forward to our own day and our day has sex is God. It’s religion. Here are some statistics that a friend of mine, he’s a professor at the University of Virginia in the Sociology Department, compiled. The average person has their first sexual experience at age 16. For those girls who are teenagers and sexually active, they have much higher rates of alcohol abuse, drug use, eating disorders, depression and suicide. It comes at a real high cost for teenage girls. Pregnancies are common, and one-third of all children roughly are aborted. Of those who are born, one-third are born out of wedlock.
Pornography is a $60-billion a year annual industry globally. 12 billion of that is spent by Americans: $12 billion a year spent by Americans on pornography. This is more money that is spent on pro-baseball, basketball and football combined. Somebody would say, “America’s favorite pastime is baseball.” Not statistically, right? More money is spent by Americans every year than the revenues of ABC, NBC, and CBS combined. In the last 10 years, Americans have spent more money each year at least $10 billion on pornography. That’s more money than we’ve spent every year on foreign aid. How many of have say well, “We need to help the poor and serve other nations, and when cyclones and tsunamis and tragedies hit, we should give more money.” And you know what?
If everyone just stopped looking at porn and gave that money, we could double our foreign aid today. How about this? Over 200 porn films are made in the U.S. every week. That’s more than one an hour. Porn sites are 12 percent of all Internet sites. Porn is 25 percent of all search engine requests. Over 40 percent of Internet users view porn. 20 percent of men admit to — that’s just admit to — accessing porn at work. 13 percent of women admit accessing porn at work. Every second $3,000.00 is spent on porn in America. 28,000 Internet users are viewing porn every second in America, and 372 Internet users every second in America are typing in words looking for more porn. 90 percent of children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed porn online. The average child sees porn for the first time at age 11 online, usually inadvertently.
The Number 1 consumer of pornography is boys ages 12 to 17. In this series I’ve had some parents say, “Well I’ve got a 12 — 13-year-old son and I don’t think he’s ready for me to talk to him.” Statistically, you’re probably too late. He’s probably already got things that he’s seen; maybe things that he has done that you are unaware of. Additionally, one of the recent issues of USA Today give a feature story on the fact that today junior high boys expect to have a naked photo of their junior high girlfriend 13
-14 years of age on their phone. It’s one of the new prerequisites I guess for junior high dating. Additionally, 10 percent of American adults admit to being addicted to Internet porn - that’s admit. Of those, 28 percent are women. One of the big myths is women don’t struggle. It’s a man’s issue. It’s everyone’s issue.
While only 10 percent of men admit to addiction and more than 70 percent of men from ages 18 to 34 visit a porn site every month, and this leads to all kinds of addiction and abuse. 55 percent of sex offenders and 71 percent of child molesters are sex addicts. One survey I read said that 90 percent of prostitutes were molested as little girls. Another statistic said that the majority of those women who are involved in the porn industry — men and women are — just the women, the majority of them were molested as little girls. One prostitute said it this way quote, “Incest is boot camp for prostitution.” End quote. All that to say we live in a very defiled, grotesque, confused culture, and sex is nothing less than a religion. Paul said in his day in Romans 1:24 and 25 that, “We either worship God the Creator and enjoy in steward creation, or we worship creation.”
Sexual addiction is general sexual sin in particular. Those are ways in which sex has turned into a God and we worship creation rather than Creator. We worship our bodies, someone else’s body. It’s nothing short of a religion, and just like Christianity has Orthodox Catholic and Protestant, so the religion of sex has gay, straight and bi. Those are the three basic teams and people worship vigilantly. Their identity, their time, their money, their interests, their passion, the giving of themselves, the offering of their body as living sacrifice, all of that constitutes worship. Paul said in his day that, “Some people had their stomach as their God.” We’ve moved a little bit south, but we’re still essentially in that same frame of mind, and so the first thing I want to say is sex is not God. God is God. Sex is not to be worshiped above God.
Sex is not to be treasured, valued apart from God. Now what happens is because for some sex is God, then others respond and say, “Well that’s gross, so sex must be gross.” This was common in the days of the New Testament as well. When through the influence of Greek philosophy some thinkers called the Stoics had a great negative influence on the early church fathers and mothers. They said based on the dualism of a man named Plato — there were basically two parts, body and spirit, physical and spiritual, and that the physical part of our creation, our body is bad, but the spiritual part, the soul is good, and so the goal is to just die and leave this body behind and go live a spiritual life, and so they said that, “Whatever happens in the body is just gross and disgusting and it’s unnecessary. So sex is bad and pleasure is bad. Marital intimacy is bad.”
And that’s not a Biblical thinking, but it became a prevalent view among many of the church fathers and mothers. I’ll give you some examples. Tertullian and Ambrose, two church fathers, they said they “Prefer the extinction of the human race to continued marital intercourse.” Origin allegorize the Song of Solomon and castrated himself, all right? He read the part where Jesus said, “If it causes you to stumble, cut it off.” And he did. Just so you know, we’re going to give you an alternative, but that is one. Not one we encourage, but it does have some history. Chrysostom said that, “Adam and Eve had no sex before the fall.” Until sin, there was no such thing as sexual intimacy. Jerome, when he would be tempted, he would throw himself into sticker bushes. It’s like if he saw a cute gal, he would throw himself into a thorn bush and apparently that fixed it.
His desire went away. You too could do that. We will try and give you, as well, an alternative. Gregory of Nyssa said that, “Adam and Eve had no sexual desire.” And that they, “Didn’t have any intimate relations.” That, “There was a special tree in Garden of Eden that if Eve ate it, she would get pregnant.” That’s how they would make babies. I’m not even kidding. You come to the Middle Ages and, by that time, priests were forbidden to marry within the Catholic Church. By the 5th Century, priests could not marry, and celibacy we were told was the best life and if you have to get married, you’re not supposed to enjoy sex and sex is just for procreation, just to make babies.
And then the Catholic Church came along and decided, “We are going to write manuals telling people what they can and cannot do in their bedroom — married couples — and we will tell them that there are certain days that God doesn’t want them to be intimate.” So much so that by the time they were done, about half of the days of the calendar year were blacked out, so you get and you’re like, “Dang it!” You know. “It’s Tuesday, what? Next week?” I mean that literally was what happened, because, again, if sex is bad, pleasure is bad and the body is bad, then we need to have a lot of rules to regulate it, and the less people who have fun, the better. Well that led up to the Victorian Age. People were overly, extremely devoted to modesty.
So much so that women’s gowns and dresses would go all the way to the floor because the thought was, “If a man sees a woman’s ankle, he’ll lust.” Then they notice that the table legs had, you know, ankles at the bottom and maybe if a guy looked at that, I’m not sure how, he would become very aroused, and so that’s when you started getting table clothes that would cover the tables so that men wouldn’t see the legs of tables or get aroused, and might I say to you that if you’re a guy and that arouses you, get help, right? Like you’ve got to go right now; this is urgent matter, and now it leads to our own present day when a lot of Christians just have a very bad view of sex. Sometimes it’s subtle and all you ever hear about it what their against. “Oh fornication is bad. Adultery is bad and porn is bad, and this is bad, and that’s bad.” Okay, all true.
But they’re not talking about what God says that’s positive, what we should do that’s fun. It’s just what we against. Sometimes the worst I’ve heard is where older Christian women come along to disciple the younger Christian women and give them demonic advice. I’ll give you one example. There was one woman, she said, “Well when I was getting married, I was new Christian. I didn’t know anything, and an older woman met with me and she said, ‘Oh it’s for men and it’s gross and you’re not going to like it, and so as infrequently as possible and unpleasantly as possible and just you know, endure it.’” What? Because, because older women sometimes give very bad counsel to younger women, they’re very confused about what’s appropriate. Now there are some who have very prudish, unbiblical, unhealthy views of the body, pleasure, passion, joy.
There are some who think it’s gross because they’ve been abused. Let me be sensitive on this point. If you were molested as a child; raped as an adult; if you’ve had a negative sexual experience; you’ve been sinned against, abused, traumatized, what has happened to you is gross and your tendency may be to see all sexuality as gross because your experience with it is gross. It doesn’t mean that sex is gross. It means that your experience in a particular way was sinful and that was gross. So if you’ve come here today — let’s say you’ve sinned a lot or you’ve been sinned against, sex isn’t dirty. Sex isn’t gross. Sex isn’t wrong, but for you it may be in your mind and you may need to have a renewing in your mind Biblically, which is my whole point in this series.
So that you think about it like God does and then you’re able to engage in it in a way that honors God and that gives God joy because you’re being holy and respectful and according to his purposes, but I know a lot of you have come here sexually active, single life, looking at porn, adultery, been raped, been molested. A third of the women in this church, as far as we can tell, have been sexually abused at some point in their life. We’ve got grace groups for those who are — we’ve got redemption groups, rather, for those who are addicted. Redemption groups for those who were abused. Redemption groups for those who are hurting. To what? To help, because it may not just be you need to think differently. It may be that you’ve been hurt through your sin or the sin of others and we’ve got to get through that so you can have a fresh perspective on sex.
So it’s not God. We don’t worship it above all else. It’s not gross and disgusting. What it is: sex is a gift. Like all gifts, it’s a good gift from God to be received; to be treasured; to be enjoyed; to be saved; to be given in marriage; to be cultivated in marriage; to be enjoyed in marriage. Jeremiah 2:13 says it this way as a general principle. He says, “My people have committed the sins against me.” This is what God says. He says, “They’re thirsty. They want a drink.” Speaking about truth and teaching and Scripture and the Holy Spirit, and he said, “But they don’t drink the water that I give them, the clean, fresh, pure water.” Ultimately, Scripture. He says, “They instead go out and dig cisterns for themselves and they drink dirty water.” Here’s another way of looking at it. If you’re thirsty, don’t drink from the toilet. You say, “There’s water there.” I know.
It’s not the best water. That’s the analogy of Jeremiah 2. Tom Leykis, Howard Stern, Dr. Drew, pornography — the wrong websites, the wrong magazines, the wrong movies — all of that: fresh toilet water. It’s all that it is. You say, “But I’m thirsty.” Well if you drink it, you’ll get sick. You’ll be unhealthy and unholy. Don’t drink that water. The whole goal of this series is to say it’s not God. It’s not gross. It’s a gift and if want to learn about sex, we go to that place where there’s fresh water. We go to Scripture. We go to God, and we learn from him. Now, as well, one of the ways we understand sex Biblically is that it serves multiple purposes. This great gift of sex that God gives us, it has multiple purposes. I’ll give you a few. One: it’s for pleasure. You’re like, “Really?” Yeah. Song of Solomon never mentions kids, only mentions pleasure.
It’s all about pleasure. Sex is for pleasure. Somebody said, “Are we allowed to have pleasure?” Yes. It’s not what you do. It’s not how you do it. It’s not when you do it. It’s who you’re with. If it’s in marriage, praise God. Have lots of pleasure. God made our bodies for pleasure. Secondly, it’s also for children. Genesis 1:28, God said, “Be fruitful. Multiply. Increase in number. Fill the earth and subdue it.” Wife and I have got five kids. Kids are one of the blessings and benefits that can come out of marital intimacy. Number 3: oneness. Genesis 2:24: “The husband and wife will be one.” Right? One covenant, one flesh; live in one house. Worship one God. Sleep in one bed. One; it’s for Oneness: intimacy, closeness, being together. Number 4: it’s for comfort. II Samuel 12:24. David had a child die and sometimes there’s nothing to say.
There’s no way to fix it, and he and his wife were intimate together to comfort one another. So they shared their bodies as a gift for the purposes of comfort, and Number 5 is for protection. I Corinthians 7: “If you have desires, they are to be met in marriage. If not, you’re open to lots of temptation to sin.” That being said, the whole point of this series is to examine with you what the Bible says about sex. It’s not God. It’s not above all else. It’s not gross. We don’t need to be disgusted by it or ashamed of it. It’s a gift, and so where we find this gift first given is in Genesis Chapter 2. So I’ll read it to you and this’ll be my preface to the Song of Solomon. This is marriage and sex and pleasure and intimacy before sin enters the world, before everything goes bad. This was God’s original intention.
Genesis 2:18: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’” No sin in the world yet. God says everything is good except for it’s not good for Adam to be alone. “’I will make a helper fit for him.’ So out of the ground, the Lord God formed every beast in the field, every bird in the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds in the heavens, to the beast in the field, but, for Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he slept, he took one of his ribs and clothed up its place with flesh, and the rib that God had taken from the man, from that he made into a woman and brought her to man.” So the lady comes from the side.
Not feminism out ahead. Not chauvinism — behind. Bible: right alongside. I always say that’s why she likes to snuggle. It’s home sweet home. So if you’re here with your wife right now, you can put your arm around her, snuggle with her, welcome home, all right. Then, the man said, “This is at last bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.” He sings to her. She shall be called woman. She was taken out of man. Therefore, here it is single guys. “A man shall leave his mother and father.” Move out. “Hold fast to his wife, then get married and then become one flesh.” Enjoy marital intimacy. The man and his wife are both naked and they were not what? They were not ashamed. That’s God’s original intention. Give you a few principles. God made us and our bodies male and female; said that was very good. It is very good. Okay?
You need to see your body as a good gift from God. Sound like God made the man, the woman. Okay, they’re naked in the garden, great. I’m going to go out for coffee. It’s been a big day. He comes back, “Oh my, gosh. What are they doing? What are they — had I known — I would’ve totally redid the plumbing had I known they would have gone there.” It’s not like God was shocked by what happened. God created the body male and female; said it was very good. This was his design. Additionally, God made heterosexual marriage as the context in which marital intimacy and sexual pleasure is to be enjoyed. Marriage is the hearth that holds the flames and the passions of desire. So that means for all people, any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. Before marriage, we call it fornication. In addition to marriage, we call it adultery.
Marriage is for one man, one woman and it is the place — the only place that sex is to be enjoyed. Additionally, this is key: the standard for everyone regarding beauty is their spouse, all right. It says that Adam named all the animals, and he’s looking for a mate. God says, “Okay, today we’re going to make you a mate.” “Okay, that’s a sea bass. I hope that’s not her. There’s an aardvark. Oh boy, this is going to be a long day.” And then he sees a woman. “Oh. I pick her.” Right? Now what we don’t know is what Eve looked like, but compared to the options, she was amazing right? What God didn’t do was go, “Bret Michaels, Rock of Love right? And bring in 27 women and let’s all live together and put a pole in the house and have a competition. He didn’t do that — true story. That whole show should have came with free hand sanitizer right?
It was just filthy. God didn’t do that, but that’s the way a lot of us do our life. A lot of you singles, right? Date. Date. Date. Kiss. Emotionally connect all kinds of inappropriateness. That’s not God’s plan. God’s plan is that your spouse would be your standard of beauty. For Adam, he didn’t have a standard of beauty. He had a wife. For Eve, she didn’t have a standard of beauty. She had a husband. God doesn’t bring in 27 men for Eve. Say, “All right, you guys all compete. Let’s see which one looks the best. Let’s see which one is able to serve my needs.” No, no, no. The issue is this. Everyone should have — must their spouse as their standard of beauty. One of the qualifications of an elder is that they are to be one-woman men, and the — everyone is supposed to follow the example of the elders. So, here’s what that means.
And this is true for men and women. If you’re married to someone tall, you like tall. If you’re married to someone short, you really like short. If you married to someone skinny, you’re into skinny. If you’re married to someone who’s not skinny, you’re into not skinny. You say, “Well they were skinny. Now they’re not skinny.” Your standard changed, but that’s still your — true story, and that means if you get married at 25 and you grow old together at 75, your standard of beauty is not what your spouse looked like at 25, but what they look like at 75. Lust is comparing your spouse to others, desiring others, desiring your spouse to be like others. Job 31:1 he says, “I made a covenant with my eyes. I’m not looking at other women lustfully.” That’s the issue. God shows that in creation: one man; one woman. They’re one another’s standard. That’s it.
Nice and simple. Additionally, sex is for oneness and is not to be accompanied with shame. As we get into this series, many of you are married couples — and I’ll just say right now — many of you are single. Statistically 93 percent of you will marry, right? And many of you who are single, you’re sexually active. You’re in sin or you have sin in your past. We love you. We’re here to help, but sex is not to be done in a way that breaks oneness or causes shame. Okay? What that means is even if you’re a married couple, you’ll have questions about: can we do this? Can we do this? Can we do this? Can we do this? The answer is: does it promote oneness? Do you get closer to God and one another? Is it accompanied with shame? Does one of you feel disrespected, abused, filthy, taken advantage of? Not loved. Not cherished. Not respected. Then don’t do it.
Even if you’re free to do it, it’s not wise to do it unless it pulls you together with God and unless it is without shame and you don’t feel guilty. That’s the introduction. Now let me tell you about Song of Solomon before we get in. One of the first questions I always get is: why do you got to teach that book of the Bible? That book of the Bible has got all kinds of crazy stuff. Well, II Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable.” We got a whole book of the Bible talking about this issue, and even sometimes good, faithful Bible teachers won’t touch this book, and I’ve asked them why and their like, “Because it’s got some parts in there that are pretty dicey.” And it’s like, you know what? God wrote the book, so we should teach the book.
How can you say you believe the Bible except for the parts that God shouldn’t have written because they’re too exciting. Now what happens and some say, “But we do believe in the book and we will teach it, but we’re going to teach it allegorically.” Right? And there’s a literal and an allegorical interpretation. They’ll say, “Well the allegorical interpretation is not between a husband and a wife Song of Solomon, love and romance and intimacy. What it is, it’s about us and Jesus, really? I hope not. The primary point of the book is literal.
Husband and wife, then there’s allegorical things we could learn about marriage, love and intimacy that do apply to the church’s relationship to God, but that’s not the primary point. Now what it is, it’s a series of love songs between a man and a woman, and these are great songwriters. I’m a not a big fan, but this is like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw or whatever their names are — and they are singing to one another and their writing songs, and its poetry, and it’s love and it’s frank without being crass. They use all kinds of metaphors and images and it’s beautiful, and it’s fun, and it’s free. And it’s amazing and it’s how God intends, and you’re going to — it might be interesting to note this, as well. The Jews would at Passover every year read the Song of Solomon. It was part of their annual calendar.
Jewish people would get together in the Old Testament days in the pub and they would actually sing the songs in the Song of Song. So it was just apart of their life, and in this book, you’re going to meet three main characters. There’s the man. His name is Solomon. We’re told it’s Solomon six times. His dad is David. His mom is Bathsheba. He’s got a crazy story. We’ll get into it in the book. You are also going to meet a woman. We don’t know her name. We don’t know who she is. I don’t know who she is but I would speculate. If I had to bet your mortgage on it, here’s what I would bet. I would bet it’s probably this woman named Abishag. She — when David — King David, Solomon’s father was on his deathbed, they brought in this young woman named Abishag. She was poor from this region so that she was known as a Shulamite.
She was from the Shulamite region. She was brought in as a nurse maiden, a godly virgin woman to look after King David. My guess is Solomon as a young man saw her, was smitten with her, saw her character, love for his dying father and his heart was drawn to her, and then his brother wanted to marry her and he said, “No.” And murdered his brother, which may indicate that he was interested in her. We don’t know for sure. She was poor. She came from the same region that the woman in Song of Solomon does, so they may be the same woman. It may be Abishag. I don’t know, and the third is — the third group are like the backup singers. These are her friends that occasionally drop in do a little do wop, and what you’ll notice is, men, it’s the man, the woman, and lots of other women who are her friends.
And that’s Biblical because every woman comes with a whole network of other women, usually 107. No more, no less, and if you really want to court, love a woman, you’ve got to court, woo, all of her friends, and they will all tell her what they think about you. Why? Because it’s Biblical. That’s just how it goes. Okay? So that is the introduction. You guys ready to get to work? Song of Solomon, and there’s my big intro. The Song of Solomon; he starts this way. The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s Song of Songs, means these are his best songs, right? When it says in the Bible, “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”, it’s talking the King above every King, the Lord above every Lord. That’s Jesus. Here, it’s the Song of Songs. These are the songs that are above all other songs. The Bible records elsewhere that Solomon asks God for wisdom.
God gave him wisdom, and he wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. He was an amazing songwriter, and he says, “These are our greatest songs.” This is the greatest hits album. Okay? And what you’ll notice as you go through it, it’s not necessarily in chronological order. It’s on random shuffle, but it’s various songs that his husband and wife sing to one another. Now, this is where it gets good. Now you ladies that are here, who do you think would speak first? Who do you think would be the sexual aggressor? Who do you think would be the passionate one? The one with the desires; the one who says, “This is what I like and this is what I’m curious about, and this is what I want to try. This is where I want to explore and this is what I want from you and this is what I want to try.” You think it’d be the woman or the man?
See most Christian women say, “No, no, no. Men play offense, we play defense. Isn’t that how this works?” That’s most Christian women think. Which means the husband is like, “Hi, hi, hi.” And the wife is like, “No, no, no, no.” Christian women are totally welcomed to go on offense. “Hi, hi, hi.” And I would seriously — I’ll bring under church discipline any guy that plays defense. If the guys like, “No, that’s too much.” It’s like, “You need to repent.” Stop playing defense. No defense, right? All offense: that’s what we’re talking about. So she goes on offense. She speaks first. She speaks last. She speaks most. She’s free. She’s liberated. She’s passionate. She’s got desires and you know what? Some of you ladies say, “Doesn’t that make her dirty?” No, that makes her Godly. It’s not what you do. It’s who you do it with. It’s not what your desires are.
It’s where you point them. She’s excited about her husband. She wants to be with her husband. She’s talking freely to her husband. Most Christian women don’t know that to be free is not to be unholy, but to be holy providing it’s within marriage. Some of you ladies, I’m not saying you have to do things. Here’s what I’ll do. I want to give you permission. If you’re a strong woman and you’re a vocal woman, you’re a passionate woman; you’re a curious woman, well praise God. If you’re married, feel free. If you’re not, feel free not to. You know? But until you’re married, and then, enjoy your marriage. Enjoy your spouse, and here’s what she says, “Let him kiss me,” — love that — “With the kisses of his mouth.” She looks at him — this is so good.
She says, “If you want to kiss me, you could kiss me. You could kiss me all you want. You could kiss me right now.” Most guys are like, “That’s a great idea.” So here’s what we’re going to do. If you’re here and you’re married, just take a minute and kiss one another. Don’t try making kids, but just give one another at whatever service, just quickly if you’re married, just seriously; quick kiss. If you’re dating, don’t do that. One of the guys behind you will punch you in the head, but if you’re married, little kiss. See, it’s good. Married couples kiss. It’s good. It’s good to see married couples kiss, and I’ll tell you a couple things about kissing. One: it’s an indicator of the health of the marriage. One of the first things that happens when you’re fighting, you stop kissing, and when you kiss — she’s talking, you’re not about like a British kiss.
You know like come up on the cheek like you met the Queen. Not that kind of kiss. She’s talking, that kind of — I’ve got to watch how I say this — but you know what I’m talking about: that kind of kiss, and you know what? A couple of other things about kissing; this is really good if you have children for them to see passion and joy and connection between mom and dad. It should be their first introduction. I’ll give you an example. I came home the other day and I walk in the door, and Alexi my four-year-old daughter runs out, “Daddy, daddy, daddy. You’re home. You’re home. You’re home.” “Hey baby girl.” She says, “I’m going to give you a kiss right after you kiss your beautiful wife.” Okay? She — because I always call Grace, “There’s my beautiful wife. Here’s my beautiful wife.” I always call her, “My beautiful wife.”
And she always — Grace always gets the first kiss. So, so I said, “Okay. Daddy’s going to go kiss his beautiful wife and then you get the next kiss.” It’s good. She’s sees us kissing. If, we didn’t kiss, that would freak her out. She’d wonder what was wrong in the marriage. Now I know some of you ladies are here, as well, and you’re in Seattle. So you’re into homeopathy and naturopathy and exercise. So let me sell this. Okay? First thing I would say is that actually, statistically, medically speaking, the swapping of saliva builds your immune system and makes you less likely to get colds. So this is a form of naturopathy and with cold and flu season upon us, it’s so many germs and viruses. All the guys are like, “Yes. Yes. I hate antibiotics, but I like this.” Okay. Second thing is, it also burns two calories, and, if you do it right, it could burn way more.
If you do it right, it could continue. That’s my riff on kissing: all for it if you’re married. I’ve got to keep saying that. She goes on, “For your love is better than wine.” And wine is good, all right. Now somebody saying, “Are you promoting alcoholism?” No. No, no, no. If you’re an alcoholic, don’t drink. If you’re under 21, don’t drink. If you break the law and sin, don’t drink. If you do drink, don’t drink cheap wine from a box, all right? You’re a Christian. You need to set your standards higher, and I like red wine and I like a nice, like a silver oak cabernet or something really smooth, really good. You know what I find about good wine? Good wine? Smooth, it’s intoxicating. It’s tasty. It’s relaxing. That’s what she’s saying. That being with him is like wine, and, I would recommend, put them together if you’re married.
If you’re married, on the way home say, “We’re going to go buy a really nice bottle of wine and we’re going to go home and we’re going to have nice glass of wine, and we’re going to have something even better than a glass of wine.” It’s Biblical verse. You’re welcome. You’re anointing oils are fragrant. Here’s what she is saying. “You smell nice.” Gentlemen, do not miss this. If you smell like a honey bucket at a county fair, it doesn’t matter how much I preach, she’s not going to warm up to you. You need to bathe. You need to bathe with soap and water. You need to wear deodorant. You need to wear cologne. You need to let your wife pick your cologne. You need to — who cares what you smell like? If she likes it, that’s what you want to smell like. Whatever — see my wife picks my colognes — whatever you like. “I don’t care.”
And, and here’s the deal. If you’re a blue-collar guy — let’s say you work a grimy job all day, come home, take a shower right? Brush your teeth. Clean up. Groom yourself. This is all about being presentable to your wife. “Oh, my husband, he grooms. He takes care of himself.” Okay? We’ll get into this more thoroughly as we move on, but just one of t he great questions you husbands can ask your wives on the way home. “Is there anything in my grooming that I need to improve so that you would be attracted to me? Do like one eyebrow? Should I go for two?” You know, what works for you. Stuff like that. She goes on to say, “Your name is oil poured out. Therefore, virgins love you.” Here, she’s talking about his character and his integrity. Most of the problems in the bedroom — in the marriage are not solved in the bedroom.
They’re solved outside of the bedroom. If you’re a harsh husband, a lazy husband, a can’t-keep-a-job husband, a gambles-at-the-casino husband, a — has a bass boat, a golf membership, a motorcycle, is always out pursing his hobbies husband; if you’re a selfish husband; if you’re a I-don’t-read-the-Bible-and-pray-with-the-kids husband, you need to understand that a godly woman is not just interested in how you look and how you much you make. She wants to be able to respect you. She wants to be rightly proud of you. She wants to say, “That’s my husband. He’s a great guy. He loves Jesus. He loves me, loves the kids. Pays the bills; reads the Bible. He’s great and I love him.” Most women who are struggling to be attracted to their husband, it’s somehow related to his character. It’s not about getting more techniques. It’s about getting more character.
So another question gentlemen — this is a bold question. On the way home, ask your wife this question. “Is there anything in my character that you find unattractive?” Don’t argue with her. Don’t fight with her. Let her speak freely. Let her help you. She’s a helper. Humbly receive it. Apologize, and change. Your wife will find humility attractive. Your wife will find repentance attractive, and your wife ultimately will see that’s the beginning of new character. She goes on. She has more to say, as well. “Draw me after you. Let us run. The King has brought me into his chambers.” There’s only a couple of ways to relation. One is to push, right? With guys this is fear, intimidation, harsh, raise your voice, cuss her out, threaten her, scare her, shove her: that’s abuse. It’s disgusting. The other is to carry them. This is enabling, like a co-dependent relation.
“I look after you. I tend to you. I care for you.” It’s more like a parent-child relationship. What she says is, “Draw me.” That’s the other way to do a relationship. You’re attractive. You’re desirable. You’re playful. You’re fun. You’re available. You’re interested, and you draw them in. It’s a husband and a wife drawing one another, wooing one another, pulling one another in. How can I get your attention? How can I keep your attention? This’ll be a little fun. How can I draw you toward me? How could I pull you toward me? That’s what she’s talking about, and then, of course, the friends kick in. Here’s what the gals have to say. “We exalt and rejoice in you. We will extol your love more than wine.” Rightly do they love you? The gals say, “He’s a great guy. This is a great relationship. We’re so proud of you both. We’re so excited for you both.”
That the whole community, family, friends, co-workers, church needs to come around the couple and to be able to celebrate. This is a good thing. This is what God has done. This is beautiful. You guys are doing it right, and we’re excited and encouraged. She then continues with a troubling word. Verse 5: here is her perspective on her appearance. “I am very dark, but lovely. Oh daughters of Jerusalem like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun is looked upon me. My sons were very angry with me. They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyards I have not kept.” She’s like Cinderella. Her dad is never mentioned in the book. I think she’s probably raised by a single mom as many of you were. She’s in a poor family. She has to go outside and work for a living.
If you were to see this gal, on the job she’s got sweat on her brow and she’s pitted out. She’s got her hair in a ponytail. She’s got dirt under her fingernails and she’s got dark complexion. She’s tanned because she’s out in the sun all the time. What she’s saying is this. “I do not meet the cultural standard of beauty.” In that day, the beautiful women were the most pale because that meant they were the most affluent. That meant they didn’t work outside. That meant they were kept indoors. So the poor common gals would have dark skin. They were out. It’s exactly the opposite today, right? Today, tan is in and pale is out. In that day, pale was in and tan was out, and what she’s saying is this.
“I don’t look like the cover of all the magazines. I don’t look like Lindsay Lohan. I don’t look like Paris Hilton. I don’t look like Pam Anderson. I don’t look like those girls. I don’t look like Jenna Jamison. I don’t look like those girls. If you go to the grocery store and look at all the covers of the magazines, I don’t look like those gals. I look different.” What does this tell you? Well this tells you first of all ladies, that every woman is insecure in her appearance. She was radiant enough to attract the King. She went from peasant to princess. Every woman has varying degrees of discomfort with her appearance and her body image and certain things about her that if she could, she wishes she could change. This woman says, “I don’t meet the cultural standard of beauty.” But you know what? She’s beautiful to her husband.
This is a good word for all of us husbands. Your wife has to be your standard of beauty. No one, nothing else. Your wife has to be your standard of beauty, and what I would say, and here’s a principle that I would give to husbands and wives, the principle will apply later when she talks about his appearance. Let me apply it equally to both. I’ll ask a few questions for those of you who are married. First question is: are you a good steward of your body? Not body shape, size. I’m not talking about any of that. What are you a good steward? Do you eat well? Do you exercise? Health. Are you just trying to keep yourself healthy? Secondly: are you making a sincere effort to remain attractive to your spouse? And this is true for husbands and wives. Okay? Grace is a cutie. I’ll talk about me. This is what it means at the Driscolls’. I get my hair cut every two to three weeks.
This means I shower every morning and I usually shower again at night or at least wash my hair so that my wife wants to run her fingers through it. She can. I’m just trying to help, because I really like that. This means I don’t own sweats and I don’t lounge around the house on weekends in sweats. This means I go clothes shopping and I bring my clothes home and I ask her, “Is this nice? Does this work?” You know, “Does this cut work?” Or whatever it is. “Yes, sweetheart,” or “No.” You know, whatever it is. I mean some of you guys, it’s just like most of your shirts were from an auto parts store, came free with a beer. Like, you really need to reconsider your wardrobe right? You say, “Well, I’m not metro sexual.” You don’t need to be metro sexual. You need to be a good husband. Groom yourself. Look nice. Keep yourself. Wear clothes that work.
Right? Tend to yourself. I think I’ve got 40 or 50 pairs of shoes. I’m nowhere near my wife’s, but she really likes shoes and I really like her, so I figure if I wear different shoes, she’ll like me, but the — you know, so my whole deal is look, Grace and I have made an effort. Some of you say, “Well you don’t look very good.” Imagine if I didn’t try. I mean, imagine where we’d be. This is with effort. This is after going to the gym. I mean, I’m, you know, pushing 40. This is what happens, but we try to be attractive to one another. So Gracie will say, “I bought these clothes. Do you like them?” I’ll say, “I bought these clothes. Do you like them?” We’ll get dressed. “Is this cool?” “Do you want me to wear this today?” “Do you want me to wear this tonight?” “Do you like my hair like this?” “How should I do this?”
It’s just making an effort to be attractive to one another. I don’t care what the cultural standard of beauty is. I don’t really care. You want to be attracted to your spouse and you want your spouse to make an effort to be attractive for you. That’s one of the ways you love each other and help to safeguard your marriage, and so what she says is, “I don’t look like all the other women do.” So I’m not saying that you need to look male or female like the cultural standard, but you need to work for good health and you need to try and be attractive to your spouse. So again, if you’re married, another good question on the way home. “Is there anything I could do to be more attractive to you?” Don’t argue. Don’t fight. Don’t be mean. Don’t be cruel, but lovingly speak to one another on that matter.
And then it closes with this, “Tell me, you who my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon. For why should I be like the one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companion?” Here’s what she says, “You shepherd the nation of Israel. You’re busy all day. You’re looking after lots of people and things. You’re schedule is jammed up. I know it’s hard to make time because demands are upon you.” My wife and I get this. Sometimes with writing deadlines and travel and ministry deadlines and crises and needs and things blowing up, she has to share me with lots of people and it’s just difficult for her often times to share me.
She has that kind of husband with that kind of job to a degree far beyond mine of course, and so what she doesn’t do is say, “Well you know, I’m frustrated and our schedule is blown. He’s got to work late this week and he’s totally tied up with projects.” What she says is, “I know you’ve got a lunch break. Tell me where you’re going to be and I’ll meet you there. I don’t want to get dressed up like a prostitute and go looking for you, but I’ll meet you there.” This is the equivalent today of, you know, your husband’s got a really long week. Let’s say you’re a stay-at-home mom and he’s got crises, deadlines, difficulties. You text message him and say, “I know you’re having a hard week, it’s very difficult. You’re not going to be home for dinner much. You’re going to be up late. I know you’ve got a break at noon today. I’ll meet you at this hotel.” Okay
I was reading Song of Solomon. I’m going Old Testament. Send. That’s what’s going on, and I would just encourage you ladies to realize that’s actually a good thing. It’s a good thing to say, “You know, it’s okay if I have desires. It’s okay if I have passion. It’s okay if I want to initiate it. It’s okay if I’ve got a plan. It’s okay if I want to try something new. It’s okay if I want to let him know what I’m thinking.” It’s godly. So long as it’s your husband, it’s beautiful. I would encourage you ladies. Maybe you could practice this year at some point. Send your husband an email, a text message, a phone call. “Do you have an hour for lunch today?” “Yes.” “How about we meet here.” “Good idea.” See the great myth and the great lie from Satan is this. Give your life to Jesus and then just suffer for the rest of your life with no pleasure or joy.
This is a book that says, “Give your life to Jesus and be naked without any shame.” Enjoy your marriage. Have lots of fun. Be free. Be passionate. Trust one another. Grow in your intimacy. Give a lifetime to enjoying one another. That’s God’s design. My subject at this point is you have lots of questions. I’m going to bring out my lovely wife, Grace. The sermon is officially over. She’s not preaching, but Titus 2 says its good for women to answer women’s questions; guys to answer guys’ questions. If you have women questions, I have no wisdom. This is my lovely wife, Grace. Hi, baby. Good to see you. We have been together more than 20 years. We have five kids, as you know. I talk about them all the time, and we recently celebrated our 16th Wedding Anniversary at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. That was cool. So let’s do questions. Here we go.
You ready babe? You feeling nervous? You did it good this morning. You still feel nervous? Yes, not as much? Okay. First one guys. West Seattle: “Is it true that God does not hear the prayers of someone in sexual sin?” Better get a Bible for this. I’ll read a verse. Here’s what it does say — not that God won’t hear the prayers of someone in sexual sin, but here’s what it does say, and I’ll give this word to the men. It says in I Peter 3, find it here that, “Husbands are not to be harsh with,” — thank you — “Likewise” — it goes on — “Wives be submissive to your own husbands.”
I Peter 3: “So that if some of them do not obey the word, they may be one without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be your external. The braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, the putting on of clothing” — speaks to the wives. Jump down to Verse 7. “Likewise, husbands live with your wives in an understanding way showing honor the woman as the weaker vessel since they are airs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” I think __________ is I Peter 3 where it says, “Wives respect your husbands and husbands don’t be harsh with your wives.” Don’t yell at her. Don’t intimidate her. Don’t threaten her. Don’t make her feel uncomfortable. If you do, he says, “God’s not going to come along and help you and answer all your prayers.”
Sometimes God will then not answer the prayers of a man. He might be saying, “I want to do better at work and I want to make more money, and I want to learn this and I want to do that.” And God says, “Until you love your wife, I’m not going to bless your life.” “So if you love your wife, then I can bless your life, but if you’re not going to love your wife, then I’m not going to bless your life.” So if you’re in sexual sin, it’s not that God doesn’t hear you, that’s not what it says, but it does say that as husbands, we need to lover our wives and not be harsh with them. If we are harsh with them, God is going to deal with us severely. So that — that’s the answer. What’s the next one, guys? Shoreline: “How do your recover from being betrayed sexually and learn to forgive and trust your spouse?” Wow. You want to take that one?
They’ve been listening to me all day. You can go.
Grace Driscoll: It’s a process for sure. It’s not something that happens overnight and it needs prayer and patience and rebuilding that trust. Sometimes you need help beyond just working it as a couple. Whether it’s meeting with a pastor, going through redemption groups or whatever resources we have here at the church. It’s not hopeless, though. God can heal us from anything and we know a lot of couples that have worked through some pretty amazing things and come out on the other side and totally love each other and walk with the Lord. God wants to heal marriages no matter what the sin has been done against each other and sexual sin is no different. So first of all, don’t become hopeless, and if you both want to work on it, then that’s a great place to start and try talking through it and praying through it and desiring to trust and be changed.
Grace Driscoll: And probably meet with an elder of pastor and get some additional help.
Yeah, something like that doesn’t get fixed quickly or easily. There’s conviction where the Holy Spirit convicts us. There’s confession where we, we say, “God, what I did was wrong.” And we tell the person, the spouse what we’ve done, and then there’s repentance, which is a change of heart and minds so that there’s a change of action, and then there’s reconciliation, which is learning to build trust. This takes time. That kind of betrayal — I mean Grace and I have been together 20 years dating, 16 years of marriage. I mean we’ve not suffered this. We’ve been faithful in our marriage to one another. I — I’ve dealt with enough couples however that have had adultery and infidelity to say that it can be redeemed.
It can be healed like Grace has said, but it does take time, and sometimes the worst thing is when Christians just say, “Well forgive each other and move on.” It’s like well, but there’s a betrayal all the way down to the foundation of a marriage and that probably means we need to relay a new foundation. We need to start over. Not that we’d get divorced and all that, but it may mean we got to go back to basics. What’s our theology? Are we both Christians? How did we get to this place? How do we stay out of this place? Rebuilding trust can take a lot of time and I think Gracie’s right. It takes a professional Biblical counselor or a pastor as well as carefully selected wise couples for accountability and wisdom, and this is a trauma situation where someone is bleeding, and there’s going need to be a lot of people who come around and seek to serve and to help.
And so our encouragement today would be let a pastor know before you leave the service and Shoreline so that you don’t walk away without getting connected and getting help, and we’re totally sorry. I mean it’s one of the most devastating things that can happen in your whole life but particularly if you’re a Christian, but, as Grace said, it’s not beyond hope and it’s not beyond repair, but that will require much work and much time. Next one: “I’m a single gal who’s date a guys who are definitely physically ready for marriage.” I’m not sure what that means. They can shave? “But admittedly, we’re too fearful to commit. Advice?” You want to take this one too babe?
Grace Driscoll: Yeah, I’m not sure what that means. Physically ready for marriage. If it means that they’re sexually trying to be ready for marriage but not wanting to commit.
I think what it means is just that they’re adult men who are not able to —
Grace Driscoll: Who should be ready to commit that aren’t.
— yeah. They should be more you know, close the deal. Get it done. Be a dude, step up, that kind of stuff.
Grace Driscoll: Yeah, I wouldn’t date those guys.
Me neither. I appreciate that you wouldn’t date those guys. I like hearing that. That’s good.
Grace Driscoll: There are other guys out there that are, I mean, where like Mark says, We’re working on that at Mars Hill to get those guys ready for the commitments and taking marriage seriously. You’ve got to be a man, not a boy, like he says. So I would say yeah, don’t date him. Any guys that you can tell quickly they are not ready for marriage, continue to pray for God to bring that person along. Be your first commitment is to be a godly woman and a godly man will come along and see that and God can bless you with that in his timing, but is an epidemic that you know, guys are allowed to be boys for too long in this culture. So it is a common thing sadly, but it’s not, again it’s not hopeless.
Mark Driscoll: I think it’s okay too though that if a gal, let’s say she’s younger and her dad loves him and we’ve got two daughters and if this was my daughter, I would just talk to the dude. I’d be like, “What’s the plan? Do you have a plan?” I mean —
Grace Driscoll: Especially if they’re believers.
Mark Driscoll: — yeah it’s like, just tell me what’s going on. Sometimes that’s hard for the woman but not for the dad, right? Like if he cries, I’m not really all that troubled. Just ask, and so if you’ve got a good dad, and you’re a younger gal, let’s say you’re an older gal or whatever, I think it’s okay just to ask. “What are we doing? You call me, we go out and what are we doing? What’s the plan? Are you looking for a wife? Are we going anywhere? If not, why are you pursuing me? Why are we dating? What is the plan?” And I just tell you guys, don’t start pursuing a gal unless you know you want to be married and you want to be married, and you’re definitely interested in considering marriage to her. Otherwise, it’s just confusing. If the guy is like, “Well I’m just practicing.” You’re going to devastate. That’s wicked. That’s sinful.
You’re supposed to treat younger women the Bible says, “Like sisters.” You’d be really upset if guys were just sort of hanging out with your sister and emotionally connecting with your sister and didn’t have any plan for your sister and didn’t actually have any future sketched out for your sister. Treat the women like sisters. You put a Christian woman in a very difficult position when you get connected to her in a dating relationship and you don’t have any plan that you’re going to execute on, and so your goal men is not to have good dates. Your goal is to have marriage, and if a guy is fearful, part of the fearful is okay. If a guy looks at it and says, “Okay. I’m going to give my whole life to this woman. We’re going to have kids and I’m going to pay the bills and I’m going to give my whole life to this woman.” Part of that fear is natural. Is this the right person?
Is this the right time? Is this the right way? But if that fear becomes paralyzing to where you can’t follow through, you can’t execute, you can’t have any faith in God to move forward, then you probably shouldn’t be in a dating relationship. You should probably be meeting with older godly men to figure out why you lack courage and confidence, and work on that first.
Grace Driscoll: And I don’t know who this is, so I don’t know what your personality is like, but sometimes women can be too forceful to in a relationship and so it really does scare the guys away from a commitment because they don’t, they think, “Well, this isn’t,” —
Grace Driscoll: — yeah.
How many kids do you want? Whoa.
Grace Driscoll: So.
We don’t even have appetizers yet, one thing at a time. All right, next one. Ballard: “If I was physically intimate with a previous girl, will that affect my future marriage?”
Grace Driscoll: You can start.
Mark Driscoll: Yeah. First of all, when you got to get married, we have premarital classes here at Mars Hill on our various campuses. Before you get married, go through Mars Hill premarital. It’s fantastic. It just is. One of the things you’ll have to do is confess your whole history to one another so that you know what you’re dealing with. Will it affect? Yes. Sin affects. That’s a sin. Now is it a sin that can’t be overcome? No. I mean, my history is I was sexually active before I met Grace and had to confess that as sin to her and she had to forgive me and Jesus died for it and I became a Christian at 19 and stopped doing anything until we were married. So I’m one example of a guy who sinned, met Jesus, stopped, married a great gal and you know, been together for 20 years. 16 of that’s marriage and I love her and I enjoy her and I appreciate her. So it’s not hopeless.
Jesus died to forgive sin, but does it have an effect? Yeah, it does. It does have an effect, in many ways. One: I think it can cause for the husband to have guilt and be open to demonic attack and shame and condemnation and what have I done, and beat himself up to the point where he really loses the ability to be free and intimate and passionate with his wife. He needs to accept that Jesus died for his sin and so his sin has been put to death, so he can go and live a new life, but maybe you can take it honey from the gal’s perspective if a guy has been sexually active and then he gets married, what effect does that have on the wife if particularly early on the marriage?
Grace Driscoll: Yeah. I think that it definitely has effects that can be worked through. The more you can work through before you get married; like you said with the pre-married class, sort of someone that you trust and know to work those things through, talk those things through. Be honest about those things: fears, lies, all that. The more you’ll be able to work it through in marriage quickly. For a gal, yeah I mean it can, if a guy is physically sexually active before, that can also put images and expectations in his mind of what his wife is going to be like which is inappropriate for who his wife will be, so that can be hard to work through but not impossible. He’s going to have to be cleansing and renewing his mind a lot and the same for a woman. We need to ask the Lord to cleanse us from those things that we did un-righteously.
Grace Driscoll: It can be, a woman already as you addressed has a hard time really believing that she’s loved by her husband and desired and attractive, even if she’s told that already because of her insecurities. So it can add to that. It can build lies from the enemy and knowing that her husband has been with another woman that sort of thing that can all add to the insecurities and fears, and calling those things out — calling those lies out immediately. If you feel anxiety or whatever, talking to your husband, talking to the Lord about that, not letting those things go because they will be just — continue to burn in you and you’ll become distant from your spouse. There’s a lot of adverse effects that can really come out of those things. So really talking through it, communicating is important in those situations and not being afraid to talk through that and be redeemed from it.
Grace Driscoll: God can totally heal you from all those things.
Mark Driscoll: Let’s do one more for the guys in the booth. Oh, I guess that’s what they’re going to do. We’re all done. Why don’t you do this, and on that last question, I think for a lot of these questions to, one of the things you see modeled in the Song of Songs is the couples talking about it. We’re talking about it. If you’re married or engaged, you’ve got to talk about it. I mean I know that’s a simple application but that’s the issue. Why don’t do you do this baby? At all the locations we’re going to hand it over to the campus pastors to transition the second half of the service in response since the gal spoke this week, maybe you transition our time and prayer. So you close us in prayer and we’ll let the campus pastors take it from there. So cool?
Grace Driscoll: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for writing this book through Solomon and for addressing these issues and for creating sexuality as a gift Lord that we don’t have to treat it as a God or see it as gross. We can see it as a beautiful thing that you created, and intended for pleasure and I just pray that singles would desire to be Holy as they moved toward marriage and this area that married people would be open to discussing it and that this would challenge them in a good fruitful way; to be able to repent of past. To be able to move forward and have beautiful redeemed marriages in this area Lord we know that you desire that for all of us and that you can accomplish that through your son’s forgiveness on the cross. So we just — we thank you so much that you have addressed everything in our lives including this area. And we pray for the couples that discuss these things on the way home in Jesus name, Amen.