Friday, September 5, 2008

The pearl of great price!

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matt. 13:45)

My bible has a study note for this verse which states:
"In this parable, receiving the treasure requires that everything else must be sold, that is, a person must surrender all things [in order to receive Christ]." (my brackets added)

I found this description of a pearl:

The pearl itself is a beautiful, single entity, formed through suffering in the heart of the oyster.... and like the Church, will be put on display in a coming day. Unlike precious stones which must be cut and polished to reveal their clarity and beauty, the pearl is perfect as it comes from the oyster - the hand of man could only spoil it.

Are we even searching for that which is the highly sought after treasure in our marriage? If we don't see the "pearl of great price" as being worthy of our search and if we're not willing to surrender all other things... well.. we will not possess it. Instead, we will settle for slightly less than what God has to offer us.

What does that have to do with cultivating a desire for sex and meeting emotional needs during the sex act?

Perhaps some dw's don't know how to cultivate a desire for sex and are either afraid to move into that realm of eroticism or they just don't want to make it a priority for whatever reason. (ie- job, church, friends, kids, hobbies, distractions such as tv/computer, etc.) However, scripturally speaking, after our relationship with God our marriage relationship should come next, before all else.

If a wife is just going through the motions of having sex without passion she is, perhaps unknowingly, not meeting the husband's need for emotional release. He may as well masturbate or have sex with anyone to simply receive those same physical feelings. With dispassionate sex, a husband's hunger for an emotional tie is not satisfied.

So what is the point of having sex with our spouse? Is it just a "feel good" activity to pass our time away? No! No! No! God intended for it to be waaay more than just the physical release. Through physical intimacy we not only bond sexually but also emotionally and spiritually. We cannot separate the areas of intimacy in marriage. They are uniquely meshed together by God. If we have sex out of duty, it's like we are telling our spouse, "See, I'm doing what you want but don't ask me to fully give myself to you in an emotional or spiritual way while we're having sex. I am not going to do it!"

Why do you think sexual relationships outside of marriage are not mutually satisfying? It's because the sex is only......... sex. Usually one sexual partner wants more emotional and spiritual connection from the relationship than what the other partner is willing or able to give.

When a Christian is content to have sex purely out of "physical duty" while under the spiritual covering of marriage, it is really not much different than a worldly whore having sex. "WHOA," you say. But think about it. A whore goes through the motions of having sex and then walks away from the bed with no emotional ties to the sexual encounter. I can say this because I used to live as a worldly whore; I'm well acquainted with the mindset. A worldly whore cannot connect the dots of sex with emotions. Do we also experience that disconnect in our marriage bed? Could that be why we lack passion?

Wives who earnestly pursue having all that God intends for their marriage are usually rewarded with heightened sexual passion. We have to strongly desire sexual passion in order to pursue it. Do we want it? Do we even recognize that God wants it for our marriage? Other wives willingly acknowledge that they find no satisfaction in eroticism. Their honesty is a good place in which to start. Now if they are willing to earnestly seek through prayer they will learn to find delight in eroticism because they will know by faith that it is, indeed, a treasure to be sought. With renewed satisfaction in eroticism, comes passionate sex.

God wants and has so very much more for Christian marriages, truly. Are we willing to go after that pearl of great price?

13 comments:

delightinmyhubby said...

Excellent blog today Gemma. You have so many good points. I wish more TMBers could read this today. One point that came to mind that hasn't been mentioned is the trust issue. For some of us it can take years to finally let our guard down and be fully transparent to our spouse in the marriage bed. Recently I've been pondering the "why" in regards to my (and other wives) refusal and I think a lot of it has to do with allowing our spouse to actually take control of our bodies and will - our body becoming theirs for the moment. We have to relax completey, then allow ourselves to be "seen". They see our facial expressions, feel our movements, and many other physical things that happen during the heat of passion.Sometimes it's like we have a one person audience and we are expected to perform, or should I say we "perceive" it that way. When we finally turn over our bodies to our spouse and allow them to bring physical and inimate pleasure we trust them in the way God intended. Sometimes I wonder - will this part of the marriage relationship be paralleled in our relationship with Christ? Is he preparing us for his Kingdom by teaching us to give our bodies over and enjoy the blessing that comes from it?

Who am I said...

As a man who as a higher drive than my wife, this inspires me that it is ok to continue to dream and pursue taking our sex life from good, to great, to extraordinary.

So tempting to settle for somewhere between good and great.

Gemma said...

DIMH,

(You need a shorter nickname ;-). Maybe I can call you "delight"?

Regarding the trust issue in our marriage bed--- For some, it happens from the time of the wedding. We walk into the marriage fully trusting. It is as it should be.

Yet for others, like you said, the trust can take years. Often, it never comes. Are too many women, and men, going into marriage with baggage and just getting complacent about it, rocking along rather than tearing it down?

Our relationship with God does parallel marital trust in many ways. Those who completely trust Him, have an easier time obeying Him in all things and are blessed in all things. Yet those who lack trust in God, insist on using the baggage as a barrier between them and God. God wants to give us all good things in life but He can't because He will not force His way through the baggage barrier where there is lack of trust and where He is not welcome.

In the marriage relationship, we miss out on so many wonderful things where trust is lacking. What will it take for us to abandon the baggage and fully embrace marital intimacy? We say we trust God in all things but do we? Or are we saying, "God, I trust you with most of my life but please don't butt into my marriage. You don't understand why I need my baggage."

Gemma said...

wai,

Yes, be inspired. Don't settle for less.

The Aestheticist said...

"With dispassionate sex, a husband's hunger for an emotional tie is not satisfied."

From experience, any kind of sex fails to offer me an emotional connection. Unless I misunderstand, the implication, here, is that men seek an emotional connection through sex. While this may be true of some men, I find it insulting that seemingly all men are lumped into this category.

If there were the opportunity, I would gladly refuse sex out of pure spite.

"If we have sex out of duty, it's like we are telling our spouse, 'See, I'm doing what you want but don't ask me to fully give myself to you in an emotional or spiritual way while we're having sex. I am not going to do it!'"

And what if a person has no desire for sex, or a different philosophical opinion? If a spouse has sex simply out of duty, or the other’s desire for it, then that is a sacrifice. If the sacrifice isn’t appreciated – too bad.

If someone makes sex an obligation, then that person deserves the potential consequences for doing so. I have no pity for such people.

In fact, I have great disdain for such people, if it isn’t obvious.

"A whore goes through the motions of having sex and then walks away from the bed with no emotional ties to the sexual encounter."

A whore also receives payment for services rendered. Thereby, a whore has more incentive to have sex than pure obligation.

Gemma said...

TA,

I didn't say "all husbands". I was speaking in generalities. Why would you view yourself in that category if it doesn't describe you?

TA said:
"A whore also receives payment for services rendered. Thereby, a whore has more incentive to have sex than pure obligation."

No, a prostitute receives payment for her services.

A whore, in the worldly sense, offers sex free of charge to anyone who will have her. In the heat of the moment with each man, she feels loved because she is wanted and needed. But afterwards, she walks away from the bed all alone and totally lacking any amount of self-esteem.

Mark said...

Gemma,

This is a fantastic post and one I think I should share with my wife.

Not as a club, especially since our sex is getting better, but as a thought provoking article.

Mark

The Aestheticist said...

"I didn't say "all husbands". I was speaking in generalities. Why would you view yourself in that category if it doesn't describe you?"

First and foremost, I replied as a man - not a husband. However, you generalized "husbands," - you did not specify ones in loving, Christian relationships. It is obviously an implication, but you said "husband," from Old English "husbonda," meaning the head of a household. I am head of my household, I am married to a woman.

Moreover, I have been in love - I am in love - and I have had sex. I do not think it is imperative that I have been married to the woman I love when I had sex with her.

I did not have sex with her to have an emotional connection.

That is enough for me to comment about it.

"No, a prostitute receives payment for her services."

Whore. Old English: "hora," meaning PROSTITUTE. I look into the dictionary only to see that a whore is defined as a prostitute.

A SLUT is a woman who will have sex with anyone - a woman of loose morals. This meaning has been used since the 1450's.

A woman who offers sex free of charge to anyone is a miserable SLUT.

It has a much more vicious connotation. I like that in a word.

A whore is either an adulteress or a prostitute, from its earliest meanings. I refuse to change its definition when there is a perfectly good word in use for a woman who has sex for no coin.

Gemma said...

TA, I was using the meanings of the words "whore" and "prostitute" in the way that I understand their usage in today's society. Where I grew up, whores and sluts freely gave sex to anyone where Prostitutes required payment for services rendered. I am fully aware that their original meanings are a far cry from how these words are used today. But I do appreciate the definitions you offered.

Gemma said...

Thank you Mark, for your kind comment. I hope you and dw have some positive discussions over it.

The Aestheticist said...

Disclaimer: I do not claim there is one definition. I couldn't. I have been known to call people "whores" when it has nothing to do with sex. This is ALSO in line with it's definitions. However, I am a semantic person.

Basically, I refuse to let the comment, "No, a prostitute receives payment for her services," which argues that a whore does not. Modern dictionaries agree that whores are, in fact, prostitutes.

I digress.

"TA, I was using the meanings of the words "whore" and "prostitute" in the way that I understand their usage in today's society."

As was I. I merely look to the past for the concrete. I have heard.

"I am fully aware that their original meanings are a far cry from how these words are used today."

They are not "a far cry." I rarely hear use of the word "prostitute," except in less vulgar conversation. I have grown hearing the word "whore" used for the "prostitute" type, and "slut" for the promiscuous type.

Conversely, I know the word "punk" originally meant "prostitute," but I know and recognize that this usage of the word is as rare as the real meaning of "gay" in contemporary culture.

I am also adamant to not allow common usage to rape the English Language any more than it already does. "Slut" is perfectly adequate enough. "Whore" is not its synonym and my very contemporary dictionary defines it first as "prostitute."

Slattern, trollop, strumpet, drab, hiron, fittchew, bawd, treddel -- all are plenty of words for "prostitute," or "harlot." Some can be used - like "slattern" - for merely promiscuous wenches, some are merely for whores - like "hiron".

Some words in that list are no longer thought of as words. Some - like "punk" - have new meanings.

"Whore," however, still retains the definition of "prostitute" first, and other definitions follow after.

I cannot agree with your statement, Not, at least, when my modern dictionary disagrees with you.

For reference, I only cite the first in the list:

MSN Encarta

"1. an offensive term for a prostitute"



Note that the above lists this only as the first definition, and a "slut" definition as second.

Merriam-Webster

"1: a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman"



This lists "prostitute" before "promiscuous," placing emphasis on it's more important and relevant definition.

My favorite, the UK Oxford's Dictionary, has a similar definition, that also lists "prostitute" before "slut."

Because of my affections for this dictionary, and it's relatively short entry, I will post all of it, if it pleases:

"whore

• noun derogatory a prostitute or promiscuous woman.

• verb 1 work as a prostitute. 2 use the services of prostitutes.

— DERIVATIVES whorish adjective.

— ORIGIN Old English."

Words are a thing of power. One - new - definition does not destroy another. Neglecting a definition still in use is an injustice - not to me, never to me - but to the language, itself.

As a lad, I often read dictionaries and thesauruses. As I grew older, I searched for etymology. I am not much of a writer of literature, but I am still a great lover of words. They deserve respect and defense.

I would also like it known that I try to use the word "gay" in its traditional definition whenever I can. I am not so liberal with the language.

Gakkuri Neko said...

Gemma, this is a wonderful post. It offers alot for me to ponder on... and is it just me, or is TA simply being argumentative for the sake of arguing???

Gemma said...

Thanks, GN. Glad you enjoyed the article. And yes, TA loves to argue.