Why do they always put the chapter on sex at the back of the book? I am the dubious owner of over a hundred books about marriage. I’m not sure if that makes me a scholar or an idiot, but it is what it is. I think God makes me study and teach this stuff so I won’t forget it. But I find it interesting that virtually every book on marriage has the chapter on sex at the end of the book. It may be that they are embarrassed to talk about it. Or possibly they are being pious, as if to say that sex is unimportant to Christians. But the truth is, according to all the couples I’ve counseled over the years, having a healthy love life is a big deal! Years ago, Willard Harley Jr. wrote a book entitled His Needs, Her Needs (Revell 1986) where he cites a scientific study stating that of a man’s top five needs, sex is number one. The woman’s number one need is for affection. If that is the case, we shouldn’t pretend it is unimportant; “out of sight, out of mind”. Because, although we may keep it out of sight, it will not stay out of mind.
So, I figured we’d better begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey says in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. When it comes to sex, that isn’t difficult, because many of us already do this. And therein lies the challenge. We might not have said it in so many words but from the time a teenage boy discovers girls, he’s trying to see if he can get to first base, second base, third base…you get my point. So why is it that when we get married, we forget all those baseball analogies and try to score with our spouse without ever rounding the bases?
Climax is a word that is familiar to all of us in reference to our sexual relationship. It’s interesting because it is from the Greek word, Klimax which means Ladder. I have another book called Sex Begins in the Kitchen by Dr. Kevin Lehman. No, it’s not some kinky Love American Style book, but the title says it all. You’ve heard of foreplay? What about before foreplay? Chances are your wife would find it very romantic if you’d help her with the dishes after dinner. Maybe your husband’s favorite home cooked meal would set the tone for a romantic evening. Every thoughtful thing we do for one another is like climbing another rung of the romantic ladder towards the climax.
I was teaching a married couples’ bible study, using my ladder analogy, and one bewildered husband piped up and said “Every time I get almost to the top I see big bold writing that says DO NOT STAND ON OR ABOVE THIS STEP” We all laughed at his wit, but we also, all understood his frustration.
So I guess I got the answer to my question. All those chapters leading up to the Chapter on Sex are important rungs of the ladder. So we’ll talk about all of them, ways to climb the ladder as well as the challenges and pitfalls couples face. In the meantime, let’s remember back to our dating relationship and all those little things that made our future spouse feel special. Going places they liked to go, eating the foods they like to eat, and paying attention to the things that were important to them. And let’s begin again to climb the ladder trusting the Lord for a very satisfying result.
Jesus said: Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do again the first works Rev 2:5