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Types of Love: Eros
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Naked and Unashamed

 

Continuing on with our love theme for February, I drew the short eros straw. Eros is defined as romantic or passionate love. It is where we get such terms as erotic, which leads us to talking about sex, and reminds me of one of my dad’s favorite jokes.

 

“Do you know what the difference is between naked and “nekid” (pronounced with a strong, southern accent out of the corner of your mouth) are? Naked is when you don’t have any clothes on. “Nekid” is when you don’t have any clothes on and are up to no good.”

 

I love that joke because I think it touches on the puritanical guilt that is so deeply embedded in our culture. The tension it creates can undercut how we as Christians understand the healthy place of sexuality in our married lives. As I read Genesis 2:18-25, I believe God created us to experience and enjoy eros in committed, marriage relationships. Or in other words, God wants married couples to be “naked and unashamed.” I read that story as describing the type of intimacy God longs for in each of our marriages. The story of the creation of Eve paints a picture of erotic love that can help us define true intimacy with our own spouses.

 

First off, I believe that intimacy can only exist among equals.

 

Notice in Genesis 2 how God leads the animals in front of Adam, who then proceeds to name them. In naming, he is expressing his dominion over the rest of the created order, and his uniqueness. Out of God’s mercy, He recognizes that “it is not good for the man to be alone,” and so He creates Adam a “suitable helper.” Upon seeing her for the first time, he exclaims, “this is at last bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” or finally – here is my equal but in a much better package.

 

How do you think about your fiancée or your spouse? Is he or she someone that you celebrate as your equal? Your life-partner who you can face life together with? Someone who has your back in good and bad times? Does he or she know that you respect and value them? Intimacy – the life-giving, erotic kind – begins among equals.

 

Second, I believe that intimacy requires commitment.

 

The poetry of Genesis 2:24 talks about how “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.” The picture the Hebrew creates is one of continually pursuing your spouse. It is living a lifestyle of saying “yes” to the best in your spouse and your marriage. It’s Wesley saying to Buttercup in The Princess Bride, “as you wish.” It’s not just getting her to marry you, but still pursuing her heart after 5, 10, 20 and 50 years of marriage. It’s saying “yes” to your marriage before anything else – jobs, hobbies, and even children. (I can expand on the whole happy marriage, happy kids idea over coffee if you want to.) Intimacy requires commitment.

 

How are you saying “yes” to your spouse each day?

 

And finally, intimacy involves more than sex.

 

No matter what anyone tells us, the Bible is not PG. This is underscored by the phrase “and the two became one flesh” and “they were naked and unashamed” found in Genesis 2:24-25. We were created as sexual beings. But intimacy is more than sex – it is more than just the physical dimension of two bodies. It is emotional, spiritual and physical. For it to be all that God created it to be, it requires two whole persons. Like Dr. Kevin Lehman has written, “good sex is an all-day affair. You can't treat your wife like a servant and expect her to be eager to sleep with you at night. Your wife's sexual responsiveness will be determined by how willingly you help out with the dishes, the kids' homework or that leaky faucet that drips throughout the night”... it requires communication, knowing how to fight fair and lots of grace. Intimacy requires more than sex.

 

How are you investing in your spouse in practical, day-to-day, life-giving ways?

 

My prayer is that the marriages in the Acts 2 family could be defined as “they were naked and unashamed.” I pray that the Holy Spirit would empower each married person to treat their spouse as their equal, say “yes” to them and their family and turn up the passion in their bedrooms by investing in the practical details of life throughout the day.

 


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Edmond, OK 73012
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