Marriage is about sex, companionship and the possibility of children. But even more than that, “marriage tells us something about God.” It is a sacred, exclusive, loyal, lifelong, mutually submissive, mutually respecting, love-based commitment. In that sense marriage re-enacts God’s fidelity to us. As God is faithful to us, we are faithful to each other. When a couple get’s married they speak vows of fidelity to each other, “forsaking all others… in sickness and in health… till death do us part.” When fidelity in human relationships mirrors fidelity in our relationship with God (see 1 John 4:7-12), sexuality and spirituality embrace.
Our world deems many things as ‘sexy.’ Books, magazines, swim suit editions, playboy, 50 Shades of Grey, music, and movies have significant influence in what frames and defines sexuality for our culture. Fidelity, it seems, does not rock the top of the sexy list.
My wife and I recently hit our 8 year anniversary. What a crazy 8 years it has been. Jam packed with ups and downs and the mundane. She is the love of my life, my partner in this journey. While performing the wedding of our dear friends, I was reminded that the vows of marriage is a step in faithful obedience to one another and to God. It is not like I forgot this in my 8 years with Katrina, but it served as a reminder that fidelity, faithfulness and obedience are all operative within the multi-faceted dynamics of a ‘grounded in God’ marriage relationship.
Through continued fidelity, faithfulness and obedience within the marriage relationship, sexuality becomes intimately connected with faith in God. But it does not end there. The marriage relationship is taking a beating with rising divorce rates. As much as it has ever been, marriage is a very public testimony of faithfulness to one another, and faithfulness to God. It becomes missional by nature.
A big part of that public testimony, or that missionality, is that “Fidelity Is Sexy.” The church would do well to speak more on this topic.
What about your church? Does it speak on fidelity? How important do you see fidelity as the church wrestles with conversations about sexuality? Is it being talked about?
Please stay tuned as I will be interviewing Gareth Brandt, author of “Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality” in the very near future. But for more reading on this check out his website on the topic. His voice is very welcome and important to the conversation on male spirituality. www.mensspirituality.com