Written by Pastor Michelle Paxton, Aug. 2017

As you know, I have been writing about what our pastor is preaching on at church. This series is on “Sacred Sex: Lessons in Love, Intimacy and Passion”, based on the Song of Solomon book in the bible. This week was especially intense for a couple of reasons. One, the sermon was on the wedding and the night of the wedding… AWKWARD! Two, my husband, our assistant pastor, was preaching… even more AWKWARD! I joked all week that I was going to wear a mu-mu and sit in the back row. He was not impressed with my lack of support!

We looked at the purpose of a wedding and why it is so fancy, such a big deal. But what really, really got me regarding the wedding was the people you have standing beside you. What really is the purpose of your wedding party, your brides-maids and groomsmen? Have you ever asked yourself that? As we have gone through our marriage, some of my bridesmaids are still my closest friends, and some of them, sadly we are not my friends anymore.

For you ladies that are single, dating or engaged to be married… How are you choosing who will stand next to you on your wedding day? This is very, very important, and I wish I had this outlook for my wedding. Solomon explained that he had 60 men in uniform with him. 60 men! That’s a whole lot of men in your wedding party! But why?  Why did he have so many? He has these 60 men because they were his army; his army for his marriage. Solomon knew that if his marriage got in trouble, if he let little foxes into his marriage and they began to torment it and destroy it, these 60 men would stand up and fight for their marriage.

The rate of divorce in the nation is outrageous! Looking at the percentage of divorces is a difficult thing, but I can safely say that 39-41% of all marriages end in divorce based on a survey from 2001. http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/main/u-s-divorce-rates-and-statistics-1037.shtml) Personally, I feel that is way too high. When we get married we all say something like, “To have and to hold, in sickness & in health, ‘til death do us part.” What are we actually saying on our wedding day? “To have and to hold in sickness and in health, and if I feel like putting up with you and fighting for our marriage.” This is why Solomon had an army of men around him to fight for his marriage. Because he knew marriage takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes sometimes literally, sweat, blood and always tears! I cannot tell you how many times in the last six years of marriage a conversation that turned into a passionate disagreement has ended up with my husband sitting on the floor with me in tears! I should have put that in my vows! But then again, you never know what you’re getting into in marriage. But you do know that it’s going to take work, a lot of work! And it matters who you have by your side, to fight for and support you BOTH in your marriage.

Okay, so that’s the wedding.  Well, a small glimpse but important look at the wedding. Now for the night of the wedding! Let me just start off by saying that, hardly any of us make it to this night without already having sex. Like I mentioned in my last blog, my husband and I were one of the few that had the amazing pleasure of making it to this night without having already had sex with each other. My husband has been married once before, and I have had sexual partners in my past.  It’s not like it was a new thing to us individually, but it was new for us together. We both had hurt and pain that we brought into this night. But, leading up to this night, we both spent a lot of time praying together, talking together and praying alone about our healing. These efforts allowed us to move forward together without our past driving a wedge between us.

Solomon helps us understand that the greatest, greatest gift of all time for our marriage is SEX! He explains that the night of his wedding to his bride is like opening up a treasure. You don’t know what you’re going to get in there, but opening a treasure is a very exciting thing. He then goes on to explain that his bride is that treasure; she is his treasure.

Sex is something to be treasured. In our marriages it is something that we start with together, and that we learn and grow in over time, over the many years of our marriage. Sex is not for ourselves. It is something that God gave us to be able to serve each other with. It’s not about what I like and enjoy. It is about getting to know my husband and finding out what he enjoys, as we grow together. In turn, he will do the same thing for me. Then it is just great all around. Sex is not something we do for ourselves. It is a treasure, a gift given to us to allow us to show our love for each other, and only each other. That is why marriage is so intimate, frankly, because we are the only ones sleeping with each other, so we are the only ones that know this part of each other! It’s special, it’s sacred, and it’s a treasure that only we have opened together!

So single women & men, please think about your relationships and the intimacy in them. I know not everyone reading this is a lover of Jesus. Whether you are or are not, HE still gave us all the same gift. , And trust me, it’s amazing!

Married women & men, pour into your marriages! Men, treat your wife as the treasure she is! Women, treat your husbands as the prince charming he is. Give yourself for your spouse in intimacy and service!  If you’re having trouble in your marriage, ask for help! Marriage counseling is a must for all of us at some point in time.  It’s healthy. God doesn’t intend for us to live this life alone!