From a sermon on Song of Songs chapter 7. In it I explore the loss of desire and pleasure in marriage and prayer. This excerpt deals with marriage; other parts of the sermon deal with the recovery spiritual vibrancy. See the transcript here. For the audio, click here.
Why is it that marriage today too often seems to bring an end to desire? Why do lovers look outside the marriage relationship in search for pleasure—sports teams, hobbies, entertainment, drugs and alcohol, pornography, affairs? Why is it that the birth of children, our involvement in responsibilities, and the presence of physical problems in our bones and brains too often spell the end of desire? Can married couples have children and work jobs and live with changing bodies and still look upon each other with passion and desire, and enjoy each other with pleasure from inside marriage?
If not, then the Bible is cruel and misleading.
But I don't think the Bible is selling us a bill of goods. I think we're just lost; captive to sin; imprisoned far away from the love we long for. But if we're lost, then we can be found. If we're bound up, we can be set free.
It's true that some of us have been abused physically. We've been so hurt relationally that we're afraid to make ourselves vulnerable again. It's true that some of us aren't happy with ourselves, our bodies, or our partner's. But it's also true that all of us can find help for healing and growth.