I remember feeling weird the first time that I was at a wedding and thought to myself, “those two people are going to leave here and have sex.” I mean, in a lot of ways, my attendance – and the attendance of their 100’s of guests at their wedding – was to celebrate two people having sex. Today, as a pastor, I officiate celebrations of sex. I lead people dressed up in fancy clothes to say things that culminate in taking off those fancy clothes and having sex. I mean, it’d be unhealthy if they didn’t…have sex that is, I guess taking off the clothing is more of an operational concern.
This Sunday we confessed the 6th Commandment together:
“What is the Sixth Commandment?
You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.“
Now, to be clear, when we’re celebrating a wedding, we’re not just celebrating sex. That is an important point to make, especially in our culture. We’re not celebrating sex disassociated from a life together. Rather, we’re celebrating sex as a part of life together. That’s why the explanation of the 6th commandment doesn’t drop off at “so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life.”
It goes on to “And husband and wife love and honor each other.” It probably sounds weird, but the way that married couples first try to fulfill that challenge to “love and honor” as a married couple for each other happens naked on the night of their wedding. Sex is a microcosm, a world in miniature, of what God wants for our marriages. That is what sex looks like between two married people – at least should – loving and honoring. Take the love or the honor out of the equation, and it looks like something less – it looks like pornography or rape.
And here’s the really crazy thing – God tells us that our human marriages are a microcosm of our relationship with Christ (read Ephesians 5). Don’t get gross or weird about it, but that means that there is something about Jesus that you can learn through having sex with your wife or husband. And if you’re feeling funny about that, I don’t know why you are – because we also believe that we eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood in communion – which is something far more shocking in my book.
Here’s the reality. Sex is about Jesus. And so why wouldn’t we celebrate it? Why wouldn’t we honor it? If marriage is about Jesus, let’s strive for good marriages, and if sex is about marriage, let’s strive for good sex. And where we fail, we know that we have a forgiving “lover” in Jesus who still honors us and loves us – no matter what. That’s something to celebrate.