I awoke this morning considering the ways that the sexual union, now glibly called "making love", can affect us so differently from one time to another. Why at some times it brings a blissful euphoria, and at others it brings the dark shadow of deepest depression! Why one time it brings the joy of total fulfillment, and at others it brings the cold hard sting of rejection.
Of course there are many factors, varying from general emotional well-being or a lack of emotional well-being - even from subconscious, child-hood roots - to the daily "mood-swings" of those involved. It can also be affected by the weather or energy levels or the capacity for selfishness of the ones involved, to what kind of day each one had!
As it is with most relationships, however, even if it is simply dealing with a cashier for a few minutes, our interchanges with humans tend to, usually, only give us back what we have put into it. No investment, no return! And that turn around is much faster in relationships than it is in the stock market! I can tell you that from much experience!
.So what is my point? I am trying to get my brain around the concept of Life! Chaim! Chaim! Not just the breathing, heart-beating, digesting, physical aspects of it. Not the practical, financial, survival aspects of it. But the spiritual, eternal, what makes it tick aspects of it, and how that factors into what we do and think, and what ultimately determines who we are! And I am sure that those are the "places" where we come into contact with the Divine Nature, and experience the Presence of the Creator! I think that the intimate physical union was designed to be a mere culmination of loving in all the other areas of life, not a selfish satisfying of a mere physical addictive urge! And because of that purpose - the culmination of love for each other - it was designed to be one of the Holiest times of worship! It was to be the time when our creator joined in our joy, and breathed life into our union, sometimes literally! We call that conception, but it was supposed to be much more than even that! It was supposed to be a procreative process that would yield the "Blessing of Life" in all areas of the relationship!
Scientifically, we have come to know that the act that has been reduced to the three letter word - "sex" - can have some very positive effects on our physical, mental and emotional health - well, when it is done correctly, meaning that both partners have a chance to "climax" into an ultimate, natural resolve. However, in recent years (like, since Queen Victoria, who was first a pervert, and then a prude, if history has been accurate in recording her accounts) a weird, religious aversion to the whole act has developed because it has been lowered to such base depths that it is hard to find anything of "Holiness" about it anymore.
I frankly think this was a devious but effective plot of the enemy of G-d, to turn His people into a bunch of sour, unfulfilled, scurrilous, quarrelsome, nincompoops that most appear to be to this day!
If the "Joy of the Lord is (to be) our strength", why wouldn't he - the enemy - go after the sources of the Joy? We, as a race of beings, have allowed selfishness to degrade and ruin one of the most beautiful aspects of relationship between man and woman. Dare I say it, husband and wife! We are so self-oriented that typically any kind of commitment ruins it for us, because we may have to fork out something to "get what we want"!
This unfortunate turn of events, this development of "Independence" and "Rugged Individualism" as a way of life, has effectively turned us away from G-d, His ways of doing things (including, but not limited to, having great relationships), and from each other, into our own empty, void, aimless world of "getting my needs met" (usually at the expense of someone else!). And in doing so, has robbed us of many a great Joy! Our selfishness has robbed us of that throbbing, teaming, exciting Life of G-d, His presence and input into our daily existence, that thrills and fulfills!
We dream of unity, peace, lack of war, and lack of conflict. But the cause of all that unrest is pegged dead-on by James (Ya'acov, the half-brother of our Lord), in the fourth chapter of his epistle in the New Covenant. I am going to quote from "The Message" Bible, which is a paraphrase:
"Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it...."
Of course this passage goes on to say that we could and should ask G-d for what we want, but shame for our greed keeps us from His presence! We are not satisfied with what He thinks we need! We are bent on getting what it is that we want! And if this greediness is allowed to creep into our intimate relationships there will be trouble in paradise! But that is not new is it? We say we want to "Get back to the Garden", I don't think we mean "Gethsemane", but I am pretty sure that it has become the gateway to Eden!
Yeshua, who declared Himself to be the "Life, the Truth, and the Way", by whom we must enter if we want back that Life of G-d in our own lives, went there on our behalf, to regain entry for us. I am not sure why we think that it makes us exempt, when it is written that He came as an example for us? But as He loved selflessly, so must we. As He served the Father's will over His own at every turn, down to the scruple, though it cost Him His physical "life", so must we! And we can not think that we can obey the first commandment without that type of commitment! After all, "Loving the Lord our G-d with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength", doesn't leave much room for self-oriented thinking or actions does it?
But if we will sacrifice our self, our own wants, dreams, desires and cravings, on the altar of devotion to Him, then we gain His Presence in our lives! In a sense we do "lose our lives", if we put it down and walk away from it. But we are promised that we will gain His Life in return! I think that is a stellar deal, and I have only managed to get a tiny glimpse of what His Life really looks like! I am ready to learn more. I am tired of the stale bread that I can scrounge for myself! I want His Life to bring the fire back to mine! I want His Love to burn hot over everything I do! If that means I burn up, like a shooting star, so be it, at least I will have left some mark! At least someone may have been attracted to the brightness of its burning!
In Life, or in sex, it is good to remember that - "IT IS NOT ABOUT US!" It is, and it should be, about Him! He is the Life! No one can get to the Father without going through the Son! It is about Him! Are we "Followers of Messiah" or aren't we? Do we want Peace or don't we? Do we want to "get back to the Garden" or is that just a nice sentiment that makes us feel like decent people? It is time we got real about this thing, it is time to "fish or cut bait", "put our money where our mouth is", and countless other idioms that mean we should put up or shut up! Talk is cheap, but it isn't enough of an investment for good relationships, trust is not cheap! But trust in G-d takes way more than talk people.
It is time His people really followed His Son's example in giving the world a picture of what that looks like! Or we could just shut up and go away. Either one is better than the current embarrassing situation! lol It is time that we remembered and took to heart this truth, that good relationships, good business, and yes, even good sex, comes from a good heart. And that, as it is written, outside of G-d, there is none good, no not one! If we would find life we must go to the source. As water is difficult to find in the desert, so, love is difficult to find in a heart without G-d! G-d is the source of all love! There can be no "making of love" and no real creation of Life, without Him! If we want a truly fulfilled life then we must trust Him to fill it! Trust is the bedrock of relationships. We must invest trust in G-d, and then, the return is the trust of others. But we have the right to take it or leave it!
How sad that we too often choose poorly. Hence the wars, hence the divorce rate, hence the STD's and a host of other ills, mostly "stress related". We can have peace, we can live in peace! But we must salute the Sar Shalom! The Prince of Peace! The Prince of Peace! We can "get back to the Garden" - of His divine input into our lives, but we must be willing to pass through the gateway of Gethesemane to shed the false gods of self-orientation! "Further up, and further in!", is our battle cry as press into His Kingdom! I want His Life, His Blessing and His Peace in my relationships! I must trust Him to help me get there! That is how it works, that is how we bring the Life of G-d to our relationships!
I renew my commitment today to leave the realm of selfish desires behind and follow my Messiah until He works His love into me! To me that is the "Promised Land" for every real desire of man is found there, peace, love, harmony and unity! "Oh, who will come and go with me, I am bound for the Promised Land!"