Mahaney is no sexpert, and this is no sex manual. But this may be the best book on sex you'll ever read. Sex, Romance and the Glory of God presents a theology of marriage that serves as just the right backdrop to look at how Solomon, in his famous Song, deals with sex.
The book sets sex in the proper context for which God intended it. And it calls men—Christian men—to love and romance their wife. Mahaney explains that marriage then Books on sex and romance, written by godly pastors are rare. Mahaney explains that marriage then is intended to be a picture of how Christ relates to his Church.
Let me quote Mahaney at this point, since his words are much more adequate than mine: This is the essence of marriage. This is the divine purpose for your marriage…. Something of the selfless love, care, and sacrifice that Jesus shows toward the Church is supposed to be evident in you as you relate to your wife. Something of the respect, submission, and devotion that the Church shows toward Jesus is supposed to be evident in your wife as she relates to you. That is why God has given her to you, and you to her.
Mahaney encourages us to plan and work at delighting our wife in any number of small yet meaningful ways. He provides practical pointers and suggestions and strongly encourages a weekly date of some kind. The truth he wants us to remember, if nothing else from this book is this: There can be a selfish, sinful tendency among husbands to view their wives as a goal that, once achieved, is then taken for granted.
That is how a wife with children comes to feel primarily like a mother. And that is why the very idea of asking a question like this can cause many husbands to swallow hard and consider going off to watch a little TV. But whatever your situation, if you make it a priority to love and care for your wife as Christ does the Church…God will touch her heart so that, even when surrounded by diapers, dishes, and diseases, she can answer that question with joy: It calls for immense sacrifices and deserves great honor.
In fact, I think the most effective mothers are wives who are being continually, biblically romanced by their husbands. The following story was a challenge and encouragement for me to remember that I am to love and serve my wife and family as Christ serves and loves the Church.
When our first two children were still quite young, I realized that my commute home in the evening was functioning as little more than a review of my day. As far as I was concerned, by the time I got in that car, my responsibilities were pretty much over until the next morning.
I saw my home as a refuge, a place where the emphasis, for me, was on being served rather than on leading and serving with Christlike love. I saw that my commute could be best utilized as a time of transition, so that I might be prepared to finish the day by loving and serving my family well. So I made a practice of pulling the car over a few blocks from my home so I could take a couple of minutes to make an effective transition in my soul.
There on the side of the road, I meditated on Ephesians 5 as well as on some other passages. I confessed to God my sinful tendency to be selfish and sought to prepare my heart to serve my wife and children when I arrived home. In this way I learned to see my home as the context where I have my greatest privilege and opportunity to serve…. I was challenged to be more intentional in how I communicate with my wife, and to stop neglecting poetry as a means of arousing her love.
Listen to Mahaney on this point: It is highly intentional, creative, provocative, erotic language. They model for us what it means to feel sexual passion and to articulate that passion. The language is highly poetic, romantically expressed, and exceptionally creative and imaginative. It is also unmistakably sexual. The best sex begins with romance, and the best romance begins with the kind of speech we read in the Song of Solomon.
It begins with carefully composed words…. Poetic language is a gift from God that can help me promote godly romance with my wife! He stresses that the sexual aspect of marriage should not be considered "a fundamentally spiritual activity". He even goes so far as to say: Is there a case to be made from Scripture that lovemaking is any less important to a marriage than praying together, studying the Bible together, or even attending church together?
Sex in marriage is mandatory and something to be celebrated! See 1 Corinthians 7: He stressed that Song of Solomon, while highly erotic, is a book about marital love.
And he draws some important conclusions from that seemingly inconsequential point. What is dominant in the Song is not any particular physical act.
The book is not about sexual intercourse. They want to be together because they are in love, albeit a powerful one…. It is for the most part a reproduction of chapter 7 in her book Feminine Appeal.
Like the entire book, this section was not so much a manual on how to make love, as it is an encouragement to have a deep and lasting joyful relationship with your mate which includes a proper valueing and enjoyment of sex. I am aware that there have been extreme allegorical interpretations that go so far as to negate any application of what the song teaches about marital love. He denies any typographical use of the book. And just as other Biblical stories foreshadow and describe the redemption Christ accomplished for His people, thereby enhancing our understanding of and appreciation of the Gospel, so too the Song of Solomon may rightly be seen to describe the anti-type of which marriage is only a picture.
Indeed all marriages are a picture of the abiding covenant love and joyful relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church Eph. My quibble over interpreting Song of Solomon aside, you need to get this book. And if you're a husband, you especially need to read it, and even more so if you have already been married for some time.
I recommend it highly. Touch her heart and mind before you touch her body.