Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Marriage, Sex and Ministry 1

When I returned from my summer break this year I was met with the tragic news from Florida about Todd Bentley separating from his wife and also news of another pastor in a local church failing morally. That was 2 in just 6 weeks, one who is known to Christians around the world and another much closer to home. In my view that’s two too many – and that’s just the ones I’ve heard about.

King David seemed to have everything going for him. If you read the chapters leading up to when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, the scriptures record success after success – the conquering of Jerusalem, the defeat of the Philistines, God’s promise to David. Victories and mighty men, it goes on and on. So how could a man, whose heart was committed to God, who had many wives to fulfil his sex drive, fall to temptation? What could lead a man such as David, at the peak of his ministry, to sleep with another man’s wife, leading to further deception and the murder of Uriah?

Why do so many pastors and their wives fail morally? Why do we seem to be so vulnerable to sexual temptation? We cannot be complacent. If it can happen to King David and a seemingly endless number of others, it could happen to any of us.

At the Brighton Conference this year Mark Driscoll got many of us talking when he threw out the line that pastors should be having sex with their wives every day! You may also have heard of the ‘30 Day Sex Challenge’ from the Relevant Church in Florida, aimed at challenging couples to increase the intimacy in their marriages. Apparently their congregation has increased by 15%!

The subject of sex in marriage is so important. Deb and I recently ran a Saturday morning seminar at Kings for married couples, entitled ‘Sex, Romance and God’. It was part of a broader teaching series we had been running on Sundays, called ‘Sex in the City’, based on 1 Corinthians. The seminar was for married couples only and gave us the opportunity to address the subject of sex and romance in marriage far more openly than would be appropriate on a Sunday morning. The seminar was both challenging and fun and we were asked questions we have never been asked before! We had planned to hold the seminar on just one Saturday, but had to repeat it the following weekend to meet demand. How wonderful to have so many couples seeking to improve the sex and intimacy in their marriages.