FamilyLife Blended® Podcast

131: God’s Purpose and Intent for Sexuality

with Ron Deal | February 12, 2024
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Do you wonder about God's purpose and intent for marital sexuality within marriage? What about the symbolism the Bible presents on this topic? Do you need help on how to nurture and protect this aspect of marriage? Listen to Ron Deal's message: God's Purpose and Intent for Sexuality.

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  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Ron Deal

    Ron L. Deal is one of the most widely read and viewed experts on blended families in the country. He is Director of FamilyLife Blended® for FamilyLife®, founder of Smart Stepfamilies™, and the author and Consulting Editor of the Smart Stepfamily Series of books including the bestselling Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart (with Dr. Gary Chapman), The Smart Stepfamily: 7 Steps to a Healthy Family, and Preparing to Blend. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist, popular conference speaker, and host of the FamilyLife Blended podcast. He and his wife, Nan, have three sons and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at

Do you wonder about God’s purpose and intent for marital sexuality within marriage? Do you need help on how to nurture and protect this aspect of marriage? Listen to Ron Deal’s message: God’s Purpose and Intent for Sexuality.

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131: God’s Purpose and Intent for Sexuality

With Ron Deal
February 12, 2024
| Download Transcript PDF

At FamilyLife®, we like to say that marriage tells a truth about God. Well, if marriage tells one truth, I want to suggest to you today that marriage, sexuality, procreation, the whole process, creates and tells an even bigger story about God; a more in depth, intimate story about who He is. It reveals His nature to us. It helps us understand our own nature in relationship to Him and to one another. And it shows us how we can make relationships healthy here on earth.

Welcome to the FamilyLife Blended podcast. I'm Ron Deal. We help blended families, and those who love them, pursue the relationships that matter most. And one of the ways we do that is through our annual livestream seminar for blended family couples called Blended and Blended®. Today, I'm going to share with you a presentation I did at the 2021 Blended and Blended livestream.

Now, you might be unfamiliar with this event, so let me just tell you a little bit about it. First of all, it's a one-day event for couples and blended families. Think marriage seminar designed just for you. Alright, that's number one.

Number two, you can attend it from anywhere in the world. You can attend by yourself, or with a small group in your home, or your church can host the event for couples in your church and community. The show notes will tell you about all of those and how you get connected.

Number three, the livestream is different every year. We have a new theme. We have new topics. We have new speakers. You can get access if you want to the previous seven years of Blended and Blended events. You can watch it in your home. You can turn it into a small group. We had somebody contact us not long ago saying, “Can we make this a small group?” Yes, exactly; use it however it serves you or couples around you. Again, the show notes will get you connected to that All-Access Digital Pass.

The fourth thing I want you to know is that it costs you just 20 dollars if you're watching from your home. If you're on the virtual live stream, just 20 bucks gets you access to this entire day marriage seminar designed just for you. And if you want to host it in your church for other couples, 100 dollars, less than 100 dollars, will allow you to be able to do that for as many people as you can put into the room. I know, that's pretty amazing, but that's the way we roll around here.

And what do you get for all that money? Well, an event that consistently gets a nine out of a ten score from those who attend. A hundred percent of those who returned an evaluation at our last event said they got their money's worth. And nearly 95 percent of our virtual audience watches the entire one-day event. Listen folks, that's amazing. They could have easily turned us off, started watching a cooking show, or reruns of Law Order, but they didn't. They stayed with us. Why? Because there's something valuable there for them, and I think for you.

Our theme for 2024 is Building Unity. Of course, you want to build unity in your home, but how do you actually do that? That's the subject of this year's Blended and Blended, so join us Saturday, April 27th, 2024. We're going to be live in McKinney, Texas. And by the way, if you're within driving distance, please come and be in our live audience. We'd love to have you there. And if not, you can livestream from around the world. Again, the show notes is the place to go to get connected to all of it.

Okay, so in this episode of FamilyLife Blended, we're going back a few years to 2021, the Blended and Blended event. I did a presentation called The Beauty Message and Mystery of Marital Sexuality. And this is where I suggest that you not let little ears listen any further. Yes, that's your cue to either turn it off or get the kids out of the room.

By the way, I do suggest that eventually you let your children listen to this, or at least you talk with them about it, but you need to listen first and then decide when and where you share it with your children.

[Recorded Message]

Question: have you ever wondered why sex? I mean, why did God create our bodies, the nature of our sexual how our body works, and procreation? Why did He do it the way that He did?

Answer: because sexuality is a symbol. It's a picture of something very important. And most Christians, most people have never, ever, ever had anyone explain that to them. So let's roll; here we go: The Beauty, Message, and Mystery of Marital Sexuality.

You may have heard of the leadership expert, Simon Sinek. He wrote a bestselling book called Start with Why. And in that book, he says that when you or a company start with your why, then you can be more efficient, you can accomplish your mission, you can sell more products, whatever it is that you're trying to do. Your why serves as your point of reference for all your actions, for all your decisions. It's what ultimately moves you forward.

Well, as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I have a why, and Ephesians is actually very clear about it. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God's project to restore heaven and earth has begun, our sin debt has been paid, death has been conquered, and as His followers, we are helping to bring the kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.

Ephesians chapter 1 verse 10 tells us, as I started out earlier today referencing, God is uniting all things to Himself in Christ Jesus. It's not just that He paid for our sin debt on the cross and conquered death. It's that He is now restoring heaven and earth in ways that it was intended from the very beginning. The project has begun, if you will, and He's going to restore divided race relations and ethnic divides. He's going to break those down, and He's going to invite, unite people.

We discover in the book of Ephesians how to treat our neighbors, how to walk with people that are around us, how you treat your spouse, chapter 5, parents and children, chapter 6, coworkers, chapter 6. The way we get there all this uniting is by walking in love and imitating God and doing what Christ did, which essentially is about giving ourselves up for them. So no matter what the circumstance is, no matter what kind of relationship we're talking about, walking in love helps to bring about God's global agenda of reconciling people to himself and people to one another so that the kingdom comes to earth. That's our why.

Now, when we start talking about sexuality, it's interesting to me that we kind of lose our why. We just start talking about it as if it's all about physical pleasure. Yes, that is one of the things that comes in marital sexuality is physical pleasure, but that's not all of it. Another person might speak up and say, “Well, isn't the why about expressing love to this person that you care about, expressing desire and sharing passion with one another?” Well, that's definitely a part of the process but I'm not sure that really captures the why.

You see, the why of sexuality is so much bigger than that. There is a God connected story in the why, and I'd like to share a little bit about that with you today. And here's why I'm sharing God's why for sex. Because I believe that once you understand this, once you really comprehend it, first of all, you will be amazed at how incredibly precious it is. And it will also change your heart and your attitude as you think about bringing yourself into a sexual experience.

Okay, so let me set this up. We're in Ephesians chapter five. We've just heard from Ray and Robin about loving one another as husband and wife. I have this little image in my head. Paul is kind of walking around. He's pacing. He's thinking, “Alright, I'm going to…” He's outlining what is going to become Ephesians chapter five. And he says to himself, right, “I got to remind them to love each other and take care of each other.”

“And husbands, I got to tell husbands to die for their wives, just like Christ died for us, the church and he cared for us as his body.” And then he's thinking, “Yes, yes, yes, I got to make sure this is very clear.” And he says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it just as Christ does the church.” This is verse 29 in Ephesians five, “because we are all members of his body.” I sort of see Paul at that point go “Body, it's not just the physical body of Christ resurrected. It's not just the metaphorical body of Christ, but there's so much more symbolism wrapped up into that idea. I've got to point people to that.”

So he says to himself, “You know, speaking of body, it reminds me about this whole other layer of meaning that is wrapped up in this metaphor called the body. And I've got to remind them of that, too.” And so, then he starts pinning chapter 5, verse 31. He goes back and references Genesis 2:24, “Therefore, a man will leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

So he goes all the way back to the beginning, and he pulls on Genesis, and he goes, “I want to show them what God had in mind from the start. And it's all about this one flesh little miracle thing. And I want to show them that when we talk about Christ's body, we're talking about more than that. This marriage symbolizes so much more than that.”
And then he adds this little commentary, this one flesh thing that was from the beginning. “This is a mystery,” He says, “that is profound.” And I'm saying that refers to Christ and the church.

Now, if you're with me a little bit, when you read that passage, you go, “I'm kind of getting lost here. I thought we were talking about husbands and wives loving each other. Then we're talking about husbands, you care for her, like you take care of your own body.” And then I was going, “Wait, there's body of Christ. There's this thing and then there's this mystery piece about how somehow this represents Christ in the church. I get a little lost in all of that.” Somewhere embedded in all of this is the why: why God created sexuality and what is there in it for us.

I want to spend a little time this morning just kind of unpacking the symbolism that Paul gives us in this passage so that we bring the heart of God to sex as He intended it to be. Have you ever noticed that God is really into symbolism? He's really into narrative. He's always created symbols for his people that serve certain purposes.

Well, the reason he does that, I believe, is because they're fantastic. There’re so many layers. You can have one symbol, but it can have multiple meanings. And sometimes those meanings get flushed out over time. You don't get them all at once, but you begin to see the other meanings over time. It's a fantastic communication device because there's so much embedded in it. Sometimes the meaning is fairly simple, and anybody could figure that out. But often, God's symbols carry meaning that only with the Holy Spirit's wisdom and power are we able to really see, “Oh, that's what He meant; that's what He was talking about.”

One quick example, most of us are familiar with the idea of Passover. You go all the way back to the Hebrews in bondage in Egypt, and what happens? God's going to work on their behalf, the death angel is going to come, and people are told “Take a lamb, kill this innocent lamb, take its blood, put it over your doorposts, and when the death angel passes by, you will be passed over.”

Well, that institutes a memorial. Let's have an annual Passover meal where we remember what God has done for us; where we celebrate His redemption of us; His provision for us. And so, we're going to take a lamb; we're going to kill it; we're going to create a meal; we're going to take blood. We're going to remember all those little elements, so we don't forget.

Well, that's just the beginning of the symbolism. You see, over time, God fleshes out even more and more meaning. Because someday there will come a Messiah, a precious Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world. And He will be killed on our behalf. And His blood will be put over us. And therefore, we will be passed over when it comes to our sins if we put our faith and trust in Him.

But there's more to it than that because Jesus is then going to take that Passover meal and he's going to change it just a little bit with his disciples and he says “I’m eating this with you. Bread and now, wine are the new symbols of the Passover and I want you to do this as a body of believers regularly moving into the future.” Why? “So you can remember what has happened and what I've done for you. And you can also be looking forward to what will be coming the day that I come back, and we all gather together. So remember as the body of Christ.”

So one symbol over time takes on multiple layers of meaning. God does this over and over throughout the scriptures. Another quick example is baptism. Is it about getting wet? No, it's not about getting wet. It's about being buried just like Christ was buried. He was raised to a new life. We are raised to new life. It's about washing away old sin and being new again. Like all of these layers of meaning are wrapped up in this one symbol.

Well, I want to suggest to you today that marriage is another symbol that has multiple layers within it. That if we understand that it helps us understand God's why for why he created the way He did. Let's begin to unpack that a little bit.

At FamilyLife, we like to say that marriage tells a truth about God. Well, if marriage tells one truth, I want to suggest to you today that marriage, sexuality, procreation, the whole process, creates and tells an even bigger story about God; a more in depth, intimate story about who He is. It reveals His nature to us. It helps us understand our own nature in relationship to Him and to one another. And it shows us how we can make relationships healthy here on earth.

So here we go. Let's look at some of the symbolism wrapped up in this thing called marital sexuality. Symbol, the first symbol is one. God creates male and female, but before he creates female, there is just male. And as the story goes, this was not good. The symbol is one person, one male, does not have a partner and the message is clear. It's not good. Genesis chapter 1: 26 and 27, “Then God said, let us make man in our image.” You'll notice the plurality of language there. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “Male and female he created them.” There's a we in the creation process. Who is that? That's the Trinity, of course.

There's this communion of the three persons in the Trinity, and yet somehow, they are one. He's going to create male and female to help reflect his nature as a communion of persons. But right now, there's only one, and it's clear to Adam that it's not good that he is alone. It's clearly not good. Why? Well, you see, Adam all by himself can't tell the complete story about the Trinity. He can't fully reflect who God is. It doesn't tell the right story about God.

You see, as individuals, we definitely bear the image of God. We help tell the story of who God is. We're created in His image, but as male and female, together, we more fully reflect the image of God; that is the Trinity itself. God replicated in us, in creation, His nature, who He is. But there's more to this, right. There's another part of the symbol. And that is eventually Eve does come along, and the one becomes two.

Now, notice that little process. In the beginning, it's just Adam, and then she is taken from him, and they become two, and then in sexual intercourse, they become one again. Incredible symbolism, right. All of a sudden, two become one flesh. Physically, they become one. Emotionally, they become one. Psychologically, they become. That's all part of this mystery that Paul is talking a little bit about. And again, this pulls us back and reveals a little bit more to us about the Trinity himself. He is three separate persons and yet somehow unified.

In fact, some theologians have tried to put words on this three-one thing. One theologian said it this way, “You could describe God as an indwelling, interpenetrating, personal communion of love.” Let me say that again, “an indwelling, interpenetrating, personal communion of love.” Because that's who God is, He built that into the physical expression of love that we experience in marital sexuality. In other words, if you're doing the math on this, the first time Adam and Eve experienced sexual intercourse, it wasn't the first intercourse. That was just a symbol of the interpenetrating interpersonal communion of love that takes place within the Trinity all the time, from eternity past to eternity forward. It's a reflection of who God is.

Now some of you just heard that for the very first time, and you just went, “What? That sounds kind of weird to me. I'm not really sure what to do with that.” But there's more; hang on. But get this idea that our physical design and the manner in which sexuality takes place is a testimony to who God is. It reveals Him and His nature and what He wants for us.

Another aspect of the symbolism is covenant. There is covenant in marriage. Now, this is sort of the boundary that God has placed around sexuality. He sort of said, “Alright, so I want you to be in a committed covenant relationship, and within that context, here's the barriers or the boundaries around it, and then within that context, this is where sexuality can flourish.”
Now what's that whole covenant boundary thing about? Well, covenants are about permanence. It communicates a message about faithfulness. about commitment, about being trustworthy, about being reliable. You see, covenant tells a story about the nature of God. He can be trusted. He will be faithful. When he says in Hebrews chapter 13, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you, you can count on it. You can go to the bank on that because He is faithful to His word and to who He is. If He gives us a promise, He'll fulfill it. And that gives us confidence in our relationship with God.

And I think when you have covenant in a marriage relationship, you also have confidence in your marriage. The permanence of a commitment creates an emotional, safe place for you to be husband and wife. It creates a place where you can count on the other person to be there for you. And if you have an argument and you have difficulty and you have stress or strain that they're not just going to take off and leave, it gives you this sense of permanence.

And that creates trust. And trust makes it more likely that you'll be willing to surrender and sacrifice and give all of yourself to one another. And there you can see the imagery that is found in sexuality. This is where we surrender. This is where we take off all of our clothes, if you will, and the hiding from one another and we give ourselves to one another. If you want to get naked, emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually with someone, it's really, really helpful to know that they are committed to you, and you are committed to them. And there is an us here that goes beyond each of you as individuals.

Now let me just acknowledge something at this point. I know that some of you have experienced in your past a relationship that did not have commitment attached to it. And unfortunately, you experience the pain that comes along when someone, whether that was you or the other or both, walks away from a relationship. When they stop bringing the best of themselves to it.

What does that bring? Withholding, fear, guardedness, less sacrifice, less willing to give all that you are and all that you have. It's sort of like, well, let's go with the symbolism. It's sort of like having sex with your clothes on. And having the lights off, you don't want to see each other; you don't want to touch each other; you don't want to be vulnerable to the other person; you just want to hide. Without commitment, you just want to pull back, but that's not how you can enjoy the pleasure of sexuality. It requires commitment. God built that right into the system. Permanence helps you uncover and discover naked and unashamed. And of course, God knew that, so He built it right into the system.

Now let me just offer a little thought here. Some of you have experienced divorce in the past. And if marriage tells the story of God and His faithfulness, and if covenant helps to communicate that He too is faithful, then divorce tells a little bit of a distorted story about God. It implies that He might leave us or forsake us. And really that's what is sinful about it, is that it doesn't reflect who God is.

And I have to just say, sometimes we distort the story of God, even in marriage, not just in divorce, but even in marriage. I'll confess to you today that for a season in our marriage, I neglected my wife. I emotionally left her. I started pursuing my own agendas, my own ambitions, and I became really unavailable to her. I wasn't giving the best of myself to her. We stayed married, but I sinned against her, and that sin has caused some difficulty and we've had to work through, and we even today continue to have conversations about some of the residue that's left over from that period of our life.

If you are like me and that is part of your journey, then I just want to say, what do we do? If that's us, if that's true, we told a lie about God because we didn't live up to our covenants. What do we do? Well, we confess; we own it. We bring that to God, and we confess it to our spouse, and we ask for their forgiveness. And we again tell ourselves the truth about God, that He is faithful. And if I want to imitate God, then I need to continue to live up to my promises as best I can.

And sometimes that means we have to humbly go to our children and tell them the truth about God, and the truth that we didn't live up to what He invites us to do and to be. And we need to make sure they understand that our life is not a reflection of who their God is. And that helps them find stability and security in God. And then we just make commitments from this day forward. And we say, “Lord, help me walk in faithfulness, just as you do.”


You're listening to the FamilyLife Blended podcast. I'm Ron Deal. My guess is about now you're beginning to reflect on your own relationship, your past, some of the decisions that you've made and overall condition of your marital usness. That's a good thing. That's a really good thing. I want to encourage you to just keep that going and maybe whisper a prayer even as you continue to listen. Ask God to reveal, to show you what you need to see about yourself or about your marriage and give you an opportunity to move in the right direction. Just ask the Lord to help you with that, even as we continue.

Now, we're about to turn the corner here because sometimes the pain of the past gets in the way of the present, and it's good to take inventory. Let's listen.

[Recorded Message]

Well, there's another symbol in sexuality—hang on with me—it's procreation. I don't know about you, but a little while ago when I was talking about the Trinity, and then there's Adam, and then there's Eve, I don't know if you notice, they're not the same. I always, for years, kind of thought, “Well, I think God missed something there. You know, there's three of them, but there's only two of us.” I wasn't doing the math. I wasn't including the whole procreation process as a part, as an outcome of marital sexuality. We have a child. That's three. Do you know that every single one of us right now are a testimony to a trinity of sorts? A trinity of a mom and a dad and us.

Every person on the planet is an expression of this sort of trinity. We symbolize the nature of God. He created us in our image. We get to create life in our image. It takes a union of two people to create life. It took a union of the persons of the trinity to create life. Pregnancy physically demonstrates this. Pregnancy starts with a penetrating love that leaves a deposit that results in an indwelling inside the woman's body that gives birth to new life.

Now, let me just say that again. Can you see the symbolism? Isn't that pretty obvious. When we receive Jesus, He indwells in us, leaves a deposit. Ephesians 1 and 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 say that God gives us the Holy Spirit as a deposit in us of a guarantee of what is to come eventually one day. That deposit then does what? The  Spirit does what in us? It brings about new life—watch the symbolism—penetrating love that leaves a deposit that results in indwelling and new life.

Are you kidding me? Do you realize what we just witnessed in the process of loving, marital, committed sexuality that results in pregnancy and birth of a child? It is the story of God. So think about that; do the math on that. From the moment of creation, thousands and thousands of years before the Messiah would come and really help us see the symbolic meaning of new life, God built into our physical design a process that testifies to the gospel. It's stunning when you think about it and all of a sudden you begin to step back and you go, “Okay, this thing called sex and we just taint it, and we just throw it away and we make it dirty when it's supposed to represent that?

It's not just that it creates life physically but it's a symbol of the life that God ultimately gives in us through the Messiah, through the Holy Spirit, that then gives birth to new life in us and how we walk out into the world that results in multiplying disciples throughout the world who help fill the earth. In the beginning they were told to multiply and fill the earth. And through this process, spiritually, we are multiplying and filling the earth.

But there's even more, because Paul says this whole one flesh thing also makes a comment about Christ and the church. Now, follow me, get this. Alright, so the Bible starts with a wedding, right, Adam and Eve. God gives the first bride away. Marriage, sexuality, symbolism of procreation tells the true nature of God and how we are made in His likeness.

And then, about two thirds of the way through the Bible, the Messiah comes, and we learn more layers about the symbolism and what it represents. This guy named John the Baptist in John chapter three says something about Jesus. He says, “He is the bridegroom.” Well, what does that imply? That he's looking for a bride. Here comes the bridegroom looking for a bride. That's John chapter 3. What happens in John chapter 4? We meet a woman who is desperate for a bridegroom. We meet a woman whose life is filled with shame and disgrace, and she's out at a well one day and she's thirsty, and she is desperate for somebody to love her well. She meets Jesus.

Now let me just slow down for a minute because if you were one of the early first century hearers, hearing John tell the story, “Jesus goes to a well one day and there's this woman there,” they would stop you and they go, “Wait, wait, wait, wait. We know this one. We know this one.” It's kind of like when you start a story and you say long, long ago in a land far away, you kind of know where the story goes. You've heard that story before. For the Jewish people, they would have said, “Oh, yes, this is about a man who meets a woman at a well.” Throughout the Old Testament, there's a number of stories where this happens, and they get married, and they live happily ever after.

But in this story, John says the story takes a turn because Jesus, the bridegroom, meets a woman who is not a worthy bride. She's a mess. She's a mess; married to five different men; now living with a guy. She is not marriageable material. And all of a sudden, the Jewish hearers would have said, “Whoa, this is the wrong—it's taking the wrong turn. That's not how the story goes. She's supposed to be beautiful and pristine and perfect and worthy of the bridegroom.”

There's even more symbolism in this story. What's five plus one? Six. Five plus one is six. What's the imperfect number in scripture? Six. Mark of the beast is 666 like it's so not seven. That's the perfect number. So five plus one is six and Jesus walks into her life and becomes what? Number seven, her perfect bridegroom. She's not marriageable. She's not pristine. She's not worthy. We should just toss her aside, but Jesus says “No, you're the perfect bride for me.”

Folks, you and I, in this story, are the woman at the well. We are imperfect, we are unworthy. We are not marriageable material to God. And yet He says yes to us. And what does the woman have to do? Drink deeply of this water that he has, and she has to throw away her imperfect sixes. You know all that stuff you and I in life kind of attach ourselves to and hold on to and we think it's our salvation and it's not. We got to get rid of that six so we can go with the seven so we can walk into his life.

Okay, so hang with me now. We started this conversation by saying the Bible starts with a wedding. Now we have the symbolism of another wedding; the bridegroom coming for the bride, that's us. And then the Bible ends with Revelation talking about the ultimate wedding where Jesus comes back for his bride, the church, everybody who's a part of his church is a part of that bride. And we're made perfect because of the blood of the lamb that passes over us.

And at that point, we then become part of the process of going into the world and reuniting heaven and earth as God intended it to be. That's all wrapped up in the story of marriage and sexuality and procreation. Layer upon layer upon layer it reveals to us who God is. That should blow your mind.

Let me just sum it up. Made in His image, our bodies, the parameters around our relationships, the love we express to one another within a marriage relationship, especially our sexuality, somehow all tells the intimate story of God, His nature, who He is, three as one, His saving grace for us, His love for us, and how far He would go to marry us.

Now, when I think about this, I think, no wonder sex is such a powerful force in our lives. No wonder it brings such blessing and such pain. No wonder our physical bodies are made the way they are, function the way they are. It wasn't an afterthought. God made it happen. You know, He could have made procreation happen a whole nother way, right.
I mean, you do know it could have happened.

In the animal kingdom it happens in lots of different—just imagine if we were like most fish. You know, where the female just sort of drops her eggs down there at the bottom and swims off, and the male comes and just sort of fertilizes, and he swims off. They never meet. They never touch. They never—there's nothing intimate about that whole process. He could have done it another way, but he said, “No, no, no, no, I want to build this into who they are, because I want them to know me even as they're learning to know one another.”

No wonder sex is a wonder in our world. A mystery, Paul says, that is not easily understood but when we understand it, I think we would want to cherish it. I think we would want to protect it. I think we would want to celebrate it. Because it touches the divine. And no wonder Satan works so hard to destroy it. No wonder. He doesn't want us knowing God. He doesn't want us touching the divine, so he destroys it through pornography, through shame, through traumatic experiences that steal the joy from the experience and learn us not to trust ourselves or trust other people. No wonder he destroys it or distorts it through misinformation, creating difficulties within our sexual relationship. That's what he's after.

And no wonder he tempts us with sexual sin. Sex outside of marriage doesn't tell the right story about God, and that's what makes it sinful. Adultery doesn't tell the right story about God. It implies that God might leave us and forsake us. But he's not like that so adultery is sinful.

Homosexuality doesn't really tell the right narrative about God because there's three distinct unique persons that are somehow unified into one person that's built into the process of us. It is why abortion is sinful. It doesn't tell the right story about God; that tells a story about death. God wants to tell us a story about life. Satan's tactics to destroy and distort this precious gift go on and on and on but when we realize the beauty of it, the mystery of it, the symbolism of it, I think we want to protect it.

Here's two things I want you to do based on what I've shared with you today. Two things. Number one, take action; nurture and protect your sexual relationship. It deserves to be a healthy part of your relationship. And yes, you can fine tune it by education, by conversation with one another, listening to one another, saying, “How do I love and serve?” What Ray and Robin shared earlier about, how do I share who I am and give that to you? And how do I meet your needs, put my needs aside and meet your needs? That's a wonderful attitude to carry into the sexual experience. Grow in this area of your marriage.

You can read books. There's lots of good ones out there. I write about this some in The Smart Stepfamily Marriage. But another great book is The Celebration of Sex by Doug Rosenau that we carry through the FamilyLife store. I highly recommend that. We have a new online course now at FamilyLife that you can do over the internet. And I love the title. It's The Nearly Complete Guide to a Better Married Sex Life. Nearly, nothing's complete, but this is pretty good. There’re some good resources that are available.

We've got podcasts. One of FamilyLife Blended’s most popular podcasts is one I did with Julie Slattery, where we talked about sexuality in blended family marriages, and what's unique and what's different, and how do you perhaps recover from a difficult first marriage relationship, for example, and now in a second marriage situation. There are resources that are out there and available.

If you find yourself struggling, find somebody who can help. “Man, I don't want to talk to anybody about my sex life.” I know, it's embarrassing. And by the way, if you find yourself saying that, that may be a little of that shame that Satan is using to distort your heart and ideas about sex. I say, find help. Because this deserves to be a healthy part of your marriage relationship.

Number two, take action; pursue faithfulness, pursue faithfulness. I hope it goes without saying but avoiding adultery and sexual immorality, you avoid that is vital to the success of your marriage. Look, you can blow up your family in a heartbeat by making a mistake in this area. It can destroy trust fast. You can recover; seen it happen over and over and over again; helped other people find that. It can happen, but it makes it hard.

I got to tell you a quick little back story of the book The Smart Stepfamily. The initial edition came out in 2002. So next year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of that book.
In 2014, I did a revised edition and we expanded it and added to it.

I had to take a story out in 2014. It was a story in the original book that was about a couple that I worked with side by side when I was first entering into the space of stepfamily ministry. And they were a stepfamily couple and we worked together and partnered and started small groups and we helped lots of people. And their marriage came to an end. Not because of blended family stuff but because one of them was unfaithful to the other. It will blow up a good thing. Protect it. Guard it. This is sacred space. Don't let anything invade your relationship in this way.

And another way to pursue faithfulness is to nourish and cherish one another in the form of regular, purposeful, romantic, sexual touch. What this does is it renews your commitment, it refreshes your passion for one another, and it sustains your exclusive physical bond with one another. Nobody else, just us, you and I. That's so precious and sacred.

Hey, in closing, let me be Captain Not So Obvious here for a second, okay? What happens in the bedroom of your marriage is directly tied to the success of your marriage relationship, which is, of course, tied to your satisfaction in your marriage and the stability of your marriage.

And the stability of your marriage is tied to your ability to parent as a united team. Which of course is tied to your ability to lead your family through the blended family process and becoming closer to one another. Which of course is tied to the overall strength of your family. Which in turn is tied to the story your marriage and your family tells about your Heavenly Father. It's all connected. It's all connected. Walk in love in this area of your life; walk in love and you will touch the divine.


I'm Ron Deal and you've been listening to my 2021 Blended and Blended presentation We don't want you to miss our next Blended and Blended. It's Saturday, April 27th, 2024. We're going to be focused on building unity within your home and your marriage, so don't miss it. And maybe your church can host it for couples in your community.
That'd be great. Again, the show notes will tell you how you can register and how you can host it for other people.

We love when people leave a review or a rating or just give us your feedback. Recently, we heard from Renata. She says, “Hello, watching from Brazil.” That's cool. “Trying to find resources about being a stepmom. I'm so thankful for all those videos. I'm learning a lot. God bless you.” Well, Renata, we appreciate your feedback. We love hearing from people. We're glad to help.

And if you didn't know, we've got tons of videos available. Not just this podcast, which is on YouTube if you didn't know that, but Gayla Grace's monthly live stream called Women and Blended Families. All of our other free stuff that's on YouTube; my eight-session video curriculum that's used. The number one tool used around the world for small groups for blended family couples called The Smart Stepfamily. That is free for anyone on RightNow We've got lots for you on video so keep watching and tell a friend.

If you haven't subscribed to this podcast, we would love for you to do that. Again, subscribe on YouTube if you'd rather watch, or subscribe on your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss the next episode. And if you think about it, tell a friend about us, leave a positive review. All of that kind of helps other people find us. And I think it'll help them grow in their walk with the Lord and then their family as well.

I'd love to see you in an upcoming event. If not at Blended and Blended, maybe one of the marriage events that Nan and I are doing together. Pretty soon, we’re going to be in Bryan, Texas and we’re going to be in Victorville, California. So come join us if you're in those areas. And if you listen to this beyond those events, look us up. Look on my website, and you can find all of our speaking events.

Okay, next time, I'm going to be talking with author and marriage pastor Scott Kedersha about his experience growing up in a blended family. That's next time on FamilyLife Blended.

I'm Ron Deal. Thanks for listening or watching, and thanks to our production team and donors who make this podcast possible.

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