New book looks at sex from God’s view
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)—God is so interested in the intimate, romantic, and sexual aspects of marriage, He inspired a biblical book—the “Song of Solomon”—on the subject, according to a new book by the dean of the school of the theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Within the pages of God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas About Love, Intimacy, and Marriage, (Broadman & Holman Publishers) Daniel Akin unpacks for believers insights from the Scripture on the physical relationship within marriage.
Akin, who also serves as senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Seminary, writes in the introduction, “When sex and marriage are experienced and enjoyed together as God intended, the joys and blessings that are ours are seldom, if ever, surpassed in this life.”
The book examines the Old Testament book the “Song of Songs,” also known as the “Song of Solomon,” which Akin calls “God’s instruction manual for sex and marriage.” He argues that the Song of Solomon gives God’s design for the intimate aspects of marriage and family.
The casual way in which modern culture approaches sex is nowhere found in Scripture, he writes.
“Sex is good, it is God’s gift,” Akin writes. “This good gift of God will find its fullest expression realized when a man and a woman give themselves completely to each other in the marriage relationship.
“God knows nothing of casual sex, because in reality there is no such thing. What is often called sex is always costly. Sexually transmitted diseases, unexpected pregnancy, and psychological and spiritual scars are some of the results, and the price paid, because we have approached God’s good gift of sex all too casually.”
In the early chapters of the book, Akin brings the Song of Solomon to bear on such topics as beginning a relationship, proper praise and encouragement between marital partners, and fanning the flames of romantic love.
In the fourth chapter, Akin tackles a notion that John Gray popularized in his best-seller “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” He writes that Gray’s understanding of the obvious differences between men and women is partly correct, but fails to account for the fact that both sexes are from the same planet and must deal with their differences in God’s way to make marriage and romance work.
Playing off the foxes written of in Song of Solomon 2:15, Akin identifies seven “foxes” that may easily sneak in and destroy a marriage: role reversal, intimacy stagnation, stonewalling, time ill spent, outside interference, fatigue, and misunderstanding.
Of the “fox of role reversal,” Akin warns, “God made men to be men, husbands, and fathers. A man should never apologize for being a man, for being a masculine human being. God made women to be women, wives, and mothers. No woman should ever apologize for being a feminine person.
“You see, no one is as good at being a man as a man, and no one is as good at being a woman as a woman. However, there is great confusion about gender roles today, and men are especially suffering an identity crisis. In our day, men struggle with their maleness.”
As a remedy for male identity crisis, Akin recommends that, in preparing for marriage, a man look to an older and wiser man for mentoring.
In other chapters, Akin examines preparation for marriage, argues the biblical case for traditional marriage, and discusses “the beauty and blessings of sex as God planned it.” The book also examines the roles of men and women within marriage and shows the biblical definition of love that is to last a lifetime.
Throughout the study, Akin sets forth the catastrophic results of divorce along with the shallow view of marriage held by contemporary culture. As a remedy for divorce, Akin concludes with a look at covenant marriage and includes a copy of a marriage covenant that couples may sign.
The covenant is a declaration to God by both partners that they are committed to the marriage for a lifetime. This is God’s plan for marriage, Akin writes.
“God will honor you (in the covenant commitment), and together you will discover that this commitment will be a bond that will ensure that you make it, and make it well, to the end. God knows best.”