A lot of people say that they find God in the beauty and wonder of nature, and while I am very happy for them, I find it much more exhilarating to find God in the warm afterglow of a truly stupendous orgasm.
Before all you nature lovers fire off incensed emails about the breathtaking exquisiteness of nature, bear in mind that the breathtaking exquisiteness of nature also contains malevolent grizzly bears, blood sucking mosquitoes, and shockingly frigid water in which to drown. If you spend enough time in the beauty and wonder of nature, you will find that the beauty and wonder of nature basically wants to kill you. This is, after all, a fallen world. The lion and the lamb will one day lie down together, but until Jesus actually ushers in the Kingdom, the lamb would be prudent to keep a bit of distance from Simba.
Nature certainly reveals the power and creativity of God, but I don't think it directly teaches us about the love of God. The Swiss Alps are spectacular and a raging ocean inspires awe, but neither land nor sea is relational. And as noted earlier, the natural world is often deadly. Think blizzards, or Haiti.
But while nature is fraught with peril, I have never come remotely near death while in bed with my lovely bride. On the contrary, in bed I feel warmth and love and passion and loyalty and joy. So which is most reflective of the heart of God, the Grand Canyon or sex?
I find it significant that when God sought to give us a powerful analogy of his relationship to us, he chose to say the church is the "Bride of Christ." That's a staggering thought, but we're often not very staggered by it because we haven't taken the time to really let it sink in.
So think about a truly wonderful time you've had in bed with your spouse—the hunger you felt for each other, the vulnerability of nakedness and passion, the desire to please each other, the sense of contentment as you drifted off to sleep after making love. Think back to when you were dating, and how you longed to be with each other and loved to spend hours with each other. Recall how it made you feel when this amazing person whispered words of love.
God deliberately taps into that experience as he tries to convey the passion, the commitment, the deep longing, and unshakeable love he has for us.
A Taste of Heaven
I believe that God wants us to enjoy the very best that earthly love has to offer. He wants us to have a rich, deep, incredibly real relationship with our spouse. And he wants it to dawn on us that his own love for us is far richer, deeper, and more honest than the very best we've ever experienced with our mate. Had he not been the one to invoke the image of marriage when talking about our relationship to Christ, I would have thought it far too intimate to dare to draw that comparison. I mean, it's one thing to talk about a kindly king adopting wretched orphans. It's a much deeper metaphor to talk about a marriage with God.
All analogies break down, and so does the analogy of a marriage with the God of the Universe. I mean, God is not having sex with us. But we can certainly get the drift of his point. He loves to love us. And if we take the time to let it sink in all over again, we will find ourselves loving to love him back. It really is a lot like marriage.
When I say that I found God in bed, what I really mean is that the more I have come to know, trust, and love my wife, the more I have come to know, trust, and love God. Learning about human love, especially in the closest of all possible human relationships, helps me better grasp divine love.
If you have a relatively happy and healthy marriage, and if you find sex a rich and fulfilling experience, then multiply the good stuff by a factor of a billion and you'll probably get a sense of the bliss of heaven. Although the Bible teaches that we won't "marry or be given in marriage" in heaven, there is no way that life above is going to be a step down from life on earth. The entire package of heaven—the joy of being with God, and the ecstasy of the heavenly experience—will far exceed the best we've enjoyed on this fallen ball of sod.
When You're Wounded
But now a word to those who can't relate to the concept of finding God in bed, because the bedroom is a place of frustration or heartache. For varied reasons, some people find sex a source of sorrow or tension. Intimacy can be colored by dark secrets of a painful past, by a medical issue, or a complexity only God understands. The ideal expression and enjoyment of sex, as originally envisioned by God, is often marred by the bad stuff of life. Can sexually wounded people still find God in bed?
As one of those wounded people, I say "yes." I affirm from my own experience that God is able and willing to reveal himself to you—and even bring a great deal of emotional healing—through the healthy experience of physical connection with your mate. It may take a lot of work to get there. It can be a long journey. But if you're willing to walk it, God will travel the path with you.
My woundedness happened early. I was molested as a child. It wasn't a one time thing. It was a ruinous, soul-damaging series of violations that began when I was just five years old and lasted for years.
Without going into all the awful details, let me simply say that my ability to trust someone else was deeply and severely damaged. My experience was so terrible and bewildering that, to preserve my sanity, my mind just blocked it out, and on some level I simply went numb—for years. Sexual feelings, when I felt them, were mixed with self-loathing and emotional paralysis.
I was a mess, and I wasn't quite sure why. But I hid it pretty well.
I met and married the woman of my dreams, but the ghosts of my childhood trauma haunted our new life. Sometimes physical touch, especially if it was unexpected, plunged me into a lonely and desolate place. I both craved and rejected intimacy. I was a mystery to my wife.
When I finally opened up to her, and allowed all the pain and fear to tumble out, it marked the beginning of my pilgrimage to emotional and sexual wholeness.
If you've been sexually wounded, your default setting might be "remain emotionally distant in an attempt to feel safe." View that as a temptation, not an option. Emotional distance and sexual barriers are a weak substitute for the life and marriage God intends for you.
It takes courage and determination to leave that deceptively "safe" but destructive place. I highly recommend professional counseling for any man or woman who has suffered sexual abuse. (I needed it.) You're worth it, your spouse is worth it, and your marriage is worth it.
I've suffered things that no one should suffer. I've endured things that often drive people to press the self-destruct button on their lives and marriages. But I made a decision to turn to God, my wife, and a small circle of close friends. I gritted my teeth and fought through my fears and weirdness for the normal and healthy life I knew God wanted for me. My life is so much richer and happier, but it took work to get here. It will likely take work for you, too.
But if you have a choice in the matter, don't settle for anything less than finding God in bed.
Dave Meurer is a humorist and award-winning author of numerous books including Mistake It Like a Man: An Imperfect Guy's Guide to Romance, Kids, and Secret Service Motorcades (Multnomah). In his day job he is an aide to a congressman. This means that, technically, a humor writer helps run the federal government. Dave thinks you should find this alarming.
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