Eight Skills for Sexual Integrity: Monogamy with Passion? What a Concept!
Cultivate God's plan for covenant monogamy with passionate intimacy by Doug Rosenau


Part Five of the eight-part series.

"Monogamy? What's that?"

Bill, a single, sexually active client, stopped my eloquent discourse on covenant monogamy with that question. He was serious. I wasn't sure if this reflected more on his education or on his college lifestyle, but I replied that a monogamous person was a one-woman man, or one-man woman. I added that God had intended every Adam to have his Eve and that, as humans, monogamy was to be our guiding principle.

I could see this concept seemed a little foreign to him, so I went on to explain that God created this as the ultimate intimate relationship and called it "the covenant of marriage," or "becoming one flesh." It is explained in Genesis 2:24,25 (NIV): "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. "

Just One Woman. One.
In God's plan, all erotic sexuality comes under the umbrella of marriage. Making love is intended for that union only. Period. After a similar dialogue, one man said in utter disbelief, "You've got to be kidding. Let me see if I've got this right. You're saying that with all the thousands of women in my world, God's not going to let me sample four or five. I have to wait and find just one?!"

I immediately fired back, "Yes, this isn't a candy store. Women aren't looking to be a part of your next great adventure. They want a special relationship, not false intimacy. This is covenant monogamy and it really does work."

Let's be real here: God made us in His image to love and enjoy variety, adventure and new experiences. There are so many areas, like our faith journey, that can be "new every morning" with novelty and freshness. This variety and adventure can be experienced sexually as well, but not with different partners. Sexuality is wed to intimacy and commitment with love and trust, or it can never flourish.

The writer of Proverbs says it beautifully. He likens our lovemaking to having our own safe and satisfying supply of rejuvenating water: "Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. May her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love" (Proverbs 5:15,17-19b).

This One's Mine
I fondly think of a pastor friend of mine who, upon seeing an attractive woman, says to himself, "Thank you Lord for this marvelous creation and sexual feelings." And then he adds to keep his godly perspective, "But this isn't my woman, Lord. Thank you for mine that you have given me to love and enjoy."

This pastor understood the concept of being "lovers" He knew that we are called to have one lover in our life with whom we share our souls and our passionate lovemaking. He had his own wife and was continually keeping boundaries to nurture their private sexual contentment.

In covenant monogamy we are each called to be soul virgins, whether single or married. A virgin is defined as a single person who had never had sexual intercourse. But since God always looks on the heart of a matter, in His sexual economy virginity is not narrowly defined by the condition of our bodies. It is a heart attitude of keeping ourselves pure and chaste for our one particular Adam or Eve.

So soul virginity protects covenant monogamy. It is an attitude we should learn in our single days and carry over into our marriage. Within this passionate one-flesh relationship, we can experience God's awesome journey into deep intimacy. Becoming lovers grows beyond intercourse and orgasms into a deep soul connection.

Men and Women, Love and Sex
An important part of sexual integrity is developing passionate, exciting lovemaking through marital intimacy. But many saboteurs lurk, including the stupid myths that often guide our sex lives. Some stem from adolescent immaturity, like: "Did you get lucky? Did you get some?" Sex isn't a commodity that women keep from us.

Others have a piece of truth but thwart real intimacy. One such: "Women give sex to get love, and men give love to get sex." The genders differ but both desire a deep emotional, as well as a physical, connection. This saying would be better worded, "Men experience the soul of the relationship through the connection of bodies, while women enjoy bodies through the soul of the relationship."

I think husbands often understand making love is very different than simply having sex. They get sidetracked so easily with those male propensities: (1) sexually specific with vision and touch (grabbing breasts), (2) narrow focus of attention (sex has to lead to intercourse), (3) adventure and excitement (orgasms crucial), (4) poorly developed intimacy skills (sex equals intimate connecting).

Shallow User or Great Lover?
Let's look at Fred. Poor Fred had gotten into catching physical "buzzes" and sexual hormonal rushes, but not his wife Claire. As is the nature of buzzes, whether drugs or sex, the stimulation has to constantly be increased. For Fred, porn was a way to do this and his mate was feeling very used and excluded with this shallow, false intimacy.

It was a difficult and courageous journey Fred embarked on to make the needed changes. Choosing to look through the eyes of monogamous love, he eroticized Claire and quit feeding fantasies of other women. He practiced being a more mature lover and took the eggs of physical affection and personal affirmation out of the sexual basket. He gently stroked her face, courageously shared his feelings and risked disagreements.

As Fred got to "know" Claire in the total biblical sense, an amazing thing happened--intimacy abounded! God's plan for emotional and sexual intimacy worked!

Men, don't let anyone stereotype you. If you, like Fred, can conquer your jobs and learn to surf the Net, trust me, you have the ability to master the skills of becoming the world's greatest lovers. "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3:12,14).

Getting Real:
What do you think of the concept that "for every Adam there is only one Eve"? What three things could you do to build a more monogamous mindset and be less vulnerable to an affair or other sexual sins?
What is really involved in being "naked and unashamed" physically and emotionally?
How do you lead in creating uninhibited lovemaking: self-disclosing feelings, disputing common myths, communicating your needs, letting your wife coach you?

Next Week:
Skill Six: Make positive pre- and post-temptation choices

Missed earlier parts of this eight-article series? Just click on the skill you want to read--and learn everything you want to know about sexual integrity.

The Eight Skills for Sexual Integrity

Skill One: Plug into God's thinking and power
Skill Two: Meet nonsexual needs nonsexually
Skill Three: Discipline sexual fantasies and surges
Skill Four: Embrace masculinity and enjoy moms, sisters and daughters
Skill Five: Cultivate covenant monogamy and passionate intimacy
Skill Six: Make positive pre- and post-temptation choices
Skill Seven: Run to God's ER when broken
Skill Eight: Create practical theologies for doubtful issues

Dr. Doug Rosenau is a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist in Atlanta. He is the author of A Celebration of Sex (Thomas Nelson).

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