There’s an assumption by many young people today that old people don’t have sex. But that certainly wasn’t the case at the first Advent. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both ‘very old’ (Lk 1:17) yet were having sex – sufficient enough for Elizabeth to conceive. And it’s the same today! Many elderly people continue to enjoy an active sex life well into retirement and beyond.
There’s an assumption by many young people today that it’s best to have sex with your partner before marriage in order to check sexual compatibility. But that certainly wasn’t the case at the first Advent. We know that Mary was a virgin before marriage (Lk 1:34) and that she and Joseph did not make love before they were married (Mt 1:25) and yet there’s no sign that they had an unhappy or unsuccessful marriage. And it’s the same today! You can still have a satisfying and fulfilling sex life, despite waiting until marriage to make love. Despite the sexual revolution this is still what Christ asks of his followers, and it’s worth the wait! (Believe me!)
There’s an assumption by many young people today that married couples have little or no sex, especially couples with young children. But that certainly wasn’t the case at the first Advent. After the baby Jesus was born, we’re told that Mary and Joseph had sex (Mt 1:25). And given that Jesus had brothers and sisters (Mk 6:3), we should assume that his parents enjoyed a healthy sex life together. And it’s the same today! Most married couples enjoy making love, with surveys showing that the best sex is normally enjoyed in a context of commitment and trust – characteristics normally found more in married couples rather than in any other form of sexual partnership.
There’s an assumption by many young people today that the bible is embarrassed about sex. But that certainly wasn’t the case at the first Advent. The bible is delightfully open about the sex taking place that first Advent (as we’re seeing) – talking about virginity, marriage, sexual consummation, sexual union, conception, unmarried pregnancy, married pregnancy and old people’s sex. And it’s the same today! Those who see the bible as God’s revelation to humanity needn’t be bashful about sexual matters. Sex is described as a normal part of human life. It’s not a taboo subject.
Here’s what this means for us, this Advent.
If you find it difficult to talk about sex, be inspired by the Advent stories! There’s no need to be coy. Sex is normal and natural. It’s a beautiful expression of love and commitment. Of comfort and joy. It’s the way to make babies. It’s what married people of varying ages do. It’s been designed by God. And finds its optimal expression when practiced according to manufacturer’s instructions.
If you’re not married, be inspired by Anna (Lk 2:36-37), whose husband died early in life and who then lived celibate for many (maybe 60+) years, finding intimacy in her relationship with God. If you’re married but not able (for whatever reason) to make love, be inspired by Joseph (Mt 1:24-25), who exercised self-control and showed great sexual patience, for the sake of love.
If you’re married, make every effort this season to show love to your spouse in all sorts of practical and physical ways – including healthy doses of festive fun and frolicking! God encourages it. And blesses it. It’s the joy of Advent sex.
ACTION: Despite our culture’s negativity to singleness, there are many benefits of being unmarried, so if you’re single, rejoice! If you’re single and long for friendship, marriage and sexual intimacy then be honest with God about that desire and ask him again to give you the desire of your heart (Ps 37:4). If you’re married, try to find time today to read this blog with your spouse and talk about one thing that challenged and one thing that encouraged you. Be honest about how you can love each other better during this season and how you might enjoy fresh tenderness and renewed sexual intimacy.
PRAY: Whether single or married, pray for yourself and welcome the presence of the Spirit in your body, thanking Him that you are the temple of his Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20). Pray that you would honour God with your body. Pray for a single friend who struggles with celibacy. Then pray for a married friend and ask God to strengthen their marriage, that their love and sexual intimacy would become even stronger, kinder and lovelier this Advent.