Romantic love (passionate, tender intimacy) between a man and a woman, who are legally married, is not sinful. In fact, God clearly stated that the marriage is honorable and the bed is undefiled. He created the act and for good reasons. (1) It seals the marriage covenant. (2) It creates a bond that drives the devil out. A point that I will not elaborate on in this article. However, there are many other reasons for the creator, creating such a powerful thing.
Romantic love is a form of love that is often regarded as different from mere needs driven by sexual desire, or lust. Romantic love generally involves a mix of emotional and sexual desire, as opposed to Platonic love. There is often, initially, more emphasis on the emotions than on physical pleasure.
Romantic love can be returned or unrequited. In the former case, the mutual expressions of love can lead to marriage or to the establishment of a permanent relationship, which in most cases will include passionate sexual love. Where the love is one-sided (unrequited) damage to the esteem and/or the psychological welfare of the rejected lover can result.
The words “I love you” mean everything when it is coming from the person you love. Yet, it is a dangerous phrase if not followed-up with action. Twenty-four/seven, seven days a week, 365 days a year, none stop, in every way-action. It is a covenant phrase that works with “I do” on the wedding day. Just before the officiator says, I now pronounce you husband and wife; you may now kiss the bride. And, it is expected to perform after the honeymoon. For example, being courtesy by washing the dishes, picking up the towel off the bathroom floor after using it as a floor mat; letting the toilet seat down, especially at 2:00 am., squeezing the tooth paste from the bottom instead of the middle and not taking the last of the coffee creamer, when we both have to work. The show of love interchanges as the relationship progresses and it means different things at different times to different people. So how do we tell the difference between romantic love and platonic love? In addition, why is it necessary? Talking about the act of making love in churches is definitely taboo. Parishioners, Saints, Followers of Christ, or Believers, are all expected to know the ends and outs. Nevertheless, hush up about it. Do not talk about it because it is not God. However, that is erroneous teaching and thinking. And is two of the major reasons why churches are filled with married couples who are suffering in bad marriages. Young people are promiscuous, having unsafe sex in the basement of their churches during service. Religious leaders are having casual sex in the office of their churches with administrators and teens. Some of the Bishops are on the down low, practicing abominate behavior in the basement of their homes while their wife and children are having family time above their heads. Unclean spirits, demon oppressed leaders, and lack of knowledge is watering down the gospel and true holiness. Some preachers have character flaws. They misuse innocent and in some cases gullible women, and men in the church like toys, playing with their emotions and their earnest desire to be married. Why, for personal ambition and financial gain, are just two of the many reasons. And this is not a black charismatic church thing. This problem stretches from this great country, to the Vatican; and it crosses all religions and denominations. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from being tempted. It is a spirit that will never leave the church because we try to uproot it once a year at the ‘marriage or singles conference’; or we cover it up…sweep it under the rug; until we find ourselves tripping over the lump. However, this kind comes out only by fasting and praying. Jesus told us, if we cover our sins, we would not prosper. Today, we are going to uncover the lump, expose the sin, and reveal vital information so that God will hear our prayers when we repent and heal our land…our children, and the church on a whole.
Justified Marred Acts
There have been great debates about what type of lovemaking is permitted by God in the marriage bed. And as a sanctified believer, I had always been taught that oral sex and anal sex were sins. And, I took that as truth and never bothered to search it out in the Holy Scripture. It was not until I started pastoring the church and counseling young people that the issue began to resurface.
I also watched, marriages end in divorce because most of the women and a hand full of the men were taught that certain acts defiled you. The vast majority wanted to know where were these beliefs found in the scriptures. They questioned why something that was so beautiful to them was a sin. They argued it was a preference that couples are entitled to make and it should not be something that the church called nasty and degrading or talked about for that matter. Again, this was a challenging topic of discussion, and yes, it is a very controversial topic. In fact, dangerous if taught without maturity and sensitivity. It is a topic that can split churches, and redefine or even destroy otherwise good, healthy relationships.
I have learned to tread lightly upon the subject because of religion, friendships and respect to my Elders. I have also with great dis ease desired to seek advice from other clergy whom are spirit-filled believers and their scholastic opinions of rightly dividing truth is well respected. Men and women of God whom I personally have found their credentials in Christ to warrant my ear. Especially on controversial subject matters such as this. Therefore, as I approach it, please stop reading right here, if you are not ready for biblical truth. The remainder of this article will be graphic in nature for the sole purpose of driving the devil out of marriages and setting young people straight. Yes, it will provoke intellectual debate and I do place an emphasis on the word “intellectual.”
I will also reserve my findings until after I highlight some of the things being taught by leaders, especially on the internet because it has become a place where our young people seek answers. They have said, “Oh pastor, just GOOGLE IT” – so I did.
In researching the issue of oral sex, I have read several articles from Pastors who are teaching that it is an act that is okay and are utilizing several scriptures to validate their claim. As I unfold it under the leading of the Holy Ghost, I solicit your prayers because truth in almost every instance brings backlash and death. So, I plead the blood of Jesus over this area and I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.
Some theologians have embarked on this subject matter by objectively dismantling what sects of the church believe. Those who say that oral-genital contact is unnatural, unholy, and ungodly because God did not intend the mouth to be used in such a manner. Others associate oral-genital contact with the sexual depravities of Sodom and Gomorrah. They believe that there is nothing in the Bible that forbids engaging in acts of oral-genital contact and are convinced that it has wrongly been grouped in with “sodomy” and the sexual sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Sodomites were specifically homosexual and/or nonconsensual in nature. “There is no way this could be extrapolated to argue against a heterosexual act of oral sex for mutual pleasure,” argue several theologians.
On the other hand, the Bible does contain some favorable references to oral sex, some in poetic language and some more explicit (Song of Solomon 2:3). While the previous passage refers to fellatio, the following can be read as a metaphor. (Song of Solomon 4:16) Again, the Song of Solomon urges lovers to eat and drink freely of one another’s bodies: (Song of Solomon 5:1). This reading of the scriptures portrays the act of oral sex as both natural, like eating, and a joyful expression of love, passion, and sexual sharing between a man and woman. In the New Testament, this passage directs partners to render “benevolence” to one another, which can be extended to performing oral sex on each other as part of their duty to the Lord and one another: (Corinthians 7:33). Not only does this passage imply that oral sex between a man and woman is acceptable and desirable, but as we shall see, the Bible also provides more specific edicts concerning the completion of the oral sex act. See Genesis 38:9.
Dr. Harris Response to the Research Is it true that these scholars have accurately divided the word of truth? No. I have evaluated every scripture used in this article and others that were too graphic to use. I have found that these scriptures have been grossly taken out of context. I have observed the misuse of scripture as a way to condone sexual sins, fornication, and adultery. Although, this ongoing debate is a matter of spiritual maturity and it certainly depends on one’s personal belief. I had to seek the Holy Spirit. And for those of you who have not been endowed with power, seek counsel with your pastor along with this article. The Holy Spirit through prayer can help you accurately interpret the above scriptures and the additional references of the subject matter. He can prohibit you from sinning.
Many young people have asked my personal beliefs concerning the subject. I have always and will always point them back to Jesus (to the scriptures), because it is not just a matter of opinion, desire, or choice but also accurate interpretation of the Holy Scripture. Maturity concerning this topic is very important. God said, “My people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge.” I will let you be the judge of and interpret what you have read above and what I am writing below. However, here are seven things I believe that should guide your opinion concerning the topic:
- Romantic love should only be between a husband and his wife. Z Matthew 19:4-5
- Romantic love should always be God honoring and never bring harm, pain, or shame to your spouse. Ephesians 5:29
- Pornography is forbidden before, during, or after your intimate time with your spouse. You should not look at others with lust. Matthew 5:28
- You should not persuade your spouse to do something that she or he believes is sinful. Romans 14:1,14
- You should never imitate the sinful world. Romans 12:2
- You should never withhold sex from your spouse unless it is by mutual consent. 1 Corinthians 7:5 You should not be addicted to or controlled by anything other than the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:12, 10:23
As I searched the scriptures, I have found that Songs of Solomon as used by the scholars above is erroneous. It is a blatant defilement of the Holy Scriptures, and is further proof of why we should search the scriptures (study).
When we look at Songs of Solomon, poetically or metaphorically, we see the love of the bridegroom for His bride; His desire to reveal Himself; to display His love for her; to adorn her with all that she desires of Him; and to protect her. Ultimately, He will return to the garden where He left her and His desire is to find her perfect, ready for the wedding, ready to be presented to His Father.
The bride (the church) responded with a great reception, replicating that love. She desires to be ready but she is still marred, still spotted, and wrinkled; undressed for the occasion…the bridegroom leaves her. She is chastened, encouraged, and given the help needed so that when the bridegroom returns for her the second time, she will be ready. It is with that understanding that we abstract the carnal interpretation.
Spiritually, romantic love is his ability to romance her, touch her deeply, engage her soulish realm until the earthquakes, until the fireworks explode, until the heavens open and receive them home. It is her ability to be still in the cuddle and prevail in strength even as the waters over flow, admiring the intensity of his heartbeat, understanding that God is with them as they both fall asleep. This type of intimacy has been reserved for a man who finds a wife; and a wife who has been given to her husband by their Father, (God).
Misconception about Romantic Love Some misconceptions about romantic love are that it is a form of puppy love or infatuation, etc. Puppy love is defined by Webster dictionary as temporary infatuation between a boy and a girl. Infatuation is defined as an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something, the state of being carried away by an unreasoned passion or love. Although the emotions have similar traits, romantic love is more powerful. Romantic love, as stated above is an intense emotion that can lead into a premature marriage if, the couple is immature and disregards warnings signs especially concerning time, and proceed on the theory of “love at first sight.” It is a concept loosely used and causes young people to prematurely marry and have children, only to realize the intensity of the emotion left them baffled.
In the Holy Scriptures, there are several indications that love at first sight is possible; and it can be misconstrued as true love. It is possible that what you are experiencing is romantic love. Here are three examples from the Holy Scriptures. Can you determine which one is (a) romantic love, (b) true love, (c) infatuation, or (d) love at first sight?
- And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man, And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.[Gen. 2:20-22]. Notice what Adam said when he had awaken and saw his wife “the gift,” standing before him. Imagine what was going on in his mind, the intensity of his heartbeat and his desire to know more about her. It is that excited emotion that a couple feels, one-toward-another when they first meet. Some define it as chemistry, others would say, it is love at first sight. Yet, it can be pure love – a physical attraction not based on sex or lust. What Adam had for Eve was deeper than romantic love. However, based on his first response and our personal perception, we can conclude that it was romantic love. As we read their romance novel, we learn that their love endured…until death parted them. After the first marriage, God commanded man saying, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” [Gen 2:24-25 KJV]. It is vital that we understand romantic love can lead to true love, but it is not true love. True love is evident when passion seems to be dying, when your lover begins to feel more like a friend; but it is at this point in the relationship that you began to experience real life. Things start to test the relationship and it is the couple’s responses to those situations, which determine if it is true love. After the first two years, you will know if it is romantic love or the makings of true love.
- And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him [but] a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give [me] my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid [for] an handmaid. 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it [was] Leah: and he said to Laban, What [is] this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. [Gen 29:20-30 KJV] One of the things, Bishop Harris and I have always stressed in our marriage conferences is that a wife (woman) never chase her husband (man). She does not have to chase him from state-to-state, buy his love with gifts, call him (stalk him), or have her friends manipulate him. She does not have to open and close doors for him, make opportunities He will do the work because he loves her. Her job is to remain in a virtuous position until the right season. It is his job to secure her by revealing his love and desire to perform all the duties of a husband. The attributes will be proven over time. I am stressing “time”, because that is exactly what you will need in order to determine the value of the relationship. This rule also applies for men who are looking for a wife. We spend a great deal of time coaching the women of God and very little time coaching good men. So, men, let me utilize example three to prove my last point. What happens when a man rushes into a relationship with a beautiful woman? His purpose is aborted.
- And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name [was] Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength [lieth], and by what [means] we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred [pieces] of silver. 6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength [lieth], and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. … 15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart [is] not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength [lieth]. 16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, [so] that his soul was vexed unto death; 17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I [have been] a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any [other] man. 18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. 19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20 And she said, The Philistines [be] upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. 21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. … 28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with [all his] might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that [were] therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than [they] which he slew in his life. 31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought [him] up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years. [Jdg 16:4-6, 15-21, 28-31 KJV]
- Time is equally valuable for the man of God. He also has a purpose that once fulfilled will benefit his family. His legacy depends on his ability to find the right wife…helpmeet. If he marries the wrong woman, life for him becomes bitterly complicated, his purpose partially fulfilled or aborted altogether.
How Do I Know What I Am Feeling Is Real? One aspect of romantic love is the uncertainty of the encounters, which lead to love. Uncertainty about the person you think you are in love with is a very emotional and vulnerable position. Sometimes it is difficult to follow your heart and guard it at the same time. The world has several wise steps that they give. However, for the believer we must consider the fact that we reside in two-kingdoms, with two sets of rules, regulations, principles etc. And we must know how to wisely function in both, understanding that our goal in this life is to please God. Our relationships, fellowships etc. must please God. If we learn to connect with the right people, our life although sometimes complex will be fulfilled. Therefore, we must allow God to lead and guide us. We must surrender our soulish realm (mind, will, and emotions) to Him. The Holy Spirit is our guide, He will never lead us into dark, emotional pits, and He will help us to subdue and ultimately deliver us from our hidden lusts. How do I know what I am feeling about him\her is real? Should I pursue or fall back? Bishop and I will answer these and many other questions like these in our combined marriage and singles conference. We pray that you will attend this year. But here are a few nuggets.
- Friendship: Building the relationship through spending time together is important – strictly plutonic.
- This time is vital, but can be very emotional – scary, because you are trying to build the relationship. It should never make you feel like you are going crazy or losing control of who you are or who you want to become this is what I feel is the making of a dangerous relationship. If you feel controlled – get out. On a more positive note: In a heterosexual relationship the key is getting to know one another, understanding and controlling the intense chemistry that continues to build; and reserving the desire for sexual intercourse until after marriage. This will determine if there is sustainable passion.
- Counsel: After the nervous, sweaty palms, stuttering, shaky, OMG – I cannot believe he/she like me is over and you start to gain positive momentum (i.e. strong desires to be together as one – the talk of moving in together or getting married), it is time for spiritual counsel and the wisdom of family and friends who love you. I cannot stress enough how vital this type of counsel is. As Followers of Christ, the rule of thumb is “No Shaking Up.” Today, it is a rule grossly disregarded and many, who find themselves breaking this rule, find themselves in bad relationships…one that ends in unnecessary heartache and divorce. Therefore, allow the people who love and care about you to assist in monitoring the relationship; place value on their opinions. Sometimes love can be blind. This is your life and the person you marry and spend your life with must respect your time, body, emotions, family (opinions), friends (opinions), dreams, desires etc.
- Time: Let patience have her perfect work. Give the relationship time to develop or dissolve itself. Never use forms of manipulation to make the relationship work, your heart will pay a costly penalty. Feed the relationship wisely and slowly. God will reveal if this person is your soul mate…over time. Never become physically intimate until after marriage because at this point, it will become difficult to determine if what you have is true love, infatuation, lust etc. In addition, if things do not work out there is no shame, remorse or regret; only time wisely spent. You can and will get over her\him and move forward the right person is out there somewhere.
Although there are several other ways of knowing, I believe the nuggets provided above are vital to your success. Remember, romantic love is a form of love that is often regarded as different from mere needs driven by sexual desire, or lust. Romantic love generally involves a mix of emotional and sexual desire, as opposed to Platonic love. There is often, initially, more emphasis on the emotions than on physical pleasure. It can lead to true love, which cannot be sustained by sex. True love is a gift given to one man and woman in a heterosexual relationship by God.