Summary: Growing Physical Intimacy in Marriage
Growing Physical Intimacy in Marriage
Series: Making Relationships Work: Love, Sex & Marriage
November 5, 2017 – Brad Bailey & Marlo Blandford
Today…we are continuing our Fall focus on relationships…entitled “Making Relationships Work: Love, Sex, and Marriage.” Making relationships work involves how we relate as male and female… that involves as sexual beings. So last week we began hearing God’s design and desire for physical intimacy in marriage.
We noted that God describes in the opening account of who we are…in Genesis… of creating us as male and female…as a complimentary nature…as a gift to one another…and one which can be united in life-long union. 
Sexual intimacy is designed to unite us.
As Tim Keller describes…
“Sex is a way to give yourself totally to somebody else and to say, “I belong completely and totally and exclusively to you.” - Tim Keller
So we want to continue with how God speaks into our way of relating …enabling us to grow in the gift of sexual intimacy in marriage.
I want to note that…
Our goal is not to make sex more central but more healthy. The goal is to guard and guide a gift ... and that includes confronting both indulgence and inhibition…obsession and suppression.
I know that many here are unmarried… and hearing about growing in the gift of physical intimacy in marriage may seem a bit irrelevant at best.
It might seem like going to an investment seminar when you’re broke.
Marlo (who will be sharing as well) and I both been unmarried and listening to stories about married life…we know it can be a little hard. But I hope we can all appreciate that we all, as sexual beings, do well to become more grounded and guided by God's design for sexual expression....whether for our future marriage potential, for past reflection of our experiences, or for perspective as we relate to the current culture and mixed messages we hear.
There are two common ideas about sex and marriage that may need to be challenged. One is that it’s drudgery…and the other is that it is a dream.
It’s either portrayed as the end of all sexual enjoyment… where there is so real sexual excitement… after all, nearly all sexual encounters in television is never of married couples. Or…there can be the assumption that it’s the dream in which all sexual tensions disappear… and it’s just a process of perpetual passion.
So here are
Two simple facts that shape our perspective….
• The most satisfying physical intimacy lies within the covenant of marriage.
That is a fact. It bears out in survey after survey. Those safely within the co called “confines” of marriage…are enjoying their sexual intimacy most. 
At the same time….
• Physical intimacy remains a significant and sensitive area of potential conflict in marriage.
While the bonds of marriage provide the context to truly give oneself to another…there are plenty of real life dynamics which remain challenging …including the differences in expectations and desires… the effects of conflict and trust… and the various seasons of life.
The truth is that physical intimacy is never just physical… it not only has the power to unite…but when in tension…it has the power to create distance and rejection. 
So we want to consider….how we can grow in guarding and guiding the gift of physical intimacy in marriage.
Five qualities to guide the gift of physical intimacy in marriage
[To address the first two…invite Marlo Blandford…who most know serves as Pastor of children and families[
So, a couple weeks ago we had an event for 3rd -5th graders at another Vineyard church down the road. So I am pulling out of the parking lot back there and am sitting at a light on Venice and Centinela. In my car are 4 10 year old girls. Fun right. My daughter is in the front seat, and there are three other 10 year old girls in the back seat and we hear them pointing and giggling. We are stopped right next to the banner announcing this series….Love, Sex and Marriage. And they are like…it says sex. And my daughter without missing and beat … oh that is talking about gender. So it really means Love. Male Female and Marriage. Not that other kind of sex. And the three girls go, oh, of course that is what it means. And then they all looked at me, And I said, of course that’s what it means.
I feel like those 10 year old girls…it isn’t the easiest thing to talk about….a little awkward. So I’ll just embrace that awkwardness say, I like sex. My parents are here. I like sex with that guy. (We got married and said I do-I do you and you do me and we don’t do anybody else) ….I’m for sex. It’s fun. It feels good. God designed it and us—and it is great.