This morning one of the children woke up too early. He started bouncing a rubber ball against the wall of his room. The steady rhythm woke us up. My husband’s long, dark arm went under the blankets and found me and pulled me to him. We lay there in the morning light, listening to more children waking up, wondering at what our love had created. Our fingers wandered over each other. The four-year old ran in, pushed his stuffed frog onto the top of the bed, and tried to clamber in with us. “Help me!” he yelled as he tugged on the blankets. I lifted him in and he settled right between us, pushing us apart. Satisfied, he laid the stuffed frog on his chest and smugly smiled. My husband and I waved at each other over the frog, laughing. This is the true marriage bed.
“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Solomon 5)
For seventeen years, I have shared a bed with the same man. It has become a sacred place. There we have laughed, read, discussed, cried, fought, made passionate love, fed babies, comforted, been sick in, planned, prayed, dreamed, and eventually, I hope, will die in. In retrospect, everything that has happened there has brought me closer to God, but especially the lovemaking. Why? I have a few reasons.
First, I have had to overcome emotional issues that have only come up during sex. I have had to go to the Lord to help me deal and heal with those past pains. Second, because of sex, I have come to see my body in a completely different way. It went from something I despise, to an amazing gift from God that I cherish. I have learned to accept myself. I have felt life kick inside of me. I am completely amazed at the body’s power, something I never knew before sex. Third, when I truly abandon myself to this act of love and creation, for a few fleeting moments I feel like there is no beginning and end to my husband and myself. I am whole with him. Our bodies feel like one body. Our souls feel like one. Isn’t this symbolic of the oneness we should feel with God? It humbles me. When we come apart, sometimes I start sobbing. This probably doesn’t do much for my husband’s self-esteem, but how can I explain to him the deep longing to be one all the time? How can I explain how his love goes to the very core of my being?
I just finished reading the Christian fiction book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is based on the book Hosea in the Old Testament, but set in California during the Gold Rush. Sarah has been forced into prostitution at eight-years old. She is twenty when she meets Michael Hosea, a farmer and a man of God. Her bitterness toward men and God knows no bounds. Over time Michael teaches Sarah about God. When she finally abandons herself to Michael, she also symbolically and eventually abandons herself to God and His will in her life. Michael says to Sarah, “I promise to love and cherish you, to honor and sustain you, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, in the bad that may darken our days, in the good that may light our way, Tirzah, beloved, I promise to be true to you in all things until I die. And even beyond that, God willing.” …When he kissed her, Angel was lost in a wilderness of new sensations. It had never felt like this, warm and wonderful, exciting and right. None of the old rules applied…She was dry ground soaking in a spring rain, a flower bud opening to the sun. Michael knew and gently coaxed her with tender words flowing over her like the sweet balm of Gilead healing her wounds. And she flew, Michael with her, into the heavens.
Earthbound once more, Michael smiled. “You’re crying.”
“I am?” She touched her cheek and found a single tear.”
I think that God gives us the gift of lovemaking to remind us of Him. Through it, we are healed and made whole. Now, some people might find that thought disturbing, but I don’t. He is the Creator of us all. What a wondrous gift to give His children! For a few moments, I am completely enveloped in love and the fruits of that love are a stronger marriage and four beautiful children. I experience Oneness in my marriage bed. We are creators – creators of love, even when I am looking into the eyes of my beloved over a four-year old and the belly of a stuffed frog.
Have you ever experienced the feeling of Oneness with God? With your spouse? Do you strive for Oneness in your relationships? Has lovemaking taught you anything about God? (Now there’s a question for a Relief Society meeting).