Janet Aucoin September 23, 2022

Sexual intimacy is one of the most beautiful pictures of the relationship between Christ and the church. Sin has twisted and deformed biblical sex into something that God never intended.

In today’s episode, Janet and Jocelyn discuss how God designed sexual intimacy to be a beautiful expression of love within a marriage relationship.

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Episode Transcript


When Two Become One - McClusky

Marital Intimacy: Rejoicing in What God Created - Rob Green (appears to be out of print)

Tying the Knot - Rob Green

Intended for Pleasure - Ed Wheat

Renewing Marital Intimacy - David Powlison

Marriage Whose Dream - Paul Tripp

Restoring Your Broken Marriage - Robert Jones


ACBC Counselors

Biblical Counseling in Action Podcast


Janet: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Alexandra: I just want to make it as totally simple and no brainer as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Well, hello everyone. Welcome back once again. This is Janet here with my lovely co-host Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hello friends.

Janet: If only you could see her to see how lovely she is.

Jocelyn: Oh. Please.

Janet: And we are here to talk about, another fun subject that many people may be a little uncomfortable with. Let's talk about sexual intimacy. What do you say?

Jocelyn: Yeah, let's dive deep into that. Speaking of that, we probably need to have a little disclaimer at the beginning of this episode. This may be something not to listen around your children. Because that might cause some unnecessary, uncomfortable conversations that you weren't quite ready for.

Janet: Yes. So I would encourage you, listen to it and then decide if you would like to listen to this with your children, because we are fans of talking about this early and often because the world is.

Jocelyn: Yeah, they're surrounded by it.

Janet: But you know, your children.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: So you listen first. I do think that if you were to ask many Christians today, I think they would say that the world makes too big a deal out of sex.

Jocelyn: I agree with that assessment.

Janet: And I get that. I understand that the world uses sex for so many wrong reasons. It's gonna sell a car.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: It's gonna be the reason I use a realtor. Like it's crazy the ways that we use sex. And you're like, what in the world does that have to do with Oreos, or whatever else? And the world is sexualizing our children.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: At younger and younger ages, totally inappropriately. The world seems to equate having sex with personal fulfillment.

Jocelyn: Yeah. It's crazy.

Janet: Yeah. And getting sexual gratification is now one of the main reasons for a relationship.

Jocelyn: I agree. You would hear that everywhere.

Janet: Yeah. So we might then come to the conclusion, we shouldn't make such a big deal about it. And I would say, in reality, true sexual intimacy is a way, way bigger deal than the world even understands.

Jocelyn: I agree. And we should make an equally big deal about that theologically.

Janet: Yeah. It's just not for any of the reasons we just said.

Jocelyn: Yep. Yeah.

Janet: So, before I even say much more, I just wanna acknowledge that this is a subject that can be really painful.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For a variety of reasons. Maybe you wanna be married and have true sexual intimacy and that's just not your current reality. Maybe you are married and true sexual intimacy is really lacking, and you're feeling the ache from that. Maybe sex has been used as a tool for abuse, for manipulation, for affection in your past or even your present.

Jocelyn: That's tough.

Janet: Please know, that we have prayed for you. I am so sorry that wicked people have taken a beautiful gift from God and used it wickedly.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That doesn't change the beauty of God's plan.

Jocelyn: Or the truth.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: So for all of us, learning God's plan for sexual intimacy is really just another way of getting to know God. I will understand his heart. I'll understand his values. And then I'm gonna be able to promote that wherever I can. If I'm single, understanding the true meaning of sex is gonna help protect you in that area of your life and in the lives of those around you. I believe that. We were at a parenting conference recently, my husband and I always talk about the need to talk to your children about true sexual intimacy.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And one parent asked, totally understandably, are you concerned that if you talk about it too early, you will arouse a desire before it should happen. And my response to that was, if you're talking about it biblically, the desire you will arouse, they will know cannot be fulfilled outside of marriage. It will not tempt them to extra marital sex.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Because the intimacy of biblical sex cannot be gotten

Jocelyn: Can't be replaced.

Janet: Outside of marriage.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: If I really understand that it will protect me from the false substitute. So we believe that. For those who've seen it used wrongly, understanding what it really is, is even more important.

Jocelyn: Exactly. Cuz you need to know the truth so you could compare it with your experience.

Janet: Right. So knowing all of that, Jocelyn, why do you think this is like one topic that we're so hesitant to discuss. Like when we do parenting conferences, we talk to them about, this is the one topic that they think the way they disciple is to awkwardly talk about it one time and hope they never have to do it again.

Jocelyn: Yeah. That's so faulty.

Janet: How else do we ever disciple that way?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But why do you think we do that with this topic?

Jocelyn: Well, I think first of all, it's super awkward. Like you're talking about, you know, stuff that you don't want your kids to be imagining. You know, bigger and earlier than they should be. It's just, you know, it's a weird topic if you don't know how to do it. And also it's like, especially in previous generations, it was really taboo. You just don't talk about stuff like this. That's something that you figure out after you get married. And other times, a lot of people are really hurt in this area.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: They have been taken advantage of. We're gonna talk about that a little more in a bit. Also sometimes you just have really strong urges or desires that may be wrong, or

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: misinformed, and you don't understand them yourself. A lot of times we weren't taught, we've got baggage. We aren't experiencing the beauty of true sexual intimacy. So it feels hypocritical to talk about something that maybe is not present in your life, or that you did wrong, or something like that. Just, you know, It could be embarrassing. You could think that by presenting a really vivid picture of what true sexual intimacy, it could be worldly or too sexual or too open. It just, there's a million reasons why people are uncomfortable talking about it, so they don't talk about it.

Janet: Right. And yet the world is talking about it.

Jocelyn: Yeah. A lot.

Janet: To your child,

Jocelyn: a lot,

Janet: all the time. So I think if we can learn how beautiful it really is, it'll make it easier for us to be able to, first of all, believe that ourself.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And then I love thinking that wherever you are, you can be the generation that breaks that taboo cycle of not talking about it.

Jocelyn: I agree. My husband and I have really tried to help that be true in our family. Like, it doesn't matter how we were raised about it or how we were exposed to it. We are dealing with it differently with our children.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Because we wanna be biblical and we want them to be biblical.

Janet: I love that. So let's start, let's see if we can just rethink some of that for ourselves.

Jocelyn: Let's do that.

Janet: So thinking first, just about the big picture. Genesis begins with a marriage Revelation ends with a marriage. And sexual intimacy is a part of that. From beginning to end God chose to make marriage a part of his plan. Earthly marriage includes a special sexual intimacy that's reserved for that relationship only. And in the end, our marriage to Jesus will not include physical sex, but our earthly sexual intimacy is designed to give us a taste of that level of intimacy that we're gonna have with Christ.

Jocelyn: That's so cool to think about.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Like we get a little tiny appetizer of it now and our relationship with our husbands, but it's gonna be eternal.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Intimacy will be eternal and never ending.

Janet: Yes. And it will be. Even more intimate than that.

Jocelyn: And more precious, not shaded by guilt or sin or selfishness.

Janet: So for people who are listening to this and they're single or not experiencing biblical sexual intimacy, be encouraged by that reality.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Marital sex is only a shadow of the intimacy we're gonna have with our ultimate groom. I heard this example once and I just think it's a beautiful picture to... it helped me anyway, when I think of a person who's holding a thimble full of water while they're in the middle of the ocean. When you're swimming in the ocean of intimacy with your savior for eternity, you are not gonna be lamenting whether or not you got the thimble while you were on earth.

Jocelyn: That I think that is super helpful and encouraging.

Janet: So seeing godly marriages now, even if you're not in one can be a glimpse of your future. So be encouraged by that. All right. In the beginning, God made us male and female. We see that in Genesis 1:26 and 27. And I hope-- I don't know most of us probably don't think about this. Do we realize God didn't have to do that?

Jocelyn: Yeah. He didn't have to.

Janet: He didn't have to make two sexes. It's not like, man, I cannot think about how to procreate. We even know that he created organisms where they don't need to.

Jocelyn: Yeah, exactly.

Janet: So we know he can figure that out. He can do it in any way he wants. But somehow it says we're made in his image and likeness, and being two sexes in some way, provided an opportunity for us to image the Godhead. In some way, the marriage relationship is supposed to show us aspects of the Godhead. In Mark 10:6-9, Jesus says this, from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh. So they're no longer two, but one flesh. What, therefore God has joined together. Let not man separate. Jesus draws the connection between being made male and female, and becoming one flesh. And all of that is related to being made in the image of God.

Jocelyn: Jesus says, God is just transcendent, unimaginably above us.

Janet: Yes. So it matters. And I'm just gonna share what are some of the ways that our sexual intimacy can show us, some of the Godhead. It's not intended to be all inclusive. But just some of the aspects of the Godhead. I would say first, just as the scriptures say they become one flesh. That oneness. The oneness that we begin to experience in marriage helps us to just begin to understand the oneness of the triune God. We have two personalities, but over time we are molding ourselves to become one.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we're seen immediately as one by God. And as we grow in our marital oneness, even sexually, we begin to understand the oneness of the Godhead a little bit more. One God, three distinct persons and perfect unity. You know, I think about even in my marriage, the fact that over time we have become more and more one. Our personalities. It's not like people don't know which one is which . And yet there are aspects of our personality that are more alike now than we ever were.

Jocelyn: Right. I was just thinking, you can see that in like a cute little old couple that's been married for 50 years. They are so united.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: They dress the same. They do the same thing. They think the same way.

Janet: Yes. I was teaching a few years ago and somebody said to me, oh, my word, you look just like your husband when you teach. Which I think is fascinating. Because I don't think we are alike at all in the ways that we teach. But apparently we're becoming more alike. And sexual intimacy is a unique oneness within marriage.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: We become one in many ways in marriage and only one of them is sexually.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: There's a book called When Two Become One that I have used. And McCluskey says it this way. It's our most intimate form of communication, enabling us to say things about our spiritual oneness, that words cannot.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I agree with that. Yeah. Now, as always, whenever we mention a resource. There are things that I found helpful in it. You need to be discerning when you read it. It's not the Bible. But I thought that that comment was very helpful.

Jocelyn: I also learned from listening to Mary Kassian teaching on this topic, that sex was designed by God to tell the story of the gospel. And that has really helped me as I think about this topic.

Janet: Interesting.

Jocelyn: All sex is telling a story. God designed sex to tell the true story of two people who have been brought together in marriage and are now living as one. And when you have sex outside of marriage, you're actually honestly telling a story that's a lie. You're saying, Hey, we are one flesh through our sexual experiences, but you're not actually one flesh.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: That's what makes sex outside of marriage so tragic.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Marriage is designed to tell the story of a man and woman that are united and they're committed to one another in their oneness. So the guy is leading and providing and protecting and the woman is helping to complete that mission that God gave the family. Sex tells the story of that oneness between a man and a wife. And God tells us in Ephesians 5:31 through 33, that the oneness of a man and wife is designed to tell the oneness between Christ and the church. That's

Janet: It's a pretty big deal.

Jocelyn: That's a huge deal.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So I think one of the reasons that Satan really attacks biblical sexuality and perverts, it is because of that.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Sex between a man and a wife was supposed to show the oneness, the unitedness of Christ and the church. And so like, if sex is a picture of something, holy oneness, Of the church and Christ, if Satan can pervert that message, it's like he's winning. It's like

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: He's destroying something that is supposed to be used to glorify Christ.

Janet: And so many people are deceived into following that right now.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And like, I like your word. It is tragic.

Jocelyn: It is very tragic.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it helps me, as I practice, as I live out the theology of sex in my life. It helps me to remember what is the story that my sexual intimacy is telling?

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Is it gospel oriented? Because it really will motivate me to do things in a correct biblical way.

Janet: Good. So the first thing I would say is it shows a oneness. The second is the actual physical union. so that one flesh relationship starts with the physical joining of our bodies after marriage. And I love this, that in the old Testament, the sexual relationship is frequently referred to as knowing someone.

Jocelyn: I think that's, helpful.

Janet: Right. And I don't think it's because it's a euphemism because they were afraid to say sex.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: I think it's because that's what sex is.

Jocelyn: Yeah. It is knowing someone.

Janet: It's an intimate knowing of someone. So that's fascinating. There is an intimate knowing that you have in marriage.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: In sexual intimacy that you have with no one else. And that physical intimacy added a depth and a richness to their relationship that made that relationship different than any other relationship.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And then to know that same concept, that intimate knowing and knowledge, is talked about and referenced and reflected in the Godhead. John 10:14, the father knows me, Jesus says, and I know the father. Same idea. It's not, we've heard some facts about each other. It's an intimate knowing.

Jocelyn: Intimate knowing. Yeah.

Janet: John 10:38. Jesus says the father is in me and I'm in the father. John 15:9. The father has loved me, John 1:18, the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the father. I mean, just that intimacy there. So the covenantal knowing love and physical intimacy, they attest to that spiritual and divine intimacy in the Godhead. God designed us to become one flesh with our spouse. Physically, this happens when we're joined sexually. And then we read John 14:20. I am in the father and then Jesus says, and you believers are in me and I in you. Christ also has this spiritual unity with us. So our physical union is a picture of our spiritual oneness in Christ.

Jocelyn: That's a big difference between just thinking sex is something that you do for fun.

Janet: Right. It's like, in a broken world

Jocelyn: It's not just an amusement.

Janet: No. So the world can't touch that. They can have some physical pleasure but they can't touch this.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: And then we also know there are so many people listening to this that are saying, I don't experience that. And in a broken world, none of us perfectly experience this, just like we don't perfectly experience anything else in the Christian life.

Jocelyn: We're living it out in a broken world.

Janet: But true biblical intimacy gives us a taste of the vulnerability of being wholly known and totally accepted.

Jocelyn: I think that's one thing that I really appreciate about biblical sex. Is that in your vulnerability, someone else is looking at you and saying, I see the places that you're broken and I still take you in.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I still love you. I accept you. Your brokenness doesn't make me turn away from you. Like I,

Janet: It draws me to you.

Jocelyn: Right. I am yours and you are mine. And it's a delight to be able to be known in that way and accepted, not rejected.

Janet: And to think in the world what a fantasy that is, because in a few weeks we won't be together.

Jocelyn: Right?

Janet: So there is no commitment of saying I see you and you're safe, because the commitment's not there.

Jocelyn: And it really makes your partner in an unbiblical relationship just an object.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Like you use them to get something out of them, but the whole point of it is for yourself. There are lots of different applications of this unbiblically where you don't even care if you know the partner.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: It it's just, you're a means to the end.

Janet: Right. The world can get that physical pleasure. They cannot replicate that deep and beautiful knowing.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And many of our marriages are not experiencing that either. And I know that that's painful.

Jocelyn: It is painful, but the scripture has answers for it.

Janet: Right. And if that's the message we're giving our kids at a very young age, that will not tempt them

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: to sex outside of marriage. McCluskey in his book goes on to say this. I think this is really helpful. He's talking about a married couple. If they are communicating love throughout the day in the ways they serve, honor, and cherish each other, then the joining of their bodies in love-making bears testimony to that love. If, however, they're communicating anger, hatred criticism, or even just neglect or disdain. The statement of their sexual union becomes a lie.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: With their bodies they're saying, I love you so much that I want to have every part of you and to give you every part of me. But they've communicated something entirely differently throughout the day. I think that's really important, even as married couples. There are times when it feels like this is a lie and that's because it is.

Jocelyn: Because you're not, it's not flowing out of a proper relationship.

Janet: Right. But as couples then work to deepen their relationship with God and each other, these tastes are possible. It's never too late. Which is why over the years, as couples mature, biblically. When couples mature

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Biblically the fireworks get deeper and greater.

Jocelyn: It's so weird because you would think the older you get the, you know,

Janet: The more boring it becomes.

Jocelyn: The less, it would be wonderful.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: But as the commitment and the oneness and the, theology matches what's going on, it is amazing.

Janet: It's so much better.

Jocelyn: The experience is much more mature.

Janet: And you think, what does Hollywood say to that? Within marriage, it will be boring. You need to have all your excitement outside.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And how many times I'm with you and when it gets boring, I go to the next person.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So for them, the fireworks are the beginning and it's only gonna get worse.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And God says it starts out good. And it only gets better.

Jocelyn: Gets better. Yep.

Janet: Which, only God.

Jocelyn: Blows your mind. Doesn't it?

Janet: Yeah. So something else that it does for us, as far as helping us to reflect the Godhead, is that commitment. Genesis says a man will hold fast to his wife. Which is... actually means to permanently adhere oneself to. The husband and wife are indivisible. I understand in a broken world, it doesn't always end that way, but that's the idea.

Jocelyn: And the picture, during sexual activity is undeniably that.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: You are adhered to one another.

Janet: Yes. Indivisibility of the Godhead. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 says there is no God, but one. For, even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many Lords, yet for us, there is one God, the father, all things are from him and we exist for him. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, all things are through him. And we exist through him. That level of commitment and adhering. And then we see that correlation to Christ and the church. Colossians 1:18, Christ is also the head of the body, the church. He's the beginning, the first born from the dead so that he might come to have first place in everything. So the Godhead is one. And then Jesus has united himself to us, the church.

Jocelyn: Yeah, the church.

Janet: So we are one in him now. And our marital sexual, covenantal commitment mirrors God's loyalty within himself. For example, Jesus is never unfaithful to the father. That's unthinkable.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And it mirrors Christ's loyalty to his bride. He's never unfaithful to us.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Now I wish the same could be said of us.

Jocelyn: Right. Too bad it can't be the opposite way. Said true. Yeah.

Janet: Right. And that's God's calling for our marriage. Sexual faithfulness, loyalty and commitment.

Jocelyn: That flows out of our relationship with the Lord.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So our relationship with our husbands flow out of a premier relationship with Christ.

Janet: Yes. Yes. And again, that's not the experience of every marriage, this side of heaven. Which is why we need a savior every day.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yep.

Janet: And he's there with arms open to forgive our sin and to comfort us in our sorrow. And while we won't all experience this on earth, for those who are in Christ, united to him, one with him, we're gonna experience this for all of eternity. So within the Godhead, we see a oneness, we see a physical oneness, we see a commitment, and we also see pleasure.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That's part of it.

Jocelyn: That's a very, clear part of the design.

Janet: Gift from God. Within the safety of that commitment, the sexual relationship also provides much pleasure. And what do we see? In the Godhead, God delights in himself. Christ delights in his bride. And a man delights in his wife. Proverbs 5:18-19 says, may your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth, a loving doe, a graceful deer. May her breast satisfy you always. May you ever be captivated by her love. And I love other versions say, may you ever be intoxicated.

Jocelyn: That really.... I loved learning that. The first time I learned that topic, like literally there is one time that you're encouraged to be drunk.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And that is to be drunk on the love of your wife.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Which really sets the tone for what your love life should look like.

Janet: Yeah, God designed our sexual intimacy in marriage to bring us great joy and pleasure.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Unique, rich and deep pleasure emulates God's delight in himself and Christ's delight in us.

Jocelyn: And as a wife, I sometimes really think about how does the way that I relate to my husband on this topic provide him pleasure in a pilgrimage on earth that is full of sorrow.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: It is such a gift to be able to serve and minister to a husband by saying like there's a lot in your life that doesn't cause you any joy, but I want be a fountain of joy for you.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I want my relationship to be something that helps you to have happiness, not sorrow.

Janet: And you are the only one who can do that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So what a bonding thing that is when you, you know, you're the only one.

Jocelyn: It's a great way to encourage your husband.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So how do you think that's different from what you described in the beginning? Isn't pleasure like what the whole secular world makes sex be all about? You don't wanna mess that up.

Janet: Right. So I've just said, Hey, it's about pleasure. And we just said in the beginning,

Jocelyn: Yeah. It's not about pleasure.

Janet: It's not supposed to be just that. But I would say, in true sexual intimacy is the exact opposite, when it comes to pleasure, of what the world is saying.

Jocelyn: And I think the pleasure that we're talking about with biblical sexual intimacy is the pleasure that we're giving the opposite person.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Which accidentally gives us pleasure too. But the point of sexual intimacy outside of biblical marriage would be pleasure for my sake.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: At your expense.

Janet: That's exactly right. In true sexual intimacy, the focus is on using my body, as you just said, Jocelyn, to give pleasure. I'm not using my spouse's body to get pleasure at their expense.

Jocelyn: That's super manipulative. Like if I have sex with someone, just to get pleasure out of you, I literally manipulated you to get something for me.

Janet: Yes. And you see that in marriages where we will use sex as a manipulating a tool.

Jocelyn: Oh, yeah. as a tool. Yeah.

Janet: And that's terrible. But the goal is the intimacy. It's the giving. And in that way, when I'm giving myself to my spouse for his pleasure, there's a deeper pleasure that I'm gonna experience than the world can touch.

Jocelyn: And it reminds me of a passage in John that says you'll be blessed when you obey. So sometimes sexual intimacy is a matter of theological obedience.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I am serving my husband in this way. And as a byproduct of doing something that I believe my husband needs, even at times when I'm not really feeling it, I end up feeling blessed because I decided to obey in that way. So that kind of sexual intimacy based on biblical truth is going to look like a different kind of pleasure than even the best fireworks you can imagine outside of biblical sexual intimacy.

Janet: And it's deeper and better and it includes frequently better fireworks.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: As well. Yeah. And something else that we see in intimacy in that way is that it results in family. We learn a lot about God through the structure of the family.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And again, in a broken world, I understand when I got married, we weren't sure if I could have children and I lost three. So I understand the purpose of sex does not equal babies. But to know that God chose to use the plan of bringing children into the world would be the fruit of sexual intimacy. That's the plan. Whether I adopt. It was somebody else's fruit initially. But that is the plan. We learn just in the structure of how God designed the family. We learn about a father's love and a protection for his children. We learn about a husband leading his wife. We learn about a wife helping. We learn this great parable of the relationship of Christ to his father and Christ to the church. And the sexual intimacy results in that fruit of the womb.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We are told in Genesis 1:28 to be fruitful and multiply. God could have created new life, any way he chose. And he chose that it would come as a result of sexual intimacy between husband and wife.

Jocelyn: Which is like, just think about all that we've talked about. Oneness, physical union, commitment, dedication.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: A family, little children, little humans are born out of a relationship that is based on commitment. So that child is coming into a family that has the foundation of commitment.

Janet: With that foundation.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And think of the security that we know that brings a child.

Jocelyn: Exactly. Right.

Janet: Yeah. Yeah. So I know that there are many who are infertile. I know that there are many that for a lot of reasons, don't have children. Having children is not the only, or main reason for intimacy. I've just given you many others.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But it is the plan God used to bring children into the world.

Jocelyn: And that plan is affected by the curse of sin. Like,

Janet: like everything else.

Jocelyn: Right. We're not hiding from that.

Janet: Yeah. And a result of the vulnerable oneness of a husband and a wife committed to each other is the fruit of the womb and what a beautiful picture. And even though sin has marred everything on earth, we can still rejoice in that plan.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So, we haven't gotten, there are so many things we could say to be really practical. What about this? What about this? But really the whole point of this episode is to say, how do you think theologically?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: About this area of your life. The physical union is a beautiful part of displaying the glory of God. Which means it's a really, really big deal.

Jocelyn: It's huge. Yeah.

Janet: The question is which voices are we gonna listen to?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And can we be honest about which voices have impacted our view of sex up to this point?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Do I feel, I remember early in my marriage, I would feel a little bit guilty after having sex. Well, where was that coming from? Not from a theological view.

Jocelyn: No, no.

Janet: But I needed to think through that and talk to my husband about that. We all bring things in. But what do we do with it?

Jocelyn: And I was actually just thinking that too, like, okay, we've talked about a lot of theology and we've talked about kind of like high level beliefs

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: That would affect our thinking. And as you think about this, as our listeners think about that, as they apply it to their own life, they may have some things they need to work through on a personal level.

Janet: I would expect.

Jocelyn: And I would expect that possibly that might include some talking to your spouse, talking to a counselor. There might be some practical stuff that hasn't been in line with scripture that needs to be maybe thought through, possibly confessed and repented of, or at the very least reorganized in our mind.

Janet: Right. Right.

Jocelyn: And so the applications to this will be personal.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And individual.

Janet: Yeah. What I want us to be thinking theologically is we don't have to be intimidated by what the world says about sex.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: The world has nothing on what God offers. The world can have sex with lots of different people in lots of different ways and lots of different times. And that can include some physical pleasure. But if you think about the list we just made. Can they experience oneness?

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: Can they have a deep knowledge of each other, a combining of souls with the approval and pleasure of God?

Jocelyn: Well, they, and the deep knowledge of each other produces shame.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: If you do it unbiblically and experiencing oneness leaves a little part of your heart with that person, like you're just giving away pieces of you.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: It's not at all. The experience that God wants it to be.

Janet: So the world is settling for physical sensations, when God's plan offers so much more.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And if we know that. We can protect this beautiful gift for its intended purpose. And we can share these beautiful truths with our children. I'm imagining we're gonna do a future episode on how do you talk about sex with your kids, but this is the foundation for all of it.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: And I do believe one of the reasons we don't talk to our kids is we don't even know this.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: We're just thinking, how do I tell my kids don't have sex till you're married? And I'm saying there's so much more and better than that.

Jocelyn: And if that is your message to your kids, don't have sex until you're married. And also we never talk about it. What you're telling your kids is that it's unimportant and shameful and that's…

Janet: It's carnal.

Jocelyn: It's completely inconsistent with God's word.

Janet: Right. Yeah, so we didn't get to all the hindrances and challenges. I know that there's many I do a class on this at our church and we do a whole one and a half hour session on what are some of the hindrances and challenges. One of the quietest classes I've ever taught. I usually have people talking to me about all kinds of questions.

Jocelyn: I should come sit in on that class and just salt and pepper it up.

Janet: Oh my word. Here's what I learned. The third week when there were no questions, one brave soul finally said, I have a question on how to say something to my daughter. And I finally learned that they all have questions if it's for their daughter.

Jocelyn: Oh. How helpful.

Janet: So I said, let's assume you all have daughters

Jocelyn: And they all have questions.

Janet: Whatever questions your daughter has, why don't you ask it? And then we had more questions.

Jocelyn: Oh, so that's funny.

Janet: It was hysterical, but we're very uncomfortable.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But at least you can begin to understand it's a good plan. It's a beautiful plan. It's a plan you can talk about with your sons and daughters. Because it's not about, how do I physically get a firework?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's about so much better than that. The world is screaming a very different message on the subject of sex. And the world has hijacked this amazingly good gift.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So we can share the beauty of that truth with those around us, in our sphere of influence who wanna learn.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But I do think just as an appetizer for how we could apply it. What do you think? What are just some ways that this could begin to affect us on a daily basis?

Jocelyn: Well, practically I remember, oh, like 30 years ago or something when I first learned about the topic of biblical relationships. I remember thinking, wow, I just cannot read the same books that I used to read.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Because they, describe these male leads in a way that is absolutely ridiculous and no human could ever be that perfect. And it leads you to this fantasy world. It also leads us as a family to be super, really careful about what TV we watch, what music we listen to, what Tic Tocs the kids

Janet: Yep

Jocelyn: See. Like, there's a really unbiblical view of sex all around us.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And the more we inundate our brains with an unbiblical view of sex, the more biblical sex seems weird.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Or out of character or inappropriate for modern times. So we really are very careful about what we expose ourselves. We don't fast forward through sex scenes in movies. Like if the movie got to that place, it should have been turned off a while ago. Like that's, that's filth.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And it's an unbiblical message about relationships. We also teach our kids about sex. And we have been teaching our kids about sex basically since they were born.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like, obviously not the same way that we are now that they're adults, but we've been teaching them body parts and what you call proper things. And what parts of you should be protected from the time they were old enough to take a bath. Like that was part of bath time. We talk about what parts of your body other people shouldn't touch, because it's a special thing that we'll talk about more later. That application is, if we believe this is true, then we teach our kids about sex. And also application, if this is true, we talk to our spouse about sex.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: It's not some mystery that we're just supposed to magically figure out. Like we're supposed to actually like care about what our partner likes and, talk about what is pleasing and what makes them feel intimate and connected. It really gives you great motivation to avoid fantasizing about other people, or getting consumed in things that are anything that will steer you off of a biblical path.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: That's the opposite of what God designed sexual intimacy for.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And that's just as applicable to any single woman who's hearing this. Like this, isn't just for married people. The temptation to live vicariously through something else, romance novels, TV, movies. It can be great. And it's really tempting. But it's really detrimental and it will impact your ability to love your husband later when you are married, if you've filled your head with really worldly views about this topic.

Janet: And we've seen that in counseling. And then I think initially I it's, well, I don't wanna read those things and I'm gonna say even Christian romance.

Jocelyn: Oh yeah, I agree.

Janet: I'm not gonna read those things because it'll set a higher standard than is reality. And I wanna tell you, I don't think it's higher. I think it's shallow. So we're not settling for God's reality. We're recognizing that what you're reading is settle is settling.

Jocelyn: That's very true.

Janet: And we don't think that. Like we, because selfishly when I read that romance Christian novel and it's the guy who never speaks, but suddenly with me, he's gonna open up his heart and he's,

Jocelyn: Or he knows perfectly what I need. And the whole point of it is so self-centered and selfish.

Janet: Right. And there is not satisfaction in being self-centered.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: But you think when you read those, there would be satisfaction there.

Jocelyn: The magic. Yeah. The magic satisfies me. So firework-y.

Janet: And it won't.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And it won't.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I've had to say that to women, you know, it is affecting your marriage, but I'm not asking you to settle for reality, instead of this novel. I want you to understand that novel is shallow. And God wants something far better than that.

Jocelyn: That's so good.

Janet: The commitment. The oneness.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I mean, it's gotten to where even historical biblical fiction irritates me. They're telling a beautiful story so I can understand the culture, and then it's and she liked him. And they describe him physically and she's always really skinny. And she's, it's like, come on. Now we are, what is the message? What is the message here? So it's everywhere.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we have to be so careful because it gets you believing. That satisfaction will come in a different place than God says.

Jocelyn: That also was a reason that we rejected certain kinds of kids' cartoons. Like,

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: That is a completely ridiculous way to think about love and relationships.

Janet: Right, right. So to understand that those things matter.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I think it also helps understanding theologically. And you mentioned this Jocelyn, even in your own marriage, it helps married women to be motivated. I get to joyfully serve my husband. I'm the only one who is gonna serve him in that way. I can serve when I'm tired. I can love him when I'm quote unquote not in the mood. Which just means, well, think about it and get there.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah.

Janet: It's a privilege to give. And it's in the giving

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: That I'm blessed.

Jocelyn: Exactly.

Janet: And your Christian romance novels are not gonna tell you that.

Jocelyn: One of the things that I think would be a challenging statement is to realize that sex is an act of worship.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: The way that you conduct your sexual behavior is an act of worship. And you're either worshiping the one, true God, or you're worshiping some version of yourself or some idol that you created for yourself.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And so, it kind of threw me off the first time I ever heard that. Like, I do not wanna think about God being in my bedroom that is weird.

Janet: And smiling while we're having sex. Yes.

Jocelyn: But it, really is an act of worship. We're obeying him when we conduct ourselves in a true biblical, intimate way. And I think it's what we have to come to the conclusion of on this topic is that our theology of sex will affect so much about our life and our actions are gonna flow out of what we believe is true.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so if we want to have God-honoring relationships full of joyful intimacy, it has to flow out of right understanding of what God designed your sexual activity to look like.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And what your intimate relationship should be like with your spouse.

Janet: Excellent. So, for now, that's enough, I think, theology to give people something to think about. If you're looking for resources. Rob Green has a booklet out called Marital Intimacy: Rejoicing in What God Created. A book that's been out for many years. It was actually part of our pre-marriage counseling.

Jocelyn: Us too, us too,

Janet: You too?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I've been married a long time, is by Ed Wheat called Intended for Pleasure. What I love about that is, it's biblical and it's also very practical because there were a lot of things I just plain didn't know.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So it's very practical.

Jocelyn: One of the side effects of parents not talking about it.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Is like there lacks preparation for being ready.

Janet: We, in our premarital counseling, we talk about a lot of this. Brent and I've said is probably over 95% of them we're the first ones. Their parents have not.

Jocelyn: That's shocking and sad.

Janet: I know. But I'm glad that we get to do it.

Jocelyn: I'm glad that it's getting talked about.

Janet: We can help break the cycle.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For the next one. So it is a good book. Again, it is not the Bible. I was just looking through it again yesterday as I was preparing for this. And it was like, oh, that's kind of funny. You can tell it was written quite a while ago. so some things you. But it's, a very good book that'll get you thinking. And what we were told to do was read it out loud to each other. It's a great way to start talking to your spouse.

Jocelyn: After marriage or before marriage?

Janet: After, after.

Jocelyn: I was gonna say, please disclaim that.

Janet: Yes, yes, yes. Sorry. Yes, we took, we were to take it on our honeymoon.

Jocelyn: We were told not to read it before we got married.

Janet: Yes. No, they gave it to us the week before we got married and said, take it on your honeymoon.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And now open it and read it out loud to each other. So you get comfortable talking about it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Thank you for that caveat. On our honeymoon. Yes. Another booklet by David Powlison is called Renewing Marital Intimacy. It's actually not on sexual intimacy, but we've just talked about, that's a result. That is a culmination of your marital intimacy. And this book really helps you think about the things that are causing distance in your marriage.

Jocelyn: What a helpful resource.

Janet: Because as you work on closing the gap, as he says, in that booklet, in your marriage, you are working on your sexual intimacy as well. So I think it's really helpful.

Jocelyn: I also think we really need to make sure we recommend biblical counseling. Because this may be a topic that someone really needs to take some individualized time to work through. And we wanna encourage you to seek counseling from an ACBC certified counselor if that's something that would help you.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: There's no reason to, just drown in shame. There's no reason to keep on walking forward with guilt. God offers so much better.

Janet: Yes, there are answers.

Jocelyn: And there are answers. And sometimes it just it's worth taking some time, little time out from your life. Look at this issue and then get back into, you know, wholehearted obedience to the Lord without weird emotional attachments to a topic that could really be a way of showing your worship for the one true God.

Janet: Love it. I think it's very good. Well, thank you. It was really good to think through this, and I hope it will be a blessing to those of you listening. And I hope that you'll be back with us for our next episode, as we continue on the journey together.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.