When you have an equation with brackets, you must deal with the brackets first, so let us begin our discussion in this section with the inside of the brackets. In the marriage relationship, each individual must have their own personal walk with Jesus. Your spouse’s Christianity cannot substitute yours, nor can the family’s commitment replace a personal devotion to the Lord.
Just as the marriage relationship is exclusive, between only one man and one woman, so Christ calls us to an exclusive relationship with Him. He invites us to a deep, intimate, trusting relationship and guards that trust jealously. Every relationship runs the risk of the trust being broken and the parties to the relationship being hurt. Through creation, God already took the risk of relationship with humanity, and has been hurt by our rejection. Yet He still invites us to restore that relationship. Framed as God’s desire for His relationship with us, the first four of the ten commandments are insightful.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” No one else is to take the place in our lives reserved for God—it is an exclusive relationship. To remain in this relationship must be of the utmost importance, and anything that might impede that goal must be eliminated.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image . . . you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” God wants an authentic relationship with us—not one based on our ideas of who He is but based on who He actually is. Rather than carving out a static symbol of our notion of God and imposing on it whatever attributes we deem fit, God wants us to get to know Him personally, as He reveals Himself to us through His Word.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” God is calling us to a serious, committed relationship. He is not playing the field, and He is not looking for a casual dating relationship with us. If we say we are His, He wants a deep commitment.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Once a week God has reserved quality time with us. Spending focused time with your partner is essential to a healthy relationship. Missing date night or showing up distracted by your phone is sure to limit the relationship’s longevity. God has special plans for our time together every week, and He is hoping we won’t stand Him up.
When each partner makes Christ first, last, and best in their lives, it draws them to each other. Their thoughts, affections, priorities, and goals become increasingly similar, even as they retain their individuality. The closer they draw to Christ, they closer they become to each other, thus increasing their unity.
Moreover, orienting your lives around Christ, not just individually but as a couple, ensures the greatest unity possible. When Jesus is at the center of your financial planning, your family planning, and your ministry planning, He brings a unity of purpose that helps to focus your goals. He even directs your planning so that your goals will align with what will be for your highest good.
It is no wonder that Jesus is the key to the best sexuality equation, because He always has been the key. Before sin entered the world, Adam and Even enjoyed the harmony of perfect unity, but Genesis 3:8–13 testifies of what estrangement from God does to our relationships. Even if you have failed to honor God in your sexual life in the past, Jesus enters the equation of your life and can bring about the healing necessary to experience a fulfilling sexual life in the future. Jesus is the key to the equation working smoothly.