Reason #1 – God used the conjugal comparison all through the Bible to illustrate His relationship with those who love Him. We need to know why.
God created the intricacies of human intercourse for our joy, union, and procreation, but most importantly to provide an everyday human illustration, an earthly example, of His love. He chose the sexual relationship between a man and a woman to demonstrate His relationship with believing Israel and with His church.
Therefore, it’s essential to contemplate married sex to understand how it illustrates our relationship with our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
He’s the Groom. We’re the bride.
How does He seek intimacy with us? How are we to respond?
The only human relationship unspoiled by sin (initially at least) was the marriage between Adam and Eve in the Garden. What might an innocent and pristine married relationship look like? Since it illustrates our relationship with Christ for eternity, this is what I attempted to write. God refers to this model repeatedly from the beginning of the Bible to the end.
#2 – Married sex is a beautiful expression of intimacy and oneness and, like worship, is as close as we get to Eden in this lifetime.
How does a sinner write an unflawed marital relationship and innocent sex? With great care. Neither the characters in Fallen nor I are perfect; rather, we are human.
This book took eight years from draft to publication. I’ve lost track of the number of revisions. First my wounds from misogyny and sexual harm had to be healed. Then my theology had to improve and flesh out. Next the Holy Spirit had to show me my own tarnished ideas from living in a sex- and sin-damaged world.
It was necessary to study, ponder, and muse over every marital reference in the Bible. I reflected on Christlike love and how it affects body, heart, and soul. I considered how the resistance of a wife is similar to the resistance I have toward the Holy Spirit when my heart is hardened. I contemplated similarly the effects of yielding.
I grew. I consulted multiple theologians. I read theological books. I listened to podcasts. I wrote and rewrote again. I grew some more.
A variety of people read my beta manuscript – people who have never had sex; people who married as virgins; people whose sexuality had been damaged; people who would willingly and openly communicate with me. I listened to what they all said.
I took great care to write tastefully and discreetly. This is not erotica, far from it. This is pure and clean. Every single word was scrutinized. I rewrote often. I asked God not to allow this book to be published until it was ready, to the best of my abilities.
I wrote like an innocent child, and I wrote like a woman who has been passionately married to one man for almost forty years.
The first half of Fallen begins at creation and culminates with the fall of humanity. Having portrayed undamaged marital union in the early pages, the second half of the book illustrates all that is now broken between men and women and in our marriages.
#3 – Sex and marital harmony were corrupted when sin entered the world. We must understand what once existed to regain what was lost.
As one reviewer put it, “Her interpretation of marriage between two perfect people makes me yearn for what could have been—and I have a solid, wonderful marriage. If you’ve never experienced healthy love, you’ll gain valuable insights into what such a relationship can look like.”
Since we have this model from Eden, I wanted to portray it. The Lord also provided clear instruction throughout the Scriptures. Here is just one example:
“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:28-33).
Married sex is like glue. It makes us one. It glues us together. It reminds us of our oneness. In the Greek, “be united to” is Strong’s #4347, proskallao, “to glue oneself to another, to be joined or to join oneself in unity, to cleave.”
The bolded passage above was taken from Genesis 2:22-24, referring to the physical oneness of Adam and Eve in the Garden. God made Eve from Adam’s body, and Adam sought physical oneness again within Eve’s body. In the Hebrew, to be “united” is Strong’s #1961, dabaq, “to cling to, fasten oneself to, to be joined fast, to be stuck together, (here) to actually now exist as one physical body again.”
Eve was bone of Adam’s bone and flesh of Adam’s flesh. In some mysterious way, the sexual act made them one again, a new living reality.
Read Ezekiel 16. This is another connubial example – here, a betrayed husband, one of many that illustrate God’s passionate love. The words used are intimate, sexual, and raw. These are the words chosen by the Holy Spirit, the Inspirer of Scripture.
Our most intimate and pleasurable sex illustrates the passion of our union with Christ. He pursues us. He seeks deep intimacy with us. The bride must yield and respond to the Groom. The emotions of this type of sexual fulfillment are almost identical to the filling of the Holy Spirit as we submit to and rejoice in our union in Christ.
In both we utter His name, we are filled with joy, we worship, and our truest emotions burst forth. God uses sexual terms to describe His relationship with us, because He designed sexual intimacy and pleasure to help us understand the love He feels and expresses for us. He wants us to know how fervently and passionately He loves us.
This is why there is sex in Fallen, and why it is beautiful.
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