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Now, you probably wouldn't expect the subject of intimacy to come up in a discussion of wallpaper, but it did. Of course, you've never been in a discussion with me, so maybe that's not a surprise to you. I have a friend who is a painter and a wallpaperer for a living, and he was helping in our office. He actually volunteered to help us out by scraping the old wallpaper off a wall that really needed some work. And before we were in our building, someone had put wallpaper on the sheet rock years ago. Well, when I walked in, he was very frustrated because what happened was, well apparently, when they had applied that wallpaper to the sheet rock they hadn't put any preparation layer on it. So, you can probably guess what happened. The wallpaper and the top layer of the sheet rock had sort of become one. And when he scraped off the wallpaper, yeah, you got it. The top layer of the sheet rock came with it. He was pretty frustrated, and he held them up to me and he said, "I can't separate them!" Then he said, "You know what we call this, Ron?" We being wallpaperers I guess. He said, "We call this an intimate bond." Well, those intimate bonds are hard to separate.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from the lips of Jesus in Mark 10, beginning at verse 7. "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife. And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate." Sounds strangely like a conversation I had with the wallpaperer doesn't it? Separated...bonded in a way that you really cannot separate them.
Well, if you go over the 1 Corinthians 6:16, you find out what powerful glue sexual involvement is between two people. Here's what it says, "Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said that two will become one flesh." Now, there's no more meaningless sex than with a prostitute. But even that creates a lasting intimate bond. Our society has devalued this wonderful bonding that God has given us, but it hasn't weakened its power. And maybe you're devaluing this great gift of sexual closeness and intimacy without even knowing it. Let me suggest some ways that happens.
One is sex without commitment. It could be that you've experimented with sex and played around with it without a lifetime commitment to a partner, and that leaves permanent scars. You're playing with something that will make that person always a part of you, and that's scary. And if you do it often enough, you will lose your bondability; like tape that gets stuck too often. You won't be able to stick to another person in that bonded way the Bible talks about.
Secondly, you can devalue it by using sex as a weapon. That's why in 1 Corinthians 7, the Bible says, "Don't deprive each other in marriage of a sexual relationship." Don't use sex as a weapon. It's too special to abuse by using it to get your own way. It's not a weapon!
Thirdly, we can devalue this bonding by sex without meaning, where you are married but you really aren't one. You had an argument; you're in disagreement, but you're going through the motions. Get your oneness together again emotionally, so you can express it physically.
And finally, you can devaluate it with sex outside the boundaries. That could be an adulterous relationship or somehow you introduce another person into this intimate, unbreakable bond. And you create an emotional schizophrenia for everyone involved.
Look, have you played with God's bonding gift? Well, confess that to Him. Let Him cleanse you as 1 John 1:9 promises He will, that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Make it right. Reserve it for one relationship, and then use it unselfishly. I can still see that wallpaper and that sheet rock merged into one, when it's right, it is so beautiful. When bonding is wrong, it's so destructive.
The language of love that God calls sex - it truly is an intimate bond.