S01E004, Don’t Awaken Love Before It’s Time, Marriage Matters

Avatar The BerryBunch | 30/12/2021

You can Listen, Read, or Watch, the video.


Andy B and Jo jump right in with Song of Songs, the book in the bible all about marriage. And in this book, we are warned more than once – ‘Do not awaken love before it’s time’.

This is a gentle way of telling us about intimacy in relationships and the best time to awake this kind of love is when we are married.

Find out why this is important as Andy B and Jo discuss intimacy in and out of marriage.

#RealTalk – ‘Don’t awaken love before it’s time’

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right. (Song of Songs 2:7 NLT) https://bible.com/bible/116/sng.2.7.NLT

Andy and Jo take a look at Song of Songs. This is God’s instruction on all things marriage, dating and sex. They talk through the effects of erotic literature, pornography and nudity on TV, and whether this is something that is good or bad for us.

There is so much pressure on people either to get married, or conversely, to avoid marriage and become another member of the ‘hook up society’.

With increasing access for all ages to extreme, and violent, pornography, and children under 10 learning how to have sex and being indoctrinated to think that it is no big deal to engage in sexual encounters, Andy and Jo talk through God’s plan.

It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but God desires husbands and wives to enjoy each other sexually. He designed it to be as pleasurable as possible for those in marriages. And it just gets better with both time and practice – all part of God’s plan for those who commit themselves to lifelong marriages as a husband and wife.


Resources and Tips


“XES: Why church girls tend to get it backwards and how to get it right” by joy McMillan

Find out more about this book on her website - http://www.simplybloom.org/bookshttp://www.simplybloom.org/books/xesbook/xesbook

“Radical Womanhood”, by Carolyn McCulley - https://tinyurl.com/2x24vvkv (links to amazon UK)

“Thoughts for young men” J C Ryle

Web Links

Suzane Venker - Author, blogger, journalist - https://www.suzannevenker.com/

“A husband can love his wife best when he loves God most. And if his eyes are reserved for her, she is his ultimate standard of beauty”, by “Fierce Marriage”

You can find the original post, and image, on their Facebook Page -  https://tinyurl.com/3mbvrzcp

“Should Christians watch game of thrones?”, by John Piper

You can find the original article on the “Desiring God” Website - https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-christians-watch-game-of-thrones


Read Philippians 4 v 8-9 and meditate on it.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Andy and Jo

Read The Transcript

Jo 0:40 Hello, and welcome to Marriage Matters. My name's Jo.

Andy 0:43 And I'm Andy.

Jo 0:45 And we've got another great episode for you. And if you don't want to miss anything that we do, do like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up to the website. And you can also

Andy 0:56 Sign up to the newsletter.

Jo 0:57 Yes, so lots of ways to keep in touch, and to find out what we're doing, and not to miss a Marriage Matters. Because we're here every week to talk about marriage, share our experiences, learn from each other. And I suppose to encourage one another really. And today we're looking at Do not awaken love before time. And that comes from Song of Songs, isn't it?

Andy 1:22 Shall I read out the whole scripture?

Jo 1:23 Yeah, go on then.

Andy 1:25 I've got all the other references ready, but not this one.

Jo 1:27 Yeah

Andy 1:28 Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs. It's a little book. It's interesting Song of Songs. Because unlike other books in the Bible, it's quite unique. And if you're ever not sure whether marriage is something that's important or not Song of Songs knocks that one the head because it's all about marriage. So what was the reference?

Jo 1:48 What was the reference? Yeah, it's

Andy 1:50 going well

Jo 1:51 you had that one? Oh, I saw the songs 2

Andy 1:53 Yes

Jo 1:54 verse 7.

Andy 1:55 That'll be it.

Jo 1:55 Yeah.

Andy 1:57 "So, daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field, do not arouse, or awaken love until it so desires."

Jo 2:08 What does that mean, Andy?

Andy 2:11 Well, it's repeated in Song of Songs, that particular verse. It comes up a couple of times,. I've forgotten the other reference, because I didn't write it down. That's how efficient we are today. But, yeah, when we're thinking about this, I mean, this is the broad, broad strokes overview.

Jo 2:25 Yeah

Andy 2:26 But not awakening in love is, don't start getting into a sexual relationship until you're in a marriage. I mean, that's, when you look at Song of Songs, that's exactly what this is talking about. It's, it's the daughter, it's the whole point of Song of Songs, really briefly, is you've got a husband to be and the wife to be.

Andy 2:42 And then it becomes the husband and the wife, as you move through the Song of Songs.

Andy 2:46 So, this is, this is a real charge by the beloved, which is, which is the wife saying, 'please don't arouse yourself until you can do something with that'.

Andy 2:58 And the appropriate place as the Song of Songs will teach us, is within a marriage, and it's talking about sexual love. It's talking about that sexual arousal. That once you open that door, you ain't going to shut it?

Jo 3:09 Yeah

Andy 3:10 It's gonna be there. And God can redeem all things. We're not, we're not talking about those sorts of stuff. But we're saying God's got a plan, and that plan is don't awakene love, don't awaken your sexual desire, until you're in a relationship when you can do that. And one of my things I always say, all the time, is there's two states of sexuality, as far as I can see in Scripture, at least. One is married, and one is not married! That's it.

Jo 3:34 Celebate, isn't it, yeah.

Andy 3:34 That's, it! And celibacy, although it sounds like a really oh, gosh, celibacy. That's terrible. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament. An amazing, godly guy. Well, certainly the last part of his life, he was celibate. And he was urging people to be like him, 'cos he thought it was a better place to be.

Jo 3:37 Yeah

Andy 3:41 Not that he was in any way negative about marriage. He loved marriage. But he was always quick to say, look, being single, not having a sexual relationship, is a really great place to be.

Jo 4:00 Yeah

Andy 4:00 'Cos there's loads of freedoms when you're not married.

Jo 4:02 Yeah

Andy 4:03 And I say that a nice way.

Jo 4:04 Yeah

Andy 4:05 But there are freedoms.

Jo 4:06 Yeah. But there is a time to be celebated, isn't there.

Andy 4:08 Yes

Jo 4:08 I mean, children, young people, and maybe, you know, when you've lost your loved one or older, older folks. So, just, there are. And like you say, and not before, before you're married. So there's a good time to be celebate.

Andy 4:20 And the Song of Songs is all about that.

Jo 4:22 Yeah. Really good stuff. So that's, that's what we're going to be talking about. So we'll take

Andy 4:27 A nice gentle subject

Jo 4:28 We'll take a break.

Andy 4:33 So we're getting really excited about Christmas, as you can tell. We've got tinsel

Jo 4:37 And I'm wearing my Christmas hat.

Andy 4:38 And we got a snowstorm because every good Christmas story must be about Jesus and the snowman.

Jo 4:43 Well, no, we're gonna tell them

Andy 4:44 And the snow.

Jo 4:45 We're gonna tell the real Christmas

Andy 4:46 And the Easter Bunny?

Jo 4:47 No, we're gonna tell

Andy 4:48 The tooth fairy?

Jo 4:49 Nope. We're gonna tell the real Christmas story using an orange.

Andy 4:53 Yes. Christmas stories with fruit

Jo 4:56 and Dave is gonna join us

Andy 4:57 Dave's gonna help Jo Jo make a Christingle Orange, which is all about the Christmas story, the real Christmas. So, whether you've got snow in your future or not, we probably haven't. Well we have here, but not out. Anyway, whether you've got snow in your future, or not, join us for the BerryBunch, Christingle, 2021.

Andy 5:17 And Dave,

Jo 5:18 And Dave

Jo 5:37 We're back. And we're tackling an interesting subject about having sex before marriage, or not.

Andy 5:44 Yes.

Jo 5:44 And it's, it kind of feels like a really tough subject like, whoa, chill out. But actually, I think if God's saying something, we should probably listen. And it's kind of, it's not just in one place in the Bible. It's sort of strewn all over the place, isn't it?

Andy 5:59 Genesis through to Revelation, everything, it's, it's everywhere.

Jo 6:03 And we know that God loves us, and He wants the best for us. So there's a really, probably good reason, for Him to say these things.

Andy 6:11 There is. I, I, it almost sounds controversial. But, it, as I look around at sex education in schools, there's, there's more and more explicit, let's show the children pornography, and then they'll learn. And, all that school seems to be interested in, or perhaps a secular state education system. I don't know quite how you want to reference that. It just seems to be interested in pregnancy prevention. At the end of the day, pregnancy is not the worst thing in the world, because pregnancy is a life!

Andy 6:40 So, that, what we see around society is, we've got this real thing about stopping pregnancy. But there's much worse things than a pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the end of your life. It's the beginning of a life.

Jo 6:52 Yeah, that's true.

Andy 6:53 So, I think we, we need to distance away from just stopping sexually transmitted diseases, and stopping pregnancies. Because, do you know what? There's, there's bigger problems in the world.

Andy 7:05 It's not good to be sexually intimate before a marriage. But there's worse things, I think. I'm not trying to put layers of sin here. It's not like you know, it's a better sin and a worse sin. It's not about that. And the Bible's pretty explicit about sexual sin, but, and we maybe we'll get onto that. But, actually, the whole thing of, of Jesus Christ and why He died on the cross is for each one of us, that we can all be redeemed. And there was nothing 'irredeemable'. Is that a word?

Jo 7:31 Yeah I think that's a word

Andy 7:32 It is now! There's nothing irredeemable with God. And that's what I love about the cross. But, when we're thinking about sex outside of marriage, God has this beautiful, best. Of a sexually intimate relationship within the confines of a husband and wife marriage . That is God's plan. That is God's best. And that's what the Bible teaches us. And, I mean, you can disagree with that. There's all sorts of political spins on that, but that's the Bible. And that's what our experience is and that's what we're teaching about.

Andy 7:32 Yeah, sorry. Were youre gonna give us a scripture.

Andy 8:02 Oh, yeah. Well, I was. But I forgot what it was.

Jo 8:03 Go on then. We've got Corinthians haven't we. 1 Corinthians 6, 16.

Andy 8:07 They're on two pages in my defence.

Jo 8:08 Ok

Andy 8:09 Which one's the first one?

Andy 8:10 1 Corinthians 6,16.

Andy 8:12 Okay, it's the gentle parts.

Jo 8:14 Okay?

Andy 8:14 "Do you not know, that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body. For it said, the two will become one flesh. He who unites myself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit"

Andy 8:27 And that refers to Genesis 2, 24.

Jo 8:31 Yeah, 24 to 25.

Andy 8:32 So this is what that Scripture is referencing.

Andy 8:36 "For this reason, the man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Andy 8:43 And when you think about that, in the context of Scripture, that becoming one flesh is not a temporary fix, it's a permanent, exclusive, situation. We're not going to on to divorce. That's a whole other topic. That's a season of episodes, we're not going into that. This is us, sharing our experience, as a married couple, and what we see of what God says about our relationship, and how we get on and all that kind of stuff.

Jo 9:05 Yeah, I mean, the, the world wants us to try each other out, experiment. And this is obviously contrary to the Bible. And as we're saying that God loves us

Andy 9:15 I' go further than contrary. It's diametrically opposed.

Jo 9:17 It is absolutely opposite. And, and, and I may maybe on the surface, you think well it kind of makes sense. But, but there's a reason why God has forbidden it or is restricting it. And I love that you become one. I mean, I think we forget about the fact of the, the spiritual

Andy 9:33 That's the Spiritual joining

Jo 9:33 element, the emotional, the psychological. There's so much involved in that intimacy that we don't perhaps fully understand. And it, it can, you know, cause quite a lot of problems coudln't it.

Jo 9:34 I have a great response to the 'have sex as a couple because then it's a bit like a test drive of a car'.

Jo 9:51 Oh my goodness

Andy 9:51 And I've heard this one so many times. And I think, do you know? That is disgusting. But, I've got a really good response.

Andy 9:55 When you go and test drive a car, you've got to know that you don't know everything about that car. And you've got to know that they've tried to make it look as pretty as it possibly can for you to test drive the car. But, you also know that when you've driven that car for 10 years, you're very concerned with that car, because you've got to know it. And, actually, test driving the car is not a great way of knowing if a car is legal. It's not a great way of car, knowing if a car is really good, unless you're an amazing mechanic. But, even then, stuff can be hidden and is hidden. Having worked in the car industry, I can tell you lots of stuff is hidden.

Jo 10:26 I'm not sure I'd like to be likened to a, you know, test drive of a car.

Andy 10:29 Well, no, but it's the analogy that I've heard many times, repeatedly, and I think it's rubbish as an analogy

Jo 10:34 Well it kind of devalues us, doesn't it and devalues the whole intimacy, because it's a very special union, which is what God's talking about. I mean, the marriage the sanctity of marriage is beautiful. It's, it's a commitment, it's a promise. And it's being loyal and faithful and all sorts of good things. If you're moving around with different people, that's not faithfulness, that's not loyalty. That's not commitment is it?

Andy 10:56 I have two things to say.

Jo 10:57 Ooh

Andy 10:57 I have many things to say but two on this. So, if you go to the next verse in Genesis 2, so we've just read Genesis 24, for this reason, sorry 2 verse 20.

Andy 11:06 "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they become one flesh."

Andy 11:11 Now, the very next verse, "the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame". Now, I know that when I'm before you naked, I'm very, very vulnerable. But I never feel ashamed. I've never felt ashamed. We waited until we were married before we were intimate with one another. And there's never been shame.

Andy 11:11 And I'm struck by that next verse of 'they became one flesh, but there was no shame there'. And that I think, is, is, is key to understanding why it is that a husband and wife are joined as one flesh. It's not supposed to be a one night stand. There is no one night stand spiritually. There is a permanent spiritual union. That's what we see in Scripture very clearly. So, that Genesis two verse 24, I think is really key.

Andy 12:00 But, I'm going to go a little controversial, which is a shock. But when we were getting married, I remember being told many times, well, you and Jo, just go and have sex together, just, just get it out of the way, and then you can get on with your lives without having to get married.

Andy 12:14 That's kind of disturbing, but that's quite normal. But when you realise that was said, by more than one person, who were church leaders, in spirit filled churches, that were Bible believing, that then leads me on to another topic, another point. Which was when I was in Manchester, there was a really great guy, Colin Carson, who was a pastor. And he was getting quite alarmed, this is mid 90s,

Jo 12:34 Yeah. a

Andy 12:35 But, he was getting quite alarmed of the number of Christian couples. So, two Christians, getting married, that he was giving marriage counselling see before they got married, who were already having sex with one another. Because in their mind, 'well, we're getting married, what's the problem?'

Andy 12:49 So, he then started doing a non official poll, asking lots of ministers he knew 'is this replicated in your churches?' And what they discovered was, many, many Christian couples don't see the problem with sex before marriage, because, well, they're going to be married. But God's standard isn't a grey area. There isn't a, 'well we're nearly there, well we nearly sinned and we nearly didn't.

Andy 13:10 And he was quite disturbed at this thought. That there's, there's so many Christian couples thinking, well what's wrong with sex before marriage. Which, to me, it seems like such an obvious thing. How on earth can a Christian couple not know that? That's not being judgmental, so much as, I kind of assumed it was an obvious one! It wasn't a difficult theological position on end time eschatology. I mean, this is, to me, fairly fundamental. And yet, there are many Christian couples.

Andy 13:35 And we were told by Christian leaders, well just have sex and get it over with before you get married, then you don't have to get married. That, that baffles me.

Jo 13:44 Yeah, it is a real shame, isn't it? And I think it does cause problems down the line, because a marriage works because God is at the centre, isn't it? And if you've already sort of gone against God's wishes, and God's best for you, then you're gonna need to have to deal with that at some point. And maybe some of us don't. Maybe we, and that can be other things. But if it's not dealt with, then it's going to be a problem, isn't it in your marriage. It's going to be a spiritual problem, an emotional one, psychological one, whatever, isn't it! Because of just the very nature of that intimacy. It's very special.

Jo 14:15 And, like I say coming back to if God's saying not to do it, there's a really good reason for it. And we don't always have to fully understand why God says no, because, we, that's the point of being a Christian isn't it! It's being obedient. It's about faith, isn't it. And, and it's like, okay, if God says that, I'm gonna trust Him and obey that. And so you're not getting off to a good start are you, really, by disobeying God, and not trusting Him when you're going to need Him to help you in your marriage? Yeah,

Andy 14:42 There's a, I was, I was listening to Peaceful Wife, is a brilliant website and blog, great book. April is the name of the lady who does that one. But, she was learning about the Jewish culture of marriage. And, I think especially in the Western Christian world, we, we miss a lot of the depth and the richness of some of the language of what Jesus was doing. And the symbolism and all of that. But she was learning about marriage from the Jewish perspective, kind of 4,000 year ago Jewish. And, what she discovered was when the bridegroom is waiting for his bride, that period of waiting, is split into a few parts.

Andy 15:15 One of those parts is building the house and making the house ready for his bride to be.

Andy 15:19 The second part is the party of all his mates, and her mates, going to her house to go and get her. Bringing her home to their new home. And, this is what I thought was quite.

Andy 15:30 Okay, as a Christian, you might find this icky in the Western world, but it's, it's not.

Andy 15:35 But then they would bring back the bridal party back to the new house. They would go into the bridal room, they would make love for the first time, and their friends would be outside ready to cheer them on.

Andy 15:45 Now, in the Christian Western world, that sounds like ooh, that's, that's a bit icky. But, but why? They knew no shame! Where's that shame coming from?

Andy 15:55 And slightly incidental, but we lived in a caravan for 6 months, when we were trying to find a business and a shop. And then we lived in a one bed flat for a year and a half, and then a two bed apartment.

Andy 16:08 And I remember a conversation with more than one Christian who said, "Well, you know, you sleep in the same room as your children."

Andy 16:14 "Yeah, but it's a one bed flat, there's not a lot of choice on that."

Andy 16:16 Well, how can you, you know, be you know, like, you know"

Andy 16:20 Now, what they're trying to say without doing it, because they can't speak, is well how are you having sex together if you've got kids in the room.

Andy 16:24 You go to some other countries that are not Western and rich, and they live in a hent, in a tent, or they live in a hut. There is no other room. Well, how are those babies made? It's not, you know, magical.

Jo 16:36 No.

Andy 16:36 So we have this western mindset. That doesn't mean to say it's okay to be really blazen in front your kids.

Jo 16:42 No

Andy 16:42 But that's not about, it's not about that. But, there's this western mindset of what sex is, and how it should be, and all that kind of stuff. And one of the reasons we've got a resource later on that we'll share, is because there's an awful lot of misunderstanding about sexuality, about God's expectation and anticipation and joy at a husband and wife being joined sexually together physically. And they knew no shame.

Jo 17:08 Yeah.

Andy 17:08 Well, how do you not no shame? Well, there's no reason for the shame to be there.

Jo 17:12 Yeah.

Andy 17:12 That's the point.

Jo 17:13 And I think remembering that the marriage is a picture of the, you know, the Bride and the Bridegroom. It's, you know, Jesus is the bridegroom, and we, the church is the bride.

Jo 17:23 And so a marriage is a witness to the world, to share the love of Christ to share Jesus. And I guess, you know, you want to be pure, to be holy, we want that to be good. And that's why we want to improve our marriages. None of us are getting it right. And like you said, at the start, you know, God redeems. And so if we mess up, in whatever way. And if we do sort of fall into some temptations, then God is there to, to help us and redeem that. And make, make the marriage pure and holy, again, which I love.

Andy 17:54 If you've been having sex before you're married, then don't get into a place where you think that's it, that's the end of the world. That's the end of the line, my life is ruined.

Andy 18:03 Can I just say this really clearly? As someone who's been involved in ministry, who's a father, who's a husband, who's a follower of Christ.

Andy 18:10 If you've been engaging in sexual activity before marriage, all you have to do, like any other sin, is go to God on and say sorry.

Andy 18:20 I remember. We've counselled, counselled, not cancelled, cansoulled various folks. And I remember one, one person, and they just didn't understand why I was saying to them, 'you were having sex before you got married, you're both married, you're now Christians, but you need to repent of the sin you had before you were married.'

Andy 18:36 And he didn't understand the point of doing that. And that I find it really sad because, to me, if you've done something wrong, and you know it's wrong, then you just need to put yourself right with God.

Jo 18:44 Yeah, that's the point, isn't it.

Andy 18:45 But if you've had sex before marriage. If you've had a pregnancy. If you've had an abortion. If you've done stuff that you feel shame about, then that shame is not from God, that is from the devil. What you need to do is to go to Christ and He will forgive you. Because no sin is, is, is some't He's gonna say, "Ooh, well, that's a bit too much. I can't cope with that." That's ridiculous.

Jo 19:05 Yeah.

Andy 19:06 God is good, and he loves us. So if you've done those things, that it's not, it's not the end. It's a beginning, once you go back to Christ.

Jo 19:14 Yeah.

Andy 19:14 He redeems us!

Jo 19:15 And I just think about that woman who poured perfume all over Jesus just before He was

Andy 19:20 yeah

Jo 19:20 went to the cross. And He said 'this story will be told for many years to come'

Andy 19:25 to be recorded

Jo 19:26 And she had quite a past, didn't she! And, and she really loved, and, and was really lifted up by my God, which is great!

Andy 19:34 If you think about the guy on the cross next to Jesus

Jo 19:36 Yeah. Wow.

Andy 19:37 One of the worst of sinners and what happened?

Jo 19:40 Yep

Andy 19:40 Said sorry to Jesus before He died and went to hell.

Jo 19:42 Awseome that's the power!

Andy 19:43 There you go. No baptism.

Andy 19:44 Yeah.

Andy 19:45 No filling with the Holy Spirit. No time. He died. He just repented. And that's it. It's not complicated! You don't have to have lots of discipleship and Bibles. You just need to repent.

Andy 19:56 Yes, those sins of good. Don't, not, do those. But, he didn't have the time for those. He just, 'I'm sorry, Jesus. '

Jo 20:02 Yeah.

Andy 20:02 And that was it.

Jo 20:03 Simple.

Andy 20:04 1 Corinthians.

Jo 20:06 What you got?

Andy 20:06 Next one

Jo 20:07 Oh, 7, 8 to 9

Andy 20:08 I said they were on two pages.

Jo 20:10 Yes.

Andy 20:11 Eight to nine?

Jo 20:12 Yeah. 1 Corinthians 7.

Andy 20:15 We've done communication so we're okay now. "So I wish that all men were as I am"

Andy 20:20 So this is Paul talking right? He's single.

Jo 20:22 Yeah.

Andy 20:23 Don't think celebate is somehow bad. And don't think 'cos we're married that we don't know what it's like not be married because we were not married once.

Jo 20:28 Yeah.

Andy 20:29 Funnily enough.

Andy 20:30 "I wish that all men were as I am, but each man has his own gift from God. One has this gift, another has that"

Andy 20:37 Now, before I carry on this is talking about being married, or not married?

Jo 20:42 Yeah.

Andy 20:42 It saddens me, especially in the church. There are many ministers I would like to have,. I was gonna say have a cup of tea with, but, actually a very strong word.

Andy 20:52 Marriage is not the ultimate goal for Christian!

Andy 20:55 It just is not. It's not for everybody. It's not, 'I'm alive, who am I going to marry?

Andy 20:59 It's not chasing after some somebody.

Andy 21:03 I suppose there's a generalising here. But there's a thing that women want to get married. And that's understandable. But what Paul's saying is, here, it's a gift to be married! It's a gift to be single! And Paul's actually saying the greater gift to him, personally, would be to not be married. But don't see marriage as somehow better. Because it'ss not.

Andy 21:22 And don't see celibacy as worse. It's a gift from God, as marriage is a gift from God. And one of the beautiful things about being single as you can go where you lik. You're not tied to anything. You can do things that a married couple can't.

Andy 21:35 I've ordered something, I'm gonna go and collect. I've got to work around Jo having the car. If I was single, I'd have my own car. If I had lots of money, I'll have a second car. But, there are sacrifices all the time that you don't have to have when you're single.

Andy 21:47 I'm not talking down marriage either.

Jo 21:50 No!

Andy 21:51 So, "Now to the unmarried, and the widows, I say it is good for them to stay unmarried as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should come, marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Andy 22:04 And that comes back to those Christian leaders, let's try and say that, who said, 'well, don't get married, just have sex, don't get married, then you can not have to get married and then you can get on with the rest of your lives.'

Andy 22:17 Now, scripturally, that's wrong. Because if you've got a couple that are really burning with passion for each other, maybe they have awakened love, or they've allowed stuff, or they just really want to get married. It's better to marry than burn with lust and passion and all the rest of it. Why? Because it leads to sin. Ultimately. It's gonna to lead you to doing something.

Andy 22:34 "To the married I give this command. Not I, but the Lord."

Andy 22:39 And then it carries on into divorce. Now, we're not going into that tonight. So, I just wanted to say that we're not going down there tonight. That's, that's a whole other topic.

Andy 22:47 But, when you awaken love, as we read in Song of Songs. When you are getting involved in stuff that's that's awakening things in you, that you shouldn't be awakening, you've got a problem.

Andy 22:59 Another resource, which I'm, I didn't mentioned before, is a book by a guy called J C Ryle, who wrote, it is J C Ryle? We'll check. There'll be a link afterwards. And it's an amazing book that he wrote many, many years ago for young men. Now, it's been rewritten, it's been modernised. And I would say all you have to do, male or female, is you can read the book and just change boy for girl. It doesn't matter. He could be writing two men or to women. I've given it to both of my older boys. It's a really good book. And that is really Song of Songs, 'don't awaken love', the whole book.

Andy 23:30 How do you not awaken love? Well, you have to focus on what is pure, Philippians 4, what is pure and good and righteous. That's how you do it! You don't accidentally stumble through life and not have these problems.

Andy 23:42 I remember some films that we had in the past and we, it was our younger boys, "I don't want to watch this".

Andy 23:48 Now we'd become quite annaethitised, in a way, to some of the stuff that we were seeing. Now this is mainstream TV. Nothing weird or X rated or 18s. I mean, this is like 12s and PG films. And our boys are saying "I don't want to watch that I'm not, I'm not comfortable. And it's it's the classic thing of a woman in a low cut top, very sexy and all the rest of it. And our boys, they just don't want to see that, thanks very much. Because we've trained them and taught them as the Bible teaches us. To help them to learn how to cope with the fact they're going to have to deal with this stuff.

Jo 24:21 It can be difficult because there's a lot of pressures in the world isn't there. To live together. To get the right amount of money. To get the right sort of stuff together. It's almost like this world is telling us, isn't it, that you can't get married until you've done this, this, this. And it's like, you know if, like you say, if there is passion there, and, and you need to deal with that, and not put it off. Because the inevitable will happen won't it. The temptation will get too great.

Jo 24:48 But we, like you coming back to you and saying about the Western world, we seem to think well we've got to get a house first and we've got to do this first and lots of things get in the way don't they, of just just getting on with being married and`

Andy 24:58 We have a resource heavy section later.

Jo 24:59 Yeah, yeah

Andy 25:00 Gonna be long, this is a longer episode. But that's ok. We've got a resource heavy section, and one of the, one of the resources we'll be showing you is a website, blog and YouTube channel and all that by a lady called Suzanne Venker, who's an American blogger and author, and journalist. And she writes about exactly that point, that we have been taught that we are supposed to attain certain things, in order to attain certain things, to attain certain.

Andy 25:26 And what she's doing is unpicking that as rubbish. And she's really good, actually.

Jo 25:32 Yeah.

Andy 25:32 I don't agree with everything. She says. It's not really the point. But she makes some really good points about, especially for women, which is who she writes for specifically. What they've been taught, you must have a good career, and you must get a good life, and have your money, and have a good car and be settled before you go out and find a husband. And what she's saying is all these women who come to her and get counselling, 'well, there's no husbands!' 'Well of course there aren't, you're now in your 50s'. It's a long time to get to the stage that you're supposed to get to.

Andy 25:59 And there's lots of lies going around. There's lots of lies around you can get pregnant and 40 and 50. Well, you can. But there's a big lie that, about that, because actually most women struggle to get pregnant past the age of the mid 30s. Well, if you're going for a career until you're 45, how are you going to have the family that you're making the money, and the house to be secure enough to have.

Jo 26:17 Yeah. There's lots of challenges, lots of difficulties. Shall we take a break?

Andy 26:22 Yeah

Jo 26:30 Crafty Christmas. Are you ready?

Andy 26:34 Yeah. Just getting me Shepherd on.

Jo 26:35 Ok. Crafty Christmas.

Andy 26:37 You got a sheep?

Jo 26:38 Oh, no. I haven't got a sheep.

Andy 26:39 I need a sheep for me shepherd.

Jo 26:41 Oh, well, we'll get one by the

Andy 26:42 Okay.

Jo 26:43 What we're doing is, for crafty Christmas this year, is the Christmas story through art.

Andy 26:48 And a blinged up Shepherd.

Jo 26:50 Yeah. Well, why are you wearing a waistcoat and a black tie?

Andy 26:53 Cos it's blinged up?

Jo 26:54 Oh, I see.

Andy 26:55 And the Black tie's 'cos he's, he's just, you know, funeral.

Jo 26:58 Oh, you've been to, yeah you only wear your black tie when you've been to a funeral

Andy 27:00 Had to bury a sheep.

Jo 27:02 Okay, so we're doing the Christmas story through Art and we're gonna to be using, ta dah

Jo 27:06 Toilet rolls

Jo 27:07 Or cardboard tubes

Andy 27:09 The nativity scene with toilet rolls.

Jo 27:12 We're gonna

Andy 27:12 They won't look like this.

Jo 27:13 No. We're not going to transform it.

Andy 27:15 It can be done, it shall be done, it will be done.

Jo 27:18 Join us

Andy 27:18 So, this is our resources section, which is quite heavy this week. Not heavy, like depressing, bad, you know, burdensome. But there's just lots of it.

Jo 27:41 Yeah.

Andy 27:41 Full, full

Jo 27:43 Yeah.

Andy 27:43 Not heavy. That's the wrong word.

Jo 27:44 Good stuff

Andy 27:45 So, whenever we recommend books or resources, we're not saying you know, go and follow these and these are brilliant, and it's perfect. Just, really quickly, there's an author who's published a book who's getting a lot of flack for one thing, from one particular group of people. And what he's trying to say to them is, 'Look, if you don't like the book, that's fine. But I read loads of books that I don't like and agree with. But that's also part of reading. So if you want to have a broader understanding, you need to read stuff you like and you don't like.' That's in no way to try and distance ourselves from these books, either. They're all really good books, but there's some great material.

Andy 28:14 So, read with your eyes open. Take it to Scripture.

Andy 28:16 The first one is "Radical Womanhood", which is a really good book by a lady called Carolyn McCauley, who's a, if nothing else, she's a great journalist and writer. But, she's looking at what has feminism done to shape how we see men, women, families, society. And she tackles that in there. Some of it's quite difficult to read, as in it's not very nice, necessarily, but it is very good. And it gives a really good overview of what's been going on and how society sees husbands, wives, men, women.

Andy 28:47 The other one, which is really good. It's another book by C. It's called "XES. Why church girls tend to get it backwards and how to get it right", by a lady called Joy Macmillan. And it's a really good book, because one of the things that I think I've seen is one, have you ever had a preach on Song of Songs? I haven't. I heard it referred to as dirty book, once in a church. That's the only time I've heard it referenced, which is really sad, 'cos it's an amazing piece of scripture.

Andy 29:14 But she tackles a lot of stuff about how Christian women, specifically, because she's writing for women, may well perceive sex within a marriage. And she deals with all sorts of stuff that's gone on, particularly for an American, she's actually South African. But she deals with it, you know, the American culture. And all that kind of stuff. So it's really good. We'd recommend those two books.

Andy 29:35 They'll give, I mean they're very different.

Jo 29:36 Yeah

Andy 29:37 Very different subjects. But they'll just give you lots of good information.

Jo 29:39 Yea, absolutely. And a tip that, over the years that we've been married, I mean, we've been married 25 years now, and we started off watching all like the Tom Cruise films, and the kind of romantic comedies. And, and over the years, we've started to kind of think hang on, they're all a bit raunchy and a bit, you know, is this what we want to awaken in ourselves. Is this actually beneficial for our marriage?

Jo 30:03 And, and you said, earlier, about how we watched something with the children, then we suddenly realise, hang on, we've been desensitised. We shouldn't be watching this! So, over the years, we've changed what we watch. So, I suppose, I'm not saying check out all your DVDs or whatever. But, what I'm saying is, start watching it and thinking, is this of benefit? Is this going to help my marriage? Or is this gonna actually hinder? Is this gonna, you know, just, just, just to think about it really. Because we've been on a bit of a journey, haven't we? And we started to think and we've realised, actually, that's not a very helpful film to watch. That isn't really going to help her marriage.

Andy 30:37 And again, we're talking about 12. Here, maybe? We're not talking about anything particularly horrible. It's just mainstream television films.

Jo 30:45 Yeah

Andy 30:45 On the BBC. And ITV

Jo 30:47 yeah

Andy 30:48 you know, those sorts of films? Well we're talking about the normal, very well known films,

Jo 30:52 but they're not, they're not, you know, well think about it. That's all my tip is.

Jo 30:58 And that leads on nicely to what we found out from John Piper wasn't it.

Andy 31:01 John Piper wrote an amazing article. So, Game of Thrones. if you don't know what Game of Thrones is, don't go and look at it, please. If you do, I'm speaking to you.

Andy 31:11 The John Piper article was great, because he said, look, Game of Thrones, if you read any review on the Game of Thrones, they will say there's lots of rape, and incest, and nudity, and gratuitous sex on the camera. And this is what he reads about, that people have said is in the stuff.

Andy 31:29 Please don't go and watch it. I really would recommend you not to! But he's, he wrote a great article. And he said the thing about media, about the media and movies. If you see violence in a film, it's fake.

Jo 31:41 Yeah.

Andy 31:42 End of story. Yes, there might be some punches exchanged, but it's all choreographed, it's mainly stunt doubles, and they have the odd accident, but it's not real. When people are getting shot, they're not dying. When plane crashes happen, it's made on a computer. It's not real. It's fake.

Jo 31:56 Yeah.

Andy 31:56 When you see a naked woman on a TV, that's a real woman who's naked. That's someone's mother, someone's daughter, someone's sister. When you see a couple, pretending to have sex, and they're naked together, that's two naked people together. You cannot unpick that.

Jo 32:12 Yeah.

Andy 32:13 I'm sorry. You, you cannot! I don't care what people say, you cannot unpick that.

Andy 32:17 And he makes a really simple point that when you see violence on a TV, he's not saying violence is okay, by he way. He's just saying look, violence is fake. Nudity, sex scenes, all that stuff is real

Unknown Speaker 32:26 Yeah

Andy 32:27 It's real people.

Jo 32:28 I was just thinking then about, because you and I started to feel uncomfortable with kissing on screen. And actually

Andy 32:34 Not us kissing on screen

Jo 32:34 Well not us. No, no, we're in films, thinking. I don't want to see that and thinking actually, there's two actors here. You know, what about their wives? What about their husbands? And isn't there one actor who stars in some Christian films who doesn't actually, he'll kiss his wife on the on the screen or something isn't there?

Andy 32:49 Well there's a few isn't there!

Jo 32:50 Which is fantastic!

Andy 32:50 Kirk Cameron. Start right there. Kirk Cameron is a fairly well known Christian actor. But there's a wonderful film, Fire, firefighters.

Jo 32:58 Oh, is this the Christian one?

Andy 32:59 Fireproof?

Jo 33:00 Yeah.

Andy 33:01 Ok. this is a Christian film. We'll start with this one and then we'll go on to a non Christian guy. But, this is a Christian film, Fireroof.

Jo 33:06 Yeah.

Andy 33:07 And the very last scene of the film is this estranged, difficult, getting on together, couple

Jo 33:11 Yeah

Andy 33:12 having a kiss. And his wife steps in.

Jo 33:14 Yeah

Andy 33:15 Because he wouldn't kiss anybodyelse. And there's another actor whose name has completely gone out of my head. Really sorry. I can just remember his face. But, he was in a very well known American, soap, sitcom. Not sitcom. It was a docuseries.

Jo 33:29 Yeah.

Andy 33:30 But when he came in, he was being told he's gonna have to be nude scenes and kissing scenes. And he's like, No, I'm not doing those things. Sorry. I'm married. He's a very strong Catholic, and he just said, I'm not doing it. And the, the director, writer, whoever it was said, we want you in so much fine, we'll rewrite it. So he wouldn't do that stuff.

Jo 33:46 Yeah. I so love hearing that 'cos that's really, that's making a stand

Andy 33:50 That Christian actor, and a very much none, well, not non Christian 'cos he's Catholic, but I mean, yeah, he wasn't, hey I am a Christian actor. He's just an actor who said I'm not kissing other people. Because it's not my wife

Jo 34:01 That's that's really lovely. And you've got one more haven't you for your tip or. You did Suzanne Vega, Fierce Marriage.

Andy 34:10 Suzanne Venker.

Andy 34:10 Yes there's a Fierce Marriage post which will post a link to that. And that was a really good image, which has gone out of my head.

Jo 34:17 With the images of 'you only want to see your husband isn't it?

Andy 34:21 My really bad paraphrase of it, so I'm really sorry if this isn't, we'll, there'll be a link so you can find it.

Andy 34:27 My bad paraphrase, from my, how I saw it, was 'I only want to have eyes for my wife'.

Jo 34:30 Yeah

Andy 34:31 'Because if I'm looking at anything else that's erotically charging me, then it isn't helping.

Jo 34:35 Yeah, that's is it, yeah.

Andy 34:36 So I just want to have eyes for my wife. Now, that's really bad paraphrase.

Jo 34:39 No, but that's, that's really lovely.

Andy 34:41 We'll link to that.

Andy 34:42 Have you got another scripture have you? You gonna? Or?

Andy 34:44 Well Philippians.

Jo 34:47 Philippians, yep.

Andy 34:48 I was gonna read Philippians, Chapter 4.

Andy 34:50 One of the things I've struggled with. I mean it's difficult I I'm not one of those that thinks that men are visually only, and women aren't. 'Cos that's rubbish. I don't believe that only men want sex, and women don't. That's a load of rubbish. Yes, generally speaking, more men may be more prone to wanting intimacy more than a woman. But it doesn't, it's not a you know, fifty fifty split here. And it's not simple, to, as simple to say that as saying. Sorry, it's not as simple as saying that women are not visually charged. Because one of the things that is quite unpleasant, is the huge growing number of women who read erotic fiction. Well, that's okay,. That's not pornography. It's not visual, it's just words.

Andy 35:30 Well, words are very powerful.

Jo 35:32 Absolutely.

Andy 35:32 And words can paint pictures. So, if you're reading, or watching, or listening something that is making you feel erotically charged, and it's not your wife or your husband, then I would say that that's something you really need to take to God and say, 'is this really helping me get closer to my relationship with my wife?'

Andy 35:50 But how do you deal with this stuff? I know this is the tips and resources, and we'll come back to the conclusion. But, one of the things that struck me was when I've struggled, with whatever's going on, it doesn't matter what it is, whether it's a sexual struggle, or, or I'm tired struggle, there are scriptures that can help.

Jo 36:09 Yeah.

Andy 36:09 It's not like a fix it. It's not like a formula. But this one in Philippians, 4, I think is quite, quite powerful.

Andy 36:16 Philippians 4, verse 8, "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Jo 36:31 Very good!

Jo 36:32 So let's pray. Andy's gonna come on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What, what have you got there?

Andy 36:39 It's my World Atlas

Jo 36:40 Okay.

Andy 36:41 So I can pray for the world.

Jo 36:42 Okay.

Andy 36:42 You see, prayer's good!.

Jo 36:43 Right. Okay. You gonna show us how to do that then?

Andy 36:46 Yeah, yeah. So, I've gone, I've got me Atlas. And if you go to the letter A, I'm going to start here, so

Jo 36:52 Yeah

Andy 36:52 Please God, please bless Abenrar and Artschun and Arbor.

Jo 36:59 What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 37:02 Bob

Jo 37:02 You like Bob?

Dave the Dog 37:03 And the stick?

Jo 37:04 And the stick?

Dave the Dog 37:04 Me likes sticks

Jo 37:05 You liked the sticks?

Dave the Dog 37:05 Me likes sticks a lot I do.

Jo 37:08 Well, okay, well, we'll try and make sure there's more stories with sticks in

Dave the Dog 37:11 Thankyou

Jo 37:11 Dave especially for you.

Andy 37:26 Little Dave, little bit of Dave to lighten the, lighten the topic!

Jo 37:29 Yeah. So it's, it's been a, a big subject today. What we've talked about isdo not awaken love, which it talks about that in the Song of Songs

Andy 37:39 And we've barely touched upon this

Jo 37:40 Yeah. The Song of Songs is the Book about sex. It's a whole book in the Bible. And so we've basically been talking about sex before marriage. And we've talked about two types of situations. You're either celebate, or you're in a marriage.

Andy 37:55 And both are a gift

Jo 37:56 And they are, they `are a gift. And so anything outside of that is outside of God's best for us. So, we've talked about God has boundaries, God has thing, things set up in the Bible. And it's all the way through from the Genesis to Revelation, about how much He loves us, and what His expectations of us are. And they're there to protect us and help us, so that we can be holy and pure, and beautiful. And so that's what we've been talking about.

Jo 37:58 It's a tough subject, but 'cos there's so many difficulties or so many lies out there. And so many, you know, go and try people out, you know. There's the dating game. There's all kinds of lies. The world tells us that we should do these things. And then there's pressures where you need to get a car and a house sorted before you get married. And everyone seems to think they have to have money.

Jo 38:42 So, we know that it's difficult. There are temptations. But God has given us some good advice, or guidance, and stuff in the Bible to really help us. And we will have those scriptures for you.

Jo 38:54 And we've also provided some tips about how you can stay pure, and stay on target and keep, you know, growing as a couple in the right way with God 'cos it takes work. That's the whole point of Marriage Matches. We need to work at this. It's not easy! And we do get temptations. And we do get ourselves in trouble. But we know that God loves us! And will redeem us and help us when we screw up.

Andy 39:19 So, here's your homework for the week.

Jo 39:20 Oh my goodness.

Andy 39:21 It's becoming a regular section, a regular section now.

Andy 39:24 So, go away and read Philippians 4verse 8. Write it out, stick it on a card, nonpermanent pen on your window. I mean, get it in your head! Because, when we're struggling with something, there's there's two ways of handling whatever that struggle is. We either try and ignore it or we try and deal with it. Dealing with it's always better. You can ignore some't for so long. But when you want to deal with something well, what does the Bible say?

Andy 39:47 "Whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, whatever is noble. Fix youre eyes on these things?"

Jo 39:53 Yeah.

Andy 39:54 Is it admirable, and pure, and noble to watch a couple having sex on a TV? I would say it can't ever be. I'm sure people will disagree with that. And that's fine. You can say that! But, I don't think that's ever gonna be healthy. So, go off and look at that onem 'cos it's a really good bit of Scripture.

Andy 40:14 There's loads of resources that we're going to link to, which they're all painting parts of a picture. But I think it's really good that we talk about sex and marriage because the church has been ignoring the problem for too long. There's, and we haven't even touched on the fact that most most films, media stuff, it's all about, oh, you're married? Well, gosh, that's boring.

Jo 40:36 Gosh, yeah!

Andy 40:36 I'm gonna say this. If you are married for 25 years, there is an expectation that, gosh, that must be so boring and dull, and you've been together forever. And there's, there's an excitement with a new sexual relationship. And there's a, there's hormones that kick in for the first year or two, when you're in a new sexual relationship, and it bond's you chemically together. So we know now scientifically, that it's not just a one night stand. You are, literally, being chemically joined.

Andy 41:07 But there's this idea that, that the older you are, and the longer you're in a marriage, the worse the marriage must get. And if you want to have a good, fun, sex life, then you've got to be with lots and lots of different partners. And, you know, that's a load of rubbish, quite frankly! Here's the thing. How do you think Michelangelo painted, painted the Cistine Chapel? He didn't get a bucket of paint and lob it up, and that was it. Job done. He didn't do paint by numbers! You know, he perfected his craft over many, many, many years. Yeah, there was some gift in there, some skill. ,But, here's the thing, Jo, and I been married for 25 years. Which means I've had 25 years of practising how to love my wife. And that's in every single area of our life, whether that's intimacy physically, spiritually, emotionally, knowing what cup of coffee that she wants, how often she wants a cup of tea. This is the stuff that, that you don't get on a one night stand, that's shallow and won't get you what you want.

Andy 41:59 Marriage is never gonna meet your need. The only way you can have satisfaction in life is Jesus. End of story!

Andy 42:07 But, actually, I've had 25 years of practice with Jo.

Jo 42:09 Yeah.

Andy 42:09 And that extends everywhere. And here's the thing, the more you practice at something, the better you get. And I've been practising for 25 years, how to love my wife, and how to make the cup of tea that she likes, to make the dinner that she wants. And I know when she doesn't want to drive to work, and I'll take her instead.

Andy 42:25 25 years of practising. That goes into every area of our life. I'll leave that there. It gets better not worse.

Jo 42:30 Yeah, that's a nice place to end!

Jo 42:33 Well, thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next time on Marriage Matters.

Andy 42:37 Bye for now.

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