C.J. Mahaney Talks About Sex…

June 13, 2011 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

In light of the recent discussions here, I thought it was interesting when a reader sent me the link to C.J. Mahaney’s recent presentation entitled Marriage Matters:  The Gift of Marital Intimacy.  I was curious to hear the sort of sex advice the head of Sovereign Grace Ministries would give to married couples.

The talk begins with C.J. reading from a letter sent to him by an attendee of a conference he and Carolyn had taught.  The parts of the letter C.J. reads praise the teaching C.J. gave, calling it revolutionary.  The letter-writer shares that his wife had previously had a real aversion to sex, “since their wedding night.”  But after hearing C.J.’s and Carolyn’s presentation, things had improved so much for them that it was like they were on their honeymoon again.

Then C.J. goes on to give a rather lengthy and somewhat confusing introduction to the idea that Song of Songs is God’s sex manual (my words, not actually C.J.’s, but it’s nonetheless clear that C.J. views Song of Songs as some sort of technical guide to marital intimacy).   He says that this book of the Bible is not allegorical.  Rather, it is the story of one married couple’s sexual adventures.  He then cautions that Song of Songs is one of the most difficult books of the Bible to understand, right up there with the book of Revelation, and that we should not attempt to comprehend Song of Songs without the help of experts.  Also, because of the “Near East” language, we might be put off by some of the turns of phrase and probably won’t find them particularly sensual.

I admit that I have sat through little direct instruction about this book of the Bible.  I haven’t spent much time studying it privately, either.  But in a general way, I was always under the impression that it was a collection of love poetry, most of which was written by King Solomon.  Since Solomon was the consumate Old Testament ladies’ man, with hundreds of wives and even more concubines, it would seem incorrect to assume that Song of Songs relates specifically to just one “married couple.”

C.J. then continues by highlighting a few verses from Song of Songs and asserting that we can use them to help us improve our sex lives.  For instance, C.J. claims that Song of Songs would instruct us to pay more attention to kissing and carressing.

As usual, C.J. demonstrates a fondness for quoting other authors.  Perhaps the most telling aspect of this entire presentation was C.J.’s emphasis on a line from Ed Wheat:

If you do what comes naturally in love-making, almost every time, you will be wrong.

In the end, I couldn’t understand what the letter-writer C.J. quoted in his introduction had found so revolutionary about this teaching.  Although there is nothing wrong with reminding husbands and wives to communicate with one another about their likes and dislikes, and to make more effort to please one another, it seemed to me like this whole presentation would just serve to convince C.J.’s audience that here was yet another area of their lives – sex – which had to be approached with laborious efforts.

After all, like so many other things in SGMville, C.J.’s audience was reminded once again that if they just do what comes naturally, they’re probably doing it wrong.

© 2011, Kris. All rights reserved.