It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
What a great passage and one that changed my sexual paradigm! I never really thought of this passage dealing with the marriage bed. Have you?
How is it more blessed to give?
The act of giving is such that its effects reach into the future, meaning it’s effects carry on. The grace of giving has future implications.
It’s easy to see how sex (semen) can give to a wife a child, which is no small deal! It’s how we all came to be. This benefit continues to have it’s effects throughout our entire lives. Our children impact our lives, and there kids etc…It’s very deep to think about this, and hope you spend a bit of time doing such a thing. There is an amazing impact pro-creation has on us. But it starts with a initial giver, and receiver.
Giving is a reflection of God. “God so loved the world that He gave.” This means that there is a fruit with the giving which continues, and in turn produces more fruit. In this way it is greater. Living to receive alone, is a dead end. Giving carries with it a impactful grace for continued future grace! Gifts are like that. They impact us not only in the present, but there effects stay with us.
Two ideas I would like to think through when it comes to this kind of giving are; A. The giving of semen for the production of offspring, and B. the giving of pleasure for the bonding of the union.
Both are seen as a blessing in the Bible. Hannah who desperately desired to have a child in 1st Samuel pleaded with God for a child. She needed her tubes and his pipes to be productive. One to receive and the other to give for her desires to come to fruition. There is a uniqueness to the act of procreating. The Song of Solomon concerns itself with the pleasure between a man and a woman. There is no mention of children, and nor does there have to be. There is plenty of giving one to another, and the bonding it produces is evident in our own lives. Affectionate intimacy is important because it bears it’s own positive fruit in our lives.
Giving semen for a child and giving pleasure are beneficial and with incredible future implication. In this way, it is more blessed to give than to receive. And in these ways it reflects the glorify of God. God puts his seed in us to bear fruit, and our bonding with God is to be a bond of pleasure. Think through these truths for a bit and I think you will see there is much Biblical merit in them. Here is another quick blog on the idea of seed in the Bible and it’s link to God’s relationship with us. https://runninglight.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/he-is-in-you/
There also other amazing implication to our Acts 20 passage; “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What if you brought this passage into your bed? Here are some 3 ideas I come up with:
Sex would not be so narcissistic.
Growing up in the 80’s hair metal era in Southern California, I thought sex was about receiving alone. It never dawned on me that there was a benefit in the giving of pleasure and the positive implications of procreating. My mind was desperately cloudy and limited in its scope at the time. Porn only solidified my thoughts that receiving was where the benefit was. Though porn did not create that idea. It was already in me.
Arousal could be by giving.
This is not a new or entirely Christian concept. Many of us have had the experience of being aroused by the giving of pleasure to another. Sometimes just the thought of pleasing your beloved can keep a person awake! Does your arousal come from only receiving? And when giving, try to not give with the idea to get something back from your beloved. Try thinking that your can be satisfied in the act of giving. Think through this a bit. For some, this is scary, as motivation for most giving in sex caries the idea of a return of like manner.
I would value procreating and pleasure.
God is about the business of both of these.. What does sex look like if it is unbalanced? It can become simply about a selfish pleasing of ourselves or a un passionate duty of family planning. Have you given it any thought how these two ideas glorify God in your sex life? The implications of both on our future are cosmic!