LEAVING LUST VEGAS
7 Days of Sex
November 16, 2007
[A bed is center stage surrounded by stanchions.]
It is amazing, it is incredible to see what happens when you connect God with sex, isn’t it? The media attention. You just talk about sex and God or the church and sex, and people freak out like it is uncommon, unusual, weird, out of the ordinary, or edgy. It shouldn’t be, because as we know, our God created sex. It was his idea. He gave sex to us before sin ever entered the human equation. So it is sort of funny, hilarious, ironic that everyone is like, “You’re talking about this sexperiment?! You’re talking about married couples having sexual intercourse for seven days?! This is crazy!”
Well, over the last several centuries here is what the church has said about sex. [silence] Not much. We have allowed our culture to hijack sex from us. Yet, here at Fellowship Church, we’re changing all of that, because God, from cover to cover in the Bible, talks about sex.
For example, he made love, he invented love; thus, those of us who are true believers can really make love. Have you ever thought about that? We’re the sexperts, because we know the author of sex. Sex is for the marriage bed. The Scriptures say the marriage bed is to be undefiled. In other words, it is a place of protection, a place of freedom.
I know there are some here in an audience this size, and you have moved the stanchions. [Ed removes one of the stanchions, leaving an opening leading to the bed.] You’re saying, “You know what, I’m going to do sex my way. I’m going to go for it.”
And you’ve gone for it and you’ve slept in this bed or that bed or maybe you’re hooked on porn. And maybe you’re living in Lust Vegas and Lust Vegas is living in you. And in this search for freedom, you find yourself strangely incarcerated. You find yourself enslaved to sexual sin.
True sexual freedom, we’re going to find out, occurs within the guidelines and the guardrails, within the stanchions of God’s directives.
Here (in the marriage bed) is where we have freedom. Here is true liberation. Here is true creativity. Here is true are you ready for this worship.
Did you realize when a husband and wife make love it is an act of worship? Did you realize that when you fulfill your spouse’s desire it is a part of your discipleship? That might give a whole new twist, a whole new meaning to making love.
“Honey, let’s go home and worship. I feel like some discipleship, how about you?”
AOL just conducted a study. And this study had to do with 60,000 fathers. 79 percent of these fathers said that they want more sex. 60 percent of these guys said that they regularly view porn. And then 40 percent of these fathers, now, said their sexual advances are rejected at least once a week. Isn’t that amazing?
So those of us who are Christians, those of us who understand the gospel, we should be the sexperts. We should be the ones who understand what it really means to make love. But to make love in marriage, you’re going to have to make time for it.
I have been married for a while. Lisa and I have four kids and I have discovered something. There are some bedroom barriers that you have to get over if you’re going to have a wonderful sex life.
Again, I will say it from this stage; we’re talking about Lust Vegas, so I will just put the cards on the table. Your sex life is a mirror, a reflection of the depth and the majesty of your marriage. Your sex life is a mirror of the majesty, the makeup, the depth of your marriage.
You know what the deal is? It’s not that we don’t think about sex in marriage. We think about it a lot, especially the men do. That’s not the point. The point is we don’t think deeply enough about it. And if we’re not thinking right, we’re not going to feel right. If we don’t feel right, we’re not going to act right.
So today, we’re beginning this sexperiment. Seven days of sex. How to move from whining about the economy to whoopee. How do you do that? We’re going to talk about sex.
Now, when I say sex, I’m not talking about holding hands while you walk in the park. I’m not talking about giving your husband a back rub. I’m not talking about verbal intercourse or emotional intercourse. No, I’m talking about sexual intercourse. I’ll say it again, sexual intercourse. And if you have a problem with the church talking about sex, let me tell you something, brother, you have a problem with God. You don’t have a problem with me. You don’t have a problem with someone else. You have a problem with God.
And I will tell you something else, husbands and wives. If you’re hearing “no” regularly – because you know in marriage, usually one is more in the mood than the other, right? I’m the only one?! Right? I know. What do you do? What do you do when one is in the mood and one is not that much in the mood? What do you do when one is in mood for love and the other is like, “I just don’t feel it?” What do you do? Those are some great questions.
That’s why, again, we’re embarking on this sexperiment over the next seven days as we make love. And I’m talking about, true love. But let’s talk about some barriers. Because during this week of whoopee we’re going to have to deal with these barriers.
Now the first barrier that we all deal with, those of us who have kids, has got to be kids. K I D S, I have written about this in a book, Kid CEO. Do you know what kids stands for? Keeping Intimacy at a Distance Successfully. And if you don’t believe me, just crank out a couple of kids.
It’s amazing how they can keep you from sex. How do you do that? How do you deal with the kids? Even when they become teenagers, you still have to deal with them. And you watch what’s going to happen this week. This week you’re going to put them down, not when they’re ready, but when you’re ready. And you’re going to tell your teenagers, “Go to your room. It’s 9:30. Stay in your room. Don’t come downstairs. Don’t get near our bedroom.” I know.
And some of the students are like, “You mean my mom and dad are going to have sex every day for a week? This is gross! I don’t want to think about it.”
Well you better think about it, because that’s why you’re here. If they hadn’t have done it, you wouldn’t be here. But we have to talk about this stanchion, this is a bedroom blockade. On one hand we have the freedom, the sexual liberty of sex in the marriage bed. This is where God wants us to practice it. But we have to deal with kids.
This next barrier, this next stanchion is career. I mean, a career is a blockade to sex. Because we give our best in the marketplace, the best offensive octane we have, the creativity, the ingenuity. We’re into it, we’re on point, we look the best, we dress the best, we’re striving to achieve. That can be a blockade to sex.
Another blockade to sex has got to be this one, commitments. So many of us, if we were totally honest with ourselves, would say, “I’m over committed, over stimulated and everything is just over the top.”
It is not that we have a problem with commitment. I would argue we’re just committed to the wrong things. I didn’t say bad things, just the wrong things. And the good commitments can keep us from the great commitments.
So we’re going to have to learn the art of saying “no.” Because when we say “no” about those commitments, guess what will happen? It will open the door to love. We have to make time to make love. Say that with me, I like that. We have to make time to make love.
Now right now some singles are going, “Wa wa wa.” Singles, again, sex is for the marriage bed. You’re thinking, “What do I do for the next week?” I don’t know; try eating something like chocolate cake for the next week. Some of the wives are like, “Hey, that’s better than sex!”
But we’re going to take a long look at our commitments. This week, watch what will happen. These barriers will come down, the kids, the career. You see, because when we know we’re going to have some action at home, it is amazing the creativity and the offensive octane that we sometimes waste at work; it is amazing how we will save that up for the bed. And then the commitments, we’re going to look at our commitments. It is going to be amazing how many times we’re going to say “no” because we have to do our thing, right?
Speaking of doing our thing, this is funny. A couple of years ago Lisa and I went on a trip with our kids. And we decided to get two hotel rooms; one for us and the other for our four kids. One of our twins, at the time she was maybe ten, looked at us and said, “Mom, dad, I know why you have your own room.” I said, “Really? Why Landra?” She said, “So you guys can do your thing!” I said, “That’s right. That’s why we got a second room, so we can do our thing.” So it’s a good thing that our kids understand this and hear this message.
So kids and career and commitments. And this last stanchion, this is a real one, exhaustion.
“I’m tired. I just had one of those days. I just can’t. I really, really can’t.”
Exhaustion is real. But here is what is so interesting, let me talk to the wives. I have seen and heard about wives who say, “Not tonight honey, I’m just tired.” And all of the sudden the phone will ring and it’s your best friend (and then it’s), “Oh, hey girl, how are you doing?!” It is unbelievable. Where’d that energy come from?
So it is time that we move the stanchion. And as we move the stanchions and free ourselves up we’re going to do this sexperiment. Are you ready for the sexperiment? I am ready for the sexperiment. Because sex is all about intimacy and intimacy is all about sex. Believers should have the best sex life, because we understand that sex comes from God.
There are seven things that are going to happen in your marriage over the next seven days as you make love over the next seven days. Seven things that will happen in your marriage during this sexperiment. Do you want to hear about them? Do you really want to hear about them? I do. I want to hear about them. Because we’re going to have to expand the nursery after this series, in about nine months.
Number one, we’re fulfilling God’s purpose. When we make love in marriage, we’re fulfilling God’s purpose. You see, the stanchions are down; we have the freedom to make love. We’re fulfilling God’s purpose. The Bible says this in Genesis 2:24, you have probably heard this before in you have hung around church. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Kids leave, spouses stay. They will become one flesh. Look at your spouse for a second. Your spouse should be a sexpert. So say, “Baby, you’re a sexpert!” But only if you’re sitting next to your spouse. Let me qualify that. Because remember, when we said “I do” we said, “I’m only going to do it with you.” When I said “I do” to Lisa, I said, “I’m only going to do it with Lisa for the rest of my life.” And she was making that same decision, that same commitment.
Now, after about 2 years, most marriages go, “I only get to do it with you for the rest of my life?! Wa wa wa. That sounds boring. I’m not so sure.”
And then what do we do? We begin to look around and we have these mobile eyes and we plagiarize and fantasize and then we get all fouled up, and we rationalize.
The Bible says, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.”
It doesn’t say the two will be; it says become. It is that becoming part that’s challenging. So every time you have sex with your spouse, you’re fulfilling God’s purpose. Because guess what? Your body is not your body. Your body is for God. And if you’re married, your body is your spouse’s body.
What do you do when one wants it and the other doesn’t? What do you do when one’s in the mood and the other isn’t? What do you do? Well, I will answer that as we continue to go on.
Let’s look at the second thing. Not only does it fulfill God’s purpose, also it reveals your true self. When I have sexual intercourse in marriage, it reveals my true self.
That’s why Lisa and I wrote this book called The Marriage Mirror. Marriage is a mirror. Reflected in the marriage is Ed at his best and Ed at his worst. As I look into Lisa’s eyes, that’s what I see; a big mirror. When she looks into my eyes, that’s what she sees; Lisa at her best and Lisa at her worst.
One of the reasons people bolt on marriage is because they don’t like what they see reflected back. They don’t like their junk and their funk. They don’t like their inconsistencies. They don’t like their anger, their resentment. They don’t like that. So they go, “I don’t like it; I’m out.” Or they look and think, “You know what? I don’t really dig it, so I’m just not going to have sex that much.”
Because if you don’t have sex very much, you don’t really have to get to know that person. And that’s the awesome thing about this sexperiment. You can run, baby, but you can’t hide. This week, because we’re going to have sex so much, we have got to talk. We have got to deal with these issues. We have to be intimate. I like that word, intimacy. Into me, see? The closer I get to Lisa, the more I see my good and my bad; the more I see Lisa’s good and Lisa’s bad.
My favorite musician has got to be Bono. I think the guy is a really cool guy. I love U2 and I love their music. I have seen them in concert. I have sat in the nosebleed sections several times.
A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to have coffee with Bono, and just a few people. [A picture is put on the side screens of Ed and Bono together.] Bono, right there, we had coffee. And it was really great to talk to him and to hear and to see his heart and his passion. He is really a very humble guy. I really like him.
But one of the things, one of the negative things I saw about Bono and you can’t tell in that picture—the dude had dirt all up under his fingernails. That was just odd to me. Bono. The guy is probably worth a billion dollars. He had dirty fingernails. I’m like, “That’s weird.” So I saw the good, I heard more good and felt more good than bad. The only bad I saw was the dirt under the fingernails. But I did see that, because I got so close to him.
When we get close to our spouse, when we make love regularly, we see the good. But also, we see the dirt under our spouse’s fingernails. And guess what? We see it under our fingernails, as well. And lot of people don’t want to mess with that. You start to get too intimate, too close. That is why this sexperiment is so amazing and so awesome.
Genesis 2:25, “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
We’re emotionally naked, were spiritually naked, we’re physically naked. Nakedness assumes intimacy.
But notice the third reason, the third thing that will happen when we make love for the next seven days. It will thwart sexual temptation. It will thwart sexual temptation.
Back in the day you had to look for lust. Now, lust will look for you. We have to leave Lust Vegas, because too many of us go to this place and when we live in Lust Vegas, what happens? Lust Vegas ends up living in us.
It is time that we allow God to lead us to a place of grace. Sex is reserved for the marriage bed. One man, one woman, in marriage. Back in the Garden, Adam had one wife, Eve. Jesus has one bride, the Church.
Have you ever thought about the role that you play in the lust quotient that your spouse deals with? Have you ever thought about that? Because ladies, I know, so often you don’t understand how a man is wired. Ladies just don’t understand a man’s sex drive. And obviously you don’t, because you’re not men. Just like men, we don’t know or understand a woman’s mind. How can we ever understand a woman’s mind? We can appreciate it, but we can’t understand it.
Now, I hope you know, guys, that women are smarter than you. They are a lot smarter than we are. Have you ever realized that? Well if you haven’t you better realize it now.
But let me say a word, now, to ladies. I want to the say 1 Corinthians 7:5 (NLT) word, because we’re talking about congregational copulation, right? “Do not deprive…” Let me say it again, husbands, wives, “Do not deprive….” In other words, let’s put that in a positive. It means “fulfill.”
“Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time….”
Wow! One’s in the mood, one’s not in the mood. What do you do? Do you wait and say, “You know what, I’m just going to wait until we both feel it. And when we’re both amped up and we’re both on the same page, then we can do our thing.”
If you wait that long, you will never have sex. Well, maybe once a year on your anniversary or if you go to Bora Bora on some trip you win with your company. But it isn’t going to happen.
What do you do when one’s in the mood and one is out of the mood? Well, the Bible says, “Don’t deprive each other of sexual relations.” In other words, just do it. Let me say it again, just do it.
In marriage, it should be all about unselfishness. We’re believers. We have submitted our lives to God. Our bodies are his our bodies are our spouses. We’re to meet one another’s needs. So it should be a whole thing of unselfishness.
And the Scripture says, as we fulfill one another’s sexual urges, guess what’s going to happen? Look at the last part of verse five. You won’t believe this. This will mess you up. “So you can give yourselves more completely to” say it with me “prayer.”
Are you ready for this? Sexual fulfillment in the rack, in the bed, is all about seeking God and knowing his will and praying better. Again, please, this week, do not take my name in vain. “Well Ed said…”
No, don’t be doing that. I’m talking about God’s Word. God said. So again, if you have a problem with this, you don’t have a problem with me; you have a problem with God. You’ve got an authority issue, man. You’ve got an authority issue, woman.
And if you’re hearing “no” a lot, your marriage needs some help. It is fine to say “no,” but say “no” with an appointment.
Because ladies, I’m a guy, let me sit right here and tell you this. A normal, red blooded husband, if he is not fulfilled, if he does not make love at least once every 72 hours, sexual stimuli becomes almost overpowering. Whoa! Do you realize, wives, the role that you play in this? And you’re telling me and you’re telling God you use sex as a weapon, sex as a reward, sex as a point system? You mean you have your man, your husband on a starvation diet?
“Okay, I have not fed you for the last three weeks. But tonight, if you play your cards right, you can have some din din.”
And wives, right now I know what you’re thinking. “Well, that’s just like a man. Typical.”
Well, Lisa’s getting ready to talk, okay. My wife is getting ready to come up here. So just chill. Take a relax pill.
Here is what a man’s sexual drive is like, ladies. I’m talking to the wives now.
Let’s say for example you and your husband are in this room. There’s a table in this room. On this table there’s a giant pitcher of water with one glass. Ladies, you’re incapacitated and your husband is not. Your husband is the only one who can give you a drink of water. So what do you do? You get thirsty and say, “Honey, would you please pour me a glass of water?”
And what if your husband goes, “I don’t really feel like it. Maybe in a couple of hours.” You say, “Okay.”
A couple of hours go by, “Honey about that water.” And you (the husband) go, “You know, I’m not sure about the water, because the kids, they have just been wearing me out. And you know my career; I’m just into the career. And you know there’s soccer practice. I don’t have time to get you water right now. I’m totally exhausted. Not now.” And you (the husband) leaves.
You come back the next day and your wife is dying for some water. “Baby, get me some water, now. I want some water. I am thirsty!”
And you turn and say, “With an attitude like that, you aren’t going to get any water!”
And then you (the wife) beg and you plead, “Please, give me some water. I am dying of thirst. I want some water.”
And you (the husband) go, “Okay. Just drink it. Just drink it. Are you finished now?”
Now, one would think at this point that the wife wouldn’t want any water for a long time. One would think she wouldn’t want any water for days and days. But are you kidding me? Now she’s going to be like, “Wow, I have to go through all of that just to get a drink of water? I have to walk around on pins and needles. I have to be careful of everything I do because, man, I have to work for it to get some water.”
Wives, so goes your husband’s sex drive. Sex should be easily accessible. It should be done regularly, enthusiastically and creatively. It is an act of worship, a part of our discipleship. When we clock out of here God is going to say, “How did you fulfill your spouse’s sexual desire?” So you have to realize, ladies, the role that you play in lust.
Last night I came home after the service and it was my son’s birthday. So we had gotten some pizza. And the pizza had been out on the counter for a while. And after I speak, I will eat anything in sight. Normally I don’t eat pizza all the time. I love pizza, but I don’t eat pizza a lot. And I saw this pizza, and even though it was cold, I was scarfing it down. I really have never had a bad pizza.
Sex is like pizza. I just never had bad pizza in my life. It can be a little cold. It can have too much cheese on it. It is all good.
And so husbands and wives, even when we’re not in the mood, even the men, let’s say you’re not in the mood; when you begin to serve your spouse, when you begin to do your thing, while you’re doing you’re thing I guarantee you’ll say, “I’m glad I’m doing this thing.” You’ll say that. It’s part of fulfillment.
Now, I can’t get to seven (benefits of sex) today. I will finish the next three next time. But let me do one more.
The fourth thing, we’re establishing a legacy. So it’s a fulfillment of God’s purpose. I’m revealing my true self. I’m thwarting sexual temptation. And I’m establishing a legacy.
You see, Jesus is Lord over our loins. Guys, he is Lord over your boxers. He is Lord. And God has your body for a reason and your spouse has your body for a reason. You want to leave a legacy? You want to impact your kids? Make love regularly. You want to impact those people at work? You want to snap the heads of others who will go, “Something is different about your life and about your marriage; it is a mirror.” Make love regularly. You want people to see what you do and what you don’t do? You want people to go, “Whoa, look at their priorities. They have that stuff down cold!”
It is about sex. Fatigue? I understand we’re tired and if you’re really tired you can say “no,” but no with an appointment. Don’t just say “No, don’t think about it. Get your hands off of me.” Because, ladies, when you reject your husband’s advances you’re rejecting the totality of whom he is. You’re rejecting his mind, body and soul. You have some power. You have some power.
Let’s leverage the power for the Lord. Leave a legacy; a legacy for our kids, for their future spouses, and grandchildren, on and on.
See the protection now? We have flipped these stanchions. See the beauty, see the freedom in marriage? We can make love, because God made love. He invented it. Now are you ready to hear from Lisa? I am.
[Lisa Young joins Ed on stage.]
LISA YOUNG: As Ed said, we are created in the image of God. And because of that, we have the right to celebrate this great gift that he has given us of sex. But just as we’re created in his image, we’re also very uniquely male and uniquely female. So we have seen already, as Ed’s described, the man’s perspective, the man’s view of sex and the sexual needs. But then there’s the woman’s side of sex and how so much of what we think about sex plays out in the how we participate in the marriage bed.
And I have a confession. For many, many years I had a warped view of what sex should be like in marriage. And I did not look to Scripture and did not look to what God says about sex. I just used what I had grown up with or my cultural experience or whatever. And I have come to find out that this gift is very beautiful. But it also plays a huge role in the intimacy of our marriage. Not just the physical intimacy, but the emotional intimacy, our spiritual intimacy. It all is woven together.
I think about in our relationship so many times there is a misnomer, a misconception as far as the husbands and the wives. And Ed talked about it earlier when he mentioned selfishness and being unselfish in our fulfillment of our spouse’s needs. Too often I hear couples who will say, “Well you know, I want to give 50 percent and he’ll meet me with 50 percent and we meet half way.”
That’s contrary to what God has called couples to do, individuals in a marriage to do. We’re called to give 100 percent, unconditional love to our spouses. And they’re called to give a hundred percent to us. So it molds and melds and that’s how that one flesh comes into play. It is a hundred percent from both sides.
Now, the charge I’d like to give to guys today, because Ed has spoken a lot so far, and I want to give a charge to you, men. I want you to do what the Scripture says, which is to love your wife as Christ loves the church. Talk about 100 percent. Jesus didn’t come half way. He didn’t come with 40 percent, 50 percent, or 60 percent; he came with a hundred percent enthusiasm giving his wife sacrificially for the church. And that’s what he has called you to do. It is a reflection of that in your marriage, to give yourself to your spouse, to honor her.
When Jesus died on the cross for us, he was placing a high value on our lives. And when you love your wife that way, you’re putting a value that is just something we can’t even understand. And one of the greatest struggles that women have is with their self-esteem, having the right view of themselves the way God created them.
So often, their view of themselves is directly based on how you treat them. I know that. I know if Ed is treating me in an honorable way I feel that so deeply and richly. And there are many women who are sitting in this place today and they don’t feel the value. They don’t feel the love and the sacrifice from you as a husband. So it is time to step up, and one hundred percent value her the way God values her. And he valued her so much that he gave his Son for her. That’s the kind of love that they need, that we need.
I also want to give you another charge. Lead out spiritually. As you’re giving of yourself sacrificially and honoring your wife, lead out spiritually. Because that is the deepest need that she has is to know that you’re guiding and directing the family in this tremendous, holding that banner high, of the spiritual walk with God.
Now ladies, I want to give a word to you, as well. We have talked a lot about the sexual needs of a man. And I want to give you a charge, because I think that we, for some reason, use more than we would like to admit, sex as a leverage or as a reward system, a punishment, as Ed mentioned before. We have the opportunity, it’s not a curse, it’s not a duty; it’s an opportunity to be the great lover of our husbands. And by doing that; by being that person who is enthusiastic about sex, who is encouraging about sex, who looks forward to sex, who plans for sex on our own, who initiates it, we have the opportunity to put guardrails around our marriage, to protect their minds and their hearts from lust, from pornography. Because so often, that creeps in when rejection has taken place over and over again.
I want to share with you a passage of Scripture. It is found in Ephesians 4. This is a verse that Ed’s dad read at our wedding. And I have recommended it for so many couples. And it is a passage of Scripture that you need to adopt and live by.
It is Ephesians 4:29-31. And apply this as a husband, wife relationship. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
And I know, as we talk about this very important thing, this week of sexperiment, I know that there are many who are dealing with bitterness, rage and anger. But in light of this verse, I want you to deeply consider the next step.
And that is Ephesians 4:32. “But be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
In light of what Jesus did on the cross for us, we cannot hold back forgiveness for our spouse, whether it’s woman to man or man to woman. We must be people of forgiveness, because we have been so freely forgiven.
God wants to do a miracle in your marriage and he will use this sexperiment, the seven days of sex challenge. He will do that because things are talked about and discussed. But more importantly, that forgiveness is given and marriages can be healed and God can truly take your marriage to a holy notha’ level.
[Ed ends in closing prayer.]