January 15, 2012
God thought sex up; it was his idea. Yet, many people miss that connection. And they end up in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation with their sexuality and relationships.
In this unique message, Lisa Young talks about a very powerful reality about sex, marriage and God’s plan for both. And through a unique look at the 24 hour bed-in, she shares some very practical steps we can take to make sure we have plenty of Son protection.
[Lisa welcomes all campuses.]
What a great week we have had. No one would know that so many people would lean in when you connect three-letter words like ‘God’ and ‘sex.’ But somehow when we make those two connected as God intended them to be connected, people listen up and people lean in. And so we want to give you just a brief look at what transpired in Fellowship Church’s own sexperiment bed-in. Check this out.
<Bed-in Recap video >
Lisa: Amazing, amazing, amazing. Now it was such a great day and we’re so in awe of how God is using this message, but I want to let you in on some inside information. What we did not realize was from the time we got up there at 6:00 a.m., all through the day we had these very bright lights that were shining in our face. And on the lights there were these reflectors that would maximize the potential for the lights. Well, of course you had the sun beaming down, and Ed and I did have on sunscreen and some protection and we wore sunglasses as much as we could, but what we did not realize was that the lights, the reflectors, the white bedspread, all of that was just multiplying the UV rays on our face. So you could see a little bit in the video but there was this gradual, slow burn that we were not aware of. And this is the result.
Ed: Yeah, you can see my Angelina Jolie lips. I really like this look.
Lisa: Let me just tell you, in all seriousness….
Ed: We had to go to …
Lisa: We had to have a physician Friday evening…
Ed: a phenomenal eye surgeon, eye doctor…
Lisa: And then yesterday we went to the eye doctor.
Ed: When he looked at our eyes he was like… wow.
Lisa: Because we..
Ed: He said we burned our corneas.
Lisa: We burned our corneas and we did not realize it. So Ed and I literally could not see. The video that you showed, actually I think maybe we have a picture of Dr. Drew, the scene where we’re doing the interview with Dr. Drew…
Ed: We couldn’t see a thing hardly. It was…
Lisa: If you can see, our eyes, we were trying to prop our eyes open so that we would not look really pathetic, more pathetic than we look right there, but we truly could not see. So that’s why we were having to take breaks for the doctor. And so yesterday when Ed woke up his eyes were swollen shut. So we took one for the team, huh?
Ed: Yay! We’d do it again!
Lisa: That’s right, we’d do it again! Because you want to shout it from the… thank you!
Ed: Oh yeah, it only takes one person.. yeah, we’ll stand too.
Lisa: Give it up for you …
Ed: For you guys.
Lisa: I’m sure all the campuses, Miami, Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, y’all are all standing. Thank you and be seated.
Ed: Please be seated.
Lisa: Seriously, sometimes you don’t realize what’s happening.
Ed: That’s right.
Lisa: And there’s this slow burn taking place and unbeknownst to you, you’re in dire straits. Well that same principle is true with a lot of marriages. We don’t realize that there’s a gradual burn taking place and that so often what we think is A-OK, hunky dory, everything’s good, we’re really not protecting our marriages the way God wants us to. And there’s a slow burn, a slow death, and if we’re not careful we can end up in the deep weeds in our relationship and our marriage if we don’t have the proper Son protection. I’m not talking about s-u-n, I’m talking about S-O-N. We need to have the proper Son protection in our marriages for them to be all that God wanted them to be.
Ed: That’s true. And so often, Lisa, it’s those small things. As we say, small tweaks take any relationship to giant peaks, and especially in marriage. And I love what our friend, Steven Furtick said. In fact, we will be speaking, doing this sexperiment talk tonight in Charlotte and then in a couple of days in New York City. But I like what Steven said. I thought it was so, so profound about vision. One of the things that thrills me about our book, The Sexperiment, it’s straight from Scripture. Because people don’t understand God’s unbelievable vision for us sexually. So for far too long the church has said, “No, no, don’t do it, don’t’ do it.” God says, “Do it with your spouse.” So the vision should be so strong, we should be so focused and attentive to the vision that it overpowers anything else the evil one throws our way.
Lisa: Absolutely. But it doesn’t just happen. We have to be conscious of it. We tell a story in the book, The Sexperiment…
Ed: So I guess what you’re saying is the way a marriage can get off track is a slow burn. Also, it could be a slow burn to be hot for God and hot for one another, but that takes some process as well.
Lisa: Yeah, you have to work at it. But we have to be on guard. Tell us about the story, the little illustration about the frog.
Ed: Well, you’ve heard the story about the frog and the kettle. That is so, so true. If you throw a frog (how many of you have had frog legs before to eat?)…
Lisa: Anybody from the South? Louisiana?
Ed: I’ve never done this, but if you put a frog…
Lisa: We’re not promoting that you drop a frog in boiling water.
Ed: No, we’re not promoting this. Don’t’ go home and do this, no, no. But if you take a frog and put a frog in some regular water, just tepid water, and then slowly you crank up the heat, the frog doesn’t realize it but you’re boiling him to death slowly, methodically, and surely he’s just gonna be burned up.
Lisa: But he has no idea because it’s just a gradual process.
Ed: And if we let our guards down, if we sort of go with the flow, if we become benign, flippant, if we just kind of relax as spouses, that can happen. I’m not saying we should never have chill time as spouses but what we’re saying is it’s a constant work. It’s that MWE, the Marital Work Ethic. Or if you’re dating you’re constantly working.
Lisa: And conversely, if you were to drop a frog (which we know you’re not gonna do) but if you were to drop a frog in boiling water…
Ed: Don’t do that.
Lisa: … the frog would immediately go, “Ouch, this is not normal! I’ve gotta get out.” And would hop out of the water because he realized the heat. It’s the slow, methodical, burning process that always leads to death.
Ed: And that’s what the enemy does. He inches us to mediocrity, to those things, and one day we wake up and we’re like, wow.
Lisa: I love what Proverbs 4:23-27 says. “Keep vigilant (the word vigilant means to be on guard, looking at all times while others are resting and sleeping)..l be vigilant. Watch over your heart. That’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. Avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead. Ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left, leave evil in the dust.” And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, if we will keep our eyes on the Son, the Son of God, not looking to the right or to the left, being distracted by the world’s sideshows that we will have a road that is smooth. Not perfect, not problem-free, but a road that is smooth, and we can leave evil in the dust. That’s a great word for all of us today.
Lisa: I just thought it’d be cool, Ed, to just share after we have gotten to see the highlight reel, so-to-speak, of the bed-in if we could just share some practical things, some take-home things, on what to do now. And one of the things I wanted to share is that we have to do (three things), but the first one is to go vertical. Now, Ed and I took the message to the roof. Fellowship Church took the message to the roof, but I’m not talking about that kind of vertical. Now if you do decide to do your own bed-in at home on your roof, well let me just warn you about the sunscreen and everything. Don’t have those reflector lights.
Lisa: But we’re talking about going vertical with your relationship with God. There is no way that we can look for another human being to satisfy the soulish need that we have. We have to find that first and foremost in a relationship with God. And he provided that through his son, Jesus Christ. Now for some of you, that may be the first time you’ve ever heard that. For others you may have heard it before and you may be dialed into that relationship. But have you allowed that slow process of fading away so that you’re not constantly tweaking and thinking about the vertical relationship. We have to think about God’s view of sex, God’s view of dating. God’s view of relationship, God’s view of marriage, which is huge, big, powerful! It’s totally caffeinated. And we have to put that in the frontal lobes of our minds.
Ed: And that translates to the horizontal. Because you know, it would be easy just to talk about the negativity in our world. Here’s what’s happening in the porn industry. Here’s what’s happening in books. And here’s what’s happening with people talking here or on Facebook and Twitter, etc. And yeah, we’ll mention a few of those things. However, we want you to see, and Lisa and I see, and it’s worked to see God’s greatness involved. That’s why we have written this book and that’s why, by God’s grace, he is enabling us to carry it to so many, many different environments. Because we want people to see the greatness that God has. And we want to advertise that and articulate that and talk about that, and not be shy about that.
Lisa: And it’s something that every single person who has a relationship with the Son of God can do.
Lisa: Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Get that vertical relationship right and then the horizontal will flow and be what God wants it to be.
Ed: So you know, even in the video, Lisa, I was thinking as people were talking, the closer you walk with Jesus, the better and the stronger your intimacy and your sex life will become.
Lisa: Absolutely. No doubt. #2. Have a mind exchange. Exchange your little view of sex for a God-sized view of sex. Ed and I used the acrostic last week for the word sex. Sex is first supernatural. There is a supernatural oneness that God intended between a husband and a wife. E is for our enjoyment, our pleasure. And X, it’s not x-rated but God-created. If we can think in those terms, in that way about God’s view, then our minds will be transformed and renewed.
Ed: And Lisa, think about this. Just a couple days ago, a couple of nights ago we were in Los Angeles, speaking, and as we were being taken to this environment, to this venue, a guy pointed out to us (the guy who was driving us, a great guy, Joel, a wonderful Christian guy), he goes, “Right over that mountain there’s a 10-square-mile area. That’s where all of the adult films, pretty much all of the films are produced. Right there. And I guarantee you a lot of people think that is truly the epicenter of sex.” What we’re saying is this: It’s vertical. It’s about God.
Lisa: And what would happen if first of all the hearts, and then the minds of those individuals who work in that area of the porn industry of the adult films… See, one of the things we can never do as followers of Christ is expect those who are NOT followers of Christ to ACT like followers of Christ. So the goal is for us to live our lives in such a light that they see the difference, and they want that relationship. But let’s not put the God-sized living on them when they don’t have an understanding and a relationship. But what would happen if their minds…
Lisa: … their hearts then their minds could be transformed?
Ed: Well, remember he was talking about one of the adult stars, former stars, who actually was there when we taught on this subject. And he was talking about the transformation in this person’s life.
Lisa: And this individual that was there in attendance…
Ed: It was absolutely just stunning.
Lisa: … while we were speaking was actually a victim of human trafficking. She had been brought over to California to the Hollywood area, to this porn industry through human trafficking. And so it’s easy to think of porn as just a simple little thing that happens in the context and confines of your mind and your world, but what you don’t realize is the effect it has on individuals, the dehumanizing of individuals, and this is also related to the sex trafficking, human trafficking. But Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In other words, don’t allow your mind to be squeezed out by culture, by what the world says. Take it to another level by being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” So we have to have to have a mind exchange. Also, we have to work it out.
Lisa: Ed, are you a workout guy?
Ed: I try to work out, both of us do. And as we’ve been saying you have to do the best with what God has given you. You can’t become obsessed with it but you need to work out because, you know, don’t trash the temple.
Lisa: But pretty much everybody, you start a new year…
Ed: Yeah, you want to work, man.
Lisa: Yeah, you have your high school reunion coming up or prom or something’s coming up. And you say, “You know what? I’m gonna get in shape. I’m just gonna start working it out. Ima work it out!” And we’re all enthusiastic and then somehow along the way it’s like, “Oh man, this is a lot of work! No wonder they call it a work out, ‘cause it’s a lot of work!” Well, we have to have the same mentality when it comes to our marriages.
Ed: Even more so.
Lisa: Even more so.
Ed: We call that the MWE. You’ll hear that a lot. The Marital Work Ethic. And that’s why you need to behave and check out each other’s behavior before the marriage altar because that will give you a sign as to what’s gonna happen after the marriage altar. We don’t stop working once we get married. That’s when the work should really, really begin. But to sit there and say, wow. You can just put it on autopilot is not true. You’ve gotta work and work and work and work and work.
Lisa: And when Ed and I got married, his dad gave us workout verse.
Ed: Oh yeah.
Lisa: And I’m thinking to myself, OK. The verse he gave us was Ephesians 4:32. And I’m like, “Well wait a minute. What about all those other verses in Ephesians that talk about how husbands are to love their wives and wives are to love their husbands and support their husbands and all the different things to do with the relationship? Or what about 1 Corinthians 13? I mean that’s a love chapter! I mean, come on, isn’t that the verse you wanna give us as our workout verse?” But no, he said, “If you live, Ed and Lisa, if you live by Ephesians 4:32 I guarantee (now that’s a pretty strong word)… I guarantee your marriage will be successful.
Ed: That’s from the guy from the Men’s Warehouse. “I guarantee!”
Lisa: Well, it was the Preacher Warehouse that was telling us that. Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another…”
Ed: “George Zimmah.” That’s his name, right? George Zimmer? “I guarantee!”
Lisa: How many of you have ever seen a Men’s Warehouse commercial?
Ed: Oh yeah, yeah.
Lisa: Everybody! He’s just, you know, intergalactic!
Ed: I have a friend of mine who goes to our Dallas campus and George Zimmer gave him a tie. How cool is that? He has it framed.
Lisa: Oh that’s cool. OK…
Ed: And George, if you’re watching this, I wouldn’t mind having a tie from you. That would be incredible.
Lisa: And we would love to share with you Ephesians 4:32.
Ed: Yeah, yeah. OK, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Lisa: Thirty years. I’m very used to this.
Lisa: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Forgave you. This is what I call a workout verse. It’s a tough one, it’s a hard one. But essentially we’re saying what you need to work into your marriage is attentiveness. Being attentive to your spouse. Husbands, treasuring your wives and the person that they are and the person God wants them to be. Wives, being attentive to your husbands, making them the treasure that they are as God has given them to you. And so often the last person that we are attentive to is our husbands. We have energy for everything else. Husbands, you have energy for your work, everything else, but not for your spouse.
Ed: Put it this way. I do a lot of speaking, and I enjoy (everyone does) when people say, “I enjoyed that.” Or whatever. They send you a text or e-mail, shake your hands, that’s great. Nothing, though, NOTHING means what it means for Lisa to say, “Honey, I enjoyed that message. God really used you in that talk.” Now that is like… ohhhh.
Lisa: Don’t lay down. You won’t get up.
Ed: No, really. The same is true, guys, when we compliment our spouse. And I need to do a much better job in complementing Lisa. So what I will fail and do, I will just kind of do a general compliment. Let’s say Lisa cooks and I will go, “That was an awesome meal. Great meal.” Now that’s nice, but your prolific when you’re specific. “Lisa, that was a great meal. The way you cooked the chicken, it was so tender! Somebody slap yo mama!” I mean that is getting detailed. You see?
Lisa: That’s good. But we have to be spouse-centric, not work-centric, not kid-centric, not relationships-outside-the-home-centric.
Ed: Singles, listen to this. Junior high students, I’m telling you…
Lisa: Spouse-centric. You gotta be attentive to your spouse.
Ed: You’ll face it.
Lisa: Also, words of encouragement. Ed was just mentioning that. Be an encourager. Just because you think it doesn’t mean they receive it. You know, most of us do not operate off of mental telepathy. We have to actually articulate it with the spoken word, with the written word. Text and emails are great but why not even go old-school with a letter? Jot a note down and show appreciation and encouragement. But, Ed, I think the most difficult one is, and I think it’s the glue that makes it all come together, I think this is the word that actually clenches the guarantee that your dad was giving us. And that is forgiveness. To bring forgiveness into your relationship. “But Lisa, but Ed, you don’t know the pain that I’ve gone through! I know what you’re saying but you just don’t know the hurt, the betrayal, the difficulty! You don’t know what I’ve walked through in our marriage.” And you’re right, Ed and I don’t. But God does. And as painful as it might be, this is the phrase you’ve got to remember. “Just as in Christ, God has forgiven you.” When we look at our spouse, no matter what they’ve done, and we think about how God looks at us no matter what we’ve done, and yet he still loved us enough to send Jesus, his only Son, to live a perfect life, die a sacrificial death, and rise again to provide forgiveness and everlasting life for us. In light of that, how can we hold back forgiveness? We have to let it go. Let it go.
Ed: That’s right. And honey, it’s about what you said so beautifully. It’s about vertical. All we have to do again is look at the cross.
Lisa: It’s the power of the vertical. It’s the power of the vertical.
Ed: It transcends to the horizontal.
Lisa: John 10:10 is one of Ed’s and my life verses, and really a life verse for Fellowship Church. Because in John 10:10 Jesus says that he has come to give us life, and life to the full! That’s such an amazing thing when you think about relationships, your dating relationships. When you think about what God has in store for your marriage, he wants a full-on, full-life existence for you and for me. But let’s not kid ourselves. The first part of the verse Jesus says, “but the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” The thief comes to do the slow burn on our relationships and our marriages. Let’s not be unaware, let’s be vigilant as husbands and as wives and those dating. Let’s be vigilant to do it God’s way, to love God’s way with that unconditional, forgiving, compassionate love. So that we can have a full life, a full marriage, a full encounter with God in every aspect of our life. That’s what God wants for every single relationship here.
Ed: That’s right.
Lisa: This is an awesome time where we’ve gotten to just enjoy talking about what God’s doing right here at Fellowship Church, but even beyond the walls of Fellowship Church. Perhaps there’s someone here and you don’t have the S-O-N protection in your life. Maybe you’re at one of our other campuses and you don’t have Jesus Christ in your life giving you that soulish protection. Just bow your heads with us right now…
[Lisa leads in closing prayer.]