Just a touch more on spiritual order within us. Intimacy is first, because all else flows from union with God. This is why marriage is THE central symbol in the universe. I don’t mean that one need be married to understand marital intimacy with God, for many mystics throughout history proove otherwise! I only mean that all being (and “doing”), flows from intimate relationship, because this is God’s Nature.
Our generation has inherited and been given many lies about marriage, but it remains God’s central metaphore throughout history. We see in scriptures that the church is being prepared as a bride for her groom. And that the culmination of our journey is a wedding feast.
But also in Hosea, we come closer to seeing the actual nature of our situation: we are all prostitutes when the groom comes calling, but His fierce and persuasive courting never ends. Women seem to be able to enter the bridal metaphore more easily than men, but the reality is, we were all made for this level of marital intimacy, and it preceeds all we will ever carve or “do” on earth.
The core enemy against our primary need for intimacy is prostitution.
The ways of prostitution are aimed to lure us to take things based on our own ideas of what we need. To lust after things which are not being given is both to not trust God to give them, and to idolize our own soul’s ability to figure out what we need. But more than this, when we move in the ways of prostitution, we violate and are violated by what we “take”. This in fact is the nature of abuse–to take something from another person, which is not yours to have. Pornography is to take the beauty of a particular person, and to use it for your own pleasure. Now, get that this is one of the ways of prositution! And that this is the main enemy of true intimacy. Christ fights for intimacy with us; so we should also fight for true intimacy in our lives!
The battle for your marriage participates in the key metaphore of the universe–God’s battle for His Bride; so we do well, to fight nobly! Men get to play the part of Christ in this play, so there is a great high call in staying true, and actually seeking intimacy at home laying down all desires to fill our intimacy chambers with partial intimacies!
You see, in pornography the enemy’s tactic to pull men’s desires away from their central intimacy with their wives (or God Himself), and towards a purchased and partial intimacy, then to actually make a contract with that false intimacy, and form a false contract (pro=before; stateur=to stand–prostitution seeks to get us to stand before something other than God–i.e., an idol). We as individuals and the church as a whole do this all the time in our desires to be “relevant” to the world. We offer our gold as our payment in order to gain the approval of men; and in doing so enter false intimacies of every sort.
The spirit of prostitution is always aimed at the first city of our intimacy with God. This is why the enemy hates marriage–it is a symbol of God’s intimacy with His People! And the enemy knows that this intimacy–our union with God–means that His time is over.
Now, we can purchase things with our personalities or talents, or with a credit card. The point is that the ways of prostitution want us to leave our core intimacy, and seek to meet our own needs in our own way! Jericho is the first city, and if we don’t win this battle, the next cities can’t fall.
Sometimes, we have to wait and let God form the intimacies He wants to give us. But we know that because of who He is, we will be given the intimacies we truly need, as we cast off all else, and give ourselves up into the chamber of intimacy with Christ! From this intimacy, symbolized by marriage, friends and meaningful lifework will fountain forth!!!