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Shekinah Glory Intimacy

Shekinah Glory Intimacy

What is the Shekinah Glory? 

(and what in the world does it have to do with sex!?!)

Shekinah Glory Intimacy: Celebrating the Beauty of God’s Presence in a Christian Couple’s Marital Love by Janean Fuller, M.A., C.C.S,T.

In the Jewish tradition, there’s a saying that the Shekinah glory of God hovers over the marriage bed when a husband and wife sexually unite. The Shekinah glory represents the presence of God. It’s His indescribable beauty, bright light, or radiance. It’s a taste of heaven here on earth.

To some, it might seem sacrilegious to think of sex and God in the same breath. However, it’s clear from scripture that not only does God think sex between a husband and wife is not dirty but He actually celebrates their lovemaking. Consider the scripture from the book of Song of Solomon 5:1. After Solomon and the Shulamite consummate their marriage the Lord speaks to them, “Eat friends; drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

When my husband and I got married and faced some sexual difficulties, we couldn’t find anywhere to turn in the church. Every time we brought up our sexual struggles to pastors, friends, and even Christian counselors, they would avoid the subject and become uncomfortable. We then searched for a Christian sex therapist in our community and found none. Many specialized in sexual addiction but none in counseling couples with sexual issues in becoming one. When we looked for information at the bookstore, we found many books on spirituality and making love especially in the Eastern tradition such as tantric sex or Kama Sutra, but very few books that celebrated the spirituality of Christian married love. And unfortunately, we’ve found that many Christians are uncomfortable reading Song of Solomon because it is an erotic book of the Bible that celebrates new love, romance, and married love.

I (Janean) decided to receive training in Christian sex therapy to help other couples like us. We wanted to encourage couples to see the importance of making love to their spouse regularly. It’s a sacred act that is the only time they’re one in the Lord spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It brings much healing to the marriage and often reflects how the marriage is doing outside the bedroom. Our hope is that the church will begin to embrace and encourage this holy union and become more comfortable with reaching out and helping other couples sexually in the Body of Christ. And finally, our prayer is that all people will celebrate the God who created and ordained the beauty of making love in the context of a Christian marriage.

Let me explain why we believe Christian married love is holy and sacred. Many places in scripture discuss the Shekinah glory. For example, Adam and Eve were enveloped with Shekinah glory as they walked with the Lord in the garden. When Moses descended from Mount Sinai after the presence of the Lord passed by him, his countenance took on a radiance that reflected God’s glory. His face was so bright he had to cover it with a veil. (Exodus 34:29)

The Lord’s presence led the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21). His Shekinah glory protected them and was visible evidence He was there. After the tabernacle was erected, the glory appeared over it and it filled the tabernacle. And when Solomon built the temple, the Lord’s Shekinah glory filled the Holy of Holies.

The transfiguration of Jesus is another time the Shekinah glory of God was manifested. The appearance of Jesus’ face was altered and His robe became white and glistening (Mark 9:2). Jesus talks about Himself being the Shekinah glory of the world (John 9:5).

Before Christ, the rabbis of the Jewish faith used the term Shekinah when speaking about the Divine Presence when the Lord “dwelt in” or “rested upon” those who merited His favor. In the New Testament, Paul tells us the glory of Moses’ face faded away, but all believers, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, now behold the glory of the Lord continuously (2 Corinthians 3:18). We no longer have to work to merit His favor. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, those who believe in Him have received the Holy Spirit and now the Shekinah Glory of God lives in them continuously and will never be separated from them (Romans 8:39). When a Christian husband and wife make love, the Shekinah glory does not just hover over them any longer, the Holy Spirit actually gets into bed with them in the bodily form of their partner.

If we understand that the Lord had to shield man from His glory because they would be consumed by it (Exodus 19:21, 24:17), then we will understand the glory and sacredness of Christian married love. Perhaps our society likes to reduce sex to a physical act because we’re uncomfortable with the spiritual aspect of beholding the Shekinah glory of the Creator of the universe in lovemaking. As image-bearers of God, a Christian man and woman bring the Lord into bed with them, whether they’re cognitively aware of His presence or not. There’s nothing as intimate and spiritual as becoming one spiritually, physically and emotionally with our spouse.

Finally, we would like to stress the sacredness of sex within a Christian marriage between one man and one woman. There is nothing as delicate or holy as a body of a woman (her female hormones are intricately balanced and she brings new life into the world).

There’s a parallel between the Old Testament temple and the sacred body of a woman. No person could enter the Holy of Holies of the temple but one man, the high priest. The temple is a picture of the body of a woman; no man should enter her except the man who was chosen for her by God. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit; we’ve been bought with a price. Therefore, we’re asked to glorify God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20). Only the one man that God has ordained for her should be able to pull back her veil in a marriage covenant, minister his love and cherishing of her, and see her glory manifested in their sexual union. If another man enters her temple who is not chosen by God, her temple will be desecrated and unholy. And, if the Levite priest did not minister in the temple according to God’s will, he was struck down on the spot and had to be pulled out by a rope. The temple of his wife is so sacred and so precious that he must treat her with tenderness, holiness and respect. He would never go into his temple to use her for his own pleasure, but to minister to her so that she will be washed with the water of the Word and able to glorify the Lord with her dignity. If a single Christian woman understands that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, she will realize that she cannot get into bed with a man who has not been chosen by God in a marital covenant and allow him to come into her. She can’t separate her body from her spirit and soul.

It was not an accident that the Lord created a man and woman’s sexual organs to complement one another. When a man cultivates a relationship with his wife that moves toward her by serving and cherishing her, she can then receive him in a trusting, open manner. This is the essence of their masculine and feminine souls when male and female come together to bring the completed image of God in sexual union.

This is the beauty of Christian married love and, unfortunately, it is also the area where our society has misused sex for physical gratification outside the bonds of marriage. Many men and women today hurt deeply when a sexual relationship is broken; a part of their heart has been ripped away with every sexual encounter outside the covenant of marriage. Our society encourages having sex before marriage, but when it breaks apart, it’s un-cool to grieve. “A man shall leave his mother and father and the two shall become one.” Another term for becoming one is sticking like glue. You cannot rip apart something that has been glued without causing some damage. This is why the Lord says, “Let no man put asunder what God has joined together.”

Our prayer is that you will be open to what the Lord is doing in you as you read this.  Allow the Holy Spirit to show you any wounded areas in how you view sex. He desires to bring healing to those areas so that your future (or current) marriage can glorify Him spiritually, emotionally and physically. Only then will you both experience the kind of sexual intimacy that many Christians have beheld — sensual, transcendent moments of ecstasy where you glimpse the beauty of God.