Do you know about Creator God’s love? Why is this important? Why is God’s love important to biblical sexuality? Well, He created us and His love had something to do with that. Let’s explore that a little bit. Genesis 1:27 reads, “So God created man in his own image. In the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.” Isn’t this interesting?
So God created man in his own image. In the image of God, He created him. Male and female He created them. Three times he’s talking about the same thing. He’s trying to point out that there’s something to do with his image in the creation. I don’t think you create things in your own image if you don’t love them.
We can also love as a verb more than a noun. We talk about love so often but we talk about it as if is a noun all the time, as just a feeling. “I love you.” What does that really mean when we say, I love you? It means I like you, usually. You’re trying to express that I am favorable towards you. When you change it just slightly say, I am willing to love you, it takes on a whole different meaning. “I’m willing to love you” really needs to be understood as a verb. It’s about what we do. What was our saying again? “More important then what we know and say and how we think and what we do. It’s how we love-its action
How can we reflect his image and love? We can reflect his image by just being how He made us. We can show His love by simply living in our maleness and femaleness. We can demonstrate that in our physical bodies.
What’s beautiful about this to me is that God is not only a relational God, but we’re created in his image. It’s not just a characteristic of God that he’s relational and that He shares that with us, but God IS a relationship. Have you ever thought about that? God IS a relationship. God’s the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and they’re in this eternal communion with each other; in this everlasting, intimate relationship with each other and all of the love in the world is a byproduct that relationship.
In this divine mystery is where this eternal love of the Trinity is not only modeled for us to see; that God the Father and God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are in this ‘Trinitarian love fest’ of sorts, but it leaks out or spills over onto us, onto mankind. It is given to us by the Spirit as the ultimate byproduct of that love, which is, salvation for all mankind. And that love byproduct is the thing that draws us to Him relationally through His Body (the people of God on earth) in a saving way.
It’s about giving ourselves Totally, Faithfully and Fruitfully.
Let’s talk about how Christ loved. Let’s talk about totally, faithfully and fruitfully. You know totally: just look at the cross. You can’t give yourself more totally than dying for someone. Jesus literally gave His life; He gave His everything on the cross. That’s total. That’s a total gift. That’s total self-donation.
Jesus didn’t give himself with a caveat-He didn’t have His heavenly lawyers draw up some kind of self-protective pre-nuptial agreement in case the deal didn’t work out. He also didn’t give Himself partially: God could have allowed Barabbas to go to the cross instead of Jesus and He could have left it at the 40 lashings with the cat of nine tails. But He went all the way. He gave it all.
He gave it faithfully. He gave it in a way that trusted God in spite of his feelings. Remember in the garden the night when He was arrested? What did He ask God right before hand? Probably his last request of God, save the thief on the cross, was “…take this cup from me.” “If it is your will, Father…” ‘allow me to not have to go through this.’ ‘If there’s any way to avoid this I’d like to.’ He was a man. He was a human being. He had flesh. So He knew what He was facing and in that flesh, not in the lust sense, but in the simple vulnerability with skin sense, the real human sense, and He didn’t want to have to do this if He didn’t have to. Any of us would, if we knew, like He knew, what He was going to have to go through.
But Jesus did it anyway, faithfully. We also are called to love in a way that is faithful, a way that has some faith to it. We have to love in a way that might be foreign to our feelings. We have to love in a way that even makes ourselves face our feelings or work through the obstacles to loving. And that can be at the most very difficult but at the least, inconvenient and even uncomfortable (these can actually be clues that the loving is real and the opportunity is right when we see or experience them).
Then lastly He loved fruitfully. What is the fruit of the love of Christ? Well, it’s simply eternal salvation available for all mankind. That’s you, that’s me, that’s anybody that we might disagree with, that’s the fruit. Its available to all…now that’s a lot of fruit! Our fruit, the fruit of our love is a little different, but it’s just as magical. Look at Ephesians 5:31: “…for this reason (love) a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.”
Now, the giving and receiving between The Father and The Son and their partner, The Spirit, and that of their relationship we call ‘unconditional love, poured out for us, demonstrates for us the fullness and the ultimate aim of our design: in the giving and receiving between a male and female, together, that love is capable of producing a third. That’s the fruit. It’s a life. Human fruit.
There’s nothing more important than life. That is universally irrefutable: everyone values life in some way and most people agree, human life is the most precious of all life. Life and what we can create there is part of the Imago Dei, part of the image of God, and the communicable or shared traits that we have with Him: being able to create something, being able to create even LIFE. This is one of the most, if not the most precious way that we can be like God. We get to partner with him in life. That’s powerful. We get to partner with him, the Creator, in creation. I mean that’s a gift!
Excerpt from Biblical Sexuality & The 21st Century Rev. Jayson L. Graves, M. MFT