Read a description of the power potential as found in in the words of Scripture’s most famous lover, Shulamite: “Your left hand is under my head/and your right hand caresses me. Love is powerful as death; passion is as strong as the grave. It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire/water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it. Her beloved says: Let me hear your voice from the garden, my love; my companions are waiting to hear you sing. Shulamite sings in response: Come to me, my lover, play like a gazelle upon my scented slopes!” (Song of Songs, 8)
That’s powerful stuff! Sex is so potent it seems to be the lifeforce that drives society. At least the advertisers think so. One of those marvelous psychological studies of man’s interior tells us that the American male has thoughts of sex on an average of once every 27 seconds!
But it isn’t just the drive that leads to various delights and the continuance of the human race, when sublimated into other channels, we are told it is the dynamo of life that powers all varieties of creative activity. In fact, Unwin in his famous study of hundreds of civilizations concluded that attitudes on sex determine the course of a civilization.
Channelled. But the incomparable power of sex does not produce a power marriage, powerful human relationships, the highest levels of creativity, powerful ministry when left to run its own course. The secret is found in the same passage: Song of Solomon in chapter 8: Shulamite’s family gives us the secret: We have a young sister/and she has no breasts yet; but what shall we do with our sister when wooers come? If she holds out like a wall, we will adorn her with silver for dowry; If she gives way to lovers like a door, then we will plank her up! She responds to this challenge by her brothers by saying that she has been a wall, a garden fully kept for her husband alone. And as a result, both of them are fully satisfied.
To have a power marriage and a power life and ministry, sexual drives must be channelled. If there are not strict boundaries, high walls, the power potential will leak away, in fact it may break loose and meander in a vast swampland in which you get lost and bogged down, immobilized. But if it is channelled it becomes the driving force, a dynamo, the power turbine to drive the engines of life.
The Bible leaves us in no doubt as to what those embankments are: Command #7: thou shalt not commit adultery. And in case you want to get legalistic and restrict this wall to married people and sexual intercourse, Jesus comes along and builds the wall even higher, really planks it up: Whoever looks on a woman to desire her has already committed adultery, has already breached the dike, has already messed up. The Proverbs uses a similar analogy. It speaks of sexual potentials as a cistern which is to be carefully kept; “drink water from your own well, why should the streams of your lifeforce be dissipated, spread abroad through the marketplace?” (Proverbs 5:l5-l9). The tragedy of cracked cisterns, broken dikes, purity breached, integrity compromised.
Erosion. We read almost daily of some pastor or leader who has broken loose. Not only has his sexual activity, which seemed so desirable, turned to mucky unfulfillment, but his marriage jeopardized or wrecked, his children forever embarrassed, his ministry fouled, the cause of Christ damaged.
How does it happen? Not suddenly. Before the break, there has been an erosion of the high walls of purity and integrity. You can’t blame the floods of sexual stimulation our society condones. The greater the flow of a river, the greater its power potential if it is channelled. No, there has been an erosion. The TV evangelist, featured, I’m told, in the Playboy magazine, says he has had a problem with pornography from his youth. The leading pastor has a brother and father who breached the dike before he did. The Christian college VP who ran away with the art teacher, leaving two families of young children, had messed up earlier in the Christian college he served before.
Scripture describes exactly how the erosion begins and grows. The first breach is in the mind: fantasy, imagination of satisfying sexual appetite with someone who is not yours. For a married person: emotional infidelity. Flirty talk can seem innocent but may come from or promote emotional infidelity. Perhaps there is talk in counselling sessions, talk can breach the walls.
The first breach is made in the mind, widens with the eye and gains irresistible force with intentional touch. If accompanied by feelings that would not be present in same-sex contact, it is romantic or sexual in nature and is a major erosion of integrity and usually of purity as well. Holding hands? How silly can you get? Well, how long would I remain president if I were seen walking across campus holding your girlfriend’s hand? The intent of the touch is the key.
Building the walls. Some people act like God is damming up the river of life. Never! He knows how beautiful, how powerful it can be so he tells us how to make it that way: channel it. If you’re like a door, plank yourself up! Get others to help you build your embankments of purity and integrity. Don’t tear down the banks with your own hands. Or eyes. Or imaginings.
But how do you build, or rebuild? “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Sex is primarily a mental activity. The walls that you have breached can be rebuilt and your power potential channelled once again. Have a disciplined mind. Erosion starts at the top layer of the bank, the mind, and quickly accelerates. “I made a covenant with my eyes, said Job, not to look on a virgin.” (Job 31:1). Covenant.
Flee fornication. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (I Corinthians 6:18 -20).
Treat every member of the opposite sex as your sister (or mother) or as your brother. Another way is to view the other person as engaged unless you and the other person are both single and both serious about the possibility of marriage. For whether or not he or she is presently engaged, if God intends marriage, He has committed that person to another. If He does not intend marriage, it is even heavier. According to Paul he is keeping that person for himself.
Build the walls of purity and integrity high and keep them strong, channel the life force of that beautiful gift of sex God has given you. Then you can build a power marriage, a power life, a power ministry.
 Proverbs 6:24,25,29,32,33;7.15:24-27; 9:17,18