Honour is not something that can be tucked away in the secret places of the heart. The man who says he honours his wife “secretly” while belittling her publicly is a fool and a liar. Honour, like dishonour, always bubbles to the surface.
One of the ways we express this honour is in the bedroom. This honour is what the author of Hebrews had in mind when he said,
Let marriage be held in honour among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled. (Hebrews 13:4)
As a reflection of the most holy place, bedrooms are sanctuaries. They are where we conduct and keep the things that are most precious to us. So, how can a young married couple honour the marriage bed?
One of the ways to honour the marriage bed is to actually spend some time thinking about the bed and about its surrounds.
One of the things we learn from the Songs of Solomon is the importance of surroundings and context. The rafters are not made of paper mache; the rafters are made of cedar. When beauty walks into the chamber the air is filled with myrrh and aloes, not mutton fat and ajax.
We know intuitively the importance of space. We don’t ordinarily sleep in the hallway and we don’t wash dishes in the loo. Likewise, your bedroom is not a Vietnamese laundromat.
The bed is not the place for her dirty clothes or his skateboard. When we treat the bedroom this way we are making a statement about what goes on there. Namely, that what goes on in there is relatively unimportant. We are saying it’s just like any other space.
As a reflection of the holiest of places, the married couple can honour the bed by cleaning the sheets regularly, making the bed daily and by keeping the room tidy and private.
Again, we know this intuitively, which is why we hesitate to enter the bedroom of a man and his wife when visiting their house. It’s a sanctuary reflecting another sanctuary. Honouring the bed means recognising its separateness from other rooms.
It should smell lovely, look lovely and be the place where lots of lovely things happen.
If you have forgotten what loveliness looks, smells and feels like, re-read the incredible beauty God invested in Israel’s temple. Palm tree carvings on the wall, sweet-smelling incense, fine linen, gold, silver, precious stones, candles and more. In other words, Eden.
Lifting the Veil
Another way a married couple can honour the bed is by considering its purpose. The bed is where he lifts the veil on her.
The state of the bedroom – and in particular – the state of the bed, is determined by the activity that goes on there.
According to the writer of Hebrews, if the sex isn’t between those who have been publicly joined in marriage, then the bed (and those in it) will be defiled. We honour the bed by keeping the vows we made concerning it. Fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
A married couple honours the bed by keeping it as a place of refuge. Being a holy place means it is a place of safety for her and a show of strength for him.
The bedroom is the place where she is made most beautiful and therefore it is the place where she is to be most adored and honoured.
Thirdly, in addition to the loveliness of this room, the wife is to ensure that it is an enjoyable place for her husband to be in.
In Nehemiah 8, we learn something very important about the nature of holiness. Nehemiah says,
Do not grieve for the day is holy… eat the fat, drink the sweet and send portions to the poor… for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:9-10)
In the gospel, we are welcomed by Jesus into the holy place. There we share with Him an abundance of joy, safety, purity and beauty, and we become altogether His. So too for married couples in the sanctuary they now share.
Joy is the overflow of holiness. To have a drab, gloomy view of holiness (or sex, or the bedroom) is to miss the mark.
Holiness includes food, wine and rejoicing. What characterises a holy occasion is joy. Therefore, as a holy pastime, sex is to be joyful, heart-warming, and yes, chocolate or champagne may well be involved.
Honour the bed. Keep it holy by ensuring that what happens there is all consummated in, and a reflection of, these things.
Marriage Preparation PDF
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. He came to kill the dragon and get the girl. Which He did.
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