The Better Part of Worship

I want to push back just for a minute on the idea that all of life is worship. All of life could be worship, but saying it don’t make it so.  Like love, worship has components.  The two components of love are loyalty and affection, and a shortage in one can’t be shored up by a surplus in the other.  I think you can say that the two components of worship are adoration and obedience.  But it feels as though, when people say that worship is all of life, that they mean the most important part of worship is the obedience.  But a “surplus” of obedience can’t make up for a shortage of adoration.  Martha was of the “all of life is worship” party.  Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the better part.

There are lots of reasons why we should be obedient to God in every area of our lives, and every part of our lives should be worthy to be offered up to him as a fragrant incense. Everything should be done to the glory of God, but remember that he is already glorious, and not one thing we do can add to the glory that is him. He is altogether worthy of our adoration, and without that adoration, obedience is rather worthless.

Christians and “Amazing Sex”

I thought this article was helpful, if still a little bit off.

It’s true that putting a lot of emphasis on “sexual compatibility” by trying out a lot of partners before marriage will probably result a more interesting time in the bedroom after marriage.  And, as a corollary, is no method at all for ensuring a long-lasting marriage, or preventing divorce.  Similarly, It should be obvious as the day that people who pick up tips and tricks from multiple partners will acquire more skill in the physical act than people who abstain until marriage, and never wander after.

Rachel Pietka’s answer is 100% correct, if only half-way there.  She points out that not having sex like a pro isn’t a bug, but a feature of marriage, because marriage isn’t primarily about the quality of your sex life.  It’s about honoring God by making a family.  Good sex isn’t God, and it shouldn’t be an idol in your life.  So Christian marriage says something by not placing sex first.

All to the good.  But may I point out that “like a porn star” is probably a pretty awful definition of “good sex” to begin with.  In a Christian marriage, part of the loyalty of love that you show there is in caring for someone who is very much different from you, tending to their needs especially when it isn’t convenient, and when it goes against all your own preferences.  If that kind of love can’t be demonstrated in the marriage bed, what good is it at all?

A few thoughts on loyalty

  • Loyalty is a fixed preference for the advantage of someone else.
  • Loyalty is not directly related to how you feel about a person. An officer may have soldiers he doesn’t like, whose behavior he doesn’t approve of, and who cause him no end of trouble. Nevertheless, he can and should be loyal to them. Because God is.
  • Loyalty has a reciprocal flow: it flows down from a position of authority and back up again. You have no right to expect loyalty from someone below you, if you haven’t demonstrated loyalty to them first. However, you have every right to expect loyalty from your superiors. Because God is.
  • The combination of God’s personal affection and enduring faithfulness indicated in the Hebrew word “chesed” (חסד) is best translated “Loyalty.”