He took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Matthew 1:24,25
In my own sobriety, I’ve witnessed a problem that many men have in recovery (My observation is limited to the male’s experience). In the disaster of our addiction, we become acutely aware of our need to follow God . . . when it comes to drugs. In other areas of our lives though, we’d prefer to leave God out of it. So, the addict often has no problem claiming to follow God in sobriety, while continuing a promiscuous lifestyle.
In our jail Bible study, when I ask repeat offenders how they returned to jail, the story often starts with the pursuit of sex. I was doing good, staying sober. Then I met this girl who drank. I knew I shouldn’t, but I was lonely (interpretation: I wanted sex). Giving in to a need for sex, pursuing a destructive relationship, has led many men back to relapse.
The girl of course, is not the problem, nor the source of evil. The problem, is that the addict has compartmentalized his life, giving one piece to God, while doing whatever he wants in everything else.
God though, is the author of sex and is vastly interested in being the God of our entire lives. Joseph, in today’s passage, apparently refrained from having sex with Mary until after Jesus was born. This detail, which may seem insignificant, was included, perhaps to fulfill scripture’s prophesy that Christ would be born to a virgin, but also to emphasize that our sex lives are important to God. God is the God of sex.
We cannot expect God’s miraculous help in one part of our lives, while excommunicating him from every other part. We try to do this all the time though and this isn’t just about sex. We beg God for help with one trial, while ignoring him in other areas. God, help me with my anxiety and career, but don’t touch my greed, gluttony, pornography, or anger. God though, wants all of us.
If we find God distant, we must ask how we’re responsible for that distance. Are we keeping God out of parts of our lives? God wants all of us and if we want faith or recovery, we must daily work at abandoning our way to follow his, in every area of life – even sex.