Through history, people yearned for aphrodisiacs. Like medieval knights searching for the Holy Grail, people wanted the secret ingredient that makes sex better. Aphrodisiac means “arousing or intensifying sexual desire,” but we’ll use a broader definition that includes:
1. the lowering of sexual inhibitions
2. the intensifying of sexual desire
3. the increase of sexual pleasure
The effectiveness of aphrodisiacs has always been murky. In Macbeth, Shakespeare wrote that alcohol “provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”
Viagra, on the other hand, has no direct effect on sexual desire. But it gives an erection that, according to the ads, can last for hours. So Viagra is a performance item (or perhaps a form of torture).
Confused? Good. Let’s start at the beginning. Desire precedes performance. So what drives desire?
Fruits of the Spirit
God gave us a clue for making ourselves desirable to him and to one another in Galatians 5:22. The Fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we strive each day to live into these attributes, we make ourselves attractive to our spouses. We create desire and intimacy.
I developed an expansion of the Fruits of the Spirit that I repeat almost every day. It helps me move in the direction of living the Fruits. I encourage you to make this part of your daily prayer time:
Let me judicially give and judicially withhold, to know that love is action, and to act. Let me care about others more than myself.
Help me to have the happiness that comes from knowing I am doing Your will on Earth. Give me lightness that flows out of You that I may feel and others may see. Help me not be depressed or dreary.
Give me that sense of calm that comes from knowing how much You love me and that nothing happens apart from You in this universe. Give me the peace that passes understanding.
Allow me to live in a way that acknowledges Your timing, to know that I can’t always have what I want when I want it, and to be mature enough to accept Your will.
Show me the heart of others. Give me sensitivity to their pain and rejoicing in their successes. Help me to treat others well.
Make me good, Oh Lord. Give me the desire to do the things that I ought to do and avoid the things that I ought not to do.
Grant me the belief and understanding that lets me stand in times of trouble—to hang tough and to know that You are God and I am not. And in the good times, Lord, help me not to forget You.
Give me compassion for others, the exact right touch for each situation, and a kind heart.
Provide in me the restraint that keeps all things in my life in harmony with You, Lord. Help me to walk straight, live with integrity, and keep up the good fight.
The Fruits of the Spirit are the ultimate in biblical sexiness. As you struggle to live them, you make yourself more appealing to your spouse, and you learn to live God’s plan for your life. If you want to have fun with your clothes off, work on how you live with your clothes on.