A few thoughts on the Trinity and sex.

a few thoughts on the trinity and sex

In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.” –Jesus (Jn. 14:20)

The theological idea of perichoresis (“mutual indwelling” — or the community that exists, the perfect union without loss of distinction, that breathes and lives and interacts and maybe even dances among the members of the Holy Trinity) has something to do with sex.

We are all born into this cold world longing for the embrace of our mother, and then for the companionship of our siblings or friends, and eventually for a specific intimacy that could be (should be) met by one other person. As we enter the stage of physical and mental maturity (although exactly when that occurs is debated by scientists and psychologists alike), our awareness of needing to address this desire becomes heightened. It whispers of something beautiful and somewhere inviting and someone irresistible. Sometimes it threatens with fears of rejection or isolation.

But even in the most ideal of situations- say your high school or college sweetheart turns out to be “The One” (whatever that means) and you both walk toward one another as anticipating virgins on that special day, eager and ready to commit for the long-haul adventure…there will come a time, later on after the white petals have withered, after the rent is due again and maybe the babies have come along, that this unique bond will not fulfill you as it once did. Did it ever totally satisfy that insatiable deep desire to be fully known by another? To be called by name and singled out on this crowded planet as worthy of love?

Maybe your situation was not so fairy-tale. Maybe your introduction to sex- to intimacy of body and soul and mind- was scary. Or maybe it was a hasty decision made in the heat of the moment, much like buying that third round of drinks or another pair of shoes (“whats done is done…”) Maybe it was an exchange of sorts; your heart and body for the hope of being truly known. But the deal always comes up short, doesn’t it?

The very limited knowledge that we have about the community of God, the way that the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit know each other and make one another known, is still enough to faintly sketch a picture of what we are all ultimately yearning for. We need to be known (on a cellular level, at our core being) by the only One who can wholly and perfectly know us…the One who created us. And this knowing goes beyond the image of a potter’s hands lovingly fashioning a clay bowl, only to leave it on the shelf to collect dust. Our heavenly Father fashioned man out of the dust- and woman out of flesh and bone- and breathed his own breath into them. God called their names and taught them useful skill and shared with them deep wisdom. The love of God overflowed from its perichoretic existence and invited man and woman to taste and see of the perfect goodness there.

Humanity was created for this perichoresis community of inclusion and love. Our Trinitarian God models this dance of joyful and mutual submission and sharing of each other. The very notion that the Trinity is inviting us to experience this kind of love (this kind of unique connection) is positively astounding! You mean, nothing held back? No games of manipulation? A love that allows the deepest part of our souls to fully exhale in rest and peace?

God created you for this, too.


**For more of an in-depth conversation on perichoresis and it’s effect on all of life (including economics, racial tension, the Church, and even the environment), listen here.

Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

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