Is sex important for Christians?
Well, since God invented it, I’d say it’s pretty important . . .
God Created Sex
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”” – Genesis 1:27-28
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”” – Genesis 4:1
If God created sex, why is the church so reluctant to talk about it? You almost never hear a sermon talking about sex, but the Bible is replete with instructions regarding this topic; it’s in the first chapter of the Bible! It’s also in Paul’s letters; the Bible even has an entire book written on it: Song of Songs. So what is the problem?
It seems like avoiding what the Bible says about sex, has made some Christians think that sex is a bad thing. It’s almost as if the subject is taboo, or something, like people are scared to talk about it.
The problem is . . . People are going to talk about it anyway! The last thing you want is your children learning about sex in the secular world because they have no clue what’s going on! Just look at all the crazy ideas being advocated right now . . . Ridiculous!
The fact of the matter is that God created sex; it’s a good thing! But it needs to be taught the right way, and that’s always been in the context of marriage.
What Did Jesus Say?
““Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”” – Matthew 19:4-6
Far from deny how sex is defined in the Bible, Jesus affirmed it! He even took it a step further, saying it shouldn’t be divorced. That is to say, that divorce is not an option (I know the standard is high). But that’s because you become “one flesh.” How can you separate one flesh? It sounds bodily . . . It sounds sexual.
Moreover, notice sex is between a man and a women in the context of marriage (I know . . . not a very popular concept in today’s culture, but that’s what the Bible says, and Jesus said it, too).
To borrow a line from Frank Turek, “When somebody rises from the dead, I just believe what they say.” If Jesus said it, I take it seriously.
It’s really that simple.
Song of Songs
Perhaps the most imagery of sex in the Bible can be found in the book, Song of Songs.
Here is a little bit of what can be found there:
“How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.” – Song of Songs 7:1-9
From her feet to her head, her legs to her lips, the writer of this book is adoring his wife’s body. It is pleasing to him in every way, and in every way he enjoys it.
Pretty intense . . .
Paul’s Thoughts on Sex
If God, Jesus, and Song of Songs weren’t enough, we can go even further and look at Paul’s writings:
“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.” – 1 Corinthians 7:2-6
Paul says to have sexual relations only with one’s wife or husband. He says not to deprive each other of it, either, for good reason, I think: not to be tempted by sexual desires outside of marriage.
Moreover, Paul says that one’s body is not their own: the wife has authority over her husband’s, and the husband has authority over his wife’s. That’s because when two are married, the two become one flesh; the two become one body.
What About Masturbation?
The entire Bible vehemently forbids sexual acts outside of marriage. However, sometimes people will ask, “What about masturbation?” So let’s deal with that, too.
The Bible is pretty silent on the act of masturbation, but if we use discernment, we ought to be able to infer whether or not it’s wrong. For the record, I think it is, and I will try to explain why. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Sometimes people say that masturbation is in the Bible, and they will mention the Old Testament passage about “spilling seed” (Genesis 38:9), but context should tell us that the act of masturbation isn’t in view here. This had to do with the act of “pulling out,” basically, during sex, which is not at all the same thing. So, the Bible is pretty silent on the issue.
Now, once again, the Bible is clear about forbidding all other sexual acts outside of marriage: rape, fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, beastiality, etc. So, why wouldn’t we assume that masturbation would fall, also, into that category of forbidden acts? Isn’t this why lust and pornography are also a problem? I think so.
In any case, the Bible is silent on it; I think it’s important we be careful when dealing with this issue. As with any sin, it’s always an issue of the heart. If you are lusting and fantasizing over another male or female whom you are not married to, you are sinning. It’s basically fornication, which is a blanket term for all sexual sin in the Bible.
What If We Are Not Having Sex?
If you and your spouse are not having sex, that’s a dangerous place to be. Remember Paul cautioned about this to the Corinthians, saying they shouldn’t deprive one another unless for a short time and unless it’s mutually agreed upon. This was a warning so they would not fall into temptation and sin.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are not having sex with your spouse, that’s something you should make a priority and work towards fixing.
What If We Can’t Have Sex?
Unfortunately, some people find themselves in a situation where they are unable to have sex with their spouse, for various reasons. Perhaps it’s a long distance thing, a physical handicap, disease, or something else. Perhaps it’s low sex drive, unattractiveness, or simply a result of getting old, beyond what K-Y and Viagra are able to fix.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to get a divorce, or that the marriage will never work. Some people, for whatever reason, find themselves in unique circumstances, and there might not be an easy solution to it.
I know it’s easier said than done, but God has not called anyone one of us to endure something more than what we can handle. Just like God has not given unmarried, virgins, or homosexuals standards that they cannot handle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living a life of abstinence if you find yourself in a difficult circumstance.
A whole lot more could be said about sex, but suffice it to say, the Bible does not want us to be left in the dark about it. The Bible encourages sex in the appropriate context. We should not be scared to talk about this, nor should we be afraid to teach our children what sex is really about.
In the context of marriage, almost anything is permissible. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, or better yet, do it! God created it, and it’s a good thing, so do it as often as you can.
. . . and all the fellas said, “Amen!”