I wish the church would talk more about sex. If you haven’t checked out part 1, you can read it here before moving on with part 2 to give you context into our conversation.
When God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness (NIV)," He created Adam and Eve. What said next was to be sexually active so you can procreate and recreate in the context of marriage for the belonging of family.
I’ve been waiting to say this: It’s not bad to want to have sex with somebody. It’s called normal when you have a sexual desire to be with someone. I think we take the wrong approach to compress and shove our sexual desires down inside us and pretend they’re not there until we are ready to engage in an opposite sex relationship. For most of us, we will be sexually active. Most of us will be in a sexual relationship and be sexually active for most of our lives. That’s why God speaks so much in the Bible about how important sex is as intimacy with another and how important it is to be able to manage YOU and your desire for sex:
1 Corinthians 7:3-5
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
1 Corinthians 6:18
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
1 Corinthians 7:2
But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body[a] and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:9-13
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.
So you’re sexually attracted to that person sitting across from you. Culture tends to make that the defining thing that makes and proves a relationship. Finding someone sexually attractive is definitely a motivation to possibly pursue someone in a relationship but it’s definitely not the only motivation—it should be coordinated with other desires and similar interests like faith beliefs, sense of humor, family values, etc. But we know sexual desire is part of the package that motivates us to seek the opposite sex in general. But there is a tension or the “gap” that we as Christians must manage. Culture is highly sexual while marriage is happily avoided to happening much later in life. What I mean is that puberty’s happening earlier and earlier and marriage is happening later and later. So it’s this “gap” that is continuing to broaden which we have to navigate. The challenge for faith communities is that as this gap exists and continues to widen, we have to have conversations and equip young believers how to live in this gap and stay committed to Christ, holiness and pursuit of devotion to God. Allow this gap as an opportunity to seek God, love others and build healthy relationships with others.
I’ve been in conversation with guys where sex is considered as the point of “finally arriving and getting this awesome experience.” Our sexuality as God’s creation is more than just “wedding night awesomeness.” It’s managing our outside behavior and actions to line up with our inside thoughts beliefs with deliberate disciplines tied to Scripture. We are all sexual beings and we have to constantly be aware of how we are relating to the opposite sex as part of living with others and building a healthy community. Sex in my conversations with guys tends to be one-sided. The “sex is awesome and feels amazing” can sound and be very selfish making “me feel great” and serving my need to “feel amazing” the primary objective...which it is not. Marriage is about serving the other person and sex is glue of this serving relationship. If we are not careful with how we talk and dialogue about sex it can breed a selfish individualism making sex the focus rather than the person. Sexual union is holistic with ANOTHER person. I’m sorry but you can’t separate the physical from the spiritual when it comes to sex with another person. Culture says you can, but you can’t. In marriage two very complex people become one (Mark 10:8). They enter into an intimate and intricate relationship that is never meant to be separated. It’s physical and spiritual. That’s what sex is. That’s how your relationship is supposed to be.
That’s why going back to our origin story in Scripture and what Scripture has to say about sex is so critical. How you view the accuracy and authority of the Bible determines how perspective on sex and your personal apologetic of how you live out your sexuality.
Gabe Lyons from the book Good Faith says this:
“As the story of God’s people unfolds the bibles’ sexual ethic grows clearer and remains in line with the Creator’s intentions. Remember when Jesus started with the seventh commandment )”You must not commit adultery’) and raised the bar to a higher standard? According to Him, entertaining the fantasies of our minds is spiritually on par with committing the sin (see Matt 5:27-30) This was and is a countercultural way to think about sex, not because it offers us greater self-fulfillment but because it does just the opposite. Jesus invites us to relinquish together.
Culture continues to chip away at Biblical truth and convictions to where we have more wonderful lovers of God who consider casual sex, living together for sexual and financial convenience as normal standards not just in our communities but in our Biblical communities.
I’ve heard young people pray and ask “why doesn’t God just ‘take it away’?” God made your sex drive powerful for a distinct purpose…to pro-create. .Sexual desire moves you to be with the opposite sex and in the context of marriage for a wonderful and shameless experience. That’s why sex comes with a “warning label.” We are warned repeatedly in the Song of Songs (2:7; 3:5; 8:4), “…do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” God is speaking beautifully here that there is an appropriate time, place, and person to awaken love with and we need to learn to control ourselves until the appropriate time and place with someone in marriage. Marriage is not an outdated contract or legal document but a safe place for you to be the most vulnerable and most fulfilled with someone.