Sex and Theology
God cares about your sex life and wants you to have great sex. Now, before you get creeped out, thinking of God as a long haired old guy looking down from the sky cheering you on, I want to help us briefly explore this claim in light of what the culture says. Then, I want to look at how the culture’s emphasis of sex can be used to reveal a longing we all have for God.
First, if you aren’t a Christian this probably sounds weird because most of what you’ve heard is morally restrictive, and frankly, you are wondering-- why does God care about my sex life? Keep reading, but the simple answer is, believe it or not, God wants the best for you. Second, if you are a Christian you may be thinking the same thing, but for you, there is most likely something in your past, or something in your understanding of God that is making you already question if you should keep reading. I want to encourage you to keep reading because, once again, God wants the best for you.
So why is this topic so important? Because it’s important to God, and the Bible makes a big deal about it. In fact right from the beginning, God tells Adam and Eve to, “Get it on” (Paraphrased). A whole book of the Bible is dedicated to sex (Song of Solomon- this book is straight up sex-i-fied). The New Testament doubles down on this topic. Jesus’ warnings get stronger, and, in the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul gives a huge warning to his readers to “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does, “ Now notice, he isn’t saying “run from sex,” sex is good, but out of context it is sin. Not because God is some overbearing dad who won’t let you have fun. Quite the opposite, He created it to occur in a certain context so that it would be an amazing expression of intimacy, a confirmation of unity, and, actually an icon of who God is.
It’s easy to see that sex is an amazing expression of intimacy and confirmation of unity, so I will only spend a short time on the Biblical affirmation of these ideas. Genesis 2:24 states “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” From the beginning sex is an affirmation of the unity of marriage, to be joined together, male and female, and to “hold fast” to one another. This is a forever covenant of belonging to one another (John 19). This expression of the intimacy, of knowing one another, reveals a forever connection and committed to one another. It is a statement confirming that husband and wife are now one. In a weird way sex outside of this context isn’t real sex because it doesn’t fulfill what it was made for. Now, please don’t use that as a reason to justify having sex outside of marriage, that misses the point.
The other aspect of sex that is often misunderstood, is the spiritual expression as an icon of who God is. There is a funky greek word that we need to know to understand the correlation of sex and God’s character: Perichoresis. This word refers to the mystery of the Trinitarian relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Essentially it means a generous giving and receiving by each person to the other, which blurs the boundaries between them; the divine dance. In other words there is an intimate, yet un-understandable connection between the three, that holds them as individuals, but still, mysteriously one. Amazing, huh? But wait, there’s more. From the beginning of the Bible (Genesis) to the end (Revelation) there is a statement being made about how God brings things to unity- in pairs. If you read the first chapter of Genesis you see a lot of repeating pairs, complementing each other. The final pair that is made is man and woman, to work together to serve God. The end of the Bible also talks of a pair being reunited: Heaven and earth, and it is here that we see, throughout history, God has been fighting to restore His relationship (heaven) with us (earth). When the city of Jerusalem, representing God’s dwelling, meets earth, God’s eternal kingdom of peace is established. This future hope calls us back to the present expression of marriage and sex represented in the Bible. Once again, marriage is not a convenient social institute; it is instead a reflection of God’s unconditional covenantal commitment to his people. This means that sex both reflects the unity of the Trinity and anticipates the joining of heaven and earth, as the pair are united in complete harmony and love. Crazy and amazing!!!
So why does God care so much about your sex life? He cares because he loves you, because he designed it to be enjoyed, because He knows what is best for you, because he wants what is best for you, and because it is an opportunity to participate in the story He is telling. Sex, when experienced in the context that He created it for, is a beautiful act of passion, love, sacrifice, and worship.
To hear more on this topic visit: www.westgateL2.org click on teaching and listen to the BAE series- particularly the one on marriage and sex.
Also, for more in-depth reading on this topic I HIGHLY recommend the book “Divine Sex” by Jonathan Grant