What Does The Bible Say About Sex?
What does the Bible say about sex? There are several verses and chapters in the Bible addressing sexual immorality, pointing to the proper sexual engagement within the context of marriage between a man and a woman. I'll get into a bit of the beautiful theology behind God's design for sex, but before I do, it is crucial to understand the overarching theme each one of these verses carries is that God cares about your sex life and wants you to have great sex.
Sex Is Great, But There Is Something Greater
Before I start unpacking that statement, I want to remind you that the default encouragement of living is to be single and celibate. In First Corinthians Seven, Paul writes, 'Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.' Even though I will be talking about the gift of sex and how God wants you to have fantastic sex- it does not mean sex is His ultimate goal for you. Nor does it mean that you are missing out on God's blessing if you remain single and celibate. In fact, Paul would say, as a single person, the ability to have undivided attention and time to give to the Lord is a greater gift, and a greater blessing. So, what does the Bible say about sex?
God Wants You To Have Great Sex
Now, let's return to the claim that God wants you to have great sex. 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 dispel that picture. Instead, when I say, "God wants you to have great sex," I want you to understand the pleasure and intimacy that sex brings was intentionally created by God, but it was created to be so much more profound than what our culture has made it to be. I
If you aren’t a Christian, "God wants you to have great sex" probably sounds weird because most of what you’ve heard of Christianity and sex is morally restrictive. 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 may be 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.
A Biblical Understanding Of Sex
Why is the topic of sex 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 talks about lust and sex, and, in the book I just quoted from on singleness (First Corinthians), Paul gives a massive 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 a 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 specific context so that it would be an amazing expression of intimacy, a confirmation of unity, and, actually, an icon of who God is.
Intimacy, Mystery, and True Sex
It’s easy to see that sex is a wonderful 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, a joining together of 'differents'- male and female, to “hold fast” to one another. Sex is an expression of intimacy, of knowing one another, affirming a covenant connection to one another. It is a statement confirming that husband and wife are now one. Sex outside of this context isn’t real sex because it doesn’t fulfill what it was designed for (though it still has the same unifying emotion, spiritual, and physical attributes).
Sex Is More Than Food
Calling back to the context of the First Corinthians verse about "running from sexual immorality," we find Paul's warnings amid a conversation about food laws and sin. Here we can see that sex outside of the context God created it for has a more significant effect than other sins. Or, to put it another way- sex is more than just fulfilling a desire. It's more than "just sex." Sex is much more profound than what our world has made it out to be, and if we degrade nothing more than a physical act, we fool ourselves and miss out on the fullness of how great it can be.
A More Profound Perspective of Sex
The other aspect of sex often misunderstood is the spiritual expression of sex 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. 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.
Sex As An Anticipation Of The Future
From the beginning of the Bible (Genesis) to the end (Revelation), there is a theme of God bringing things to unity- in pairs. If you read the first chapter of Genesis, you'll see repeating pairs complementing each other. (Water- Land, Sun-Moon, Light- Dark). 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. When the city of heaven (representing God’s dwelling) meets earth (Our dwelling), God’s eternal kingdom of peace is established. This future hope is actually anticipated or reflected in the expression of the marital union. God established the sexual union within marriage to not only be pleasurable, not just for procreation, but to also be an image of the joining together of the consumption of His Kingdom. This is how marriage (sex) is represented in the Bible. Marriage is not a convenient social institute; it is instead a reflection of God’s character and love, and the reflection of His unconditional covenantal commitment. This means that sex both reflects the unity of the Trinity and anticipates the joining of heaven and earth. Crazy and amazing!!!
Why Does God Care So Much About Our Sex Life?
He cares because He loves us. He designed sex for a specific context because it is a spiritual, emotional, and physical activity. God knows what is best for us, and wants what is best for us. Sex is an opportunity to celebrate 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.
For more in-depth reading on this topic I HIGHLY recommend the book “Divine Sex” by Jonathan Grant
For further reading check out this blog: https://www.drewfroese.com/post/2016/03/28/made-for-more-than-sex