It was a nice summer Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C. The city is a commuter city and is quiet during the weekends. I was ensconced behind the walls of a DC home, waiting to enjoy some grilled peaches; but before all of that I was poolside talking to a friend. He said something in a way that I had never thought about before- he said: “The Bible is a like a car manual. When you buy a car it comes with a manual on how to take care of it- when you should change the oil that only gasoline will make it run, that it takes 4 tires to make it roll and so on. It’s a guide and if you read it and do what it says, you will cut down on having car problems. That’s just like the Bible. The Bible is a guidebook of love, inspired by God, and if we choose to live by what it says we will cut down on self-made problems.”
Early last year I wrote a post titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll," and this week is the 2nd edition of that post. This week I’m picking back up with the theme of relationship, but I'm going to talk about sex, which is also relational. If we follow God’s instructions in His Holy Guidebook on sex, we too will ‘cut down on self-made problems.’
Sex isn’t just sensual. It’s Spiritual, Emotional, and Mental. I once knew someone in their 40s whose life is so messed up now because of all the sex they had in their teens and 20s- that they’re not able to enjoy sex now. When you keep having one night stands, it will affect your future sex life and ability to enjoy it, and for some it’s more extreme than in others.
There’s only so much meaningless UNmarital sex you can have until it catches up with you, mentally and emotionally. God forbid physically, with catching an STD. For the unbeliever, what I’m saying might sounds so foreign to you because you don’t know God, and you’re living under the world's standards on this issue. But the believer, especially the sexually active UNmarried believer will understand me.
Because sex is holy and sensual, when you do this beautiful act in an unholy way that’s not within the boundaries of marriage, and the relationship doesn’t work; or you’re anesthetized to being ok with having many partners, you WILL BE affected emotionally and mentally. You are creating self-made problems for yourself and it may take years before you reap the awful consequences, but there are consequences even if you're having sex in a happy relationship with one partner- this will affect your relationship with God.
I feel compelled to write this post, not out of judgment or condemnation- oh contraire- but out of love. All around me I see my generation, even those in the church or those who could care less about God, living like they’re emotionally and mentally immune to the consequences of UNmairital sex.
I remember when I lived in Spain a woman said to me, “I don’t understand why the Holy Father [the Pope] says no sex before marriage. It’s not normal to say such things because sex is normal.”
This statement from a Catholic woman who goes to Mass almost every Sunday and occasionally cracks open the Bible to read it, made me realize that she doesn’t even know what the purpose of sex is.
In order to understand the purpose for sex, one has to understand firstly why God made man. Then secondly, one has to understand why God designed man to have a relationship with Him, as well as His desire that man know his/her identity in Christ before marriage and before sex. Then thirdly, you have to move onto understanding what marriage is. And finally, you understand what sex is. But it’s not just this Spanish woman; a lot of people don’t understand what marriage is, much less what sex is.
My pastor in the U.S., Nate Keeler gave a good understanding of sex. He said: "If we think of a marriage relationship with someone in terms of an ice cream sundae, the sex is just the cherry on top. The relationship with your partner, i.e. forgiveness, making a life together, the ups and downs, having children, and making memories are the ice cream, sprinkles, syrup, nuts, and fruit. Sex is only a small part of a relationship."
What is the purpose of marriage, but mainly sex?
1). Reflect His image: The Bible tells us that God created marriage to reflect His image.I wrote deeper about “Relationship – Marriage” 2 weeks ago.
2). For Sex: God is pro sex! He created it after all and the pleasure that goes along with it. He could have made it without pleasure, but He made it as something that should be enjoyed, as something that is beautiful, but as something that is holy and that should only be done within the parameters of marriage. Why?
Firstly, for the procreation of man- to fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). He [God] also wants Godly offspring. Why? So that the Godly offspring can do the good works (Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 13:21, Philippians 1:6) that He has called us to do.
Secondly, and since He created the act and all the emotions/ vulnerability that go along with it, He knew it would be better to state that it should be done within marriage. Why? Because there is safety (or it should be because God doesn’t want divorce) when there is sex within marriage.
In an article by Marshall Segal, he paints the image clearly:
Friends who enjoy sex with “no strings attached” will find pleasure, but not the peaks waiting on the other side of mutual promises. The happiness of marriage is not only or even mainly physical. With the sex, there ought to be a deep sense of safety, a sense of being loved and accepted for who you are, a desire to please without the need to impress. When God engineered the sexual bond between a man and a woman, he made something much more satisfying than the act itself.
Those who recklessly give themselves to a love-life of dating without really dating, of romantic rendezvouses without Christ and commitment, are settling. They’re settling for less than God intended and less than he made possible by sending his Son to rescue and repurpose our lives, including our love-lives, for something more. More happiness. More security. More purpose.
And the more is found in a mutual faith in and following of Jesus. With this “more,” we can say to the watching world, don’t settle for artificial and thin loyalty, affection, security, and sexual experimentation when God intends and promises so much more through a Christian union. And a Christian union can only be found through Christian dating.
3). Resist Temptation: It strengthens us to resist all kinds of temptation. Read Ecclesiastes 4:12
4). Evangelism: Marriage is used to win souls to Christ.
I’d love to keep typing but for the sake of losing your attention or this turning into a book, I’d like to only say this:
Sex is holy. For the unbeliever this will sound archaic and silly. It’s not archaic or silly. For all of us humans (Christian or NonChristian), we can only carry but so many burdens, and when we engage in things that will have emotional, mental, or physical consequences, it’s not God who brought them. It’s we that often create our own self made problems from bad decision-making.
If you’re having sex and you’re not married, it’s best to stop. If you’re having sex with someone other than who you walked down the aisle with, stop. If you’re having sex with someone that you’re engaged to and living with him or her, stop. God will honor those who wait till their wedding night to consummate their marriage. If we live outside God’s Word there are inevitable emotional consequences.
Happy Friday & Love xx,