It really is difficult to imagine a time in history that was more sexually-saturated than our modern day. While there were certainly times of depravity in ancient history, the advent of technology has made sex the very core of much of our society.
But with each passing day, we are also seeing much confusion about sex. People are being sexually molested and assaulted. Pornography is mainstream. Standards (if you want to call them that) are changing constantly, and people do not know what is right, wrong, or indifferent.
Yet, there stands the Bible, as always, with a consistent and simple ethic that would literally end all this confusion and hurt instantaneously if we would just follow it. While there are more things we could share, I want to give just three Biblical facts about sex that stand in stark contrast to our society’s views.
The Marriage Bed is Beautiful
Society makes it seem as if the only shameful place for sex is between a husband and a wife in a monogamous relationship. It is boring and can’t have any real excitement to it. However, Scripture begs to differ.
Hebrews 13:4 begins with these words: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.” Without getting overly technical, the phrase “marriage bed” is a softer way of translating what the writer of Hebrews was trying to convey! He was using a euphemism for what happens in the marriage bed between a husband and a wife, and the rest of the verse makes it clear that this stands in contrast to other sexual encounters, which are sinful, since they are outside the marriage bond.
If you need further proof, read the Song of Solomon, which clearly shares the excitement and beauty of marriage love, including the sexual relationship. A husband and wife must work to make this part of marriage exciting over many years, but it is not shameful. In fact, Scripturally speaking, it is beautiful.
Sex is Not a Power Play
We are living in times where, it seems, daily someone is being dragged through the mud because of sexual misconduct. Typically, it is a man who has used a position of prestige or power (athlete, coach, TV star, politician, etc.) to force a woman into a sexually compromising position. While that is wrong because it is outside of marriage, it would also be just as wrong inside marriage.
While the sexual drive (especially in men) is powerful, sex is not to be used as some type of power play. A husband does not just “get sex” just because he wants it and is the head of the household. On the other side of the coin, a wife does not withhold sex just to prove some point and have her own way.
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
Notice how the sexual relationship is a gift; not a power play! When I am married, my body is no longer my own. It is my wife’s body now. And vice versa.
Whether married or not, our world would do well to remember that sex is not something to be used for my own advancement or just to see what I can get away with. It is a gift for my spouse. Period.
Lust is Also Wrong
Our world likes to separate the heart and “the act.” We would never say that murder is a good thing, but a lot of good people just laugh off hatred, prejudice, and even racism.
The same is clearly true as it pertains to sexual sin. So many people who would never actually commit fornication are content to feed lust constantly. Some do so through pornography. Others don’t mind dressing in a sexually provocative manner just to get a few sensual glances. Some read “romance” novels (if there was ever anything that is inappropriately named, that’s it).
But Jesus made it clear that, while sexual sin is wrong, so is the lust in our heart. “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Those words are followed by reminders about the extreme levels we should take to avoid sin, specifically sins of lust (see verses 29-30).
I may never “actually cheat” on my wife, or I may save myself for marriage, but am I feeding my mind with material or am I taking a few extra glances or am I dressing in a way that promotes a culture of lust? These are wrong, as well.
There are certainly more, but these are enough to show that the Biblical teachings on sex both (1) stand in sharp relief to our world, and (2) would end sexual sin and problems if followed. May I start that trend in my own life today.
“[Jesus] answered, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'” (Matthew 19:4-6)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn