Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
My wife Grace and I like to make the comparison that some people see sex as god, some see it as gross, but God wants us to see it as a gift for married couples to enjoy. For those who grew up in the church, you may have been taught, whether overtly or not, that sex is dirty, nasty, and gross so you should save it for the one you love. You never talk about sex in a biblical way, and you’re just supposed to “figure it out” once you get married.
Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about sex prior to the Fall. Before sin entered the world, God says in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.” Then a few verses later, 2:24-25 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Or as they say in Texas, “Nekked”.
God invented man and woman, He invented marriage, and He invented sex to be most enjoyable and pleasurable within the confines of marriage. He invented the human body for pleasure. This was not an accident. God was not in Heaven like He made the man, He made the woman, He made them naked, got them married, went out to get a sandwich, and came back like “What the heck are you doing?! How did thathappen? One of you angels should’ve gotten a wing in there! Stop!”
God called all this married sexuality “very good” as our first parents were “not ashamed” before sin entered the world. This gift of heterosexual married sex was given by God for six reasons:
- Pleasure (Song of Songs)
- Children (Genesis 1:28)
- Oneness (Genesis 2:24)
- Knowledge (Genesis 4:1)
- Protection (1 Corinthians 7:2-5)
- Comfort (2 Samuel 12:24)
Sex within marriage was and is still God’s intent. So, the Bible and Christians are not anti-sex, we’re just pro-marriage. And marriage is like a hearth that holds the passion of sex according to the Bible. In the winter, if you’ve ever made a fire, my recommendation would be that you put it in your fireplace, not in the middle of your dining room table. Sex is a passionate hot flame and if you get it out of the hearth of marriage, it’ll burn the whole house down.
In our book Real Romance: Sex in the Song of Songs, we examine the fullness of the sexual freedom between a husband and wife. The couple has pillow talk, caressing, oral sex, as well as a marital strip tease near the end of the book. These freedoms are not, however, prescribed for every godly marriage. The Bible repeatedly speaks about such things as our conscience, and we are encouraged to honor both God’s Word over us and the conscience in us (Romans 2:14-15; 1 Timothy 1:5, 4:2; Titus 1:15). For Christians, when it comes to debatable things, including the wine they drink and sex they have in the Song of Songs, every individual and couple needs to think in the following three categories:
- Receive – Can I receive this act or action as a gift from God that is not forbidden by His Word or my conscience? If so, then I am free to receive and enjoy it.
- Reject – Is this something that either God’s Word or my conscience cannot receive and so I just reject it?
- Redeem – Is this something that can be used in a godly or ungodly way but, according to the Bible, it is a freedom, and my conscience is clear to receive this act or action as a gift from God that is good if done rightly?
These questions help us not impose freedoms on people or restrict freedoms from people. Instead, these questions push us to the Scriptures, prayer, our own conscience, leading of the Holy Spirit, and loving conversation with our spouse and possibly wise counsel. These same categories of questions can be applied to a host of sexual questions that the Bible does not answer but that modern do couples have including the use of sex toys, frankness of pillow talk, various sexual positions and locations, and the intimate use of technology solely between husband and wife when they are separated for extended periods of time, such as a military deployment, etc.
These are not the kinds of things you must do, but they are the kinds of things you are free to discuss and try if you like. As we grow in our marriage and build trust, sometimes our conscience changes and things we did not want to try before, we are now interested in trying as our lovemaking is maturing. Like every aspect of marriage, there is change and growth if the relationship is healthy. We started out very basic in our freedoms, but as we grew in trust and healing from our past, we were willing to try new things and find new freedoms in our marriage.
The big idea in the Song of Songs is that a couple needs to have an ongoing conversation about every aspect of their marital relationship, including sex. Sadly, many Christian couples have lots of conversations about everyone and everything but sex to put the fun back in marriage fundamentals.
Did you grow up believing sex was god, gift, or gross?
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