Friday, March 3, 2017

Does God disapprove of sex?

Isn't God overly puritanical and out of touch with modern times in regard to sex? After all, we're so much more advanced in our understanding today than those backward unsophisticated ancient Jews, right?
Let’s clear up some inaccurate allegations from the start: God is not against sex. In fact, He created it. God is not a cosmic killjoy. The Bible is not anti-sex and neither is Christianity. That being said, I can have sex with anyone I want, right?
Some of the questions many people ask these days include:
·         If I am a Christian, can I still have sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend?
·         Is sex before marriage a sin?
·         Isn’t it a good idea to have sex with my significant other to find out if we’re compatible before getting married?
If God created sex and made it enjoyable, does it make sense to find out what He says about it? In doing that, these questions will be answered.

What does the Creator say about sex?
Sex is good, according to the first chapter of Genesis:
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28). Then, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (v.31).
So, immediately after God created a man and a woman, then directed them to “be fruitful and multiply”, He declared everything to be “very good”. The sexual relationship between Adam and Eve was part of everything that was very good.  

Moving on to the time of the second wisest man who ever lived (Jesus being the first), Solomon wrote of sexual intimacy:
“rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving [deer] and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19).
God wants us to be “exhilarated” with love. The Song of Solomon is a beautiful story of the rapture of intense love between a man and woman – and it’s in the Bible! That’s the Designer’s plan for sex.

What is the Designer’s best for us?
Ephesians 5 provides a powerful reason for a total, lifelong commitment between a man and woman in marriage. The Apostle Paul explains that the earthly marriage relationship should be a mirror of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the worldwide body of believers.[1] This answers the question concerning the Designer’s best plan for us:  husbands should love their wives as much as Christ loves the people who comprise the church, even to the point of giving his own life. And, in response to that, wives should be committed to their husbands and the church should be wholeheartedly and uncompromisingly committed to Christ. Though many marriages unfortunately do not adequately demonstrate that committed relationship, the design is still excellent. As with many things in this life, God’s original creation and plan are good, but humans sometimes mess it up. In this world, would guys be willing to lay down their lives for a temporary sexual partner? Would girls be willing to give total commitment to multiple boyfriends? Jesus’ enduring love for his people is meant to be the heavenly analogy for true love within marriage.

Is sex before marriage a sin?
Another related question:  Is it only a sin to have sex outside of marriage, with someone not my husband or wife? In other words, if I’m not married, then I’m not committing adultery, right? The Bible speaks of adultery, which most people would agree is a sin, but God’s word also mentions fornication. Fornication is sexual activity between people who are not married and is it a sin. The word “fornicate” in the Greek is πόρνος (pornos, Strongs # 4205), which is translated as:
“one who is sexually immoral (male or female), in some contexts distinguished from an adulterer (1 Co 6:9):-whoremongers [4], fornicators [3], fornicator [2], whoremonger [1].”[2]
The root of this Greek word is pernemi, which means “a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator”.[3] Some have argued that sexual sin mentioned in the Bible only concerns adultery, but not sex between two unmarried people. Is that true?

The Bible states:
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The term “fornicators” in this verse obviously does not apply to adultery, because that is mentioned separately.
The Bible also states:
“do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals” (1 Corinthians 6:9). In this passage, adulterers and homosexuals are mentioned separately, so “fornicators” are clearly a separate category.

The Bible is very clear that sex outside of a married relationship between one man and one woman is sin and not within God’s best plan for our lives. However, even if someone does not care what God says, there are other very tangible and significant reasons for following His plan.

What’s the big deal?
If two unmarried people want to have sex and use a condom, what’s the harm? Are Christians being too old fashioned? Come on, this is the 21st century: Do you really expect people to wait for marriage? 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, website agree with God – even in the 21st century - when addressing the topic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
“The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected.”[4]
This CDC factsheet then goes on to state, “For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STDs,” male latex condom usage is recommended, though “no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD. “[5]  

Someone may say, “That won’t happen to me. My partner and I use protection and, besides, he/she is so wonderful and faithful to me that I’ll never get an STD.” That’s what 19 million Americans thought last year, almost half of whom are between the ages of 15 and 24.[6]  Worldwide it is estimated that 340 million people will contract an STD every year.[7] A CDC study released 3/11/08 estimated that:
“one in four (26 percent) young women between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States – or 3.2 million teenage girls – is infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases”[8]
Condoms have been around for decades and there are still 340 million cases every year. How many STDs would be prevented if we followed God’s plan and had sexual relations only with our husband or wife?

Unwanted babies
CDC statistics track the total number of legal reported abortions performed in the United States:  A total of 848,163 legal induced abortions were reported for 2003.[9] The total number of abortions worldwide in 2003 was 42 million. Globally there were 31 abortions on average for every 100 live births.[10] Of all women and girls who become pregnant, about one in four pregnancies end in abortion. Certainly, condoms do have some effectiveness when used consistently and effectively and they are easy to obtain in schools, truck stops, and corner drug stores. The point here is not so much to debate the effectiveness of condoms, but to demonstrate that our assiduous efforts to circumvent the Designer’s perfect plan leave many unresolved issues – about 42 million yearly to be more accurate. This is not intended to condemn the women who became pregnant, but here’s a very important question to consider:  How many of these abortions would have been prevented if the biological parents had followed God’s plan for sex?

For anyone who has made mistakes, God does not wish to punish, but rather provides forgiveness and restoration. Going against the tide of a modern sexually permissive culture is not easy. But, even removing God completely from the equation, we see that the number of STDs and unwanted pregnancies are pandemic. If we follow the Designer’s best for our lives in the area of sex we will reduce the risk of disease and unwanted pregnancies to near zero. God does not want to take away the pleasure of sex.  In fact, sexual enjoyment between a husband and wife is a wonderful gift from God.

[All Biblical quotations in this article are from the New American Standard Version.]

[1] Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
[2]James Strong, The Strongest Strong’s (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2001), p. 1638.
[3] Blue Letter Bible Lexicon, Study Tools, accessed Aug 2008, 
[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, accessed Aug 2008, last modified 5/14/07,
[5] Ibid.
[6] Weinstock H, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2004;36( 1):6-10, cited on the CDC website , last modified Nov 2007, accessed Aug 2008,
[7] CDC website, CDC Health Information for International Travel 2008, last modified Jun 2007, accessed Aug 2008,
[8] CDC press release, last updated Apr 2008, accessed Aug 2008,
[9] CDC website, accessed Aug 2008, date last reviewed 10/26/06,
[10] The Lancet, “Induced abortion: estimated rates and trends worldwide”, Volume 370, Number 9595, 13 October 2007.

No comments: