Every minute of your life is affected by sex. What, you don’t believe me? Which part of your day are you not engaging life as either male or female?
When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself. He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.” – Genesis 5:2
What is sex?
We tend to think of sex much too narrowly, typically only as intercourse. As great as intercourse is, there is a lot more to sex. If you accept that sex is more than intercourse, then… what is it?
Sex is a physical expression of the nature and character of God.
God’s Nature Expressed Through Sex
In the beginning, God made people to be like himself (the Imago Dei), male and female He made them. The first thing we learn about people is that God created us in two complementary gender sexualities that together reflect His image. While referred to in the masculine throughout Scripture, the fullness of God is both male and female.
Gender sexuality impacts the way we experience our entire life. Our neurology, physiology, and cultural experience of life are all experienced through the lens of our gender.
The beauty and diversity of the world our God spoke into existence speaks of His creative nature. He is the God who speaks things into existence that never were. God has shared with us His creative nature in many ways. Sex is one of the ways we share in this aspect of who God is. Yes, that can have expression in the form of getting creative in our sex life, but also when we are…well, getting creative with our sex life.
God shared with us the ability to create living creatures, who are completely unique in the world. Of all the billions alive on the planet, who have lived, and who will live – none are like your child. Your child has a unique thumb print, DNA, personality, eye color, soul. No others are like he or she.
As if that weren’t cool enough, there was a time your child did not exist, but there will never be a time your child ceases to exist. God has given you the capability to create something completely unique in time and the universe that is eternal. It’s through sex that God chose to share this aspect of Himself with you.
It is for His pleasure, not out of any compulsion, that God created people. He delights in us, enjoying His creation. And, He desires for us to enjoy and celebrate life. In fact, He commands celebration throughout the Scripture.
Pleasure often gets a bad rap because of pagan hedonism that worships the pleasures of creation instead of the Creator. But, God created our capacity for pleasure and delights in our enjoyment of it—much like as parents we delight in our children enjoying life to its fullest.
Consider taste buds that enable us to derive pleasure from a great meal. Skin and oxytocin that enable us to delight in snuggling with our loved ones. The nostalgia of a sunset or sunrise and a hot cup of coffee. Ponder for a minute the clitoris. No part of human anatomy, male or female, has a higher concentration of nerve endings than the clitoris. And, it serves only one (1) purpose: A woman’s sexual pleasure.
Penises are at least a multi-purpose tool. They aid in urination and procreation, as well as enjoying one’s wife. The only function of the clitoris is building sexual pleasure tension in a woman’s body and allowing her to orgasm.
Speaking of evidence that God wants women to enjoy sex more than men, let’s talk about orgasms—physically the most pleasure a human can experience and given to us by God in the context of sex. And of which women have the physiological capacity for an unlimited number of consecutives. There is probably a world record somewhere, but I wouldn’t recommend Googling for it. Men only get one followed by a refractory (waiting) period.
Being horny, penises, clitorises, orgasms—these are all God’s idea, given to us as good gifts, that reveal his nature. Intercourse itself reveals something amazing about God. In all other religions god is out there somewhere and we are trying to get to him. In Christianity we know God initiates our experience with Him. He pursues us out of His deep passion. When we are receptive to Him, inviting Him in, the Scriptures tell us He literally indwells our body.
This spiritual truth is revealed in the physical act where a wife, in response to her husband’s loving pursuit, invites him to indwell her body and together they share an intense connection. There is no closer experience than for a husband than to literally be inside his wife’s body.
Song of Solomon, in the Bible, is a beautiful allegory communicating God’s passion for His bride, set in the context of a romantic pursuit. Jesus in His suffering for relationship with His bride is said to display the Passion of the Christ. God’s passion is contextualized for us in the Scriptures repeatedly in marital and sexual terms.
As Trinitarians, we understand God as existing eternally in relationship with Himself as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He created people to be objects of His love and affection, engaging in relationship with them. A primary metaphor He gives us for understanding the nature of this relationship is marriage, including the sexual dynamic within marriage.
God’s Character Expressed Through Sex
In addition to revealing to us God’s nature, sex as it is designed to be, both cultivates and displays His character.
Christ came as a servant, laying aside His rights as God, to love His bride well and model for us the same. Sex as God designed it challenges us to serve our spouse, putting them ahead of ourself and serving them in love. Within God’s design, sex is never exploitive. Healthy sex never uses the other for personal gratification at their expense.
God is generous in abundantly giving good gifts to His people. He doesn’t give begrudgingly out of compulsion, demand, or duty. He gives freely and in ways that delight the receiver.
The patience of God doesn’t force himself upon us but waits for us to respond to His loving invitation. In sanctification He doesn’t confront everything He wishes to be different with us at once, but journeys with us.
The Holy Spirit draws us to Himself, wooing us. He calls to us, inviting us into an intimate relationship.
Our King is tender and gentle with us. He cares for us like a good shepherd, leading us to cool waters and green pastures.
Grace and Mercy
To quote the philosopher/theologian Reliant K, “…the beauty of grace is it makes life not fair…” God shows us unmerited favor when He gives us good gifts that we don’t really deserve and spares us the separation from Him and His goodness that we do deserve.
He also does not hold over us our past shortcomings and failures. He doesn’t rub our imperfections in our faces but overwhelms us with His love for us. He doesn’t turn His nose up at our offering but embraces us with all our flaws and imperfections.
Sex is Good
God designed sex to be good in every way. To reveal His nature and character and to be immensely enjoyable for His favored creation. That includes all the aspects of sex God wired into our body, like physical and mental arousal (being horny), penises, clitorises, vaginas. All God’s ideas, all GOOD.
Pornea – Not Good
I believe it’s because sex reveals the image of God in such a unique and powerful way that Satan has so intentionally targeted it.
The schemes of the enemy’s attack on our sexuality are apparent everywhere:
- The attack on gender, both in the oppression of women and the distortion of male and femaleness in pop-culture.
- Distortion of sex in pornography, magazines, TV, movies, and media in general.
- The fear of and discomfort with sex that leads to silence or poor theology in the church.
- Sexual moral failure, such as adultery, within the church.
- Shame and condemnation around sexual feelings and/or past failures.
- Sexual assault and abuse.
- Sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
The Scriptures use the term Pornea as an umbrella term that denotes any and all distortion of God’s design for sex. Adultery, fornication, bestiality, sex with close relatives, homosexual sex, and rape all are considered pornea. So is selfish or exploitive sex, even within marriage, that does not reflect the love that God designed sex to display. When the enemy of our soul is able to attack us with pornea of one form or another it leaves a wound that effects our life.
God is in the business of redemption. Like a good Father who longs to see His children be healed and whole, God desires to restore what the enemy has taken. Whatever wound created by the enemy’s pornea, our King is able to make new again and bring beauty out of ashes. Believe God’s thoughts about sex apply to you, and invite Him to lead you in a journey of healing.