For some reason I have always cringed when the topic of sex arises. As a pharmacist I tried to pass the buck onto my colleagues when I needed to discuss with a patient his use of Viagra or her request for the morning-after pill. However, contrary to many opinions, sex is not something taboo or dirty but instead is something that’s beautiful and transforming, created as a gift from God.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that in the beginning “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” After creating Adam and Eve God declared that all was “very good” (verse 31). We know that God created male and female with differing anatomies, and therefore can conclude that there was nothing flawed or dishonourable in this fact. In fact, we know that God is an intimate, loving Being and having created us in His image, we similarly need intimate loving relationships.
... as sin became endemic on the earth, humans abandoned God's original intention that sex be reserved for marriage between one man and one woman.
God created the first male and female to complement each other. Genesis 2:18 tells us Eve was created to be Adam’s “help meet”, and Genesis 2:24 describes the physical and emotional connection between a man and his wife in which they become as “one flesh”.
There are several reasons why God created sex and the first is obvious: procreation. God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), and in this He referred to reproduction by sexual activity.
God also wanted them to develop intimacy with one another, and He knew that sex would generate intimacy like nothing else could. For this very reason God knew that limits must be applied to the sexual act, so He stipulated that sex was to be used solely between marriage partners. He very specifically said in Exodus 20:14, “Do not commit adultery”, and in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee sexual immorality”. That is, reserve sex for your spouse. God declares that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
Unfortunately, as sin became endemic on the earth, humans abandoned God’s original intention that sex be reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. God’s gift of human sexuality became perverted. The Bible is full of devastating examples, including Lot and his daughters; Abraham and Hagar; and Solomon and his harem. Each of these stories is accompanied by tragedy and devastation. Such would never have happened if human beings had abided by God’s plan for sexuality.
Looking now at sex in the modern day it is tragic to see that the percentage of professing Christians who engage in extramarital sexual activity and end their marriages in divorce is just as high, and sometimes even higher, than among non-Christians.
There are also disturbing trends amongst young people who are choosing not to reserve sex for their marriage partner, but rather are engaging in sexual activity before they have the physical or emotional maturity to deal with its consequences. King Solomon, who was granted wisdom of God, referred to waiting for the right time to “awaken love” (Song of Solomon 2:7), which is important in terms of healthy sexual development. Solomon also wrote: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and that there is “a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:5).
From a health perspective it makes perfect sense to reserve sexual activity for a life-long marriage commitment between a man and a woman. There are certain physical and emotional/relational problems associated with other uses of sexual behaviour. For example, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are frightening realities. Although we are taught methods of “safe sex”, even these are really only facilitating “reduced risk sex”. There is also the risk that a child may be conceived, which will undoubtedly affect the lives of yourself, your sexual partner, your families and of course the innocent baby.
In addition to these physical complications are the emotional and relational consequences. Sin, including sexual sin, never fails to damage our relationship with God. The Bible says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). God is dishonoured and displeased when we reject His command not to commit adultery, and instead intentionally disobey. When we sin sexually we also cause relational damage to those who are observing our Christian walk. Disobedience to God’s commands makes us hypocrites and makes Christianity less appealing. Sex outside of marriage also damages the relationship between the persons involved and potential marriage relationships of either sexual partner. A lack of trust and respect are synonymous with such relationships.
However, the most important thing for you to take away from this discourse on sexuality is a reminder that no matter what sexual sin you may have committed, God is always willing to forgive when you truly repent and return to Him. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So, what course of action do you need to take?
First, acknowledge that your actions are sinful. Confess your sin before God and pray that He will forgive you, and be truly penitent of your actions. Finally, remain sexually pure forevermore. Jesus commanded the woman caught in the act of adultery to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus did not come to earth to save us in sin, but rather to save us from sin.
Kriselle Dawson is a pharmacist, music teacher, missionary and mother living in Lae, Papua New Guinea.