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What Does the Bible Say About Sex?

What Would You Say?

You’re in a conversation, and someone says, “Christians are so negative about sex. Why do Christians hate sex so much?” What would you say? The idea that Christians are obsessed with sex, hate it, and are committed to ruining everyone else’s fun is one of those things about Christianity that “everybody knows.” But in this case, what “everybody knows” is just wrong. The Christian view of sex comes from the Bible’s depiction of reality and human beings. The Bible portrays sex as something brilliant and beautiful, a good gift of God to be honored and protected. So the next time someone repeats the myth that Christians hate sex and are just obsessed with being negative about it, here are three things to remember: First, the Bible is clear that sex was God’s idea. Think about it. The first command God gave to the first humans He created wasn’t, “Don’t have sex because it’s dirty.” It was “Be fruitful and multiply.” And that command was, according to Genesis 1:28 (one twenty eight), part of how God blessed them. “And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” In Genesis 2, which offers an even closer look at why and how God made people, Adam and Eve were given to each other after God said something in His creation was not good: that man was alone. Jesus even pointed to this in His ministry when He was asked about marriage, saying that God’s intent was for man and woman to become, not just one in emotion, but one flesh. And at least Adam seemed to really like this plan when God revealed Eve, the first woman, to Him for the first time. Proclaiming, “At last…” As if this is what he’d been looking for… In fact, after the Great Flood, the first thing God said to Noah and his family was “be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” In other words, “Go make babies!” which of course means sex. Second, biblical authors always speak about sex in a positive way. Yes, there have been Christians who believed sex was bad, or a kind of necessary evil for having babies. But sex isn’t something the Bible is embarrassed about. God thinks it’s such a good idea that He doesn’t just allow it; He commands it. And the Bible, far from being squeamish about sex, has what authors Neil Shenvi and Pat Sawyer call in their book Critical Dilemma, an “extraordinarily high view of sex” with “unblushing affirmations of the goodness of marital sex and sexuality.” For example, the books of Proverbs and Song of Solomon contain somewhat graphic details about the beauty, joy, and, pleasure of sex as the good gift of God. In Ephesians, Paul describes marriage as a foretaste of the relationship between Christ and His Church. John described Heaven as “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Sure, the Bible offers rules and guidelines for sexual behavior, but sex itself is consistently portrayed as something good. Third, according to the Bible, God’s rules for sex are fundamentally positive, not negative. Think about it. Every public swimming pool has a posted list of rules to follow. But that doesn’t mean that the lifeguards or the person who built the pool hates when people swim. The same thing goes with the rules about sex offered in the Bible. God created sex and He even commanded that people take part in it! But, just as lifeguards set up boundaries for the safety and enjoyment of everyone, God’s rules do not rob us of joy, but are there to make it as meaningful as possible. And that’s why, as the Bible makes very clear, God cares so much when those rules are broken. Something as precious and as important as intimacy with another person made in God’s image, should not just be thrown around and shared with anyone. And the fact that this is how new people are made makes sex even more sacred. Most of God’s rules about sex are pretty obvious. Don’t have sex with animals… or close relatives. Don’t buy sex as if it and another person can be purchased. Don’t cheat on your spouse. Those restrictions are just good sense. With the restrictions that are more controversial today—like sex outside of marriage or intimacy between people of the same sex—the same idea applies. God’s restrictions are not random. They are based on how He created the world, and especially people. Sex was made for us, and we should not be ruled by it. God’s beautiful plan for one man, one woman, for life isn’t some arbitrary way of saying “No.” It’s about saying “Yes” to what’s true, and therefore what is best for us. So, the next time someone says Christians are only negative about sex, remember these three things: • First, the Bible is clear that sex was God’s idea. • Second, the Biblical authors always speak about sex in a positive way. • Third, according to the Bible, God’s rules for sex are fundamentally positive, not negative.