God created sex (and blessed it).
We previously established that it was GOD who invented marriage. Marriage is GOD’s idea, concept, and implementation.
When GOD created Adam, there was no suitable companion among all of GOD’s other creatures. So GOD made woman from one of Adam’s ribs. Adam called Eve woman because she was taken from man.
Immediately following this, we read:
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.Genesis 2:24 OSB
GOD gave sexuality as His gift to male and female. He created male and female with sexual desires. GOD gave man strength and woman beauty and He put within our hearts an attraction to the opposite sex.
From the beginning, GOD also provided the proper context for expression of sexual desires: marriage.
GOD’s proper order is for one man and one woman to commit to being a family household for life. That is biblical marriage.
And within that marriage, GOD blessed the marriage bed and made it holy. In other words, a husband and wife are free to privately express their sexual desires with one another as they mutually see fit.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.Hebrews 13:4 NKJV
GOD’s design is that marriage is lifelong and that men and women keep their vow of faithfulness to each other. Sadly, people are imperfect and sin. Jesus clarified GOD’s purpose for marriage when the Jewish leaders ask Him about divorce:
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”Matthew 19:3-12 NIV
Divorce is not GOD’s idea. In fact, through the prophet Malachi, GOD rebuked the Israelites under the Law for the way they treated their wives:
13 And you do these things which I hate. You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and moaning because of troubles, yet still thinking it is worthy to look upon your sacrifice or take it as acceptable from your hands. 14 And you say, “Why?” Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, whom you have forsaken; yet she is your companion and the wife of your covenant. 15 But did He not make another, having a remnant of His Spirit? Yet you ask, “What else does God seek but offspring?” But take heed to your spirit, and do not forsake the wife of your youth. 16 “But if you hate her and send her away,” says the Lord God of Israel, “ungodliness will obscure your thinking,” says the Lord Almighty. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not forsake her.”Malachi 2:13-16 OSB
Returning to Jesus’ statements above, however, note that Jesus explained that the sexual union was the purpose of GOD creating male and female. In the marriage commitment, the two becoming one flesh through sex, GOD joins the couple. And Jesus said that man should not separate that unity which was GOD’s blessing. Unfaithful adultery severs the bond of oneness.
For centuries, Christians have tried to sanitize and minimize what Scripture says about sex (which is quite a lot). There’s beautiful sexual content like the Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon), which uses poetic language to describe sexual acts, such as:
1:13 My beloved is to me a bundle of myrrh; He shall take rest in between my breasts. 14 To me, my beloved is a cluster of grapes from Cyprus In the vineyards of En Gedi.
2:3 As the apple among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I desired to be in his shadow and to sit down; And his fruit was sweet in my mouth.
3:1 In the night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but did not find him. I called him, but he did not hear me. … 4 Scarcely had I departed from them When I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go Until I brought him into my mother’s house, Into the chamber of her who conceived me.
4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies. 6 Until the day dawns and the shadows depart, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense. 7 You are altogether beautiful, And there is no blemish in you.
4:10 My sister, my bride, How beautiful are your breasts. How much more beautiful are your breasts than wine, And the fragrance of your garments than all the spices. 11 Your lips, my bride, drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is as the scent of Lebanon. 12 My sister, my bride, is an enclosed garden; An enclosed garden, a sealed fountain. 13 Your plants are a garden of pomegranates With the fragrance of a fruit harvest And aromatic plants: 14 Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon; With every tree of Lebanon, Myrrh, aloes, with all the finest spices; 15 A fountain of gardens, A well of living and rushing water from Lebanon.
16 Awake, O north wind, And come, O south wind; Blow through my garden And let my spices flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat of its fruits.Song of Songs 1:13-14; 2:3; 3:1, 4; 4:5-7, 10-16 OSB
But it isn’t all positive. The Bible also includes some really gruesome and sinful stories about sex, such as:
- Judah fathering a child by his daughter-in-law Tamar, whom he thought was a prostitute (see Genesis 38).
- David lusting after Bathsheba who was apparently bathing on the roof, calling for her and committing adultery with her, and then having her husband killed in battle (see 2 Samuel 11-12).
- GOD equating Israel’s rebellion to prostitution in explicit detail (see Ezekiel 16; 23).
Sex is a GOD-given blessing, when shared properly. GOD doesn’t attempt to “sanitize” sexual matters in Scripture and Christians should be careful of doing so as well.
American Christian culture has shied away from talking about sex publicly, and it’s had significant negative consequences. People are interested in sex because GOD created them that way. If we fail to properly teach truth and explain how to embrace sex as a part of life that is, in and of itself, holy and pure, then people are going to seek out answers elsewhere. And those places are unlikely to be holy and pure.