Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Go back to that eye-opening moment when some 5th grade health teacher introduced the age-old affiliation of the birds & the bees, sending you home with a paperback party favor titled “What’s Happening to My Body.” Perhaps you were also blessed by a nauseating “how babies are made” conversation at the dinner table with mom and dad, also connecting the dots that your parents made YOU, and so, well, they aren’t just sleeping in there. Woof. Now fast forward through adolescence and into adulthood. Thanks to the internet, the entertainment business and the magazine aisle, these days we are left with little to wonder about when it comes to the topic of sex. Everyone seems to be advocating for it, having lots of it, and publicly delivering their own expert opinions on the matter.
But what if I told you that I have identified the single greatest source of insights on sex education, and that I didn’t find it on social media (or any other media for that matter). This source is a HUGE proponent of sex and lays out how to ENJOY it with complete and total satisfaction, but there are no A-list celebrities and no “tips and tricks” – just straight up wisdom from the Author and originator of sex. I know it sounds crazy, but if you want the secret to a great sex life, look no further than The Bible.
This “sex re-education” is far from all-encompassing, but focuses on 3 big-picture basics and 3 common misunderstandings. Not convinced? I get that. But if I’ve peaked your curiosity at all, just have your parents sign a waiver and keep reading...
1. Sex is CREATED by God
Don’t believe me that the Bible is incredibly pro-sex? Just read the first page. That’s it. When you do, you’ll notice in Genesis 1:28 that God commands the very first man & wife to “be fruitful and multiply.” While I’m confident that Adam & Even would have eventually figured out how the hardware worked without his instruction, it’s worth noting that God created humans and God created two specific human parts to fit together. Simply put, sex was God’s idea.
2. Sex is COMMANDED by God
So God basically tells the very first human couple, “Hey, you two, GO HAVE SEX. Like, LOTS OF SEX. Make babies! It’s not just functional, it feels good too. So yeah, get after it, and you’re welcome!” But don’t think that the Garden of Eden was just the original Bachelor in Paradise. Moving from Genesis 1 to the New Testament, the Lord reinforces his clear command for sexual intimacy. First Corinthians 7:2-3 says, “Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time…”
3. God CARES about Sex
So clearly, God isn’t one to be throwing shade at sex. Since he invented it, He’s all for it and He cares about it deeply. This is why He is grieved when we remove His gift from its intended context and abuse it for our own self-seeking gratification. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). The context that God has intentionally designed sex for is made crystal clear: a marriage covenant between one man and one woman. ANY sort of sexual activity that falls outside of that arrangement falls outside of His design, and will only lead us down a path toward pain and brokenness.
SEX 101 Bottom Line: Trust the Designer. God created, commanded and cares about sex. It is His idea and it is His gift to us. In its intended covenant context, sex is not dirty – sex is GOOD.
1. “Practice makes perfect”
This one is silly when you actually stop to think about it. Let’s go to the wedding night. “Wow, that was amazing and I can tell you’ve done that a LOT. I’m really glad that all of those other guys/girls experienced sexual intimacy with you first so I could reap the benefits” – said no one ever. “Man, that wasn’t what I thought it’d be. I really wish you would’ve gotten more reps with your exes before becoming my spouse” – said no one ever. Listen, if you have a sexual past and that brings a pit to your stomach, hear me say that there is NO condemnation for those who have accepted God’s grace & forgiveness in Jesus (Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1). Once committed to walking in newness of life, the gospel frees you completely from the need to carry any guilt or shame into a marriage that is Christ-honoring. My point is only that once you’re in that situation, my hunch is that strategies like ‘practice makes perfect’ and ‘try before you buy’ become exposed for what they are – terrible advice that blesses no one in the long run.
2. “If you’ll just wait, the sex will be great”
Here’s a truth bomb just to help you manage your expectations: if by God’s grace you DO enter marriage as a virgin, don’t anticipate your wildest fantasies coming true right out of the gate. It is commonplace for married couples to say that the first year of sex was the worst year of sex. Here’s another truth bomb: consistently in polls, the most sexually satisfied couples are those who are married and in their 50s and 60s. Like, your parents age. (Pause to throw up in your mouth). Will there be a learning curve for you and your spouse to have great sex? Probably. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. The reward for waiting on your wedding isn’t the immediate presence of a mind-blowing sex life, but the long-term scars and baggage that you will have been spared from as you refused to abuse God’s generous gift.
3. “Marriage totally satisfies your sex drive”
I see how people arrive at this conclusion. I’m embarrassed to say I assumed this was true myself… that is, until I actually got married. The train of logic goes something like, “I’m struggling with lust and pornography right now because I have no outlets to gratify my sexual desires. Once I start having sex with my spouse, those desires will subside. Won’t that be nice to not have to fight this fight any longer!” WRONG. In reality, temptation & lust stem from a heart issue that marriage will not and cannot fix. If you struggle to exercise self-control now, what makes you assume you’ll summon the strength by saying wedding vows? If you train your mind to sexually fantasize about a variety of others now, why would we think that this habit will break when we’re married to just one person? This is going to be a struggle for any married person to one extent or another, so don’t buy this lie.
Bottom Line of those Myths: Practice Pursuing Purity. As you do so, you honor your body, you honor your future spouse if the Lord wills that, but most importantly you honor Christ.
God has designed sex as a good thing, and His Word attests to that fact. Let us “re-educate” ourselves on the role of sexual intimacy in marriage, and let us ENJOY sex for the gift that it is within the proper context for which is was given.
This post was inspired by the sermon titled “Love & Sex” delivered at The Porch by Adam Tarnow on October 10, 2017. You can listen this message in its entirety HERE.