By: Rev. Steve Harduk
At the completion of creation God looked at all He had made and declared it “very good.” And it was so until the first couple plunged our race into sin and subjected the creation to its destructive effects.
Despite sin’s corruption we still see the beauty that God made in the loveliness of a flower, the color of a sunset, or the wonder of a marriage relationship (Proverbs 30:19). Yet, from the moment sin entered our world, Satan has sought to corrupt and pervert what God made and intended for good. Food is good, yet we can become gluttonous. Ambition is good, yet man can become greedy. Sex is good, yet man can be lustful.
Yes, sex is good! God made it and declared it good along with the rest of His original creation. Yet generation after generation fails to learn the lesson that involvement in sexual sin can bring devastating long-lasting effects.
Why do we do this? Partly because we’re sinful and choose to ignore God or our parents in order to do as we wish. Moses reminds us that God’s direction is for our own good (Deut. 6:24). How many Christians wish they could go back in time and choose differently?
Another reason is we haven’t been taught what the Bible teaches about sex, perhaps because teachers are uncomfortable with the subject. Yet some passages are plainly sexual and teach the child of God the correct way.
Christian teaching conveys that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is bad. Fornication is bad. Adultery is bad. Incest is bad. All true. But some interpret that to mean sex is bad – which is untrue.
Meanwhile, the media and the Internet bombard them with advertising and pornography. They learn that most people enjoy sex, that it’s pleasurable, and that it’s the inevitable result whenever euphoric emotions overwhelm them. They buy into the deception of seduction.
Later, after the hurt and betrayal of broken relationships, disease, or unwanted pregnancies leave them disillusioned and cynical, they may conclude sex is nothing more than a biological act. It’s only for pleasure, or just a tool to get what they want. This is far from God’s good design for sex!
God is good
The message we must convey in the counseling room and classroom is the proper place and blessing of sexual union within the protective boundary of the marriage covenant. Fire is good and useful when it’s contained and directed, but outside of protective boundaries it is deadly. So too is sexual expression.
Solomon expressed the joy and blessing of marriage. In Proverbs 5 we read, “Drink waters out of thine own cistern” (love your own wife alone). A few verses later he says of his wife, “Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love.”
The Song of Solomon graphically pictures the beauty of love. It’s not intended to be lustful, but to express that the sexual union of marriage is a great joy which God intended to be enjoyed. The protection of the covenant allows the love between a husband and wife to grow. While the physical expression of sexuality is a wonderful delight, it’s not the culmination of a relationship but one aspect of intimacy in a growing relationship.
Our world has so sexualized everything that without God it would be easy to denigrate and corrupt the sexual union to a mere act. Some perhaps see it as no different than eating cheesecake, or as an act for obtaining something else desireable. But God makes it clear there’s a vast difference between lust and love.
We must proclaim and live the selfless commitment of love. Our world says couples should split up and achieve selfish ends. Couples who stay together through hardships, and honor their commitment, proclaim something far greater than what this world offers.
Sex is good within the protective boundaries of marriage. In that blessed union we see what love really is – a selfless commitment for the benefit of the one loved.
Scripture declares marriage good (Hebrews 13:4). That shouldn’t surprise us, seeing that it was ordained by God from the beginning. While sin will always seek to corrupt what is good, God has shown us the better way.
Sex in marriage is blessed and good, and married couples can thank God for the joy of intimacy in marriage. We must teach chastity and the preciousness of the marital union, but also that God in His grace can forgive and restore. Truly God is good! (Matthew 19:17)
Rev. Steve Harduk of Murphy, Texas, serves as a pastoral advisor for Life Matters Worldwide.