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A Practical, Biblical Perspective on Sex and Marriage

 

In todayís hedonistic society, a proper understanding of sex and marriage is one of the most confusing subjects effecting our society today. The Bible is just as relevant today, as it has always been, for answers pertaining to a proper view and attitude about human sexuality and the institute of marriage. I have encountered questions about this subject matter more than any other. Great confusion is widespread and many, both Christian and non-believer alike, are sincerely seeking answers as to what is acceptable sexual activity within the context of marriage.

First, it must be understood that the Bible is Godís instruction book that is the standard against which all contradicting thoughts and philosophies must be weighed. Every moral issue must be weighed in the light of the Scriptures as to what is right and what is wrong, especially in the life of the believer. For the non-believer, it is their standard as well, but generally the non-believer will seek after their own understanding and philosophy instead and reject what is clearly introduced in the Bible as the instructions for a well adjusted and happy marriage. This is understandable and it should not be expected of them to follow something in which they do not believe.

With that in mind, the guides that the Bible offers are intended for those who are born again by the Spirit of God and therefore can understand marriage and sex within the context of the Bible as their guide. For those who may be unequally yoked, the first step is for your spouse to come into the knowledge of the saving grace of God and be born again by the Spirit of God before sex and marriage can be fully realized for what God had intended it to be. But take heart. Whether you became unequally yoked through your own conversion during the time you were married to your present spouse, or if you made a mistake and were a believer who married a non-believer, it is my desire that this sermon will help in bringing your non-believing spouse into a personal relationship with Jesus. It is also my desire to help married couples who are both believers to have their marriage grow deeper into what God had intended for it to be as well. I believe a full understanding of the value God places on human sexuality and marriage is contained in His written Word, and it far surpasses anything the world has to offer in both enjoyment and happiness.

I am not concerned with those who may disagree with my opinion, for it is only their opinion that I must disagree with. Also because I believe the views I will express are strictly from a biblical viewpoint, so the disagreements we may have can only come from their own interpretations of specific verses. I am of the mind that Godís written Word alone can fully offer the correct answers to all the problems of life, which include questions about human sexuality and marriage. I believe this because, for example, if we are having a problem with a car not running properly, we donít go to a dentist for the solution. We go to one who knows best and that would be a mechanic. It is the same way when dealing with human needs, desires and emotions. We go to the One who knows best. Who better to have the solutions to what He created than the One who created us?

GODíS VIEW ON HUMAN SEXUALITY


The subject of human sexuality perks up the ears of anyone who has blood flowing through their veins, and one must ask the question as to why. The answer is rather simple, because God created us as sexual beings, and this is a normal and natural desire for anyone who was not born with the gift of celibacy, which is truly a very small number. (How many of us have encountered such a person throughout their life?) Those of us who were not born with this gift probably have just as hard of a time understanding how someone could not be interested in sexuality as those who do have the gift wonder why all the fuss. They, of course, donít have the problems which can occur for those of us who do not have the gift of celibacy.

Without getting into all of the theological debates, I for one believe that the Apostle Paul was of this number, if not born this way, became a genuine celibate after his Damascus road experience. (Please donít be confused by this. I do not believe that this is a model for all who have been born again to follow.) One good argument that he was not born celibate is the fact that Paul was a Pharisee, and in that time of history, a Pharisee could not be a single man because he was expected to conceive children for future generations. Although the Bible never specifically mentions that he had a wife or children, I believe he was married. Whether she choose to leave him or if she died, it is not important for the discussion of this subject. What is important is the fact that the overwhelming vast majority of us were born with sexual desires that need to be met.

How we view sexuality will effect each and everyone of us throughout our lives if not given the proper view about human sexuality from the Grand Designer who created us as sexual beings. For the believer, a denial that we are sexual beings will lead to all sorts of suppressed desires which in turn will cause a lifetime of frustration and unhappiness, which God does not desire for his children.

Another problem which can occur is that the lines which one must not cross over can become blurred. This causes guilt and confusion which can drive us further from God because there is a constant battle between our desires and what we may perceive as being wrong in Godís eyes, forcing us often to be angry with God and question why He created us as sexual beings because at times it only seems to add to the problems of life. This can be especially true for the believer who has a non-believing spouse because the non-believer is being constantly conditioned by the world around them to believe that the only way to enjoy sexuality is to completely abandon any idea that God created us as sexual beings (or that there even is a God at all). In their mind, the only way to enjoy sexuality is to completely abandon all guides and follow after what the world says will bring fulfillment to these desires according to their own understanding. (This is the philosophy of sensualism that is permeating our society today: do whatever with whomever wherever; if it feels good, just do it.)

So, what is the answer to this dilemma? I believe it all stems from the wrong view of how God created us as sexual beings and the answer begins with the right view which needs to be explained for both the non-believer as well as the believer to fully understand what is acceptable and what is not.

  • First of all, God created man and woman, in other words, the two sexes perfectly designed for one another, and God placed the desire for one another in them on purpose. (Gen. 1:27-28, 31; Gen. 5:1-2; Matt. 19:4)
  • Secondly, the main PURPOSE is for procreation of mankind (as is the design of all the creatures He created both male and female). (Gen. 1:21-25)
  • Thirdly, He wanted to assure that His INTENT would be followed through, and He did a very good job of assuring that would happen. (I donít think I will get too many disagreements on this statement.)

Then, to assure His INTENT would be followed out, He made two decisions, one for the animal kingdom and one for mankind. For the animal kingdom, He placed the instinct of mating which would occur only after the female came into heat and the male would respond accordingly to how he is programmed by the Grand Designer. However, for mankind it was special. God made the act of reproduction to be a pleasurable experience. (Gen. 18:12, Prov. 5:19, Song of Solomon)

If it were not Godís intent for us to find the sexual experience pleasurable, then He would have created us as He did the animal kingdom. Given the two choices, which do you think we would prefer? Also, imagine the added problems that would have been caused throughout the history of mankind and in our present society if we were created in the same manner as the animal kingdom. (By the way, so much for evolution by the mere fact of this alone.) Who of you would like to share your sweetheart, fiancť(e) or spouse with every tomcat and feline in the neighborhood? We are being told today that acting like felines and tomcats is the ultimate fulfillment of our sexual desires. If this were true, then we would see societies that follow this becoming happier and happier, but what you and I see today is that we as a society are becoming less and less happy and content the more we cross the line into what the world tells us will bring us more happiness (hedonism).

In discussing this matter of sexuality from a Christian perspective, usually the immediate response or thought of what that means is, ďOh boy, there goes all the fun and pleasure.Ē I totally disagree. Many can disagree with me on this matter, but I believe it requires a frank and honest discussion from what I believe is truly a biblical perspective.

God condemns only the wrong use of His intent and purpose of sexuality, and nothing else. What then is the wrong purpose and intent? From what I spoke of previously, God created us as sexual beings with the INTENT of pleasure and for the PURPOSE of procreation as man and wife for a strong and happy family to raise our children in a good and loving environment. Today, what is classified as a family unit is constantly being challenged, and it really doesnít matter how strong of an argument they would try and put forth as being a better way of life, I reject their claims simply by the fact that it does not line up with the reality of what you and I see and experience each and every day. On this matter, I do not see it being necessary to discuss all of the other views which go against what Iíve already said. Reality speaks for itself. IF IT IS SEXUAL ACTIVITY WHICH IS NOT BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN IN THE CONFINES OF MARRIAGE, IT IS WRONG AND GOD CONDEMNS IT. If any other questions come to mind that do not fit that description, there is no other answer. Although I know that I probably made many people mad at this point, please allow me to continue. I believe you will be delighted if you stick it out to the finish and you wonít be quite so offended.


SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND THE MARRIAGE BED

If you were to ask now, ďWhat sexual expressions are acceptable and which are not acceptable in the marriage bed?Ē, Iíd say to you that whatever you believe to be acceptable and not acceptable, God has no restrictions and you are to judge that for yourselves (Heb. 13:4). God gives great latitudes in that regard, and leaves it up to you to determine. He gave each and everyone of us desires that we may express in the marriage bed which, in His eyes, is pure and holy. I am sure that at this point many will accuse me of over simplification, but I donít believe so. It is only complicated if you wish for it to be more so than that.

You may ask me to express my own views of what is and what is not acceptable in the marriage bed, but what I would tell you would merely be my own views which might or might not be the same standards of acceptability as yours. Would I be wrong? Or would you be wrong? I believe the Bible is silent regarding acceptability in the marriage bed. I believe that it is something that must be agreed upon by a husband and wife and must fit their own standards of acceptability. When the Bible doesnít speak on a subject, one must be very careful not to put words in Godís mouth about that particular subject. I am of the opinion that whatever goes on between a man and a woman in the marriage bed is entirely between them and God and what they themselves determine is right and wrong. Let God judge that. As for you, you would be wise not to impose your beliefs upon someone elseís marriage bed when God has called it holy and pure. You and I are not the judge of it, other than what has already been mentioned above as what constitutes Godís intent and purpose for human sexuality and marriage.

HOW DID GOD INTEND FOR MARRIAGE TO BE?

Before I begin to address that, it must first be understood that there are no perfect marriages simply for the fact that there are no perfect people. Of course, some like to think of themselves as being the perfect mate and insist that if their mate would just get in line, they would have a perfect marriage. But we are talking reality here, so we can dismiss that right from the beginning without taking away any more time from the subject at hand. For those who may still be sitting there with a little smugness, I have this to say to you. If you expect perfection from your mate, then you yourself had better be ready to be perfect also. No marriage will ever be perfect, but it is a goal that one must ever try to obtain as much as it is within your power to do so. If each mate will spend more time trying to change themselves rather than their mates, the problems will be resolved much more rapidly without all of the accusations, finger-pointing and fault-finding, because we can all do that with anybody if we try hard enough.

Click here for Part 2 of this article: Okay, Ladies, You're First

Click here for Part 3 of this article: Wipe the Grins Off Your Faces, Men! You're Next!

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