Monday, November 26, 2007

Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex

Few words in the English language catch a man’s eye quicker than the word sex. In some sense it is amazing that the word and the concept still catches our attention so quickly given that we live in a culture that is awash in sex. Television is more and more full of shows about sex. Whole radio programs are devoted to the discussion of sex, some particularly focusing not just on how to do it, but also how to get more of it. And then, of course, the internet has become the largest pipeline of access to sex ever ---- like drinking out of a fire hose. So that being the case, why is it that we are still so captivated by sex, if we live in an environment so saturated with it? I mean, don’t you think we would just sort of get burnt out on it? Why, given this sex-saturated environment, do men think about sex every seven seconds and never get tired of it?

We would not probably have to search too far and wide before we stumbled across more than one answer to the question. The Psychologists explain that it is all the result of repressed feelings, emotions and desires. Sociologists tell us that it’s the result of social conditioning. Darwinists, simply argue that the sexual instinct is an irrepressible primal urge for survival and the propagation of the species. Now, each of these points of view could be argued convincingly to some extent, but the view I find that offers the most powerful insight surprisingly, is found in the Bible. You see, the Bible gives an explanation for where the deep sexual urge comes from and teaches not only its purpose but points us to the sphere in which it is to take place.

To find the foundations of the Biblical view of sex, you don’t turn to the prohibitions against sex scattered throughout scripture, you turn to the beginning of the Bible, the book of Genesis. There in Genesis chapter 2 we are told why men are sexual creatures. Genesis 2:18 contains a very interesting phrase. It says, “it is not good.” You might say, “what is so interesting about that?” The answer is that it’s the first time in a whole series of verses that God said, “its not good.” Everything else that God had performed in the work of creation was praised as “good.” And now at 2:18 we see “not good.” Now, the thing that is isolated as “not good” is the fact that Adam was alone. God was not pleased to see Adam lonely. His answer to that problem is the creation of Eve, a woman, to be his wife.

These words first of all tell us that God has made man a social creature. God made humans to live in community and enjoy the company of other people. He made us so we could talk together, plan projects together, and understand ourselves, the world, and even God together. But the second thing to notice here is that, from God’s perspective, the most important way a man both expresses and experiences that social aspect of his nature is with another human, a woman, and more particularly through sex. See, when God saw that Adam was alone, he didn’t make him another man so that Adam would have a hunting and fishing partner or a beer drinking buddy, he made a woman for Adam. Then, He instituted marriage and commanded Adam to go in unto Eve and enjoy sex with her. Genesis 2:24 says, “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” Well, apparently it didn’t take Adam too long to figure out what to do because v25 goes on to say “and the man and his wife were both naked.” Adam didn’t need a sex education course or “how-to” pornographic videos or even a fatherly discussion of the birds and the bees. He instinctually knew what to do: get naked with Eve. Where did the information come from? Well, no doubt he could see the anatomical compatibility, but it was more than that if read in context. Adam understood that the climax of his expression of being a social creature was found through experiencing sex with his wife. When the rest of the Genesis narrative goes on to speak of Adam and Eve’s sexual relations, it says “they knew each other.” At root, because of God’s ordering of creation and the human experience, sex is inherently a social and relational activity and it is experienced as that only in the context of marriage.

What does all this have to say to us?

  1. First, God doesn’t hate sex. He is not some Victorian prude who blushes and breaks out in a nervous sweat when the word “sex” is uttered. He created sex and He is not a prude about it. In fact we are told in Hebrews 13:4 that the marriage bed is “undefiled.” When a man has sex with his wife, it is pure.
  2. Second, we learn that sex is for married people. If we are to really enjoy sex, we better keep it in marriage. If God has ordered reality as we know it through His work of creation, and the result of that ordering is that certain things fit together on account of that ordering, then we better not mess with that ordering.
  3. Third, this rules out homosexual sex. God could have just as easily have made Adam a male companion, but he made him a woman to complete him and to have sex with.
  4. Fourth, it also rules out heterosexual sex outside of marriage. He instituted marriage and told Adam and Eve to take their clothes off only after they said “I do.” Sex is for marriage, period!
  5. Fifth, sex between a husband and a wife is the most profound expression of their social experience together. That thought is worth repeating: sex is the most important aspect of our social relationship with our wife. With all the lecturing about how men need to talk and how much women say they just want a guy they can cuddle with and talk to, God says, no, the most important aspect of your social relationship is sex. Of course talking is fine and wonderful, but don’t forget that the Bible says Adam “knew Eve,” not after a romantic walk on the beach around sunset, filled with meaningful discussion, but after getting naked and having sex with Eve.

Men, you need to keep these very important points in mind as you face this oversexed environment in which we live. Sex will never be satisfying, and will never really fill that deep down sexual urge that you have, if it is with someone other than your wife. Sex is not just physical, it is also highly relational, and it is that relational aspect of it that makes it satisfying. If you separate it from the marital relationship, the satisfaction of it will be minimal, and you will find it empty. So the next time your motor gets revving after you see some scantily clad chick, or your girlfriend gives you the big tease and you start losing your grip, stop and think! Sex is for expressing your social nature with your wife, and it is only in that relationship where you will fully enjoy it and have your deepest urges satisfied.