November 15, 2015

By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor

Genesis 2: 24

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

Talking about sex is risky, but is too important and impactful not to.

A Christian View of Physical Intimacy

  • God is “for” physical intimacy

 1.  God invented physical intimacy.

In Genesis 2:18, God made Eve to be Adam’s helper (both different and complementary). Our bodies were created, indeed hot-wired, for sex as God brought Eve to Adam.

2.  God wants us to enjoy sex.

Sex is not meant simply to reproduce and certainly not a necessary evil. In Proverbs 5:15-19, we see a condensed version of the Song of Solomon where the metaphors of lovers are very desirable and erotic.  This passage is about the pleasure and enjoyment of physical intimacy in marriage.

3.  God wants us to be good at sex.

In Deuteronomy 22:5, God provides an entire year for the husband “to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” The man now has the space to learn how to be a skillful lover, intimate with his wife physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • God limits physical intimacy

God clearly, with consistent Scripture, puts boundaries around physical intimacy: Sex is only between husband and wife.  The principle shown in Genesis 1-4 (the story of Adam and Eve) is commitment first:  leave parents and cleave to your spouse.  In the Ten Commandments and in 24 of the 27 books of the Bible, God warns us not to commit adultery. This boundary crosses all cultures and years.

1.  God’s limits begin before marriage.

Statistics tell us that over 60 percent of Americans believe sex before marriage is OK; it seems safer to try things out. God tells us as Christians, however, that this is not His best for us.  His plan is for a lifetime commitment.  In our dating days, this calls for a step of faith that God will provide a mate for us in marriage.

2.  God’s limits relate to our minds as well as our bodies.

Physical intimacy includes what we see and think about. In Matthew 5:27, Jesus tells us that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  It is true that thinking and doing are not the same, but God’s limit is crossed when we think about wrong things in our minds, such as pornography, forbidden pleasures in media or lustful observations.  Indeed, the mind is where the line, the limit, is often crossed.  God calls us to give 100 percent of our physical and mental affection to our spouse.

  • God’s limits and plans for physical intimacy are about love

Do any of us fully obey God’s plan for physical intimacy?  Since God’s limits for sex are so difficult for us to keep, God assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

God is well aware that sex is powerful, touching us to the core of our being, and that sex can do both incredible good and incredible damage.  Because it is powerful, God has put limits around sex to protect us.  His plan works together to form healthy marriages, happy families and stable societies.

Yet God does not simply present us with a plan with limits. He is a God of love, not rules.  In His love, God brings healing and is able to make all things new, as He shows us in Scripture through the transformed lives of prostitutes, victims of incest, adulterers, problematic sexual relationships and marriages, etc.

Though we fall short of God’s plan for physical intimacy, may we find a life of courage, joy and joyful rejoicing as we turn to Him daily in faith, trusting Him to help us as our lives are transformed by God’s love and power into God’s best plan for us.