It is a tragedy that our world has turned “sex” into a dirty word. It was God who designed Adam and Eve to be sexual beings. It was Him who made them “male” and “female.” It was Him who said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Hugh Hefner didn’t invent sex; God did.
One reason why sex is so important in marriage is procreation. God wants the human race to continue. Since many members of the race die each day, new members must be born. Otherwise the race will go extinct. Procreation through sex was always God’s plan to perpetuate the race. Adam and Eve’s sin didn’t change that. The change their sin produced was that the birthing process would be extremely painful for the woman. God said to Eve, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In pain you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). Someone has said, “If parenting was easy, it wouldn’t start with something called labor.” Can you imagine a world in which giving birth to a child didn’t cause pain for the mother? God could, and that was His original plan.
A second reason why sex is so important in marriage is satisfaction. By satisfaction I mean the satisfying of the natural urge for sex. Under the inspiration of God, Paul wrote:
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am (single); but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
You see, there’s nothing wrong with having a sex-drive and “passion.” That is a very real part of being human. But God demands that we satisfy our “passion” within the bonds of marriage.
Earlier in that same seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul even forbids a husband and wife from depriving one another of sex. He writes:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control. (1 Corinthians 7:1-5)
Solomon certainly wasn’t talking about literal water when he wrote in Proverbs 5:15-20:
Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times. And always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
Solomon didn’t end his God-inspired writings on sex within marriage there, either. His entire Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) is filled with intimate, sometimes even erotic, passages concerning the joys of romance and sex between a man and wife. In 4:1-15 and 7:1-7, he gives vivid descriptions of his beautiful wife, the Shulamite. In 5:10-16, she returns the favor. Obviously, the two were physically attracted to each other sexually.
Here are a few other descriptive passages:
- “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (1:2).
- “While the king is at his table, my spikenard (perfume) sends forth its fragrance. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me that lies all night between my breasts” (1:12-13).
- “Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes. Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green” (1:15-16).
- “By night on my bed I sought the one I love. I sought him, but I did not find him” (3:1)
Some people would be astounded to learn that such passages are in the Bible, but God had these words written to serve a purpose. He wants the world to know that He is all for sex! It’s just that the sex has to be on His terms and in accordance with His commandments and standards. Pre-marital sex is a sin. So is adultery. Bigamy and polygamy are perverse, as is homosexuality. Incest is heinous. Bestiality is an atrocity. These are God’s standards, and He isn’t going to change them to suit our wicked world.
Again let me say that “sex” isn’t supposed to be a dirty word. In God’s plan, it plays a vital role. It only becomes dirty when we ignore God’s boundaries for it and start engaging in it through our man-made ideas. I, myself, am ashamed of the low standard to which sex has fallen in our society. Honestly, I don’t know why God allows us to continue on in our filth. We need to understand, though, that the problem isn’t sex. It is the way people sinfully engage in it.