We Americans are infatuated with sex. Perhaps not as much as our European cousins, but it nevertheless captures so much of the American fancy. Just look at the magazine covers of any checkout aisle. “32 Sex Moves that Will Blow His Mind.” Watch a few commercials. Do most folks even realize that GoDaddy.com is a web host? From their commercials, one could easily come to the conclusion that they are a porn site. Search the internet. On second thought, please don’t search the internet because things we can’t even imagine will be pulled up. We live in a sex-saturated society.
Undoubtedly God has created us as sexual beings, but our depravity has twisted our sexuality and our desire for it in serious ways. Much like a car whose front end has gotten misaligned will drift toward a ditch if you let go of the steering wheel, so goes our sexuality. Our sex easily ends up in a ditch.
The ditch to the right says that sex is dirty and is better to be avoided. Certainly these folks are in the minority today, but this mindset has existed. The Shaker Village a few miles down the road from where I live in Bowling Green, KY is a perfect example. The Shakers forbade sexual relations because they believed it to be the root of all sin. As one might expect, the Shakers are virtually nonexistent, but the ditch that they ran into concerning sex is still around although in milder forms today.
The ditch to the left says that sex is just a physical function of the human body that should be fulfilled at every opportunity. Pastor Tom reminded us Sunday that Hugh Hefner of print pornography fame captured this mindset well he said, “Sex is a function of the body, a drive which man shares with animals like eating, drinking and sleeping. It is a physical demand that must be satisfied.” Hefner reminds me of that Bloodhound Gang song from the late 90s that sang, “You and me, baby, ain’t nothin’ but mammals; so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Many today believe we should do it as often as possible and with as many partners as possible. This ditch is certainly the ditch of the age!
But God desires for our sex to stay out of the ditch entirely. He desires for us to steer straight down a path that enjoys sex with self control. Here are some good principles that will help us do just that.
1. Never forget that sex is a gift. It’s part of God’s creation given to mankind to be used for practical reasons like procreation, but also for recreational reasons as well. Sex is a profound gift that God has given us. Praise God for sex!
2. Realize that sex is sacred. We are not just animals. We are human beings made in the image of God, and sex is a really big deal. It’s not just physical. It’s also emotional and spiritual. It pictures the mysterious one-flesh union that happens between a husband and a wife. It should never be treated flippantly. It is sacred.
3. Understand that sex in marriage is pure and holy. Sex is not inherently sinful like the Shakers would have had us to believe. And, it’s also not to be unfettered copulation with every partner possible. God in His wisdom has placed moral boundaries around sex. It is to be with your spouse alone. Therefore, premarital sex (aka, fornication), extramarital sex (aka, adultery), and homosexual sex are all outside of this moral boundary. Even if homosexual partners “marry,” that’s not biblical marriage.
When a married man and woman come together for sexual relations, it is pure and holy. In fact, sex with your spouse is as pure and holy as praying with your spouse.
4. Recognize that sex is to be enjoyed. That might not fit with some of your preconceived notions about what a “preacher” might say about sex, but it’s the truth. It is a gift from God to be enjoyed within marriage. Both husband and wife are to seek the other’s pleasure and satisfaction. It should be a delightful task and beautiful example of giving. As part of the delight, husband and wife should explore all avenues of sexual pleasure with one another within the bounds of godliness. Sex is for enjoying!
5. Avoid pornography at all costs. It’ll drive you toward a ditch! This is true even if pornography is used together by a husband and a wife. It will lessen your satisfaction in your spouse. He or she can never live up to the character in that book, movie, or picture, and you’ll be disappointed and possibly tempted to search elsewhere.
6. Don’t make sex your god. Sex, I believe, is in a close race with money for America’s favorite idol. How do you know if you are making sex your god? The answer is simple. Are you willing to sin to get it? If so, sex has become your god.
Keep it between the lines that God has set and out of the ditches. May you enjoy sex with self-control!