By Eva Juliuson
My heart goes out to people who have been wounded by sexual sin. It’s maddening to watch how Satan can turn an exquisite gift from God into something vile.
Satan has corrupted the gift of sex in many ways: through selfishness that abuses others for personal gratification, through a cultural mind-set that glorifies sex in improper ways, through obsessions and perversions, and even through impatience that gives in to desire outside of the marriage relationship.
The Purpose of Sex
God created Adam and Eve in his own image and gave them the ability to love.
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25, NIV, 1984). The physical world is a lot easier for us to grasp than the spiritual realm. The joining together of man and woman in sexual union is a picture of love. Two people can be so committed to loving one another that they can be uncovered before one another (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) without shame. They can be free to be who they are, knowing they are loved no matter what. Within the plan of God, the sexual relationship allows a husband and wife to express their deep love and lasting union.
When expressed in the pure and holy way God intended, the sexual union of a husband and wife deepens their commitment to one another. It is designed to unite married partners in a way nothing else can. Sexual intimacy should be saved, sanctified, and protected for the one we vow to love for the rest of our lives.
The sexual relationship shared by a husband and wife allows them to share in the creation of new life. Husbands and wives who become parents may say, as Adam did, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!” Most parents are filled with amazement that new life came from within them.
When Sex Destroys
Sex apart from marriage—along with pornography, perversions, incest, lust, adultery, and rape—are forbidden by God because he knows the resulting devastation. God’s Word makes it clear that sexual immorality is sin.
Unfortunately, sex is used today to sell everything from cars to hamburgers. It seems everywhere we go we are bombarded with sexual innuendos, sexual language, and sexual images. Pornography is available online, at the theater, on DVD, in magazines, and by phone. It has become so widespread and accepted that few people today understand the scope of its danger. Still, Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
Sex without love is a most selfish act. Sexual abuse disregards another’s pain to gain a temporary, egocentric high. Often the sin, or at least wounds from that sin, are passed down from generation to generation and affect many people. Sexual perversions sneak in and pull people down into a miry prison of filth, darkness, and despair. Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean.’”
But there is good news for those who have fallen into sexual sin and want out. You can be made new through Jesus Christ.
Faithfulness to God
The Bible uses images of harlotry and sexual immorality as pictures of unfaithfulness to God. Marriage between a man and a woman is a picture of the Christian’s holy relationship with Christ, the groom. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior . . . . ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:23, 31, 32).
Just as the sexual relationship should be reserved exclusively for marriage, our deepest and most passionate love should be reserved exclusively for our Lord. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). God loves us with an everlasting love. He does not hide the fact that he is jealous and desires all our love. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:4, 5).
The book of Hosea depicts God’s great faithfulness despite our unfaithfulness and impurity. Even when we have sinned sexually, we are welcomed back when we ask forgiveness. We are made pure and holy through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Will we be faithful and pure as we wait for our Lord’s return? Will we save our most sacred love for our eternal Lord?
Eva Juliuson is a freelance writer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Rediscovering God’s View of Sex
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by Mark Atteberry (Standard Publishing, 2009) Item 24341
Surfing for God
by Michael Cusick (Thomas Nelson, 2012)
I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography
by Clay Crosse, Renee Crosse, and Mark Tabb (NAV Press, 2005)
We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Elaine A. Heath (Brazos Press, 2011)
The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender Ph.D. (NavPress, 2008)