Disclaimer: *Todays blog is not meant to bring shame or guilt, simply a description of what the Bible shares about the topic of sex. God’s word brings conviction about sin, not shame against one’s identity. Also, I’m discussing God’s ideal, the choice wine if you will of sexuality*
Sex is an awkward topic, I know. I remember when I was a 5th grader and was introduced to sex in school. Graphs, charts and cartoonish imagery were my introduction into the realm of “sexual understanding”. All the dudes in the room had to keep cracking jokes just so we could get over the uncomfortable nature of the topic. Next, as a freshman in inner-city public school, I remember the weird shyness that came over me as we were shown how to put on condoms using bananas and told all about sex from a simply physical understanding. Let us let down our guard a bit as we discuss this topic. Get comfortable because as we unfold the issues of sex and a little bit about sexuality I think we will discover that Designer Sex is awesome and something we all will desire to experience. After all, we were all designed to enjoy sex. I think the reason it’s uncomfortable is because… The culture has pornified sex, while the church has sometimes demonized it. Sex it an important topic for us all, in particular for you as college students. “The stats on this hookup culture are staggering. One study reveals that 77.7 percent of college females admitted to “hooking up.” This means that these young women connect with young men they either don’t know at all or barely know for the sole purpose of physical gratification. For males, the percentage is even higher— 84.2 percent” (from Mingling Souls by Matt Chandler). There is clearly a belief that sex is simply physical. I’m here to tell you that sex has not one aspect, but three. Many people, from all generations have believed the lie that sex is simply physical and have paid drastically for the belief in a lie.
Sex has been glorified for the physical pleasure it can bring, but it is not simply a physical act, it is spiritual and emotional as well. When we leave out the other two aspects of sexuality we lose the full design of sex, we miss the best tasting wine and instead trade it in for a cheaper taste. What is Designer Sex?
READ- SoS 2:7 & Matthew 19:5-6
Sex is designed to be a Spiritual Act (Exodus 20:3 & 14; Hosea 1:2;)
Sex is not merely physical; we know this because when one is sexually violated it leaves deep scars, not just on ones body, but on their emotions and their very souls. Sexual violation is the hardest thing to overcome emotionally and for many spiritually as well. If sex were just a physical act, long lasting wounds wouldn’t be connected to it. I know we can all agree on that issue, so then we must seek to see how the soul, the emotions and the body are connected to this one act so we can see how it was designed to work best. Just as in any designed creation, there are certain conditions in which that creation works best. Think of a laptop computer. It needs to stay dry, and stay in a certain temperature. It needs a proper power supply and certain maintenance in order to remain fully functional. No one complains about these parameters, they simply do them because they want the best from their computers. We, being created beings means there are certain parameters with which we need to follow in order to be the best us as well. God, our designer, also designed sex and after creation God said: “It is Good!” He made it…so we know it shouldn’t be demonized. He designed sex, so we should pay attention to what He says about it. He designed sex to be spiritual. In Exodus 20:3 and 14 we see two of the ten commandments and in Hosea we see both of these commandments being violated, but God asked Hosea to have Gomer as a wife as an image of what his people were doing. Here we see a declaration that when we bow to other Gods, we are whoring ourselves out and violating a covenant. The first commandment is essentially saying that this covenant won’t work with other lovers in the mix. Throughout Scripture, God uses the imagery of marriage to define the reality of love being exclusive. Specifically sexual love is the physical representation of the spiritual condition of ones exclusiveness. The ancient Hebrews understood the spirituality of sex. The above commandments were given and received under the “cloud of God’s glory” when given to Moses. Vows were made under the tent of God. In the ancient Jewish culture, and still today, the wedding vows are done under the Chuppa, which is a canopy representing the glory and presence of God. The wedding however is not complete when the vows are done. In ancient times, the couple would leave and the crowd would follow as well as the chuppa and it would be carried above the couple, following them to their bed, where the chuppa was set up above the bed to represent the presence of God in their sex lives. They would then have sex under the presence of God (with everyone waiting outside) and after sex they’d go back out to the crowd and the reception could start. The presence of God in their marriage, and thus the spiritual nature of the couple’s relationship wasn’t complete without sex!
God designed sex in such a way that He would bless it with His presence, when done as designed. When sex happens outside of God’s design, the Presence of God is not in it, thus we lose 1/3 of what sex is designed to be immediately.
Sex is designed to be an emotional act (SOS 3:3; Matt. 19: 5-6)
The concept of “oneness” is a concept of mystery. When two people have sex, they become one. In the Scriptural understanding it is “the knitting of two hearts into one”. This is clearly indicative of an emotional connection and one could argue a spiritual connection as well. Sure there is some physical truth to the statement, but why would Jesus then say: “Let no man separate that which God put together” if this was just a physical understanding? The bride in SoS in 3:3 is searching for the one her “soul loves”, she is eagerly awaiting both the wedding and the consummation of this marriage with an emotional desire. There is a longing to no longer be her own, but to be one with her husband. She was starting to be deeply emotionally involved. After marriage and sex, her heart was so one with his and so emotionally invested she said of him: “My beloved (dod) is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand”. She loves her husband (now also her sexual lover) so deeply that she can’t contain her emotional excitement. She’s talking to all the women in Jerusalem. She declares to them that he is incredible. We will look deeper into the relational progression next week, but see her deep emotional investment…because sex knits two into one and there is deep emotional connection here, particularly for the woman. Too often men give emotional “love” to get sex and women give sex to get emotional “love”.
Sex is designed to be a physical act (SoS 2:4-5; 4:11)
Song of Songs when understood in its context is extremely sexually graphic. The two portions here make it clear that sex is supposed to be physical. Every aspect of “dod” in the Song before chapter four are contextualized and explained through the Hebrew as an aspect of sexual longing, everything after chapter 4 is sexually explicit detailing in many ways how these lovers make love. If God didn’t want us to physically enjoy sex, this portion of Scripture wouldn’t be here, nor would our bodies be able to enjoy it. If sex was designed for procreation only, why would God place receptors in certain areas of our body? The answer is: he wouldn’t. God intended sex to be physically pleasurable! Also, it’s important to note, that desiring to have sex with the man or woman you love before marriage isn’t wrong either, note the comment about the raisins. She is explaining that when they’re married, she’s ready for the raisins, because she is sick with love. The word “love” as the banner however is Ahavah, or Agape, saying because he loves me this way, I’m ready. This is the way sex was designed, to be desired when the full reality of love was delivered and a marriage was done. Think of love again as a stool. Now, imagine that two of the three legs are ripped off, when we simply try and lean into sex only as the culture tries to allure us to do, we have a weak stool and it eventually will fail. Think too of a flame. Each aspect of love is a flame from a lighter, but when combined they make a roaring fire! We’ve been trained to seek all the heat of love in the one flame of sex, rather than the bonfire it was meant to be, through the other aspects of love. Sometimes within the church, we decry all sexual desire and end up shutting people down sexually. This happens to such a degree that many Christians after getting married still feel that sex is dirty and wrong. Healthy sexuality sees it as a beautiful and wonderful thing, but in the right timing. Remember the brides warning: do not arouse love until it pleases. She’s stating a God-breathed reality that sex outside of the right timing (within marriage and when the three flames of love are combined) will be detrimental.
The statement I made early on about how culture pornifies and the church demonizes sometimes sex is true. Sex is meant to be in the context of marriage, it is not just an animal like act of physical desire. Nor is it an ugly thing we shouldn’t long for and desire. It’s what we do with the desire. God in his word tells us to be drunk on sex within the context of marriage, to live in it and allow the three flames of love to ignite our lives until we are drunk within it! Yet, we can’t grasp the totality of what sex is meant to be outside of marriage, we only get small heat from something meant to be added to a bonfire. Maybe some here have fallen sexually, does this mean you’ve screwed it up and there’s no hope? Hell no (to use Apostle Paul’s phrase)! There is redemption from all sin! (1 John 1:9) We can be purified from anything and God can reset our lives on a path towards the bonfire of love he has for us. There may need to be healing, and He will heal as well! God desires our best. He desires we experience the fullness of the love he’s designed, Agape, Phileo and Eros!
My challenge then is to see the fullness of both love itself and sex. Ask the Spirit of God to give you the ability to continue in sexual purity, now seeing the “why” behind the mandate or to be healed and purified from past sexual sins so you can head down the path of purity again.