Extra Virgin :: The Good News of Sex
Over the next four weeks, we’re going to try to answer one question, “Why doesn’t God want us to have sex outside of marriage?”
“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 5.31-32
A lot happened on that sixth day, a creation day bursting with animals, the birth of a man, a nap, the birth of a woman, a marriage. And as a wedding gift for the awestruck humans—sex. God thought it, crafted it, gave it to his children in the very wiring of their bodies.
It probably didn’t take many experiences of blissful love-making for the two of them to discover some of the fruits of sex—pleasure, bonding, a seal of their love, the creation of a child. Over the centuries, these are the things that men and women have consistently found in sex. They are the outcomes, the fruit, the produce, the purposes of sex.
But something, someone, came on the scene to drastically alter the way we understand sex. Once Jesus made himself human, to walk among us, only to give his life for us so that we might be forgiven and he could enter our hearts and then dwell with us for all eternity, our understanding shifted. Paul said that sex was a mystery, but the word he uses doesn’t mean mystery, not the way we use it. The word means that it was a mystery that’s now been revealed. Something kept secret has now been shouted from the rooftops. Like the sun streaming through a skylight into a darkened bedroom, we now see sex more clearly. We see what God really, really had in mind.
In short, we see the gospel. Within the act of sex, we witness God’s saving grace. Each time a woman has sex with her husband even though he has sinned against her, even though his body is imperfect, even if his personality has been distorted by a tragic childhood or family baggage, we witness the acceptance of God himself.
Each time a husband finds more pleasure in bringing his wife to orgasm than experiencing his own, we see the the Christ who loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Each time a man and woman look into each other’s eyes and without saying a word, know in their hearts the complete love they have for each other, they get a glimpse of the kind of love that God has for his Son, the Son for the Spirit, the kind of love that the Trinity is offering to us.
Each time we experience joy through sex (whether by orgasm, the embrace of our best friend, the acceptance of our true selves, or one of life’s great joys—the creation of a child) then in that moment we get a taste of what it is to experience the presence of God.
In the act of sex, an act that God knew would be stolen, perverted, abused, overused and villanized, God distributed among all of us the story of his love. Something that we could feel, hear, taste, smell and see, something to ping our brains when we hear of the Cross, the perfect act of love. And all so he could dwell with us. So we could enjoy his glory forever.
That, I think, is why God created sex. And that seems to be a good place to begin our discussion…
(Image via Etlamore)