The Most Fundamental Aspect of Godly Sexuality
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.
In a fundamental passage of the Old Testament, God appears to Moses in a physical form and then declares his own name and his character. It’s the first time that God explicitly describes himself to a human. Among other things, God says that he is full of “steadfast love” or hesed. This Hebrew word appears in various translations as “steadfast love,” “loving-kindness,” “mercy” and sometimes “loyalty,” but my favorite translation is by Sally Lloyd-Jones in The Jesus Storybook Bible. She calls it God’s, “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.” The essence of hesed is God’s covenantal love for his people. He will always love you, not because of your good character, but because of his. It’s in his nature to love you.
Once God’s people knew this, it completely altered their own view of themselves. In other parts of Scripture, when you read about “the godly”, if you’re anything like me then you imagine that this is referring to good people, people who obey God’s rules and act like God. But a few years ago I read in The ESV Study Bible what “the godly” really means—
The Hebrew word (hasid) is the adjective form of “steadfast love” (hesed). This term, variously rendered “godly,” “saint,” “faithful one,” and “holy one” in the Psalms, refers to those who have genuinely laid hold of God’s steadfast love…
So, to be godly has nothing to do with your behavior, your purity or your past. It has to do with whether or not you live your life believing that God loves you with a steadfast love.
This, I believe, is the most fundamental aspect of having a godly sexuality. Your sexuality is not defined by whether you’re dating or you’re single, whether you’re a wife or a mom, whether you’ve been abused or lied to, whether you’re attracted to men or women, whether you’re a virgin or you’ve slept with many people. Your sexuality is defined by the fact that God created you, God loves you and he always will. Full stop.
And so our first step toward having godly sexuality is also the only thing that God has ever required of us—faith. Do you believe that God loves you? Because he does. He loves you with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.
Take hold of his love.
(Photo by Maria Casteel)