Growing In Godliness Blog
God's Purpose for Sexuality
By Mark McCrary
Sex. It's everywhere. It’s at the mall, the movies, the grocery store, the local park, on billboards, the radio, turn on your TV… yep, everywhere.
Culturally, sex outside of marriage, adultery, and homosexuality have been hidden realities of life (some more so than others). Battles have been fought (and skirmishes still pop up here and there), but it looks like Gay Marriage is here to stay. Transgenderism is the latest issue culturally contested. Polyamory seems to be next. Sex only between a husband and wife in marriage? That just seems too vanilla in the 21st century.
So many of our questions about sex and sexuality today arise from a failure to understand the divine purpose for sex. If there is no divine purpose, sex can be whatever we want. But, if it has a divine purpose, then it is for what the Divine purposed it—and nothing else.
Genesis 1:26-28 tells us this purpose, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
Let’s notice several things and build upon them to see God’s purpose, and why sex works the way it does in human beings.
Biological reproduction is the way humans are created. This requires a male and a female.
But, God doesn’t just want males and females having children. Genesis 2:24 tells us the first couple was committed to one another. This is marriage, and it is the only place where God approves of sexual activity (Hebrews 13:4). Why? Malachi 2:14-15 tells us, “Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth” The best place to produce “godly offspring” is in a home with a married husband and wife “faithful” to their “companion.”
Finally, if a committed marriage is so important in producing godly children, then something needs to keep the married male and female together. Why stick it out in hard times? God built into each of us a drive for sex. We have a biological need for it. It brings us pleasure. Notice Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:2-6, “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Let’s pull this together. God designed sexual expression to be between a man and a woman to populate the earth (and a man and woman only). He wants this to be within the context of a committed relationship. To accomplish this, He created a drive for sex that can only be satisfied (in a God-approved manner) with the person we’ve committed ourselves to—no one else. That makes one’s spouse very important. They provide something no one else has the right to provide.
Sexual sins arise when we appropriate what God ordained for our own purpose instead of His.
Homosexuality casts aside the male/female model for a male/male or female/female one. It cannot produce children. In this situation, sex is for our purposes, not God’s.
Transgenderism casts aside the importance of biological gender in God’s purposes. It is for our purposes, not God’s.
Bestiality cannot produce children. It is for us.
Self-pleasure casts aside the role of the opposite sex. It cannot produce children; it is for us.
Sex outside of marriage can produce children, but not in the committed relationship of marriage. Again, it is for our purposes.
Polyamory can produce children, but it cast aside the male/female model God ordained in favor of a male/female/male, female/male/female model (or multiple others). These do not help generate a stable home to produce godly offspring. Our purposes.
Incest destabilizes the home and threatens to corrupt godly offspring. It is selfish.
Adultery is wrong because it seeks sexual satisfaction outside of a committed relationship. It destabilizes the home. Again, selfish.
Several questions may arise from this discussion: Are children produced outside of the Biblical model unable to be godly? No; but it does mean the best environment for raising children to serve God is in a married male, female home.
What about a male/female couple that cannot have children? Some couples are unable to do so for various reasons. But, they are in a male/female relationship God has ordained and God is pleased.
Is it wrong for a male/female couple to choose not to have children? Other couples—also for various reasons—choose not to have children for a period of time. Maybe for their whole marriage. They, too, are still in a male/female relationship that God has ordained. Sometimes children show up anyway.
Is the sexual expression between a husband and wife only for the production of children? Can it not be enjoyed simply for what it is? Certainly, it can be—that is the point of 1 Corinthians 7:2-6.
Endless possibilities exist when sexual expression is about us. Understanding God’s purpose for sex gives much-needed clarity to the struggles gripping society around us.
The big question is: will we follow God or not?