Theology Thursday: God in My Sexuality

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The world talks openly about sexuality and sexual practice. Whether in media or advertising, it seems to be a consistent interest (or even obsession) over our sexual nature and appetites as part of humanity. Christians, and the church in general, can be far too silent about this issue. We must lead in communicating and defining this gift from God and its design to be invested in a marital relationship. But before nuanced discussions about controversial ethical topics ensues, we need to take a step back and look at the fundamental drives of sexual intimacy, as well as the personal impact on us. Only then can we consider how our sexuality is expressed.

In This Article:

Sexual Intimacy: Planned

Why can sexual desire be overwhelmingly strong in us? To understand this, we must return to God’s plan for sexuality. Jesus said, “…But at the beginning of creation God ‘…made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ They are no longer two, but one flesh,’” (Mk. 10:6-8, NIV). This bonding of life, even in sex, was to be a spiritual, as well as a physical, event. It is the celebration of the reconnecting of Adam and Eve. Sex was God’s idea, and he wants us to express our sexual nature within the healthy boundaries he ordained. God is not shocked that people are having sex — it was his design. Too many times, the church has made our sexuality secret or even dirty. Sex has a specific meaning and purpose. It is a beautiful expression of the love of man and woman as a gift from God. Our sexual drive is one of the most powerful drives in our humanity. As science and psychology speak much about process and purpose, a theological response helps frame the understanding of truth from these other two disciplines.

Sexual Intimacy: Perverted

When serving as a youth pastor, the question, How far can I go with my boyfriend/girlfriend and still be a Christian? was often asked. This question, however, isn’t beneficial because it focuses on feeding the sins of flesh rather than keeping our gaze on pleasing God. It is like asking, How much poison can I ingest before it will kill me? Sin and sexual temptation take this beautiful gift from God and pervert it. Sin changes the mutual edification of sexual expression and makes it selfish. It becomes about self-pleasure rather than an expression of our love created from God. Sexual addiction can be a real and consuming issue. It was not developed nor discovered by the internet. It goes further back than James Brown’s controversial 1970 album and single, “Sex Machine.” Sexual temptation, sexual immorality and deviation from God’s pattern of sexual expression in general have existed for millennium. Sexual addictions are the result of bondage to sex, while a healthy marriage — between a man and a woman, committed to God and sealed before God — has been vilified. The lie is that marriage between a man and a woman is sexual repression rather than as God’s gift to us for committed sexual expression.

Sexual Intimacy: Restored

The deception resides in selfishness. A familiar ring in our culture today is, My choices for my body are my own and no one else’s. The very root of this deception resides in our primary love being in temporary, carnal things rather than focused on an eternal God. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world,” (1 John 2:15, 16). Sexual temptation resides in all three of these. But why were we created? Paul says, “The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body,” (1 Corinthians 6:13). Sorry Mr. Brown, but we were created for intimacy with an almighty God, not to be enslaved by our sexual appetites controlling our minds and decisions. Jesus came to Earth to rescue us from being stuck in the hopelessness of sin by dying for our sins on the cross. He then gave us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, so we would discover that the deepest sense of intimacy is not satisfied with satiated physical urges, but with spiritual renewal. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies,” (1 Corinthians 6:16,17). We have been created for God, purchased by Jesus on the cross and are a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is not just quelling a deep sexual desire, rather a supernatural identity seeing our sexuality as God’s gift to be wisely invested for procreation as well as pleasure. Sexual pleasure is focused on our mate, not merely pleasing ourselves, but bonding us securely in a marital relationship.

Sexual Intimacy: Resolved

So, how are we to act if we desire to serve the Lord even when our sexual desire can feel like an all-consuming fire? Again, we return to Paul’s words. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister,” (I Thessalonians 4:3-6).

It is a learning process. Ask yourself, What triggers sexual temptation in my life? Be attentive and avoid these situations. Get a trusted friend to hold you accountable and encourage you. If this has become an addiction in which you cannot get beyond, seek out a pastor or church leader to connect you with resources or counseling to reset your understanding of God-designed sexuality. Furthermore, it is important to remember that just because you can do something, it does not permit you to do it with no responsibility. Ability and responsibility are different concepts. The Bible says, “I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’— but I will not be mastered by anything,” (1 Corinthians 6:12). We should use our freedom to surrender to the Lord and his pattern for our thought-life and for our actions. For those who desire to follow Jesus, remember, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s people,” (James 5:3). God gave us our sexual desire. He also gave us the pattern for exercising this gift in a healthy and God-honoring way. God wants to be in every part of our lives. We need to let him be the master over everything, even our sexuality.

As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. — 1 Peter 4:2, NIV

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Approved with changes by an instructor of the College of Theology on April 23, 2024

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.