Biblical Principles of Sex
Biblical Principles of Sex
It is not uncommon for some words that are of great importance to believers to be misused by the world. One of these terms which has been abused, misused, and perverted by the world is the word “sex.” Because unregenerate man lives to satisfy his desires, sex has become exalted as the epitome of human experiences. Some will attempt almost anything to increase pleasure from it; yet satisfaction outside of biblical guidelines is so transient and elusive that it has become the subject of much caustic humor.
Many believers attempting to rescue the word have regrettably been influenced by the world's view. They have views that are as out of balance as the world. On one hand, some have attempted to make it the greatest of human marital experiences. These individuals use terms referring to the sexual relationship that say love is mainly seen in sex, and sex is the most important part of marriage. The physical relationship is described as “making love” or as one author entitled his book, “The Act of Marriage.” One Christian author stated, "God created this one-flesh experience to be the most intense height of physical intimacy and the most profound depth of spiritual oneness between husband and wife." This, however, is erroneously teaching that a good sexual relationship is the key to a good marriage. In reality, a marriage (one where problems are being solved biblically and individuals are growing in their relationship with Christ) produces a good sexual relationship.
Others have gone to the opposite extreme of attempting to ignore the physical relationship or to think that since the term “sex” is so misused, it can't be good. As a result, biblical principles of sex are not taught in the home or church and husbands and wives have ignored the reality of God's plan revealed in the Scriptures for sexual relations in marriage. This gives the impression that God has no guidelines for sexual relationships or that He has no answers for sexual problems.
The fallout from handling these issues in this manner is alarming. Husbands and wives are often unhappy and experience a great deal of conflict with their sexual life. Their attempts to ignore the problems are unsuccessful and attempts to solve the conflicts produce additional arguments rather than solutions. In addition, the children have little hope of success as they look at marriage because they do not see answers for the problems of life.
There are times when even believers get involved in sex outside marriage and in essence, deal with their problems in a way that is no better than non-believers. The promises of victory over sexual sins seem to have no reality. While the one going outside marriage is guilty of sin, the one left (in many cases) is also guilty of violating other biblical principles. So each other’s actions makes it easy, though never justifiable, for a spouse to look for satisfaction outside of the marriage.
It is very important that we approach this study with the knowledge and conviction that the physical relationship between husband and wife is God’s idea. It will be our goal in this lesson to “redeem” this term and bring it back into a biblical context for proper study and application in our marriage relationships. We must apply the teachings of God’s Word to guide us to prevent problems and discover answers for problems when they occur.
I. Sex In Marriage Is Pure and Holy.
A. Sex was created by God before sin.
1. On sixth day of creation, God created sexual human beings. Their differences were based on their gender (their sexuality) being male and female. Adam and Eve were not male or female because of sex organs – God made them male or female and gave them the appropriate sex organs.
2. What was God’s view of man’s sexuality according to Genesis 1:31?
Genesis 1:31: “all he made . . . very good “ – God said it was _________ ___________.
Note: Sex in marriage was not designed as the outlet for the passions of sinful man.
B. God’s view of sex did not change after the fall of a man.
Hebrews 13:4: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled . . .”
What is the only place where sex is pure and holy?
He designed it in such a way that the ultimate delights of sex can only be experienced in marriage. People can experience the physical sensations of the relationship without marriage, but the real delights and joy of pleasing God in this area require the commitment and intimacy found only in the covenant of marriage.
C. Sexual relations in marriage are just as holy as any other spiritual activity.
D. One cannot violate God’s principles of sex and avoid the consequences.
1 Thessalonians 4:6: “and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things . . .”
What are some of the potential consequences of violating God’s principles in this area?
II. Sex Is Not the Basis of Marriage and Marriage Is Not First and Foremost A Physical Union. Marriage Is Not Legalized Sex.
A. Jesus settled this issue in John 4:16-18 as He spoke to the woman at the well.
John 4:16-18: He said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband."
In God's eyes, does sexual intercourse (legal or illicit) produce and/or break up a marriage?
Some teach that until marriage is "consummated" by sex a couple is not considered married. [Note: Failing to “consummate” the marriage has wrongfully been used as the basis of annulments.]
B. Although sex is not the basis of marriage, it is a very important part. God wants each married partner to participate wholeheartedly and passionately in sexual relations with their spouse.
What are some terms that God would use to describe a person who would not do this?
C. While sex is a very important part of the marriage relationship, it is not the most important.
Marriage success is not based on sexual success. Instead, a good marital relationship is the key to the most delightful sexual relationship. Before sexual unity, there must be that spiritual and mental unity called companionship.
What are some things that we would consider more important than the sexual relationship or things that we should consider a key to a good sexual relationship?
III. Primary Goal of Sexual Relationship Is Giving and Providing Sexual Satisfaction for Your Spouse (Meeting the Needs of the Spouse).
A. The command is given by God in 1 Corinthians 7:3: “Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”
To whom is this command given? What are the implications of this?
Their goal is giving to satisfy the other person, not getting to satisfy self. The primary goal of sexual relationship is satisfying your spouse.
B. This principle is also taught by the definition of love.
Based on the following verses, how would one define “love”?
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . .”
Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
C. Based on this definition of love (i.e. love is “giving”), why would a person’s involvement in the following areas be wrong and displeasing to God?
• Pornography: ____________________________________________________________
• Masturbation: ____________________________________________________________
Note: Masturbation builds selfish habits that will produce difficulties in marriage. In the fantasies that are a part of masturbation, other people are controlled for personal benefit. A life then is built around self-gratification rather than giving to another.
• Homosexuality: __________________________________________________________
D. In the past, some have wrongfully taught that achieving simultaneous climax is the standard for a successful sexual relationship.
E. What should be our response then to anything outside the boundaries of marriage that stimulates the sexual desire?
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.”
What impact should these truths have on our parenting?
F. There are some problems you may have to work at resolving.
How would you answer the following statements made regarding the goal of sex is to satisfy the spouse?
• "But that is not my nature!"
• "I don’t know what pleases my mate"
• "If I tell my spouse what I like, isn’t that focusing on myself?"
• “I only experience my spouse’s affection when he/she wants sex”
IV. God Has Created Both Husband and Wife with Equal Ability to Satisfy Each Other.
1 Corinthians 7:4.
A. This means both the husband and the wife are to be aggressive in sexual relationships.
What has the world typically said about who the aggressor should be in a relationship?
1. Some wives think this is taking over leadership.
What are some of the many areas in which a wife uses aggressive leadership without necessarily thinking she is “taking over”?
2. What are some potential dangers or consequences if each person is not aggressively seeking to fulfill their marital role in the sexual relationship?
B. Sexual relationships are to be equal and reciprocal.
1. Mutual initiation of intercourse, stimulation, foreplay, and participation in the sexual act is not just permitted, it is commanded.
2. Requesting sexual satisfaction is not forbidden, but demanding is forbidden.
What are some of the differences between “requesting” and “demanding” sex?
V. Pleasure In Sex Is Not Sinful and Forbidden but Rather Is Assured and Encouraged.
Proverbs 5:18-19: “. . . rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”
A. The admonition is for BOTH parties in the marriage to delight in their partner.
What are some of the phrases the writer uses to picture the pleasantness of the spouse?
The word “wife” teaches that real sexual delight can be found only in marriage. All attempts, in thought or deed, to find sexual satisfaction outside marriage will be unsuccessful.
B. This implies a desire for companionship as a person, more than just as a sexual partner.
What can be done to develop a deep intimate relationship on levels other than physical?
C. To delight in the sexual relationship is right and pleasing to God.
Notice the following words and what each signifies in the marriage:
"Breasts" signifies sexual relationship (Her sexuality also a source of satisfaction)
"Satisfy" pictures a thirsty, dry person being quenched with a cool drink of water
Sexual relationship is to be as refreshing, delightful and pleasant as that drink of water. Not just passively offering your body, but aggressively using your body to bring complete sexual satisfaction to your spouse. This is not a picture of something you receive but of something you give.
"Ravished" literally, to be drunk, intoxicated, or overwhelmed with satisfaction
You have been so aggressively pleasing your mate that he/she cannot receive any more. Your mate is so satisfied there is no more interest at that time. Such a satisfied mate will not be looking elsewhere.
Point: When you combine Proverbs 5 with the commands of 1 Corinthians 7, each is to provide mutual satisfaction for each other.
D. This responsibility is not a dutiful drudgery, but delightfully pleasant when viewed as God views the relationship.
Q: How do you know when you have followed 1 Corinthians 7 and Proverbs 5?
A: When spouse is so satisfied it would be difficult to be tempted into a sexual relationship outside of marriage.
E. Consider some of the following things that hinder the delights of the sexual relationship. What are some potential solutions for each of these?
1. Lack of privacy:
2. Personal hygiene:
3. Lack of foreplay:
Take time to stimulate each other. Foreplay is part of the biblical process of satisfying each other and is a part of God’s plan for the sexual relationship. This is consistent with the biblical view of giving. In addition, do the things that are pleasant to each other for the purpose of pleasing God and communicates love to each other in the actions of pleasing each other.
Some husbands are only concerned about satisfying themselves and are not patient with their wives. Manliness is characterized by gentleness not roughness. However, some wives just want to get it over with. Both of these views are unbiblical.
VI. Sexual Relations Are To Be Continuous. 1 Corinthians 7:5
1 Corinthians 7:5: “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
A. Defraud or deprive means to withhold, avoid through deceit or dishonesty.
What are some ways a spouse may “defraud” or “deprive” their partner of sexual pleasure?
B. When there is abstinence, it is by mutual consent.
This is not one person refusing the other or one person withholding sex from the other to punish him/her or withholding sex because one is upset with the other. This is not giving to reward for some other action. This does prevent using sex as a weapon or bargaining agent.
The question is not when shall we have sex, or shall we have sex, or when are you going to want sex. Instead, the question is when shall we not have sex.
Point: Mutual consent is not when to HAVE sex but when to REFRAIN from sex.
C. Four biblical guidelines for refraining from sexual relations.
1. Both agree - mutual consent.
2. Specific period of time, predetermined, prearranged.
3. Specific goal like surgery, trip, etc.
4. Terminated by sexual relations.
Note: Sexual relations should also preceed this time of mutual consent so each will not be tempted for “their lack of self control.”
D. How often or frequent should a husband and wife have sex?
1. Enough to keep each other satisfied.
This means no burning or unfulfilled desire (1 Corinthians 7:9). This is determined by the mate’s definition and through open communication. Also, consideration for your mate regulates the frequency of sexual relations.
2. Enough to avoid temptation.
Unnecessary abstinence in sex makes self-control more difficult. This doesn't excuse sin, even though failure to apply this principle makes it easier to sin.
When seeking to apply these two principles, we need to keep two things in mind:
a. This does not remove the principle of moderation and consideration of your spouse.
b. This does not allow for demanding satisfaction.
Why Should We Study Sex?
1. God created it. Sex is God’s idea, not man’s!
Q: What are the implications of this?
2. We need a biblical perspective.
–We have been bombarded with world's approach and God has a lot to say about it.
3. We get the wrong philosophy about sex in many parts of life.
–TV, advertisements, etc.
4. We are commanded to preach and teach all of God's Word – Matthew 28:19-20
–You can't get around topic if you teach the whole counsel of God.
5. It is an area of special satanic attack.
–Many individuals and families go down under the bombardment of this attack.
–Media exploits it and wears away at standards.
–This is what pornography does.
–Many talk shows do it.
6. Many over-emphasize it.
–Epitome of life -- Sex is everything.
7. Some de-emphasize it.
–Only for reproduction.
8. Many believers are very sinful in this area.
–Astounded at what is happening in Christian homes.
9. We need to be prepared to teach our children.
10. One of the words we need to rescue from abuses by the world.
11. If Scripture adequately equips, it certainly includes this topic.
12. It is a symptom of other relationship problems.