Biblical Sexuality (Part 2): What You Should Do About It
In my previous post, “Why Sex is a Big Deal,” I discussed the theology behind biblical sexuality and gender roles. In this post, I’d like to put some “feet” to those big theological concepts.
Sex is a big deal because it’s at the heart of what it means to bear God’s image, which means it’s an integral part of us fulfilling our purpose as human beings. When we take a lower view of sex than what God designed, we’re living sub-human. Humans were designed to be like God, so we must keep sex within his design. Living any other sexual lifestyle is simply meaningless and empty.
Sex in a Broken World
But what happens now? We live in a broken and imperfect world. Marriages don’t last, people abuse their weaker neighbors, men mistreat women, etc. All that theology about sex is good in theory, but how does it inform living in this world today?
Our tendency as humans is to reject being like God, and instead try to be God. So, male-female unity no longer comes naturally (Gen. 3:16) and can get really messed up. Just look at what happens when sex is divorced from God’s design. It almost always ends up hurting people.
I could mention a plethora of ways it happens, but simply take sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), for instance. The CDC estimates there are 19 million new infections every year in the U.S. STIs would not be nearly as pervasive if the majority of our society kept sex within marriage.
Though it may be broken by our rebellious nature, marriage is still the best protective institution for sex.
Like a Fish Out of Water
I know how difficult it is to walk in sexual integrity. When the culture has no reason for marriage, no purpose for gender-roles, no meaning for sex, it’s easy to listen to the majority and follow your desires. Unfortunately, our desires will lead us astray. They tend to lead us to reject the very reason we were created, and it’s not good for us when we do that. This is what we do with sex when we take the so-called liberation view.
It’s like when a fish is taken out of the water. Fish are made a certain way: to live in water. That’s what is healthy for them, and brings them a full life. When fish are “freed” from the water, that “freedom” is not actually good. It’s unhealthy, and ensures only a short life. Likewise, what we think is liberating (to have sex whenever, however, and with whomever) is actually unhealthy and brings a less-than-fulfilling life. It’s not why sex was created.
That’s why, when you mess up sex as the Bible describes it, you mess up your ability to live with meaning and purpose. You’re failing to fulfill your reason for existing (bearing God’s image well). You’re also failing to give God the proper glory due him for creating you as a sexual being.
The Good News About Sex
Ultimately, even in the Christian context of marriage, we’ll inevitably mess something up. But, Jesus can help us regain the unity for which men and women were designed.
The Good News is Jesus lived the perfect sexually pure life we have not, and he can help us live out our purpose more fully as the illustrative “Bride of Christ” (Rev. 19:7). This life-changing information about Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection, invites and enables us to bear God’s image in the fullest sense, as a part of the church. And, it can also harmonize those specific relationships in marriage that are in discord.
So really, the good news is that we can live like real human beings! Jesus enables us to do that by the power of his love for us.
I’m sure there are more action steps to be taken, but as Christians, this biblical understanding of sex calls us to at least 3 things:
- We should live out God’s design for sex because Jesus enables us.
- We should engage our neighbors with how the gospel informs a healthy view of sexuality for human flourishing in this world.
- We can engage them through established organizations that deal with issues directly related to sex and sexuality.
Is that a plea for your involvement with the Pregnancy Care Center? Definitely. We engage women and men everyday who buy into an unhealthy view of sex. Their view of sexuality causes them a tremendous amount of pain, and will often bring consequences they’re not prepared to face, like an unplanned pregnancy.
But through our Client Services, we have the opportunity to meet their immediate needs, and to help them leave our care with a better understanding of sex for their future decisions. We also have the opportunity, through our Community Services, to help them prevent difficult situations from arising in the first place.
It’s through organizations like the Care Center—among many others I’m sure—that we can really put feet to the gospel’s influence on sex and sexuality.
Sex is the issue Christians need to engage if we’re serious about culture change, because it’s central in bearing God’s image as a human being. A right view of sex leads to a right view of living like an image-bearer.
So what should you do about it? Get out there and talk to people about what it really means to live like a human.
Carter Mundy is the Outreach Director at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center. Part of his role there is to teach biblical sexuality to students and parents. He is also a community group leader at Mercy Hill, and is currently in process to become an elder.