God's Laws and Views Concerning...
Human Sexuality


Most every week Bible Bell receives two or three questions concerning human sexuality. So we decided it was time to do a round-up of God's guidelines on this sensitive topic. The Bible has a LOT to say about it, as you shall see.

God does not blush

Human sexuality does not embarrass God. After all, God invented the act of sex between husband and wife.

Neither does the human body make God blush, for He also invented that.

God does not merely tolerate sexual relations between husband and wife. Rather, God COMMANDS husbands and wives to "be fruitful and multiply."
  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it...'' (Gen 1.27-28a)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Gen 2.24-25)

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. (Prov 5.18-19)

Marriage is honorable among all, and
the bed (is) undefiled... (Heb 13.4a)

Abuse and perversion of the human sexual nature

Sad to say, any time God makes something that is pure and beautiful, Satan sets out to twist it and make it ugly.

  • The perversion of the human sex act is one of Satan's main tactics in his evil campaign to cause hurt to both God and people.
  • Sexual temptation is a main avenue that Satan uses to lure us to degradation and self-destruction.
  • Worse yet, our own sin nature makes us all too eager to accept Satan's lie that, "if it feels good, do it."

The bottom line is that the world, our flesh, and the devil have so totally twisted our sexual impulses that God had to make "laws" so we can know the difference between "good sex" and "bad sex."

Why does God make rules about sex?

Flee sexual immorality... (1 Cor 6.18a)   Here's an interesting question - WHY is God so particular about our sexual activities?

The Bible doesn't directly answer that question, but it does tell us some of God's GOALS for human sexuality.

Looking at God's goals just might
help us understand God's rules about sex. So -- read on!

Goal #1 - to bear fruit

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply... (Gen 1.28a)

Genesis 1.28 shows that one purpose of sex is to make babies.

Well and good.

  • If and only if a person were nothing more than a physical body, and...
  • If and only if sex were nothing more than the way to make babies...
  • Then marital relations wouldn't be all that different from other physical functions, such as going to the bathroom.

But God had additional goals in mind...

Goal #2 - to cleave

Now we must ask ourselves - did God design us in such a way that sex involves a lot more than just our physical bodies?

  • Genesis 2.24-25 gives a clue to answering this question. As God designed us, sex is a JOINING of husband to wife. A cleaving together. A merger of two people that is so intimate and complete that God says husband and wife become ONE FLESH.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5.23 gives yet another clue. This verse shows that God didn't make men and women as just two hunks of meat with different kinds of plumbing. Nay, God made us as a tri-unity of body AND soul AND spirit.

So human sex as God designed it is much much more than a mere physical joining together of two bodies. Rather it is also a fusing together of two individual souls and spirits.

When a person has sex, ALL of that person has sex, not just his or her body.

  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Gen 2.24-25)

...may your whole
spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes 5.23b)

But happily married couples don't have to read the Bible to know that great marital sex is much more than physical. In fact, the yearning of wife and husband to become one may be so intense during sex that their bodies actually get in the way!

I won't dwell on this. I hope you understand what I mean.

Goal #3 - to portray

Therefore, my brethren, you (Christians) also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him (Jesus Christ) who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (Rom 7.4)

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be
joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Eph 5.31-32)

And He (God) put all things under His (Christ's) feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to
the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph 1.22-23a)

A third goal of the husband-wife relationship - in all its aspects - is to paint a picture of Christ's husbandly relationship with His bride, the church (Rom 7.4).

  • Per Ephesians 5.31-32, the joining together of wife with husband pictures the joining together of Christians with Christ.
  • This joining is so complete that Ephesians 1.22-23 states that the church IS Christ's body - "one flesh" with Him.

Thus, the human marital relation was designed by God to be an expression of total and unconditional love...

  • Complete trust.
  • Unbounded submission of one's innermost and most vulnerable self, so as to give joy and comfort to another.

Three possible reasons for God's laws

Let's see what God's goals for sex tell us about the reasons for God's restrictions on sex...

#1 To God, children are much more than a physical result of sex. Children are God's reward and heritage.

Thus, God desires that each and every child be conceived as
the joyous fruit of complete love and trust and commitment between husband and wife, not as an unwanted by-product of fornication.

God detests adultery and fornication.
  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is His reward. (Ps 127.3)
#2 As shown previously, a goal of sex is to consummate the joining of wife and husband into "one flesh."

By fornicating, a person is indeed joined, not with a loving and committed spouse, but with a harlot.

Anyone who joins to a harlot IS a harlot - the price paid may not always be money, but there is ALWAYS a price to be paid.

And again thus --
God dislikes fornication.
  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "The two,'' He says, "shall become one flesh.'' (1 Cor 6.16)

#3 As shown previously, marital relations picture the joining together of Christ with His bride, the church.

  • Christian fornication unavoidably involves Christ and the Holy Spirit in that fornication.
  • Since a Christian is espoused to Christ, physical adultery expresses spiritual idolatry.
  • Since a Christian is espoused to Christ, divorce expresses spiritual separation from Christ.

Thus God utterly detests adultery, fornication, and divorce.

  ...Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Cor 6.13b)

Do you not know that
your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! (1 Cor 6.15)

Or do you not know that
your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Cor 6.19-20)

A fourth possible reason

A final deduction concerning the possible reasons for God's laws has no Bible reference but is, instead, based on genetics. Namely, God forbids incest - sexual relations between persons who are closely related - because such relationships often produce children who are physically handicapped or mentally impaired.

The laws of God concerning sexual relations

Now that we have deduced some possible reasons for God's laws about sex, let's have a look at those laws...

Laws forbidding incest

Do not marry or have sexual relations with...

  • Your mother or father (Lev 18.7)
  • Your sibling or half-sibling (Lev 18.9)
  • Your grand-child (Lev 18.10)
  • Your aunt (Lev 18.12-13) or uncle (Lev 18.14)

Laws forbidding perversion of the sanctity of marriage and of the parent-child relationship

  • Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife, even if she is not your birth mother (Lev 18.8)
  • Do not lead your daughter into prostitution (Lev 19.29)

Laws forbidding betrayal of the essential trust of marriage

Do not have sexual relations with...

  • Your daughter-in-law (Lev 18.15)
  • Your sister-in-law (Lev 18.16)

Laws forbidding betrayal of the sanctity of blood relationships

Do not have sexual relations with...

  • Both a woman and her daughter (Lev 18.17)
  • Both a woman and her grand-daughter (Lev 18.17)
  • Two sisters while both sisters are still living (Lev 18.18)

Laws forbidding homosexuality, lesbianism, or beastiality

Do not have sexual relations with...

  • A person of the same gender as yourself (Lev 18.22, Rom 1.26-28)
  • An animal (Lev 18.23)

Law forbidding concealment of gender identity

  • Do not "cross-dress" so as to appear that you are the opposite gender from the gender God gave you (Deu 22.5)

Laws forbidding lust

  • Do not covet a person's spouse (Ex 20.17)
  • Do not drug a person so as to view their nakedness (Hab 2.15)
  • Do not look upon a person as a sex object (Mt 5.28)
  • The lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh are not of the Spirit but of the world (First John 2.16)
  • We are commanded to flee youthful lusts (2 Tim 2.22) and to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (1 Pet 2.11).

Laws forbidding adultery and fornication

  • Do not commit adultery (Ex 20.14)
  • Abstain from fornication (Acts 15.29)
  • Fornication is a sin against your own body (1 Cor 6.18)

Law for purposes of hygiene

  • Do not have sex during menstruation (Lev 18.19)

Laws for strengthening marriage and resisting temptation

  • Meet your sexual needs within the bounds of marriage (1 Cor 7.2)
  • Husband and wife should not withhold sex from each other except for short periods, by mutual consent, for prayer and fasting (1 Cor 7.4-5)
  • The marriage bed is undefiled (Heb 13.4)

Laws governing the varieties of sexual activity

  • The Bible does not SPECIFICALLY describe, prohibit, or endorse the varieties of human sexual activities (such as masturbation, oral sex, etc.)
  • Concerning self-gratification, if a person must conjure up lustful mental images so as to be able to consummate the act, then those lustful thoughts are themselves a sin. See "laws forbidding lust" in a preceding paragraph.

A Biblical celebration of marital relations

The Song of Solomon is many things. Most importantly it is an allegorical portrayal of the loving, intimate relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.

But the Song also has a LITERAL meaning. Namely, it celebrates human marital relations both in the physical and spiritual realms. From this standpoint the Song reassures every husband and wife that God not only is unembarrassed by their sexual pleasures, but designed them to be such.

In a way, the Song says to husbands and wives, "Enjoy, enjoy."

If you want to study Song of Solomon further, we recommend you buy & read "Biblical Lovemaking" by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Press. It's only 70 pages and inexpensive, but it is a superb study of God's lovely Song. Click here to visit Ariel's website.

May our dear God and Father bless you as you relish the gift He gave unto you -- the joy and wonder of sexual union within the bounds of Holy Matrimony.


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