It is easy to read the biblical prohibitions against having sexual relations outside of marriage and conclude that God is against sex and any form of sexual pleasure ( Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 5:1-6;6:23-29; Matthew 5:27-28;15:16-20; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Colossians 3:5-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:2-7; Hebrews 13:4 ). Further, many sermons on the topic of sex inevitably focus exclusively on the “don’ts” of sexuality. From these sources, we might get the impression that sex is an evil passion that God hates and that Christians must avoid. But this is not the case.
God is not against sex. He doesn’t view sexual desire as an unhealthy passion that Christians must despise, disable, or deny. In fact, He sees it as a healthy passion to be honored and enjoyed. In the right context, sex is delightful, desirable, and pleasing to God. After all, sex was His idea in the first place. It’s His design.
Genesis 1-3 records God’s creation of people. In 1:27 it says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” It was after He made man and woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden that He proclaimed all He had made as being “very good” ( Genesis 1:31 ).
God designed sexual intercourse to be a dynamic part of a man’s and woman’s ability to express intimacy and love. Physical pleasure is an important part of God’s gift of human sexuality to mankind. From the very beginning of creation, God invented human sexuality and gave us our capacity to enjoy expressing ourselves through sexual intimacy. He proclaimed our sexuality “very good” as a part of expressing His creative genius.
Sex should never be viewed as something evil or dirty that must be denied. Rather, it is exquisite and delicate and must be honored and protected. If God invented sex and called it good, we dare not call it evil. Since sex and sexuality were born out of the mind and heart of God, He also has the best idea about how we can most fully enjoy it.
Jesus told His followers that God the Father delights in giving good gifts to His children ( Matthew 7:11 ; James 1:16-17 ). Sex needs to be viewed as one of those good gifts.
In the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden, the first husband and wife “were both naked, and they felt no shame” ( Genesis 2:25 ). Anything wrong with that? No. And that’s how God intended it to be. The first married couple enjoyed uninhibited freedom in a perfect “one flesh” union that honored each other as well as the One who made them ( Genesis 2:24 ). They simply lived out who they were made to be as a man and a woman with each other.
Although this perfect relationship was soon marred by sin ( Genesis 3:7-10 ), the opportunity for healthy sexual expression within marriage was not destroyed in the Fall. God still intends for shared sexual pleasure to be an essential facet of a healthy marriage ( 1 Corinthians 7:2-7 ; Hebrews 13:4 ).
In our post-Fall experience, we all have been exposed to or have experienced perverse and immoral distortions of our sexuality in a variety of contexts. From the media and personal experiences in destructive relationships, to sexual abuse and sexual violence, to the secret inner world of sexual fantasies, Satan is working overtime to mar the delicious taste of sexual intimacy with our spouse. Nevertheless, these distortions don’t nullify God’s original design, intent, or purpose for human sexual expression. God still wants us to delight in our sexuality as an exquisite gift from Him to us. How we handle our gift determines the depth of our enjoyment ( 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 ).