There’s No Such Thing as Just Sex

Sex is special.

It is what was meant by Adam having known Eve, and it has long been understood to be the consecrating act of marriage by which two people are forever joined together.

It is God’s creation, meant to be experienced as a part of his right design for human flourishing, for his glory and for our good. Sex is satisfying, and it it good. It is sacred.

It is for this reason that it is such a tragedy when we attempt to reduce sex to merely an indulgence or an itch needing to be scratched from time to time, as if it were only that.

An analogy, to help

Imagine being seated at a fine French restaurant dimly lit on a Saturday evening. Tables are by reservation only, and you are here after having waited months for this day. You have dressed well for the occasion, and you have with much consideration selected the person with whom you will enjoy this exquisitely crafted meal. No doubt it will be expensive, but it will be worth it.

Enjoying this meal has required you to give up enjoying food for most of the afternoon and preceding evening, but you have made this sacrifice enthusiastically because you have been looking forward to this meal all day. You have saved yourself for it.

To violin music and upon soft linens your meal is placed before you, course by course, in a successive crescendo of experiences starting with those that tantalize your pallet, and building up to your main dish. When it finally arrives, you and your date receive it in awe of all its splendor. It has been worth the wait, and you enjoy every moment of it.

This is what it means to eat, you say. This is how food was meant to be had.

Now, conversely, imagine enjoying the same meal off the ground of the dark alleyway around back. Imagine drinking the exact same wine but not from a glass, but from a puncture at the bottom of a trash bail.

It’s the same thing, isn’t it? Same food. Same drink. Same experience?

No. Because to enjoy a good thing in a completely wrong way is not to enjoy it at all. And to think yourself less restricted because you exercise your freedom to eat as the rats do is not to enjoy this meal more, or even equally, but to have unfortunately never know it as it was meant to be had.

Because in the murky alley, you don’t hear the music or savor the bites. You don’t prepare for the night or remember who you’re with. In the alley, you just get drunk.

If in the same way sex only gets you off, you might sadly think that to be the purpose of sex.

It matters how we enjoy that which God has made for us to enjoy.

So what if it’s too late

What if we’ve already forfeited the opportunity to know sex as God designed it?

Well it would probably help to start preparing yourself to know sex someday by not continuing to know it in any other way, namely through non-martial sex, masturbation and pornography.

The Bible says (which is to say that God says) that sexual sin is unique in that it is a sin against our own bodies (1 Cor 6:12-20). In other words, outside of marriage, it is a crime against ourselves. Treated cheaply, it is self-harm.

So maybe stop hurting yourself. Stop thinking of sex as something you do to another, and realize that it is something you submit your own body over to. It is something that you give the vehicle God has given you over to. And while the temptation to give yourself away cheaply is sometimes understandable, it is never wise. To exchange yourself for little is to slowly convince yourself that you are worth little.

Urges are understandable. Temptations are common. Pray and war for wisdom and self control. Confess your struggles to same-sex trustworthy believers. Be mindful of your dress and conduct. Be mindful of what you give your attention to, because your body is a temple, and just as your body absorbs what you eat, so does your soul absorb that which you rest your eyes upon.

And if you’re married, please have sex with your spouse. He shouldn’t use you, and she shouldn’t hold it hostage. Confide in one another, and do not be lured away by the appreciation or approbation of another. Come together regularly, lest you both be tempted by the enemy.

Praise be to God.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Psalms 51:10‭-‬13 ESV

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