Americans think about sex more than ever, but we may have never been more confused about it. Discussions of sex are public, but that doesn’t mean these discussion are mature and healthy. The fact that there are thousands of “how to” books on the subject does not mean that we know how; in fact, it means the opposite. It is when everybody’s pipes are leaking that people buy books on plumbing.
Times are different, but even in Jesus’ day, the idea of relationship and sexuality was a divisive topic (Matthew 19). Some Pharisees came to Jesus one day and asked him a controversial question: Could a man divorce his wife for any reason whatsoever?
Their test was given in hope that Jesus would say something damaging to his reputation or in contradiction to Moses. Or maybe they wanted Jesus to say something politically incorrect. Divorce was controversial and divisive. Liberal thinkers maintained that if your wife burned your breakfast you could divorce her. Conservative thinkers resisted that drift and maintained that only adultery was grounds for divorce.
Jesus rejected the liberal thought and the conservative thought and went completely old school. He went back to the beginning to give us four clear truths for our sexually misguided times.
Your Sexual Identity Comes from God
Jesus said God created humans as male and female. That means sexuality was God’s idea. God put us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). God also created us as sexual beings with desires and drives that are different in every person and in different seasons of life. Our identity comes from Him, not from our feelings or from our sexual practices.
The Designer had a purpose in mind. Just because you can use your body and sexuality for a different purpose, doesn’t make it the right way. If you use something for a purpose other than what it was created for, in fact, chances are it will break.
Your Sex Life Will be Best if You Follow God’s Plan
God intended a man to leave his father mother and be joined to his wife (Matthew 19:5–6). This isn’t about sex. This is relationship. It reflects the intimacy at the soul level that God created us to experience. Sexual activity at the physical level is intended to be an overflow of the soul connection.
When you are joined with someone sexually, your lives are intermingled. You take part of them with you, and you leave some of you behind (1 Thessalonians 4:3–8).
The people in Jesus’ day justified sleeping around as long as you didn’t “take a man’s wife.” But Jesus focused on the intent of the creator — two people experiencing love, acceptance and unity. Sex is God’s provision. It means something to Him — even if it doesn’t mean anything to us.
Your Sinfulness Wars Against God’s Best
If God intended people to be joined in this way, the Pharisees wanted Jesus to explain why “Moses commanded [divorce]” (Matthew 19:7–9). They were quoting Deuteronomy 24:1–4, but they quit too soon. Moses permitted divorce, not commanded it. He permitted it because of sin and hardness of hearts. But that’s not what God intended from the beginning.
We get wounded; we get hurt; we allow love to drift and grow cold. We fall in love with someone else and wonder if we really ever loved our spouse. All of these things can happen, and our hearts can get closed to God’s work in us. When you stop asking God to work in you and come to the place where you no longer are open to God’s way; your heart has become hard. This is not a good place to be.
The remedy for a cold and hard heart is to ask God to change your heart and to begin to intentionally do things to rekindle your love. Ask God’s Spirit to renew your love for God and your love for your spouse.
You Need to Surrender Your Sexuality to Jesus
What makes you a man or woman is not your sexual organs. What makes you male or female is God’s design and creation of you (Matthew 19:10–12). The Bible teaches us that we must bring our sexuality under the Lordship of Jesus (1 Corinthians 7:32–35).
How should we treat those who don’t see it the same way? Always treat people with love and respect. This isn’t an argument to be won. It’s not a morality to be legislated. It’s a relationship to enter into and enjoy.
What if I don’t feel like a man or a woman? We live in a culture dominated by our feelings. But emotions are fickle and unreliable (Jeremiah 17:9). God is greater than your feelings. Submit all your feelings to Jesus and ask Him to help you deal with what you feel. The Spirit has power to transform your body and desires (Philippians 2:13).
What if I have same sex attraction? Many people have homosexual thoughts just like they have heterosexual thoughts. The question is what do you do with them? If you massage them and roll them around in your head, then thoughts will stoke desire, desire will lead to a plan and plan will lead to an action. To have a homosexual thought doesn’t mean you are a homosexual.
What if I’ve already crossed a line sexually? The most clever trick the enemy has accomplished is getting us to define ourselves by our sexuality. But God’s grace can redefine you. He makes you new (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)!
Resources for Healthy Sexuality
From the beginning God had a plan and a design for healthy sexuality and the enemy has been trying to get us off track ever since. Here are some helpful resources that can guide you back toward a Christ-centered sexuality.