May 20 I Monday
1 Chronicles 10-12
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”
—1 Corinthians 7:3
The sexual revolution in the twentieth century completely changed the general view of sexual morality in the Western world. With as many pornographic stores as there are McDonalds on the street, we live in a sex-saturated world.
The 1950s saw the beginning of mass-produced adult magazines in which women are blatantly exploited as sex objects. And with the availability of the contraceptive pill in the 1960s, many began to think they could have sex without consequences. The baby boomers saw a revolution of attitude towards sex through media, music and morality. As a result, sexual behaviour has become divorced from objective morality, which is the culture and the context in which we live.
Yet, in Philip Yancey’s article, “Holy Sex—How it Ravishes Our Souls,” he contends, “Marriage strips away the illusions about sex pounded into us daily by the entertainment media.... We live with people who require compassion, tolerance, understanding, and an endless supply of forgiveness. So do our partners. Such is the ironical power of sex: It lures us into a relationship that offers to teach us what we need far more—sacrificial love.” Our desire for sex leads us to marriage, and only then do we discover that we do not spend our life in bed; rather, we find that marriage involves sacrificial loving and giving for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and so on.
Marriage is a divine blessing, and the Old Testament is clear about the enjoyment of sex in marriage. In fact, one of the first commands from God to humanity was to engage in sexual intercourse: “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28). Solomon encourages us, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19). This text talks very explicitly about enjoying a sexual relationship in marriage. Also, Paul tells us in the New Testament, “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). Like Yancey, Paul connects our desire for sexual intimacy as a reason for marriage while also affirming that sex should only be in the context of marriage.
Our culture has corrupted the beautiful intention for union that God intended for sex in the confines of marriage, relegating it to a base animal instinct between consenting adults with no limitations attached to it. Yet, despite these mixed messages, we as Christians have the responsibility to be faithful to the Word of God and live according to God’s counter-cultural intention for sex.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You created us as sexual beings. Help me to appreciate and respect what You intend sex to be in my life.