Sex is a Beautiful Thing

by Cris Clapp Logan on August 29th, 2012 in Parents

Sex can be such a beautiful thing… in the right context.

Last night on ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars, one of the show’s main characters, Spencer, went all the way with her long-time boyfriend Toby.  They had been waiting, and I had been pretty proud that they were drawing a line.  I was (maybe naively?) hoping that they would be the one example of a “hold out” on the show.  Previously, the other main characters had all done “it” with their significant others.  But last night, in perfect light, with plenty of tender caressing and in the context of love, it happened.  And honestly, it looked beautiful.  It would only be human for any teen girl (or really any living being, regardless of age or gender) to want to experience what looked like a perfect, beautiful depiction of love, intimacy and sex on the TV screen. 

Only, this picture wasn’t perfect.  It looked that way (at least at first), but, in reality, viewers were watching two teenagers have movie-star sex.  But, if your son or daughter were watching this show alone (or with their friends), they may be deceived by all of the beautiful lighting and tenderness into believing that that’s the epitome of sex and love.  They may start daydreaming about having a similar moment with that special someone in their life.    

Fortunately for you (the parent), at the very last moment of this episode of the show, the viewers learned that perfect boyfriend Toby is actually a dangerous and deceiving potential murderer.  Hopefully that is enough to help the average teenage watcher to think twice before they have sex with that person they currently view as so “special”.  They may not be that perfect person they are making them out to be.  They could be a deceiving killer, right?

It’s a lot to sort through for the average teen.  Unfortunately, a lot of them are doing the sorting out about sex alone, which doesn’t really leave them in good standing.  It likely leaves them confused and wanting to have Spencer and Toby like love and sex, sans the potential murderer component.  

As parents, it’s important to help your teen look up—to gain some perspective and realize that God’s epitome of love—and sex—is far greater and better than even the romance they see every night on the screen.  This is not to say that marriage—husbands and wives—are perfect people… far from it.  We live in a world of adultery, abuse and sins deeper and wider than I dare to dive into today, but marriage can also be a beautiful thing.  It can be the most beautiful of earthly relationships and the most beautiful experience of sex.  Help your kids see and know this.  Are you exhibiting a life-giving relationship in your marriage?  Are you engaging with your kids and helping them to sort through fact from fiction on sex?  If not, then why not start today?  We have a number of resources on our site to help.  Let’s help our kids understand that sex IS a beautiful thing… in the right context… in marriage.

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  • nevarbird

    For all the fuss people make over sex – and that is a lot of fuss – it is still just mating. All sexual organisms do it. There are a lot of powerful instincts associated with the act in humans, which are easily mistaken for something profound, but this is nothing more than an illusion. There is nothing mystical to it. Even romantic love, that emotion so respected by poets and preachers alike, is nothing more than the human expression of the pair-bonding instinct.

    • Matt

      It’s true that all sexual organisms engage in sex. But only one sexual organism was created in the image of God. Humans are set apart from other organisms and God has greater plans for us than for us to just mate and rule the earth. When the Creator of all things, including sex, says that sex was created to be between a man and a woman in marriage to develop a mingling of souls, it is beyond arrogant to think you know a better definition. Saying that, everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God, but continuing to live in sin produces only death. Jesus is the only way to God and following Jesus means that you gladly submit to his plan, trusting that he knows what is best for you. I’ll pray for that revelation in your life, nevarbird. God bless.

      • Jacob

        Genesis indicates that God made woman from man to be his companion. (Gen.2:18) They are then commanded to “mate and rule the earth”(Gen.1:28). The story of the woman’s creation from the male’s body explains the sex drive and how it leads to marriage: “for this cause, a man shall… cleave to his woman and become one flesh”(Gen.2:24), which Jesus in Matthew 19 taught FORMS a permanent union which we call “marriage”.

        I don’t know of any verse…

        — in which God commanded a marriage ceremony to
        proceed any and all sexual relations
        — teaching a mingling of souls
        — which requires those who have had sex to get married
        — that limits marriage to one wife (other than elders,
        possibly).
        — that teaches that there must be a public ceremony
        with a preacher presiding.

        These seem to be traditions that developed over time for various practical reasons. Unfortunately, like the Pharisees, religious rulers like to impose their traditions on others as if they were the laws of God and bring false condemnation as a result.

        • Matt

          To begin this comment, no one can make you believe the way I or anyone else does. Arguments never win anyone for the Kingdom. Only love and Jesus accomplish that. I do not wish to force you to believe everything I am about to say. I am simply defending the Word of God as I have read it and heard it taught. Please do not take any of this personally. I only contend with your statements and hold no ill-will towards you.

          Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7 explains a few items of your list. Beginning in verse 1: “Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each wife is to have her own husband (NASB).” This shows a limit of one wife/husband [each his own wife (singular)].
          Continuing in verse 8: “But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” This shows that marriage should proceed sex. Unmarried people at the time were expected to be pure and Paul is teaching that if you cannot remain pure, you should get married.
          Now on to the mingling of souls, this one would be a little harder to find just using a simple Google search. This teaching goes back to the Song of Solomon and the Hebrew word “Dode” (loose spelling translation) obviously from the early Hebrew manuscripts. Song of Solomon is an account of a man and a woman coming together in marriage and “dode” implies becoming an intimate one of body and soul. Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas has an excellent sermon on this, which I would recommend.
          On to the last part, I believe marriage ceremonies have developed as common practice. I, too, have not come across a specified biblical teaching that states there must be a formal wedding. The point is that a man and wife commit, before God, to a relationship with only each other. Ceremonies in a church may simply be for show, but they also make it known that two people have entered a covenant. If it is not known by others, it would be easy to be tempted to leave your spouse and start up with someone else (adultery).

          God bless.

          • Jacob

            Thanks for your courteous reply and presentation. If you read my response to MT, you will see that it covers some of what you have mentioned.

            RE: 1 Cor.7:1-2 I covered it a little already (which see), but to continue: Paul is writing to people living under the law of the Roman Empire, mostly to Gentiles in the corrupt city, Corinth. Roman law prohibited polygamy, so it is understandable that Paul would assume monogamy. The mere fact that he assumed this of his readers doesn’t create a prohibition of polygamy for others and doesn’t establish any precedent over the Mosaic permission to have numerous wives.

            Regarding verses 8-9 and “This shows that marriage should proceed sex” : You are making an assumption about what “marry” means. Paul was simply giving these potential couples (unmarried males and widows) the green light to begin sexual relationships (i.e., to marry) rather than to “burn” from unmet sexual desire. Marriage customs varied by tribe and country. It was customary to have witnesses and celebrate, but it wasn’t necessary. These are all good traditions that were established for good reasons to protect the parties and families involved.

            You said: “Unmarried people at the time were expected to be pure and Paul is teaching that if you cannot remain pure, you should get married.” What we define as “pure” and what the Law of God aren’t quite identical. As I said the context in vs.8-9 is in all likelihood one of newly “unmarried men”, that is widowers or divorced men. There was no need for Paul to address young singles since their marriages were arranged by their parents and took place shortly after puberty. (No forced celibacy was practiced in those simpler times.)

            I covered this concept of premarital purity or chastity in the post to MT. The NT teaches against “promiscuity” (chambering); but, it doesn’t add a new law to the OT about “no cohabitation or no sex before marriage”. If you look at Exodus 22:16-17, you can see that even if a virgin had sex under her father’s authority, she wasn’t punished for it; their sexual relationship was considered a tentative act of marriage, but had to get parental approval to proceed. Otherwise, to the best of my knowledge, there are no laws restricting sex among singles other than Lev.18.

            We still need to respect our church and community standards, but I think we should be tolerant of those who strike their own path, recognizing that we may be “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

            I looked up “Dode” which seemed to simply mean loved one or beloved. I don’t think we want to uphold Song of Solomon as an example of traditional marriage customs.

            Your point on “adultery” is one of the better ones that you and MT have presented. How can a man have his wife tried for adultery if there is no evidence that they were married? She could just say that “we were living together, not legally married, so I can have sex with whomever I wish.” What was the evidence that this woman belonged to him in the Bible times? Very simple: If he provided her food, clothing, shelter and sex, then she belonged to him and adultery by her was grounds for execution or divorce. Times have REALLY changed haven’t they?

        • MT

          Jacob: interesting perspective.

          in the reference above (Gen 2:18), it is presumed that there will be something that identifies the first part “to leave” and then “to cleave and to become one flesh.” How society defines what that leaving and cleaving looks like is left open.

          The “one flesh” part follows the leaving and cleaving. You will see this in every culture, some type of ceremony that identifies the leaving from the parental support and under-girding to the cleaving, which in itself must have commitment in it, or else there there would be no reason to have the “must not commit adultry” in the 10 commandments.

          There are a few scriptures that seem to stand opposed to your identified bullets above.

          How would you reconcile your position with Paul’s teachings in 1 cor. 7? This is teaching to the church body, not just Elders or Deacons.

          Again, with 1 Cor 6:15-20. It does seem to imply that a sexual union goes beyond the bounds of the physical body.

          • Jacob

            I agree that there are many different marriage customs and practices around the world. I tend to focus on the customs of God’s ancient people since His Law was given to regulate their practices as needed and the writers of the NT recognized the Law of Moses as the moral law of their day.

            The crime of adultery– unchastity by a wife– developed in civilized societies to protect the husband (provider and master) from financial ruin by third party pregnancies. This man became a woman’s husband by being recognized in the community as her sexual partner, with whom she cohabits, caring for their home and children. The means of her becoming his wife though is determined by each society and her initial status.

            The Jews traditionally recognized three ways to obtain a wife: 1. Bridal price 2. Contract (Ketubah, a type of prenuptial agreement 3. Sex. Any of the three were sufficient to create a marriage. When marrying a virgin who lived with her parents, all three means would be carried out. The procedure would vary with other women in other circumstances. For example when David took his third wife (or so) Nabal’s widow, she simply moved in with him and became his wife. The Jewish scholars state in their writings that there was no sin of premarital sex under Mosaic Law. The texts readily demonstrate this. The only one required to “remain a virgin till your wedding day” were girls who had been betrothed living in their parents home; they were regarded as already the wives of their future husbands, so any extraneous sex by them was adultery and forbidden.

            1 Corinth. 7 is obscure to modern readers for a variety of reasons. First. the word “porneia” can’t be translated “fornication” any more and “sexual immorality” leaves it undefined. Porneia literally means whoredom or harlotry, and is referring to the famous temple prostitution trade in that city. Secondly, people have misunderstood the first few verses about “each man “having” his own wife” to mean “obtain a wife” whereas it actually is saying have sex with the woman you’re married to; don’t go to the “porneias”, the whores at the temple of Aphrodite. Monogamy may have been the norm in their city, since Roman law forbade polygamy; that doesn’t mean that God’s law allowing polygamy changed.

            i don’t see anything in the sixth chapter that suggests that sex is a union that goes beyond the physical; but I agree that a couple, any couple who is close to one another, will learn to think alike and know the other person in intimately… for example, as with best friends.

            Thanks for your reply.

          • nevarbird

            Of interesting note here is Samson. He did visit a (non-temple) prostitute, and have sex. Yet he was still held up as an example of a good man, and God never took any action to condemn him for the use of a prostitute. It happened, no-one cared. This implies that premarital sex was very much allowed, at least for men.

          • Jacob

            I’m aware of Samson and others who did likewise. Prostitution seems to have been permitted as a necessary evil perhaps. Warning were given, but it wasn’t outlawed.

        • nevarbird

          There is a verse in the NT – I forget just where – that limits marriage to one woman, but it is explicitly specified as applying only to priests. Modern Christians almost all teach that polygamy is forbidden, but this us really just a tradition – there is nothing in scripture that supports it, at best a couple of phrases that can be over-interpreted.

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