Part 6♦ Sex God, Gross Or Gift ❃Mark Driscoll❃

In the beginning, God created our first parents, and brought them together to meet. For Eve, it was a big day. She had just been created, met God, and was going to her first “date” —her wedding. Upon seeing his wife for the first time, Adam was overwhelmed and uttered first recorded human words in all history in the form of a song, which explains why guys with a guitar will always have an advantage.

God brought Eve to Adam as her Father. And as their pastor, he officiated the first wedding ceremony, declaring them husband and wife.

God blessed them, invited our first parents to steward creation, make a culture that reflected his glory for our good, and make some babies. Sex was good. God was glorified.

Then something terrible happened. God’s enemy, and ours, shows up, twisting God’s words. Our mother Eve’s sin of commission was, in a proud effort to become like God, partaking of that which God had forbidden. Our father Adam’s sin of omission was failing to intervene as he sat by quietly, idly, and timidly watching the enemy, Satan, deceive his wife as so many of his cowardly, passive, silent sons have done ever since. Rather than living as one, they separated as two sinners.

This fall of humanity into sin has infected, polluted, and corrupted literally every aspect of life on the earth, including sex. As a result people tend to think that sex is god or gross, rather than a gift.

Sex as god
Sex is deeply spiritual.

In the days of the Old Testament, most religions taught that God was to be experienced through nature, particularly through sexuality. Because of this thinking, many of these religions had sexuality and temple prostitution as integral components of their spirituality and religious ceremonies. In contrast, God’s people were strongly opposed to such thinking because they held that God could not be reduced to something he had created.

Today, the worship of sex as god is as passionate as ever. Our culture celebrates sex through movies, music, and television. Women’s magazines scream sex at our children as we stand in the grocery store line. And some people are so enslaved to sex that they do horrific things to others such as rape, abuse, pedophilia, and more.

Sex as gross
Often as an overreaction to sex as god, people adopt the position of sex as gross. As such, sex is viewed as a sort of necessary evil for procreation, but otherwise a rather vulgar, repulsive, and off-putting act. This is unfortunately common in the church, leading many godly men and women to look outside the church for wrong answers to their sex questions from culture.

Sex as a gift
The reality is that sex is not gross, but for many it is perverted. The goal should not be to reject sex but rather to redeem it as God intended it, a loving act between a husband and wife that binds them together as one flesh.

Contrary to sex as god or gross, the Bible teaches that sex can be redeemed as a gift. Because sex is a gift that God gave, it is his intent that we steward and enjoy that gift, like every gift he gives, in such a way that is glorious to him, and good for our marriages.

Here are six benefits of having sex with your spouse that my wife Grace and I identify in our book, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together.

Sex is for pleasure.
Throughout the most erotic book in the Bible, the 3,000-year-old Song of Songs, children are never mentioned, as the entire focus of the book is simply marital passion and pleasure. The book is frank without being crass. And, it is the wife who speaks first and speaks most about exactly what she enjoys sexually. Without getting into the specifics here as we do in the book, single Jewish men were forbidden from reading the book because it was simply too hot to handle.

Sex is for creating children.
Children are repeatedly considered a blessing throughout Scripture. God created a husband and wife to conceive children at the moment of deepest connection. (In chapter 10, we address birth control use, too.)

Sex is for oneness.
A faithfully married couple with a free and frequent sex life is literally bonded together as one, physically and chemically by God’s design. This oneness is expressed in such things as having one last name, living in one house, sleeping in one bed, attending one church, sharing one bank account, and worshiping one God.

Sex is for knowledge.
In the act of sex, and the related intimacy that surrounds it, a couple learns to know each other in a way that they are not known by anyone else. This sacred and experiential knowledge means that a faithfully married couple has an intimacy and connection that is not only exclusive but also unprecedented in all their other relationships.

Sex is for protection.
While there is no excuse for sexual sin, there are factors that can increase the temptation for sexual sin. Perhaps chief among them is a marriage in which at least one of the people is sexually dissatisfied because the sex is not free or frequent enough. If one person feels sexually denied and discouraged, it increases the temptation to wander outside the marriage for sexual satisfaction. But free and frequent sex within marriage helps safeguard and protect the marriage from such sins as bitterness, adultery, and pornography.

Sex is for comfort.
We knew a couple who suffered the death of their young child. They were understandably devastated.

The husband was unsure what to say or do to comfort his grieving wife, and so he simply asked what she needed. She told him that she wanted to go away for a few days to a quiet bed and breakfast, lie unclothed together, visit, pray, weep, and make love so that she did not feel alone in any way. They reported that being able to physically comfort each other at that time was a vital part of their healing and grieving process.

There are seasons in life when nothing can be said or done to comfort a suffering spouse. In those moments, it is the ministry of touch that allows us to connect with our spouses in a way that lovingly serves them and binds us together in the suffering.

It is our prayer that you and your spouse would see sex as a gift from God.

A gift to be stewarded.

A gift to be guarded.

A gift to be enjoyed.

And a gift to be shared together for God’s glory and you.