These last few years, I’ve noticed a change in sexual acceptance. I don’t know if there’s been a change in sexual activity, but definitely acceptance. I’m specifically writing this to Christians. I don’t expect non-Christians to care what the Bible has to say. But I think I’m at least somewhat surprised at the shift in people claiming to be Christian that are engaging in what would be biblically described as sexual immorality. The plain and simple is that God designed sex to be experienced between a husband and wife to unite them physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. What seems to be happening is that there are new “moralities” coming into play. There are obviously some that are just saying that they don’t care what God says, but I think others are just “tweaking” God’s rules. They really don’t know what Scripture says and just warp the world’s sensibilities and quasi-biblical ideas to create their new code by which to live. Here are some of the most common phrases I hear in this new sexual morality.
As long as we’re committed
“Love” has definitely replaced the word “married.“ As long as you love another person, than you should express that love physically. Commitment is important, but as long as you feel committed and you believe the other person is committed to you, than you are basically “married” in the 21st century sense. Marriage is just a piece of paper. Commitment is what God wants.
The problem is Tina Turner was right. What’s love got to do with it? We’re supposed to love everyone. We are to love our parents, our children, our neighbors, and the whole world. I love my cat, the entire Tampa Bay Rays roster, the cast of Seinfeld… you see where I’m going with this? We are not supposed to be united sexually with everyone we love. Sex is reserved for the committed, life-long relationship that begins when a man and a woman are convinced the other person is who they want to spend the rest of their life with. They display that commitment by getting married, and then are gifted the unique and special union.
As long as it’s not actual sex
I probably hear this more amongst teenagers, but I’m sure there are older people who have arbitrarily defined what is meant by the Greek word porneias, which is translated “sexual immorality.” The argument goes that as long as you don’t have actual sexual intercourse than you are being obedient to God.
The problem is you can’t just make up your own definitions for words. I might fancy myself a bodybuilder, but the fact that I work-out every other Monday would seem to challenge the definition. Intercourse might have a more specific definition, but the term “sex” is certainly a general term and “sexual immorality” is in no way meant to only denote one sexual act. God wants His chosen people to be pure before Him – purity in mind, body, and soul. If even our thoughts are lustful we are falling short of what God desires for our life.
As long as we’re safe
I feel like I hear this more from parents and school administrators. They want their children to practice safe sex. The assumption is that people and especially teenagers can’t help themselves from having sex, so as long as there are no physical consequences to the sex than it’s like it never happened.
The problem is God didn’t design sex to have any consequences. It was meant as something to unite a married couple. When sex is engaged in out of that context there of course might be unintended consequences. God isn’t just sitting in heaven punishing people who misuse sex. I think the bigger issue is the belief that young people are incapable of resisting sexual urges. Of course they are. There is no doubt that people sometimes put themselves in really difficult circumstances, but our sexuality doesn’t trump our freewill, it doesn’t usurp our choice. All believers especially have the ability to do what’s right. Let’s help people not get themselves into impossible situations to resist, as opposed to just resigning ourselves that it’s hopeless for people to have rational and godly thoughts and actions.
As long as there are not feelings involved
This concept of “hooking-up” is only gaining traction. The goal is to not have any connection besides the physical and thus all the psychological or emotional pain that comes from breaking-up is avoided. No-strings-attached is the preferred method to make sure no one gets hurt. God just doesn’t want hurt relationships.
The problem is that this is total nonsense. Even pop culture realizes someone always gets hurt, someone always wants the relationship to deepen. God isn’t just about the end-results. He wants us to depend on him every step of the way. I’m fine with saying that we are sexual beings. God proclaims that it is not good for us to be alone. The problem is when a Christian believes they can’t trust God for His timing.
As long as I’m not breaking up a marriage
This new form of sexual morality is 100% focused on not screwing up someone’s marriage whether your own or another persons. So as long as there are no spouses, families, or kids involved than who is it hurting?
The problem is, it is hurting everyone’s marriage. If you are not willing to follow God’s plan when you’re single, what makes you think that you will follow God’s plan when you’re married? If you cannot resist sexual urges with someone that is not your spouse now, why do you think you’ll be able to resist those urges later? When we re-write God’s definitions then we will never be able to live simple, clear, pure lives.
So what is God’s plan?
The goal should be to never defraud yourself or another person. My favorite definition for defraud is to “arouse passions that cannot rightfully be fulfilled.” Don’t watch things that arouse passions that cannot rightfully be fulfilled. Don’t dwell on thoughts that arouse passions that cannot rightfully be fulfilled. Don’t say things or do things to another person that arouse passions that cannot rightfully be fulfilled. That’s the line in the sand. Do not defraud yourself or another person. Remember, God is not saying “No!” to sex. It’s quite the opposite. He’s saying “wait.” Wait for the right person and the right time. Wait for His timing. The point for all this is for you to have a strong marriage that is a great benefit to your life. God doesn’t just want you to have an ordinary life, he wants you to have an abundant life. We are sexual beings and he wants us to experience that sexuality in the safe bonds of marriage. God’s plan is always worth following. He created us. He knows how we tick.