PLEASE NOTE: This e-teaching is not appropriate for children, preadolescents, and many adolescents.
I never thought I’d be writing a book about sex. Let me tell you what led to this.
I’ve been a Bible teacher all of my adult life, starting as a 21-year-old pastor more than forty years ago. More recently, I’ve published hundreds of short video teachings on YouTube—on various biblical topics—all under the common title of Little Lessons.
Some of those videos are more popular than others, but I was surprised when I learned that my most-viewed teaching was one titled, Will God Forgive You if You Keep Repeating the Same Sin? Over 200,000 people had watched it, which was much more than my average video.
I couldn’t help but wonder what sin or sins those 200,000 people were repeating! When I learned from YouTube’s analytics, however, that the majority of those viewers were men between the ages of 18 and 25, the mystery was solved. The gift of prophecy was not needed to know that guilt from masturbation was propelling the growing viewership of that particular video.
This was confirmed soon after I subsequently published a new video titled, Is Masturbation a Sin According to the Bible? It wasn’t long before that teaching became my #1 Little Lesson. As I’m writing this, it has been viewed more than 560,000 times.
That first Little Lesson on masturbation was followed by eight related teachings, and the entire series, as of this writing, has cumulatively been viewed almost a million times. As I blushingly broached other sex-related topics from a biblical perspective, it was clear that interest was extremely high among Christians. Of a total of 1,371 YouTube videos I’ve published on numerous and varied biblical topics, those covering sex-related subjects are disproportionately viewed. Among my 16 most-viewed videos, 12 have something to do with sex.
And it is not as though there is a shortage of information available about human sexuality. We are living in a day when there is more accessible information about sex than any other time in human history. Most of it, however, is proffered from outside any biblical context. Those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (all true followers of Christ) quickly realize that fact if they Google any question that has any association with human sexuality. The search results will reveal an ocean of immorality and perversion. Christians are understandably hesitant to trust any information regarding sex that originates from the secular world.
Still, like everyone, they have questions. Although most believers understand that fornication and adultery are in opposition to God’s will, they wonder about the propriety of masturbation and its specific propriety for single and married people. They question the appropriateness of certain sexual acts within marriage. They wonder what does and does not constitute lust. They want help to overcome addiction to pornography and rejuvenate sexless marriages. They want to understand how men think. And how women think. They want to know what is and is not appropriate in dating relationships. And much more.
Thus the reason for writing this book. And thus the reason for writing it in three sections, one specifically for singles/divorcees, one for dating and engaged couples, and one for married couples. Readers can begin with any section, but I think they will benefit most by reading all three, and in order, as later chapters build on early ones. The first chapter, for example, is very foundational and relevant to everything that follows. It is a “must-read.”
My most basic premise, as revealed by the book’s title, is that God created sex for pleasure as well as procreation, and that His people, of all people, ought to be enjoying the benefits, as His blessings are for the righteous. Sex is indeed for Christians! But when Christians ignore divine boundaries—or devise them—they miss out on God’s best. I hope what follows brings you lots of blessings.
“Better Than Sex Cake,” and Other Urban Myths
The congregation was caught off guard by their pastor’s public confession, soberly shared at the start of his Sunday sermon:
Dear friends, I hesitate to admit it, but I’ve been reading a book that has been banned in many countries. It opens with a story about two nudists—a handsome man and a beautiful woman—who have no sense of modesty. They live their lives completely naked, every day, all day, without any shame. They love the outdoors, and the entire world is their bedroom.
The pastor paused as he cleared his throat, and then continued:
As the plot unfolds, readers learn that these nudists work as naked gardeners, and their boss, who owns the garden and frequently visits them, thinks it is all good.
I find myself strangely drawn to this book, and so I’m reading it every day.
Of course, astute congregants caught on quickly. A few parishioners, however, stormed out of church shocked, clutching their Bibles. Some of the women who remained shifted uncomfortably in their pews. Many of the men noticed that their pulses had quickened, yet they succeeded at maintaining an appearance of pure theological interest.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the pastor was admitting to reading the Bible. That’s the book Christians believe is the inspired word of God. The book that opens with the story about the nudists and includes tons of potentially-shocking sexual content, including tales of prostitutes and polygamists. It also contains these amorous instructions to husbands: “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times” (Prov. 5:19), and this liberating information for wives: “The husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Cor. 7:4).
In spite of the fact that our big book is filled with provocative sexual content, it is inappropriate to talk about that content in many Christian circles. The church parishioners in my story represent all of us who are at various places on the spectrum of comfort regarding the subject of human sexuality. Some of us tend to walk out. Others shift uncomfortably in the pew. And some pretend that we’re not as interested as we actually are, lest anyone discover that we’re sex maniacs.
So this must be our starting place—an agreement that the Bible is our Book. All Christians believe it is inspired by God, and it reveals to us His will. We can trust it, and we should pattern our lives from it, including our sex lives.
We all know, of course, that culture, in its shared values, attitudes and practices, is often at odds with the Bible. But what we don’t always realize is the fact that Christian culture, shaped over the centuries, can also be at odds with the Bible. The potential always exists for Christians to ignore biblical truth or supplant it. The only remedy for either error is an honest look at Scripture, coupled with an honest look at our own sexual beliefs, with the goal of achieving harmony between the two. We are “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rom. 12:1). Sometimes sacred cows must by shot.
So, let us begin by considering some fundamental, biblical facts that will lay the foundation for all later chapters. Agreeing with these truths will make it easier to adjust our thinking on less-fundamental (but equally biblical) facts we’ll consider later. Small issues are often automatically settled when big issues are resolved.
Fact #1: God Created and Commanded Sex
This is the most basic fact. The earliest chapter of the Bible reveals that God created the first human beings in His own image, specifically mentioning both male and female (Gen. 1:27). He then commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28), which is nothing short of a commandment to engage in sexual intercourse, and one that they—and hundreds of millions of people since them—had no trouble obeying. (Note to husbands: Here’s a line you may have never thought of: “Honey, how would you like to obey God with me tonight?”)
In all seriousness, there are a percentage of people in the church who were left with the impression as children—by their parents or spiritual teachers—that sex is bad, or dirty. But just four verses after God created the first male and female and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, we read these words: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). That appraisal included marital sex.
Fact #2: God Created Sexual Desire
God so much wanted Adam and Eve to engage sexually and multiply that He not only gave them a commandment to that end, but He also placed within them a very strong desire to engage sexually. They were divinely attracted to each other on a sexual level. Let that sink in. (Another potential line for husbands: “Honey, are you feeling the same deep, divine leading, that I am?”) God designed sexual attraction to be so strong that the first couple would find themselves thinking about sex even when they were not engaged in it, so that those thoughts would lead to sex, again and again. God thought that was good!
Fact #3: God Created Sex to be Very Pleasurable
Moreover, God designed that sex between human males and females would not be a two-second hit-and-run copulation that we sometimes witness in the animal kingdom. Rather, it would, by its nature, require a significant time commitment by both sexes, the result being drawn-out and lasting pleasure between them, one that would incorporate many means of enjoyable stimulation, a sensory mélange of sight, sound and touch, culminating in an ecstatic grand finale, a physical and emotional rush that would seem to make every cell in their bodies cry out, “I LOVE THIS!”
The whole experience was obviously designed by God with built-in incentives that would motivate participants to want to mutually enjoy it as often as possible. If you had asked either Adam or Eve, “What do you enjoy doing the most?” chances are they would not have responded, “Gardening!”
Although some theologians maintain that God designed sex primarily for procreation, that is called into question by several facts.
First, God clearly designed females to be able to enjoy sex even when there is no chance of conception. Women are only fertile about six days of the month. But they can enjoy sex on many other days, and men can similarly enjoy sex with a non-fertile woman. Clearly, God designed sex to be desirable and enjoyable on most days of the month, even though conception is unlikely on most of those days. That puts the priority on pleasure over procreation.
Second, women can enjoy sex for many years after menopause, when it is impossible for them to get pregnant. Again, that prioritizes pleasure over procreation.
Third, God didn’t have to make sex quite as pleasurable as He did. He could have toned it down a little, and there would have still been enough motivation for procreation. But God is good, and that is partially proven by how pleasurable sex is. Whoever came up with the recipe for “Better Than Sex Cake” obviously never had a taste of sex.
Because God lives outside of time and is all-knowing and all-powerful, we probably shouldn’t imagine that He spent significant amounts of time designing all the complexities of human sexuality. God simply speaks, and solar systems instantly exist. Yet, from a human perspective, God clearly “put a lot of thought” into His design of human sexuality in all its complexity and mystery.
He designed the forms, functions and intricacies of penises and vaginas. It was His idea to concentrate nerve endings in male and female genitalia more than any other place in the human body. He designed the chemicals of pleasure that would be released in male and female brains before, during, and after sexual intercourse, and He predetermined how, when and why they would be released.
He incorporated the sexual involvement of the entire human body, so that sex would require the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems to work harmoniously together. The complexities of human sexuality seem almost infinite. Yet God had one primary goal in mind: pleasure with a capital P.
Fact #4: Sex was Created to be Spiritual
All of this may also help us begin to understand the miraculous and thus deep spiritual nature of human sexuality. No evolutionist is able to explain the origin of sex, as it would require, at some point in evolutionary history, a non-sexual organism to evolve into a sexual organism that required another sexual organism of the opposite sex in order to reproduce.
Neither can any evolutionist explain the incredible complexities of sex that I’ve considered in earlier paragraphs to a small degree. Are we really to think, for example, that nerve endings in human genitalia became more and more concentrated over the eons of time because those folks with more sensitive penises and vaginas naturally reproduced more frequently until their offspring achieved evolutionary superiority? Sex, like so much of what humans experience every day, is supernatural.
Thus sex, with all its complexity, ecstasy, and mystery, is designed to make human beings think about God and seek to know Him. One orgasm should be enough to bring every agnostic and atheist to his or her knees. Tragically, however, when you want to remain in darkness, no miracle, no matter how astounding, will be enough to draw you into the light. I suppose that post-orgasm agnostics and atheists lie in the darkness thinking, “Wow, evolution sure is amazing! Imagine how much more fun sex will be for humans living ten million years from now!”
I do hope that I’m lifting your attitude regarding human sexuality, and especially if it has been dragged down by a negative emphasis that is part of so much of Christian culture. In light of secular culture’s immoral sexual focus, it is certainly understandable that the church would seek to counteract it by warning about sexual immorality. But it is tragic that all that negativity isn’t balanced with as much positivity for moral sexuality. Sex is a wonderful gift of God that speaks volumes about His love and grace.
Fact #5: Sex Solved a Big Problem
The Genesis record tells us that God sequentially saw everything He created as being “good,” but after He created Adam, He declared that it was “not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Was God’s negative appraisal based purely on Adam’s potential loneliness? If that were the case, God could have created a non-sexual human companion to fix the problem. He could have brought him a dog, or cat, as a pet (and He apparently did try that; see Gen. 3:19-20). Instead, God created a human companion with whom he (and she) could enjoy regular ecstatic pleasure through a sexual relationship.
If Adam was a sexual creature (that is, possessing genitals, male hormones and so on) prior to Eve’s creation, that could give us a greater appreciation of just how “not good” it was when he was single. He possessed a sexual desire for something he’d never seen or imagined! Big problem!
If, however, he was not a sexual creature prior to Eve’s creation, then God created human sexuality with the introduction of Eve, and Adam woke up from his divine slumber not only missing a rib, but possessing at least one major new part.
Either way, when Adam awoke and God introduced Eve to him, what was previously “not good” (Gen. 2:18), was now “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Problem solved. Adam had a helper, companion, and lover. It seems safe to speculate that she would have appeared biologically to be in her late teens or early twenties. She was perfect. And she was naked.
Fact #6: God Designed Sex to be Frequent
Now, if Adam was like most other red-blooded males who have ever lived, his first reaction to the sight of naked Eve would have been interesting to witness. It was no casual glance. Adam doubtlessly became very excited, and on several levels. I’ll bet he gasped, and stood up a little taller. I suspect his eyes opened wider, and everything but Eve faded from his view. His jaw may have dropped. His heart certainly began pumping faster. The sexual instinct given to Him by God started working, perfectly and powerfully. Not only did Adam stand taller at the first sight of Eve but, had he torn his attention from her for a second and looked south of his belly button, he would have noticed something else that was standing at attention. Eve really “got his attention!”
We can only speculate how quickly Adam followed his instincts and figured out what to do. I’m willing to bet Adam and Eve both figured it out fairly quickly, although the first time they had sex was probably not as enjoyable as the tenth time. And the tenth time was probably not as enjoyable as the 100th time. I suspect their sexual relationship improved as they discovered more about themselves and each other and openly talked about it, without shame. (I wonder how long it took Adam to realize that his wife really enjoyed conversation, and to her, that made her more receptive to his advances?)
We don’t know how long it was before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, but however long it was, before they ate, they were naked all the time, every day. Think about that. Every time Adam looked at Eve, he was captivated. (Some speculate that the word, woman, a name given to Eve by Adam [Gen. 2:23], evolved from what he initially said every time she walked by: WHOO! MAAN!)
May I ask that all my male readers stop and imagine being alone on a deserted island with a beautiful, 21-year-old woman (to whom you are married), and who never wears any clothing. That’s a wonderful thought to most men. That is what it was like for Adam.
Men, if you did find yourself on that deserted island with a beautiful wife who never wore any clothing, how often do you suppose you would be admiring her beauty? How often would you think about sex with her? How often do you suppose you would be having sex with her, if you could seduce her?
Regardless of your combined answer to those three questions (whether it would be 1,000 times a day or as low as 900 times), that is what it was like for Adam. And that is how God designed it. Chances are very good that Adam and Eve had sex frequently. Very frequently. It was a major facet of their relationship. And that was God’s will. (Let that sink in, and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”!)
Fact #7: Sex was Designed to Last Forever
Sex was one of God’s many wonderful gifts to the world’s first couple. It would not only unite them physically, but emotionally, deepening their love and appreciation for each other. It would remind them of His goodness and power, teach them about the benefits of unselfishness, produce for them children to nurture who bore their resemblance, and help ensure that they would remain faithful to each other forever. Remember, at that point, death was not in the picture. They would be having sex forever. And God said it was “very good”!
I remember once meeting an 80-year-old man in a remote village in Burma who surprised me when he introduced me to his 22-year-old wife and their two small children. He was a long-time Christian evangelist who had lost his first wife, and he believed it was not good to remain alone. I almost wrote an article for Heaven’s Family’s magazine about him with the opening line, “She was drop-dead gorgeous, and he was about to drop dead!” I found no evidence within his culture that made me think his marriage was frowned upon. I did feel sorry for his children, who would no doubt lose their father at a young age. Regardless, there wasn’t any doubt that his sexual desire was still strong, and there isn’t any doubt that Adam and Eve were still enjoying sex in their 80s. In fact, Eve gave birth to Seth when Adam was 130 years old, so those old folks were still having fun!
Fact #8: Sex is Fundamentally Good
Again, I’m hoping all this biblical information might be dissolving any sexual negativity that has gained foothold in the minds of some of my readers. If your sexual views have been molded by negativity instilled by your parents, or that exists in some Christian cultures, you may need to re-read this chapter a few times, or think about it for a while, or discuss it with your spouse. If you are unmarried, you may want to discuss it with a Christian friend of the same sex. If you are engaged, you might want to read it with your fiancé/fiancée and talk about it.
In the chapters ahead, I’m going to do my best to focus on the positive. I’m persuaded that God is good and “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and thus all of His regulations are motivated by love. If He tells us not to do something, it is because He loves us and others. If He tells us to do something, it is because He loves us and others. He is the one who created sex, and who thus has the perfect right to regulate it. Divinely-regulated sex has got to be the best sex. Better than any chocolate cake with chocolate icing!
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17).
 Defined as “voluntary sexual intercourse outside of marriage” and “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.”
 Of course, neither Adam nor Eve likely had belly buttons…
 Actually, I only know one person who makes that speculation.
 Some preachers claim that Adam and Eve were clothed with the shining light of God’s glory prior to the Fall. I think that is a perfect example of how Christians invent doctrines to fit their prudishness. Concerning Adam and Eve, Scripture says, “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). It says nothing about a covering of glory, and had that been the case, there would be no need to mention that they were both naked and not ashamed. Rather, Genesis 2:25 would have been written “The man and his wife were not naked, but they were clothed in glory, and so they had no reason whatsoever to be ashamed.”