Frankly, I’m not sure how God could be much more explicit about sex. Sex is obviously good. He created us as sexual beings. There is an entire book in the bible dedicated to sexuality. Sex is not sinful.
There are however conditions where sex is an affront to God. He spells them out in Leviticus 18. Don’t have sexual relations with your blood relatives, your blood relatives’ wives, your neighbor’s wife, animals, members of the same sex, a woman during her period, or a woman and her offspring. There you go, as spelled out as you can get. This is the strict biblical definition of sexual immorality.
So now we live in a time when “good christians” demand that their children be abstinent. Try researching abstinence in the bible. You’ll be hard pressed to ever find unmarried people singled out and directed to abstain from sex. Everyone, regardless of marriage status is directed to abstain from sexual immorality. Sexual immorality of course being spelled out in Leviticus. We’re also directed to abstain from blood, food sacrificed to idols, and meat of strangled animals.
Now, that said, let’s shift to 1 Corinthians 6. Look at verse 11. You are free to do everything. You have been set free from the law. The law no longer binds you. But just because everything is permissible does not mean that everything is beneficial. How do we identify those things which are not beneficial? “but I will not be mastered by anything.”
There was a time in my life when a woman could have taken off all her clothes, laid down on top of me and and I wouldn’t have been tempted to do anything more than discuss the relative merits of reverting to a gold-backed monetary system. It was no temptation at all to sleep in the same bed as a female friend. Now, I’m afraid I have succumbed to the temptation to push sexual boundaries so often that I am not capable of the same self-restraint. It can too easily master me, and therefore it has become something that is clearly not beneficial.
For those who are capable of sharing innocence without letting it go, then by all means, share whatever you’d like. Just be aware that you are opening the door to give it the opportunity to become your master. If you can smoke without it becoming your master, then by all means, smoke away. For me, I am not capable of your self control. “I’ll just do it once” becomes “Anyone got a smoke?” If you can have sex without it becoming your master, then by all means, sex away. For me, “I’m only sexually intimate with a girlfriend” becomes “I only have a girlfriend to be sexually intimate.”
I think honestly, for me it’s less about the innocence and more about the boundary. If I’m free to do anything I want, I’ll want to do amazingly creative things that are very expressive of myself and the way I care about the people I’m around. If I have boundaries, I’ll just want to push the boundaries.
Sex is a good thing. It is a God pleasing thing. He has heaps o’ blessings in store for you through sex. It’s not sinful to hug someone. It’s sinful to let hugging someone become your master. If holding a girl’s hand makes you push her to have sex, then do something else to show her you care than hold her hand. Not because sex is bad, but because it has become your master. Why are you opting out of the blessings He has in store for you just to become a slave to sex?
I would like to throw one more tiny little thing out there. Sex is marriage. It doesn’t say in Genesis 2, “and a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and they will become a legal taxable entity, licensed by the local government.” No… it says “and a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and they will become one flesh.” Is God waiting for you to commit to a woman for better or worse in the front of a church and sign a piece of paper to call you married? Or is he waiting for you to become one flesh?
I understand this isn’t exactly true, and that I’m pushing yet another boundary by saying sex is marriage. But is it more false than true?
You’re off-base here, believe it or not, but in a much more interesting way than you’d be afraid someone thinks. I don’t have time to say what follows from what, but I will get around to it.