Sex: Good, Clean Fun

Sex: Good Clean Fun

It’s He Said/She Said Wednesday again, which means it’s time to talk about two of my favorite subjects: men and women. Today, though, is going to get a little saucy, as I am tackling the issue of sex.

The Church and sex have a long and checkered past. Either the Church is silent on the subject, or it’s all too vocal. But how do individual Christians deal with issue of sex?

We believers are not known for being sexy people. We are known for being a whole lot of other things before being sexy. But why not sexy? The Lord, in His goodness, created sex, after all. He even created it for enjoyment and pleasure. So are married believers actually enjoying sex? Or are they perhaps stilted in the bedroom by the negative connotations that the Church, and sometimes the world, attaches to the word “sex”?

Sex is supposed to be fun–so is it? Are you enjoying good old fashioned sex the way God designed it?My own sexual past is filled with both past sin and new found freedom. After accepting Christ, I began the long road to full sexual healing. I am not fully whole in terms of sexual freedom, but the Lord is bringing me there.

For me, my feelings about sex are a strange mix of both the world’s view of sex, as well as what the Church preaches about it. The world says, “Be sexy. Sex is casual. Just do it.” Of course, all of that runs in contrast to, “Sex is bad. Wait to have sex. Don’t do it.”

I battle these mixed messages in my own sex life. But I know intellectually that God designed sex to be enjoyed between a husband and a wife. He gave us sex as a gift.

Early on in my marriage, I remember the first time my sexual past started to rear its ugly head. I shut down. My husband said, “Let’s pray.” The idea horrified me. “Pray? We can’t pray about sex. God is so not okay with that.” But that’s not true.

God certainly wants us to pray for our sex lives, that they be both fun and steamy, romantic and spiritual. A friend of mine put it this way: “Sex is a gift from God, and anytime you enjoy a gift from the Lord, you are in essence worshiping Him. So go ahead and ‘worship’ the Lord!” (You better believe that, “Let’s worship” became a regular phrase in our bedroom.)

So, what does a healthy Christian sex life look like? I think it entails a few different things, but one of the biggest pieces, the part I am working on, is freedom. Sexual health in marriage requires freedom–freedom from past sin, freedom from negative connotations, freedom from shame, guilt, awkwardness, reservation, and being overly self-aware.

A healthy sex life also requires communication between spouses. I struggle here, as well, since talking about sex actually makes me a bit uncomfortable at times. “Dirty talk” is what the world calls it, but it isn’t dirty before the Lord… far from it. Sex is actually good clean fun. I’ve since renamed dirty talk to “love talk.” Sure, it’s not as catchy, but it gets the point across. Expressing our needs and desires with our spouse can only lead to a more fulfilling sex life. So go have lots of “love talk”!

The world’s message about sex is such a distorted one, and one we are all familiar with. Magazine covers exemplify this type of thinking with stories like “learn how to please your man. 101 sexual positions she will love. Foreplay rules.” What the world fails to realize though, is that a “sex life” extends far beyond the bedroom. A “sex life” in marriage should really be, just part of life–everyday life. Creating a better sex life is determined in how we treat our spouse. Do you say your please’s and thank you’s ? Do you try and have a date night? Do you flirt with one another all day long?

I have experienced tremendous freedom and healing in the area of sex, especially since becoming married. My husband and I have fun, if you know what I mean (and I think you do), but like anything in life, it takes practice and commitment. You don’t automatically have the world’s most rockin’ sex life overnight, but you can if you commit to allowing the Lord into that area of your life. I now regularly pray for mine and my husband’s “sexy time,” and guess what? God is faithful and He knows what we need.

As soon as we recognize what God intends our marriage bed to be, the sooner we can actually experience that kind of sexual health and enjoyment. The marriage bed is undefiled. Admittedly, those words are a little hard for me to write, but they are Truth. The more I say it, though, the less uncomfortable the idea makes me and the more I accept God’s gift of sex.

How do you think Christians handle the issue of sex? What do you think makes a healthy sex life? Do you ever struggle with the message of sex from either the world, the Church, or both? And I’ll just go ahead and ask it…How’s your “Sex life”?

post image from here

30 thoughts on “Sex: Good, Clean Fun”

  1. Thanks for another great post. I think you hit the nail on the head when dealing with sex inside of God’s design. I feel like a lot of times, we let Satan get the upper hand on sex within marriage. It becomes the sore subject between spouses and the start of breakdown in the marriage relationship.

    You’re right that ultimately we need to grasp God’s design for sex. Inside marriage it is a wonderful, pleasure-filled form of worship. I personally struggle with the legalistic side the church presents. I think being taught from day one that sex is dirty and wrong (outside of marriage) has led me to carry the same views of sex into marriage. I think as Christians we are so concerned with putting the focus on sex being wrong and bad, that we fail to teach the good design lest we tempt people to sin. I too, am working to embrace Gods design, the goodness and worship presented through sex, by continually identifying and laying down at the foot of the cross the lies that Satan wants me to believe.

    1. Abbi, my eyes teared up as I read your comment. Really. I think because I hear such hope and realization of God’s promise in your response. More than that, you point out so clearly that it is our enemy who wants to steal the joy of sex from us.

      I heard Beth Moore say this and it could make a whole other post but she said “Satan does everything he can to get us into bed before marriage and everything he can to keep us out of bed in marriage.”

      I’m praying that you continue to lay those lies at the foot of the cross and that Christ brings His abundant freedom to you!

  2. Good post.

    I would say it’s a must to be sect inside a marriage. But NOT okay for christians to convey sexiness in general. In the context of church relationships, giving off a “I’m sexy” vibe just isn’t healthy. God wants and warns us to be modest. Context is key.

    1. Of course, in the right context. But, as Nicole has also written before, us LOOKING GOOD and working at not being a schlub is important for our spouses. As I wrote above, I think our definition of “sexy” is what needs to change. Sexy does not mean skanky.

  3. Reminds of something a friend of mine said her father and Pastor said…. “I don’t care if your naked upside down in a hammock going crazy… as long as your Married God is all for it, love each other and have fun! :)

  4. Great post, Nicole!

    Funny, I just posted something about sex today, too!

    My sex life is pretty good now…hasn’t always been. I am just now starting to feel okay with my sexuality as it relates to my Christianity.

    1. Oh did you? I’ll have to check it out. This may seem weird but I’m so glad your sex life is getting better! That’s how it should be especially as we continue, as you said to accept and appreciate our sexuality as it relates to God.

  5. this single mama’s sex life is non-existent.

    a proud advocate of celibacy for about 8 years now and counting.

    thank you very much!

    *time to take a cold shower now ;) HA!

  6. What a great post! It’s so refreshing to hear a biblical (and not fearful) perspective on sex! I have struggled in the past a lot with both what the world says about sex and what the church has said. Now, as a wife, I think I have experienced a lot of healing too. Lately, i haven’t felt like I need to battle as much with the lies I’ve believed in the past about sex. It’s very freeing.

  7. “how do Christians handle the issue of Sex?” Shame, shame, and more shame. Song of Solomon is in the bible, and it’s pretty much one of the world’s oldest forms of literary erotica…

    1. I would agree Joey, there is a lot of shame regarding sex in the church. But why do you think that is? Even in today’s sexualized culture?

      God gave us Song of Solomon, I think in part, to relate to us His design for sex and that He made it to be enjoyed in marriage. So why haven’t we got the message?

      1. I suspect sometimes it’s because the threat of the world’s view becomes so big that we become reactive, and instantly shut the door on anything that might possibly let it in. Kind of like the sitcom where the unwanted suitor won’t stop calling and when the phone rings yet again the woman picks it up and yells “I told you to leave me alone you moron!” and then finds out it’s her boss on the phone. We’re exhausted from constant attacks and don’t take time to breathe and think about how to fight more effectively.

        Our fighting more effectively should never involve abandoning or softening God’s viewpoint on a matter, regardless of subject, of course. So we don’t downplay or deny that God said sex outside of marriage is sin. But I do see more and more Christian outlets starting to add into their conversation the idea that sex is a wonderful thing inside the boundaries God set for it.

  8. Nicole,

    I just came across your site and wanted to express how much I dig your stuff. This post in particular is both highly creative and effectively refreshing.

    The topic of sex and Christianity is something that I feel most religious groups have missed out on. By this, I mean that a huge opportunity to educate some of the same ideals that you cover in this post to teenagers and young adults is wasted due to the faux pas mentality within denominations. Reading your post, I found myself wondering: what if the topic of sex had been discussed more in this context in my impressionable teenage days in youth group? Moreover, what type of view would that have given me later on in sexual situations…

    Being a Christian learning to grow my faith in my young adulthood (as well as being newly engaged), I find that talking with my future spouse about sex is something that is not only a necessity, but something that we can look to as a key element in growing and strengthening our overall relationship . God is with us always; closing the door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign doesn’t change that! :)

    Ken Mears

    1. Ken, Thanks for the thoughtful and great comment. I so agree with you that much of the message of sex needs to be redirected towards junior high, high school, and college age people. They have the most questions. When we, the church, fails to answer them, they will seek answers elsewhere.

      More than that, my hope is that those answers will be ones of “Sex is awesome! It is so fun! But only in the context of marriage!”

      And I love what you said “God is with us always; closing the door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign doesn’t change that!I I am so stealing that!

      Thanks for the encouraging words as well. I hope to see you around here again!

  9. I’d like to respond to the statement that sex is a wonderful gift from god, meant to be enjoyed. Sex is an unstoppable drive that is programmed into every living thing to ensure there will continue to be living things. It’s enjoyable because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t happen as much. In fact, it’s more than enjoyable, it’s the satiation of a physical imperative.

    The sex drive exists wholly apart from the desire for procreation. This is why we have abortion, AIDS babies, abandoned children, drug-addicted infants etc. People have sex because they are constantly driven to it by their programming (which cannot be changed except by radical means). This exactly mirrors the animal kingdom. If enough humans are coerced by their programming to have enough sex to produce enough babies, a good number of those babies will survive to become sexually mature adults who will then seek out sex as per their biological instructions. Voila! There will always be lots of people, because they all must follow their programming, or suffer.

    The most destitute areas of the world have the most reproduction and the highest infant mortality/suffering because even though your life is horrible, you can always have sex. If sex was not an unchangeable biological imperative, then people might be like “I’ve spent my life digging through garbage for food and sleeping in filth….maybe I should NOT create a bunch more little people to suffer the same indignity.” That will never happen, because god’s design has guaranteed that most people will simply follow their programming and have sex, regardless of the reproductive aspect. This guarantees there will always be lots of people.

    Sex sure does not look like a gift to me. You have to obey your programming and find an outlet for it….or you will suffer. You cannot ignore it. Your programming is stronger than you are, and it will win one way or the other, because you are an animal with the same programming as all the other animals in nature. So, be a good animal and go make more animals. Because clearly that’s the most important thing.

    1. Mr Nice,
      While I understand many of your points from a logical standpoint, I ultimately have to disagree with most of them.

      For starters, I never stated that sex drive and the need to procreate are one int he same. This post doesn’t discuss procreation at all, in fact. Reason being, sex is, as you said merely enjoyable, outside of trying to create a baby or not. However, this begs the question: If God didn’t want us to enjoy sex, why make it enjoyable? You argue that God made sex enjoyable so that we would continue to have children, so as to not allow the human race to enter extinction.

      Yet, why in His infinite wisdom, did He not place a desire in us to procreate, simply to survive? Many mammals mate because they have an instinct to do so, not necessarily because they enjoy it. This idea however, raises another difference I hold, which is that I have a difficult time comparing human beings to other animals. We are not like other animals because we are, in fact, not animals. I find the argument that humans are animals to be a weak and foolish one. We clothe ourselves. We display logic, reason, emotion, etc. We are not feces-flinging chimpanzees and any attempt to say so is nonsense.

      Besides the fact that even some mammals have sex for pleasure, like dolphins, for instance.

      Did you know that the clitoris on a woman has no anatomical or biological function except to give pleasure? It is a built-in pleasure button for woman. I find this fascinating and proof that God wants sex to be enjoyable, fun, and exciting. Yes, He wants us to procreate too, but that does not mean doing so can’t be pleasurable.

      As an aside, you said: “the most destitute areas of the world have the most reproduction and the highest infant mortality/suffering because even though your life is horrible, you can always have sex.” I’m not sure where you pulled this idea from. The US actually has one of the highest mortality rates in the world, and we are certainly not a “destitute” country. There are many other factors that contribute to infant mortality rates and even abortion, for that matter, the least of which I think is people having sex to wish away their sad existence.

    2. God didn’t design us to be animals. We have some of the same instincts, or programming if you will, that animals do, certainly. Commonality of design is not unusual, and they’re beneficial for us in understanding and interacting with the world around us. But what sets human beings apart from animals is the ability to actively choose to operate contrary to our instincts on our own initiative. You can train an animal to operate contrary to its natural instincts, as we do with many domesticated and tamed creatures. You can use reward and punishment to reshape their behaviors. You can do the same to a child. But humans have a unique capacity for self-programming and willful selection of behavior. Humans are capable of remarkable feats of willful dominance over their natural reactions. When we believe in what we are doing, we will willfully override every natural directive up to an including self-preservation for as long as body and mind continue to function.

    3. This is an old post, but for anyone who happens across it, I wanted to add another thought to this. If you truly find yourself in a place where you want to resist your urges or programming, and you cannot, that’s the time to seek out an honest Christian counselor/psychologist who can help you determine whether you’re showing signs of addiction and offer treatment if you are. There’s no shame in needing help to overcome something that’s defeating you. It absolutely can be defeated, because the power of God is stronger than the urges of the bodies He created and the blood of Christ was shed to wash us free from our sin. But sometimes we need help in achieving that victory.

  10. When I was 15, way before a sex life, I decided I didn’t want to do it. After a couple kids and a marriage, I still see it as unnecessary recreation. I predicted it wasn’t for me at a young age and still feel the same 15 yrs later.

    So my sex life is full of doing it even though I don’t like it.

  11. Though I know your no longer active doing MODERN REJECT, I’m glad you still maintain these archives. Very balanced and helpful stuff. The one caution I would add though is that the bible doesn’t say that the marriage bed is undefiled. Rather, it says “let the marriage bed be undefiled”. That’s different. And, I think it’s a tricky one for a lot of people. I know that I had to do a lot of sorting things out from my exposure to unhealthy things in the past. I’ve found that there are some things that simply don’t belong in the marriage bed, and they never will. That’s not to say that we should experience freedom in the ways you mentioned, because we should. But let us always be careful that we’re not bringing the worlds ways into the bedroom.

    I’ve learned to gage unhealthy appetites by asking myself how I would feel if one of my children engaged in X in their future sexual relationship with their spouse. Asking that question keeps me on the right track. After all, I want to LOVE my wife and be passionate about her physically. But, I never want to use her as an object of lust. If I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach, that is often a good indicator to stop because I’m crossing the line from love to lust.

    Finally, I’m incredibly concerned as within the past couple of years books are being published in Christian circles that pretty much teach that anything goes in marriage as long as both agree to it. That is frighteningly dangerous because much of what is being promoted comes directly from porn. Secondly, it takes no more than a casual look at human anatomy to understand how God designed us and what his intent is for how we ought to use our bodies. It’s pretty clear that certain parts go in certain places, so we don’t even need really to look in the bible for explicit prohibitions to know whether something is wrong or not. After all, the bible doesn’t prohibit sticking a pencil in your eye. It doesn’t need to. It’s obvious because of our design.

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