When I was 14, I went to one of those large youth conferences. It was one of those events that my youth leader had spent all year trumpeting. Students from all over the country converged on one spot to listen to “cool” worship music and listen to hip speakers talk about God’s love. At the end several thousand students made a commitment to not have sex until they were married. I was one of them. It seemed like a great idea at the time. but now two decades later, I wonder if we weren’t doing our nation’s youth a disservice.
Not that making a commitment to save yourselves for marriage is a bad thing. But I think that teaching that “God made sex for marriage” feels like hollow reasoning. And when you’re a horny guy who’s finally convinces a cute girl to hang out with you one-on-one, it also seems like a thin reason to remain abstinent.
I’m not here to tell you to remain abstinent…but I do want to talk about sex.
Growing up, I was bombarded with society’s view of sex, which sees one primary purpose for sex: pleasure. …Sometimes also procreation, but primarily pleasure.
But is that the only purpose for sex? Was that what God had in mind when he designed us for intercourse?
Yes! (Go read Song of Solomon)
But God designed sex to be a complex and very intimate event, and pleasure is only a piece of the puzzle.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks about how a husbands body belongs to his wife. Paul is expressing how intimate an act sex is. Sex is about pleasure, sure, but it’s also about serving your partner. Sex is about showing your commitment to another person. Proverbs 5:17-23 talks about the pleasures of intimacy. Sex is more fully expressed in a relationship that is exclusive — sex is more powerful among two people that have commited to one another.
We don’t even have to look at the bible to figure this out, science tells us the same thing. Numberous studies have been done of the neurohypophysial hormones Oxytocin. When a human male orgasms (hehe), he produces oxytocin, which basically helps bond him with whoever he’s sleeping with. This chemical helps boost our level of affection towards our mate and increases our level of affection towards the people we sleep with. Sex is about commitment. Other studies have shown that sex is better when we focus on the needs of our partner rather than our needs. Sex is about service.
Sex is about pleasure, but it’s also about intimacy, commitment, service, and I think the list could go on.
When society focuses on how pleasurable sex is, they’re really only capturing a fraction of the blessings that God designed sex for.
That’s why thousands of teenagers made a commitment to abstain until marriage…but I don’t think many of them understood that, because no one taught them the purpose for sex. We just said, “sex is better when you’re married.”
We’re looking at sex backwards. We shouldn’t be looking at sex and saying “wait!” We should be looking at the relationships and asking “what kind of relationship is capable of capturing all the blessings of sex?”