Sex--What’s Love Got to Do with It? by Randy Croft
1 Corinthians 6:18-6:20
Sex: What’s Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It?
There couldn’t have been a worse time. Just before Easter weekend, when millions of people around the world think about spiritual things, a cult group commits mass suicide. Remember the story? 39 people took their lives. 21 women, 18 men. Heaven’s Gate. They were all happily looking forward to shedding their bodies and joining some UFO in the trail of the comet Hale Bopp. At first, the police thought they were all men. Why? Because everyone in the cult had this androgynous look--sexless. Women and men looked somewhat gender less. All the Heaven’s Gate members wore baggy clothes lest they show their sexuality. The body was only a container. It was part of the Heaven’s cult teaching...There was no gender at the "next level" so look as neutral as possible. Sex was evil. The leader, Marshall Applesauce, preached celibacy...even going so far as castrating himself. As it turned out, there were six men altogether who castrated themselves.
I’m thinking--great. Not only were their minds castrated and deceived, but several men actually castrated themselves. One member said on video tape that castrating himself made him feel free.
Just what the world needs--another weird religious group getting messed up on sexuality. There have always been those groups who go off the deep end and forbid sex, castrate themselves, advocate celibacy. That’s why the Catholic church has struggled with a massive shortage of priests--. Other religious groups that advocate incest, orgies, prostitution, etc....total distortion.
Research has pointed out that it’s not religious groups that have the major hangups on sex...it’s our whole culture. Sex is so pervasive in everything we do as a culture. Advertisers use sex to sell cars, clothes, shampoo, sunglasses, even milk. I saw a billboard advertisement in town using sex to sell milk...the slogan.. "Milk...It’s my obsession." Is nothing immune?
A study estimates that the average person views over 9,000 sex acts, or implied sex acts, every year on television. Of that, over 80% is by people who aren’t married. Average kid, watching television, from age 8-18 (ten years) watched 93,000 scenes of sex, over 72,000 of these scenes would have been premarital or extramarital affairs. Guess what happened. Teenage pregnancies have skyrocketed. So the government said, "Hey we better start passing out condoms at school." Did it stop the pregnancies? No, Pregnancies have increased 400%. 70% of unwed teen mothers will go on welfare. Of teens who marry because of pregnancy,
60% will be divorced in five years. 2/3 of teenage pregnancies are fathered by men over 20.
--But that’s teenagers. Adults make wiser choices, right? Yeah, right. 12 million Americans become infected with Sexually transmitted diseases every year. There are more adult bookstores in America than McDonalds restaurants. Pornography is an 8 billion dollar/year business. Many today, sex is like shaking hands.
Bible is considered to give outdated advice, unrealistic ethics. For man people their sexual ethics come from Nike-- "Just do it", Or Budweiser "Why ask Why?"
Someone wrote once that "Sex is like a great river that is rich and deep and good as long as it stays within its proper channel. The moment a river overflows its banks, it becomes destructive, and the moment sex overflows its God-given banks, it too becomes destructive."
I couldn’t agree more...so allow me today to share from God’s word the principles for lasting happiness, including a more wholistic and healthy understanding of sex...written by the creator of sex...God.
What God says about sex from the bible. 3 principles.
I. Sex is more than just a physical act. It’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
Problem with topless bars, pornography, and sexual advertisements, is not that they emphasize sex too much, but that they don’t emphasize it enough. They totally eliminate the depth of human relationship and restrain sexuality to the narrow confines of momentary pleasure. They think genital sex alone defines sex, but that is only a small part of God’s beautiful design. They have trivialized sex as a shallow "get high" drug, useful only until the next hit.
The bible is not squeamish about sexuality. God boldly created it in the beginning and called it good. Song of Solomon celebrates sex as a voluptuous adventure.
Song 8:6 "Put me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm..."
Paul the apostle, in his letter to the Corinthians writes "The husband should give his wife all that he owes her as his wife. And the wife should give her husband all that she owes him as her husband. The wife does not have full rights over her own body; her husband shares them. And the husband does not have full rights over his own body; his wife shares them. Do not refuse to give your bodies to each other, unless you both agree to stay away from sexual relations for a time so that you can give your time to prayer. Them come together again so Satan cannot tempt you because of a lack of self-control." (I Cor 7:3-5).--Husbands do not own wives. Wives don’t own the husbands. But neither do they have total ownership of their bodies.
Major difference between sex in our culture, and God’s original blueprint for sex, is that God’s design has a much deeper level of intimacy and commitment. Not cheap. Two examples
I thought it was funny, when I was 12 years old reading the bible through for the first time. I would read about husbands and wives and the bible would say something like "Adam knew Eve and they had a son." I would ask, "What does knowing someone have to do with childbirth?" Yet the bible uses that terminology over and over and over for sex. That’s why the Hebrew word for sex--yada--literally means "to know." It’s not just a physical act. It’s about knowing someone that you have a lifelong commitment to. Knowing a persons heart, their emotional selves, their spiritual side.
The University of Northern Iowa once offered a general art course that included a most unusual exercise. The teacher brought to class a shopping bag filled with lemons and gave a lemon to each class member. The assignment was for the student to keep his lemon with him day and night--smelling, handling, examining it. Next class period, without warning, students were told to put their lemons back in the bag. Then each was asked to find his lemon. Surprisingly, most did so without difficulty.
God designed sex in a way for people to know their partners in such a way that know one else will ever know.
It touches deep into the spirit of each person and produces a union between two people. Something called the "one flesh". Gen 2:24 "they leave, and cling, and become one flesh." Jesus said, "So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man pull apart" (Matt 19:6). Obviously there was a merger, a unity. I Corinthians 6:16 "Don’t you know that he who joins himself with a prostitute becomes one flesh with her?"
That’s why sexual sins are different than most others...It’s the one-flesh that happens.
I Corinthians 6:18-20 "Flee from sexual immorality...All other sins a man commits..."
That’s why the bible says to wait for marriage to have sex. It’s not just a safeguard against venereal disease, or unwanted pregnancy. Tina Turner "What’s Love Got to do, got to do with it." God’s word says, commitment and love have everything to do with it. Two lives become one.
2. God looks at sex differently than our culture does.
Our culture doesn’t consider people married until they go down to the courthouse and get the documents, then see a justice of the peace or a licensed minister and say "I do." God sees it a little differently.
Jesus, John 4:16-18. Samaritan woman. She ran around.
God considers people married if they sleep together, even if they don’t have the papers. If a couple slept together and didn’t follow through with a marriage covenant--they were killed with stones. If a young man sleeps with a young woman and didn’t intend to immediately follow it up with the marriage ceremony, he has disgraced her and her family...her relatives would seek out the young man to kill him.
Outside of a marriage covenant, it’s just a verbal commitment. I can prove that without even going to the bible. I do marriage counseling before the wedding, and the research shows that couples who are having sex and living together before marriage will divorce 25% more often. Facts of life. No bible needed. Why? Guys will lie to women about commitment and love and women will believe it. A study at a Midwestern college showed that 80% of the women who had intercourse hoped to marry their partner. Only 12% of the men had the same expectation.
If you or someone you know are sleeping together with only a verbal commitment, God’s word would tell you, "Follow that up immediately with the marriage covenant, or go and sin no more--get out of it right away." Build your relationship on solid ground...not just shacking up for convenience sake...
USA Today even had a front section article about how cohabitation leads to a lower level of commitment, happiness, and satisfaction among partners...to enjoy better sex as God designed...get married or save yourself for one who will totally commit his/her life to you.
The bible may sound old-fashioned, but it’s backed by the best results. The proof is in the pudding. God, the designer and creator of sex, knows how to give us instructions in this area...
Madonna explained years ago that she intended her daughter, Lourdes, to read the Bible. Even though she might not have a daddy in the house, she would have a Bible. Madonna’s said "I want my daughter to read the Bible, but I will explain to her that these are stories that people made up to teach people -- it’s not the rule." Yet little Lourdes will one day come across God’s word about sex, and her mother’s words and lifestyle regarding sex. She’ll have to choose. If she chooses to follow God’s word concerning sex, she’ll see that it maximizes commitment, sex, love, intimacy, and enjoyment.
When it says...
"Do not be deceived: The sexually immoral, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God."I Cor 6:9-10.
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" Heb 13:4.
...it’s setting solid boundaries to protect relationships.
When it says
"Be faithful to your own wife, just as you drink water from your own spring...don’t be held captive by a woman who takes part in adultery. Don’t hug another man’s wife" (Proverbs 5).
...it’s not making laws to make us unhappy, but to enhance our relationships.
ILLUS: I grew up single parent.
"Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people." Eph 5:3.
You will be a minority if you hold to God’s ideal in sex.
"Enter the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to destruction, and many will enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to eternal life. Only a few people will find that road." Matthew 7:12-14
3. If we continue to hold onto a distorted, twisted view of sex--popular with our culture, we can literally destroy people’s lives.
Norma Jean Mortenson. Remember that name? Norma Jean’s mother, Mrs. Gladys Baker, was periodically committed to a mental institution and Norma Jean spent much of her childhood in foster homes. In one of those foster homes, when she was eight years old, one of the boarders raped her and gave her a nickel.
He said, ’Here, Honey. Take this and don’t ever tell anyone what I did to you.’ When little Norma Jean went to her foster mother to tell her what had happened she was beaten badly. She was told, ’Our boarder pays good rent. Don’t you ever say anything bad about him!’ Norma Jean at the age of eight had learned what it was to be used and given a nickel and beaten for trying to express the hurt that was in her. "Norma Jean turned into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a person.
Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name--Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, ’We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.’ And this was her reaction, ’A symbol? Aren’t symbols things people hit together?’ They said, ’Honey, it doesn’t matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.’
"She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking,
’Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?’
Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles. "Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did.
"She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn’t know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.
"She kept saying, ’Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.’ They didn’t notice. They wouldn’t take her seriously. "She went through three marriages--always pleading, ’Take me seriously as a person.’ Everyone kept saying, ’But you are a sex symbol. You can’t be other than that.’ "Marilyn kept saying ’I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.’ "And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself. "When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her.
Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself. "He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I
now edit for church, ’Frankly, my dear, I don’t care!’ That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling. "Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, ’What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?’ She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe’s whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood.
Have you messed up sexually? If you have don’t give up. The bible has hope. It says that even if you’ve constantly lived in opposition to God’s ideal for you, you can begin again. You can start over. You can be a virgin again.
No way, you say...Yes way.
1. I John 1:9 "Confess sins. Forgive and cleanse..."
2. Guard your thought life. "...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
3. Maintain proper boundaries.
"...so be careful. If you are thinking, ’Oh I would never behave like that,’ let this be a warning to you. For you too may full into sin." 1 Corinthians 10:12 (LB)
a. Don’t be alone with the opposite sex.
b. Monitor things that come into your mind.
c. Don’t discuss problems about your marriage with the opposite sex.
d. Don’t flirt-joke inappropriately-put down your marriage.
4. Take your vows seriously. Be a promise keeper.
5. Remember that God’s ideal for you--if you live to his principles is to have no shame. "And the man and woman were both naked and were not ashamed."
6. Make a commitment to live according to Gods blueprint for your life, not just in sex, but in all areas.
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word." Psalm 119:9