Biblical Foundations: Sexual Beings
Second, Creation teaches us that our existence as specifically sexual beings, male and female, is good. “Male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27), and then God declared it “very good” (vs. 31). Scripture mentions at least four basic purposes of our sexuality: procreation, union, pleasure and gratification, and instruction.
Procreation. In Genesis 1:28, God blesses His precious creations by urging them to beget children. This truth forms the foundation for the positive Christian view of family as a fundamental unit of God’s blessing. God made families!
Union. Genesis 2:24 points to the uniting power of sexual intercourse. Jesus makes this teaching the foundation of his instruction on marriage and divorce in Mark 10 and Matthew 19. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 teaches explicitly that even casual sexual union such as visiting a prostitute results in the uniting of two strangers in some mysterious way. What is the meaning of the uniting of two persons in marriage? What does it mean for two individuals to become one flesh? Sadly but happily, this is and will remain a great mystery.
Physical gratification and pleasure. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, the apostle Paul speaks in the most matter-of-fact way about sexual need and the obligation of spouses to meet each other’s needs. He speaks of the problem of burning with passion, and how the physical pleasures of sex in marriage take care of those needs. The Bible speaks poetically of the beauty of physical love: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19). And of course the Song of Solomon speaks powerfully of the delights of romantic love and physical rapture. God does not shy away from acknowledging the basic truth that sex feels great because God made it that way.
Instruction. We believe that God means to instruct us about His truth through our sexuality. Romans 1:20 speaks of aspects of God’s divine nature being clearly seen in what He has made. In being made men and women who inevitably feel the urge for union with another whom we love, we learn experientially that we are incomplete in ourselves and that we need union with “The Other” to be truly ourselves. No marriage, no matter how wonderful, ever fully satisfies our need for completion, but through our sexuality, we are directed out beyond ourselves for that completion. And good Christian marriages in turn teach the world about God’s love for His people by serving as earthly models of this heavenly truth (Ephesians 5:25-33).