A Gift We Cherish or A Gift We Abuse?
Friday, January 14, 2022 by Dr James H Dotson Jr

God created sex. We can embrace this marvelous gift as God intended, or we can abuse this gift and, in the process, ourselves and others.

God’s Design for Sexuality

So, what did God intend?

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. … Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” … And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:1–31, ESV)

God created human beings—male and female. This is part of God’s design for sexuality.

“then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. … Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:7–24, ESV)

The joining of one man and one woman united in “one flesh” as husband and wife is also part of God’s design for sexuality. The use of the term “one flesh” conveys God’s intention for husband and wife to be joined as if one in one inseparable relationship – marriage.

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. …” (Genesis 4:1–2, ESV)

Adam and Eve were blessed and told to be fertile and increase in number. Clearly, then, sex and reproduction between a husband and wife in marriage are part of God’s design for sexuality. But take care not to conclude that sex between a husband and wife in marriage is just some mechanical reproductive process.

God designed sex to be pleasurable too (e.g., see Proverbs 5:15-19; and Song of Solomon). Enjoying the intimacy of sex between a husband and wife in marriage is also part of God’s design for sexuality. Physical intimacy between a husband and wife is one key to experiencing the one-flesh union God intends in marriage (e.g., see Genesis 2:24; and Mark 10:6-8).

Counterfeits to God’s Design for Sexuality

To say that within our culture we are far from God’s design for sexulity would be an understatement. A committed, monogamous relationship between one man and one woman in marriage is no longer a condition for many to having sex. We are, to a large extent, pursuing our own ways and not the ways of God.

  • We have sex with ourselves (masturbation).
  • We have sex with individuals of our same birth gender (homosexuality).
  • We have sex before marriage (pre-marital sex).
  • We have extramarital affairs (adultery).
  • We have sex with our own children (incest).
  • We have sex with animals (bestiality).
  • We indulge our lusts by watching others for sexual gratification (pornography and voyeurism).
  • We force individuals to have sex with us against their will (sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence).

We have become preoccupied and obsessed with gratifying our self-centered lusts for sex no matter what the consequences to ourselves or to others. Our media are saturated with sex or the suggestion of sex. We see/hear it in music, television, movies, on the Internet, in ads for everything from sex itself to automobile tires, and more. And our appetite for sex has given rise to the exploitation and trafficking of human beings for sex, including children and youth, here in the U.S. and around the world. I could go on, but this is not the time or medium to do so.

The bottom line is that many are abusing the precious gift of sex God gave to us.

The Good News

For those who want to—it’s a choice—we can turn from our ways and pursue the ways of God.

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38, ESV)

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control … If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. …” (Galatians 5:16–26, ESV)

“…For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. …” (1 Thessalonians 4:1–8, ESV)

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”” (Luke 11:13, ESV)

““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7, ESV)

The Holy Spirit is key. Seek the Holy Spirit. Receive the Holy Spirit. Then, live in and by the power of the Holy Spirit—“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13, ESV)

For resources to help, visit the Training for Transformation Online Resource Center.

Copyright © 2022 Training for Transformation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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