Sexuality. Although God calls us to live in work relationships (1 Corinthians 7:21ff), governments (Romans 13:1ff), neighborhoods (Leviticus 19:13ff,) etc., when He created Adam and Eve to reflect His image, He designed them as husband and wife (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:24-25, 3:8ff). Yet, defining sexuality is one of the most hotly debated topics in the western world. Those who seem to view biblical marriage as restrictive and unloving appear to be seeking greater happiness through greater freedom by redefining “sex” vs. “gender” and even personal pronouns. Ironically, God’s Word teaches and shows us that the greatest joy and freedom in sexuality comes with narrow definitions.
God designed marital sexuality to physically reflect His spiritual image, narrowly defined as one God loving in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Trinity). That’s also why, from Genesis to Revelation, God repeatedly describes the relationship between Himself and His people with intimate metaphors of Groom and Bride, a wedding, faithfulness, etc. and all else as adultery, prostitution, etc. I urge you to search a digital Bible for consistent references. Thus, marital sexuality is to reflect His…
Unity – The Persons of the Trinity are completely unified (Matt 28:19, John 5:17-19 & 10:22, 2 Cor 13:14), so God designed marital sex to reflect His oneness (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5-6, 1 Cor 6:16, etc.).
Delight – The Trinity delight in each other (Matt 3:16-17, John 4:34 and 14:26, 1 John 4:8), so marital sexuality is to reflect this, too. (Gen 2:23-25, Prov 5:15-20, Song of Solomon, Rev 21:2 & 22:17, etc.).
Purity – Dedication among the Trinity is exclusive, perfect, and eternal (Hab 1:13, John 17:24, James 1:13-17), so marital sex is to reflect His commitment (1 Cor 6:15-20, Eph 5:22-33, Heb 13:4). Thus, violation of this purity is the basis for divorce (Malachi 2:13-16, Matthew 19:1-9 and 1 Cor 7:11-14).
Structure – Yet the Persons are different. The Father leads the Son, never vice versa (Luke 2:49 and 22:42, Heb 5:8), and the Spirit always supports the Father and Son (John 16:13-15). Therefore, the husband is always to lead his wife in godliness (Eph 5:25ff) and the wife is to support her husband (1 Pet 3:1ff), and He forbids even the appearance of role reversal (Deut 22:5, Judges 4:8ff, Isaiah 3:12).
Life-giving – The Trinity enjoys perfect relationship needing nothing, yet overflows to bring life so others may delight in Him, too (Gen 1:1ff, Psalm 103, Jer 2:1-13, Joel 2:24-32). So, God designed husbands and wives to bring physical life (read Gen 38:1-10 in the light of Genesis 12 and God’s promise to work through Abram to draw many nations to Him) and to point their children to Him for spiritual life (Deut 6:4-9, Malachi 2:15-15, read all of 1 Cor 6-7 on marital sexuality and holy children). Thus, just as all created life comes from the Father (Mal 2:10, 1 Cor 8:6) through the Son (John 1:1-5, Col 1:15-20), and God gives His Spirit to manifest spiritual life (Gen 2:7, John 6:63), only men’s seed carries life, and only women receive and bear life. And this image of marriage is primarily about spiritual life in Christ (Eph 5:31-32), which is why God doesn’t call all to have children (1 Cor 7:6-7).
If you’d like to hear more on marital sexuality from the book, Song of Solomon, see this week’s video.
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.