Sex is a need, not just a want

SexIsANeed

Do human beings need sex or just want sex? Some people believe that sex is nothing more than a desire or want.  After all – no one ever died from not having sex.

But the truth is there are many needs that we have as human beings that if they go unmet my not result in our death.

Most human beings need to be around other people.  If you were to take most people and remove them from all human contact it would eventually make them go crazy.

No one one would argue with that fact that women have the need to emotionally connect with their husbands.

But for some reason when it comes to sex – we somehow tend to set that aside as want, rather than a need.

I heard this saying about sex:

“While no one ever died from not having sex, many marriages have died from not having sex”.

What a true statement – let that sink in.

Human beings, both men and women need sex. The way we approach sex as men and women may be very different, but sex is a need regardless.

God identifies sex with the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter in Exodus 21:10-11:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

If you were wondering, the “duty of marriage” literally means “conjugal rights”, or right to sex. The only people who do not have a need for sex are those whom God has given the gift of celibacy for his service (like the Apostle Paul).

God reiterates this fact in I Corinthians and makes sure we know that obviously sex is a need not just for women, but also for men:

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The one exception to sex being a need is if a man or woman is given the gift of celibacy as opposed to the gift of sex.

Conclusion

Christian husband do you see giving your wife sex as something that is just as important as making sure she is feed and clothed?

Christian wife do see that your husband needs sex with you as much as he needs food? If God calls sex a need, then we ought to regard it as such.

Does the Bible talk about romantic love in marriage?

FlowersSex1

I wanted to introduce you all to a new site that I think readers of my blog would like – this post came from this new site at: http://restoringchristiansexuality.com/does-the-bible-talk-about-romantic-love-in-marriage/

Just a WARNING though to my readers – this site features full nudity both in its discussion of sexual issues as well as galleries.  If you don’t want to see nudity – don’t go to this site.  But it links to a lot of great sites, including this blog.

Check it out!

 

Masturbation can help to keep your sexual purity

group of casual people smiling isolated over a white background

I realize the idea that masturbation can help keep your sexual purity seems like an oxymoron. In fact at most churches Christians are taught just the opposite, that masturbation causes them to have impure thoughts and the act itself is a sin. But masturbation is not a sin, and it can help keep you sexually pure.

I am a born again Christian, a Bible believing Christian. I am married, and I have a wife to have sex with. I wrongly thought when I was a young Christian teen that all this sexual temptation would go away as soon as I was married. Let me tell you Christian friends, it does not. In fact after you have had the real thing (sex with a woman), it can get worse.

I agree with other Christians that we do face a battle against sexual temptation. Where we disagree is where that battle is and what tools God has given us to wage that battle.

I agree with anti-masturbation Christians that we must war against thoughts of having premarital sex or adulterous sex. That means if I even think of how I could get a single woman into bed, or a married woman into bed (that I am not married to) that is what Jesus Christ called “lusting after a woman” in Matthew chapter 5. From this point forward I will refer to anti-masturbation Christians as AMCs.

Where the disagreement comes in is about sexual arousal, sexual fantasy and masturbation. AMCs believe all three of these things are the enemy, and we must war against them. I believe these are a tool, to keep us from truly sinning.

If we understand God’s boundaries that we cannot think of luring someone into premarital or adulterous sex then we need a tool to get rid of the sexual tension that most people face. The only people who do not face sexual tension are those whom God has given the gift of celibacy, they are basically asexual and do not have a sex drive, but this is a very small percentage of the population.

Your body needs a physical sexual release

Your body needs a natural sexual release, especially if you are a male (but many women do as well). Approximately every 72 your sperm ducts fill up and hormones are sent through your body tell you need a release. Anti-masturbation advocates will tell you God’s tool for release is nocturnal emissions, otherwise known as wet dreams. So somehow it is ok for your mind to subconsciously think about having sex with a woman, which causes you to ejaculate in your sleep, but if you consciously had the same thoughts about her that would be sin? I don’t think that AMCs have clearly thought this out.

While women do not have sperm ducts that fill up like men, they do have hormones that release once a month around the time they ovulate. These hormones in essence make them horny, so that if they were married they would want to have sex with their husband when they are fertile. This is the only reason the human race has survived.  So while a woman may not need to masturbate every other day like a man, she may only need to masturbate one week a month around the time of her ovulation.

You mind needs sexual release too

I have seen some well-meaning Christian web sites that recognize the fact that human beings need regular sexual release, whether they are married or single. But because they cannot let go of church tradition, and actually see that lust is more than being sexually aroused or having sexual fantasy, they must still condemn that. So basically they tell people that they have to masturbate with no sexual thoughts whatsoever.

Let me tell you, I tried this a few times when I used to believe the way they did, and man is it brutal to try and masturbate without any sexual images in your head, or in front of you. You seriously feel like you are only partially relieved when you are done.

The reason is that our sexual release is supposed to be both a physical AND mental release for it truly give us relief. I am not sure what a woman needs to think about(since I am not a woman), but I know for sure that a man needs to think of a hot naked woman while he masturbates to truly relieve both his mind and his body of the sexual tension that has built up.

How AMCs brutalize young single men with their teachings

I remember what it was like to be a young single Christian person (20 years ago) and I understand the great sexual stress these people face. In fact I think the doctrines of AMCs are the most brutal when it comes to Christian singles.

You are told as Christian single to just concentrate on other things, put your sexual frustrations out of your mind. As young men, you are told to “bounce your eyes” anytime an attractive woman walks by. Basically if Christian men truly followed these teachings they would have to walk around everywhere looking at the ground. This is utterly ridiculous.

Other times Christian men are taught that they need to train their minds not look at women as sexual objects. Then they can look at women with no sexual arousal because they see them as a “person” and not as a “sex object”. Again if any single Christian man is reading this, if he is being honest with himself, he knows this a bunch of bologna.

I teach my teenage sons not to look at woman as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure. What that means is, there is nothing wrong with my sons accepting the fact that God wired their brains to receive sexual pleasure from just the site of a beautiful woman. She does not have to touch them, talk to them or even know they exist. Just the sight of a beautiful woman sends off pleasurable signals in a man’s mind.

It just so happens that for men, the same part of the brain that gives them pleasure from smelling their favorite foods or makes them hungry from seeing a food commercial on TV is the part that gives them pleasure from seeing a beautiful woman, whether on TV, in a magazine, or in real life.

If you are a woman – you don’t have that wiring so it will be hard for you to understand, you sexual wiring is completely different than a man’s. But if you want to roughly understand how many get pleasure just from the sight or scent of a woman, then imagine how you receive pleasure from smelling your favorite foods, or seeing a commercial for your favorite food and you partially understand how men work in this area.

But what I teach my son’s is that women are both people and objects of sexual pleasure for a man. I realize that may be very hard for many Christians, especially women to understand. Women don’t understand that many times men are objects for them as well, but men are a different kind of object for women.

For women, men are objects of physical and financial security. Women want a man who will be able to protect them and provide for them, it is built into their nature. A man’s intelligence, his ambition, his strength and assertiveness is what attracts a woman to him.

The only difference with a woman objectifying a man is that usually she has to get to know him a bit to discover if he has the qualities she desires. This is why women typically are not attracted to weak willed, unintelligent and unsuccessful men. It is true that there are many more things to a man’s personality, but these things are minimum things most women look for.

So with my daughter, I would teach her there is nothing wrong with her seeing men as objects of physical and financial security, but that she also needs to see them as people too.

So in summary – I don’t want my son’s to be whoremongers who ONLY see women as objects of sexual pleasure and I don’t want my daughter to be a gold digger who only sees men as a paycheck. But there is nothing wrong with my son’s seeing women BOTH as objects of sexual pleasure and as people, and there is nothing wrong with my daughter seeing men as BOTH objects of physical and financial security and as people as well.

Your sexual nature has no off switch

But what AMCs do, is ask you to reprogram your mind from how God designed you as a young man to be. They treat your sexual nature as one and the same with your sin nature and that is not Biblically true. God gave you a sexual nature, and he did not design you with an off switch until you get married, it only has an on switch and it turns on during puberty and never turns off for the rest of your life.

There are only two ways to relieve sexual tension

The only two ways to truly relieve sexual tension both physically and mentally is masturbation or sex with another person. Married sex (between a man and woman) is the only kind of sex between persons that God honors.

How a Single Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

At the end of this post I will supply a link to an article I wrote with refuting all the arguments that people try and use (even with Bible verses) against masturbation. I highly encourage you to read it. But once you read the Bible and understand there is not guilt, or shame in masturbating this is how masturbation can keep you sexually pure.

Feel free to appreciate the women around you. God made your mind able to get pleasure from women’s beauty in the same way he made your nose able to get pleasure from smelling your favorite foods. The boundary that God has set for you is that you do not start fantasying in your head about how you could approach this woman to have sex with you outside of marriage.

When you need to, masturbate to images of beautiful women whether only in your mind or pictures you have found. I wrote an entire article on Christians and nudity as well. Please see that at the end of this post. The boundary God has placed on you viewing nudity is that you cannot derive pleasure by looking at “bad porn”.

Bad porn is any photo, or film of people engaged in homosexual sex, group sex, rape sex or bestiality as all these things violate God’s design of heterosexual sex.

But there is absolutely no sin in you as a man enjoying paintings or pictures of nude women or even couples engaged in normal heterosexual sex as God designed it. You were wired by God to think about and appreciate the female form, and to think about and appreciate the thought of heterosexual sex.  This is why photos of heterosexual sex bring you so much pleasure – they are a thought put to paper – its like an instant lifelike painting.

As a man, when you look at images of beautiful women, or imagine that beautiful woman walking down the street, you relieve BOTH you mind and body of the sexual tension that has naturally built up. You will then be able to go about your normal life’s business (school, college or work) and not have to deal with this sexual stress.

Another way masturbation can keep you sexually pure as a single Christian is in your dating life. You may be finding yourself tempted to have premarital sex with your girlfriend or fiancé, and the best way to avoid this temptation is through masturbation. You can even masturbate with images of your girlfriend or fiancé in your head, or maybe you have a picture of her in a swim suit.

How a married Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

Single people might ask – why would you ever have to masturbate when you have an actual person that you can legally have sex with?

Well there are many reasons. Sometimes because of health reasons a couple may go long periods of time without being have to have sex. This is common for women with high risk pregnancies where the doctor may forbid sexual intercourse for a time (of course there are alternatives to intercourse). Other times a husband may be in the military and away from his wife for many months at a time.

Then there are sex drive differences between men and women. Sometimes masturbation can be a great equalizing tool to take the edge off.

Masturbation can keep married people sexually pure by allowing them to release that sexual tension before they would go and do something truly sinful. Perhaps a woman rarely has orgasms through intercourse with her husband and they have tried everything else, masturbation can keep her in check and keep her from be tempted to stray.

The same goes for a man. Maybe his wife routinely sexually denies him (which she should not do) and he is being tempted to seek out a woman at work or a prostitute for sexual relief. Masturbation can keep him in check when these thoughts and feelings arise.

Conclusion

Contrary to the teachings of AMCs, masturbation is not the enemy of Christians. It is an ally to keep them from truly sinning. It can help Christians to remain sexually pure.

Related Posts

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/25/is-masturbation-wrong-for-a-christian/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/18/what-does-the-bible-say-about-lust/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/03/what-is-the-biblical-view-of-nudity/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/12/the-false-teachings-of-every-mans-battle/

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

My Christian husband wants my panties

Holding Panties

Your husband is in the military or has a job where he may be separated from you for long periods of time. Now he is making what seems to be strange request. He asks for you to send him a pair of your panties. He makes it clear, he does not want a clean fresh pair, and he wants a pair you have worn, a pair that has your scent on them.

To many Christian women (and non-Christian women) this might seem like a perverted request. Only perverts go around smelling women’s underwear right? Wrong.

There is a difference between a man going in strange women’s homes and taking their underwear – that is a problem. If your husband starts wearing your underwear, that is a problem.

But there is no problem and no perversion in your husband who spends long periods of time away from home (very common for military families) to make this kind of request. The reason is very simple, the scent of you in your panties reminds him of you. It is a physical, tangible reminder of the woman he loves.

Many women think men are only visual creatures, but men also love a woman’s scent. This can be a huge turn on for men. This is why it is important not only for woman to perform oral sex on her husband, but also for her to allow him to perform oral sex on her. A women’s scent can be intoxicating to her husband.

Will he most likely masturbate while smelling your panties? Probably and that is OK.  The Bible never forbids masturbation.  Would you rather your husband do that(masturbate to your panties) instead of him seeking out a prostitute while he is away? I think most women would answer with a resounding yes.

I am writing this article because I recently heard of a family member who lives in another state having marriage problems. She and her husband are both Christians, he is in the Navy and she stays home to take care of their children. Over several different deployments over many years, he has asked her to send him a pair of her panties, with her scent on them. She would refuse, she made him feel perverted each time he would ask, no matter how he explained that he just wanted to feel close to her while he was gone.

She would tell him that he could just text and email, and call her to feel close. But she was not understanding how God made her husband. She was seeing things through her own female way of thinking and not his male way of feeling.

The sad part of this story is eventually her husband began seeing prostitutes while he was on deployment. He eventually admitted this to her and it almost ended their marriage. They are working through their issues in counseling now.

But this woman admitted to my mother, that she so wishes she could go back and send her husband her panties like he asked. He was reaching out for his wife’s love, and instead of meeting her husband’s need, she rejected him and made him feel like a pervert.

I truly hope Christian woman, that if you are reading this today and wondering what you should with this request from you husband, that you will respond in love. God has said your body belongs to your husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

I Corinthians 7:4(KJV)

If you husband asks for your panties when he is away, it is a compliment. It means he misses you and wants to have a part of you with him. Yes God owns our bodies, but he has rented them out to our spouses. You have a duty to give your husband whatever he requests, as long as it is not sinful, and this is not sinful.

The false teachings of Every Man’s Battle

Every Mans Battle1

Every Man’s Battle, while preaching freedom from “the slavery of sexual sin” actually enslaves men to traditions and teachings of men. It treats “maleness” as the enemy and tries to make a false contrast between “maleness” and “true manhood”. The authors of this of this book, rather than calling men to war against their sin nature, calls them to war against the male nature that God designed them with.

Every Man’ Battle was originally published in 2000 but has since spawned more books and workbooks and has been taught in churches across the country and around the world. Its authors Steven Arterburn and Fred Stoeker first convey their struggles with lust in great detail.

In fact most negative reviews of the this book come from Christians who scorn them for going into so much detail as they may be causing people to have “impure thoughts” by just describing their experiences.

A little about me

I am a born again Christian, I have been saved for over 30 years and have studied the Bible for over 20 years as an adult. I have taught Sunday school classes and filled pulpits for friends of mine (in Baptist Churches). I say all this to let you know a little of my background. I am not a preacher, but I have taught in churches and filled pulpits for Pastors.

I don’t teach in churches anymore and I don’t preach anymore because over the years I have come to have many differences with church traditions and church teachings that I have found have no scriptural support whatsoever. I won’t hijack a Pastor’s pulpit or teach his Sunday school having the differences I have (and they are more than on the topic of sex).

But there are times and places to take a stand against false teaching, even by good Christian men who have nothing but good intentions in their hearts, which I am sure Mr. Arterburn and Mr. Stoeker have. If the Apostle Paul withstood the Apostle Peter to his face over his wrong behavior, I think it is ok if I take these author’s to task in the main ideas of their book.

Church traditions and teachings are not always right, the Protestant reformation showed us that. But even the leaders of the reformation did not tear down all the false traditions, they left some intact. Even the radical reformers who were the forerunners of modern Baptists still left some false church traditions intact.

My purpose has always been to try and remove all the ruble and tradition and our cultural biases, and get down to the pure Word of God, to truly follow the noble idea of the reformers of “Sola Scriptora”, or Scripture alone.

So with that said as a backdrop on the Christian Brother who is correcting his brothers in Christ, let’s begin.

From this point forward I will refer to Every Man’s Battle by the acronym EMB.

Lust and Impure thoughts

I and other Christians who are challenging EMB’s approach to sexual temptation agree that the Bible talks a lot about Christians avoiding lust. We just don’t agree with how they have expanded the meaning of words like “lust” and “impure thoughts”. Let’s take a look now at some Biblical passages on purity and lust.

Here are some passages on Biblical purity:

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Titus 1:15(KJV)

Here are some passages on Biblical lust:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 6:24-26(KJV)

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:28(KJV)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:12(KJV)

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:14(KJV)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16(KJV)

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:6(KJV)

Any surface reading of these passages would tell us as believers that God wants us to have pure thoughts and fight against the lusts of the flesh. But what does it mean to lust? What does it mean to have a pure thoughts, and a pure heart?

Biblically speaking, keeping your heart and mind pure means thinking on things that God considers to be good, honest, just and lovely. It means not thinking on things that God considers to be evil.

EMB, and many Christians from the early church on have loaded purity and lust with expanded definitions that the Bible never does. They say lust means not only thinking about luring a woman who is not married to you into having sex with you, but even the mere arousal at the sight of her form, or sexual thoughts about her(like imagining what she looks like naked) is also lust.

EMB says “impure thoughts” are any thoughts about the sexually pleasing form of a woman who is not your wife. EMB says lust is not only thinking about how you can lure a woman who is not your wife in having sex with you(whether she is married or single), but it is also thinking and deriving pleasure from the form of any woman who is not your wife.

But what does the Bible say about purity and lust?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8(KJV)

Philippians 4:8 is one of the greatest passages in all the Bible dealing with the thought life of a Christian. God wants our thoughts to pure, he wants us to think on things which he considers to be good. But often times we read things into a Scripture passage that is not there.

Some have taken from Philippians 4 that Christians are always supposed to be thinking of rainbows, flowers and waterfalls (all beautiful things). But what about the commander in the battle field who is thinking of how to defeat his enemy and save his men? Is this also a pure thought? I would submit to you that the answer is yes. It is a virtuous thought, one of honor. Saving his men and defeating his nation’s enemy is a good thing

What if a man is a hunter, and he is thinking of the best way to catch a deer. Is this an impure thought? Of course not.

Let’s now bring this into the sexual arena. If a man is thinking of how beautiful some woman was that he saw on TV, or in the mall, or at work is this an impure thought? The answer is no. It is completely natural for a man to scan women’s forms and derive pleasure from them. EMB based on their expanded definition of lust says this is also wrong.

But does the Bible say what lust is?

Actually it does.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Romans 7:7(KJV)

Lust is covetousness. It is a common misconception in modern times that lust only applies to sexuality. Lust (which is covetousness as the Apostle Paul states) applies to desiring to possess or do anything that would be sinful to do.

If you derive pleasure from the form of a woman’s body, or even have a sexual fantasy of what it would be like to be with her, you have not lusted after her. If however, after having the fantasy about her you begin to fantasize about how you can actually take her, how you can lure her into having sex with you outside of marriage, then you have lusted after her. It really is that simple.

So in this context, an “impure thought” would be thinking about how you can get a woman into bed with you without first being married to her (that covers single women, prostitutes, and women married to other men).

The Bible’s definition of sexual immorality

The authors of this book use the term “sexual immorality” or various forms of the phrase multiple times on almost every page of the book. The definition of sexual immorality is the entire foundation of the doctrines they espouse in this book so I think we need to deal with that now. We will first compare how the Bible defines sexual immorality and then we will compare it to EMB’s definition to contrast and show the differences.

In the King James Version the word now translated as “sexual immorality” was “fornication”. This was an old English word that meant sex outside of marriage, whether that was incest, adultery, use of harlots or prostitutes and premarital sex. Some people get confused when we talk about adultery and fornication. Adultery is always fornication (it is one type of fornication), but fornication is not always adultery. Biblically speaking, Adultery only occurs when a married or single man sleeps with a married woman – that is the most literal definition of the term.

In the original Hebrew the most common word that is translated as fornication was “zanah”, or literally harlotry. In the New Testament the Greek term for sexual sin was “pornia” or a form of that word, and yes this is where we get our modern word “porn” from. Pornia was much the same as the Hebrew word in that it referred to harlotry and incest.

Some to my left have wrongly tried to argue that none of the Bible’s terms for sexual immorality forbid premarital sex. They error though in the fact that the Bible always present the only kind of sex between a man and woman that God honors is within the bounds of marriage. In fact in the Old Testament if you had premarital sex with a virgin who was not pledged to be married – you were forced to marry her and pay her father the bride price. God never looked positively on premarital sex.

I agree with the authors of EMB based upon Ezekiel 23 that God does condemn sexual foreplay between non-married persons. Some have tried to argue that God only condemns intercourse, but he does truly condemn any blatantly sexual touching of the erogenous zones by non-married people.

This is how the Bible defines fornication (or as it is now translated “sexual immorality”):

  1. Unlawful physical sexual contact – Any physical sexual contact between a non-married man and woman is forbidden in the Scriptures. This would obviously include fondling of breasts or genitals, oral sex and intercourse. Any other physical contact that is not sexual foreplay would not be forbidden.
  2. Lustful (covetous) thoughts – Any thought about getting a person you are not married to, to have sex with you outside of marriage is sin. Just the thought, just the fantasy of trying to lure them into having sex with you outside of marriage is a sin, even if you never act on it.

Now in contrast to how the Bible defines sexual immorality, let’s see how EMB broadens and expands God’s definition.

EMB’s expanded definition of sexual immorality

EMBs authors, much like the Jewish religious teachers who came before Christ, have sought to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality.

They would add a third type of sexual immorality to the two items I shown above.

EMB says that if you become sexually aroused simply by the visual sight of any woman you are not married to then you have sinned. They would also say any sexual fantasizing about any woman other than your wife is also sin. EMB also condemns masturbation.

Now I will give a few quotes to illustrate their broadening of God’s definition of sexual immorality:

For males, impurity of the eyes is sexual foreplay

EMB – pg.66

Masturbation while fantasizing about another woman besides your wife or “fantasy intercourse” while dreaming is the same doing it. Remember the standard Jesus set? “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit ‘adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.(Matthew 5:27-28)…

Impurity of the eyes provides definite sexual gratification. Isn’t that foreplay? When you see a hot movie scene, is there a twitch below your belt…No doubt about it, Visual sexual gratification is a form of sex for men. As males we draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes.

EMB – pg. 68

So as you can see, the authors here have expanded God’s definition of sexual immorality from the two points I gave above. Specifically they have expanded the definition of Biblical lust. I will say in their defense that they are following church tradition. The early church father’s fell into the error of teaching that sex was a necessary evil only for reproductive purposes.

Our author’s probably feel enlightened compared to them by telling people that sexual desire is not bad within the confines of marriage.

I will stand firm in telling you, challenging you, to find any Scripture passage that says sexual arousal, desire or fantasy in and of themselves are wrong. Sexual covetousness is wrong, but arousal and fantasy in and of themselves are not wrong.

A word on what is, and what is not Sexual foreplay

EMB expands sexual foreplay to having any pleasurable thoughts or sexual fantasies about a woman who is not your wife. As I said earlier I agree that foreplay is forbidden, but having thoughts about someone’s form or what it would be like to have sex with them is NOT foreplay.

Sexual Foreplay requires the interaction of two people, either through visual flirtation, physical flirtation, or audio flirtation sexually trying to arouse one another. It is a two person activity.  So yes this would by definition, make phone sex, or web cam sex with anyone other than your spouse, sinful sexual foreplay even though you are not actually touching them.

It is impossible to have sexual foreplay with inanimate objects(like pictures and movies), or even with an actual person without their express interaction with you.

But someone might say “Ah wait, a man can make unwanted sexual advances toward a woman can’t he?” Yes he can, he might grab a woman inappropriately or brush against her giving himself sexual pleasure by doing so.  He may say sexual things to her, or comment on her body.  But if she is not positively receiving these actions, but either ignores them or acts negatively towards them, this is not by definition sexual foreplay – it is actually sexual harassment – which is completely different(and is also sinful).

It is absolutely ridiculous to assert that a man is having sexual foreplay when he is aroused by(or even fantasizes about) a picture of a woman, a movie of with a woman, or the sight of an actual woman who is not actually engaging with him.

What about Matthew 5 and Job 31?

The authors of EMB address these two famous passages in the Bible about a man lusting after a woman, in an attempt to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality. There is a great article on these two passages that you should look into:

What does the Bible say about Lust?

I will summarize it by saying this. When Jesus talked about lusting after a woman, the word lust is talking about a sinful covetousness. The sinful desire was him fantasying about getting a married woman to sleep with him – that is what sexual lust is in the Bible.

Job 31 deals with lust as it relates to single people. Job was saying he made a covenant with his eyes not to “think” on maid. In other words, he would not look at a young single woman and fantasize about how he could have sex with her outside of marriage, this would include looking at prostitutes and thinking about he might hire them. So yes I agree with the authors of EMB that both Matthew 5 and Job 31 both talk about sexual sin in the mind. But the sexual sin is that of sexual covetousness, or of desiring to get someone to have sexual contact with you outside of marriage. Just the thought of that, even if it is never acted on, is sin.

Being aroused by the sight of a woman who is not your wife is stealing?

This is not new to EMB. I heard this all growing up in church during youth group.

Though saved and free to walk purely, I had still chosen to look at women in dishonor.

Oh don’t be so hard yourself, one might say. It’s natural for a male to look. That’s part of or nature. It’s natural for a male to look. But what you’re doing is stealing. The impure thought life is the life of a thief. You’re stealing images that aren’t yours. When you had premarital sex, you touched someone who didn’t belong to you. When you looked down the blouse of a woman who isn’t you wife, you were stealing something that isn’t yours to take. It’s just like walking down Main Street behind someone who drops a one-hundred-dollar bill out of his pocket, and you pick it up….

Similarly, if a woman’s blouse falls open, you can’t say “Hey, that’s in my sight line, I get to have that” No, you have look away. Otherwise you’re a thief. You need to leave that valuable creation in the hands of God and her husband or her future husband.

EMB – pg.72

Are they kidding? Let me be clear on something – looking at a woman, whether fully clothed, partially clothed or nude is NOT stealing anything! If I go into a restaurant and I enjoy the smell and look of the food on various people’s plates as I walk to my booth is that the same as if I picked up their plate off the table and started eating their food? The answer is no.

The beauty of women belongs to world, in the same way that the beauty of a tree belongs to all of us.

Group of Women

If I drive down the street and see a beautiful apple tree in my neighbor’s yard am I stealing from him if I look at the beauty of his tree, or even if it makes me hungry for an apple? The answer is no. If I go and grab an apple off his tree, then I have stolen.

Now when I say a woman’s beauty belongs to the world that does not mean I think women should be walking around nude all the time (although I do think there is a place for nudity in art and photography). See my article on Christians and nudity for more on that.

What is the Biblical View of Nudity?

What it does mean is that I have no problem with my wife or my daughter wearing attractive clothing. I just don’t want them dressing like prostitutes or whores. But unlike many Muslim men, and also some Christian men, I don’t expect every inch of wife and daughter’s skin to be covered.

The Bible says to everything there is a time and a season. So in the summer time, I don’t have a problem with my daughter wearing shorts. When my daughter goes in swimming pools when we go to hotels I don’t have a problem with her wearing bathing suits, even two piece bathing suits. I believe everything father has to decide where the line is and my daughter understands my line.

But to force a woman to completely cover her body from head to toe at all times is like having a beautiful rose garden and then building a 20 foot wall all around it so no one else can enjoy its beauty besides you.

A woman’s body belongs to her husband or future husband alone, but her beauty belongs to the world.

Is Masturbation a sin?

The authors of EMB make several broad attacks on masturbation to include it in their broadened definition of sexual immorality. It is kind of funny that the authors acknowledge the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but then they turn around say for us to be holy we need to stop masturbating.

“Scripture is silent on the topic of masturbation. Some might even make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation and illness. Wanton masturbation, tied to pornography or whatever gets your motor running, is always sin, putting distance between you and God. If you desire holiness, you must stop masturbating.”

EMB – pg.105

So let’s get this straight, the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but if we want to be holy we have to stop masturbating? Sounds like the authors are preaching the commands of men as the commands of God.

But in all fairness to the authors of EMB, as well as a host of Christian teachers who teach against masturbation – here is the real issue. Because of how they define Biblical “lust”, masturbation must be wrong. I agree with them that most masturbation would involve some sexual fantasy with someone of the opposite sex.

Masturbation while trying to clear all sexual imagery from one’s mind may be possible, but it is grueling. It is like trying to eat food without tasting it or enjoying it, just quickly swallowing it before it can touch your taste buds.

I honestly think that many of these anti-masturbation advocates sit up at night wondering why God did not just give them a law against masturbation so we could get rid of this pesky issue once and for all. What they don’t realize is, the silence of the Scriptures on masturbation actually speaks against their expanded definition of Biblical lust.

If it were truly sin to be aroused by, or derive sexual pleasure from just seeing a woman’s form (whether fully clothed, partially clothed or fully nude) and this gratification naturally leads to a desire to masturbate, why would God have not addressed such an important sin of masturbation? The silence on the subject speaks volumes.

I wrote a lengthy article subject of Christians and masturbation here:

Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

To summarize what I wrote, masturbation in and of itself is not wrong for a Christian. The authors of EMB are correct that the scriptures are silent on this issue. I wrote that masturbation can become wrong when it becomes obsessive to the point that it interferes in our work, church, marriage or other interpersonal relationships.

The ultimate purpose of our sex drive and sexual natures is to help provide oneness in our marriage and for procreation. However while these are the ultimate purposes for our sex drives, it is not the only reason. Orgasms provide mental relief from various stresses. It also provides an invaluable way to release sexual tension, especially for single people so they will not fall into actual sexual sin.

This brings me to the next subject of singles and sex.

Single men

EMB and Sexuality for Single people

“..the question for singles remains: What are you going to do with the sexual pressure you sometimes feel? First of all, you have to take by faith that once you get your eyes and mind under control, the sexual pressure will drop off dramatically. You bring most of the pressure onto yourself through visual sensual stimulation and mental fantasy.

Even so, there remains the male seventy-two-hour cycle of sperm production. Without the impurity of the eyes, the pressure generated by lust is gone, but there’s still a natural physical pressure for release, though much weaker. “What am I going to do about that?” you might ask. “How will I get release?”

God has supplied the way of release, something with which you’re familiar. Clinically it’s called “nocturnal emissions”.

EMB – Pg.109-110

There is very little research on nocturnal emissions. What we do know is that it is caused by having an orgasm or ejaculation during sleep from what many would call a “wet dream”. EMB actually tries to say your dreams will be “purer” by their definition of purity during these times.

Let me just be as straight as I can on this. This is one of the biggest bunches of bologna in EMB. Nocturnal emissions are not going to solve your need for sexual release (orgasm). Your body has to have sexual releases, whether from conscious stimuli (both mental and physical) while you are awake, or from unconscious stimuli while you sleep – that’s it plain and simple.

EMB talks about people who claimed to have not masturbated for years whether with their techniques or others. Of course they claim this is not just a matter of will power, but also the power of God. They say that as you starve your mind of all sexual imagery and learn to bounce your eyes, the pressure just gradually goes away. All of this is utterly and completely unprovable! Do they have people following these people around everywhere, 24 hours a day to make sure they never masturbate? Do they have people reading their minds to make sure they are not having erotic thoughts?

Maleness vs Manhood

Maleness vs Manhood is a major theme in this book. But what the author’s do is to ask men to go to war with their male tendencies as if they are part of the sinful nature.

The author’s after attacking the natural male ability to receive pleasure from visually stimulating women or images of women, then try and reign in their comments with these words:

“If we get into sexual sin naturally-just by being male-then how do we get out? We can’t eliminate our maleness, and we’re sure we don’t want to.

For instance, we want to look at our wives and desire them. They’re beautiful to us, and we’re sexually gratified when we gaze at them, often daydreaming about the night ahead and what bedtime will bring. In its proper place, maleness is wonderful.

We must choose to be more than male. We must choose manhood.”

EMB – Pg.71

Sin is not caused by our “maleness”, it is caused by our sin nature. Our sin nature tempts us to go beyond God’s limits, just as Adam and Eve went beyond the limits God set for them in the Garden of Eden.

For instance, men have a tendency to more aggressive than women. It is what makes men better in sports, business and combat than woman. God built this natural aggressiveness into man to make him a good hunter and provider. But a man’s God given, naturally aggressive nature can lead him into trouble when he uses his aggression in a negative way that goes outside the boundaries God has established.

For instance when my son played basketball his coach got on him for not being more aggressive. He needed to dig into his natural male aggression to fight to get that ball. However other team mates of his were too aggressive and breaking the rules of the game and getting foul calls all the time, and the coach had to have them pull back on their over-aggressiveness.

In the same way our male sexuality is not a sinful thing. Our appreciation of the female form and the chemical pleasure fireworks that go off in our head form seeing the female form are not sinful.

We get into sinful behavior when we begin to lust after(covet) a woman in the sense that we begin to think about how we can get a single woman to have sex outside of marriage with us, or how we can get a married woman to cheat on her husband and have sex with us. Simply being aroused by and enjoying a woman’s female form is not sin.

The author’s here try to put a much smaller boundary around our male sexuality than God does. The authors of EMB falsely tell us that the only woman we can receive sexual pleasure from seeing is our wife. That is a box that God NEVER put around male sexuality.

I agree with EMB authors about sexual addiction

While there may a few disagreements over how we define sexual addition, I agree with the authors that sexual addiction can be a problem for some people. Just like there are food addicts, there are sex addicts. It is when we take a good thing that God created for our benefit, and we over use it and become obsessed with it to the neglect of other areas of our life.

As I have pointed out here and many other places on my blog, I do not see any problem from a Biblical standpoint with being visually sexually aroused and masturbating. But where it can become wrong is if you start to look at women as only sexual objects. If it interferes with your intimacy with your wife then you need to get your masturbation back under control. If it interferes with your job where you looking at nude images where you work then it is a problem.

If you are food addict, you don’t stop eating, you start controlling how much you eat. If you are sex addict, you don’t stop having sex, or even masturbating, you simply control how often you do those things. If you are beginning to see women as nothing more than sex objects, then you need to get some counseling to help you with that.

Women are objects of sexual desire for men, to say otherwise would be a lie. In the same way that women are objects of sexual desire for men, men are objects of physical and financial security for many women. But for men to see women as ONLY objects of sexual desire, and not also as people with their own feelings, wants and desires is wrong. We cannot separate a woman’s sexual appeal from her humanity.

The teachings of EMB as well as majority of Christian churches causes people to fall into sexual sin

Because of their adding extra rules to God’s boundaries around sex, EMB and other likeminded Christian teachers have actually caused many Christian men and women to fall into sin. The reason is that they are not allowing people to have any normal sexual release outside of sex within marriage, when God does allow it.

When people are completely denied any sexual release, sometimes it leads to very perverted behavior. The Catholic Priest sex scandals are a perfect example of this. I truly believe that if these priests were allowed to be married and have normal outlets for sexual release many of these things would not have occurred.

I have pointed out in my article on masturbation, and in my article on Christians and nudity that it is not wrong for a man (or a woman) to look at a nude image. It is wrong for someone to look at pornography because those are photos or movies of actual people committing actual fornication.

What happens with many Christians is because they have been taught all nudity and all sexual fantasy is wrong, they go right to the hard stuff, right to the pornography. The reason is they figure, if all of it is sin, then you might as well go big. I used to be in that camp when I struggled with my highly sexual nature.

I have stated this many times on this blog. My wife has many health problems and there been many periods of time where we could not have sex. This used to be a horrible struggle for me as I thought every time I masturbated or fantasized sexually I was sinning. I lived under a cloud of guilt constantly asking God to forgive me.

As I was studying biology (specifically brain structure and chemistry differences between men and women) for a different subject (gender roles) I came to the realization – we are built as sexual beings. Sexuality is even bigger in most men than most women. Our visual drive, and need for variety is hardwired into the male brain. We can no more stop appreciating the beauty of a woman, than appreciating that sugar is sweet.

So you have a choice. You can follow EMBs teachings that add to the Bible. You can try to “bounce your eyes” and “starve” yourself of any visual sexual pleasure, other than your wife if you are married. You can walk around with your head staring at the ground everywhere you go, you can get rid of your TV so you will never see another sexy woman on a commercial or TV program. If you believe EMB’s expanded definition of Biblical lust than this is what you must do.

You must declare war on your maleness, until you have squeezed into the tight little box they would have you put it in, only then will you be in their eyes, a true man.

Or you can try a different path, one where you can have sexual release without sinning, and without guilt.

So if EMB is wrong, how should men handle the battle against sexual temptation?

At end of this review, I now want to offer a positive plan for Christians who want to keep from having premarital sex and also stay away from pornography.

You must first overcome your guilt about masturbation

One of the major themes in EMB is the guilt that is associated with masturbation. They say this is one of the indicators that tells us masturbation is wrong. I would submit to you that the only reason many men feel guilt when they masturbate is because they have been told it was wrong either by their parents or by their church.

When men and women realize that masturbation is not much different than having a bowl movement or urinating the guilt goes away. Masturbation releases pressure in the mind and body. But just like bowel movements and urinating, we don’t need to go around talking about it. I don’t tell people how many bowel movements I had last week, any more than I tell people how many times I masturbated last week. But we all know we need to have bowel movements, and we all know we need to have orgasms, whether through sex with our spouse when we are married, or by ourselves in the act of masturbation.

As a Christian you need to have faith that masturbation is a natural tool for sexual release that God has given you to keep you pure for marriage. It is also a tool that he has given married people to equalize out the differences in sex drives as well as help during times when one spouse cannot have sex.

Sexy brunette in black lingerie

You need to overcome issues with nudity

Another thing that many Christians, and even non-Christians have been taught is that viewing nude images of women, or sexually fantasizing about women is wrong. Christians like the authors of EMB teach that this a violation of the Bible’s command for people not lust. Non-Christians(mostly feminists) say if you are receiving sexual gratification from looking at someone you are “objectifying them”.

Regarding looking at other women EMB states:

“You don’t even know this woman; who are you to be attracted to her?”

EMB – pg. 151

This reminds me of a woman I was talking to in a Christian forum a while back. She said a man has no right to be attracted to a woman he does not know anything about. She said the shallowest thing a man can do is walk up to a woman at party or gathering and ask for her phone number, real attraction must be more than that. She said that is an example of “objectifying women”. While I agree you would not want to marry someone on looks alone, the act of simply being drawn to someone and asking them out because they are attractive is not shallow, it is how men are designed by God.

As a man, you must realize that you can look at women as both people with thoughts, feelings and desires and as objects of sexual pleasure. Many feminists and Christians will try to tell you must choose between seeing women as people or objects of sexual pleasure, but that is a false dichotomy, because they are both. Sexual deviants, molesters and rapists come to see women as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure and that is why they do the horribly wicked things they do.

But for the health of your mind, you have to see them as both people and objects of sexual pleasure. If you try to deny either, you will have problems. If you deny a woman’s personhood, you will become a sexual deviant. If you deny that women are also objects of sexual pleasure, you will cause your body and mind to become overwhelmed because you convince yourself you cannot look at women and derive pleasure from them. You will become like someone who is constipated walking around but never able to get any relief.

It is no more a sin for you to see a Victoria Secret commercial and feel horny than it is for you to see a pizza commercial and feel hungry. The issue comes in what you do when you are hungry or horny.

If I see a commercial for pizza, get hungry, order a pizza and then when the delivery guy comes I knock him out and steal the pizza I have sinned. If however I pay for the pizza after being made hungry by the commercial no sin has occurred.

If I am married and see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny and then go have sex with my wife no sin has occurred. If I am single or married, see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny, and then go masturbate to those images in my mind, I have not sinned.

The difference in marriage is, you need to be careful that your masturbation does interfere with your ability to have regular relations with your wife. It should be used as a supplement to sexual intercourse with your wife, but it should never replace it or interfere with it.

If as a single or married person, I get horny from a Victoria Secret commercial, and then go and look up pornography, and masturbate to it – I have sinned. Why? Because I am receiving pleasure from watching other people fornicate.

If as a single or married person, I look up pictures of nude women (not images of pornography) and I masturbate to those images, no sin has occurred.

Freedom

Conclusion

I have presented two choices to you. The first choice is to believe that EMB’s and many other Christians expanded definition is what lust actually is. You will be at war with your natural male urges to receive pleasure from looking at beautiful women, and you will spend most of your life looking at the ground.

Your other choice is to embrace the freedom that God has given you, and the natural tools he has given you for sexual release. As a man, realize that the most natural thing in the world is for you to derive pleasure from viewing a woman’s form, it is no different than deriving pleasure from a beautiful field of flowers.   Your need to for sexual release, for orgasms, is no different than your need to have bowel movements or to urinate.

Something I did not address in this is post is, as a man you also have a need for variety. Men are naturally polygynous. Just because we are living in a modern Western culture that treats polygamy as perverted does not make it so. Study the Old Testament and you will find many of the Old Testament patriarchs were polygamists. The Bible NEVER condemns this and the Mosaic Law actually regulates how polygamy is to occur.

Just recognize that while God has given you a natural mechanism for sexual release, and the gift of sexual arousal, he has also placed boundaries on how far you may go. You cannot get involved in sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse until you are married. You cannot look at pornography because that is deriving pleasure from real people committing fornication.

But you can feel free to walk through a mall or store, or any other gathering of people and see a beautiful woman and derive pleasure from her form. One of the purest things in the world is a man admiring the form of a beautiful woman. When you are feeling the need for sexual release, imagine a gorgeous woman and give your mind and body the release it needs through masturbation.

If you are single person and dating, masturbation can be your best friend. Masturbating before you go on dates can keep you from getting into sexual foreplay and premarital sex. Just honor God’s boundaries, and accept the freedom he has given you.

Yes every man does face a battle.  But it is not a battle against his God given “maleness”, but against the sin of covetousness. His battle is against thinking about trying to lure women he is not married to into bed, whether they are single or married to other women. He battle is against engaging in premarital sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse.  His battle is not against his God given design, or the natural mechanisms by which God has given him the ability to receive pleasure and have sexual release before and even during marriage.

 

 

Is sex a gift or a burden for Christians?

Photo of smiling man giving a present to pensive young woman

Sex is a gift of God, and not unlike God’s gift of salvation, God meant for us to accept and use this gift.  And also like God’s gift of salvation, many people refuse to open or fully use the gift of sex that God has given them.

But what about the gift of celibacy?

It is true that some men and women are given the rare gift of celibacy. It is impossible to have both the gift of celibacy and the gift of sexual desire at the same time, either you have one or the other as these two gifts would be contradictory toward one another.

Christ talked about celibacy in book of Matthew:

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Matthew 19:11-12(KJV)

Paul speaks of his celibacy here as a gift that not all people have:

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

I Corinthians 7:7(KJV)

In both instances, whether Christ is speaking in Matthew or through the words of his Apostle Paul, Celibacy is seen exactly the same. It is a gift of God. Christ talks about men being born that way, in other words asexual, with no sex drive whatsoever.  Some men were made that way by other men (literally having surgery performed to their genitals) but others made themselves Eunuchs (celibate) for the Kingdom of God.

We must be clear though – that as Christ said, this is something given by God.

What is the gift of celibacy to be used for?

Celibacy is to be used in the service of God.  This is clear from both Matthew and I Corinthians.  People who choose to be celibate for selfish reasons, so they don’t have to put up with spouse or children are missing the point of Biblical celibacy.

Celibacy is the exception to God’s command, not the norm

God’s commands regarding marriage and sexuality are found in these passages:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:26-28

God’s first command to the first man and woman was to have sex! How else can you be fruitful and multiply without having sex? Some Christians over the centuries have tried to argue that sex, or least sexual pleasure came about after the fall, not before the fall.  But nowhere in the entirety of the Scriptures is this idea supported and it is a completely false doctrine.

God’s norm is for man and woman to marry, and have children together, lots of children. The gift of celibacy has been rarely given by God, and provides an exception to his command to be fruitful and multiply.  It in no way, diminishes marriage, or sexuality.
Where is sex called a gift of God?

Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

Genesis 49:25(KJV)

Breasts in the scriptures refer to two things.  They can refer to the motherly nurturing of children, but they can also refer to the sexuality of woman, or to sexuality in general. In the case of Genesis 49:25, Jacob is giving a blessing to his son Joseph, and telling him of all the ways God would bless him. Breasts refer to a women’s sexuality (and yes they were polygynous, so he was not talking about one wife – Jacob, the man who blessed Joseph here, had 4 wives). The womb, here referred to his wife(s) having many children.

The sexual blessings of a woman’s breasts are also addressed in Proverbs 6:

18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

Proverbs 5:18-19(KJV)

Again in I Samuel we see wives (yes plural) as gifts from God:

7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

I Samuel 12:7-9(KJV)

In I Samuel we see that God, speaking directly through his prophet Nathan, tells David of all the wonderful blessings and gifts God had given David. He gave him all of Saul’s possessions, as well as his wives. Yet even though God had given David many wives, he went and stole the one wife of one his greatest servants and had him murdered.

David’s sin was not in having sexual desire, or many wives, or even wanting another wife. His sin was not even in appreciating Bathsheba’s beauty, but it was in his covetous thoughts which eventually led him to adultery and then murder.

Often times I will talk about differing between sexual desire, arousal and lust (which is covetousness). I have stated many places on this blog, that simple sexual arousal by the site of a beautiful woman, whether married or unmarried is not sin.  I stand by that statement.

However I think it is worthwhile to note that one must still be careful when it comes to married women, especially if those married women are women we work with, or we know or have regular access to. While it is not a sin to become aroused by their beauty, if we do not control that arousal, if we become obsessed, then it can quickly lead to lustful (covetous) thoughts which are then sinful.

Finally I won’t quote from the Song of Songs, but the entire book illustrates how a man and woman’s bodies are gifts to each other from God.  They go part, by part, examining how much of a gift their bodies are to one another.

These passages all demonstrate that sex is truly a gift from God, not a curse or a burden.

Since a gift is something that is freely given, can’t a couple decide not to open it?

While it is true that a gift is something that is freely given, and also freely received, sometimes there are consequences to us not receiving and using gifts.

In the matter of salvation, God freely offers us the gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ. We have the choice to open and fully accept Christ in our hearts and lives, or to reject him. If we reject God’s gift of salvation, then one day we will stand before the judgment, having nothing to cover our sins and we will be cast into hell.

In marriage sex works very much the same way. While not having sex will not kill any person, not having sex often times kills a marriage. I completely reject Christian programs whether in books or in print that encourage married couples to go 60 and sometimes 90 days or more without having sex.

Paul is clear, that sex should only be withheld for a SHORT TIME, and only by mutual consent:

3 The husband should meet his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should do the same for her husband. 4 The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Don’t refuse to meet each other’s needs unless you both agree for a short period of time to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come back together again so that Satan might not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I Corinthians 7:3-5(CEB)

Even within the context of a polygynous relationship, God made sure to protect the sexual rights of a man’s wives when he took other wives:
10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights.

Exodus 21:10(NASB)

Some Christian programs fail to recognize that sex was a critical part of God’s design for marriage. Asking a couple not to have sex for 60 to 90 days simply for the sake of “working on the marriage”  is like asking a couple to work on their marriage by not talking to each other for 60 to 90 days.

While I don’t agree with everything in the book, I think a great Christian book that argues for more sex to help improve marriages rather than less sex is found here:

http://thesexperiment.com/about-sexperiment

There is no arguing with that fact that God has given us sex as a gift, and it is a gift that he commands to be opened (“be fruitful and multiply” and “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love”).
But what about Military couples or others who are forced to be apart for long lengths of time?

There are sometimes that a couple may have to be physically apart due to HIS occupation. I do not agree with a woman having a job or a career that takes her away from the home for any length of time. A woman’s place is in the home, take caring of her family and supporting her husband in his career.

However some men are called to military service or other important endeavors that will sometimes separate them from their wives. We need to make sure that the reasons for these things are just and right.

For instance some men may be truck drivers and have to be away for weeks or a month at a time. Still others may be pilots that are away for a week or so at a time. Business men may have to travel often.
The military is the most noble of occupations that requires distances between married couples. My heart goes out to every married military couple that has to deal with this issue.

In these cases, or sometimes becomes of medical reasons, sex has to stop. Does this mean the couple does not still have a marriage? Of course not. But even though they cannot physically consummate their sexual love, they need to communicate with one another their desire to do so as soon as they possibly can.

Sex after being apart for a while can be fantastic! I have experienced this with my wife after travelling for business. But does that mean we should purposefully abstain even when we are together for the thrill of waiting? I think not. The Scriptures do not support such behavior except for short times of prayer and fasting and it has to be my mutual consent of both parties.

But since sex is temporary, is it really that important?

Some Christians throughout the centuries have tried to present sexuality as a curse or as a burden to born in this life.  Still others try to say that since it is temporary, that we must not to place a high value in it, especially within the context of marriage.

I would ask these people these questions then:
1.    Since raising children is temporary and for this world only, is it unimportant that we do our best in being good parents to our children?
2.    Since the parent child relationship is temporary, does it matter if we look after the welfare our parents in their old age?
3.    Since our jobs in this world are temporary, why does it matter how well we perform at them?
4.    Aside from sexuality being temporary, marriage is also temporary and for this world. So why does it matter how good of a spouse we are if marriage is temporary?
5.    Nations are temporary, God will one day do away with all of them. So why does it matter how good of citizens we are, or what positive influence we play in our society?

The reality is that many of the things in this world are temporary and will pass away, the Bible makes this clear in several passages. While on the one hand, the Bible warns us not to become ensnared or overpowered by temporary things of this world, on the other hand it commands us to live in this world and be a part of it.

God commands us to be good parents.
God commands us to be good citizens.
God commands us to be good employees.
God commands us to be good spouses – and part of being a good spouse is making full use of the gift of sex that God has given us. So in essence, we are commanded to be the best lover to our spouse that we can be.  What are best is will be different for each person, but regardless we are commanded to do our best toward our spouse within our marriage.

Conclusion

I have not talked a lot about the difference between sexual desire and the physical act of sex between a man and woman here.  But you will find many posts on this site that do help to make that distinction.
I will simply say this about sexual desire.  Sexual desire is no different than the desire for food. God could have given us no sense of smell, and no visual attraction to food whatsoever. But he did give us this desire, and it is not only meant for us to eventually eat, but also to enjoy in the moments or hours before we eat.

In the same way, sexual desire is given as a gift to be enjoyed before we actually physically have sex with another person within the bounds of marriage. It is the same as picturing how great your wife’s meatloaf will be when you get home from work.  You can just imagine the smell of it, the look of it and the taste of it.

The entire book of Song of Songs is entirely about sexual anticipation, sexual desire.
I will demonstrate time and time again on this blog that it is not wrong for single people to experience and enjoy sexual desire for someone of the opposite sex, or even to masturbate after being aroused. Just do a search on the home page for masturbation and you will find articles on this subject.

I hope you will check out many of the other posts on this site that go into more detail on various issues of sexuality from a Christian perspective. I also hope you will at least come away from this post knowing firmly in your heart, that sex is a gift from God and not a curse. Sex is a gift that is meant to be opened and enjoyed.

Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

Midsection Of Shirtless Man Holding Laptop In Bed

Masturbation is not wrong for a Christian, in fact it is right and healthy for a Christian (as well as non-Christians). Masturbation can be abused, or used in conjunction with sinful activity, but masturbation in and of itself is not a sin.

Let’s address the Onan in the room

In the Bible there is a character named Onan. He was one of the sons of Judah (a father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Onan broke God’s law and God struck him dead for it.

The law that Onan broke was the law of Leveratite marriage. Hundreds of years before God had Moses write the first written law of God, God’s law was known only through oral transmission, but his law was known.

The law of Leveratite marriage said that if a man married a woman, and then died before they had any son’s to bear his name and take over his property then one of his brothers would be required to marry her and give her a son. Her first born son would legally not be the son of the brother who married her, but he would be the heir of his sister-in-law’s dead husband. Any children they had together after that could be consider their children together.

Just as a side note, there is no exemption in the Law of Moses for if the brother already had a wife. The Old Testament did not forbid polygamy, it allowed it, and in the case of Levirate marriage it commanded it in the case of a brother already having a wife.

So with all that as backdrop here was the sin that Onan committed:

6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.

8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.

Genesis 38:6-10(KJV)

Judah’s first son was wicked (we are not told how) and God struck him dead. Then Judah commanded his second son Onan to go in to his sister-in-law, Tamar, and “raise up seed to thy brother”, a direct reference to Leveratite marriage. But he knew the child would not be his, and he did not want to give his brother an heir.

The next part is critical – the Bible says he “went in unto his brother’s wife” – this is a direct reference to sexual intercourse. The Bible typically uses two phrases to denote sexual intercourse – phrases like “he knew his wife” or “he went in unto his wife”. What Onan did here when he “spilled it on the ground”, was literally to pull out before ejaculating. This was not masturbation, it was pulling out.

Even if someone could try to show that he did masturbate (which the context clearly shows he did not), that was not the sin God struck him dead for. He was struck dead for violating the Law of Leveratite marriage and also for his attempted deception. He was willing to enjoy the pleasure of his brother’s wife, but he was not willing to fulfill his duty to give her a son.

There is no other passage in all the Bible that talks about a man spilling his seed. But that does not mean that many Christians throughout the centuries have not tried other routes to try and make masturbation a sin.

Aren’t we supposed to deny ourselves?

Some would make the argument that the very definition of masturbation is “self-gratification”, therefore it must still be sin. The Bible talks often about self-denial a lot. Here are few passages:

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24(NASB)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Romans 8:13(KJV)

Let’s just take these two Bible passages as they are great examples to begin this discussion. In Matthew 16 Jesus is talking about the cost of following him while he was on earth. The disciples gave up their homes and everything they had to follow him. Is there some spiritual application as well?

Yes – God does call us to deny ourselves in his service, but what we are denying is our sinful nature. We are not called to deprive our body of food and water (except if we willingly decide we want to fast for a short time).

Not all the desires of the body are sinful, we hunger, we thirst, we desire sex, we desire to have children, we desire to work and have purpose in our lives. Any normal desire can become sinful, when we become unbalanced. We can become gluttons if we eat too much. We become whores when we sleep around and have sex outside of marriage. We become greedy when we work too much and neglect our families.

But what is “living after the flesh”?

In the Bible sometimes the flesh just means, the human body. The Bible says Christ came in the flesh, that he became flesh and dwelt among us. So there are many times when flesh does not have a negative connotation. But other times, “flesh” can be a euphemism for the sinful nature. Those things which we are tempted to do, which would violate God’s law. The Bible lists many of the sins of the flesh in this passage:

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21(KJV)

I don’t see masturbation in that list – do you?

Augustine

It is one thing to lie together with the sole will of generating: this has no fault. It is another to seek the pleasure of flesh in lying, although within the limits of marriage, this has venial fault.

– St. Augustine, one of the most famous Ascetics in history

Asceticism

Asceticism occurred in Christianity as well as other cultures and religions around the world. Just think of monks, whether Christian or Hindu, other similar groups. Asceticism is the idea that by denying one’s self of all or most worldly pleasures, that one can attain a greater spiritual level. Christian monks believed it would bring them closer to God.

So they ate very simple foods, abstained from marriage and many other worldly pleasures. They even taught people who were not monks and who were married, that they should have sex only for procreation and then take vows of celibacy within marriage(yes that is totally crazy, but married couples did take vows of celibacy).

The Apostle Paul was fighting against asceticism rising up in the churches when he wrote these words:

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ…

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:8 & 20-23(NIV)

Although the primary reason for the next passage from Paul was about his rights as an apostle, it also talks about the basic rights any man has:

4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?

I Corinthians 9:4(NIV)

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

I Timothy 4:1-5(NIV)

It is unfortunate that right after the Apostles died the war against asceticism in the church was lost and many of the early church father’s came to embrace asceticism. This asceticism reigned supreme throughout the Catholic Church, and even when the Protestants came to question many Catholic teachings, they left much of the church’s asceticism intact.

When Paul talks about “in later times”, he was referring to his own time. Paul truly believed he was living in the last days before Christ’s return. He is talking about the asceticism that had already come into the church. He holds no punches and calls this out as evil and wicked.

I think a key phrase here can be found in I Timothy 4:4, when Paul says “For everything God created is good”. When God created man and woman in the Garden of Eden, as fully sexual beings, he called his creation “good”. Christian asceticism teaches men to treat their bodies “harshly”, it tells them to “touch not, handle not, taste” not. The problem is these are based on human tradition and not God’s Word. God has given us food, drink, sex and children, and the satisfaction of a hard day’s work for our own pleasure. These are not things to run from, they are things to embrace.

Now are some people, a few specially chosen people, called by God to live celibate lives as both Christ and Paul told us? Yes. But they are the exception, and not the norm. No person should embark on the celibate life without a lot of prayer and consideration to make sure they truly have the gift of celibacy.

The rest of us, the majority of us, do not have the gift of celibacy, but instead we have the gift of sex.

But isn’t sex reserved for marriage?

Yes and No. Yes – Sexual intercourse, oral sex or any other sex between a man and woman are reserved for marriage. Homosexuality and sex with animals is completely forbidden. But nowhere is the act of giving one’s self an orgasm forbidden anywhere in the Bible. This act used to be called masturbation and in recent times is called solo-sex.

As I said earlier, the false teachings of Christian Asceticism taught that God only created sex as a necessary evil for procreation. They taught that God only made sex for having babies and that was it.

But the truth is that God created our sex drive, and our subsequent ability to have an orgasm for these three reasons:

  1. Pleasure, and relaxation. Viewing the opposite sex, especially for men, can be very pleasurable. Having an orgasm can relieve stress and relax a person.
  2. In the context of marriage, sex goes even further than pleasure and relaxation, and draws a couple closer together. It helps them to express their love, it takes on a spiritual meaning in representing the oneness of Christ with his church.
  3. Also in the context of marriage, sex is meant for procreation. God never intended for couples to get married and purposefully never have children. While having children is certainly not the only reason for which God designed sex, it definitely is one of the primary purposes he had in mind.

Sex and Communion have something have in common?

Yep I said it and now I will back it up. The desire to have sex, and the desire to eat are either called “base” or “primal” urges. They actually originate in the same part of the brain. The same area of the brain that makes a man hungry when he sees an image of food he likes or smells food he likes is the same area that gives him pleasure when he sees a beautiful woman, or smells her perfume, or even natural scent.

Normally when we eat, it is to sustain us, but often times it is purely for pleasure (i.e. junk food). We try to choose foods we like, or we see or smell some food we would like to try and we eat it.

But when we take communion, it takes on a spiritual meaning. Yes we are still eating, but in communion this eating takes on a completely spiritual meaning. Here is a “base” operation of our body, being used to represent a beautiful spiritual symbol. It represents the unity of the church, as well as the remembrance of Christ’s broken body and shed blood for us.

In a similar way, sex in the context of marriage takes on a dual meaning. Communion only has one purpose, and that is to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice for us and the unity of his church. But sex (another “base” desire) has dual purposes and meanings. In one sense it is meant for physical pleasure and relaxation and also to draw us closer to our spouse. But it also has a second meaning, a spiritual meaning. In marriage it represents the unity of Christ and his church.

So how does this relate to masturbation?

The point is that masturbation is purely a physical expression of our sexuality, and it does not take on the dual meaning of sex within marriage. Basically masturbation is not much different than having a bowel movement.

The only difference between a bowel movement and masturbation is that masturbation not only relieves physical stress, but also helps to clear the mind as well.

Can masturbation be unhealthy or wrong?

Masturbation can be unhealthy or wrong under these circumstances:

  1. You are compulsively masturbating to the point that it interferes with your job or other interpersonal relationships.
  2. If it stops you from seeking out relationships and ultimately marriage to the opposite sex.
  3. If it interferes with intimacy in your marriage, or makes you somehow unable to perform sexually with your spouse.
  4. You are watching people looking at bad porn(group sex, homosexual sex, rape sex, violent sex, as opposed to normal heterosexual sex as God designed it).

What are healthy ways a Christian can masturbate?

The first thing to realize is that it is very difficult for many people, especially men, to masturbate without some sort of visual stimulation (either in print, or using some images in our mind). In fact it can be a down right grueling experience without these things.

Certain types of porn – those of just naked women or couples engaging in normal heterosexual sex as God designed it are an option. I realize what I just said probably made you fall out of your chair. Let me refer you to the topic Christian porn(porn that falls within Biblical boundaries) as discussed on a great Christian Porn site(one the only ones I know of):

The Difference between Good Porn and Bad Porn

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

The Bible does talk about us not “uncovering the nakedness” of our close relatives. But this was a euphemism for incest. The Bible was forbidding sex between close relatives. There is also a famous story about Ham seeing his father Noah naked, but this was not a command about nakedness. The issue was that he was mocking his father’s nakedness after he got drunk, that was his sin.

But isn’t looking at nude pictures lust?

Biblically speaking lusting is thinking about possessing someone or something that does not belong to us. For instance if you look at a young woman and are sexually aroused by her, or imagine how she looks naked, there is no sin. Actually having sex with that young woman, is reserved for marriage. You cannot possess her sexually without first marrying her. To think thoughts of how to entice a young woman to have sex with you outside of marriage is a form of covetousness.

Even when viewing someone married to someone else, the sin is not in the arousal or the imagination of that person, it is in the coveting. If you begin to have covetous thoughts about how you may lure them to have sex with your or leave their husband you have sinned.

So yes it is healthy for you to masturbate using nude pictures, paintings or drawings, or even porn(that stays within the heterosexual bounds(one man, one woman), not group sex or homosexual sex).

I have pretty much have covered the issues surrounding how to masturbate in a healthy way. Now I want to cover healthy reasons why we should masturbate.

What are healthy reasons why we should masturbate?

  1. To relieve the various stresses of life, work and other issues (as long as it does make us remove ourselves from interpersonal relationships.)
  2. To make up for differences in sexual drive between a husband and wife. Even in a healthy marriage, there times when our sex drives just don’t measure up, but we don’t want to bother the other spouse. In these times it is ok to masturbate to balance out the differences in drive.
  3. When married couples are separated by long distances – a good example would be when men are in the military.
  4. For married men to fulfill their need for sexual variety. It is not wrong for a married man to view nude images (not fornicating images) of various women and masturbate.
  5. For single Christian men and women to avoid fornication. This is one of the biggest reasons young teens and adults should not be shamed for masturbating, but should in fact be encouraged to masturbate. Many a teen or young adult would not have had pre-marital sex if they felt masturbation was an acceptable alternative.

The four reasons I give above are primary reasons why we should masturbate. There is one other that I wanted to treat separately because it is more complicated. More often than not this issue affects women more than men. Some women simply have a hard time having an orgasm through intercourse. It is just a medical fact. Even after exploring all the possible physiological and physical issues it just is difficult for some women.

These same women don’t feel like asking their husbands every time they have sex to manually stimulate them or perform oral sex (but husbands should be willing to do this if asked). So at some point these women may go off on their own and masturbate to give themselves some relief. Some women don’t need this, or rarely need it, others need it almost every time.

There is no sin in this behavior. Ladies, I would just give a word of caution that you make sure you have tried everything first with your husband to try and have orgasms with him. Many women find, (and their husbands do as well) that when they both take the pressure off her to have an orgasm during intercourse she actually has one!

Conclusion and Application

It is not a sin to masturbate. Masturbation can be abused like anything else (including eating). But when done in a healthy way, and for the right reasons, masturbation can be wonderful part of the gift of sexuality that God has given us.

Is Sexual arousal lust?

Hamburger (2)

Biblically speaking, being sexual aroused is no more lust than it is to become hungry at the site of a food commercial on TV. Sexual arousal is not a curse, but a gift from God. Too many Christians and Churches throughout the centuries have treated sexual arousal as burden of the flesh to be overcome when it is not.

Food and Sex actually have a lot in common

Both food and sex are necessary for the continuation of the human race. If just a few of us stopped eating, then the human race would not die, but if we all stopped eating then the human race would eventually die. In the same way, while none of us would die from not having sex, the human race would go extinct if we all stopped having sex.

Another interesting parallel between sex and food is how variety affects pleasure. Let’s say your favorite food is a cheese burger from a local burger joint. If all you could eat was that burger from that restaurant, and never eat any burger from any other place, or any other food eventually you would become bored of that food. Would it sustain you? Yes. Would it give you the same pleasure it once did? No.

It is exactly the same when it comes to human sexual arousal. Having sex may give us some relief, but without variety it soon begins to lose its pleasure. That is why it is so important for Christian married couples to keep variety in their love lives. What that means for each couple will be different, but if you do things the same way every time your sex life will eventually become stale.

Read the rest of this article at Biblical Gender Roles website…

What does the Bible say about Lust?

ManHavingSexualThoughts

Biblically speaking, lust is NOT merely being sexually attracted to or turned on by looking at someone of the opposite sex. Men today have been ridiculed for their nature and saddled with a great burden that comes from feminism on one side, and on the other comes from the church. They are often told that any sexual pleasure they receive from seeing a beautiful women is sin unless they are married to that woman.

Many Christian books and websites want to “help men with their problem of lust”. Feminist bloggers want to help men to stop “objectifying women”.

But is a man’s natural desire for, and pleasure from, seeing youthful and beautiful women a problem to be overcome? Or is it a gift a from God, to be appreciated and accepted by both men and women alike?

Read the complete article at Biblical Gender Roles blog…

I Corinthians 7 and Paul’s admonitions about sex in marriage

If you have read many articles on this blog, you will notice I allude to I Corinthians 7 a lot so I decided to dedicate a post just to looking at this very important passage of scripture verse by verse.

I Corinthians 7:1-7(KJV)

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

I am not a KJV only person by any means and you will see me quote from many translations of the Scriptures.  But I chose the KJV as our starting point.  I will give what is my understanding of each verse (based on other translations and commentaries as well as my own opinion).

7:1

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

When Paul says “to touch a woman”, he is actually talking about marriage – a reading of this passage will confirm that to be the case.  He is not saying that man is forbidden from holding a woman’s hand or hugging her (as I have heard many times growing up in conservative churches). He is talking about it is good for a man not to get married.  But before we jump on the celibacy band wagon let’s see what he has to say in its entirety.

7:2

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Fornication Biblically speaking refers to sex outside of marriage. So Paul is saying to avoid having sex outside of marriage, people should get married.  Now here we go from him saying in verse 1 it is good for man not to marry, and then he seems to be saying everybody should get married to avoid fornication, but again we need to let him finish to get the full understanding of the passage.

7:3

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

“benevolence” literally comes from the Greek meaning of “kindness” or “good will”.  So it’s literally saying the husband should render due “kindness” to his wife, and she should do the same for him.  At this point all the ladies are saying – yeah! I just need to be kind to my husband and all is well.  Sorry to disappoint, but “benevolence” in this context is a loaded term, just as “touch” was a loaded term in verse 1.  I believe though that “kindness” does reflect the attitude with which we should follow Paul’s commands in the coming verses, God’s Word given through his prophets and Apostles is never by accident, every word matters.

7:4

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Verse 4 really smacks modern feminism right in the face. The key word of “power” means just that, power or authority. The wife has authority over her husband’s body and the husband has authority over the wife’s body.  Paul acknowledges that men and women may have strong sex drives at any given point with his equal reference to husbands and wives authority over each other’s bodies.

The idea that “it’s my body and I can do what I want with it” has no place before marriage or within marriage for a Christian. Before marriage as Christians our bodies are the temple of God (I Corinthians 6:19), he owns them.  And Ladies yes this refers to all the parts of the your body, not just your southern region. I am not advocating that a man should ever use force when it comes to sex with his wife, but a wife should in love offer her husband her whole body, including her breasts and even her mouth(oral sex).

After marriage, while God still maintains primary ownership of our bodies, he sublets them to our Spouses to have their needs met.

Verse 4 is also the reason that husbands should listen to their wives in how they dress and how they keep their appearance.  For instance I keep my hair cut and my beard trimmed the way my wife likes it. If she wanted me to shave my goatee I would, but she likes it that way.  I wear the clothes my wife likes to see me in and I lovingly call her my fashion adviser.

This concept equally applies to wives. Ladies you should dress to please your husband, and apart from wearing something that you believe would be immoral, you should do as your husband asks.  Ladies that includes in the bedroom wearing lingerie your husband would like, and in the privacy of your own bedroom I can’t think of anything that would be immoral to wear.

7:5

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Now the rubber meets the road. Up to this point Paul has spoken of “due benevolence” and then about power over one another’s bodies in marriage.  Now he speaks in terms of fraud. To deny one another of the things he has previously stated (power over the body and sex) is to defraud your spouse.

Fraud is when a person goes into an agreement, says they will do a list of things and then does not do as they stated.  An example of fraud in the business world are these fly-by night construction companies that give people construction estimates, then take their money and run. Paul is saying that a spouse commits fraud when they deny the sexual rights of their spouse. While there are some men who deny their wives, the reality is more often than not it is the wife denying her husband.

Maybe as Christian wife you consider yourself to be pretty honest.  You would not steal from a store and you would never knowingly make a dishonest agreement with anyone.  But do you know ladies that as honest as you think you are, if you consistently deny your husband of his sexual rights to your body you are committing fraud? It is just as if you went to a gas station, pumped your gas, and then drove off without paying. In fact its even worse, if we make the analogy correct, imagine that someone you are supposed to love(a relative or friend) owned that gas station, and you just drove off without paying.   Paul is clear, when you get you married, you are giving your body to your spouse for the rest of your life.

Paul also answers the age old question – who determines how often a married couple should have sex?  “except it be with consent for a time”, so only with the consent of both parties can sex be denied. Many people (and by people I think mostly women) believe that sex should only happen by consent, when in reality denial of sex should only happen by consent.

Now should a man be considerate of his wife? Absolutely! There may be times for medical reasons or other reasons that a wife cannot perform her duty (and yes it’s her duty!). But sex should not be denied for things like “I am not in the mood”, “I just don’t need it now and you should only want to when we both want to”, “You have not earned it” or “You have not been romantic enough for it”.

The last part of verse 5 refers to the temptation of Satan. I believe every spouse needs to evaluate their performance with their spouse from time to time to see that they are not leaving their spouse open to temptation.  Obviously you cannot account for every way your spouse could be tempted, but you need to put in a good effort in this area.

For men – ask yourselves these kinds of questions in regards to temptations your wife might face:

  1. Do you compliment your wife on how beautiful she looks?  Or is the only time she hears that from a guy at the Super Market or at the place she works?
  2. Do you tell your wife that you love her on a regular basis?
  3. Do you talk with your wife, do you share an emotional connection with her?
  4. Do you try to make sure she is fulfilled in the bedroom, that she is sexually satisfied?
  5. Do you deny her sex when she initiates it?

For women – ask yourselves these kind of questions in regards to temptations your husband might face:

  1. Does your husband only see you in sweat pants and tee shirts? Do you still put make up on and nice clothes? Or is the only women he sees with makeup and nice clothes the ladies he works with or the lady at the store?
  2. Do you put on sexy lingerie for your husband? Or is the only women he sees in lingerie the ladies in the Victoria Secret commercials?
  3. Do you let him see you naked? Or do you scold him like he some kind of pervert for wanting to watch you undress?
  4. Do you give him loving sex, do you give yourself completely to him when you have sex or are you just phoning it in?
  5. Are there things you refuse to do in bedroom? If so is it because you believe they are Biblically wrong or is just because you are uncomfortable with it? Realize that anything you refuse to do in the bedroom opens an automatic line of temptation with your husband.
  6. Do you flat out refuse your husband sex for reasons other than medical?
  7. Can you say that you put in a 100% effort to fulfill your husband’s sexual needs and fantasies (as long as they don’t violate Scripture)?

7:6

But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

What Paul is giving permission to do is to marry.  He is not commanding to marry, only giving permission to marry. Thus qualifying what he said early about letting “every” man and woman have their own spouse.

7:7

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

In verse 7 we see Paul explain what meant in verse one when he said it is good for man not to touch a woman.  He rightly says though, it is a gift and certainly not a command from God not to marry.

Summary of I Corinthians 7:1-7:

The Apostle Paul is stating these truths and commands given to him directly by God:

  1. Guys and gals, it’s good to be celibate if and ONLY if you have the gift of celibacy from God.
  2. If you happen to find yourself desiring the opposite sex, then by all means get married or else you might end up having sex outside of marriage.
  3. If you do get married, realize that your body has now been given by God to your spouse – to meet their sexual needs.
  4. Also if you do get married – you are forbidden from denying your spouse their sexual rights to your body unless they give you consent.  Even when consent is given it must only be for a short time and you need to come together soon to avoid temptation.