EPHESIANS 5:31-33: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What is the Biblical concept of sexuality? Is the definition of sexuality fluid, open to the changing norms of society? Or, is God’s definition of sexuality a creative constant that does not change with the seasons or the generations?
One of the sad conditions of our current culture is the conclusion that, if someone differs from the conventional wisdom of the day, they either have some kind of phobia, or they are just an outright bigot and hater.
Before I address these questions, I feel compelled to make the following disclaimers. I am not a prude, nor am I a hater. I do not fear the issue of sexuality, nor do I hate those who hold a different view than I do, or the view I believe the Bible clearly teaches. One of the sad conditions of our current culture is the conclusion that, if someone differs from the conventional wisdom of the day, they either have some kind of phobia, or they are just an outright bigot and hater.
I am not free from all prejudice. I am human. I struggle with emotions regarding issues and situations that I am not familiar with. However, I try to separate these human feelings and guard my heart from developing an attitude of judgment or a hateful heart. This is the human condition and position I come with as I approach this subject. It is not from a place of spiritual superiority. Rather, it is from a humble position recognizing my own sinfulness and susceptibility to prejudice. With this in mind, here are my thoughts on the subject.
First, I do not want to approach the subject of Biblical sexuality from the position of what will send someone to hell. This is the argument that is most often used. It is an argument that I believe slams the door to honest conversation on the topic. This is not to dismiss the Scriptures that clearly take this position. It is simply to state that I believe there is an even more compelling argument regarding sexuality that does not involve the prohibitions. If we understand this argument, we will also understand the prohibitions.
The enemy of our souls is constantly trying to take the gift of God and cast it in a dark and unfavorable light.
Paul in his epistles calls us to be alert and not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. The enemy of our souls is constantly trying to take the gift of God and cast it in a dark and unfavorable light. In the garden he took mankind’s freedom and cloaked it as control and God limiting their potential. And, the enemy has worked voraciously to steal the wonder and gift of sexuality that God has created for marriage. And here is where we see the most compelling argument against all forms of sexuality that are outside of the Biblical narrative.
- “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Marriage is the sacred place of sexual expression that God has instituted for mankind. Marriage is always defined as a man leaving his father and mother and being joined to his wife. This is the teaching of the Old Testament, and this is the teaching of Jesus. There is no other definition of marriage. There is no variation to this truth!
- “But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:6-9 CSB
Jesus affirmed the creation narrative and the overriding truth of Scripture. Marriage, the place of sexual expression, is reserved for a man and a woman. Any other form of sexuality or sexual expression is outside the teaching and bounds of Scripture – period! There is no wiggling on the creative order. It is not subject to cultural change, for God does not change. It is not a misinterpretation of Scripture, for it is stated in both the Old and New Testaments. Yet, there is even a stronger argument for the Biblical position on sexuality.
The strongest argument for Biblical sexuality being reserved for the marriage relationship between one man and one woman, is what Paul writes following his reference to Jesus’ teaching.
- “This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.”
Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is a picture of the relationship of Christ and the church.
Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is a picture of the relationship of Christ and the church. There is no other picture given in Scripture to define the mystery of the ages fulfilled. The church is referred to as the Bride of Christ. In Revelation 19 we are ushered into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The marriage is between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Bride (the church). And, Paul states that the healthy marriage relationship between a man and a woman is the testimony and picture of this mystery which shall be fulfilled.
Satan’s graffiti is to hide this picture from the world.
With this understanding it is clear to see what the enemy of our souls is up to. Like a middle schooler who is jealous of another, he endeavors to mar this wonderful picture of God’s grace. Satan’s graffiti is to hide this picture from the world. He attempts to do this by pushing any form of sexuality that attacks the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. If he can redefine marriage, if he can lower the threshold of Biblical sexuality, he is able to wield his spray can over the beautiful illustration and example that God has created – Christ and the Church!
To claim Christianity, and to dismiss this beautiful picture, is inconsistent with true Biblical faith. Our faith is not only in a God who has created us, but in His Son who came to reveal the heart of the Father and to die for our sins. Jesus proclaimed and reaffirmed the Father’s heart toward Biblical sexuality when He restated God’s creative purpose for marriage. It is really that simple. And, yet it is also that profound. It is a mystery revealed through the very first expression of God’s love for His creation.
- “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him…Then the Lord God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:18, 22-24 CSB
Lord, I thank You for the wonderful portrait of grace that You have established through the creative picture of marriage between one man and one woman. I pray for all those who struggle with any other picture and definition other than the one You have created. Holy Spirit, open our eyes to see the Word of God in sincerity and truth. Set us free from anything that encourages the marring of this wonderful picture. Help us to take our stand for Biblical sexuality in the spirit of humility, love, honesty, and faith.
In Jesus Name!