Radical View … a special section
If you stood up in class and encouraged others to follow God's plan for sex, people would think you were trying to outlaw happiness.
You'd have to work hard to explain that God is not against sex. In fact, he considers it something good. It was, after all, his idea. God could have made us reproduce the way plants do, with floating spores and pollen. But he preferred human life to spring from the exultant, loving embrace of intercourse. So it only makes sense that the all-knowing God who invented sex should know how it can best be celebrated. God wouldn't sacrifice his own Son to redeem us, and then turn around to arbitrarily spoil our fun.
A lot of people do feel it's spoiling their party if someone says sex outside of marriage is wrong. But where exactly is this party? Oh, maybe some people are having fun, but people on the whole are having a miserable time. You can't cut the statistics to read any other way. AIDS, divorce, adultery, abortion, and unwanted pregnancies add up to something other than fun.
When God gives direction for sex, he does it either to protect us from harm, or to provide for our needs. Or both.
The Bible is very frank about sex. There's not a prudish note from Genesis to Revelation.
A whole book (the Song of Solomon) celebrates the sensuality of erotic love. The Bible reflects exactly the attitude you'd expect from an inventor writing about his invention. God, better than anyone else, appreciates what his invention means. He understands how it works and knows exactly what it's good for. He tells us how to use it—and how not to.
So what is God's view of sex? Simple: Sex is wonderful within marriage. Outside of marriage, it's an offense to the inventor.
Why marriage? Isn't a really committed relationship close enough? Nope. According to the Bible, only the commitment a man and a woman make in the ceremony of marriage counts. Marriage is the only place to experience truly committed love, love that echoes our relationship with God.
Husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her. … In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife (Ephesians 5:25, 28).
It was that way from the beginning, when Adam and Eve were created and presented to each other by God:
"At last!" Adam exclaimed.
"She is part of my own flesh and bone!" … This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame (Genesis 2:23-25).
That's the ideal, the dream, as the Bible sees it: total nakedness, total unity, total love, total sexual satisfaction within marriage. Plenty of marital problems parade the pages of Scripture—God is no fool. But the ideal stands above the failures.
The Bible doesn't mince words about behavior that falls short of the ideal. Jesus, particularly, made his views plain. Though he never married, he spoke with absolute authority (like an inventor) against abuses like fornication (sex between people who are not married), adultery and divorce. He said of married people: