Why Does God Care Who I Sleep With?

(From this week’s devotional newsletter, Winning Ways. Sign up here.)

When nonbelievers hear Christians dictate how and when and with whom people can have sex, it just seems so narrow-minded to many. Sex between consenting adults is recreational pleasure. What could be healthier than that?

And yet we find glimpses of discontent toward this mindset.

In the New York Times, Courtney Sender writes of how it feels to be “ghosted” after sex. She had met a man on Tinder, so she wasn’t expecting anything long-term. Still, after a couple of hook-ups the man quit replying to her texts and voicemails. It hurt. “Sex felt like a sacred act,” she writes, “and then he disappeared.”

“Is it O.K. if I act like I care

about you and then disappear?”

During their encounters the young man had followed the protocols of modern politically-correct sex. He made sure to get her consent before each kiss, each touch, each act. “Is it okay if I do this?” he would ask. But she says she wished he had sought her consent at one more step in the process:

“Consent doesn’t work if we relegate it exclusively to the sexual realm. Our bodies are only one part of the complex constellation of who we are. To base our culture of consent on the body alone is to expect that caretaking involves only the physical. I wish we could view consent as something that’s less about caution and more about care for the other person, the entire person, both during an encounter and after, when we’re often at our most vulnerable. Because I don’t think many of us would say yes to the question ‘Is it O.K. if I act like I care about you and then disappear?’”

She wants sex to be more than the pleasurable use of body parts. She uses words like “caregiving” and even “sacred” to speak about what she wants sex to mean.

She’s closer to the Christian view of sex than she realizes. Hebrews 13:4 (MSG) says, “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.”

Why does the Bible speak of sex in sacred terms? Let’s meet on campus or online this Sunday at 10am to get some answers. It’s the last topic in our sermon series, Asking for a Friend. Previous sermons from this series are available on our YouTube channel and our podcast.

–Tom