The Beauty of Surrendered Sexuality

We won’t understand sex unless we understand marriage, which we can’t understand unless we see its grand purpose in God’s eternal plan.

The better we understand God’s sacred design for human sexuality, the less we will settle for smaller pleasures that quickly turn into spiritual bondage. Instead, we will be so captivated by God’s sacred design that we will feel compelled to surrender our sexuality to Jesus Christ, and experience the freedom and the joy that will come as a result.

 

Many Christians know at least some of the biblical do’s and don’ts about sex — especially the don’ts. What we don’t always understand is the beauty of the why — why God says what he says about sex, and why it is meant for our blessing.

The better we understand God’s sacred design for human sexuality, the less we will settle for smaller pleasures that quickly turn into spiritual bondage. Instead, we will be so captivated by God’s sacred design that we will feel compelled to surrender our sexuality to Jesus Christ, and experience the freedom and the joy that will come as a result.

Part of a Glorious Story

We won’t understand sex unless we understand marriage, which we can’t understand unless we see its grand purpose in God’s eternal plan.

God designed marriage to show us our soul’s relationship to him. After the apostle Paul gave the Ephesians explicit instructions about the one-flesh relationship between husband and wife, he went on to say that he was not really talking about human marriage at all. “This mystery is profound,” he wrote, “and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32). The gift of marriage is meant to teach all of us about our personal, communal, covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ, which we do not have to be married to experience.

Blind Date to Beautiful Bride

We encounter this theme all the way through Scripture, not just in Ephesians 5. The story begins in Genesis with a blind date, in which God the Father introduces the first woman, Eve, to the first man, Adam, and tells them that they are designed to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

The story ends in Revelation with a wedding to end all weddings, where the people of God are presented to Jesus as a “bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2) — the most beautiful bride ever, clothed “with fine linen, bright and pure” (Revelation 19:8). The giving of the bride is followed by the best wedding reception ever: “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb [namely, Jesus] has come, and his Bride [that’s us!] has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). This is the beauty we were always meant to become.

Between the blind date and the wedding reception — from Genesis to Revelation — the Bible sets our relationship to God in the context of marriage. For example, the prophet Isaiah tells us that our “Maker” is also our “Husband” (Isaiah 54:5). Our relationship to God is so exclusive that we are spiritually “betrothed” to him (2 Corinthians 11:2).

When we turn away from God, then, we are guilty of nothing less than spiritual adultery — as the children of Israel often committed (Jeremiah 3:20Ezekiel 16:30). But praise God, when we confess and repent of our sin, we become God’s virgin bride all over again (Jeremiah 31:4); this is how complete our cleansing is. We become as pure and pristine as a perfectly white wedding dress.

In short, the Bible uses marital imagery to help us understand our soul’s relationship to our Savior. No other human relationship is as exclusive as the love covenant between husband and wife. Thus, the Bible uses marriage as a metaphor to tell the story of salvation. The story even comes with a soundtrack: the love songs that we read in the Song of Solomon.

Covenant Cement

Sex plays its part in this beautiful story by securing the bonds of marriage. Think of sexual intimacy as “covenant cement” — the physical bonding agent of a holy commitment. It has other purposes as well, including the propagation of the human race. But God has so much at stake in marriage as a symbol of spiritual reality that he has designed the gift of sexual intimacy to help secure its sacred vows. This is how unified a husband and wife become — their bodies literally become one flesh.

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