Theology Of Sexuality And Sex

When taking into consideration both the concept of Christianity and sexuality, often they are two varying aspects that frequently aren’t discussed alongside one another. Given the vast difference between both topics and the immense varying views, opinions, and research that, at times, contradict one another, it is often difficult for one to find a consensus. However, in our present culture, sexuality has become the pivot of most industries and social influences; leaving the discussion of sex and sexuality in the realm of religion and Christianity a seldomly had one.

Christians and their associated devout societies continue to find complications in providing guided discussions and theoretical educational opportunities that are a direct reflection of God’s intent and design for sex, within the contents of marriage, and other varying pertinent dynamics of the topic.

However difficult the search for true answers about sex and sexuality may be, it is detrimental that Christians gain knowledge and understanding in order to avoid opinionated rhetoric and misinterpretation.

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This paper will attempt to explore a theology of sexuality and sex while incorporating influences, Biblical scripture, and doctrinal wisdoms to examine the true intent God created the act of sex and how it is interrelated with the dynamics of sexuality.

Society has developed a high interest in sex and sexuality that seems to continue to escalate as time endures. Research has shown that this increase is largely connected to the amplified development of technological aspects that make accessibility easier. The advancement of available access to both media and technology features have played a very important role in influencing, defining, and shaping our very existence of sexuality, sex, social norms and frankly every aspect of our daily lives.

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Media and technology are considered as the best sources to distinguish between the happenings of our world. This influence has been made so due to the continuous exposure we are subject to via the newspaper, magazine, radio, television and internet.

These exposures have greatly affected our lives due to the massive influence that the media has over our thoughts; this influence however can be both positive and negative dependent on what side of the spectrum your thoughts, morals, values, and knowledge of sexuality, social norms, and sex are. This exposure unfortunately is not only limited to adults but also to our children as well. According to a study conducted of 10 to 16-year-olds, researchers found that ’77 percent say that there is too much premarital sex on T.V., while 62 percent say sex on T.V. and in movies influences kids to have sex when they are too young’ (Clark, ‘Sex, Violence’).

According to Researcher Brown, 2010, the mainstream mass media provides increasingly frequent portrayals of their idea of sexuality, what is acceptable as a social norm and the mere definition of sex (42-45). This influence not only defines sexuality but also bleeds into the conformity of relationships and views and ideals of marriage. Marriage as once only acceptable between a man and woman has now been acknowledged and social normally for individuals of the same sex and other identifying roles to establish the same covenant. Though current research continues to be explored on how media content, technology, and social influence is used and how it affects sexual beliefs and behaviors, available studies suggest that the media do in fact have a dire impact and influence due to the role that the media continuously keep sexual behavior on public and personal agendas. Media portrayals reinforce a relatively consistent set of sexual and relationship norms, despite the media rarely depicting sexually accountable representations to follow.

While the media, society, and technological developments continue to portray their own views, opinions, and adaptations to what sex and sexuality is, Christianity and the church have shown a much slower pace in being able to keep up. This lack of seeming inability to combat what society portrays has not yet been confirmed though it is recognized as a missed opportunity. Unexploited in a manner that the body of Christ and the church has yet to dissipate the misperception of sex and how it relates to God and Christianity. While influencers and society continue to overly emphasize their idea of sex and sexuality, Christians are being burdened with sexual descriptions and philosophy that often times presents confusion, misunderstanding of scripture, and carnal enticement. This lack of proper education in regard towards God’s true design for sex and sexuality lead both Christians and non to be more susceptible to behavior that is defined as sinful and reassures individuals that experimentation with diverse forms of sexual performances for the fulfillment of individualistic sexual gratification is acceptable.

Despite the lack of initiative or inability, this gap has presented confusion, misinterpretations, and revealed a gateway of opportunity for those in opposition of Christianity, the ability to relay their own understandings (Money, 1987). In these cases, the answer would seemingly be to find the origination of when, where, and why sex was originally provided and what the true definition of sexuality is, according to doctrine. Christians continue to adhere to this gap if the acknowledgement that we are sexual beings is ignored and that sex is the unification of personhood (Hollis 1975,59).

First Comes Love…

In its original design, God intended sex and sexuality to be explored for our enjoyment, well-being, and as a means to display His glory within the dynamics of matrimony. From the very beginning of human creation, sexuality was designed as a way for a husband and wife to not only be able to display intimacy and love between the two but also as a means of procreation (Zimbelman,1985). Intertwined within this gift of sex and sexuality, the very evident dynamic of love is present. This love is not just limited to the dynamics of a marriage or even simply for this union but as a way to reflect the very image of who God is. Love in this eclectic facet is to be selfless, self-giving, and forgiving towards all relationships whether it be within the dynamics of marriage, family, acquaintances, communal avenues, or the church.

The origination of this love sets the precedence of understanding what a loving relationship should be through the gift of the Trinity. This exceptionally Christian dogma is vastly significant to our understanding of human relationships and thus dynamics of sex and sexuality. The Trinity, (The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), though very differentiated and unique present as one divine presence that relate in a manner of faultless love. This devoted relationship of the three is very important due to its ability to reflect God’s image within our very existence. Within this image, God created mankind, first male and then female to be relational beings who reflect his character. Though male was created first and female second, this aspect is important as it speaks to God’s intention for man to not live along but in loving relations with one another as evident in Genesis 2:18 “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”.

…Then Comes Marriage

Within the dynamics of marriage God has presented in the most unique way, an intentional loving relationship now united between man and woman in a manner that is both physical and spiritual. The creation of marriage is foremost referenced in scripture as one flesh; “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). Biblically, marriage can be demarcated as a distinguishing union between one husband and one wife, in which these entities develop a pledge with one another to devote and dedicate themselves to a lifelong consecration. This devotion can also be viewed as a means towards serving God and his kingdom and “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6). With this now clear affirmation, Jesus is declaring and defining that God is the one who made both the male and female sex to now be established within the confounds of marriage. A husband and wife are now not only joined together but also have entered into a relationship that is presented with the Lord as its very midpoint.

Sexual Unification in Marriage

As referenced previously, a husband and wife are now joined together as one flesh and this achievement is made more substantially possible through the act of sexual intercourse. The very act of effectuating marriage is made evident through the performance of sexual consummation between a husband and his wife. Though some Christians choose to negate from the interwoven dynamics of God’s love and the aspects of physical sex, Rosenau, 2002, urges us to “be careful not to keep God so far away from sexuality and marriage that we lose our Creator’s insights into the importance of gender and becoming one flesh” (p.1). The physical union that sex presents is meant to be a self-actualization of the emotionally and spiritually driven union that has already been established into existence.

The covenant of marriage though deliberately intended, also at times, due to God’s redeeming motion frequently guides individuals toward a life that is not inclusive of marriage. With this respect, it is evident that there exist many individuals who are not presented with, nor have the opportunity to marry. These individuals are either called to be celibate or involuntarily unmarried. Despite the disposition, individuals may also be fulfilled by living for others. On the contrary there are individuals who choose to partake in the act of sex outside of marriage, in which scripture is very clear on its standpoint in the form of; distorted sexuality and the failure of the marriage in terms of objectionable consequences, such as, divorce, adultery, etc. The dynamic of sexual intercourse is only appropriately articulated within the covenant of marriage between a husband and wife (1 Cor. 7:2-3), and any sexual behaviors that unmarried individuals partake in is seen as sinful and is in violation of God’s original design.

Another more evident and important aspect of sexuality and sex within the dynamics of marriage is due to its heavy influence of procreation. As referenced in Genesis 1:28, God intended for a man and woman to reproduce and replenish the earth with not only the intention of creating life but to replicate life that was a reflection of him, who would know him and love as intended. This very significant facet of God’s intentional plan for marriage and its union is a clear and positive scriptural teaching despite variations of views that associate sex as a negative dynamic with its association towards being the original sin, when in fact this is quite the opposite (Joo, 2015). The original sin was Adam and Eve’s decision to listen to Satan and eat from the forbidden tree that they were instructed by God not to do. In this disobedience, Adam and Eve hen relied on their own understanding instead of the guidance of God and thus were spiritually separated from God and sent out of the Garden of Eden with the doubly consequence of now being carnal. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). This scripture defines the consequence of the original sin, despite popular belief was not a derivative of the act of sex between Adam and Eve.

The Intimacy and Communication

As it remains, the biblical resolve of sex and sexuality is multilayered. Not only has God provided sex as a way for marital couples to fulfil the design for reproduction but also and most importantly for the glorification of his very being, the ability to display intimacy, physical desire and well-being. The Bible clarifies that humans are made to be psychol-physical persons and that intimacy and sex should be a part of our total nature. Therefore, the attempt to limit intercourse to only a physical involvement and desire is conflicting to the biblical consideration of a person as a total being. The book of Songs displays multiple examples of this defined intimacy between a man and woman in the most personal way. One example of this would be Song 2:3 ‘Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men.  In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste’. This aspect of sex encompasses both dignity and gee (Hollis 1975, 58).

The value of intercourse as a method of communication has been heavily emphasized as Elton Trueblood states that one of the most noteworthy effects to express when discussing the aspects of sexual intercourse is that it affords a married couple a dialect that “cannot be matched by words or by any other act whatsoever. Love needs language for its adequate expression and sex has its own syntax” (Trueblood 1953, 54). Summarizing, sexuality is a derivative to creation and thus creates an allowance for individualistic mind frames about it to be linked to a direct “piece with God’ s feelings about what he made” (Smedes 1976, 26) along with the good creation of human sexuality to be acknowledged and recognized with blessing (Wolters 1985, 92).

Despite the variations in opinions, research, and scripture, it is evident that a theological perspective is required in order to continue the conversation of sexuality and Christianity that is seldomly had. In the beginning there was sex and it was always intended within the dynamics of marriage to be a very pleasurable and intimate expression of God’s love for us and our glorification of him. Due to the fall of man and its distorted referencing, the idea of what is acceptable and not when it comes to sexuality and Christianity has often been construed and thus having negatives thoughts about marriage and sex. Despite distorted views, societal influences, or lack of suitable Christian teachings, the conversation of sex and sexuality should not go without being explored, discussed, and appreciated for the gift it was originally intended to be.

References

Capuzzi, D. & Stauffer, M.D., (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling. Boston: Pearson.
Brown, J.D. (2002). Mass media influences on sexuality. School of Journalism and Mass Communication; 39(1): 42–45. doi: 10.1080/00224490209552118
Clark, C. S. (1995). Sex, violence and the media. CQ Researcher, 5, 1017-1040. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/
Hollis, H. (1975). Thank God for sex. Nashville: Broadman Press.
Joo, C. G. (2015). Marriage and sexuality in terms of Christian theological education. Elsevier Ltd., 174, 3940-3947. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.1137
[bookmark: _Hlk536728930]Money, Royce. (1987). Ministering to families. Abilene: Abilene Christian University Press
Rosenau, 2002, A celebration of sex. (class textbook)
Smedes, Lewis B. (1992). Sex for christians. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Wolters, Albert M. (1997). Creation regained. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Zimbelman, Ernie. (1985). Human sexuality and evangelical christians. New York: University Press of America.

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Theology Of Sexuality And Sex. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/theology-of-sexuality-and-sex-essay

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