Our culture assaults our senses with sexuality in a way that often reduces people to being less than human, less than who we were created to be.
God created us as more than just sexual beings. God created us, both male and female, together to reflect his love, beauty, majesty, and wonder – to reflect his image (Genesis 1:27). Yet a sexual element remains, and often remains repressed or ignored in church-circles.
Sex is an extraordinarily good thing to God. He is the author of sex. Sexuality is not a product of sin or the fall. On the contrary, the only thing that God said was not good in all of creation was that man was alone (and this was pre-fall, Genesis 2:18). In creation God blesses man and woman and calls them to be ‘fruitful and multiply’. And there’s only one way of performing that act.
Yet there’s more. God could have had us reproduce and create babies a million other ways. Laced throughout the themes of the scripture is that sexuality is designed by God as a way to know him more fully. Sexuality as God designed it is to be a shadow or a taste of what our ultimate relationship with him is to be like. Not to imply pagan concepts of sexual intercourse with God, but the intimacy, the depth, the vulnerability, the pleasure, the commitment, the intensity, that fuels a relationship with God.
Scriptures declare God as a lover – a lover that passionately pursues a people for his possession. And though the people of the earth stray in adulterous ways, this lover continues to pursue, reveal, and sacrifice that they might return the same desire with their full being. The church is declared as the bride of Christ in which He makes pure and without blemish. All of this culminates in the wedding feast, a celebration of this cosmic union. Sex exists so that we might have language and images and physical expressions that help capture the glory of God and belonging to Him in faithfulness.
Also of utmost importance is how the biblical creation account describes that when God had finished creating man and woman, He stepped back and said it was ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). God did not create us and intend for us to be anything but fully human. He did not design us or desire us to be like animals, or angels, or anything else. At the most primal place of our origins fully man and fully woman is who God created us to be and ‘it was very good’.
Yet how often is this not enough for us? How often do we try to find our fulfillment and identity in things other than this? How often do we treat people as something other than fully human and ‘very good’? At creation, being fully human is supposed to be enough. God created us glorious and good that we might find satisfaction in being the works of His hands, fully human – body, mind, heart, and soul. Yet in our world today, we exalt one element, the body – elevating its sexual nature above all else – reducing the beauty of sexuality to something less than it was designed to be, and worse yet, we devalue what it means to be fully human.
Pornography, for example, dehumanizes sexuality and depersonalizes people by turning the viewer into a taker and the one viewed into an object to be consumed. Yet we all do it. It’s in our media, our language, our casual glances, our relationships, our lingering thoughts, our hearts. Sex is so much more than what we reduce it to, and even worst, we rob one another of our full humanity in doing so.