God has created mankind according to two genders (Gen. 1:26-28). And with those two genders God makes clear that there is to be sexual union that results in children (Gen. 1:28). And as Moses explains the institution of marriage in Gen. 2:24-25, it is clear that God has not only created us as sexual beings and He has created us for the purpose for procreation, but He has also created sex for our pleasure. To say that Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their nakedness is to say, in part, that they found delight in each other and their sexuality.
Yet that is not to say that every form of sexuality is good and a blessing from the Lord. If the only kind of sexuality that pleases the Lord is the sexual union that is enjoyed in the context of a heterosexual marriage (Gen. 2:24-25), then there are many perversions of what honors God. The world, the flesh, and the devil all conspired against God’s good gift of sexuality with many blinding enticements away from the truth of what is good. Consider this list of sexual sins that are prohibited by God:
- Adultery (extra-marital sexual relations; Lev. 20:10, Heb. 13:4; Prov. 6:30-35)
- Immorality or fornication (pre-marital sexual relations; 1 Cor. 6:15; Deut. 22:21; 23:17)
- Homosexuality (Gen. 19:1-29, Rom. 1:24-32)
- Incest (Lev. 18:6-17, 20:14)
- Bestiality (Ex. 22:19, Lev. 18:23)
- Mental immorality (voyeurism, pornography, masturbation) (Matt. 5:28; 1 Cor. 6:9; Phil. 2:3)
- Exhibitionism (Gen. 9:22)
- Sexual child abuse (Deut. 22:24)
- Rape (Deut. 22:24, Judges 19:24; 20:3-4, 12)
- Prostitution (Lev. 19:29; 20:5-6; 1 Cor. 6:9)
- Transvestism and transgenderism (Deut. 22:5)
Two things should be noted about that list. First, several of the items on that list are embraced and endorsed by the world as normal and even helpful and good. And of the remaining sins that might be frowned upon or even denounced by the world, there are still proponents of those sins that “joyfully” act on their ungodly yearnings. And secondly, while God has called all these sin, God is not limiting us because He’s a cosmic “kill-joy,” but to protect us.
Proverbs 5 makes clear that avoiding sexual sin is a blessing and good. Solomon tells his son in this chapter,
- Ignoring God’s standard is foolishness (v. 1). Conversely, it is wise to give attention to the wisdom of God.
- Indulging in sexual sin will destroy our reputations (v. 2). Yet if we are careful and discrete and God-honoring with our sexuality, it will be obvious to all that our lips speak and act on knowledge.
- Indulging the foreigner (adulteress) will produce bitterness, heartache, and will never be joyful (vv. 3-4). Sexual sin may produce a temporal happiness, but it will always ultimately end in sorrow — either in this life or the one to come, or both.
- Indulging in sexual sin is deadly (vv. 5-6); cf. also 7:21-27. Read those verses carefully. Sexual sin will cost one’s life, if he does not repent.
- Indulging in sexual sin will drain life from our lives (vv. 7-10). The vitality of life is removed by the indulgence of sexual sin.
- Indulging in sexual sin will only produce regret (vv. 11-14).
So sex is a good gift from God. And His prohibitions against sexual sin are also good gifts to us — they keep us from that which will destroy us and they lead us to live for His glory.