by Dave Meurer
Our resident humorist examines the theology behind the birds and the bees and concludes that God is nice ... very nice.
The Bible says that we can deduce much about the nature of God by studying aspects of His creation, and in that vein I think the study of sex leads us to the inescapable conclusion that God is nice.
Our enjoyment of a toe-curling, body-shuddering orgasm is not something that would have been dreamed up by a mean deity. God did not have to make sex a wonderful and fulfilling experience in order to propagate the human race. Because He is all-powerful, God could have arranged for us to experience an involuntary episode of cellular division.
You would be sitting in a business meeting, or mowing the lawn, or changing the oil in your Chevy, and you would start to stretch like Gumby and--presto--there would be two of you. Or, God could have programmed you to periodically emit a little pine cone that would take root and hatch a new human. Or, God could have made it painful to not reproduce, perhaps by making you watch nonstop reruns of Tidy Bowl commercials until you agreed to have a child.
But instead of doing any of that, God made sex an incredibly enjoyable experience of gasping, panting, erotic bliss. I think this was very nice of Him.
I could use a word other than "nice." I could use a biblical word, such as "kind" or "gracious" or "loving." All of those adjectives would be true. But I think that we sometimes get inoculated against certain words because we hear them so much. There are a lot of Christians who, regrettably, can say the words "God is kind and gracious and loving" while all the while feeling like He is angry, distant and punishing them. So, I will stick to my word choice and reiterate my assertion that sex proves God is nice.
It also proves that He wants us to groan and sweat and clutch our mates for dear life and do all those things that we can't help but do while we are making love, even when we are trying to be quiet so the kids won't hear us. God made sex feel so outrageously wonderful it is hard to contain our expressions of happiness.
An unkind God would not have dreamed this up. An unkind God would have made sex an experience akin to an IRS audit.
Some of us come into marriage with all kinds of emotional and psychological baggage that makes us feel like sex is somehow bad or dirty. We may have picked this attitude up from the family or culture in which we were raised, or we may feel guilty about past sexual activity in which we know we violated God's commands, or we may have been traumatized by a sexual crime against us. But whatever the source of the feeling, the sense that sex is inherently dirty or unspiritual is based on a flawed view of reality.
Sometimes we can work through these misconceptions by telling ourselves the truth--but we may need to say it over and over again, over time, until it really sinks in. If sex was a hush-hush subject as we grew up and associated with shame, we need to thoughtfully and deliberately work at embracing the truth that sex is inherently good.
When we get married, God calls our lovemaking holy. It delights Him. He did not give you this agnificent, breathtaking, almost overpowering urge in order to then emit an evil "bwha, ha, ha" chuckle and forbid you from ever enjoying it.
A mean God would have given us an erection without an ejaculation. We'd be constantly edgy and grouchy, and you could pretty much cancel the men's Olympic diving competition unless all the divers wore barrels (which would add considerably to the splash factor). But our nice God designed us to experience the sweet release of sex.
He wants you to have sexual pleasure, followed by a nice nap snuggled up to your bride. Believe that, just as much as you believe any other part of God's truth.
In the case of past sexual sins, and the haunting guilt that can accompany those transgressions, we need to actively remind ourselves that a sin confessed and repented is a sin forgiven. If God has forgotten it--"cast it as far as east is from the west" as the Bible puts it--it is not our place to keep dumping on ourselves.
If our past sexual sins crossed the line into criminality, then we may still be answerable to the legal system and a victim. If our repentance is going to be real, we may have to take some consequences on earth even though heaven has cleared our names in the court of God.
Repentance, by definition, includes telling the truth about your sin. If we are really going to be free, we have to come clean.
But what if the sexual crimes were not performed by us, but against us? The number of adults who were sexually abused as children is not known, but we know enough to know that the number is huge. The trauma of childhood sexual assault leaves a deep and lasting scar, and it infuses sex with a range of sinful emotions.
This horrific abuse of God's gift inflicts consequences so severe that professional counseling is virtually mandatory for any abuse victim. There is hope and substantial healing available to sexual-abuse victims, but the assistance of a trained therapist is extremely important.
Too many guys live lives of emotional and sexual numbness because someone violated them as children. Sexual arousal should not be accompanied by a shiver of fear and self-loathing. A good counselor can be God's means of delivering grace and restoration.
Because God created us as intensely sexual creatures, sex is by definition good. We can't let anyone rob us of this reality. God made us crave sensual touch. We should never forget that He is the one who thought this up. It is unlikely that you'll ever hear a sermon titled "Your Erection Was Ordained by
Almighty God," but the assertion is nevertheless true.
Now, God also gave us very firm boundaries, such as the foundational command that we only get to have sex when we make the mother of all commitments (marriage) in front of God and the assembled witnesses, to be with each other for better or for worse.
So, in addition to being kind, God is also being, well, kind of coercive. I don't know how else to put it. I certainly don't say this critically. But I don't know how else to describe this glaringly obvious plan of God to entice men and women into a lifetime commitment to one another.
Because He is very emphatic that He demands commitment or He forbids sex. But even that very firm commandment reflects His kindness. His intent is to make sure we don't engage in sex to simply use other human beings for our selfish and narrow purposes. God wants sex to be inextricably linked to a sweet oneness with one other soul. That, too, is nice of Him.
Sometimes marriage does not turn out that way, because people do not follow through on their promises. Or a tragedy strikes--because this is a fallen world and bad things happen. But the intent of God is very clear. He gives us this powerful attraction toward a special someone, and He tells us to commit ourselves to be faithful and loyal and loving for life.
He does not want us to cheapen His plan, water it down, muck it up by taking sex out of the context of a giving, sacrificial, binding relationship. Because the loyalty and love-to-the-end is an inherent part of His kindness. He is loyal and loving and faithful, and He wants us to be like Him.
Sex is only ugly, dirty and cheap when it is selfish, shallow and uncommitted. It is dirty when a guy is on the prowl for a cheap thrill. It is ugly when a man fathers a child and refuses to be a dad. It is deeply sad when a woman allows herself to be used simply to escape loneliness, and to pretend she is loved when, deep down, she knows she does not have the real thing.
Uncommitted sex is unkind sex. It is sinful because it so deeply violates the very nature of what God intended sex to be. God has reasons for everything He commands. His rules are not arbitrary. They are intended for our good.
But sex within marriage is sublime. It weaves a man and woman together--body, soul and spirit. It is a wonderful way to begin a family. It makes us happy and contented, and it even burns up extra calories!
A mean God would have made sex fattening. God is nice!
Dave Meurer is New Man's award-winning humorist. This article was adapted from Dave's book Good Spousekeeping (Cook Communications).