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I meet many people in my life who seem to think that the Christian God is some sort of cosmic killjoy. Now they wouldn't normally say it in words like these, but deep down there is this belief that the Christian God is miserable. And there is this genuine conviction that his instructions for how we're to relate to each other are old-fashioned, unrealistic, and designed to suck all the fun out of our existence.

Take sex, for example. People are always on the lookout to try to improve their sex life. We all know that all around the world every month there are millions of people who buy magazines which promise more pleasure in the bedroom.

But here's my question for you. How many of the people who buy those magazines would actually turn to the Bible for some tips? I doubt if anyone would actually do that! Why would they?!

But what if we should? What if the God of the Bible wasn't a cosmic killjoy? And what if his instructions were actually for our good and for our joy?

Well that's exactly what Jesus claimed when he was alive on this earth. He said: “I have come to give them life, and life in all its fullness.” Not simply existence, but life, life in all its glorious fullness. That life that we are all chasing, in some way or another.

Now I know that's a big claim, but what if it's true? What if deep down we've been created to need God, and only Jesus can reconnect us in such an intimate way with the God who made us?

And what if we need God himself, our designer, to tell us how to get maximum pleasure from all his gifts—say, for example, the gift of sex?

Well in that case, we should turn to his book—the Bible—and listen to his wisdom. Otherwise, we'll just keep on ruining our sex lives and we'll be in danger of settling for too little—and I don't want to be someone who settles for too little in life. I don't want to be someone who's far too easily pleased.

Now I know I've only just touched on this—it's a big issue, it's a personal issue, so let me just encourage you to find out more. You've got nothing to lose—and you've got everything to gain.

So how could you do it? Well, two suggestions. You could find yourself one of the four reliable biographies about Jesus—they're called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You could pick one up, read it through for yourself and hear what Jesus says about his identity and why he came.

And what you could also do is to find a group of trustworthy people who you can ask any question you like, including about sex, and hear some reliable, trustworthy answers to some of your big, personal questions. And if you're looking for a group of people like that, you could always find a Christianity Explored course somewhere near you.

 

Thanks for clicking on “Go Deeper” after watching or reading Lee’s answer. This section gives you some more things to think about, in a slightly deeper way, and points you to some other online resources you might find helpful if you want to take this issue further.

As Lee said, it’s a common assumption that God is a killjoy who doesn’t like sex: so people who live as the Bible says when it comes to their sex lives are out-of-date and missing out.

Here are four quick things worth knowing about what the Bible says about sex:

Sex is great.

When God made the world, he made people to live in it, and he invented sex—not just as a way to have children, but as something to be enjoyed. That world was, God said, “very good” (Genesis chapter 1 verse 31)—and sex was part of living in that world. Sex isn’t something God frowns at or dislikes—it was God’s idea in the first place.

In fact, there’s a whole book of the Bible which is a celebration of the pleasure of sex. It’s fairly graphic poetry—for example:

“Your two breasts are like fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountains of myrrh and to the hill of incense. All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:5-7).

Sex is created.

Because God is the creator of sex, he knows how he made it to be enjoyed; how it’s best used by people like us.

Sex is a powerful thing. It’s intensely emotional, as well as being very physical. It’s one of the most intense experiences known to humanity, which is why it’s so often sung about, written about, talked about and thought about.

And that means sex has the potential to be brilliant; and sex has the potential to be very damaging. In a way, it’s a bit like fire. Fire is a wonderful thing, as long as it’s in the fireplace: but if someone misuses fire and thinks it’d be a good idea to put it in their lap, they’ll get burned. If someone said to you: “Keep fire out of your lap, you’ll get burned”, they wouldn’t be being boring or dull or a killjoy: they’d be keeping you safe so you could enjoy the fire without getting hurt.

Since God invented sex, the best way to use sex is to read what God says about it, and follow it.

And God says: “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24-25). That is, God made sex (becoming “one flesh”) to be enjoyed in a loving, lifelong marriage (“united”). He made the most intense, trusting and vulnerable human act—sex—to be enjoyed within the most committed and trust-filled relationship—marriage.

All of us at times decide we know better than God how his gift of sex should be used. When we do that, all sorts of things go wrong. Some we can see—sex slavery, prostitution, STDs, children without a father. Some we can’t see so easily—heartbreak, shattered confidence, bitterness, self-harm.

The sad fact is that all of us will know people (or ourselves be people) whose lives are less good than they should be because, somewhere along the line, someone decided they knew better than God when it came to sex. And sadly many of us, when we’re burned by sex, decide that more of the same might make things better: but of course, it doesn’t.

Sex is significant.

God thinks really highly of sex. He made it to be the most powerful expression of love between two people, where two become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24), inextricably linked.

God sees sex like a Ferrari, or a Prada dress: something amazing, to be treasured and enjoyed carefully. We tend to see sex like an old, second-hand hatchback, or a Primark dress: something that doesn’t really matter, can be shared around, doesn’t need to be thought about.

If we see sex just as a physical act that doesn’t mean much, and that it doesn’t really matter who we do it with, or how many people we have it with, we’re actually making less of sex than God does. We’re making too little of it.

Sex is great. It’s significant and it’s valuable and it’s special. God doesn’t want us to treat sex as nothing.

Sex finishes!

No sex lasts forever: and no sex (however good) produces a perfect relationship. In fact, many people have experienced relationships where the sex was great, but the relationship itself was deeply unfulfilling, or even abusive.

So, while the Bible encourages us not to make too little of sex, it also points out it’s not good to make too much of it. It’s easy to make sex into a kind of “god”: the thing that we think about most, that we see as what we most need in life, that we are prepared to give up virtually anything to get.

But the fact is that sex simply can’t deliver endless satisfaction or security. It wasn’t designed to.

The only relationship that can do that is one with God’s King, Jesus. As Lee mentioned, Jesus came to bring: “life, and life to the full” (John 10:10). And Jesus also said that anyone who knows him: “will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

Knowing Jesus offers infinite, eternal satisfaction and security. In other words, knowing him is better than, and offers us more than, knowing any spouse or sexual partner. Sex is significant and valuable, but it isn’t everything: it isn’t what life’s all about.

Of course, this whole area is one of the most emotional and personal of all (that’s unsurprising if God invented it to be the most intense physical experience we can know). It may be that listening to what God says about sex would mean some painful changes for you; it may be that sex is something you’ve been burned by in the past; it may well be that you have more questions or objections to the Bible’s teaching.

Whoever you are and whatever your past experience and current views, why not:

GO ON a Christianity Explored course, where you’ll meet some people who will listen to you, explain what the Bible says, and who (crucially) you can trust not to gossip, judge or sneer (click on Find a Course to, well, find a course).

READ a book called (imaginatively!) Sex (you can get a copy here—some of this book is specifically for teenagers and young adults, but it’s short, clear and readable).