Some Christians find it hard to address the issue of sexuality either for themselves and their spouses or to their children. But in order to have a healthy view of sexuality, Christians must learn to communicate on this important subject. The first thing that Christian families should know is that God created us as sexual beings. Humans did not create sex, God did. God designed us with a sex drive for the enjoyment and continuation of the human species. It is when human beings distort our sexuality that it becomes a “dirty” thing. Sex is a good thing when it is a part of a healthy marriage enveloped in love and acceptance. Sex ideally should wait until marriage, as this is the way God intended it, but sometimes in our human nature we fail to keep God’s original plan. It is the hope of most Christians that their children will save their most intimate moments for the one that will love and cherish them for the rest of their lives. Though some have failed in this and suffered the consequences of an ungodly sex life, God is a forgiving God, and will help you overcome the most difficult of circumstances if you repent and pray for future guidance in your sex lives. This is not to say that Christians who have had sex before marriage cannot experience moments of true intimacy, but that many times they may be hampered in their intimacy because of their previous sexual history. When young Christians do find themselves confronted with their own sexuality, it is a wonderful and exciting discovery. But they will inevitably experience some things on their own before they meet that someone special. It is quite normal for adolescents and young adults to have sexual dreams during sleep (wet dreams) and sexual fantasies in waking hours that will sometimes surprise and confuse them. Boys will recognize their sexuality more physically, while girls will notice this more emotionally. They tend to build sexual expectations of marriage on these early fantasies and experiences.
Masturbation may take place on some scale, but caution must be taken that this behavior is very addictive in nature and can affect the sex life later in marriage. This done on occasion is nothing to worry about or to be ashamed of, but when it becomes obsessive in nature, it can be damaging to the future marital relationship if it continues into the marriage. If the intimacy of marriage is interrupted, and if either partner feels neglected, the relationship will likely be hindered. But there are times when this can be necessary and intimate, depending on the circumstances. When one or the other partner is physically unable to perform, mutual masturbation can be beneficial to the intimacy of a relationship. But even mutual masturbation should never take the place of genuine sexual intercourse, if it is not absolutely necessary to do so. Some circumstances requiring this may be pregnancy, injuries, or pain. The guideline is to ask yourself, are you doing it mostly together, or in secret? Is it necessary at this time? When it becomes secretive and compulsive, it becomes damaging to a loving relationship. If it involves the very addictive use of pornography it can be devastating to the marital relationship.
Pornography is a corruption of human sexuality. It makes sexual objects of the people it portrays and the partners who are addicted to the use of it. There are very good books and manuals for exploring healthy sexuality without having to resort to the distortions of pornography. One of the predominant views that pornography promotes is the idea of bondage. No loving relationship seeks to dominate or restrain, but rather seeks a mutual consideration and tenderness as its goal. Men are particularly susceptible to the temptations of pornography because they are very visual in their needs. That is, men are turned on by what they see. Women, on the other hand, are turned on more by what they feel than what they see, though pornography addiction can be a problem for women as well. Their emotions can either turn them on or turn them off depending on their mood. Another problem that pornography can bring into a marital relationship is that wives can be greatly intimidated by the seemingly perfect bodies represented in the various forms of pornography. When they see the reality that they have very visible flaws that can never compete with the perfection of pornography’s nude manikins, wives may become quite distressed. They tend to be especially vulnerable after having children, when they realize their body will never quite be the same as before pregnancy. Men can powerfully persuade a vulnerable new mother into doing things she may be uncomfortable with, when she is least capable of defining and defending her sexual boundaries. It is firmly believed by most of the Christian community that no one should be forced or coerced into doing anything they are uncomfortable with and that sex should in no way be painful or humiliating to either partner. This clearly destroys intimacy and trust.
All sexual activities should be mutually agreeable and enjoyable to both partners. Though sometimes one partner may not particularly enjoy a specific sexual act, they may learn to enjoy it somewhat for the other partner‘s sake, and may eventually find it satisfying. However, no sex act should be coerced out of the selfishness of one partner. The sexual relationship shouldn’t be selfish, but selfless in nature. When a sex act is done in the context of a loving relationship, it can usually be viewed as healthy sexuality. Young couples will inevitably find the need to explore their sexuality together and experiment with various sex acts and on different positions that will be mutually stimulating. Some Christians may find particular sexual positions and acts to be uncomfortable for themselves or disturbing to their partners. There are many differences in the way men and women view the sexual act within the marital relationship, but when it is in the context of a loving union, these differences can be worked out. Couples will usually find that one position is more satisfying to one partner than to the other. Some women enjoy being stroked on the front of the clitoris either in the traditional marriage bed position or with her on top of the man in a semi-sitting straddling position. Some men may prefer to take a woman in the reverse position with the woman’s back to him. This may be helpful during pregnancy. Some partners may be uncomfortable with oral sex primarily because of two factors. It is not conducive to personal hygiene, nor is it very intimate. It is known to promote the herpes simplex virus, especially when casually done with multiple partners. This is not to say that some Christians have not participated in this particular sex act and enjoyed it, but that some do not particularly welcome it and may even find it repulsive. Where anal sex is concerned, most Christians find this to be repulsive and quite to the contrary of an intimate relationship. First, it is usually painful and secondly, it’s certainly unsanitary. Unhealthy germs and bacteria can spread to the vaginal canal and to the opening of the urethra in the man causing a host of health problems for both partners. The male semen has properties designed to block the immunity defenses in the vagina in order to promote pregnancy, but can cause major health problems when allowed into the female rectum, such as irritable bowel syndrome and encopresis (uncontrollable passage of feces). In addition, it is primarily practiced by homosexuals, and finally it is rarely intimate. Though some Christians admit to having had anal intercourse, it is usually because of the ignorance of the risks involved. Bestiality (sex with animals) is expressly forbidden in Scripture and should never be practiced by Christians. The health consequences can be dire, including miscarriage of a human fetus.
As Christians, we need to try to stay as close to God’s original plan for sex as possible and not participate in unhealthy practices. When we do leave off of God’s original plan for healthy sex within the marital context, it’s usually not without experiencing some guilt feelings associated with these practices, not to mention unhealthy consequences such as teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some Christians discover that finding their own sexuality can be an excruciatingly painful emotional experience riddled with some warranted and some unwarranted guilt feelings. With rape and incest so prominent as it is in this period of time, many children, as well as adults who have experienced these traumas suffer with a false sense of guilt over involuntary participation in some sexual practices. Some type of counseling may be necessary for those who are struggling with these kinds of emotions. This counsel may be either pastoral or psychological, or possibly even support from another survivor, depending on the severity of the circumstances.
There are many other questions, which Christians might face at one time or another in their sex lives. Most will ultimately have to assess the values they grew up with as well as the values that their spouse grew up with. The early experiences that each partner has had will greatly determine sexual preferences and aversions. Some Christians believe they have no concrete guide from God on some of these issues, but Scripture has much to say on sexuality. Some Christians believe these passages are vague and that we must interpret them for ourselves with prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit. We do have verses that plainly say that God is against adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and fornication (sexual sin, particularly outside of the marital context). Other verses may give us clues, but do not necessarily give us clear boundaries. As previously stated, there are many good books that can answer questions about sexuality in much more detail with a godly perspective in Christian Bookstores. It is highly recommend that Christians make use of these sources, as they are the best sources on healthy sexuality.
- A Christian Perspective of Pornography and the Marriage Bed (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- Sexuality and Pornography (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- Two landmark Cases of Childhood Sexual Abuse