Whether we are in the checkout line at the store, checking our email, or driving down the road, we are constantly faced with overt sexual images. Why is our culture so preoccupied with sex? Let’s take a look at what healthy sexuality is as God designed it, and then the unhealthy practices will become self-evident.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made everything wonderful, and He gave humanity good work to do: care for and steward the earth well. But there was one thing that wasn’t good: man was alone. So God made a helper for him. As Genesis says, “a helper suitable for him.” The word “suitable” is very important. God made woman as just the right complement for man. Man and woman are complementary for each other—physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually (although in this fallen world, sometimes a person’s broken human experience can make this truth seem impossible). Nevertheless, in every way, men and women were designed to be just the right complement for each other.
When God brought them together, He told them to have kids! He told them to multiply, and that is how they would create society, and how they would fulfill their task of ruling over the whole earth benevolently.
From this story, we can see at least three things that constitute healthy sexuality.
1. God designed sexuality to happen between a man and woman—men and women were designed to be complementary in every way needed for human health and flourishing. Their complementarity completes each other well.
2. The natural fruit of love between man and woman is children! Because of the designed complementarity between men and women, they are designed not only to conceive and give birth, but also their emotional/psychological/physical complementarity is just right for the raising of children.
3. Because of the nature of the previous two things, marriage is meant to have fidelity and to last for life.
These three components are at the core of healthy sexuality. If we take any of these components out or twist them up in any way, we are living in a way that is harmful to ourselves and to others. Ever since humanity rebelled against God in the beginning (and have been in rebellion ever since), we have twisted up God-designed sexuality. This has been the cause of much human suffering and brokenness through the ages. This brokenness causes us to inflate our sexual desires into our identity—we think that our broken sexual desires are who we are, and therefore we should simply follow those desires.
We have been deceived by ourselves and by our enemy, Satan. The original part of our sexual desire is God designed and good. But all the parts of our sexual desire that are twisted and broken hurt others and us.
When we look at pornography, we are depersonalizing sexuality. When we do this, we turn men and women into objects instead of people. If you struggle with this, it is impossible to break this habit alone. Please seek help. Don’t believe the lie that if you seek help, you will be shamed and condemned. There is forgiveness and freedom to be found in Jesus and His Church.
In our broken state, we don’t always understand why God asks us to act in certain ways. But we can trust Him because He laid down His life for us and showed us that He is perfectly good. Even when we don’t understand, if we trust and obey, we will find peace and goodness for the journey of life.