This is sort of a sequel to my previous blog post about Matthew 5:31-32.
“One flesh” is used many times in both the Old and New Testaments to describe the marriage bond between a man and a woman. It’s first used in Genesis, and Paul and Jesus both make use of it as well multiple times. While it’s figuratively descriptive of the emotional and spiritual closeness of the marriage relationship, it most directly refers to the “oneness” of the physical act of sex. However, the physical act can by no means to be divorced from the emotional and spiritual elements of sexual intercourse. God designed it to be that way, and that is why when we deviate from that or try to ignore it, the result is pain, dysfunction and brokenness.
One of the foremost issues as it relates to this topic is that our culture tries to portray sex as a purely physical act that can also have emotions attached, but that it’s okay if they’re not. Furthermore, our culture rarely connects the spiritual element, except in the cases of certain cults and religions. However, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that sex is physical, emotional and spiritual. Read Romans chapter one and you will see very clearly a negative example of this reality. In fact, the sexual perversion Paul discusses there is the ultimate outworking of the rejection of the knowledge of God and the suppression of the truth in unrighteousness. What’s more is that sex was actually that which consummated and established marriage in the Bible, not a lavish ceremony with vows like we have today. That’s why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:16, “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’”
What does this mean for us? This means that we need to have a Biblical view of sex in order to fully celebrate it and protect it. It means we need to view sex as more than just a physical act, but also one that is intended to unite body, heart and spirit between two people. It means that there’s a reason why such confusion, emptiness and shame are experienced by so many who engage in sexual encounters that our culture tells them are good and natural. It means that more grace and forgiveness will be required in relationships weighed down with the self-inflicted scars of a sexually active past. It means we need more than ever to teach our children that sex is sacred and belongs strictly within the bounds of a committed marriage relationship.
Many pages have been written on consequences of a sexually promiscuous culture that include the emotional toll (especially on women), the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases and, more tragically, the breakdown of the family unit and the abortion, rather murder, of millions of unwanted, unborn babies. God created sex, so it is a good thing. He could have made the act of procreation painful or completely uninteresting, but He didn’t. Rather, He gave us a sacred gift that is intended to be enjoyed within the context of marriage that can be one of the most pleasing, fulfilling experiences in life. Here’s a secret: married, monogamous sex – that which so many reject as old fashioned, restrictive and unfulfilling – is actually more freeing, fulfilling and satisfying that they can imagine. I’d say the jokes on them, but this is no joking matter.
I will close these words from Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (ESV)