| Click Now to Order
It's Only Sex
I'll be the first to admit that I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting-you
know, basic middle America brimming with traditional family values, but
all that aside, I've come to see myself as sophisticated and in tune with
today as the next guy. But to be totally honest with you, some recent trends
are alarming me.
The demographers are starting to analyze the 2000 census data and are
reporting some of the trends they are discovering. On May 14, 2001, the
Washington Post reported that the number of cohabitating unmarried couples
rose by 72 percent over the past decade from 3.19 million to 5.47 million.
Commenting on the trend, Andrew J. Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University
sociology professor said, "The central place of marriage in our family
system is eroding." (Http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26160-2001May14.html)
Are we on the lower end of a slippery slope that began decades ago?
Will the day come when traditional values will no longer include marriage
as the accepted context for sex? Has that day already arrived?
The Bible teaches a clear standard for sex-the only acceptable context
for sex is marriage.
Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let
the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will
judge." (NASB) Forget about the scarlet letter, or other people judging
you if you are a fornicator (one who has sex before marriage) or an adulterer
(one who has extra marital sex) God, will judge you.
Why? What we do with our bodies is personal to God. He considers our
body His temple. 1 Cor. 6:18-20 says, " "Flee immorality. Every other sin
that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against
his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not
your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify
God in your body." (NASB)
Another reason is the only context where sex can really be safe is in
a monogamous relationship. In his book, Boy
Meets Girl, Joshua Harris wrote about a missionary who gave in to
sexual temptation before he was married. "He was a virgin in his thirties
and two months away from getting married. One night, inflamed by lust and
tired of resisting temptation, he made his way to the red-light district
of the city and the bed of a prostitute. Only once. Just fifteen minutes
in a dark, dingy room--a moment of indulgence in years of work for God.
But he left infected with AIDS. Two months later he unwittingly infected
the bride who had waited so patiently for him."
-Boy Meets Girl, Joshua Harris p. 147
Not only does God restrict sex to the context of marriage, but it makes
it a priority in the marriage relationship. " Now for the matters you wrote
about: It is good for a man not to marry.  But since there is so much
immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise
the wife to her husband.  The wife's body does not belong to her alone
but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong
to him alone but also to his wife.  Do not deprive each other except
by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to
prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because
of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians
The only reason the scripture
gives for depriving a spouse of sex is if the two have entered into a covenant
to devote themselves to prayer for a time, but then, it teaches the couple
to "come together again."
What is so valuable about
sex that the Bible restricts it to the marriage relationship and then encourages
married couples to "not deprive each other [of sex?]" I mean, after all,
its just sex, isn't it?
Let me tell you a story.
Seven or eight hundred years
before Christ, Hosea got a job as God's prophet to Israel during unstable
political times. In a twenty-year span, Israel had six kings and suffered
greatly due to the civil war between the northern and southern kingdoms.
Not an easy time to be a prophet.
Hosea was a bachelor. Not
a confirmed bachelor, I mean he wanted to get married, and eventually he
did. A marriage made in heaven-literally. Hosea fell in love with Gomer.
Gomer wasn't your typical prophet's wife, she was a prostitute. I'm not
sure if she was a common prostitute or a temple prostitute working in Baal's
temple, either way, she wasn't exactly what Hosea's mother was hoping for.
But Hosea loved her.
Love conquers all, right?
Hosea had to believe that if he just loved her enough and provided a healthy
environment for her, she would change. And for a while, it was looking
like it would.
God blessed the union with
a son. They named him Jezreel, a name meaning, "God sows." A beautiful
name. Every time Hosea called Jezreel to the table, he was reminded that
God sows-that He is actively bringing blessings to His people.
Has God sowed in your life?
Can you see the imprints of His blessings on your soul? You can be sure
that Hosea did.
Once again, Gomer became
pregnant but this time she gave Hosea a little girl-Lo'ruhamah. A beautiful
sounding name, but it has a venomous meaning-not pitied or unloved. Who
was unloved? Not Gomer-she was loved, the scripture says so. Hosea? Did
Gomer love Hosea as much as Hosea loved Gomer? Was it Lo'ruhamah herself?
Was she not loved? Certainly Hosea loved her. She was Daddy's little girl.
But did Gomer?
Finally, Gomer bore Hosea
a third child. His name, Lo-ammi. A name that must have broken Hosea's
heart every time he spoke it. A name that means, "not my people." Lo-ammi
wasn't Hosea's son.
With time, Gomer stopped
the pretense of the marriage and left. When she did, she shattered a home.
Can you hear the cries of the children left behind?
"Daddy, where's Mommy? When's
she coming home?" "I don't know Jezreel, I hope soon." "I miss Mommy, where'd
she go Daddy? Will she be back soon?" I don't know Lo'ruhamah, I miss her
too." And then there were the cries of Lo-ammi, too young to articulate
her pain, but old enough to know something was wrong.
Late at night, when all the
children were put to bed, Hosea would try to get to sleep. But couldn't.
Where is she? Is she OK? Whose arms is she in tonight? He couldn't put
her out of his mind. Everywhere he turned, there were reminders of the
woman he loved that left to go into the arms of other men. Her clothes
hanging in the closet. Her jewelry laying on the dresser. Her smell lingered
on her pillow. Hosea knew better, he should be able to get her out of his
mind. After all, she had left him to sleep with other men. He deserved
better. But he couldn't shake her from his mind--he was haunted by his
love for her.
I'm not sure how the word
got to Hosea. Perhaps he overheard a whisper as he walked by the townspeople,
or maybe it was as a result of a tireless search. But Hosea heard that
there was going to be an auction. A prostitute auction, and he heard Gomer
was up for sale.
He gathered what little resources
he had and went to the auction.
Naked, Gomer stood before
the crowd that gathered to bid on prostitutes as a farmer would bid on
a pig. "How much do I hear for this one?" The auctioneer said? Amid the
snide comments and lewd remarks, the local prophet, Hosea, spoke up. "I'll
give you 15 pieces of silver." The crowd quieted. "Is that his wife?" Someone
whispered. "Is she the one that married the prophet?"
"Yes, I've got 15 pieces
of silver, and a homer and a half of barley." What had he done? He'd bid
everything he had. Shouldn't he have started low and moved up? What if
someone outbid him? He'd be humiliated.
"I've got a bid for 15 pieces
of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Do I hear any more?" The auctioneer
asked. "Going once. Going twice. Sold! To the man with the silver and the
Hosea makes his way through
the crowd, pays the price and walks toward Gomer. He places his robe around
his bride, and says, "Come on Gomer, we're going home." And then he said
to her, You're going to stay with me now for many days. You're not a prostitute
any longer, and will not be with another man. Only me."
Don't tell me it's only sex.
I know better.