Among Christians, usually discussions on sexual ethics focus on sex before marriage, outside our marriage, or homosexuality. Those are surely important issues, but married Christian couples also need to have conversations with openness, integrity and good conscience; about what kind of genital activity is consistent with the biblical nature of marriage, and what is not.
In the same way that Free in Christ promotes principles such as accountability or devotional life, that are not actually spelled out in the Bible (but clearly are practical and are implied several times in the scriptures) we also believe in certain principles that will help guide our sexual lives as Christians, principles conforming to the Bible.
The biblical principles we describe here include mutual agreement, dignity, human preference and our gift of sexuality. You will find that although there is no specific mention of certain sexual techniques in the Bible, there is a filter in the Scriptures through which reflect what is in the nature of God and what is not.
What biblical parameters help a man to decide what he can sexually experience with his wife, without being influenced by his old memories of pornography or the world’s view?
We do not have formulas, or set of rules for the sexual life of a Christian man and woman. On the contrary, we believe that the very name of this ministry, FREE IN CHRIST (LIBRES EN CRISTO in Spanish) is a reminder of the freedom we are given, and that we should not get tied up again to what the world says about what can or cannot be done in the marriage bed, or bound up in legalism. Our purpose is not to leave you with a gut full of guilt; rather we want to help you to find freedom to live a fulfilled life as a married couple.
Let’s move on to the principles:
Read each principle, below, and meditate on it. Reflect on whether or not you have believed lies that are opposed to these biblical principles. Maybe not all of them apply to your life right now, but if you recognize that pornography damaged your mind or your identity in that sense, then let the Holy Spirit guide you in relation to these questions:
Is it time to correct that sexual behavior? If He speaks to you about it, then share it with your mentor, your pastor, with an accountability partner. If you are married, share it with the most important one – your husband or wife.
These 5 principles deal with exclusivity, mutuality, dignity, preference and the purpose of our gift of sexuality.
Sexual experiences are to be only between one man and one woman within the context of marriage.
…, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ Matthew 19:5 (NIV)
This scripture, beginning in Genesis, appears four times in the Bible. Pretty important, wouldn’t you say? “the two will become one flesh” indicating that they join in sexual intimacy. And who are “the two”? A man and his wife. Just those two.
Marriage should be honored by everyone. And every marriage should be kept pure between husband and wife. God will judge guilty those who commit sexual sins and adultery. Hebrews 13:4 (ERV)
A recurring subject in pornographic movies is a couple who include someone else in their sexual intercourse. As a Christian, you need to renew your mind and recognize that every sexual practice that involves a third one, like infidelity or watching pornography together, is sin – just as lust is adultery. It is plainly adultery to include someone else who does not belong to the holy bond of marriage, and it is also a door for corruption to enter into the marriage.
If you have been lied to by our culture and the devil in this area, we urge you to talk to God about it.
Sexual intimacy is voluntary for both husband and wife, even sacrificially to provide the fullness and sexual satisfaction for our spouse. Scriptures speak of our obligation. But they were never intended to be used as weapons – one partner against the other.
Wherever we quote scriptures, we urge you to read them as if they were written to you alone (whether man or woman). Look for what God wants you to do – and not what He wants from your spouse.
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NLT)
There is more than one principle in that scripture. We point to this one first – sexual intimacy is to be regular and voluntary on the part of both husband and wife. (REMEMBER – scripture is wise counsel for you – not a club for you to win an argument).
Obviously the verses quoted show that sexual intimacy is voluntary. Activities where we pretend to rape our wife or act out an aggressive fantasy may open the door to sin again. Also be wary – forced sexual intercourse is contrary to the Bible – even within marriage. It can be classified as rape, and it is sinful.
Did you consume this type of pornography in the past? Have you held onto this sort of aggressive desire? If so, we urge you to talk to God about that.
Sexual activity and behaviors shall never harm, humiliate nor hurt your spouse, neither physically, emotionally nor spiritually.
In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you. You should show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing he gives you—the grace of true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers from being heard. 1 Peter 3:7 (ERV)
Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (BSB – Berean Study Bible)
Christian Brother, just think again about that last description! “with consideration as a delicate vessel, with honor”. Didn’t our Lord give us a wonderful companion in a wife? And do we not owe her so much?
Christian wife – please read that again and apply it to yourself as if God were speaking to you instead of to your husband. Yes, he is that important!
Every fantasy or activity, in which one of the spouses is hurt or humiliated, is contrary to the Bible, and as such is sinful and doing something in opposition to the instruction of the Scriptures. Bad words during sexual activity, insults, comparisons, exposing nudity of the other to cause shame, forcing a sexual encounter or any similar activity continues being opposite to the Christian life, and as such, sinful.
Did you ever watch that type of pornographic material? Was pain, being humiliated or humiliating someone else a part of your sexual life in some way? Have you retained fantasies about it? Now would be a good time to talk to God about it.
Sexual intimacy is part of God’s gift to us, and as such, it must be focused on pleasure and attraction between human beings = man and woman.
By this we mean that sexual activity cannot be practiced with animals or objects. Although bestiality (sex with animals) is specifically a forbidden practice in the Bible as an abomination; it is important to note that God Himself destined one life partner for the man, another human being, namely a woman, with whom he may live in regular sexual intimacy:
The Lord God used dust from the ground and made every animal in the fields and every bird in the air. He brought all these animals to the man, and the man gave them all a name. The man gave names to all the tame animals, to all the birds in the air, and to all the wild animals. He saw many animals and birds, but he could not find a companion that was right for him. Genesis 2:19-20 (ERV)
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it… Genesis 1:27-28a (NLT)
There is no specific verse about fetishisms (sexual arousal by inanimate objects). But if a Christian couple cannot have sex without any suggestion or reference of an animal or a specific object; perhaps it is very close to idolatry with sexual overtones, which we have mentioned in other articles.
Have you fought against a temptation of this type, or do you need to bring into light something you did or do in this area? Talk to God about it.
5. Our gift of sexuality and genitals:
Sexual activity is good for the natural purposes of union and genital pleasure.
Some people will tell you that you must not experience pleasure and that your genitals and their function is for procreation only. We refer you to the Song of Solomon. It is a beautiful book about sexual pleasure between a man and his bride.
On another tack, the Bible does not forbid specifically activities like oral or anal sex; neither does it classify any part of the body as impure or forbidden during sexual intercourse. Even the attraction that a man feels for a specific area of the female body is part of his natural make up; – as long as it does not turn into persistent lust or a sexual act like masturbation.
Scriptures clarify that every part of the body can be used to live a holy life.
I use this example from everyday life because you need help in understanding spiritual truths. In the past you offered the parts of your body to be slaves to your immoral and sinful thoughts. The result was that you lived only for sin. In the same way, you must now offer yourselves to be slaves to what is right. Then you will live only for God. Romans 6:19 (ERV)
Nevertheless, we believe that differences between the anatomic design of genitals of a man and a woman clearly show that they are organs intended to complete (to couple with) each other in sexual intercourse. God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” backs this up. He did not say, “Go have fun in any way you want”. Therefore, the focus of sexual life is to be the use of genitals to perform in the God-given way of our body’s functional design. If you have doubts about some practices like oral sex, for example, you might ask your Pastor.
Remember that we said earlier that we are not making laws. And there is no condemnation here. We are all mere humans, serving Christ as best we know how. We counsel from the scriptures and our beliefs about them. Because of that we are convinced that by reflecting on these principles you have biblical standards to evaluate how appropriate your sexual practices are. In the sense that they are used for God’s purpose, to provide intimacy and sexual satisfaction between man and wife.