What is the Purpose of Sex? - Three (or Four) Reasons God Made Sex

Chasing Love

Chasing LoveI grew up in a broken home but saw my Dad daily since he was a teacher at my high school. I distinctly remember the day my dad discovered I was dating a girl of a certain reputation and literally followed my bus home so he could convince me to break up with her!
I didn’t. I should have.

Talk about chasing love!

This week we are proud to release our interview with Sean McDowell on the Men in the Arena Podcast about his new book, Chasing Love: Sex, Love and Relationships in a Confused World. This is a comprehensive book that is written for teenagers but should be in the arsenal of every father raising children.

More than that, Sean’s book offers great biblical wisdom for any man who may have questions about sex, love, and God’s purposes for sex.

The Great Lie

We live in a world that has fallen so far from biblical truth regarding sex, and many in Church have bought the lie. I regularly battle “Christian” men and their anti-biblical views of cohabitation, homosexuality, divorce, and sex outside of marriage. Like a breath of fresh air Sean wrote:

“Our world proclaims endless options as the path to sexual freedom. But in reality, sex is actually most satisfying when there is trust, love and commitment. In a committed, loving relationship partners don’t have to be anxious about sexual performance, worried about comparison, or concerned about contracting sexually transmitted infections. Instead, married couples are free to experience the joy of sex as God has designed it.”

There is freedom and great joy when married couples enjoy sex under God’s guidelines. In a recent survey, conservative evangelical Protestant women reported the most satisfying sex and the most orgasms: 32 percent said they achieve orgasm every time they make love. Mainline Protestants and Catholics were only five points behind, while those with no religious affiliation were way down—at 22 percent.

Sex is best when it is done under God’s guidelines.

I Disagree with One Thing

In his book Sean offered three reasons why God invented sex—the purposes of sex. There are actually four, but when I pushed Sean, he stood firm, which I respect.

He is still wrong.

Sometimes we get so “churchy” in our responses to the distorted views of our world we forget the basic truths of God.

Purpose #1: Procreation.
 Every good Catholic knows this. God created sex as a fun way to maintain the human species. In Genesis 1:22, “God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’”

I tease my Catholic brothers because the devout only have sex to procreate, which is why so many have such large families! Sex is so powerful that through it, a couple can produce a human! Catholics know this sacred truth.

Purpose #2: Unity.
 Genesis 2:24 is an account of the first wedding of humanity where God said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

Sex is a supernatural union. There is no other way around it. Love making is the mnemonic symbol God gave of the covenant of marriage, unity, and fidelity.

Purpose #3: Foreshadowing of heaven.
 Using the Household Code in Ephesians 5:30-31 as a reference, McDowell writes, “The cultural obsession with sex misses its deepest purpose of foreshadowing our union with God in heaven.”

Although I appreciate the sentiment, I cannot contextually connect this passage with sex. I do believe that the union with our wives is the closest link between Christ and the church, but I do not believe that the single and never married Apostle Paul is talking about sex.

Therefore, I disagree.

Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled, for fornicators and adulterers God will judge."

Purpose #4: Pleasure.
 This brings me to the fourth, and most often misconstrued, purpose of sex—pleasure! I believe with all my heart and biblical knowledge that God creates sex for humans, in a heterosexual, monogamous, covenant of marriage to thoroughly enjoy.

I love Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

I love to ask those who discount or overlook pleasure as one purpose for sex to explain the female clitoris.There is no other scientific reason for that body part—except pleasure. If we believe God created everything, then we have to reckon with the clitoris.

Pick your own top three but I will stick with my choices of 1,2, and (enthusiastically) 4!

Boots on the Ground

Besides my one point of contention, I loved and highly recommend Josh’s book and final thought on sex and marriage, “Here is the bottom line about marriage. Are you ready? Marriage is not about you. Marriage is not about finding your soul mate as the secret to a meaningful life. Marriage is about something much bigger. It is about sacrificing for your spouse and kids, as well as portraying God’s loving character to the church and the wider world.”

Men, it is not about you. It also isn’t about you being happy. It is about you being holy. It is about pleasing Jesus and serving your bride. Take your wife on a date this week and ask her to rank you as a husband from 1-10, then discuss.

Oh, and check out our Men in the Arena Podcast, episode 297 with Paul Friesen for more great marriage advice.