SBC Life Articles

Sex: A Good Gift from a Great God

SBC LIFE You have a book coming out with a rather provocative title: God on Sex. Why did you write this book?

Akin We live in a sex-saturated culture. The sexual revolution that took off in the 1960s did not deliver what it promised. Rather than experiencing liberation and freedom, the actual results have been broken hearts, disappointment, and confusion. Sex was God's idea. It is a good gift from a great God. We need to get the word out that God says sex is a good thing when we follow His plan for it. The Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon) beautifully addresses this. My goal is to provide a popular verse-by-verse study of this much-neglected book that would help us see what God really thinks about sex, romance, and marriage.

SBC LIFE Some people might be surprised to hear that the Bible has something to say about sex.

Akin Actually, the Bible has a lot to say about sex. Passages like Proverbs 5 and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 warn of the dangers of sex outside of marriage. 1 Corinthians 7 provides guidelines for sexual behavior within marriage. And in the Song of Songs, God gives us an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the goodness and blessings of sexual intimacy in marriage.

SBC LIFE What are some of the guidelines we find in the Bible when it comes to sex?

Akin God is clear on the guidelines and parameters He has established. Sexual intimacy is to take place between a man and a woman within the covenant of marriage. Any sexual activity that takes place outside this sacred relationship God calls sin. Therefore premarital sex, extramarital sex, and unnatural sex such as homosexuality is considered sin in the sight of God. The Bible is definite at this point, and humanity has suffered terribly as a result of disobeying God in this area.

SBC LIFE God calls us to fidelity and faithfulness in the covenant of marriage, and as you have said, this impacts the issue of our sex lives. What are some of the purposes God has for sex within marriage? What did He intend?

Akin I get really excited about this. I believe the Bible teaches that God had a number of purposes in mind when He designed sex as He did. First is purity. The marriage relationship is to be a picture or analogy of the relationship that exists between Christ and the Church as depicted in Ephesians 5:21-33. Christ gave Himself for us to sanctify us, cleanse us, and make us holy. Sex is to be a holy act that reflects the intimate oneness believers enjoy with Christ. A second purpose God has for sex is protection. It is amazing to think that if we would just do sex God's way, every sexually transmitted disease (STD) would disappear from the planet in just one generation. That is a major practical benefit of following God's guidelines for sex, and that is a message we need to get out, especially to our teenagers and young adults. In the next twenty-four hours, between 33,000 and 35,000 Americans will contract a STD. That means there are at least 12-13 million new cases a year! One in five Americans is now infected with a STD. God was not trying to steal our fun or rain on our parade when He said save yourself for marriage and be faithful in marriage. He was trying to save us from pain, sorrow, and disappointment.

SBC LIFE What other purposes have you found?

Akin I think there are at least three more. God clearly intended sex for the purpose of procreation. His design is intended to ensure that children have both a father and a mother to care for them as the natural context of this union. But God also had two other wonderful purposes in mind that we do not talk about enough. When kept within the boundaries of God's design, sex will promote maximum pleasure and maximum partnership. We now know, based on a number of studies, that the happiest and most active persons when it comes to sex are married persons who are faithful to one another. One study I saw said the happiest and most satisfied group of all were married persons between the ages of fifty and fifty-nine! Who would have thought this? God would, that's who! Again, following His guidelines glorifies Him and it is good for us. It is also the case that sweet and precious partnership grows out of a healthy and vibrant sex life in marriage. The intimate oneness and knowledge we share in coming together in intimacy is only transcended by the oneness and intimacy we enjoy with Christ.

SBC LIFE What have you found in your study of the Song of Songs that is particularly interesting as it relates to intimacy in marriage?

Akin I discovered that how you treat each other when you are out of bed will greatly impact what takes place when you are in bed. To say it another way, I discovered there is great power in praising our mate. Both the man and woman in the Song go to great lengths to praise the other, and the results for their relationship is fantastic. Sensitivity to the needs of our mate will speak to her heart and cultivate an environment of romance, and this is something we should give attention to throughout our marriage. I also found both the man and woman acting with spontaneity and creativity, and in every instance this was met by enthusiastic receptivity on the part of their mate. We need to court our companion and date our mate. This contributed to our falling in love and it will assist us in staying in love in the emotional realm.

SBC LIFE You have written a book on the Song of Songs, conducted more than 250 marriage seminars, and been married for twenty-five years. What final thought you would like to share?

Akin Marriage is hard work, but it is worth the investment. Two overarching keys are commitment and communication. If we are devoted to one another, and we talk and listen to one another, we will discover much of the joy God intended for us to experience in marriage. We will also grow in Christlikeness and holiness. This is something God designed for marriage to produce as well. Marriage and sex are good gifts from a great God. Let's thank Him for them and let's follow His pattern and principles. If we do, we will not be disappointed.

    About the Author

  • SBC Staff