Today we will continue our 7-part series on the “Purpose for Sex”. Last time I blogged about how “Sex Demonstrates Faithfulness”. Prior to this we looked at how “Sex is about Intimacy” and how “Sex is Worship”.
Just a few quick reminders: Why am I writing about this? –
- Many of the men and students I have helped were not taught the true purpose of sex growing up, either in their homes or in church.
- Culture is teaching many false things about sex and its purpose.
- If I understand the purpose for sex, then I have a much better shot of understanding God’s boundaries.
7 Purposes of Sex (not saying this is all there is, but these 7 are outlined in Scripture for sure) –
- Sex is worship.
- Sex is about intimacy.
- Sex demonstrates faithfulness.
- Sex is intended to be a selfless act.
- Sex is for pleasure.
- Sex produces a Godly heritage.
- God honoring sex can only be heterosexual.
For today – “Sex is intended to be a selfless act”.
I want to warn you in advance. This one is going to be awkward and uncomfortable, but I really feel like these things need to be shared. Try to hang with me until the end.
Too many times in life, we make it about us. Why? We do this because we are selfish people. The same is true about sex. Too many times, we make sex about us. Why? We do this because we are selfish people.
Before we talk about sex, let’s just talk about selflessness for a little bit. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that we are to have the same attitude as Jesus Christ. Jesus is God, and He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He left heaven and took on the form of a servant by coming to earth. He suffered and bled and died so we could be forgiven, have right relationship with Him, and live for His Glory.
If leaving heaven to come to earth to die is not selfless, then I don’t know what it means to be selfless. We are to have this same attitude. Mark 8 and Luke 9 talk about how as followers of Jesus we are to die to ourselves, our rights, and our selfish desires.
That is how I am supposed to live all of my life as a Christian. When I do this, I am worshiping God. Let’s now apply this to sex. If I am having sex this way, then sex has to be selfless.
This means several things. It is selfish of me to want my sexual desires met outside of God’s plan for heterosexual marriage. Therefore, if I choose to have heterosexual sex before marriage, I am being selfish. If I choose to participate in homosexuality, I am being selfish. I am saying I want whatever I want. I am not willing to die to myself.
What about for those who are married as husband and wife (male and female)? Sex can be selfish in that context as well. What if I just want to use my spouse sexually so I can feel a certain way emotionally or physically. That’s not about me selflessly loving my spouse. It becomes about me, and that is selfish!
I would prefer to not write about this, but I can’t do this blog with integrity if I don’t write about it. The question must be raised- What about masturbation? I know that we never talk about this in a church context, but we need to be talking about it.
I want to say not everyone agrees with me, but I want you to know that the position I am about to explain comes from a great deal of Bible Study and prayer, as well as seeking counsel from others.
I want to address masturbation from the selfishness issue, but I want to start off by talking about lusting. I don’t know anyone who is able to masturbate without having lustful thoughts while this is going on. The Bible has much to say about lust, but let me just give you a few thoughts.
In the Old Testament in Genesis, there is a story where a married woman makes sexual advances at Joseph. It would have been very easy for Joseph to give into lust in those moments, but he resisted this temptation. In fact, the sexual advances of this woman became so intense that Joseph literally ran away from her. The Bible teaches us to flee, to run the opposite direction of our lust.
1 John 2 talks about how the lust of the flesh is of the world, not of God. If I want to live a life of worship to God, I must put to death the things of the world (like lust), so my heart is free to bow down to only Him!
In many of Paul’s writing he refers to immorality as idolatry. At the root of immorality is lust. In essence, if I am participating in lust, then I am setting myself up for a life of idolatry.
Therefore, when I participate in masturbation, I am giving myself opportunity to lust, and this means I am giving myself the chance to bow down to something that is not God. This is one reason that masturbation is to be avoided, but it is not the only reason.
Masturbation is not just lustful. It is selfish. It is really just trying to have sex with oneself. Sex was designed to occur between two people (male and female). When I masturbate, I am not doing sex as God intended it, and the entire focus in on myself.
As I stated earlier in this blog, we are to have the same attitude of Jesus. Jesus selflessly went to the cross. I want to emulate His life of selflessness in everything including sex. I would love for someone to show me how they can masturbate without lust or selfishness playing a factor.
Therefore, selfless sex can’t involve:
- Heterosexual sex outside of marriage
How can we be selfless sexually?
If I am single, I let the Holy Spirit empower me to die to myself so I can stay connected to Jesus, bow down to only Him, and trust Him with His plan for sex. I mentor many single guys, and this can be a significant challenge. I know this though. When we do sex selfishly, it is unfulfilling. When we do sex and life selflessly, God is worshiped, and we have fulfillment from living out our purpose (to worship Him).
If I am married, there will be times where I need to abstain from sex because that is the most selfless thing to do for my spouse. Obviously, there will be times when sex will happen. I know this is super awkward, but hang with me. During sex, ask the Lord, “What does my partner need?”. Throughout foreplay and intercourse, let the Holy Spirit empower you to selflessly love your spouse. When I am married and do sex this way, it is worship.
Again, this might be too much information, but when you do sex this way, it actually feels better. It’s crazy how that works. Selfless sex pleases my spouse, it feels good, and it is worship to God.
You would almost think God drew it up that way.
When we reflect on the selflessness of Jesus, our hearts our filled with gratitude. When our hearts our filled with gratitude towards God, we our moved to worship Him. One of the ways we worship Him is by emulating His selflessness.
May we be selfless when it comes to sex, but more importantly, may we be selfless in how we live our lives. The Gospel calls us to live this way!