The gospel and sex. Both are rarely mentioned together. Many might not believe that they go together, however, they do. In so many ways.
What does the Bible say about sex?
Sex is very good, and the Bible teaches so. God wouldn’t have created it with its particular design and parameters if such was not the case. I think what makes sex a taboo topic for the Christian community is the idea of sexual platonism; discussing sexual pleasure is considered inappropriate because any hedonist perspective towards sex is seen as immoral. This might make a book like Songs of Solomon an uncomfortable read for some.
Let’s not be mistaken, sexual activity in extra-marital circumstances is a sin and has its negative consequences. Believers can and have fallen short of their duty to uphold purity in their lives, including myself. However, what transpires is that in our wrongdoing, ill-formed views on sex arise, where we make sex out to be the villain and not ourselves. Many Christians can be misled down the path of believing that their misdeed has resulted in form of bondage called a “soul tie”; where their soul has been spiritually fused to the soul of whom they have slept with. This is far from the truth. This is where the gospel meets sex in a compelling way.
Don’t get me wrong, while actual soul tying does not exist for believers who have engaged in sexually immoral behaviour it can FEEL as though one’s soul is tied to that of another person because of the devastating and painful consequences that linger long after the relationship has ruptured. Emotions stick around like unwanted company. Pain and regret wander in the corridors of our minds. Desires, both sexual and emotional loiter in a carefree manner. Ghostly memories of what once was and is no longer haunt us while we try to get on with our lives. This can create a depth-filled sense of entanglement that one might feel and struggle to break free from.
God’s design for sex.
The parameters of sexual activity are what high-stoned walls are to its citadel; for protection. Sex is a pleasure thoroughly enjoyed in a marriage covenant, because of what it represents. As Timothy Keller puts it, it gives us the opportunity to ‘witness how God works in the gospel.’ God through Christ calls us to exclusivity; to enter a faithful covenant with Him; the same way in which a man calls a woman to enter into a faithful commitment with him. As our exclusive loyalty to God allows us to be beneficiaries of various spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3), so is sex one of the many blessings that a husband and wife experience as a result of their fidelity to one another. Sex is a safe, secure expression of selflessness through love and a declaration of one’s devotion. When we engage in extra-marital sex, we experience the opposite of this and thus, the positive attributes of sex are hidden.
So what hope is there for the Christian who find themselves burned from the fire of their lust and is experiencing a sense of painful entanglement from their sin?
Christ sets us free.
Firstly we should not be so quick to assume that this indicates a soul tie. The message of the gospel hums a completely different tune; through Christ’s death on the cross, He has paid the debt of our sin and in His resurrection has set us free from the slavery of death, sin and its effects. Therefore in our freedom, we should not be so quick to let ourselves be burdened by a bondage of sin that no longer exists for us.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Instead, we shouldn’t hesitate to make use of our privilege by boldly and humbly approaching the throne of God and earnestly confessing our sins to the One who is Faithful and Just to both forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of the sore plague that our entanglement in sin has caused us (1 John 1:9).