Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Does the Bible teach that sex is only for procreation? What is the purpose of sex within marriage?

The Bible does teach that one of the primary purposes for sexual intimacy is the creation of children. In the familiar passage of Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”. Is the multiplying of mankind the only reason God created sex?

The Bible teaches that sex is a gift of God designed to be enjoyed within marriage. Although sex will often result in the blessing of a child, the Bible does not teach that this is the only purpose for the act of intercourse.

The Bible discusses many different purposes for sex within marriage
(Note: Sex is never to take place outside of a heterosexual marriage. When sex takes place out of marriage it is sinful and is usually referred to as “fornication” or “adultery”.)
Sex is for pleasure.
  • In the Song of Solomon you read of a married man and woman enjoying many moments of passionate sexual intimacy. In no place in the book do you find procreation being discussed. 
  • In the Song of Solomon sex is shown as an outpouring of affection and attraction for one’s spouse. In this inspired book of the Bible, this married couple finds great pleasure in being sexually intimate with each other on multiple occasions and in different ways.
Sex is for oneness in marriage.
  • “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 NASB).  Sexual intimacy in marriage allows a couple to consummate their union and express their closeness by becoming one flesh during the act of intercourse. You should be closer to your spouse than any other individual. Sex helps facilitate this closeness within marriage.
Sex allows for intimate knowledge of one’s spouse.
  • In many passages in our english Bibles, the word “know” is used to represent sexual relations. One such example is (Genesis 4:1) which states, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” (ESV). 
  • The word for “knew” or “relations (NASB)” is the Hebrew word yadah which is a word that means “to know, understand, perceive, learn and discern” (Strongs).  
  • The word the Old Testament uses often for sex may also demonstrate that within the intimacy of marriage one discovers a deeper understanding of their spouse through the act of intercourse. 
Sex in Marriage Protects one from Sexual Temptation.
  • In First Corinthians 7, the Apostle Paul teaches that a healthy sex-life in marriage will serve as a safeguard against adultery. 
  • "The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control". (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 NASB). 
  • Although some will find any excuse to be unfaithful within marriage, the Bible does teach that a healthy sex-life helps in keeping sexual temptations away.
Sex can comfort a hurting spouse.
  • When the child of David and Bathsheba dies, the Bible says “Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the LORD loved him” (2 Samuel 2:24 ESV). 
  • It may be, that during a time of sadness or depression, one way we may be able to comfort our hurting spouse is through physical intimacy. 
  • Society may teach that sex is selfish, dirty and bad, but the Bible teaches it is a beautiful intimate moment that takes place in a healthy marriage relationship. Sex is a way in which a married couple expresses their unselfish love for each-other. When a person is hurting or grieving, they need to know that their spouse is there to comfort them. Many times times comfort is shown through a physical means such as holding one another. Marital intimacy may be another way. This might not be the best course in every situation (be sure you know your spouse's needs), but in some cases a person may find great comfort in an intimate sexual moment with their spouse.
  • Sex is not just for procreation. It is a gift to be enjoyed by a married couple for many different purposes from pleasure to protection, or intimate knowledge to procreation. 
  • One well-known Marriage Psychologist put it this way: 
    • “For human beings, sex isn't just to make babies. It is to join two humans in the most intimate union possible. I believe that sexual love freely shared in marriage is the most beautiful way God gave us to say, "I love you." (Beam).

By Cliff Sabroe, Scripture quotes from the NASB95, ESV and KJV Bibles. Citation from (Beam, Joe. Sex and the Bible. -  joebeam.com)