Pop quiz: How many times does Scripture use the word “sex”? What do you think? 25? 100? 400?
Actually, in the New American Standard or the New King James, the answer is zero. In the New International Version, the translators use the word “sex” twice, and in both instances it’s a negative situation-people demanding sex from others.
I used to think the absence of the word “sex” was because the translators were prudish and felt more comfortable using terms like “to know” (as in, “Adam knew his wife, Eve”), “to have relations with,” or to become “one flesh” with another.
But these terms don’t reveal prudishness. They reveal something more profound.
Sex at its core is always relational.
Too often in our day, the focus of sex is pleasure, not the other person. Even in marriage, we’ve talked with many wounded wives who feel they’re being used by their husbands in bed rather than loved. When a husband worships sex, he’s crippled in his ability to love his wife.
In a way, it’s as though there is a third person in the bed-husband, wife, and sex. God didn’t create sex to be a thing unto itself, but rather as a way of relating between husband and wife.
We need the power of the Cross to free us from our tendency to pursue pleasure even at the cost of another person. As we press into Christ on the cross, he shifts our primary focus from achieving pleasure to loving another with a self-giving love.
Whether married or single, kick “sex” out of your bed. Ask Jesus to help you view physical intimacy as just that, a form of intimacy. And if you’re married, practice selflessly giving yourself to your husband or wife, making him or her your focus.
Question: What do you think this kind of shift would do for married people? What would it do to the way singles think about sex?