The Christian point of view regarding sex is perhaps one of the most “sex-positive” perspectives out there. If one believes in God – that he is good, thought up the idea of a human race, and is responsible, therefore, for creating sex – then it logically follows sex is inherently good.
The bible, the scriptural basis for Christian faith, describes sex using the verb “yada” in Hebrew, which conveys a sense of knowing. “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord’” (Genesis 4:1, ESV). This verb “yada” implies a covenant relationship of two people committed to one another, a relationship of chosen intimacy.*
During his time of teaching and ministry on earth, Jesus Christ described the mystery and sanctity of sex in how it brings two people together: “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:6-9, ESV).
The gospel of Mark implies the binding connection that forms in the act of having sex – two people becoming “one flesh” with one another. This act is so sacred and valuable that when it happens it should be able to continue, and partners should not have to face separation. This leads many Christians to believe in the value of having sex only within the boundaries of a marriage. In a covenant relationship, with two people committed to one another spirit, soul, and body, the beauty and the mystery of becoming one with another is permissible and a gift from God: an opportunity to know and be known with love. (For unmarried couples that have sex, become “one flesh,” and decide to end the relationship, prayer can always break unwanted bonds and heal any emotional wounds.)
Descriptions of the safety and protection that God intends for a marriage also appear in the bible – it is for this context of love that sex was made: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:25-33, ESV).
Christ loved the church by being willing to face death on a cross, giving himself up for the sake of humanity. (The Christian story says that Christ became a man, lived on earth, and died on a cross so that human sins could be forgiven – and as a result, so humans could enter into a relationship with God: “…God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:8-9, ESV)).
The passage from Ephesians thus conveys the responsibility of men to literally be prepared to give themselves on behalf of another, basically “be ready to die” for whom you love. Inherently, God asks that a man be willing to give his life for a woman and remain committed to her alone for the rest of his life, before a man sleeps with her. This serves as protection for women against being used or mistreated. This scripture also conveys the need for women to be able to respect their spouses. Women must choose men whom they can truly respect and trust – again, men who are committed to their hearts (not just their bodies). As both partners choose to live with love and sacrifice for one another, safety and healthy relationships will follow – as well as sex free of fear, guilt, or shame – sex within the security of permanent commitment and love.
So, the Christian viewpoint of sex? Have it. Enjoy it. Just wait for the unique trust and love that a marriage alone can provide.