Sex is something that is rarely talked about in the Christian community. It can be difficult to know what is ok and what is sinful in the eyes of God. Even though this is an awkward topic to dive into, we must educate ourselves on this topic so that we ensure we bring glory to God in all we do.
What is a Christian couple allowed to do in sex? Biblically, all types of sexual acts are designed for only husbands and wives in the covenant of marriage. Most believe that married couples are allowed to engage in sex that is honoring to God and can use sex toys as well as engage in oral sex if the couple feels as though it is okay for them in their marriage.
If you desire to glorify God in the way he created sex, then this post will help you find ways to do so in your relationship.
Should I Have Sex Before Marriage?
Growing up in a family who considers themselves Christians, I was taught since the age of 15 that sex is bad and dangerous and not something that should ever be considered before marriage. Any time I tried to talk about it from my family I was told it was something we couldn’t discuss until I was married and that my grandma would come out of her grave if I didn’t wait.
As an adult, I now believe that sex can be a beautiful thing, and a fantastic way to grow in intimacy with someone, but this someone should only be your spouse after you have been married.
This is not something that our parents advise us to not engage in just to prevent us from having “fun”, God created sex to be between a husband and wife and we are able to see this in the following verse.
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.–1 Corinthians 7:8-9
Paul writes this letter in response to a letter from the Corinthian church. This very clearly states that we should not have sex out of marriage, yet it also acknowledges that sexual temptation is something that we will struggle with.
This verse is not stating though just to go out and get married because you are struggling with your temptation, you must actively fight your temptation until you feel as though God is leading you into marriage with someone whom you love.
How Having Sex Affects You Spiritually
The world encourages us to think of sex causally and pictures it as this amazing thing. We begin to feel obligated to have sex in order to fit in.
We allow this desire to fit into society’s standards and sexual temptation to impact us so much that we end up having sex without fully realizing the ramifications of it.
Having sex is more than just committing the act, “feeling good”, and fitting in. Having sex is putting yourself in an incredibly vulnerable position with another person, giving your whole physical self to someone. Whether you are in a relationship or have no feelings for this person, having sex connects you to another person.
Close your eyes real quick and think of two separate pieces of paper, if you take these two separate pieces of paper and glue them together they start sticking to each other, and when you try to remove them from each other the papers begin to tear. The longer you leave the papers on top of each other, the more they become damaged when you try to take them off.
This, my friends, is what having sex does to your soul, whether you’re in love with that person or not having sex connects you as one individual.
When you begin to disconnect from this person or it doesn’t work out a part of you is still connected them and the further you are from them the more damage you cause to yourself. This physically weighs you down and can cause depression, a deeper want for lust, or feelings of unworthiness.
Please do not just rush into things just because you want to have sex or feel like you need to show this person you love them.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:23
We are called to guard our hearts and when you have sex you are placing your heart into someone else’s hands, so please pray and seek wisdom on if this person is worthing of holding your heart before doing so in order to guard it.
Boundaries and Loopholes
Setting up physical boundaries is incredibly important for any relationship, but even more so for Christian relationships because of our morals.
Before setting up boundaries you have to decide what lines are important to you to not cross. Think of what could cause more temptation for you in your relationship.
Once you’ve set up boundaries and you have been with this person for a while temptation will become even more common and you must be on guard. You cannot seek out “loopholes” in your relationship that will help you get a little bit of what you want while still pleasing God.
You might think, “Well if I do this then my boyfriend/girlfriend will like me more” or “The Bible doesn’t clearly state that’s a sin so it’s ok.” These are lies from the enemy and you must not give into them. Let me be clear, no sexual acts before marriage are acceptable to commit before the eyes of God.
How to Set Up Boundaries:
Though boundaries can be a little awkward to talk about with your significant other, you must discuss them when you feel the time is right to ensure that you are holding each other accountable, as well as respecting each other and God.
- Pray: Both you and your significant other should pray individually asking God to reveal to you what boundaries you should set in your relationship.
- Write a list: After praying write a list of the boundaries you need. If you are not quite sure what to add, think of what could possibly lead to temptation with your boyfriend/girlfriend or you could talk to a close friend/ mentor.
- Discuss boundaries: Once you’ve come up with your list have you and your significant other discuss both of your lists. If you have different boundaries discuss them together and be respectful of them if they want to wait to do something that you feel like your ready for.
- Hold each other accountable: Some of us like to try to see how we can tempt each other or justify changing the set boundaries, but doing so is not respectful to your significant other and potentially detrimental to your relationship. However, we are still human and fall short show treat each other with grace and let your boyfriend/ girlfriend know when they are crossing boundaries.
If you have had sex outside of marriage already, know that you can still be forgiven by your heavenly father. You are not unworthy of love and this does not define you because you have a heavenly father who loves you.
Sex in Marriage
Sex when you are married is truly a beautiful thing. Although it should not be the most important part of your marriage, it is still very important. We can see it’s important in Genesis 2:24 when marriage is discussed.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”Genesis 2:24
Part of becoming one flesh in your marriage is having sex. You see the rawest intimate parts of your spouse while also showing yours. This gives you a strong connection that you cannot have with anyone else.
To have a better understanding of what God created sex to be, I highly recommend meditating on the following verses: Hebrews 13:4, Mark 10:6-9, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
I also highly suggest reading through the book Song of Solomon with your spouse in order to deepen your intimacy with each other as well as to see a biblical example of how you can glorify God through this aspect of your marriage.
What are We Allowed & Not Allowed to Do?
Sex is something that our society has grown to talk more and more about throughout the years via media, and has come up with different ways to “better” your sex life with your spouse. While these things may seem appealing, we need to ask ourselves, “What’s ok for me to engage in sexually as a Christian?”
What are We Allowed to Do?
Whether you have been married for a while or just a few short months you may be wondering all that you can do sexually with your spouse in order to increase your bond and enjoyment of this act.
I created this list from my own research so that you and your partner can read it together and decide for yourself what you both feel would be pleasing to God and what you want to try in your marriage.
You and your partner may be wondering, “Is oral sex okay for us to engage in as a married couple?” There is no blanket answer to this question because the answer will vary for each couple depending on their comfortability and view on this matter.
Though I can not give you a for sure answer specific to your relationship, I can help guide you through steps that help you discover that answer yourself.
These are four things you should ask yourself before engaging in different types of sexual intimacy with your spouse. Is it a sin? Is it natural? Is this healthy or harmful? And is it kind?John Piper
To hear Pipers thoughts on this subject click here.
First, let’s look at whether or not it’s a sin. This act of intimacy is not specifically stated as a sin in the Bible or is it stated clearly that this is prohibited.
This topic is actually alluded to in the book Song of Solomon. Though this book is a metaphor in some parts of our relationship with God, Solomon also speaks about this specific type of intimacy with his future bride in a very beautiful way that also brings glory to God.
Though oral sex itself is not stated as a sin, it does not mean that we should jump right into it. We must first ask ourselves the next question. “Is it natural?” While it could be argued that this specific act is unnatural due to the way our bodies are created, we were also created with a desire for each other intimately and it does seem wise not put a limit on this particular act as long as it is don’t in a loving and kind way.
Whether this is harmful or healthy will differ for each couple. It is unhealthy if you have a sexually transmitted disease that you could give to your spouse through this act, and in turn would also be harmful to them. It also becomes harmful if you cause them pain while committing this act with them.
The last and in my opinion one of the most important questions to ask yourself before engaging in this form of intimacy with your spouse is, “Is it kind?” This act becomes unkind if you force it upon your spouse due to your desire for it. We are commanded to be kind in all we do in Ephesians 4:2, so we must ensure that we openly discuss this with our spouse and that they feel comfortable before moving forward.
Are Sex Toys Allowed?
Though this may seem like something that should not be discussed, sex toys are a product that is in our world and highly popular when engaging in physical intimacy with your partner.
To help you and your partner discover whether this is something you should bring into your marriage or not I am going to walk through the four questions I stated in the last section.
Is using sex toys a sin? Though using these items is not specifically stated as a sin in the Bible, it could be argued that this is sinful due to lust and unnatural that it is sinful. If you use this to enhance your sexual relationship with your spouse and you feel as though after answering the following questions that using these are ok, I personally see no problem with as long the act of this itself brings glory to God.
Is it natural? Using these items are by definition unnatural since God created our bodies and they are built with purpose. We are given each body part we have for a specific use.
The male and female bodies were created to be like puzzle pieces for each other. However, there are also sex toys created by Christians that are not a replacement for your partner, but instead, to help enhance your experience.
Is it harmful or unhealthy for us to use these? Using these in your marriage could become harmful to your relationship to your spouse if you become reliant on them and end up going to these items instead of your spouse for pleasure. They become unhealthy if you are dependent on them. The focus of your mind and heart matter too. Think about what your purpose is behind incorporating these items into your marriage.
The final question you and your spouse should ask, “Is using these items in our relationship kind?” Using these to add more pleasure in your intimacy in itself is not unkind. But if you use items that bring pain to each other or become dependent on them, then you are being unkind to your spouse and not bringing glory to God in your physical intimacy with your spouse.
Before you start using these items or ban them from your marriage, pray as a couple, and seek wisdom from God. Even though it may feel uncomfortable, God wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives.
Kenny Ortiz has a podcast called, “What About Sex Toys? with Dr. Corey Allan.” I would recommend listening to it.
What Should be Off-Limits?
It is important to note that just because these items I discussed above are by definition allowed does not mean that they are something you have to bring into your marriage. It is ok to not feel comfortable engaging in them.
You and your spouse should have open discussions about sex regarding what you both feel comfortable doing, what you want to try, and what is absolutely off-limits.
Though this may be awkward, being open in your relationship is an absolute necessity so that you can ensure that your spouse feels heard, valued, and loved in all aspects of your marriage.
You must find your balance in intimacy between being open to incorporating new forms of intimacy into your sexual relationship with your spouse, and also knowing what could potentially damage your heart if you let it into your marriage.
Seek to outdo your spouse in kindness in serving them through this act, so that you may bring glory to God in this beautiful act which he has designed for us to incorporate into our lives.
To ensure that you are glorifying God with this aspect of your relationship you and your spouse must both ask yourselves this “Is the way I am loving my spouse a good representation of Christ’s love for them?“, “Are we currently honoring God in our physical intimacy with each other?”, and “Am I showing them gentleness, and kindness through this?”
If the answer to any of these questions is no then I highly suggest taking a step back from what you are currently doing with your spouse to reflect on how to change things in order to glorify God through all that you do.
I hope you take all that I’ve stated throughout this article and meditate as well as pray on it, so that you may find what works best for you and your spouse in order to have every aspect of your life reflect Christ.