Why is sex so powerful?

If you’re like me, the power of sex has been an unwelcome reality in your life or in the lives of loved ones.

So I want to dive back into the question I opened up last week – this question about why God created sex to be so powerful.

To understand the why we have to first clarify the what or, better said, the who.

See, sex is not an entity in and of itself. Sex is intrinsically and irrevocably relational, meaning sex is about people. For example, what does the familiar phrase “sex sells” really mean? If we said it more accurately, we’d say something like, “Sexual images of people created by people stir other people in a way that can be used to encourage people to buy something.” Right?

What about “solo-sex” (fantasy and masturbation)? In reality, this is one person emulating more than one person. In a very real way, it’s a person disassociating from him or herself in order to stimulate him or herself. It’s one person acting sexually like two people.

Okay, so how does this relate to why sex is so powerful. God created sex so powerful for the sake of people.

Before the fall of man in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. Their sexual intimacy was operating in sync with their emotional and relational intimacy. Adam was fully devoted to Eve, wanting only good for her, and Eve was fully devoted to Adam, wanting only good for him—physically, emotionally, relationally, and sexually.

This is difficult for us to fathom because of how twisted up human sexuality has become with sin. But as Jesus said in Matthew 19, “In the beginning, it was not so.” So let me tease this out a bit more.

Where we know nakedness as a liability, a threatened state where we’re vulnerable, they knew it as a way to truly see, know, love, and serve each other.

Where we know male-female differences to be competitive (as in, competing for value, worth, position, etc.), they knew male-female differences to be complementary. Eve knew every strength and weakness of Adam, Adam knew every strength and weakness of Eve, and their physical, emotional, and relational complementarity enabled them to draw nearer to each other, honor each other, and give of themselves for the good of the other.

Post-fall we experience desire pulling people toward others (or parts of others) for selfish gratification (that’s lust.). But pre-fall, the desire Eve had for Adam and Adam had for Eve drew them toward each other for the others’ sake (that’s love).

In this context, the power of sex was ever and always gift. We might think of it this way: Sex, when properly plugged into the love of God, becomes a sacred and powerful expression of God’s self-giving love.

And this means, sex as God intended it, points us to the greatest Love of all, God Himself. He intended it to draw us to Himself. Is it any wonder then that God would create sex so powerful?

If you can, take time this week to think on these things. This is so different than what we experience day by day, but to let God’s original design sink in will do us so much good, and will fortify those of us who wrestle with the power of sex.

Next week, I’ll offer a few thoughts on how the desire that God designed to be fueled by self-giving love, when fueled by selfish lust actually increases the power of sin in our lives and decreases our ability to resist it.

But for now, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

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[…] The power of sex comes from the complete self-giving of a husband to his wife and a wife to her husband. In this context, sex says, “I give you all of me to you for your good.” That’s love. (Read more about this in last week’s post here.) […]

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