I did this blog back in April of 2007, at the time it was a lesson for the former Agape Email Bible Study Family. On both sites, it brought new insight to some, freedom to some, and judgement to my ministry by many. But I feel led by the Lord to share the freedom that God gives in the blessing of marriage. So read and hopefully be blessed, and if I am wrong in doing……..God will judge.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)
The bed is undefiled; this short phrase has been used over and over in the teaching of sexual relationship between husband and wife. But what does that mean, does it mean that all bets are off and anything goes. Does it just mean because of the honor that Lord has placed upon worship; the bed has become a place of holiness between a man and his wife. Let us look at this week, the subject of THE BED IS UNDEFILED.
In the original Greek, the word defiled means…..not defiled, unsoiled, and free from that by which the nature of a thing is deformed and debased, or its force and vigor impaired. Marriage is honorable in all. The object here is to state that honor is to be shown to the marriage relation. It is not to be undervalued by the pretence of the superior purity of a state of celibacy, as if marriage were improper for any class of men or any condition of life; and it should not be dishonored by any violation of the marriage contract. The course of things has shown that there was abundant reason for the apostle to assert, with emphasis, that “marriage was an honorable condition of life.” There has been a constant effort made to show that celibacy was a more holy state; that there was something in marriage that rendered it distortable for those who were in the ministry, and for those of either sex who would be eminently pure. This sentiment has been the cause of more abomination in the world than any other single opinion claiming to have a religious sanction. It is one of the supports on which the Papal system rests, and has been one of the principal upholders of all the corruptions in monasteries and nunneries. The apostle asserts, without any restriction or qualification, that marriage is honorable in all; and this proves that it is lawful for the ministers of religion to marry, and that the whole doctrine of the superior purity of a state of celibacy is false
Every man cleaving to his own wife, and every wife cleaving to her own husband, because God will judge, i.e. punish, all fornicators and adulterers. But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. All licentiousness of life, and all violations of the marriage covenant, will be severely punished by God. See Barnes “1 Corinthians 6:9″. The sins here referred to prevailed everywhere, and hence there was the more propriety for the frequent and solemn injunctions to avoid them which we find in the Scriptures.
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
a. The bed undefiled: The Bible strictly condemns sex outside of the marriage commitment (fornicators and adulterers God will judge). But the Bible celebrates sexual love within the commitment of marriage, as in The Song of Solomon.
i. “Fornication and adultery are not synonymous in the New Testament: adultery implies unfaithfulness by either party to the marriage vow, while the word translated “fornication” covers a wide range of sexual irregularities.” (Bruce)
b. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled: Perhaps through a past of sexual sin, many people have a difficult time really believing that the marriage bed is undefiled. Guilt and sexual hang-ups are appropriate to extra-marital sex, but not in marital sex. But this is where the guilt and sexual hang-ups often exist, and where they most frequently cause trouble.
i. The enemy of our souls wants to do everything he can to encourage sex outside of the marriage bed, and he wants to do everything he can to discourage sex inside the marriage bed. We need to recognize this strategy and not give it a foothold among us.
c. Though God allows real freedom in the variety of sexual expression in marriage, all must be done with a concern for the other’s needs and in love (1 Corinthians 7:2-5 and Ephesians 5:21-33).
Now let us get to the meat of the subject, as one thing that I am proud of and hope it does not end once I take on roll as pastor, is that many feel comfortable is asking questions that they won’t ask other clergy and pastors. And the truth of the matter, these things do cross the mind of the Christian, but the church has made it taboo and often we live in confusion, while the Bible teaches on these things, but we do not. So if you are one of those who might be offended, you better stop reading now and we will see you next week in Jesus Name, But if not…..let’s move on.
If both partners agree, is anything taboo?” “What about the use of vibrators?” “Is oral sex okay?” These are just a few questions that Christian asked about the sexual relationship in marriage from surveys that I have read and have been asked of me. But at the heart of each of these questions were two concerns: What does God prohibit in the sexual relationship between a husband and wife, and what does God permit?
We read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and compiled a list of every scriptural reference to sex. As we reviewed our list it became apparent that God gives tremendous sexual freedom within the marriage relationship. But God also sets forth some prohibitions that we must honor. For I am of the belief that where the Bible is silent, so will I. But there are some things that I do know the Bible teaches against.
These are the ten things God forbids:
1. Fornication: Fornication is immoral sex. It comes from the Greek word porneia which means “unclean.” This broad term includes sexual intercourse outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:3), sleeping with your stepmother (1 Corinthians 5:1), sex with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:13, 15-16), and adultery (Matthew 5:32).
2. Adultery: Adultery, or sex with someone who is not your spouse, is a sin and was punishable in the Old Testament by death (Leviticus 21:10). In the New Testament, Jesus expanded adultery to mean not just physical acts, but emotional acts in the mind and heart (Matthew 5:28).
3. Homosexuality: The Bible is very clear that for a man to have sex with a man or woman to have sex with a woman is detestable to God (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9).
4. Impurity: These are several Greek words which are translated as “impurity.” To become “impure” (in Greek, molvno) can mean to lose one’s virginity (Revelation 14:4), or to become defiled, due to living out a secular and essentially pagan lifestyle (1 Corinthians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 7:1). The Greek word rupos often refers to moral uncleanness in general (Revelation 22:11).
5. Orgies: For a married couple to become involved in sex orgies with different couples is an obvious violation of (1), (2), and (4) and needs no discussion.
6. Prostitution: Prostitution, which is paying for sex, is morally wrong and condemned throughout Scripture (Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17, Proverbs 7:4-27).
7. Lustful passions: First, let us tell you what this does not mean. Lustful passion does not refer to the powerful, God-given sexual desire a husband and wife have for one another. Instead, it refers to an unrestrained, indiscriminate sexual desire for men or women other than the person’s marriage partner (Mark 7:21-22, Ephesians 4:19).
8. Sodomy: In the Old Testament, sodomy refers to men lying with men. The English word means “Unnatural sexual intercourse, especially of one man with another or of a human being with an animal.” Unfortunately, some Christian teachers have erroneously equated sodomy with oral sex. In the Bible, sodomites refer to male homosexuals or temple prostitutes (both male and female). In contemporary usage, the term sodomy is sometimes used to describe anal intercourse between a man and woman. This is not the meaning of the biblical word.
9. Obscenity and coarse jokes: In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.” The Greek word for unwholesome is very descriptive and literally mans “rotten” or “decaying.” In Ephesians 5:4, the Bible warns us to avoid “silly talk” or, as it is called in some versions, “coarse jesting.” We have all been around people who can see a sexual connotation in some innocent phrase and then begin to snicker or laugh. This is wrong. However, this does not rule out appropriate sexual humor in the privacy of marriage, but rather inappropriate sexual comments in a public setting.
10. Incest: Incest, or sex with family members or relatives, is specifically forbidden in Scripture (Leviticus 18:7-18; 20:11-21).
God leaves much in our sexual relationship with up to husbands and wives and their own discretion. But in all likelihood, the questions tugging at the back of your mind were not even touched upon. Someone made this statement to me; “It’s helpful to know what God says is wrong, but I still sometimes wonder if what my husband and I are doing is right. We have a great time together in bed, but every now and then, this nagging doubt comes—does God approve?” Still time to back out (Ha Ha), because here it comes.
Is Oral Sex Permissible?Oral sex is or oral stimulation of your partner’s genitals with your mouth, lips, and tongue. The man may stimulate the woman’s clitoris and the opening of the vagina with his tongue or the woman many pleasure the man’s penis with her mouth. This sexual stimulation may or may not lead to orgasm for the husband and wife. What does Scripture say about this sexual activity? Most theologians say the Scriptures are silent about oral-genital sex. Some believe two verses in the Song of Solomon may contain veiled references to oral sex. The first is Song of Solomon 2:3:
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Some teach throughout the Song of Solomon, I have to do more studying myself, but the word fruit refers to the male genitals. In extra biblical literature, fruit is sometimes equated with the male genitals or with semen, so it is possible that here we have a faint and delicate reference to an oral genital caress.
The second possible veiled reference is found in 4:16 (KJV):
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
These erotic words spoken by Solomon’s bride are at the culmination of a very sensuous love scene. Shulamith asks her husband to blow on her garden (a poetic reference used throughout the Song for the vagina) and cause its spices to flow out. Of course one cannot be certain, but it is possible Shulamith is inviting her husband to excite her by caressing her with his mouth. She then invites him to enter her and feast on the pleasures waiting in her “garden.” Again, let me say that this is only the teachings of men and could be wrong, I myself, again need to do more studying. But if I had to make an opinion on the subject, I believe Scripture is silent on the topic of oral sex. “This does not make it right or wrong, a key emphasis in the New Testament is Christian liberty. Nothing is unclean in itself, says the Apostle Paul (Romans 14:14), and this presumably includes sexual variety.
But how far does Christian liberty go, does it sets us free from culturally invented “moral” taboos; and since there is no rule from heaven, it is likely that the only restraint is the feeling of the other person. For example, if one partner has guilt feelings about oral sex play, the Christian response of the other will be to honor the partner until they adjust their feelings. On the other hand, if the partner has only aesthetic reservations, and if these are rooted in some fixed idea that sex is little more than a necessary evil anyway, they have an obligation to be taught, tenderly and lovingly, of the joys of sex in the freedom of Christ. And while I don’t believe in pre-marital sex, I do believe in pre-marital sex decision is needed.
And if after talking it over and if both find it enjoyable and pleasant, then it may properly fit into the couple’s lovemaking practices. One goal of lovemaking is to fill a treasure trove of memories with delightful love experiences that will quicken your responses during your future times together. But don’t wait until the honeymoon to find out each other likes and dislike, talk it over
Before we go any further, let us clarify our intent. Are we suggesting you incorporate oral sex into your love play? No. We are not making recommendations. Instead, our purpose is to set out for you what Scripture prohibits and to encourage you to seek God’s wisdom concerning His personal recommendations for your marriage. Each couple is different. Each husband and wife is unique. Because Scripture is either silent—or veiled—concerning this practice, the only way to discover what God allows for you is for you to ask Him. If you’ve never talked to God about your sexual relationship, now is a good time to start. You will not shock God. Remember, sex was His idea. God is a God of wisdom (Daniel 2:20). He promises that when we lack wisdom, if we ask Him, He will give it to us (James 1:5)
As you seek God’s wisdom, you might find it helpful to ask these three questions about any sexual practice you and your husband are considering:
- Is it prohibited in Scripture? If not, we may assume it is permitted. “Everything is permissible for me,” (1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV).
- Is it beneficial? Does the practice in any way harm the husband or wife or hinder the sexual relationship? If so, it should be rejected. “Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV).
- Does it involve anyone else? Sexual activity is sanctioned by God for husband and wife only. If a sexual practice involves someone else or becomes public, it is wrong based on Hebrews 13:4, which warns us to keep the marriage bed undefiled.
Are Vibrators Permissible? Some couples enjoy incorporating the use of sexual aids such as vibrators into their lovemaking. To find out if the use of vibrator is right or wrong, let’s apply the three questions. Is the use of a vibrator prohibited by Scripture? Again, search the Bible and not personal preference. Is a vibrator beneficial in lovemaking? Does the use of a vibrator involve anyone else?
As we look at the list of ten prohibitions, do you see that there is no scriptural reference that would prohibit the use of a vibrator, search your spirit by the Spirit. And if one cannot find that a vibrator enhances a couple’s lovemaking and is used exclusively for the couple’s private enjoyment, then it is permitted. But if it troubles you, then leave it alone. Does this mean we are suggesting you run out and buy a vibrator? No. Again, we are not recommending any sexual practice. We are only trying to help you discern what is best in your marriage as you seek the wisdom of God. (Lawd! Help for me, I’ve done lost half the group this week)
What about X-Rated Videos? Obviously videos did not exist during biblical times, so we will not find “Thou shalt not watch X-rated videos” in Scriptures. (The same is true for vibrators.) But as we read through the list of the ten prohibitions, a red flag is raised. In number two on the list, adultery is defined as “looking on a woman to lust” whether the woman (or man) is on a video, in a picture, or in the living flesh. Secondly, number four on the list describes impurity as “moral uncleanness.” X-rated would qualify as “morally unclean,” thereby making them something God would disdain.
Now let’s apply the questions:
- Are X-rated videos prohibited by Scripture? Yes, based on (2) and (4).
- Are X-rated vides beneficial? Anything that promotes “moral uncleanness” is not beneficial.
- Do X-rated videos involve someone else? Yes. You bring the man or woman on the video into your lovemaking.
Based on these answers, we could conclude that God wants us to stay away from X-rated videos.
This week we have considered three “gray areas,” oral sex, vibrators, and X-rated videos. There are many others. We encourage you and your husband to prayerfully seek God’s wisdom, study the list of ten prohibitions, and use the three questions to help you discern what to do in your specific situation. And for those who are not married…..wait on the Lord and be of good courage, sorry it’s the best that I could do for singles this week. But in all seriousness, I think the key that we should take away from this….GOD WILL JUDGE. Not man, but the Lord.