God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27
Human sexuality is a fact. We cannot avoid it. For each of us, it may be a blessing and a curse. The relationship between men and women affects every arena of human life, is the subject of much of our literature, and occupies much of our conscious thought.
I am a professing evangelical Christian, and I try my best to live my life in accordance with the Biblical commandments.
I am a very fortunate man. I fell in romantic love with a young woman, and she returned my affection. We had 63 years of married life together. Our marriage was not all peaches and cream. We had our difficult moments, as almost every couple does. During the last seven years of her life my wife was a virtual invalid, and I was her caregiver. Sometimes her sickness affected her cognitively. But through all of these years our love for and commitment to each other was steadfast. We honored our wedding vows. And even though I believe I have a normal sex drive, I was never seriously tempted to violate my marriage troth.
My experience is not unique. I have known loving couples who spent 40 – 70 years together as husband and wife, to be separated only by death. This was true for most couples in my own family, and it is true for many of my friends.
But it’s not that way for everyone.
This is a broken world. Many people are not so fortunate in their marriages. Someone may marry only to find that their mate is not the person they thought he or she to be; or perhaps, over time, the person changes. Sometimes the situation deteriorates to the point that separation or divorce appear to be the only alternatives.
Then there are the unmarriageables. A person may be physically unattractive or otherwise handicapped and unable to find a mate. This does not mean that they are not desirous of a close emotional or physical relationship with a member of the opposite sex – or of their own sex. Everyone wishes to love and be loved.
The Mosaic laws regarding sex and marriage are often difficult to follow. In considering them, we must remember that these laws were promulgated to a desert tribe that was hemmed about by hostile enemies. Many of these rules were designed to preserve the purity of the Hebrew race and protect its monotheistic beliefs. This is not to say that the sexual commandments were not just and valid. They were simply meant for a more perfect world. In a perfect world a family consists of a God-fearing husband, a wife whom he loves and who honors him, and obedient children. It doesn’t always turn out this way, and allowances must be made. Jesus acknowledged as much when he discussed the Mosaic rules about marriage and divorce. In God’s view, marriage bonds are indissoluble; but Mosaic law, recognizing man’s sinful nature, allowed for certain exceptions.
On two occasions Jesus encountered women involved in an adulterous relationship. On neither occasion did he follow Mosaic rules and condemn the woman to public punishment of the most severe sort. To the one caught in the actual act, he said “Go, and sin no more.”
Critics of Christianity often point out that Jesus the teacher did not say anything about pre-marital sex. He also did not talk about pederasty, homosexuality, or wife-beating. In fact, Jesus said very little about rules of behavior. But he did affirm the Ten Commandments, and he summed them up in two basic commands: “Love the Lord God with all you heart, mind and soul. And love your neighbor as yourself.” He knew that if you do these things, all good things will follow.
Interestingly, Jesus did talk about lust. He said that truly lusting after a woman is as bad as the act of adultery itself. In saying this, Jesus went beyond the law of Moses and seemed to set an almost impossible bar. Perhaps the real meaning of this passage is that all men are sinners. We try to follow God’s leading, but all of us fall short of the glory of God. Jesus is warning us to examine our hearts and not consider ourselves better than our brothers. Instead, reach out a helping hand to those that stumble.
The old beliefs are under severe attack today, Many seek a new order based on human reason and free from religious cant. I know these people are absolutely wrong. I support traditional marriage. I also believe there are only two genders. I’m convinced that the LGBT community consists of persons suffering from a form of infectious insanity and who are in rebellion against God. Advancement of their agenda would mean the death of western civilization.
The core element in all Biblical teachings about sexuality and moral conduct is that it advances behavior calculated to promote and protect the health of the individual and of the family. Christianity advocates for a monogamous heterosexual union (a family) into which children are to be born and in which they are to be nurtured physically and spiritually. Sexual temptation abounds, but for the faithful there is a firm conviction that man’s higher nature, with God’s help, can control his more brutish or unnatural instincts — in other words, exercise self-control and responsibility. Those persons who do not fit into the pattern of a blissful, monogamous, male-female relationship may feel that God has somehow let them down, but remember that God never promised us lives of tranquility or of physical and emotional fulfillment. The life of faith is a life of joy, but it is also a journey of discipline and self-denial for all of God’s children, whatever their sexual or other predilections. Man often falls far short of living up to God’s standards for sexual morality as well as in other areas of human conduct. However, man’s failure does not invalidate the standards.
I believe in the Ten Commandments.. Do your very best to obey them in truth and in spirit. But we are all sinners, and in the final analysis we are all dependent on God’s mercy.