Stormproof Men II


The Umbrella of Sexual Activity

The umbrella of sexual activity – which pertains to our purity – covers a much wider range of activities than just intercourse or acts resulting in physical pleasure. As Jesus punctuated it in Matthew 5:28: “…but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

As Matthew 5:28 addresses, sexual activity includes “hypothetical” actions linked with our eyes and thoughts. To put it simply: if you’re not married to the person, but what you look at or think about have anything to do with sex or their body, it’s out-of-bounds according to Jesus. And yes, that even means that one thing you’re thinking about right now, while saying “…but what about...???”

A broad understanding of sexual activity is crucial. Sexual deeds of the flesh (immorality, impurity, and sensuality) describe a wide range of activities and thoughts. However, many people today are not clear about what they believe constitutes sex. They certainly identify physical intercourse as “sex” but not necessarily other sexual activities. 

This leads to the logical question: How do we distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate sexual activity? 

Our response must reflect a biblical worldview, not only a cultural worldview. 

And the answer is: “Appropriate sexual activity” depends on the relationship. “Appropriate” for husband and wife differs from “appropriate” for any other relationship. Our culture mostly believes that boundaries about appropriateness are not good, and sometimes our sexual desires make us question whether or not they are good. 

Let’s first look at sex within marriage. The Scripture teaches that sex between husband and wife should be great! The biblical books, Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Hebrews, all proclaim the goodness of marital sex. When I was in seminary, we were required to learn the basic theme of each book of the Bible. My professor gave us this theme for the The Song of Solomon: “Wowie Zowie!” The focus of Scripture teaches that within the marriage relationship, the husband and wife can enjoy sexual “wowie zowie” as an expression of intimacy, as one dimension of the “one flesh” relationship in God’s design for marriage. Such sexual expression provides the real intimacy and fulfillment that inappropriate sexual activity promises but cannot deliver.