What’s OK in the Bedroom? Part 4
Question #3: Is it good for us?
This is where things get fuzzy. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where God clearly says “no” to things like sex toys, masturbation, or oral sex. In fact, you’ll find very different opinions from Christian leaders on all these topics. The Corinthian church had questions about grey areas too. Instead of telling them exactly what to do, Paul gave them guidelines of how to use good judgment when the Bible doesn’t clearly state something as right or wrong.
Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV)
A few chapters later, Paul seems to repeat himself:
Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10: 23-24 NIV)
Here’s what you can take from these passages. There are many things in life that you are free to do and enjoy. When you are not sure whether something is okay, put it through Paul’s filter:
· Is this beneficial? Is it good for me? For my spouse? Is it good for our marriage?
· Does it master me? Can it be habit-forming or addictive?
· Is it constructive? Does it help me grow and mature? Does it build our marriage?
· Is it loving? Does this action show love towards my spouse or is it selfish?
This means that for some couples, a certain sexual act will be fine, and for another couple, the same sexual act isn’t right for them.
Do you wish God had given you a list of sexual acts with a clear “yes” or “no” by each one? It sure would make things a lot easier. But God, in his wisdom, has left some things open for a husband and wife to talk and pray through. You have to seek his wisdom for your own marriage. If you and your spouse disagree on a “grey area,” you will have to listen and learn to love each other through the decision.
After all, sex is a lot more than just sharing your body—it’s a journey of intimacy. Figuring out the boundaries together gives you a great opportunity to seek the Lord’s wisdom and to learn how to love each other more deeply.
Question to ponder: What “grey areas” regarding sex are you struggling with in your marriage? How can Paul’s advice help you sort this through together?