In our previous post, we noted God's pattern for healthy sexuality is heterosexual monogamy.
We've already seen that sex is not the original sin. Sexuality is implicated within our sin - but it's a victim of sin, not the perpetrator of it. The Bible presents sin as damaging our sexuality, along with the rest of our humanity. In Genesis 3, sin is presented as a willed rejection of God’s rule over our lives. It’s an attitude: “I don’t want you, God, to be in charge of my life; I want to be in charge of my life.” This active rejection of God affects our whole being – including our sexuality.
In Genesis 3:16, God lays out one of the consequences of rejecting him:
To the woman he [God] said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
This turns the previous blessings of sexuality, in Genesis 1 and 2, upside down. In Genesis 1, man and woman were commanded to have babies – “be fruitful, and increase in number”. Now, childbearing is painful. In Genesis 2, man and woman were madly in love with each other. Now they’re going to fight each other.
So I take it that sexual problems are a normal abnormality. They’re normal in the sense that everyone will have some problems in the area of sexuality – from unrealistic expectations of amazing sex (how come it's always so perfect in the movies…?), to unmatched desire ("not tonight dear, I've got a headache"), to acute gender dysphoria. Everyone is going to have some struggle somewhere, because we all reject God; we’re all broken people.
They’re abnormal in that we know it shouldn’t be like this. We long for that joy, honesty and fulfilment which was there at the beginning. And that longing is true – because that’s how God meant it to be.
How can we escape from this body of death? Next post...