The Bible is straightforward about the origin of sex: God created the two genders, and human sexuality, including all its physical, emotional, and spiritual intricacies, is God’s invention. Of course, sexual intercourse serves to perpetuate the human race, but sex has more than a utilitarian purpose. Sex is pleasurable, and it is an intimate act; it helps create a bond between a husband and wife. Some people struggle with the issue of the pleasurableness of sex.
Is it wrong for a married couple to have sex for pleasure, or should sex be reserved only for those times when the couple is trying to have a baby?
Because of the pervasiveness of pornography and the widespread perversion of sex in our culture, some people, including some sincere Christians, get the idea that sex for pleasure is wrong. They feel guilty about enjoying sex and would rather keep it within the confines of procreation; sex becomes something to be tolerated because it is the only way to make babies. Such a perspective is not biblical. Sex does not equal sin—not even sex for pleasure. Immorality (sex outside of marriage by God’s definition) is wrong, but not sex within marriage. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
A married couple having sex for pleasure is no more sinful than that same couple enjoying a chocolate dessert together. There’s not much practical about eating a dessert: is not eaten to sustain life or to provide nutrition; it is eaten for pleasure. As long as the couple keeps their dessert-eating within appropriate bounds, their enjoyment of chocolate desserts is fine. If they start lusting for chocolate, gluttonously eating nothing but chocolate, or stealing chocolate, then there is a problem. But the enjoyment of the dessert is fine in itself.
One Old Testament book deals at length with the subject of passion and sex for pleasure within marriage. The Song of Solomon is so detailed in its description of the wedding night that allegories were used to tone it down and, traditionally, Hebrew boys couldn’t read it until they were 12 years old, when they became men. The beautiful imagery of chapter 4 evokes scenes of serenity and delight. This is not a couple doing what they have to do in order to conceive; this is a couple surrendering to one another and simply enjoying each other. They are having sex for pleasure.
Our bodies are the temple of God.