God’s Design For Sex

gods-design-for-sexI recently completed a reading plan on YouVersion called God’s Design For Sex. This plan was put together by the staff at Focus On The Family, and was an excellent study! Here are six quotes that caught my attention.

“Pornography represents a departure from God’s design for sex in that it depersonalizes real people, strips them of their dignity, and turns them into sexual objects.”

“Sexual immorality inhibits us from focusing on our truest Lover, the Lord. … Chastity, then, is first and foremost a spiritual discipline. Like prayer, fasting, study, silence, charity, and giving, it’s something God asks us to practice, not because it will get us into heaven, but because it will help transform us into new creatures.This kind of purity is not the mere absence of illicit sex, but an active conforming of one’s body, soul, and mind to the image of Christ.”

“As theologian George Weigel explains, when we view God’s directives for our sexuality in this way, ‘the first moral question shifts from ‘What am I forbidden to do?’ to ‘How do I live a life of sexual love that conforms to my dignity as a human person?’ Sex, then, rightly understood and practiced, is in a very real sense fundamental to mankind’s function, purpose, and destiny within the miracle of God’s creation.” 

“Most critics and skeptics of Christian chastity argue that the Bible has ‘nothing to say’ about pre-marital sex. The problem, they say, is nothing negative is ever mentioned ‘condemning’ the practice or suggesting a ‘thou shalt not.’ But the Bible expresses its perspective on this matter primarily in positive terms.”

“It’s vital to add that God wants us to reserve sex for marriage not because it’s ‘bad’ or ‘dirty,’ but precisely because it’s such a unique, exclusive, and wonderful thing. Sex is a holy mystery. It’s a powerful bonding agent that shapes and affects the relationship between a man and a woman as nothing else can. To take sex outside of marriage is like taking the wine consecrated for Holy Communion and using it for a drinking party at a frat house. This is why the writers of Scripture so often compare idolatry to the sin of fornication or adultery.”

“All the best research indicates that the most sexually satisfied people in modern society are not the adventurous swingers, but rather faithful, monogamous married couples.”

The Power To Overcome Sexual Temptation

Focus On The Family“It’s not easy to overcome recurring sexual temptation. That’s because sexual sin is, at the most basic level, an illegitimate way of fulfilling a deep and legitimate human need: the need for love and intimacy.” —Focus On The Family

John Piper“Here is the secret of the power of faith to break the enslaving force of sinful attractions. If the heart is satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, the power of sin to lure us away from the wisdom of Christ is broken.” —John Piper

6 Quotes About Understanding Sexual Sin

Focus On The FamilyEarlier this week I shared some quotes from a Focus On The Family (FOTF) reading plan I completed on YouVersion regarding the problems with pornography. Here are some additional quotes from a related FOTF reading plan called Understanding Sexual Sin.

“Sexual sin distorts the image of the Trinity mirrored in our marital relationships.”

“If our sex lives are meant to function as reflections of the image of God, it stands to reason that they should be shaped by the qualities of the Trinity. Three primary principles apply here.

1) We may never use another person as an object, sexual or otherwise. The members of the Trinity never relate to each other as objects or things to be used. Instead, they relate to one another in love, each seeking to serve and enhance the goodness and glory of the others.

2) We must keep sexual relations within the bounds of a loving and committed marriage. … This sexual embrace within the bond of marriage mirrors the nature of the relationship between the members of the Trinity as nothing else in creation can. Ideally, the marital bond is designed to be loving, permanent, exclusive, and self-giving.

3) We must respect and honor the God-designed differences between male and female. Male and female are not simply cultural constructs. They are God-created characteristics of humanity. Together, they personify the Trinitarian nature of God in a fundamental way…. The differences between male and female provide the fullest picture of the image of God in creation.”

“Biblically speaking, sexual immorality (Greek porneia) is any sexual activity that takes place outside of marriage. This includes adultery, premarital sex, and extramarital sex. Scripture teaches that both are off-limits for Christians (see 1 Corinthians 6:9; Acts 15:29; Hebrews 13:4).”

“It’s a mistake to confuse normal sexual attraction with lust. Sexual attraction is natural. … True lust involves a choice and an act of the will. To a certain extent it’s a conscious decision to pursue the desirable object instead of simply allowing it to pass by. It’s a willingness to give in to the natural impulse.”

“Pornography represents a departure from God’s design for sex in that it depersonalizes real people, strips them of their dignity, and turns them into sexual objects.”

“It is never wise to give more weight to feelings than to rational conclusions and clear biblical teachings. Feelings don’t make you who you are. Beliefs, values, and conscious commitments do.”

5 Quotes To Protect Your Marriage From Pornography

Focus On The FamilyI recently finished reading a Focus On The Family reading plan on YouVersion called Infidelity: Protecting Your Marriage From Pornography. This is one part of a multi-part reading plan on healthy sexuality. I encourage you to check out all of these plans.

Here are some of the quotes I appreciated from this reading plan.

“Porn is powerful primarily because it offers a counterfeit form of intimacy and attachment—a replacement for the one-flesh bond between man and woman that God designed to function as the glue that holds the marriage relationship together (Genesis 2:24).”

“Mental health professionals report that the road to recovery is likely to be much longer and far more complicated for an individual engaged in an ongoing interpersonal cyber-affair than it is for a porn addict. That’s because ‘relationship’ at any level implies a degree of emotional entanglement. When the heart gets drawn into that web, the potential for pathology is inevitably raised.”

“Many porn addicts are sexually anorexic when it comes to normal marital relations. That’s because, through habit and practice, their sexual impulses have been alienated from their natural context—i.e., a healthy, committed personal relationship—and re-oriented around impersonal objects or illicit lusts or fetishes.”

“[Pornography] addiction is based on neurochemical changes that occur in the brain as a result of prolonged exposure to stimulating sexual imagery. Because of its neuro-chemical basis, it’s tenacious, progressive and destructive in nature.”

“Don’t assume that normal marital sexual relations will take the place of porn in [an addict’s] life. No living, breathing, thinking woman can possibly fill that role without doing untold damage to herself as a person. That’s because pornography addiction, in the final analysis, is not about sex. It’s a symptom of an intimacy disorder—a comprehensive psychological illness that compels an individual to avoid deep, meaningful interaction with another flesh-and-blood human being and to replace it with impersonal sensual imagery. Unless this disorder is addressed and rectified, your relationship cannot move forward on a healthy footing. Marriage will not fix the problem. It will only complicate matters and increase your pain.”

For more help, visit pureintimacy.org or Focus on the Family’s Help Center.You can also call the ministry’s Counseling Department for a free consultation at 855-771-HELP (4357).

C.S. Lewis At War (audio drama review)

C.S. Lewis At WarWow, C.S. Lewis At War by Focus On The Family’s Radio Theatre has so much to like! I recently read C.S. Lewis In A Time Of War (you can read my review of this book by clicking here), so this audio drama was the perfect companion to the book.

If you’re anything like me, you might find that when a book is dramatized in a movie or an audio format, you say something like, “That wasn’t how I read that book.” But once again FOTF’s Radio Theatre stays so true to the intent of the story that it’s hard to find any places they departed from the book, the man, or the history of the time. In fact, I’d say the opposite: this dramatization actually brought out some details that the book form couldn’t address as fully.

If you like C.S. Lewis, old-time-radio broadcasts, history, or just a really well-told story, I think you will enjoy C.S. Lewis At War.

The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge (book review)

Next to being a husband, there is nothing I love more than being a Dad! I take my responsibility as a father very seriously, so that’s why I am always trying to grow in this area of my life. I just finished a 3-week journey through The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge by Carey Casey, and I am a better Dad for it.

As the name implies, this is designed to be read one day at a time over 21 days. At the end of each day’s lesson there are challenges to help Dads put into practice what they’ve just read. These challenges, I discovered, cannot be accomplished in a single day; they are intended to become lifelong habits. At the end of several of the chapters is a QR code that takes you to a short 2-minute video by Dr. Greg Smalley, who serves as a cheerleader/motivator to help Dads get moving.

I appreciated “the little things” that this book showed Dads could do right away. The principles in this book are not hard to implement, but they are simple steps that any Dad can do. At least, any Dad who wants to step up his fathering skills!

I loved it! I think lots of other Dads will too.

I am a Tyndale book reviewer.

Secure Daughters, Confident Sons (book review)

Our society is bombarded by so many flat-out-wrong messages about boys and girls, and how to parent them. In Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, Glenn T. Stanton helps set the record straight.

Right out of the gate, Glenn makes an important statement about the need for a book such as this:

If the rhetoric of political correctness keeps us from exploring the issue of gender differences, we lose something valuable to our humanity. Amazing scientific evidences of essential sex differences in the fields of anthropology, psychology, endocrinology, and neurology in the last few decades strongly disprove nearly all the thinking that drove the misunderstanding about gender in the first place. In fact, the more sophisticated this scientific research gets, the more it deepens our insight into the importance of male and female differences and how profoundly they exist within us. (emphasis mine)

With a no-holds-barred approach, Glenn dismantles the politically-correct falsehoods like:

  • There are no real differences between boys and girls.
  • Kids can development just fine in a fatherless home.
  • Our children are just as healthy in a one-parent home as in a two-parent home.
  • Kids will be kids regardless of what their parents tell them.

The first few chapters alternate between information specifically for raising boys, and information specifically for raising girls. Then the later chapters zero in on the roles both Dads and Moms play in developing healthy, well-rounded, confident, secure children. Who (no surprise here) develop into healthy, well-rounded, confident, secure adults and future parents.

In one of the concluding chapters Glenn writes —

Boys who grow up with warm and close connections with their fathers are more likely to develop a healthy masculine sense of self. …Boys who grow up with close, affectionate, and affirming relationships with their mothers have a better sensitivity to and understanding of women. …Girls who grow up close to affirming, warm, loving, and confident moms are more likely to be secure and healthy in their womanhood. Girls who grow up close to their fathers in loving and affirming relationships are more likely to be confident around boys and men as they grow.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for parents and soon-to-be parents to READ THIS BOOK! Raising children is an awesome responsibility, and we need all the help we can get!

I am a Multnomah book reviewer.

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