The Devil’s Advocate, a 1997 film starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, well articulates the world’s view of sex. Providing “inside information,” Pacino’s Lucifer tells Reeves that God “gives man instincts” and then “sets the rules in opposition” as a kind of divine joke. That’s how many, if not most, people view the biblical prescription for sex. Abstinence, in their minds, borders on cruelty.
In reality, God created sex in all its spendor to model important truths. Contrary to certain biblical misconceptions, sex is not merely about procreation. Within the context of marriage, sex models the reconciliation of Christ and his church. The Bible makes liberal use of marital imagery in its description of the church. The body of believers is the “bride of Christ,” readied and prepared for the wedding night. Marital fidelity serves a greater purpose than social utility. It mirrors the fidelity of believers to their god, and His fidelity to us. Viewed in that context, abstinence is not denial, but preservation. You save yourself for marriage for the same reason that you save a cake for your birthday. It might taste good any other day, but it won’t mean as much, and the day won’t be as special. The anticipation and exhilaration of sex provides a pale imitation of the joy that awaits believers reconciled to Christ beyond this world.
Sex, and the structure of the family, also models the very nature of God. The Trinity consists of three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Similarly, the family consists of a father, a mother, and their offspring. While distinct persons, a family ideally exists as a collective entity united in tradition, love, and purpose. This is in part what God meant when he looked upon Adam and said, “It is not good for the man to remain alone.” It was not good, because the man — while whole — was not complete.
Watch Voddie Baucham and Crawford Loritts expound brilliantly in the videos below.