This article contains candid discussions about sexual behavior. We do not recommend this article for children under 18 without the approval of a parent or guardian.
Sex is everywhere in our culture. Even if you’re not having it, chances are you’re hearing about it, talking about it, watching it, or joking about it.
But for how present it is in our society, there’s a lot of confusion about it. We’re steeped in mixed signals, misinformation, and lies about sex – and that has led many people into sexual encounters they regret.
There are three myths about sex that are especially common in our society. Here’s how to recognize them, and the truth that can change the way you look at sex:
Myth: sex is just physical
If this were true, then why do we stay in relationships longer than we should once sex is involved? Why are people psychologically affected for years after sexual abuse? Why are people driven to violent jealousy over a sexual partner?
Deep down, we know that sex is more than just physical. 1 Corinthians 6:16 describes even casual sex as something that can unite two people into one. That kind of bond is painful and difficult to break off. If you treat sex like it’s just physical, it will inevitably lead to regret that could be avoided.
Myth: a Christian view of sex is outdated and repressive
To unpack this myth, we first need to unpack a common fallacy: that if the majority is in favor of one viewpoint, an opposing viewpoint is automatically wrong.
History proves that this isn’t always the case. At one point in time, the majority of people thought it was okay for one human to own another. There was also a time where the majority believed women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. It goes without saying that the majority isn’t always right!
The vast majority of culture views sex as something we’re entitled to. Like food, we should be allowed to engage in sex whenever and with whomever we want. But does that sound like freedom or enslavement?
Proverbs 5:16 challenges this kind of thinking, asking us why we would trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills. God’s design for sex is to make two people one. Marriage is the only place where enough trust, safety, and commitment exist to protect that kind of bond.
Myth: you need to figure out if you have chemistry before marrying
“But how will we know if we’re compatible?” This is probably one of the most common questions about sex. After all, what if you wait until you’re married only to find out there are no sparks?
This is simply another lie culture has taught us to believe. We tend to think we need to know if there’s sexual chemistry before making a commitment. The reality is that long-lasting marriages are not built on sexual compatibility. It's one piece of a much more intricate puzzle.
Commitment and exclusiveness is what fuels chemistry and intimacy. Again, this aligns with God’s design for sex. It fuses two people together and makes them one (Genesis 2:24-25). When the commitment is established, sex creates the bond that seals it.
Plus, in simplest terms, practice makes perfect. Like anything else, sex takes time to master. And what better person to work through the awkwardness than your spouse – the one who loves you unconditionally and promises to go through every high and low with you?
What if I have regrets?
The vision God lays out for sexuality isn’t about avoiding sex or viewing it as something to be ashamed of. It defies the myths our culture perpetuates – that sex is as casual and physical as eating a snack – and propels us toward a view of sex that is fearless, intimate, and unashamed.
An unfortunate reality is that many people from religious backgrounds carry a great deal of shame when it comes to sex. Hear this truth today: there are no damaged goods under God’s grace. Whatever choices you’ve made, God has removed your mistakes “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
What’s the story you want to tell about the way you treat sex? Even if you have regrets, you can choose today to see sex through God’s eyes and treat it like the powerful, intimate act it is. Allow God to write a new story in your life moving forward.
Sex is one piece of the puzzle of relationships. If you want to have healthier, lasting relationships, here are some resources that will get you going in the right direction:
Does God Forgive Sex Before Marriage?
5 Ways to Know if You’re Dating the Right Person
7 Secrets to a Satisfying Marriage
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