Sex is good. That is perhaps one of the sentences we do not speak enough in the context of the church. Sex. is. good.
But when our twisted humanity gets a hold of our sex drive, we don’t have sex as God intended. We have lust, and lust is bad.
The problem is: lust feels good.
If lust did not feel good, the pornography industry would not be an industry. If lust did not feel good, we would not be where we are. No one gets wrapped up in pornography because they hate it. They may hate it because they are wrapped up in it. No one struggles with a strong fantasy life because it makes them feel horrible.
No woman has ever said, “Let me do this because it makes me feel horrible.” When women are involved in addictive habits it seems to be for one of three reasons.
1. It feels good. (ie. masturbation)
2. They are punishing themselves (ie. self-harming)
3. They think the outcome will be better (ie. eating disorders in order to be thin)
Lust sins fall mostly under that first category. We do it because it feels good, and it does. We feel better; we escape. We release pent up sexual tension, etc, etc, etc.
But it isn’t sex the way God intended, which means, while it feels good, it isn’t actually good.
We know that, because we are all familiar with the wave of guilt that washes over us when we are finished. Even before we have the cultural awareness to decide whether or not it is right or wrong, we feel like it is wrong (because it is). But it isn’t wrong because sex is bad; it is wrong because we are mis-using sex.
Intelligent us, we went and acted on a very real drive outside of a God-honoring context. Now, we have to contend with a pretty major problem. We have to somehow find the balance between “sex is good” and “that was bad.” It is hard to think about sex being good and God-honoring without sliding down the slippery slope back into lustful thinking. It’s hard when you’ve already sampled a taste of its goodness, when you’ve already breathed in a bit of its power. We’ve cracked open a Pandora’s box of physical pleasure and emotional ecstasy and now, God, You’re telling me I have to what?
You’re telling me I have to wait to feel that again? God, that’s not fair.
Have you ever had that argument in your heart? Maybe it’s that time of the month for you, or maybe you just met Mr. Maybe, or your roommate just got married. Temptation comes and desire swells and you can hear yourself rationalizing what happens next. You can almost see yourself planning how this is going to go down. You go down through the mental “Make Sure There’s No Accountability” Checklist, and all the while, you are telling God why you are about to do what you are about to do.
In those moments, God warps. Correction: God doesn’t warp, our perception of Him does.
He goes from being the loving Father and Redeemer to a Mean-Spirited Dictator. We lose sight of grace and freedom and are instead frustrated by His holiness and justice. He is not fair. He does not understand. This is not my fault!
If He hadn’t given me this sex drive…
If He would just take away pornography…
If He would somehow send lightning from Heaven to zap my computer… (ever done that one)
If He would hurry up and bring me a husband already. Is it my problem I’m still single? No! It’s His.
What else am I supposed to do?
We lose sight of Him, and when we do that, we lose sight of what is best. If God is ever our enemy, we are not on the path to what is best. If we get defensive when confronted by His holiness, we are not on the path to what is best. If we ever turn our back on His grace or downsize His love, we are not on the path to what is best.
Everything that is best lies within God Himself. That means the best thing for us is His will for us, which means the best sex for you is sex the way He wants it to be. That may also mean that the best thing is waiting until He makes that possible. He may be using that time of waiting to refine you so that you can become someone else’s “best.”
It all comes down to choices, just as it always has. Every time you face temptation, you have a choice to make: lust or sex as He intended it.