Cover image for Sex-- according to God
Sex-- according to God
Arthur, Kay, 1933-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Colorado Springs, Colo. : WaterBrook Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
vi, 248 pages ; 24 cm
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BT708 .A78 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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My friend, we live in a culture saturated with sex. Everywhere you turn it's there--discussed, debated, demonstrated, and used to sell anything and everything from cars to shampoo. And the world's message is loud and clear: You have to be desirable, attractive, and sexy in order to be loved. But I know far too many people who have been burned by sex--not only as children but as teens and adults--simply because it wasn't sex according to God's directions. And that breaks my heart…and His. Our problem today is that Christians haven't studied the subject of sex in the Bible. That's why I am so excited about this book. Here is the truth about sex--sex according to God, the one who created it. You and I are going to discover all that God has to say about sex in the Old and New Testaments. You are going to have answers to your questions about sex and solutions to your problems with sex. Together, we're going to learn for ourselves what the Creator has to say about His creation. You'll encounter truths that will enable you to enjoy and experience all that God intends in the incredible experience of becoming one flesh physically with your husband or wife. And you're going to know how to conduct yourself until you get married, or if you never marry. You are going to learn so much, my friend, that God is going to use you in a significant way to help others in these difficult days. This could be the most powerful, most liberating study you've ever undertaken. --Kay Arthur

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Arthur-a well-known speaker, author of more than 100 books and Bible studies, and founder of Precept Ministries International along with her husband, Jack-tackles the tough subject of sexuality and the Christian life. From Genesis to Revelation, she dissects the Bible and leads readers through what it has to say about sex and its misuse outside of the context of marriage between a man and woman. Even though Arthur never sidesteps what she believes are God's harsh words on the subject, she does so with compassion, as someone who knows the personal consequences of irresponsible behavior-she confesses to having had numerous affairs after her divorce. "There is hope no matter what has been done to you sexually," she says. "You can recover; your loved ones can recover. Our society could recover!" In a wonderful analogy she uses with teens, she likens sex to a can of Drano. It's a great product, but it has to be used according to the manufacturer's directions, or it can poison or even kill a person. Most of the book deals with the consequences of sex outside of marriage, but ends on a hopeful note that those who have engaged in illicit sex can experience God's redemption and recapture His original vision for their lives. She calls it a return to the Garden of Eden, in which a man and woman bound in holy matrimony explore and delight in sexual union-something that transcends the physical and weds their spirits. (Sept.) Forecast: The old adage that "sex sells" may hold true, but it's also true that in the Christian market, there is an audience for thoughtful and biblically sound books about sex. With more than five million copies of her books and Bible studies in print, Arthur is a very well-known name in the CBA market, and her platform-extensive speechmaking and ministry through Precept Ministries International-will help in reaching readers. WaterBrook plans a national publicity campaign with advertisements in various Christian periodicals. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



1 In the Beginning Why Did God Create Sex? There's great confusion in our society today about sex. We live in a culture where we almost breathe sex! Grab the television remote for a few minutes of channel surfing, and it's there, discussed, debated, demonstrated, and used to sell anything and everything from cars to shampoo, from coffee to toothpaste. The message is loud and clear: We have to be desirable. One way or another we have to attract the opposite sex if we ever want love. It's no longer love that makes the world go round; it's sex! Go on the Internet, type in an innocuous word, and without warning you're offered titillating sights and experiences you never knew existed--or you wish you never knew. Your curiosity tempts you to investigate further. Your mind tries to rationalize how you can go where you know you shouldn't. You find yourself battling a desire--a longing so unexpectedly awakened. You get out of the house, walk down the street, and it steps right in front of you--parading long, luscious legs and a short, tight skirt that rides every movement of her hips. You look up to distract yourself from the thoughts invading your mind, and you see a billboard that only entices you to carry the thoughts further. You walk into a corner store to grab something to eat or drink, and the magazines catch your eye. The pictures and headlines promise answers to your questions, ways to get or keep a lover excited and interested, and ways you can test your sexual IQ. You get together with your friends, and eventually the subject turns to the opposite sex--conquests are shared, frustrations are expressed, advice is given, or you're laughed at because you haven't had it! You're told you just don't know what true excitement is. That night you go to a movie; it's rated PG, but the upcoming attractions are not. Most of them sell sex, and you're sitting with your arm around someone whose skin is warm and soft, her perfume sweetening the aura of her femininity--or you're snuggling closer to a guy who exudes strength and tenderness. Your mind is going where it shouldn't go, your flesh is longing for what it shouldn't have; she's not your wife...he's not your husband. You go home with your date and what do you do? Should you really go in, even for just a few minutes? If you do, will you engage in intercourse-- or everything short of it? And whether or not you "go all the way," will you experience sex the way God intended it to be when He created sex? The Original Design Let's go back to the very beginning, to Genesis, the first book in the Bible. I want you to see for yourself what God says about sex, about our gender differences, and why He made us this way. As you read Genesis 1, a portion of which is printed out for you below, I suggest that you mark the text as you read it. When you do this and then write out your observations, it helps you not only grasp for yourself exactly what God says and means, it also helps you remember what you discovered. Now then, color or underline every reference to man, including every pronoun (every him, every them ). G E N E S I S 1 : 2 5 - 2 8 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." What did you learn from marking the references to man ? Did you notice the word you in that question is italicized? That's because this book is about you. Our study together is not an issue of your agreeing or disagreeing with what I write; rather it's about seeing with your own eyes exactly what God has to say about sex. Then you can make an informed, intelligent, rational decision about what you're going to do with what you've learned. And when you come to the final page of this book, you'll never have occasion to say with regret, "Well, if only I had known!" You will know. You'll know it all, because we'll cover it all. Now let's get back into our study, starting with listing your insights. Observing the text in this careful way helps you see exactly what God is saying, and it keeps you from straying into "I think," "I heard," or "I just feel" as you strive to grasp God's truth. These comments are not bad; you just need to get the facts first and go from there. So in the space provided, record the facts you learned about man from reading Genesis 1. Before we discuss what we observed in Genesis 1, let's look at Genesis 2. What God does in this next passage is tighten the focus on the telescope and take you in for a closer look, enabling you to see the details of the creation of man and woman. As you read the text, mark every reference to the man like this and every reference to the woman like this: . Also mark pronouns the same way. G E N E S I S 2 : 7 - 8 , 1 5 - 2 5 7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.... 15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." 18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Now list below what you learned in this passage from marking man and woman. M A N WOMAN Genesis 1 tells us that both man and woman were created on the sixth day, yet Genesis 2 shows us there was an order to their creation. Adam was created first from the dust of the earth, while the woman was created from a rib taken from the side of the man. God makes sure we know His purpose in creating the woman: She is to be a helper to the man, because among the beasts of the field no suitable companion for him was found. The Hebrew words in this passage translated as helper suitable ( help meet in the King James Version ) are ezer neged. Ezer means "an aide," while neged means "a counterpart, a mate." If it wasn't good for Adam to be alone, why didn't God just create another man to be Adam's companion? Is there a difference between the sexes? You need to know what the Bible teaches, because an opposing view has long been promoted--and many have bought into its lie. I've saved a page of notes given to me by a college student who wrote them down while sitting in a class on child development in 1979. As you read verbatim what my friend wrote, please know these are not the ravings of a lone liberal. I wish they were. Rather these notes reflect the cleverly wrought lies that had to be presented--and believed--to make way for the perversions that would follow in the name of "scientific" research. I will share only the first three; they're enough. 1. We are born asexual, neither homosexual nor heterosexual. 2. Children's sex is determined by labels parents place before two years of age. 3. All our sexual behavior is learned. Sex drive is learned, influenced by our environment. Although these statements were supposedly based on the latest scientific research in the study of human sexuality, are they true? Do they concur with the Word of God? What did you see in Genesis 1 and 2? Were we created asexual? And were we designed to reproduce asexual offspring? Genesis 4 answers that quickly: When Eve gave birth to their first child, she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD" (verse 1). Eve could tell the baby was not female like she was. A human, yes; a woman, no. His anatomy was different and the difference was evident from birth. So it was then, and so it has always been. God determines the sex of the child, and the sex, except in very rare situations, is evident from birth. But the difference is not one of mere anatomy. You can put a little boy in a feminine environment, but it won't remove the Y chromosome that makes him male. It won't diminish his levels of testosterone, a hormone that shoots up six to seven weeks after the sperm meets the egg and far exceeds the testosterone levels in females. When children reach the age of puberty, it won't matter what environment they've been raised in, what clothes they were dressed in, what gender they were labeled with. A girl's estrogen level will be eight to ten times higher than a boy's, and his testosterone level will exceed hers by a factor of fifteen.1 Our environment can greatly impact how we view ourselves, what we think of as normal, and some of our preferences--but it cannot change our gender. If it could, people wouldn't be seeking sex-change operations. If you want truth without distortion, you'll find it in the Bible. God's Book tells us we were created distinctively male and female. Eve was designed to be a suitable helper, a companion for Adam. Both were also designed for the purpose of procreation. Two men, no matter how they were raised, cannot have sex and produce a child. Neither can two women. It takes a sperm and an egg to make a child--and for those elements you need a man and a woman. As I said, God didn't create another man to be Adam's companion; He created Eve, a woman. It was Adam and Eve who were to be fruitful and multiply by producing male and female babies, who in turn would grow up and produce more male and female babies. And how would this happen? Did you notice that Genesis 2:24 says, "and they shall become one flesh"? What does that mean? God explains it very clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:15-18. As you read this passage printed out for you, remember that the apostle Paul is writing these words to Christians. A genuine Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside him or her. Christianity is Christ in us; therefore, our bodies become His temple. Also as you read, mark the following three things each in a distinctive way: every reference to you and your, every occurrence of prostitute, and every mention of immorality. In marking words, I find it most helpful to use different colors, so they're easily recognized. (As you continue in this book, you may want to keep on hand a half-dozen colored pencils--or at least a threecolored ballpoint pen.) If marking these words in different colors isn't practical, you can underline you and put a downward arrow over prostitute like this <> and a big I over immorality. 1 C O R I N T H I A N S 6 : 1 5 - 1 8 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. What did you learn from marking you and your ? According to what you read in this passage and in Genesis 2, how would you explain the phrase, "the two shall become one flesh"? What is the "immorality" to which Paul refers in these verses? It's so incredible, so awesome: Sex, by God's design, is becoming one flesh. When God made Adam and Eve distinctively male and female, He designed them anatomically so they could physically become one flesh in the act of sexual intercourse. God formed us to know no greater ecstasy than when a man and a woman literally merge into one flesh. Hormones, nerves, sensory receptors, and other specific physical characteristics are all part of His divine design for our pleasure in the physical oneness of marriage. An ecstasy beyond exquisite. A oneness washing over you, a wave of passion carrying you weightless to a sea of delight. Passion that loses consciousness of anything else. Exhaustion that leaves you spent, drained of tension, and filled with satisfaction, total satisfaction. Sex has a beauty all its own and--wonder of wonders!--God invented it. You do realize, don't you, that God didn't have to make sex so pleasurable! He could have designed it to be very mechanical, much like the instructions on the Drano can: To make a baby, first do this, then that, and follow with this. Be careful of such and such. Nine months later you should produce a child; if not, repeat entire process again until successful. No feelings, no passion, no exhilaration--just mechanics. Never! That's so far from what God intended in creating sex. Sex is not meant to be mechanical; it's meant to be passionate. Sex, in its perfect form, brings the intimacy of not only truly belonging to another but longing for the presence of our beloved. In its hallowed purity, the union of a husband and wife becomes a holy metaphor of the wife God seeks for His Son, of the oneness He longs to have with His chosen people Israel. The Ultimate Love Story From beginning to end, the Bible is about a divine romance. It opens with the account of a man and woman becoming one flesh. It ends with the Spirit and the Bride inviting others to join God's forever family. The Old Testament shows us the joy of fidelity and the heart-wrenching pain of adultery. We watch as God takes the canvas of the Old Testament and paints the picture of His love affair with Israel. In Ezekiel 16, He sketches the picture of Israel's birth, her abandonment, and His compassion when He found her in the field, her cord uncut, her body bloody and unwashed. Our hearts are touched as we observe His care in raising her until the time of love had come. In Jeremiah 2 we watch as He pauses for a moment, a smile crossing His face as He remembers the devotion of her youth, the love of their betrothal, the way she followed Him through the wilderness. Then the day came when Israel became His wife: "'I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,' declares the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 16:8). A covenant is a solemn, binding agreement between two parties--one lesser and one greater, or both of equal status--who commit themselves to each other under certain conditions. A covenant once made is never to be broken. In a covenant relationship, two become one; they no longer live independently. They are now bound to protect and defend one another, share everything in common, be there for the other until death. So solemn is this arrangement that God becomes the sovereign administrator of every covenant, watching to make certain its conditions are fulfilled and, if they are not, to come to the defense of the violated one and to deal out retribution against the violator of the covenant. In the book of Malachi, God calls marriage a covenant and expresses how He hates divorce, a man putting away the wife of his youth.2 God's love for His covenant nation is so evident in the Bible, in the telling of their love story. Nothing is too good for her. He adorned her with ornaments, putting bracelets on her hand, a necklace around her neck, a beautiful crown upon her head. Her dresses were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. She ate the choicest of food. Exceedingly beautiful, she advanced to royalty. He bestowed His splendor on her, and her fame spread. Then it happened. She trusted in her beauty and began to play the harlot, pouring out her favors on every passerby. She sacrificed their children on the altars of fame and fortune.3 What once was beauty became lewdness. Her nakedness was experienced by many...and His heart broke. Eventually, to get her attention, He wrote her a bill of divorcement and sent her away--but she was never far from His heart. She descended down and down into greater degradation until she ended up for sale in a slave market--and God went to redeem her, Israel, His beloved. (We're given the picture in the book of Hosea, in the story the prophet tells of himself and Gomer.) Israel's redemption would come through their own son, Jesus, whose very name means "God is our salvation," for it was He who would save their people from their sins. When Jesus came of age, God sought a bride for their son. This half-breed--Jew and Gentile in one body--was offered for re- demption in a slave market at a terrible price, but the Father and Son did not hesitate to pay. They counseled together to redeem her with the blood of her betrothed, God's only begotten Son. The covenant of marriage has been cut at Calvary, but it has not yet been consummated. Jesus is at home preparing a place for His bride, the church, in His father's house. The Father's servants are watching over her, urging her to stay pure so that she might be presented as a chaste virgin when the trumpet sounds and He at last comes, with shouts of joy, to take her home. Longing and looking for that day, she is preparing her bridal gown, white and clean, and sending out the invitation to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The Book of books, the Bible, opens with a wedding and a home in a garden, then it closes with a wedding and the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And what do we find in the middle of this Book of books? We find the greatest of all the love songs ever written: the Song of Solomon. A song that from beginning to end extols the beauty of sex according to God. A story of unquenchable, priceless love, a love that so satisfies our deepest longings that we turn to no other, for we know, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,...and his desire is for me" (6:3; 7:10). A book that does not mention God--and doesn't need to, for it is the very expression of all God intended when He made us male and female and brought woman to man. A book that cautions us not to arouse or awaken love until it pleases, lest we mar its intended beauty and unique intimacy. From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpted from Sex According to God: The Creator's Plan for His Beloved by Kay Arthur All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.