Sex as Worship
Sex and worship are not often used in the same sentence in the Christian realm. We are told not to worship sex, of course. Our limited minds have a way of taking what is meant to bring worship to the Creator and instead, we settle for worshiping the creation itself. As C. S. Lewis says, “We are half-hearted creatures… we are far too easily pleased.” But as I read the Bible, I cannot help but acknowledge that the overarching goal of my existence is to bring God glory through worship - and that includes sex. Romans 11:36 (ESV) declares, “From him and to him and through him are all things. To him be glory forever.” Therefore, in light of the glory due his name, we are to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
Our bodies are instruments of worship.
What we do in our bodies, how we choose to honor them, steward them, and protect them are of deep importance to God. I think it’s easy to separate the act of worship from our tangible, every day, nitty-gritty lives and reduce its definition to times of prayer or music or study. In doing so, we miss the fullness of God’s purpose for worship – we miss the many moments of everyday that have the capacity to bring him exaltation.
We worship God when we know him and treasure him more fully.
How does sex lead to worship?
Sex is part of God’s creation, and all of creation is a glimpse into the nature of God. When we experience sex as a small taste of how good and rich and brilliant God is, we are better able to worship him.
Sex gives us a deeper understanding of his detailed wisdom and provision in designing us. The fact that our bodies fit and function in perfect unity, that he has given us body parts to merely experience pleasure, that the act of sex literally creates life itself – all of this gives a deeper adoration of God as Creator.
Sex gives us a tangible example of giving and receiving. Through sex, we learn to sacrificially give ourselves for the pleasure of our spouse. And we also learn to humbly, vulnerably receive pleasure from our spouse. This giving and receiving highlights Jesus’s sacrifice of his own body for us, and our response in receiving.
Sex gives us a physical expression of the mysterious union we have with God. As we become one with our spouse, we get a picture of the oneness we have in Christ. As we commit to our spouse, despite shortcomings, we get a fuller understanding of God committing to us, despite all of our faults. Sex allows for a small reflection of the greater, binding covenant to Christ.
I could go on and on. I will for the next couple of weeks. But my heart this week is to continue to put sex in its proper place by considering its innate purpose. If worship is knowing and treasuring God more fully, sex is a means of that knowing and treasuring.
Ultimately, sex is a gift of grace – it is God choosing to reveal more of himself through his creation so that we may understand him a little more fully on this side of heaven. As we experience more of him, we are able to worship him and honor him with all of our lives, including our bodies.
And, for the singles, know that you’re not forgotten. I know that hearing about the sacredness of sex feels a little like a slap in the face. Why would God create such a rich way to worship him if so many of us cannot partake yet and maybe never?
My hope is that by actually talking about it, by actually creating a space for this conversation, we are more willing and able to protect the gift of sex while single. I also hope that we are able to be more open with our desires and frustrations and honest thoughts in our own realms.
If there are topics you are interested in learning more about, or questions you may have, don't hesitate to contact me! I'd love to personally journey with you on this.